Not long after G was born, I was perusing my local library. I’m kind of a book addict, so even though most people probably don’t get a whole lot of reading done when they have a newborn, I get withdrawl shakes if I don’t get my regular “fix” of literature. Fiction, non-fiction, novel, magazine…whatever. I just need something in written form.
Because it was right after G was born, I was…uhm…slightly less bright than usual from the lack of sleep. I picked out this book and brought it home:
…this wasn’t the book I wanted it to be. I’m 29…if I looked ten years younger, people wouldn’t let me buy wine and I’d be getting hit on by high schoolers. Yuck. No thanks. The book I was hoping this would be was this:
Seriously…somebody write this…please?
I read it anyways. Thought maybe I could use some of the tricks not to look younger but to look more well rested. She certainly has good advice…it’s just that a lot of it isn’t applicable to me yet.
What this book DID point out to me that I have done something about is that we have to be really careful to not fall into habits with our makeup.
…I already said I don’t want to still look 19, so why was I still doing my makeup the same way?
I think most girls start using makeup for the same reason. They want to look like women. They want to look more mature and adult, as well as more beautiful. Ok…fine…but while looking 21 or 22 when I was 19 was a desirable thing (especially because at 19 I looked about 15), looking older when I’m nearly 30 isn’t really what I want. It was time for some changes.
Toooo much makeup.
One thing this book (and any “don’t age yourself with makeup” article) will tell you is that the fastest way to make yourself look older is to wear too much makeup. I was definitely in this camp. I love theater and one of my best friends is a photographer with whom I’ve done many photo shoots with fantastical makeup (see above). I treated makeup like it was finger paint and my face the canvas (in the picture above, it actually was poster paint). …that stops working when you stop wanting to add years.
I took a long hard look at my (bucket of) makeup and decided what I couldn’t live without and what was best put away as “special occasion” stuff. I pared my routine down to these four items:
Ok…five if you count the business card
It’s not about looking older and more worldly now, it’s about looking healthy and well rested. Besides, less makeup products and a more streamlined routine for putting it on means you get to be more well rested, cuz you can sleep in!
Here’s how I use my streamlined makeup: (warning, picture of me with no makeup and little sleep coming up)
The face that launched 1,000 ships…in the other direction
This is me, about half an hour after waking up, nothing on my face but my daily spf/moisturizer (you are wearing sunscreen right now, right? No? I’ll wait. Go get some. Seriously.). My skin is all red because I just finished washing my face, but as you’ll see as the pictures go on, that fades pretty quickly.
…it took some serious self control, but the only photo-editing I did on these pictures was to remove red eye or crop photos to a more manageable size. If Jessica Simpson can do it on the cover of Marie Claire, I guess I can do it on here.
First things first, I put on mascara. This is the single item that makes the biggest, most dramatic change in appearance for me. I use a business card (or hotel key card) held at the base of my lashes (against my eyelid) to allow me to coat the lashes from root to tip without coating my eyelids in black goo.
I really resisted the business card trick for a long time. It sounded like a pain in the butt and I couldn’t quite understand where they meant to put the card. Pictures would have really helped me.
I think nobody put up pictures because you look ridiculous doing it…
Try it out. Once you get the hang of it, it makes a HUGE difference. Pharmacy mascara very quickly starts looking like department store mascara and because all your roots get coated, you get a sort of faux eyeliner without any harsh line.
I promise, I didn’t take a 2 hour nap between this and the first shot
So if I needed to, I’d be good to leave the house like this, but if I have the time, I’ll keep going. My next step is to darken in some patchy spots in my eyebrows.
This is a really subtle, finicky one. If you’re doing it right, nobody will notice your eyebrows, but they’ll open up your eyes more and make you look more awake. I definitely advise taking pictures of yourself with this one until you get the hang of it. …after taking this picture I recognized that the pencil needed to be blended in better. If you’re going to skip a step, this would probably be the one…just make sure your brows are well maintained otherwise.
Next up is stain. I use Benetint’s rose colored stain. It multitasks, looks pretty and I don’t have to worry about getting lipstick on G or the Mr. when I kiss them.
The stain goes on both my lips and cheeks. For my cheeks, I dot 3 small dots of liquid on the apple of my cheek and then smear it around and up my cheekbone before repeating it on the other side. For my lips, I cover the entire lip with a thin layer and then concentrate the color in the very center. If you imagine sucking something off of your finger, the color should be concentrated on the parts of your lips where your finger touches. Apparently young, especially healthy people have darker centers of their mouths. Fake it!
The last step I take is to smear rosebud salve all over my face. …well, I guess not technically my whole face, but it’s absolutely another multi-tasker!
The rose balm goes on my lips for chapstick, my cheeks (to fake that dewy, glowing skin everybody wants), a touch to smooth my eyebrows into place, and in a couple strategic places around my eyes to fake that “I go to bed at a reasonable hour and drink 3 gallons of water a day” look. Highlight with the balm by smearing a little right under your eyebrows (I usually do it at the same time as smoothing my brows down) and a touch in the inside corner of your eyes. If you have deep set eyes/a tall bridge of your nose like I do, it’s not a bad idea to dab a bit up in the valley your nose creates above that inner corner too.
That’s it! 4 products, not a lot of work and you’re ready to head out the door, a fresh faced, healthy looking, beautiful adult woman!
Do you have any great tips for looking well rested and healthy when you’re not?