Saturday, 14 April 2018

Making Ourselves Up

I saw this picture in Vogue magazine a while ago. It made a shiver run down my spine. And brought back memories of my teenage years. Of making myself up every morning before school. Because, of course, at sixteen, I felt strongly that a good coat of something, or numerous somethings, was needed to disguise my true, freckly, pimply self. Like Clearasil cream, green eye shadow, and peachy cream blush. And, the pièce de résistance, Mabelline Great Lash mascara, huge swaths of it, at least three sticky coats of the stuff. What followed were eyelashes which required some major de-clumping. Hence, the safety pin.

I've been making myself up, so to speak, ever since I hit puberty. Applying make-up to create a better version of myself. A stronger, more confident, better able to face the world version of me. 

shot of someone using a safety pin to separate eye lashes
DIY eyelash de-clumper in Vogue

In fact, it feels as if I've been using make-up, or watching someone else use it, my whole life. I remember as a kid watching Mum get ready for work in the morning. In her slip, and nylons and slippers, standing before the mirror in the bathroom, putting on her face, doing her eyebrows, and lipstick, and spritzing a last bit of hairspray. I imagine that, as a single mum raising four kids, she needed the extra armour, the little bit of added confidence that make-up and hairspray provided, before she marched out into the world. Because as difficult as being a single parent is today, it was a lot harder in a small, very conservative community on the east coast of Canada back in the sixties. 

I remember watching my two older sisters get ready for school, or for dates, applying blush and mascara and lip gloss. Sometimes they'd do my hair, but I wasn't allowed to wear make-up. Not until the Christmas I was fourteen, when my sister Connie bought me my first tube of mascara and a compact of powder blush as my Christmas gift. 

That was the beginning. By grade eleven, my best friend Debbie and I were lathering on the Great Lash mascara, and wielding the safety pins like professionals. 

Yeah. I know. In my teens I was no doubt hiding behind my Clearasil cream, green eye shadow, peach blush, and too much mascara. I should have been able to meet the world bare-faced, pimply, and proud. But I wasn't. I wasn't confident enough. Like most teenage girls I deplored my looks, downplayed my advantages, and magnified my imperfections. And make-up promised me a miracle: clear skin, peachy cheeks, and full eyelashes. 

I wouldn't always hide behind my face paint. Eventually I grew up and learned to enhance, instead of cover. Along the way I had my share of embarrassing make-up malfunctions. Embarrassing mascara moments, like I told you about here. Or embarrassing, "too much of a good thing" moments. Like when I worked in the cosmetic department at Simpson's on Sparks Street back in the early eighties. The first week, I applied my make-up at home in the morning not knowing how much the florescent lights in the store would wash colour out of my face. So that throughout the day, I'd catch sight of myself in a mirror, and thinking I looked terrible, I'd duly reapply my blush and lipstick. Until one night my roommate laughed when I arrived home. "Did you get on the bus like that? she asked. And I realized that I looked ridiculous, like a silent screen star, all dark lips and vivid slashes of blush. "Why did no one tell me I looked so silly?" I gasped. 

I have a much less fraught relationship with make-up these days. Probably because I have a much less combative relationship with my face. And indeed with myself. That's one of the compensations of growing older. 


Four shots of a woman at four different ages.
Making myself up through the years.
I don't expect miracles anymore. Ha. I grew out of that long ago. But I still love make-up. I  learned sometime in the eighties that less is more, especially less blush. I learned that I shouldn't wear warm peachy blush or lipstick; they make me look ill. And that every few years we all need to reassess how we do what we do to our faces. Like eye brows. I did nothing to my eyebrows for years. Then in my forties, they started to disappear, and I realized that they needed attention, more colour and better shaping. For years I applied contouring blush under my cheekbones, to make my very fat face look a little less round. Now I cherish the roundness, and apply blush only on the apples of my cheeks. And then last year, I learned how (and where) to use highlighter powder. That trick was a revelation to me. The trick itself, plus the fact that, after so many years of wearing make-up, I still had things to learn. 

