Sunday, April 12, 2015


Like many of you, I received my 20% coupon from Ulta. Ten years ago, this would thrill me!

But now...I leave empty-handed.

I don't shop at Ulta anymore. Or Sephora. (Although I do need to do something with all of those points...)

NOTE: if you do and you love it, keep going!

Part of it is the overwhelming choices. And part of it is that I'm not doing that with my hair. I'm not wearing all of that face make-up anymore, and the color choices are just not suitable for me.

I'm cosmetic weary.

So here are my options:

Check out wholesalers. That's right. Why spend $40 for 2 ounces of face creme when you can get a QUART for that much?! Some wholesalers sell their most popular products as "back bar" for spas and salons. I'm quite fond of bian

And if you want the Disneyland of color cosmetics, check out This Canadian company creates every type of cosmetic that you can imagine right in Canada with no minimum purchase.

Let your internet fingers do the walking!

Friday, April 10, 2015


I'm always looking at how women apply cosmetics - not with a critical eye - but out of curiosity. It's fascinating!

As I've said before - and it is worth saying again - wear WHAT you want, how you want. We've earned that!

But for my own application, I've noticed something in the really good application videos - like Lisa Eldridge's - that the artist barely touches the skin of her/his client.

And yet many of us apply blush, shadow and concealer as if we're prepping for a Broadway show.

Part of this I attribute to the plethora of make-up brushes on the market. We think we need thirty because, well, the counter folks wear a holster with dozens. (No, you don't!)

And I think the Kardashians have ruined make-up application. Who hasn't seen that paint-by-number picture of Kim's face pre-blending.

So let's get all of those ridiculous images out of our heads!

Just for fun, try applying your color cosmetics as lightly as possible. 

Suspend your disbelief.

How to do this? Get the color on your brush or sponge applicator. Then to a run across the back of your hand before applying to your face. This evens out the product on the applicator. Then LIGHTLY touch your face.

And be prepared to be amazed.

You won't have to do much - if any - correction or blending. This works best over lightly moisturizer skin. I happen to think primers add a layer that makes  cosmetics unmoveable. But if you like primer, keep using it.

I've seen a huge difference in my own face.

So try - and let me know what you think!

Sunday, March 29, 2015


I'm cleaning out my make-up box today.

So many mistakes.

Impulse buys (lipstick for a party), gifts-with-purchase (I can never make these work!), eyeliner pencils in various colors (really...colors?), lip gloss five-pack that I purchased at TJ Maxx (hey, it was Estee Lauder) don't want to know the rest.

And I know better, I really do.

To focus myself - and to help you, let's review some simple principles of make-up for our age group.

First, if you are happy wearing it, wear on! It is not for me to say what you"should" wear. Press delete  on your keyboard and get this message out of your Inbox.

But if you are sitting in front of a mirror or - worse - standing in Ulta, Sephora, a department store, or a drugstore confused and ready to drop your hard-earned $$$, read on.


Many women in their fifties and sixties still have oily skin. But this is not your teenage oily skin. Because you also probably have fine lines. Putting mattifiers - whether foundation, concealer, primer or powder - on your skin is only going to make it worse. It is.

The only women who can get away with this are the ones on-camera who have a make-up artist two feet away at the ready to smooth out product when it sinks into fine lines and wrinkles...within five minutes of application. Believe me when I tell you this.

There are dozens of highlighters and "correctors" (these are really just heavy oil-based, pigment-heavy cremes in odd colors) on the market calling out to women our age. Plug your ears.

Take a page from Way Bandy's book - that holds up almost fifty years after publication - and - in your hand - mix foundation with a few drops of water and a dab of moisturizer and spread it all over your face - including the eye lids. Go back and add a little extra to the areas where you would normally use a concealer.

Let it set.

Glowing skin.

You're welcome.

Some foundations work better at this than others. The old school foundations usually work better.

Need a little powder action? Baby powder. I swear. Lightly over the oily areas. LIGHTLY.

Need a little color? Repeat the water and moisturizer concoction with a dab of lipstick. Yep. It works like a creme blush. And there are so many colors to choose from!

If you must cover spots, use foundation only - not concealer and use a tiny brush. Tap, tap, tap.


I'm pale, so mine will pop right up into my head. If you still have some pressed powder around that matches your skin tone, apply the lightest layer to your lids. Barely touch the skin. Then use a taupe/brown medium shade in the eye socket. You're creating a shadow - not an eye design.

For eyeliner, I like to use a pigmented powder and one of those super flat brushes. I have sparse lashes so I'm really just trying to give me eyes some shape - not "line" them.


And for brows, retire the powders and pencils. let your brows grow in and use one of the brow gels (I like Anastasia) for color and grooming.

