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
2 tablespoons olive 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!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

SPRING 2015 MAKE-UP FOR FACES OVER...SIXTY (OR FIFTY!)

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)...you 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.

IT'S ALL ABOUT YOUR COMPLEXION - AND IT SHOULD BE DEWY

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.

MOST EYES NEED SOME DEFINITION

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.

Mascara.

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.

LIPS
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!




SKINCARE FOR A CPAP MASK

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. cpap.com 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

MY MOST-USED PRODUCT? 2% SALICYLIC ACID

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

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLEWEAR FOUNDATION: IT TOOK ME FOREVER TO GET HERE!

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

SAY GOODBYE TO POWDER COLOR COSMETICS...

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 www.makeupmania.com 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 facefifty@gmail.com

I'm always happy to help!