Friends, if there is one thing I am not it is a makeup expert.
I subscribe to two basic tenets, which I'll present as acronyms: ALT: A Light Touch, and LIMIT - Less Is More (I Think). Can you sense a theme here? Makeup is not going to make you look younger, but it will enhance what you have. It can transform, sure, if you want to make yourself into Frankenstein's monster (or a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race) but for most of us, a little goes a long way.
There has been a veritable explosion of makeup these last few decades, along with makeup books, ads, and online tutorials. It bothers me that so many of the words used to describe women who wear too much makeup are related to prostitution and/or class. Think about it: cheap, whorish, low-class, vulgar, etc. I think prostitutes provide a great social service and should be rewarded accordingly. Makeup is part of their armor as well as the equivalent of hanging a shingle.
Having said all that, most of our female paragons of refinement -- Katherine Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn— wore very little makeup or at least looked like they did. The opposite extreme was a Jayne Mansfield or Jane Russell. Remember, ALT.
If you're my age, too much makeup can be especially harsh. Unless you're selling MAC cosmetics at Bloomingdales, LIMIT!
The makeup I use is all from the drugstore. I'm not into makeup. I hate to shave, so there's that too.
My list of products is short: 1) concealer, 2) foundation, 3) eyebrow pencil, 4) lashes, 5) minimal eyeshadow, 6) loose powder. I don't shade my face, and my droopy eyelids and crinkly eyes can't handle much eye makeup. I am fortunate to have an expressive face. If you've ever attended a wake you know that even the best makeup job can't bring a person to life, the life has to be there to start with.
So here we go: Here's my morning punim today, post-pool, in natural sunlight and no retouching. At fifty, I'm pretty much intact from the hairline down, fortunately.
First the shave:
After moisturizing with a little almond oil, I apply concealer. Rather than try to completely cover anything, I aim to lighten dark circles and blotches. Remember: ALT. I bought a special Ben Nye concealer specifically for beards called Five O'Sharp. It doesn't work well for me, or maybe I just need a thicker foundation.
I use Physician's Formula Le Velvet Film Makeup in ivory. Coverage is decent; I don't use much. For today I skipped my neck but normally include it, especially if I have razor burn.
I suck at lashes but I do like how they look — nothing too caterpillar-y though. I don't use mascara, which I have never mastered. I line my lower eye (smudging a bit to soften the line) and I'll fill in around the upper lash line if necessary. I apply a bit of shimmery shadow just below my brow line and that's all.
I have never plucked my eyebrows but my natural brows are easily shaped with a bit of pencil.
Hair makes a big difference; if I could find this wig one shade lighter I'd be thrilled, but I can't so I make the best of it.
Next, I apply highlighter to the top of my cheekbone, nose, and chin.
I line my lips and fill them in with a bit of lipstick; I generally blot and reapply. I am fortunate to have good lips.
A little loose powder to set it all and voila! I don't know why God made me so gorgeous — she just did. The resemblance to my (younger) cousin Cathy is uncanny.
Now to experiment with some Halloween harem girl headgear!
Maybe I don't look exactly like Maria Montez, but I think I could pass as her mother. Just like actresses Claudette Colbert and Jean Arthur, I have my good side and my bad side and I avoid being photographed on my bad side (Doris Day is quoted as saying "God wasted half a face on Claudette!").
This is my good side (my left side):
And this is my bad side (my right side): neeeeigh! Take a good look: you may never see it again.
And there you have it: the prettiest harem girl on West 24th Street!
Readers, I know most of you are stunned speechless, but if you have the clarity of mind and desire to make makeup/beauty routine recommendations, I'm all ears. Like I said: I'm no expert and rely mainly on charisma and my remaining bloom to pull this look off.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!