By Vanessa Craft
Still applying Blush like you did in the ‘80s? Not sure what comes first, the lotion or the cream? Don’t worry. Beauty editor Vanessa Craft reveals the expert tricks and product picks bound to make you look your best.
1. FINISH LAST
Had a late night and early morning? Don’t break out the concealer trowel just yet. Put the rest of your face on first. Toronto – based makeup magician David Goveia says women tend to be heavy- handed with cover-up, which can look unnatural and highlight flaws in older skin. “Wait until you’ve applied your base, blush and lipstick- you’ll look better, feel better and end up using less.”
2. CURL, GIRL
An eyelash curler may look like medieval instrument of torture, but it should be a basic in your beauty bag. Why? It opens up the eyes for a more youthful appearance and helps mascara makeup a bigger impact. Gently close the clamp on upper lashes, squeeze for 10 seconds, then softly open before opening, follow with mascara.
3. DON’T HAVE A MELTDOWN
Whether it’s a hot date or a hot flash, you want your makeup to stay put. Look for makeup that wont melt or slide in high temperatures or on moist skin, try Cargo Cosmetics Water Resistant Bronzer and Better-than-waterproof Mascara, and keep makeup from slipping with Clarins Fix’ Make-up.
4. LIFT ME UP
Good brows can frame and lift the face if shaped and maintained properly. “A well-placed arch lifts the outer edges of the eye and can even give the illusion of higher cheekbones, “says San Francisco-based Hilary Footer, vice-president of Benefit Cosmetics Brow Bars (who recommend getting a professional brow arch – every three weeks! – while tweezing strays at home). Give Benefit Brow Zings brow shaping kit a try – it comes with tweezers, a brush, brow wax and powder.
5. STOP WINE-ING
Ditch those dark wine or overripe plum lipsticks in the recycling bin. Severe, dark colors put your lips on a diet, marking them appear thinner. “I call it the Cruella De Vil look,” says Toronto-based makeup artist Jackie Shawn. “From a distance, it appears almost like a gash on the mouth. Softer colors can give the illusion of a fuller lip.”
6. ZOOM LENS
Don’t be scared to take a closer look. A magnifying mirror is a must have – great for doing eye makeup, plucking stray hairs putting in contacts or just examining the current state of your skin. Focus with the Tweezerman Tweezermate 10x Lighted Mirror, which can be attached to a larger mirror for convenience.
7. ARC ANGEL
Eyeliner doesn’t have to be applied in one perfect swoop. In fact, most of the makeup artists we know use several shorter strokes to line the eyes. A soft line makes for a great daytime look (and pre-morning coffee, its much more manageable). Here is another option: Use an eyeliner brush and shadow.
8. SOFTLY, SOFTLY
Opt for a facial cleanser before reaching for the eye makeup remover. A good, water–soluble face wash will remove makeup without the extra step (or cost) of using a separate remover. More importantly, it will also save on unnecessary rubbing and tugging of the skin in the delicate eye area (hello, wrinkles!). Try gentle but effective products such as Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser or Dove ProAging Foaming Facial Cleanser. If you can’t do without your waterproof mascara (notoriously difficult to get off without a blow torch – use water “resistant” instead), wash your face first and gently sweep away remains with eye makeup remover.
9. GONE OFF
Always adhere to the shelf life noted on your products. If you can’t remember how long ago you bought something in your makeup bag, it’s probably time to toss it out. (Or, if you were wearing bell bottoms at the time of purchase, best donate it to science). Old makeup changes texture, loses functions and builds up bacteria, especially in products that go on your eyes, mouth or that you dip your fingers into. Try Cargo Cosmetics Blu_ray Lip Gloss, which comes with an indicator to keep track of how long it’s been open.
10. SMOKE SIGNALS
Contrary to popular belief, women our age can still indulge in a sultry, smoky eye for evening. “Just keep the darker shades softer and don’t migrate too far up the lid”, explains Toronto-based M.A.C senior makeup artist Jane Mckay, or you’ll end up highlighting pesky creases. Avoid black, and try some of the subdued hues that have popped up everywhere this season, such as cool grey and warm browns.
11. PERFECT POUT
Get yourself the right everyday lipstick. “All women should have a lipstick shade that is an exaggerated version of their own natural lip color,” says Poppy King, Australian founder of cosmetics company Lipstick Queen. “It will always be a perfectly flattering shade , no matter what occasion. “Remember, avoid completely matte lipsticks, which can settle onto lines. Sheer or creamy textures (like those found in Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge Collection) are an older girl’s best friend.
12. SWEEPING BEAUTY
The doll-size applicators that come with most makeup compacts and eyeshadow kits are not worth the time – or the streaking. Invest in a set of makeup brushes made for grownups, and take good care of them by washing them regularly to stave off bacteria and also extend bristle life. (Spray on brush cleaner, such as Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner, or wash them gently with a mild shampoo, rinse and lay flat to dry.)