I mentioned to someone a few weeks ago that in retirement I'm making myself up as I go along. Finding my post-teaching identity, after so many years of standing in front of innumerable classes of teenagers. 

And I think that's what I was doing with make-up as a teenager, trying to decide who I was. I wish I had had a bit more confidence, back then, confidence in who I was under the make-up. But that came later. And in the meantime, that goopy mascara gave me a much needed ego boost. 

And I was lucky to have older sisters who guided me. Or tried to. Whose example I followed and thus avoided some of the worst beginner make-up mistakes. 

And we were all three of us lucky to have a mum who, despite her occasional eye-roll, understood our need for a little extra armour to help us face the world.


I don't need so much armour these days. And not nearly as much confidence boosting as when I was in high school. Ha. Thank goodness. But I am still exploring who I am, and trying to enhance that with a little blush and eye-shadow. And much, much less mascara, I'm happy to say. So no need for safety pins. 

I'm a work in progress. As we all are, I guess. 

And even if we don't all wear make-up, we are all still making ourselves up as we go along. So to speak. 

Don't you think?



How about you, my friends? Have you had an evolving relationship with make-up? Have you, like me, learned that a light touch is best? Or have you tossed your blusher in the garbage, and sworn off the paint and mascara altogether? Or maybe you never used the stuff in the first place? 

Do tell us your story about making up. 








52 comments:

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your cooments. I experimented with make up a lot in my teens and then seemed to stick to a tried and true way of making up my face. This went on for many years but surprisingly in my fifties I suddenly became more adventurous and started experimenting again. I find it fun and don’t expect miracles. I also am more accepting of my features and don’t take it all so seriously. I guess I’m just more relaxed now.

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    1. Yep. Me too. Although I love eye make-up, and still wear three shades of eye shadow. But I blend it better than I did in the eighties:)

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  2. I wasn’t a pretty child , I needed to grow into my face . My closest friend was my beautiful cousin . So I had to make an effort & sometimes l made too much effort . I hated my rosy cheeks so there was green foundation . Then I blotted out my lips with the palest lipstick available & drew on extra eyelashes below my eyes before layering on the mascara . It was the 60s look . It saddens me now when I see young women obliterating their natural , individual beauty with thick layers of make up but I keep my mouth shut . All that experimenting did teach us how to use these products though . I still apply it , carefully , at times but for everyday no . I’d feel a little foolish immaculately made up with the dog walking crowd & if someone is prettier than me so what . There’s more to us all than our faces .
    Wendy in York

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    1. I still love to "put my face on." But since retirement I don't wear make-up every day. Never at home, or going for walks or a bike ride or a ski (which we may be doing again if today's weather is anything to go by:(

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  3. It worked this time - I’m back ! I must sit down & work out the google thing though . Feel like I’ve been gagged for days .
    Wendy

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    1. So glad you're back Wendy! We've missed you.

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  4. I spent quite a lot of time as a teenager playing about with make-up, but mostly eye shadow and mascara. My first eye shadow palette was one where you actually used water and painted it on, like water colours. Blue. With my green eyes, this looked weird. I moved onto green eyeshadow and mascara with a bit of lipstick - my favourite Mary Quant toffee coloured lipstick remains my lifetime favourite but is a thing of the past. Fortunately I have never really bothered with foundation or powder or blusher, though I did have a period when I did a bit of contouring...mostly, I can't be bothered. I do find, now I am older, that when I decide to make a bit of an effort, people always say this: you look tired. It actually makes me look older. Always happiest with a light tan, some mascara and pale lip gloss in the summer.

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    1. I have stopped wearing a few things now that I'm older, mostly certain colours of blush and I never wear foundation anymore. I think it's aging.

