Monday, May 30, 2016

SUN AND THE MATURE, SENSITIVE SKIN

If you're like me - with sensitive, pale skin that rarely burns but gets some color that isn't tan (thanks to the Northern/Southern European mix), you might be tempted to skip the sunscreen.

It's either breakouts or wrinkles/cancer risk.

In my own defense, I've done my best with clothing: long sleeves, hat or scarf, long pants, closed shoes with socks.

But it's all catching up to me.

After going plant shopping in the blistering mid-afternoon sun yesterday, I have a farmer tan.

You know what that is: above the round neck, short-sleeves, red hands. And it's only Memorial Day.

So now I have to face up to the fact that the sun is stronger and I have to prep myself.

I swear I've tried every sunscreen. The minerals, the chemicals, the expensive moisturizers (by the way, sunscreen ingredients wreck a nice formula), I even had my own created in a lab a few years ago (that was fun).

But I'm sitting here with my "go-to" Eucerin for the face. Sweet price ($9-ish) and a nice consistency (not too chalky) even though it contains a mix of mineral and chemical.

My secret is to wear it outside but remove it inside (like at work; I have an office without a window) with some BioDerma Micellar water. Then slap it back on for the trip home.

Yes, this is a pain in the ass. But if you saw how stupid I look with my farmer tan, you'd understand why I need to start getting with the program.

I have some friends who swear by Physician's Formula SPF powder (you'd really have to lay it on) or Bare Minerals.

I think that is added protection but you it looks awful when it sinks into my fine lines and wrinkles.

If you have a favorite sunscreen, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, April 11, 2016

FAST FAST FAST MAKE-UP FOR MATURE FACES

I haven't written a post in months - for a simple reason. I can't find products to write about that I like.

Some products LOOK beautiful but are a mess to apply. 

And the contouring craze is EVERYWHERE. 

This is pretty great if you're following the Way Bandy plan: there are contour products in many shades and textures.

As much as I think my BEST make-up look is Way's, my morning commute simply doesn't allow for it.

Enter Clinique Chubby Sticks. If you're looking for full coverage or a sophisticated make-up look, keep looking.

If you're trying to reduce some - but not all - of the redness around your nose, lightly cover spots, add color to your cheeks or lips and put SOMETHING on you eyelids, you may be in luck.

No brushes necessary. Actually, barely a mirror.

Also, the price isn't as prohibitive as many other cosmetics that line the shelves in Sephora.

I do use a brush for the foundation and eye Chubby because I can't quite master the fingers-only application.

The product goes on smoothly thanks to tons of silicones. And the lasting power is my mantra for everything: "good enough."

But know this. They must be treated with care. While they LOOK like a simple toss in the purse is fine, I'd never carry them in anything but a zip case.

When I see products by NARS prices at $60 and up, personally I'm looked to the good old brands that deliver solid performers.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

BROWS: THE WAY BANDY WAY

My brows, my brows, my brows - what happened to my brows?!?!

I had them done in Ulta about six weeks ago - a nightmare! I knew they were screwed up because the  technician put so much Benefit Brow Zing on me that I couldn't see the shape. Kind of like slapping extra paint on the places you didn't sand on the wall!

So I said to myself, "hands off the tweezers" and I've let them grow back.

I've never gotten the pluck and arch right. Never.

So I was thrilled when Way Bandy described how to shape the brows: follow the shape of your eyes. If your eyes are round, so are the brows. Slope down at the end? So do the brows (obviously to the best of your ability - this could look pretty awful painted on the skin!)

My eyes are small with only the slightest curve to the lid. My brows want to do that anyway. No arch for me.

And damn, he's right! They DO look better!

Also, he recommends bleaching for two minutes - only two - to slightly lighten the hair. And to use a "silver beige" pencil - which would be what we'd consider "blonde" in most lines. But not blonde with too much green - be careful! (I'm talking to you, Bobbi Brown!)

Use slight hairlike strokes and - this is my favorite part - don't make it too perfect. And don't just fill it in so that the brow is opaque. That might work for a 17-year old but not on a face over fifty.

So that pretty much rules out the Kardashian look!

Give this a try. And let me know what you think!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

THE WAY BANDY 30-DAY EXPERIMENT: YES, YOGURT!

First, a special thanks to Sue who pointed out that the skin oil recipe in my last post was...redundant. It you're following it, it's one T of olive oil, not three.

For "fun" I've followed the "Way Bandy" plan for over 30-days. That's the egg-yogurt-honey mask; corn meal scrub, apple cider vinegar rinse; mineral water spritz, etc. including the hunt for "mild natural soap" etc., etc., etc.

Then there is the "unique" make-up application using light and dark cremes, gray and black pencils and baby powder.

I was expecting...nothing. Really.

I'm a big fan of the acids as I've said a million times. I dislike foundation (his variation is fantastic!) and powder eye shadows just look too chalky and matte on me. Or they highlight every flipping fine line.

Anyway.

Imagine my surprise when my skin looked better than ever. Minimal breakout. Great texture. How did that happen?

For a couple of days last week, I was out of yogurt so I skipped it all and cleansed with Bioderma Cleansing Milk. Too bad for me. Back to breakout.

I also went from a 75% olive oil soap that I found back to a "sensitive" shower gel. Back to scratching.

So let's be clear. It's a pain in the ass to whip up this mask and drag around a bowl of yogurt. But, for me, it seems to work.

Try it for a couple of days. Back in the late 70's, Martha Mitchell (who remembers?!?!) was photographed for New York Magazine and Way had her follow this process for a month before the session. And she looked spectacular (and that was pre-Photoshop).

If you want the details - or more details - email me or check the other posts with a search on "Way Bandy."

In my next post, I'll write about his make-up techniques.