13. COLOUR YOUR WORLD
Maybe you can’t break out the turquoise glitter eye shadow like your teenage daughter (please don’t), but you can still have fun with unexpected color, especially on nails and toes. Purple polishes, such as OPI’s smoky violet-hued ParlezVous or Chanel’s shimmering rich aubergine Vendetta, make a style statement without looking like you’ve just the disco.
14. STRAIGHT FLUSH
A swipe of vibrant blush on the apples of your cheeks can take years off your face. “My favorite colors to brighten skin are pinks, corals, and peaches,” says McKay. “They make everyone look healthy.” When applying, go easy there’s a fine line between lively, cherubic glow and a mad clown.
15. BE SERIOUS
Speaking of clowns, stop smiling when applying your blush. It work as a tool to find the apples of your cheeks, but on more mature skin you can end up sweeping blush into the lines around the eyes which will highlight wrinkles.
16. NICE TO MEET YOU
Introduce new skincare products to your face one at time. That way, if you have a reaction to an ingredient in a new cream or cleanser, you’ll be able to identify the culprit immediately, rather than guessing which one out of your new, five-product regimem caused the irritation or breakout.
17. HOT STUFF
Long, hot steam sessions (during a facial or in the steam room) can affect the health of your skin. According to Karen Asquith, national director of education for Yon-Ka Skincare in Toronto, steaming can dehydrate your skin, aggravate vascular concerns and even trigger a Rosacea flare-up. (Yon-Ka facials use a gentle, warm mist of essentials oils instead.) “Skip the scorching showers and ask your esthetician to go mild during treatments.” she says.
18. PROTECT YOUR ASSETS
Forget all the fancy-pants lotions and potions; sunscreen is still the best anti-ager around. “A broad spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen is the best-value anti-aging cream you can buy,” says Vancouver-based dermatologist Frances Jang. If your skin errs on the sensitive side, look for the chemical-free ingredients in the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in products such as Dermalogica Super Sensitive Faceblock or Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion.
19. PUT A LID ON IT
We’ve all heard about the importance of the fighting free radicals by boosting our cupboards with antioxidants-rich foods and beauty products. But when it comes to creams, the packaging is key in preventing antioxidants from oxidizing and losing there efficacy. Look for creams that come in an airtight pump or tube dispensers that block out light, such as Jouviance EcoDefense Antioxidant Emulsion and Vichy LiftActiv CxP Eyes.
20. KNOW A PRO
If you’re concerned about fighting the signs of aging, see a dermatologist sooner than later. (And while you’re at it, get that mole checked out.) “Anti-aging can be hugely confusing,” says Jang. “There are proven molecules and procedures you can use that will help slow down and reduce the signs of aging. But it’s important to get expert guidance on what’s right for you at this stage of life, given your lifestyle and budget.”
21. GET IN ORDER
Got all your skincare goodies at the ready? Here’s the best order to follow: “Start by cleansing then apply sunblock and follow with moisturizer on top,” explains Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto-based dermatologist at DLK on Avenue. “After cleansing, the most important thing is that you put on the product that protects your skin first.” Make sure to wait a few minutes before applying another product on top of the sunscreen so that you don’t dilute the strength of the SPF.
22. GLOW EASY
Gorgeous skin glows and look lit from within – and its an easy one to cheat. “Use a light-reflecting moisturizer,” says McKay “ You can get away with less foundation and concealer.” Try M.A.C Strobe Cream, which contains antioxidants and mineral pigments to brighten skin.
23. RUB-A-DUB SCRUB
Exfoliate, exfoliate! “It allows the outermost layer of the skin, which frequently builds up with dead skin cells, to be rejuvenated and look more radiant,” says Scott-Vincent Borba, L.A.-based founder of the Borba Skincare line. “Exfoliating allows for better penetration of any treatments or products.” Both manual scrubs, such as Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It, and chemical based ones, such as Neostrata Smoothing Lotion, work effectively to turn over cells.
24. DONT GET SENEITIVE
Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) is a great chemical exfoliant, but it can really sting – it is an acid, after all. If you can’t stand the tingly feeling your in luck. New technology is making it possible for AHA to be encapsulated in a time-release base, so you can get the same percentage of active ingredients spread out over time. Try Dermaglow Glycolic Smoothing Moisturizer to get results without irritation.
25. SEE THE LIGHT
Want to step up your skin care regimen? Intense pulsed light (IPL) is an effective (and proven) way to start. “It simultaneously addresses blotchy skin, sun damage and age spots, and also firms and re-texturizes skin,” says Jang, who has been using IPL for almost a decade. She also recommends the Fraxel repair laser treatment, which improves collagen formation, reduces redness or brown spots and tightness and tones skin. One caveat: Fraxel repair requires downtime of two to seven days, during which the mirror won’t be your best friend.
26. HOME HARDWARE
Not ready for an in-office treatment? Stay at home and try Health Canada approved Tanda Regenerate Anti-Aging Light Therapy Treatment, which uses red LED lights too improve skin texture and tone with no downtime.