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  5. I bought my first Seventeen magazine when I was thirteen and there was no turning back. The flaws in my face, hair, body, and clothes were exposed for all to see and the journey to hide or fix the flaws began. I remember making my own "blush" from Nivea cream and red food colouring. And I couldn't count how many tubes of Great Lash Mascara I've used up over the past 45 years! Still my favourite brand. At 60, I've recently started wearing red lipstick - a revelation. And I'm about to launch an experiment with eye-shadow - black eye-liner only just isn't doing it for me anymore. What fun!

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    1. Ah... I remember Seventeen magazine... which we read well before we actually were seventeen. I remember Nivea cream... but with food colouring??? DIY make-up:)

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  6. I love cosmetics more as I pro-age! In high school I didn’t wear makeup except for a bit of blush and lipgloss.
    In my twenties and living and working in NYC I did my eyes with mascara, shadow and discovered liner.
    It wasn’t till my forties that I began to educate myself mor on foundation and how Cosmetics could enhance my features.
    Now in my sixties I love how makeup assists in making me look my best! And I often wrote about cosmetics on my blog. I’m a huge proponent of drug store brands because the price is right and it’s sll in the application! This was a great read!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. I have learned a lot from some of the girls at the Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier counters. I use a few drugstore brands, particularly skin care products, but as for listening the the girls on the counter there... nope. Sometimes when they try to sell me something I have to smile and try to remember what I knew about skin care or make-up at that age. Not much.

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  7. I laughed when I saw LiaMac's mention of "Seventeen." I constantly dreamed of beauty self-improvement while poring over that magazine as a teenager. And made colossal beginner mistakes along the way, like copying a model's makeup look (the products were helpfully listed) right down to the foundation, without any thought to whether the foundation actually matched my own skin tone. (It didn't!)

    I've gone through alternating periods of time in my adult life where I wear makeup every day, and where I can't be bothered to wear any at all. I'm currently in a "can't be bothered" phase, but am trying to get into a routine of at least five minutes of makeup application in the morning. Even a little eyeliner and mascara and some subtle lip colour can make a big difference in how I look and feel.

    Denise L.

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    1. Finding the perfect foundation shade was the bane of my make-up existence for so many years. Then I gave it up for tinted moisturiser and am much happier with the look. I still remember trying to draw the cover models from Seventeen. That was easier than trying to look like them:)

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  8. I think I liked cosmetics in high school because I knew I was not pretty I was never going to be "beautiful" so cosmetics was a way to at least improve my looks a little bit. I still use eye makeup and a CC cream which I use as foundation. It is a really great product, just smoothing out the color of my face, but not covering it with a heavy cake like makeup which I think we are all familiar with you. I am using Clinique. You can remove that brand if you feel it should not be here in this reply. I use makeup because it makes me feel better and prettier.

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    1. No worries about including the brand. I use Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier and mention them all the time. No monetising done here anyway.

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  9. I always loved playing around with makeup. Because I am still working full time, I still use make up daily. As I've gotten older, I've stopped using blush and my eyeshadow tends to be neutral shades, however I found, like you, that my eyebrows need a little help to define my face now. You made me think back to tinted clearasil cream - went through tubes of it! -Jenn

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    1. Ah yes... the tinted Clearasil was popular, wasn't it?

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  10. I've always been light-handed with make-up, but for the years I stood regularly at the lectern in front of all those note-taking faces, I applied tinted moisturizer, blush, neutral-toned eyeshadow, mascara, and lipstick, sometimes an eyeliner as well. Since I've retired, my essentials list has shrunk -- mascara, blush, and lipstick is all. I like to think that my best cosmetics are my regular exercise, drinking enough fluids, and using a gentle cleanser and a good skin cream morning and night. . . That Vogue photo makes me cringe, shudder -- I wonder how many eyes have been poked -- Yikes!

