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Beauty over Forty

Keeping up appearances when age is just a number

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mac

Makeup Brands, Best at what?

I thought it would be fun to do a little mental exercise of going through a few of the brands I own and identify what I think they do best in product. Here is what I came up with, it might help you if you are building your collection 🙂

Brand Product
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Products & Eyeshadow
Becca Highlighter
Benefit Eyebrow Products & Blush
Bobbi Brown Lipstick & Eye Shadow
Cargo Eyeshadow & Lipstick
Chanel Lipstick
Charlotte Tilbury Lipliner
Essence – Catrice Highlighter & Mascara
Guerlain Primer, Powder & Bronzer
Hourglass Foundation, illuminating Powder
L’Oreal Mascara
Lancome Foundation & Blush
Laura Mercier Illuminating Powder
Lime Crime Liquid Lipstick
MAC Lipstick, Lipliner & Setting Spray
Nars Eyeshadow, Lipstick, all powders
Natasha Denona Eyeshadow & Blush
Physicians Formula Bronzer
Shiseido Foundation & Powder
Smashbox Contour (Powder)
Tarte Concealer, Blush & Mascara
TheBalm Highllighter & Liquid Lipstick
Too Faced Eye Shadow & Mascara
Urban Decay Eyeshadow, Setting Spray
Viseart Eyeshadow

I would love to hear your thoughts on what particular brands do best 🙂

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Best of the Best: Makeup 2016

The year is coming to a close and what an exciting makeup year it was. I thought it fun to list out the very best products I have enjoyed this year. Do note that I am writing from the perspective of a pale skinned, cool toned person, who has fine lines and some wrinkles. My requirements of products may be different to yours. When I list products ranked, it means that I think all the products listed are great, I just have a slight preference for the higher ranked product. Disappointing products are not on this list. So without further ado, let’s get started in the order I would normally apply products.

Primer:

Joint 1st place to Guerlain’s D’Or (non-silicone based) & Becca’s Backlight Radiance Primer (silicone based). Both are beautiful. The Guerlain L’Or was overhyped earlier in the year on YouTube, but still a lovely product in its own right. Just pricey, but great for experienced skin and who knows, maybe it really does have a lifting effect. The Becca primer is amazing, wonderful glow. I wrote a post about my favorite product combinations with it. An absolute must-have in my opinion.

Foundation:

#1) Shiseido Synchro Skin. This stuff is a dream, looks beautifully natural, stays put, wears beautifully, no creeping into fine lines or wrinkles, great coverage, extremely lightweight, medium to full cover, easy to build, can easily be sheared out. A miracle!

#2) Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Extreme Cover. The limited Shade Range and weirdness of the shades delegates this to second. Apart from that it performs just as well as the Shiseido, with full cover. This is extra great if you can’t find a good concealer for the under-eye area. With this foundation you shouldn’t need one.

Concealer:

Under Eye: Maybelline Age Rewind. Of all the concealers I have tested (18 so far) this outperforms even the most high-end in cover and in its ability to restrain from creeping into fine lines. For hiding blemishes: L’Oreal Infallible stick concealer stays put for a very long time.

Finishing/Setting Powder:

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder. I don’t need a powder to bake, just to finish and this powder is beautiful. Wonderful glow, almost impossible to overdo it. A discovery of December, I thoroughly enjoy it.

Contour:

Smashbox Contour Palette. I have been using this for 3 years and did a lot of research to see if I could find one better, but I failed. The contour shade in the light/medium palette is just perfect for my skintone and this remains my go to.

Bronzer:

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer, in the unimaginatively named shade: “Bronzer”. I own a lot of bronzers, so making it to the top is a great achievement. Lovely smooth application, natural looking shade and stays put all day.

Blush:

Joint 1st to Milani’s Luminoso & Lancome’s Blush Subtil in Brun Roche. Luminoso is such a beautiful peach shade, it suits so many skin tones. Being a drugstore brand it’s also very affordable, even from Europe via Amazon (it’s a US brand).  Brun Roche is a brown toned Rose, very subtle and very natural looking with great staying power. Wouldn’t want to give up either of these.

Highlighter:

Becca Moonstone Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed. Just perfection.