A shade deeper than your natural lip color. Nothing lighter, nothing darker.

This is what I'm practicing today as soon as hit "publish."

Let me know what you think!


More and more ladies over fifty or being diagnosed with sleep apnea. And thank heavens - because it is a proven factor in conditions like fibromyalgia and atrial fibrillation.

It's challenging enough to find a mask that fits but when you wake up in the morning with red marks and extra blemishes and exacerbated rosacea, it makes the condition even worse.

I've had several readers ask me how to handle this frustrating problem.

First, make certain your mask actually fits. That sounds like common sense, but it can be a challenge. It may feel fine sitting up but once you lay down, you may need to readjust the position and the straps.

Check out as many mask types as you can. is an excellent resource and they provide a 30-day test drive. If your setting is not too high, see if you can use one of the newer styles that have no forehead support.

The portion that touches your face is always going to be silicone and that can be problematic.

Cleanse your face as soon as you get home from work or immediately after dinner. You don't want to cleanse before bedtime if you need to apply an evening moisturizer. that moisturizer needs to be removed before you wear your mask.

Use a milky cleanser followed by a thorough washcloth wipe. Any residue needs to be gone! If you use an oil-based make-up remover, you'll need to follow with a second cleanse with a lotion.

Follow this with a 2% salicylic application or one of my stronger peels: 10% glycolic and - once a week - 5% salicylic. These peels help keep the "mask blemishes" at bay and keep the pores clear.

Follow with a light serum for moisturizing but NOT a cream-based moisturizer. You're clearing the pores - don't clog them up again.

Right before bed, remove the serum using a warm wet washcloth. The skin needs to be residue free.

In the morning, immediately cleanse your face after you wake up. Do this before you shower or pour that first cup of coffee! You'll want to remove all of the sweat and oil from under the mask. Again, a light milky cleanser and warm washcloth.

Apply a moisturizer.

If you shower in the morning, simply rinse your face. Post-shower, reapply the moisturizer and your make-up.

If your skin is oily, substitute a gel cleanser for the cleansing lotion.

This may feel like a very odd sequence, but your skin needs to be residue free under the mask. Then - especially if you have dry skin - you need to counter the lack of evening moisturizer in the morning so that you're not over-drying the skin.

Give it try. And drop me a line of you need product recommendations or special help!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Why, oh why, do I still get breakouts?

(Well, diet seems to do it for one. Dairy is a one-way ticket for me. I think it is probably the hormones in the dairy products...)

Regardless, I depend on this little lady to fix the problem pronto.

2% salicylic acid is my daily lifeline and if you have any blemishes, it could be yours.

I get mine from the Natural Skin Shop because it is simply salicylic acid, water and alcohol (you need that to dissolve the acid).

It runs around $18 for two ounces but they have plenty of specials for a better deal.

I use it in the evening after cleansing.

I have other versions including. 5% and even a 10% that I'll use on an individual pesky spot.

And I still use a 10% glycolic peel a couple of times each week.

But salicylic acid is the thing that keeps blackheads at bay also so I can use a lot less concealer and foundation.

I apply with a gauze pad and either leave it on overnight (it'll stop working in about ten minutes.)

Expect your skin to flake a bit but you can solve that probably with a gentle washcloth wiping plus a moisturizer.

And remember, the pH needs to be low or the salicylic acid won't work which means a lot of the "acne" products sold in drugstores won't work as well as this one. (I'm talking to you, Neutrogena!)

Monday, March 2, 2015


I wear foundation, I don't wear foundation. I hate foundation, I try to love foundation.

Finding a foundation for a face over fifty that really covers redness and STAYS ON  has been one of my greater challenges.

This winter's weather brought more redness than I could stand to see and - finally - I had to breakdown and wear something so I didn't look like I have a perpetual sunburn.

I caught Lisa Eldridge's excellent video on covering rosacea and hopped on the DoubleWear train.

What took me so long?

I wince when I use the term "age appropriate" pertaining to cosmetics. Especially color cosmetics. I believe they should be fun for all ages but I am slowly/quickly losing my affection for Ulta and Sephora - where it becomes harder and harder to find options for aging skin. Unless you define aging as 29.

But I digress.

I was pleasantly surprised that Lauder had a shade light enough for me - 1C1- and spent the $37.50 with fingers crossed.

I'm sure many of my readers already use this product. It works best over well-moisturized skin and it "sets" pretty quickly. The setting process makes it virtually unmoveable. As in scarves and high collars won't touch it.

That feature is a little scary. But it was just what I needed.

It's also best applied with a brush.

But boy does it kill the redness!! So much so that I actually needed some blush.