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    1. Good skin care is the most important for me too. But I still love my eye-make-up. Thinking of your comment about "note-taking faces"... taking note of the teacher's/professor's appearance too. I'll never forget a boy saying to me one day that his mother said she didn't think I should wear those pointy-toed high heels to teach in... and my thinking that my footwear must have been dinner table conversation the night before. Ha.

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  11. Hi Sue
    Boy, this brings back memories! I loved playing with makeup and still do. Today, I think I have a skilled hand to apply a natural, subtle look. My eyebrows take most of my time!!
    As a teenager I applied to Simpsons hoping to work in the makeup department but they stuck me in toys...at Xmas time! Yuck!
    I remember going to Woolworth's and studying the makeup all laid out. Using Yardleys Slicker lipstick and Mary Quant nail polish which I brought home from a school trip to London. I had my makeup professionally done for my wedding. She chose to eliminate the blue liner and went with earth tones. It is timeless look to this day. Thank goodness!
    I used the safety pin trick and ended up seeing an eye doctor early one morning. I wore an eye patch for 3 days. My father was a tad upset!
    Enjoy this spring weather....lol
    Robin
    .

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    1. The toy department at Christmas... a fate worse than death! And my mother warned me that I'd do what you did with the safety pin. Of course, I paid no attention:)

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  12. I haven't been much for makeup my entire life. In fact, I only learned how to apply eyeshadow in my late 40's.

    The only thing I wear often is lipstick. Otherwise unless I'm taking photos or going out somewhere I avoid makeup. It irritates my eyes and my skin.

    I can't use any mascara and choose to have lash extensions instead. I look totally different when I don't have eye makeup as I have very small eyes. When I do wear makeup I will often use false lashes to cover up the my blond lash line.

    Like you, I've started to apply a bit of blush to my cheeks compensating for the loss of collagen that once made my face so round.

    Makeup makes me look better but I'm so relieved to wipe it off my face.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Lipstick is the one thing I often don't wear, just use a balm instead. But I don't go anywhere without doing something to my eyebrows. Funny how we prioritize, eh?

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  13. At age 65, I am surprised to find that I am using less makeup than I previously have. So much seems to settle into lines or create a "cupie doll" effect. So...foundation goes only on a few spots, and I may use only highlighter and mascara on the eyes. But always light cream blush and lipstick or gloss!

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    1. Foundation has always been a problem for me. Now I just use tinted moisturiser and like it much better.

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  14. The first time I ever tried makeup (except for a pale pink lipstick that I was allowed on special occasions in H.S.) was to attend my 10 year class reunion. My mom suggested I try hers and I was astounded at how it evened out my skin. Ha! I’ve had dry-ish skin my whole life, so I’ve drowned in moisturizer, and I was always lucky to have only a random pimple and no real skin problems. I wore more makeup while working, and had my makeup done at ‘the counter’ several times, but usually come home and wash it off. It’s just not me.

    In my 50’s and now 60’s, I wear very little makeup - some tinted moisturizer, a bit of concealer, an eyebrow pencil (I have very few and very light brow hairs), and some eye shadow if I’m going out, along with lip gloss. That’s about it. I gave up mascara except for special occasions long ago, as it irritates my eyes after a little while. Mostly, I find that more makeup backfires as it settles into wrinkles or lines I’d rather not emphasize. :-)
    —Laurel

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    1. You're right heavy face makeup looks dreadful. And at times when I've had my make-up done, it's looked wonderful in the store and like a mask when I get home.

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  15. I remember my mother calling her daily makeup application "putting on my face." But it was always very subtle. She thought that a lot of obvious makeup looked "trashy."

    I've never been comfortable wearing a lot of makeup. I remember wearing green eyeshadow occasionally in high school. In the 80's I tried out the multi-color eye shadows and blush. In between, I played at being a Hippie Chick and didn't wear anything except a sheer lip color. I've never been able to go without at least something on my lips. Now my bare minimum is sunscreen, lipstick, brows and curling my eyelashes. If I'm feeling motivated I'll add a little light foundation, blush, mascara. If I'm really putting on the dog, I'll add a little bit of neutral eyeshadow and eye liner.