Eyeshadow Palette:

Tarte’s tarteist™ PRO Amazonian Clay Palette. Having hooded eyes, I am not to bothered by reports of 5 colors muddying together when blended, because on hooded eyes you really don’t use that many colors. I may use up to 4 and they are not all the same tone, meaning I don’t experience those complaints. What I do experience is great color payoff, blendability and staying power and a very attractive shade range for a cool toned person like me. Love it.

Mascara:

Too Faced Better than Sex. I have lost count of the mascara’s I have tested this year, but I always come back to this one. Great volume and lengthening. Manages to make me look like I am wearing falsies and believe me, my natural lashes are nothing to write home about. Maybelline’s The Falsies Push Up Drama nearly upstaged this one, except I seem to be slightly allergic to one of the ingredients. I would still recommend that others try it out. At that price point, if it turns out you are allergic it’s no biggie, but if not; it really is a fabulous mascara.

Liquid Eyeliner: still searching for a holy grail

Pencil Eyeliner:

Cargo Swimmables. Formulated for the water ballet, in lovely shades these stay put on the waterline all day.

Liquid Lipstick:

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes. I dedicated a whole post to these fabulous liquid lipsticks. Love, love, love, beating these would be a tall order.

Traditional Lipstick Favorite formula:

Mac’s Satin. I love this formula, it doesn’t feather out and has a nice smooth application & finish, not glossy, but also not thoroughly matte. My favorite shade is “Amorous”, beautiful for the fall/winter.

Best Lipliner:

Mac’s Pro Longwear Lip Pencil, as the name says, a long wearing dependable friend, it applies smoothly, no skipping or tugging.

Best Lipstick Primer:

Guerlain’s KissKiss Liplift plumps, fills in fine lines, cancels out pigment and keeps your lipstick on about twice as long. A great product.

Gloss: still no holy grail

Lip Plumper:

Glamglow Plumprageous Gloss Lip Treatment gives me the plump without the pain. This year I tried 4 plumpers and this is my winner. This product will not be suitable for everyone as everyone’s lips react differently to different plumpers. I experienced no real pain with any plumper. Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme did a slightly better job of plumping, but around 2 days later my skin would peel. I do not experience with the Glamglow product, where I get a minty tingle and my lips actually get conditioned and plumped.

Setting Spray:

Urban Decay All Nighter keeps everything on from dawn to dusk until it gets taken off. I only use this if I am out for the evening.

So, that’s it folks! I am excited about the new discoveries I will make in the coming year, thanks for reading along and making them with me.

Happy Holidays with some old style Hollywood Glam

It’s nearly time, two more sleeps! Apart from the shopping, the turkey, the excitement, nothing screams holiday more than a bold glamorous lip.

mac-lippenstift-lustre_lipstick

My choice for Christmas day is Mac’s Lustre Lipstick in “Lady Bug” surrounded by Mac’s Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in “Kiss me Quick” for under that mistletoe. It’s a lovely Hollywood glam style that takes us back many years.

Yes it will transfer, yes it is not smudgeproof, yes it will transfer onto your wineglass. That’s how I know the glass is mine and who cares? It’s glossy, bold, glam and wears down beautifully.

 

Along that vein, I wish you all very Happy Holidays, may your wishes and dreams come true, and I will be back between Xmas and New Years.

GRWM, Get Ready With Me! A rather personal makeup post

Tomorrow is our company Christmas party and it’s going to be so much fun. Some of our ladies are going to get ready together and if all goes well we will film a mannequin challenge.

Here my selection of “equipment” to help the ladies out (with 6 ladies faces in mind):

xmasequipment1

I wonder if all you other makeup addicts are doing the same at your Christmas parties ^^

MAC Spellbinder – What wizardry is this?

Today I got the craziest eye-shadow I have ever encountered. A new magnetized metallic eye-shadow by MAC called Spellbinder has just recently released. I had seen some previews and was intrigued.

When you touch the product, it doesn’t feel like makeup, it feels like velvet. Then when you swatch it with the finger it is just terrible, however if you swatch it with a brush it comes out beautiful, almost like liquid metal. So it behaves the exact opposite of what you would expect, as usually finger swatches are way more intense than brush swatches.The product is like nothing I have ever seen before, it is a pigment that holds itself together, as the particles are magnetized.

When you apply it to the eye you do need to be careful not to pick up too much on the brush as the particles stick to each other. Here the norm is the opposite of the usual norm. When applied, there is zero fallout, the particles stick to where put. Blending works well. The staying power will be tested via attending a party, but I have high hopes.

