First I wanted to write about men (especially the ones that want to be "friends" on FB) but then I've decided to go for BEAUTY - that is always a popular topic - even when it's about the AVOIDANCE of too much stuff and too much attention to it! This is something I've jotted down a few weeks ago for Ari S. Cohen's "Advanced Style" page - in a short form. Since there are many different readers for different websites and blogs - I dare to run here parts of it! But I realized that there are more nuances to the continuing story of what "Beauty" is and why it is so infuriatingly important to us - than all lipsticks and eye-shadows together!
I have an uncomplicated relationship with beauty and cosmetics. Let's just say: Genes, Luck & Smarts. Lucky that I am (thanks Mom!) I still have some (at 69) what is called "flawless" pale skin to brag about. I never smoked, never drank much alcohol (I only started to have a glass of wine here and there when I was in my late thirties), or any soft drinks, EVER, never fried for hours in the sun. Boring? Worked for me. Didn't like any of it. It's funny because I remember that my gorgeous older sister was one of those suntan-slaves who had to be chased out of the rays by force while I sat under a tree and read world literature as a teenager. She always looked at me with the kind of supremacy and puzzlement only older sisters can produce. "GOD! you are soo pale, poor thing." Do I need to say who had the last laugh? She's still beautiful...but....Yes, the golden ROASTED years when there wasn't ANY sun protection higher than 2.
Back to NOW! It's all very simple.
1. Wear a Hat
Age means more wrinkles, drier skin, mostly on the body, and very dry hair when it's gray! Logic: LESS decorative cosmetics, MORE rich body lotions, hand creams and hair oils. Less showers, too (especially in California) which is fine by me, I'm not a shower-freak and sweat little.
Once made up like a model (with Twiggy-lashes) - I've dropped it all after 50, just like any other pretense and became a minimalist and that means in EVERYTHING! A sigh of relieve from my (still painted) lips could be heard about 10 years ago.
-- 1979-- (at age 33)
You are You! Finally. No raccoon-eyes, no Khajal and ghoulish dark lipstick framed by too dark pencils, no purple eye-shadow, no super-brows for me. If you're tempted, just think Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" My Motto is FREEDOM: Don’t enhance your eyes, enhance your views. Look for your brain (and buried dreams) not BB-cream on sale.
So, instead of wasting loads of money on useless "magical" anti-wrinkle-creams, I take that fortune it would cost me and travel (even if it's only by bus and Metro in L.A.), discuss hot topics with strangers, laugh a lot, buy books, look at art and eat good food.
What's really quite lucky is that I have a lifelong love affair with cheap drug-store-cosmetics I can pick by myself (which comes in handy when you are in foreign countries!) since I dread snooty cosmetic counter ladies. So my trick is The Mix - a little bit like with clothes. I only rarely throw in a few items that are fancy and expensive - which is much more fun then and not a burden.
So - right now I clean my face with "Facial Foam Cleanser" from Trader Joe's (5.99), the best I think. I recently bought organic Korean Ginseng Milk from Erboria (39 $) for my face lotion. Feel very guilty about the price! And equally guilty about another item, that I truly need every few hours, and you might know what I'm talking about: HAND LOTION! What can you do, right? Why, oh why did I touch even one dish without using rubber gloves in the last 40 years? L'Occitane has the best Shea Butter hand cream, it's very rich and expensive (28 $) but I have to be nice to my abused hands!
I't good to have healthy regimens that start early. I always wear a little makeup and sunscreen since I'm 25, only because an old charming skin specialist from Eastern Europe once explained that it protects you from the environment. My sister bought me Georgio Armani "Maestro Fusion Makeup" in a chic black compact with a 29 sunscreen. It's light beige and creamy, I like that. I never hang out in the sun on purpose and I use sunscreen every single day - starting with 15. And no, I don't look like a ghost-lady
--- NOW --
My other REALLY "Best Friend" is Concealer - a must for under-eyes and dark spots. I have a liquid one from Nars and a stick from "Wet n Wild" (2.99$).
I was born to wear Lipstick till I drop dead, and I'm sticking to it. I'm not even checking my mail-box without putting on lipstick. I'm very often asked which brand and color I'm wearing. Many different ones. I go by shades. I have pale skin and gray hair so I ALWAYS pick only dark pink, fuchsia, wine and mauve tones, or the famed DIOR red, which is really good but expensive. I'm at war with orangey hues (in clothes, too), and even a too brown shade (which I used to like) doesn't look good anymore with gray hair.
--- Lips, Lips, Lips --
I adore SEPHORA, so there is one shade of their own cream lipsticks called "Private Selfie" (No 51) that I like ($ 12.99). On the cheap front: NYC lipsticks (from 2.99) and Wet n Wild (from 1.99), all in drugstores. The quality is NOT outstanding and the colors aren't very rich but I found them to to do the job. Never buy matte lipsticks. They are too chalky and stiff for the "mature lips".
Last not least. I have two staples that always work: Being German, of course I still use Nivea (only in the blue tin, no tubes!) cause I grew up with it. It's perfect for lips, removing eye-makeup and carrying around in your handbag. I remember that I traveled, as a young thing, with nothing but a double-jar of NIVEA in my hippie-years (and SOME clothes of course!) and looked perfect. The other one is Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (in a jar, for 5.99 $) from "Trader Joe's" - that can go anywhere: your hair, your legs and your Frying Pan.
My cheapest and most effective Beauty-Secret is simple and can be used by Anybody (including men!). I'm not crazy about the vertical lip-lines, and so I Smile a lot. And I mean naturally, not faking it! First, because I see the funny and absurd side in everything (that healthy philosophy grows in age), secondly, because I'm friendly and like to smile at people and connect. The result is Natural Botox and a life not filled with fillers but humor and Gratefulness for the fact that I still can put on Lipstick by myself!
-- SMILE --
So to keep it in the grip of looks, here's the link to my e-essay ($ 2.99) "F#ck Beauty Duty"