Makeup tips for women over 50, or how time is marching over my face

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

When I was a younger woman, I didn't take very good care of my skin. Since I was a Whitey McWhiterson living in the tropics and smoked for many years, this has resulted in time marching across my face. Go, me.

So over the last several months, I've spent considerable time and hundreds of dollars trying to decide what I want to do in terms of skin care and makeup for my over 50 skin. This is definitely a first world problem, and it irks me because my beauty regimen has never been complex. Now the carefree days of my youth are over, and I have discovered some truisms and tips that I'm ready to share with the world.

1. When you're young, you think you need a bunch of makeup to look beautiful. You're wrong. I need a bunch of makeup to look beautiful. You need makeup to accentuate your best features or to achieve a more dramatic look. Compare and contrast:

So very DRAMATIC. I think I was 20 in this picture,
and routinely spent about 10 minutes a day (if that)
on skin and makeup.
This required more of an effort. A lot more.
It was taken at this year's Library Foundation Fall
Gala and I can assure you it took a lot longer than 10 minutes.


The interesting thing about makeup as I grow older is that I use a lot more of it, but it looks like I wear less. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, y'all.

2. Living in a dry climate (hello, Colorado winters!) makes most people's skin pretty dry. It makes my skin look like I've been rolling around in ash all day.  I'm now at the point with my skin that in order not to shed a trail of dead skin behind me like I'm lost and need milestones to find my way back to civilization, I literally have to slather my body and face in oil. OIL, FFS. The Maracuja oil for my face is almost $50.00 a bottle, but luckily the body oil is pretty inexpensive because it's intended for pregnant women's bellies. ::insert eyeroll here::

3. When I was younger, I never wore foundation. I didn't need it as I didn't suffer from acne once I was no longer a teenager, and was genetically blessed with good skin. Not so today. Now I have rosacea red, coupled with discoloration due to skin damage (hello, tropics!)*. I used to use a powder, but that settles in my wrinkles and looks gross, plus it exacerbates my dry skin. Then I tried to use a liquid foundation, and it made my middle-age rosacea worse. Then I tried CC Cream on my cousin's recommendation, and it looked weirdly unnatural. I've finally settled on Dr. Jart+ BB Cream. Apparently BB Cream is recommended for women over 50 rather than other foundations, a fact I didn't know until after I'd spent what I consider to be significant coin on other products.

4. I now have dark circles under the wrinkles under the bags under my eyes. What a delight! This necessitates a concealer so I don't look like the town drunk after a three day bender. I use tarte CC undereye corrector, which makes things a bit better, but I don't want to use anything heavier. Otherwise I feel like I'm wearing circus makeup, and no one wants to see that.

5. Let's talk about brushes, shall we? I recently spent $86 on a full set of makeup brushes, a $200 value! (And these weren't even fancy-shmancy brushes - they're the Sephora house brand.) Apparently these tools are MUST HAVES for the competent woman, which just proves what I've always suspected - I am NOT a competent woman, at least in terms of Western beauty standards. I've watched many makeup tutorials to figure out which brush goes with which task, and the set I bought helpfully has the brush function stamped on the brush handle. I appreciate this, even though it makes me feel like a toothless Okie using makeup for the first time. 

6. Also? All this crap takes up a lot of room. Here are my before and after makeup bags from the start of this experiment to today. That's a lot of crap. I think I need to clean out the bathroom to make room for my new part-time job: Skin care and over-50 makeup.

7. Lip color is the bane of my beauty existence, I swear. Remember that whole "I smoked for many years" thing? Yeah. The result is fine lines around my lips which are accentuated when my lip color helpfully bleeds into them and I end up looking like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. So attractive! This issue has been a tough nut to crack. Lip paint looks better than any lipstick, but neither one is ideal, even with lip liner. Right now I'm using a pale pink lip gloss. 

8. I'm considering a number of cosmetic procedures to help me on my middle-age beauty journey. I already get Botox and injectables (better living through poisonous biologics and chemistry!). Now permanent lip color is high on the list. Nothing dramatic, no filler, etc., just a little color so I can use lip gloss only on a daily basis and not have my lips disappear into my skin or make me look like the Mouth of Sauron.

I'm also considering microblading on my brows. This is a fairly common procedure, and since I over plucked as a young woman, I could use a little help in this department.  
And then of course there's the lower facelift. Because SCIENCE, BITCHES. That one's a few years off, though.

The Smart Man has no input on any of this - it's my body, my face, my skin, etc., and other than having a keen interest in my health, he believes that all these choices are mine to make, without his opinion being a factor. (NOTE: We love this about him.) I've chosen to do this work and bear this expense because while I recognize I'm being influenced by an unrealistic, misogynistic Western beauty standard, I feel better about the way I look when I'm making an effort. But I'm discovering that growing old gracefully is a lot of damn work.

__________

*Mechanicky Gal tried to warn me about this many years ago, and I started to use an Aveeno product with SPF 30 on her advice, but alack and alas, the damage was already done.

3 comments:

mom in northern said...

AH yes...welcome to my world.

Just wait for your skin to turn on you when you become allergic to all of
that expensive product...
Love you.

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Beatrice Desper said...

So, I'm not alone with the circles, bags and wrinkles! Sometimes I feel like a racoon.