Une femme has a confession: I have a sordid past. Back in the 80's, I was seriously into eye shadow. Makeup in general actually, but in accordance with current fashion back then, I used to wear three and four different colors of eye shadow at a time. It didn't help that one of my best friends at the time decided to sell Mary Kay. Between the turquoise/peach/gold eye shadow trios and the Pretty Pumpkin lipstick, well...let's just let those images moulder in the dust of history. (And the big hair too, but that's a scary story for another day.)
In the 90's, Bobbi Brown swept in with the natural look, and we swapped our peacock colors for taupes and browns and beiges. At some point, I realized I was spending quite a bit of time each day applying makeup that ultimately was rather drab and boring, so for the waning years of the 20th century, my makeup philosophy could be summed up as, "why bother?"
But in the last few years, the pendulum has swung back to the middle, makeup-wise. Even if time weren't my primary consideration, my days of Supa-Glam have passed. It's this femme's humble yet staunch position, that once we hit un certain age, complex, overdone make-up detracts rather than adds. (And I don't care what your age, the current fad for "raccoon eyes" just looks tacky and needs to go!) What I strive for these days is minimal makeup that will have a maximal effect.
Concealer: I never used to bother with this, but lately I've started using a little Clarins on my undereye circles. I like this product because it doesn't collect in the fine lines or look cakey. Wearing glasses tends to cast a bit of dark shadows on the eye area anyway, and a little light concealer helps counterract this, and keeps me from looking like I was up partying with Barnabas Collins all night.
Liner: I used to be hopeless with applying eyeliner. Then a couple of years ago I was over at Barney's doing some Balenciaga bag reconnaissance for a friend, and got corraled into getting a Nars makeover. Usually one steps away from these things looking like a freak show, but the woman who worked on me was quite good and took me seriously when I told her I preferred a more natural look. She showed me an eyeliner technique that looks great and has yet to fail me. Using an eyeliner brush like this, you dampen some dark powder eye shadow, load up the brush and then tap along the upper lid, aiming for the base of the lashes rather than the eyelid itself. Apply your eyeshadow over the liner for a softer look. Works like a dream. Even so, this is relegated to "special occasion" makeup, because I just don't have time to do this in the mornings.
Shadow: Hardly ever wear it anymore either. One I like, except that it tends to crumble, is Nars "Dream Lover". It's a lighter and darker shade of greyish green, which I just mix and use on the lid and to just above the crease.
What I do wear most days is mascara. First, I curl my lashes because they tend to be long and will leave smudges on the inside of my glasses if I don't. Then comes the Diorshow. I've tried a lot of mascaras, cheap and not, and this one goes on without clumps, doesn't flake, and doesn't irritate my eyes. It's harder to hit that trifecta than you might imagine. I keep it to a light coat or two, just enough to open my eyes up a bit.
Brows: I plucked the crap out of my brows back in high school in the 70's when the look was to have almost no brows at all, and they mostly never grew back. I tried pencilling to fill in, and brow gels, but now that I have a hair stylist who will also "do" my brows (a little trimming, shaping and coloring) I don't have to do anything to them on a daily basis except occasionally round up the strays. But of all the brow products I tried, Bobbi Brown's brow gel is probably the easiest to use and gives the most natural looking results.
Well for someone who doesn't wear a lot of makeup, I do go on about it. We'll save lips and cheeks for next time.