I bought the shades Blue Karma, which is a nice teal, and Aphrodisiatic which looks a bit purple in the pan, but is a cobalt blue. Each of them retail at 24,50 Euro or 22 USD. The line comes in 8 shades. I’m hungry for more.

 

The Truth about Foundation, Concealer, Under Eye Circles & Bags, Fine Lines and Wrinkles.

The questions most commonly posed in the beauty community are how to cover dark circles under the eye, what products to use that will not settle into fine lines and how to achieve an overall flawless finish.

Each time these questions are asked, you get a multitude of differing and often contradictory answers.

I have dry skin, under eye shadows, fine lines and a few prominent wrinkles. Here is what I have learnt through my own experience. I hope that if you are affected by these issues, you may be able to save a little money, as I have already spent it for you 😉

Truth: The more hydrating makeup you put on, the more it will move. There is a common belief that fine lines under the eye diminish through putting on extra moisturizer and using very moisturizing concealers. They don’t. All makeup products increase the visibility of fine lines, You can see this once you put your foundation on, immediately afterwards, your foundation will have had no time to settle in fine lines and despite that they are more evident. Smoothing out the complexion makes imperfections stand out.

It is common to color correct under eye shadows with a salmon/pink or even orange corrector (depending on your skin tone) and then layer concealer on top and set it with a powder. This can work well for up to 6 hours, but post that there will be a visible shift with cakey powdery zones and products gunked into fine lines, so whilst it can work very well, once it falls apart it can look really bad. They key to having it last, is to use as little product as possible and also to use products that move as little as possible and in order to be that they need to be dryish. So instead of using a silky smooth color correcting paste/concealer, use a drier product such as for example Bobbi Brown’s “Retouching Face Pencil”. Less is more. Having moisturized under the eye before applying the makeup, is an absolute given.

Truth: There is no one product that will solve your woes. I own 11 concealers, all of them claim not to settle into fine lines. They all do. Don’t fall for the marketing baloney. Getting the balance right of concealing is product combination and application. You probably already own fantastic products that can do a fantastic job when properly combined and applied in a way suitable for their consistency. You may see your favorite YouTuber broadly blending concealer with a beauty blender, but if that concealer is too fluid you may be blending it into your fine lines, you may have a color corrector beneath it, where that technique lifts and removes the product. So get to know your products and try out different application methods.

Truth: Baking creates raisin under eyes. If you have fine lines, just don’t do it, it’s not worth it.

Myth busted: You do not always need to set concealer with powder. Depending on the product, setting concealer with powder can make it look worse. Some concealers dry rapidly and don’t need that extra step, setting them makes them cakey. See what works best for your product before doing what everyone else is.

Finally: Regardless of which product combination and application method works for you, any product is going to apply better with a properly prepared canvas. That means well moisturized skin and a good primer. Do let them “set” before applying any color corrector or concealer or you will make the products slide around more than they should.

Product combinations that have worked for me include:

  1. Smashbox Primer with Lancome Teint Idole Ultra on the face, under the eyes, Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector topped with Benefit’s Fake Up or Mac’s Mineralize Concealer, or Maybelline’s Age Rewind Concealer, set with the “highlighting” shade from Smashbox Contour palette.
  2. Guerlain L’or Radiant Primer with Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover over the entire face, topped with Shiseido’s Sheer Eyezone Corrector (no setting required).

The most beautiful Glow for the Holidays!

Having written just a few days ago about a major disappointment here: Warning: Beautiful Glitterbomb 😦  I can now write about the exact opposite: Sheen and glow madness by Mac! Specifically the “Extra Dimension Skinfinish”. This stuff is boooootiful! Duochrome, the color shifts mean that what you get is not exactly what you see in the pan. I got the shade Double Gleam which has the most neutral shift. The other shades are Beaming Blush which is pinkish in the pan but shifts gold once on the skin, Show Gold which is gold in the pan and shifts pink on the skin, and finally Soft Frost, white in the pan with a purple shift.

This stuff is pure sheen, in the shade I chose, no glitter bomb, but the most insane sheen. I may have to get Show Gold too.

The highlighter to end all highlighter, just beautiful. I am also super lucky as now they are sold out. For the benefit of everyone else I hope they restock soon. Roll on the glowy holiday season!

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