The Commercial Appeal
Sense of Style: Book full of makeup tips on maintaining mature beauty
By Barbara Bradley
Sunday, June 26, 2011
We’re told to place our blush on the apple of the cheek. But that may be bad advice for a woman over 40 whose apple has slipped a bit. More becoming to her is a blush placed higher, along the ridge of her cheekbone, drawing the eye up and giving her face a lift.
That advice comes from “Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age” (Running Press, $23), a rare, comprehensive beauty book for older women. The authors tell what makeup can and can’t do, reveal specific products that work; and offer up-to-date advice from a cosmetic surgeon and two dermatologists on what procedures may be best when makeup isn’t enough.
“We felt like women deserved the kind of book we’d want to read ourselves,” said Lois Joy Johnson, 60, a founding editor of More magazine who wrote the book along with celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter.
Most beauty books treat older women like an afterthought, said Johnson, and that abandonment comes at a critical time, when the things women have done for years don’t work anymore. They don’t want to go to a store cosmetic counter and ask for help, she said, and they don’t know if they need a medical procedure. So they just stop wearing makeup.
“I think they’re giving up on themselves,” said Johnson. “They’re taking themselves out of the game. But it has nothing to do with other people. It’s for yourself and your own self-esteem.”
Helping make her case are close-up photos (by Michael Waring) and thoughts on aging from women including Sigourney Weaver, Deborah Harry and Bette Midler and models you seldom see anymore, such as Patti Hansen and Cheryl Tiegs. At 54, Hansen is still arresting. She never used to do her brows, she writes; but now she always does her arches; it gives her eyes a lift. Bobbie Brown Gel Eyeliner is one of the secrets of her smokey eyes, she said.
Johnson, a frequent consultant on marketing to older women, thinks the beauty industry addresses their issues, but they do it with young models. “There are a lot of very famous models in their 70s and 80s. Why aren’t they working?” she asks.
Fashion is worse. “The fashion industry is just interested in itself and doing clothing for teenagers. Older women feel totally neglected,” she said. “The attitude is: ‘You have Chico’s.’ I don’t think that’s the answer.”
“Makeup Wakeup” devotes nine pages to applying eye makeup. The seven pages on applying foundation contain surprising advice, including that we forget the rule about testing a shade by seeing which one “disappears” on your jawline. Most women wear foundation that is too light, the authors say. Go at least half a shade to one shade deeper than you think you need. “When a foundation is warmer; a little on the yellow side, you look real,” they write.
Bags and folds give older women fits. Here’s their advice on such problems:
Bags under the eyes: Makeup can minimize them for photos, but not in real life. The best course is to compensate for the loose skin by keeping the rest of your eye makeup (eyeliner, mascara and brow pencil) as bare, fresh and clean as possible, not smoky or smudged. Corrective surgery can remove the bags.
Nasolabial folds (the groves around the mouth): Keep your foundation lighter and sheerer in this area by going over it with a damp sponge. Redirect focus to your cheeks with blush along the cheekbone. Getting your teeth whitened is also a de-ager for the lower face. The injectable filler Perlane (hyaluronic acid in gel form) can temporarily build up cheekbones and cause the nasolabial folds to soften. Trying to fill the folds themselves may result in a heavy-looking lower face.
Thin, flat lips: Use a lip-toned pencil to equalize your lip contours, especially irregularities in the top bow. Fill in lips with the same pencil and top with a shimmery gloss. Sometimes lips look fuller and more natural if you join the cupid’s bow into a rounded shape instead of drawing on points. Fillers can be the answer, but unnatural, puffed-up lips are definitely out.
Saggy brow: Make sure your outer brows don’t droop or curve around your eyes, even if it means tweezing the tails away. You can then reposition the brow and stretch it outward with pencil, or wax and powder. This really creates a lifted look. Botox works well on droopy brows and eyes and can forestall the need for a brow lift.