27. FRESH AND CLEAN
Put the heavier, muskier scents of winter on the shelf when the season changes. Warm skin can easily turn a musky perfume into a cloying, overpowering one during hot weather. Go for light and pretty floral or refreshing citrus notes for summer. Such as Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Exotic with spearmint and lily or Liiv Botanicals Vitality’s mix of cucumber, and grapefruit and jasmine.
28. FACE YOUR AGE
If your getting fillers or injectables at your dermatologist office, keep your expectations realistic. “As a woman over 40, the goal is to enhance what you have,” says Kellett. “I think it’s abnormal when people come to my clinic and want to look like a completely different person. To be a fresher version of you is a very reasonable expectation.” Hear! Hear!
29. GET YOUR OWN, MOM!
Many of the popular acne products on store shelves are aimed at teens and are about one thing only: blasting bacteria. The results can leave older skin gasping for relief from harsh, drying ingredients. “You need to focus on calming and soothing the skin as well as disinfecting it in a non-irritating way,” says L.A.-based celebrity skincare guru Ole Henriksen. Try Cor soap, a gentle, moisture-rich bar that contains nano-silver, a natural antibacterial agent, or Ole Henriksen Blemish Attack Purifying Mask with soothing aloe vera and white tea.
30. NIGHT SHIFT
“Statistically, Canadian women suffer from dry hair more than any other group because of the climate, “says British hair expert Charles Booth, who recommends conditioning your hair at night to help repair and regenerate it. LaCoupe Overnight Repair Miracle Masque specially formulated to deep-condition and repair damaged hair overnight. It also promises not to put a dent in your love life- it smells great, isn’t goopy and won’t stain the sheets.
31. GIVE A LITTLE BIT
If you’ve got Afro-textured hair and regularly hit the salon to have it chemically straightened, ask your stylist to stop when your curl is about 80 per cent straight . This will leave some elasticity in the hair, which is essential for the body and strength. Achieving perfectly straight hair may seem like the ultimate goal, but it often leaves hair lifeless and limp. A little texture goes a long way towards keeping hair healthy.
32. BEACHY KEEN
It’s not just skin that can become weathered and damaged by the sun-hair is equally susceptible. UV rays are adept at leaving locks brittle and dehydrated. Use a UV blocker, such as Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Sun Guardian UV Protection Spray, with added conditioners to protect hair and keep a horsetail at bay.
33. BANG ON
If it suites your natural hair texture, try bangs. They’re a flattering way to hide forehead wrinkles (and cheaper than Botox.) Go for a brow-skimming length with a little texture to soften the face ( rather than a straight, more severe blunt cut).
34. HOT HEADED
Booth knows that, secretly, we’re scared of flat irons. “Go to a salon first to get your hair done and watch how the stylist holds the iron,” he says. “Or better yet, ask your daughter. She’s probably been doing it for years.” Don’t skimp, though; invest in a flat iron with adjustable temperature and ceramic or ionic plates. The resulting difference is worth the extra bucks.
35. DRY CLEANING
What’s a woman’s secret weapon? Dry shampoos. They add instant volume, soak up excess oil and leave you with fresh-scented, clean-looking hair. They’re also great for stretching out that professional blow-dry for one more day. Try Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract or Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder. By the way, washing hair daily fades colour quickly (and dries it out), so taking a day or two off in between shampoos can make a big difference to your hair’s condition.
36. TRENDY SCHMENDY
Don’t get caught up following fads. If you update your look every year, do what flatters your face and skin tone. “Avoid colouring your hair too dark or too light,” says David Facchino, co-owner of Monreal’s Queen of the World salon. “Opt for mid-tone hues or subtle highlights.”
37. SHAGADELIC BABY
Layers look great, but even Farrah left the full-blown shag back in the 1970s. “Women should definitely avoid over-layering, since it can make heavy hair look butchered,” Facchino advises. Choose some face-framing layers instead to add structure and camouflage any neck trouble spots.
38. BRUSH UP
The myth of brushing hair 100 stokes a day has long been de-buncked, but that doesn’t mean your hair can’t get Rapunzel treatment. Buy a high-quality boar bristle brush, which can gently detangle knots without causing damage. If you’ve got thick hair, go with a blend of synthetic and boar fibers (like those in the Modern Bella Perfect Brush) to ensure the bristles have enough grip to get drawn all the way through hair. A good brush will last for years and is a worthy investment in your beauty bank.
39. FRIZZ FIGHTER
Say bye-bye to bed-head with a satin pillowcase. Silky fibers offer much less friction on your hair than cotton ones. The result? Hair is smoother and frizz-free in the morning. Another benefit: The dreaded deep-sleep face crease is a thing of the past.
40. SILVER LINING
Ready to go grey but not sure how to get through the early stages? Invest in a few stylish headbands or scarves to conceal your roots, or try a semi-permanent colour, which washes out gradually but takes the edge off of grey roots. Grey hair can appear more dry and brittle than coloured hair, so take extra care – get regular trims and use specially formulated products, such as Rene Furterer Okara Mild Silver Shampoo, to provide silver highlight and add shine.
With Files from Kathryn Hudson
From More Magazine