He was so far ahead of his time.

I'M NOT THE YOU TUBE FACES OVER FIFTY VIDEOS!

Imagine my surprise when I saw YouTube videos called "Faces Over Fifty." That's not me.

I have no copyright on that term - and I don't care - but I've been asked if this is me and it is not.

I keep thinking about doing videos - I actually am an instructional designer in my work life and create them for my job! - but I haven't put any up yet.

If you have any ideas, let me know!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

REALLY GREAT SKIN: Go old school with Way Bandy

I'm completely overwhelmed by the number of skincare products out there. For someone who has loved the cosmetics for as long as I have, I can barely even focus anymore.

Which is why I turn to my well-worn copy of Way Bandy's "Designing Your Face" - which never fails to get me back on track. Way was one of the first to promote "natural" skincare with the use of oils, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera gel.

He wrote this years before the acids, lasers, retinol - and you use ingredients from the kitchen. Try this for a week. I promise you that you'll be absolutely amazed!

DAILY CLEANSING
Evening: Clean the skin with a thin layer of unrefined, cold pressed avocado or olive oil. (When I'm wearing make-up, I cheat by using Bioderma Micellar water to remove my make-up first). Use damp cotton pads to remove. Next, massage one tablespoon of plain, natural yogurt into the skin then remove with warm water. Follow with a light scrub of corn meal. Then..the magic masque!

1/2 egg yolk (NO WHITES!), one teaspoon of yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of honey and a dash of cornstarch. Apply everywhere - including eye lids - and leave on for at least 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Then follow with another rinse using a basin of water with an added two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Use no cremes at night. If you're VERY dry, use a bit of avocado oil.

Morning: Spritz with mineral water and allow to air dry. Use fresh lemon on any blemishes. Allow to dry. Apply a "pure natural protective skin lotion" to your face. Allow five minutes for absorption then blot.

Try this formula for a pure lotion:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2000 I.U. Vitamin E
100,000 USP units Vitamin A

When I tell you that on morning #1 your skin will glow like you've never seen it glow, believe me!

Then go out to Amazon and get an old copy of his book and follow his design for applying make-up.

And write to me and tell me how many compliments you get!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

CeraVe sale at CVS through July 11th: Pick up my new favorites!

Finding products to post for faces over fifty is becoming more and more challenging.

I still sample products, read and research ingredient lists, comb through existing reviews on the Internet...and often simply come up short.

So many products simply don't deliver. Whether $5 or $50 or $150, more often than not, I find that I've wasted my money. Again.

I suspect you may feel the same way.

So I was pretty surprised by my conversation with the helpful physician's assistant in my dermatologist's office who recommended and personally used all of the CeraVe products.

She has great skin.

Maybe I tried CeraVe Some years back? Who knows?

I've written about the terrible problem I have with dry and red hands. And I've tried lots of hand creams - from cheap to expensive.

At her recommendation, I replaced hand soap with one of the cleansers and started using the Moisturizing Cream.

I am surprised by the absorption and lack of residual greasiness (always a problem.)

And I can say that in three days, I see a real difference.

I am also hooked on the eye cream. One of the drawbacks to eye cream - for me - has been my inability to wear concealer with it - which I need ALL THE TIME.

This is the Goldilocks of eye cream: Not too dense, not too light, just right!

I purchased a variety of products at CVS - who is having a sale (buy one, get one 50% off) until the 11th.

Even without the deal, I think the price is right!

Friday, June 5, 2015

BREAKOUTS AT (ALMOST) SIXTY

I've been out of action for a few weeks. A couple of procedures and then a heart ablation at the end of May. I'm happy to report that I am doing fine but these kinds of things really make you feel humble.

One thing I've noticed over the past six weeks is that my skin just wants to continue to break out. Why, why, why???

And - is this happening to you?

Part of the problem may be new medications. I've cycled through many of them lately.

But every single moisturizing product I try - and I keep on trying - seems to leave behind some unwanted red spots.

So I've been deconstructing the ingredients, doing some research, and I'm ready to write - in the event that this is happening to you, too.

COCONUT AND THE NATURAL OILS 
It seems that everyone is touting the benefits of coconut oil - and other nut oils - for removing make-up and general moisturizing.

But check out this:
Comedogenic Ingredient List 1

Comedogenic Ingredients List 2

Depressing.

Coconut oil gets a 4 - the highest score on the list.

Most of the "natural" products on the market use coconut oil these days - so buyer beware.

Note that safflower and sunflower oils get a 0. If you're committed to using these ingredients, make a little serum for yourself with these two options.

DAIRY PRODUCTS
There is no faster road to skin eruptions for me than the consumption of dairy products. While I've eliminated most animal products, I do have the occasional cheese or yogurt - especially since I've been recovering - and does it ever show.

I swear it's the hormones.

Consider this if you find the same thing.

B VITAMINS
I thought I was doing myself a favor by adding a complex B vitamin to my intake. My skin didn't like it one bit. When I stopped the B vitamins, my breakouts stopped, too.

LACK OF SLEEP
Less than seven hours of sleep shows all over my face. In fact, my skin gets oilier when I have little sleep. And my rosacea pops out like crazy!

FOUNDATION
I think I've shared my woes about foundation many, many times. I WISH I could find one that didn't lead to breakouts - but I can't. When and if I need to wear foundation, I've been using MAC Face & Body. If you use this yourself, remember that it forms a film over your skin so that it won't rub off.

I'm always interested in hearing from you about what works for you and what doesn't. Drop me a line!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

FACES OVER FIFTY? WHERE TO SHOP NOW....

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 professional.com.

And if you want the Disneyland of color cosmetics, check out Pinnacle.com. 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

THE LIGHT TOUCH: OVER FIFTY FACES AND MAKE-UP

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!