Removing it is the biggest challenge. I like the Lauder "Take It Off" wipes followed by my own creme cleanser - and even then I have to check to make certain my face is clean.

But I don't breakout from it and it does what I need it to do.

If you suffer from rosacea and you need some coverage, give this a try. The Lauder counters will provide a generous sample.

And it is the one counter that you will never feel out of place.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I'm breaking up with powder color cosmetics. And matte lipstick, too, but that's another post.

There is no amount of primer (and I hate primer) that can make my almost-sixty year-old face look like one of the Kardashians. Even Kris. (She should stop with all of the make-up, BTW.)

And I'm just fine with that. I hope you are, too.

No matter how fine the pigment and fillers (that's what cosmetics are), it's like the difference between spreading say, flour, on a surface like marble vs. wood. Even finely sanded wood. That flour will grab.

If you are getting a blotchy eye shadow and blush application no matter how much you blend, perhaps it's time to switch to creme options.

Fortunately, there are PLENTY!

If you are a true make-up aficionado, go right over to and check out the professional options from Graftobian and Ben Nye. That's where the pros go!

If you just want to be able to pick up a few options in a department store, I'm loving the Clinique Chubby Sticks. The eye options have a little glimmer but you can blend it out.

Since most of my make-up application is done in the car at the train parking lot, I am grateful for these babies.

But there are plenty of other high and low end options.

Just make certain that the formula is sheer and that there is not too much glimmer (I'm talking to you, Chanel!)

Turning the cosmetic corner can be a little sad. Even letting go of what worked in my forties and early fifties no longer does.

But the key is to find what works. If you're stuck, shoot me an email at

I'm always happy to help!

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Mascara - for faces over fifty - starts to get a little hairy (ha-ha) because of the droopy eyelid syndrome.

I've had that all of my life.

Like the rest of us, I've tried all kinds of mascaras. High end, low end, free. And I've settled on this one.

I've evenbeen foolish enough to go back to the store AGAIN and buy another just to see if I REALLY like it.

And I do.

So why is this so different from all of the other Cover Girl mascaras? Well, know this. Procter & Gamble doesn't have a"mascara factory." So whoever formulated - and manufactures -this for them did a great job. By that I mean that one could come from here, one could come from there, and so forth. The magic of the cosmetic business!

Not only do I get great wear from this (minimal underneath smudging and then only if I am foolish enough to have a trace of moisturizer or concealer) it comes off easily, too.

I always use a creme or lotion cleanser (Yep, my own. More on that later) and don't add an extra step of eye make-up remover.

Did I say it was cheap? You can find it in a TWO-PACK for $7-ish.

I've got my whole office wearing it!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Er...HAPPY 2015!

So, if you're a regular reader, you know that I stopped posting on this blog about a year ago.

I thought I'd switch to WordPress and to a new format.

I really disliked WordPress.

And a funny thing happened: I have more readers on Faces Over Fifty than ever. (Hello!)

So I'll be posting here again. Until I figure out how Google sticks advertising everywhere, please excuse the links that they add in for completely unrelated items - so sorry about that.

I have some great products to review and lots of good advice coming!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


This is an interesting little product.

It comes in a twist-up stick not much taller than your thumb.

Inside, the product is in a pie shape of four quarters: two skin-colored pigments, one of green and one of violet.

That seems to be for the "color-correcting."

I use it as a lightweight "base" to blur out discoloration and as a "base" for a light application of concealer where needed.

But obviously, you can apply it all over your face.

It's not going to hide anything, that's for sure. But if you tend to steer away from foundations but don't want to be bare-faced, then it is an option.

It comes in four shades and runs about $36. That's a little high for a primer, I think. But I love the convenience of the tube and - if I use a brush - I can grab just the green for red spots.

Lavender and Green Fair, Light, Medium, Tan, Deep Ingredients: Propylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, polymethylsilsesquioxane, dimethicone, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, HDI/Trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, silica, Candelilla Cera/Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Cire de candelilla, polyethylene, coco-caprylate/caprate, polysilicone-11, barium sulfate, hydrogenated castor oil hydroxystearate, Cera Carnauba/Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire de carnauba, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, euterpe oleracea fruit extract, punica granatum sterols, oryza sativa (rice) lipids, caprylyl glycol, phenoxyethanol, tocopheryl acetate, magnesium aluminum silicate, kaolin, montmorillonite, mica. May Contain/Peut Contenir/(+/-): Titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), ultramarines (CI 77007), chromium oxide greens (CI 77288), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850).

There is a warning about keeping it away from your eyes which makes it unsuitable as an eye shadow or under eye concealer primer...and that's too bad.

Tarte CC Colored Clay Primer