I personally love bronzing powders. However, you need to be super careful if you are going to use any type of powder – regardless if they are compressed or loose. Unfortunately, powders tend to settle into lines and wrinkles, actually making them look worse. On the other hand, creamy formulas not only provide coverage but also can help moisturize and plump up lines. I am a modern gal with some truly old school beliefs. One of these is that a good foundation is essential for your daily skin care routine. Let me be clear: I’m not talking about the thick nastiness that was hovering in granny’s medicine cabinet and smelled like formaldehyde-meets-rose-water. I am talking about a minimizing foundation/concealer. There are 100’s of brands. You should find one that is specific to your skin tone and is marketed more towards an under eye concealer.
Now listen up, ladies: here is how to choose the right shade:
- If the skin tones under your eyes are more blue-tinged, use a yellow based concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone. This color masks the blue discoloration and brightens the skin.
- If you have more brown colored circles, then use a peach or orange based concealer. 80% of all women fall under this category. The formula you choose should be a lightweight gel base. I use a creamy gel base made by ELF. It’s cheap and easy and comes with a concealer on one end and a highlighter/illuminator on the other.
To use your foundation concealer, apply this with a tiny series of dots under the eye, around the nose, chin and check bones. Gently blend this into your skin.
Illuminate and Highlight
When it comes to highlighters, there are specific areas of your face you should be highlighting to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and dullness that come with age. If you are using something similar to my concealer/highlighter pen you can simply start applying your liquid highlighter (usually bright white which is matte for ladies over 50 or slightly shimmery for 40 and under). Women who want to look fresh and light should always use a highlighter because it puts the oomph back into the skin that can fade over time.
To apply, place tiny white dots over eyelids, inner eye, tops of cheek bones, outer temples and upper for head. I always add a dot right in between the cupid’s bow of the lips and blend thoroughly before lipstick and bronzer application. Look for products featuring the words “mica-mineral” and “illuminating for best results.
Bronzer and Blush
These are literally my two most treasured secret weapons. I use both a powdered loose bronzer and a cream blush to give my skin that overall healthy glow and to make my cheeks look more hydrated and lifted. The combination of the two give a more dewy finish, which will reflect light and make the skin look brighter.
Make sure you blend well on the apples of your cheeks, forehead nose and chin to avoid streaks and the unforgiving and tell tale signage of over bronzed glob balls.
Plump Up Your Pout
Your lips are one of the first things that noticeably mark your age and your health. Your lips are almost always neglected and almost always one of the first things people notice and are drawn to.
First, it’s important to make sure your lips are exfoliated and moisturized to keep them hydrated and smooth. You can mix your own exfoliant mixture at home mixing a 2 tsp of brown sugar and 1 tbs of honey to lightly slough off dead skin, refresh, moisture, and enliven your natural lip tone. I have taken it a step further and have an electric toothbrush just for my lips in which I dip into plain baking soda and gently exfoliate on top and around the lip line every few days. Before you apply lipstick, make sure you frame the lips with a nude-toned pencil. Outline the outside corners of your lips and create a nice definition for a balanced pout. I rarely use this method as I’m crunched for time and need something that will last six hours or more. I use my all-time favorite: Loreal’s long lasting lip tints. I frame my lips first with the wand and color and then using the whole stick I fill in the bulk of the lips, blend with your finger or a lip brush to imbed the lipstick into your lips. Add a clear gloss and go! This also helps to softly create a frame around your lips. If you want to revisit your highlighter and re-apply between your cupids bow, you will create the appearance of a plumper pout.
Lash and Line Eyes
Nothing makes eyes pop like a simple swipe of mascara and a soft subtle well lined eye. The right color of mascara and the correct liner is key. Let’s get right to the point. No one can get away with liquid liner, and I mean no one…UNLESS you are headed to a red carpet event and/or you are extremely savvy with eye make-up (i.e. you do dramatic eyes daily as a professional). Now for the rest of us, you will be looking at dark black mascara for medium and dark skin tones and a dark brown for very fair skin tone. If you do not have one yet, please buy an eyelash curler, it is a must! It quickly and simply defines and separates lashes and allows for quick mascara application. It’s important to take it easy with the application. Apply one coat, let it dry and then apply a second coat only at the tips. As far as liner goes, invest again in a soft thin eyeliner brush. You will then use a soft gentle powder in the same tones of your mascara. Apply a thin line at the inside corners of your eyes and make it thicker as you get to the ends and or outer edges of your upper eyelid. On the bottom or lower lids, again using a small amount on your brush, apply a thicker layer on top, yes ON TOP of your lower lashes inside the eyelid. If you want to get a little frisky add in a dark navy mascara and dark navy powdered eyeliner. Almost anyone can use this color and remember this is just a simple daily routine. A more dramatic look is an entirely different lesson!
PS – the photo used on this blog post is from Flikr Creative Commons by tomerton2010.
Please let me know if you’ve found these tips helpful by commenting below!