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    1. I remember my Mum and I having the conversation about which specific make-up elements we couldn't do without. For her it was lipstick... and being a teenager in the forties that makes sense. For me it is eye-makeup. At the very least a little mascara. I've never been able to curl my eyelashes though.

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  16. i always wear makeup. not a lot, but some. i've mastered the "five minute face" and enjoy the process of applying it. one of my grandchildren asked me recently why i do it and the reason popped into my mind and out of my mouth--i do it cuz it makes my features show up a bit more. a bit is all i need to feel confident.

    i loved the comments about SEVENTEEN magazine. i lived and died by its pronouncements when i was a teenager.

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    1. I remember my first magazine was Miss Chatelaine... then Seventeen. We read every word.

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  17. Love make-up and use it when leaving the house...usually a sunscreen, primer plus BB cream lightly applied, neutral eyeshadows, mascara, blush and a deep rose pink lipstick...for me the key is a light touch and to blend, blend, blend. Enjoy going in to Sephora to have a browse but do wish that some of their sales staff were over the age of 25! I also purchase make-up from animal-testing-free or cruelty-free brands...can't stomach the thought of animals suffering for my vanity. My teenage years were spent applying blue eyeshadow and pale pink-white lipstick...oh goodness...what a looker...Yikes! Make-up is just a fun albeit sometimes expensive way to bring out the best features a person has...I enjoy the challenge! Cheers, Alayne

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    1. I use a primer cream now too, a Laura Mercier one with a bit of highlighter in it. I love it under my tinted moisturiser. Blue eye-shadow... I wore that as a change from green. Ha.

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  18. First of all I love makeup, always have. However, don't wear it everyday and now as others have said with a light hand and lots of blending. Even going for a walk I will wear sunscreen and something on my lips, usually whatever is to hand to protect my skin. Like everyone else have gone through various stages from the Mary Quant look (my first job in London at the time - need I say more!), wearing it everyday for work and now as already mentioned with a much lighter hand. If I don't wear any makeup I feel I lack definition as I am very pale skinned with pale hair.

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    1. Me too... always wear sunscreen. I'm comfortable with my crows' feet... but I don't need to go looking for more wrinkles.

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  19. I miss youth. I admit it. There is just so much shallow stuff that I am mourning these days, and of course then I beat myself up for being so stupid about appearance when I am relatively healthy. Sigh. I still wear mascara, and lipstick. But it's not the same anymore, and the struggle to accept the aging process continues. Great post!

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    1. Sometimes I miss that too, being young. Particularly being in my thirties. That was my best decade. But not often. Just every once in a while it kind of slaps me in the face.

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  20. I grew up in Northern California, in prime Summer of Love time, hippie era, etc. So I didn't really start using makeup until I graduated college and lived in New York. I went to the department store and got a Prescriptives makeover. And they always tried to sell me warm colors, and I bought them, and didn't wear them. These days, like you, I'm more comfortable with my face and WAY better with makeup. Did my own for my wedding, because, who was going to do it better really? BTW, I love that close up of you, and that lipstick!

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    1. You looked beautiful in your wedding photos. Just right. I did my own make-up for my wedding as well. I was afraid I'd look too overdone. And not like me at all.

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  21. Like you, I use Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer. Doesn't cover everything but does give my complexion a "finished look". Love curling my lashes and loading on mascara. Last year, I learned about "spoulies" on a young person's makeup blog. Actually they are the stand-alone brushes that allow you to try different mascaras. You can buy a box of them at Sephora. They do a great job of unclumping my lashes after applying the mascara. They are a game-changer for me...at the age of 69! LOL. Add some blush & lip gloss and I'm done for the day! Define the brows and add a good lip color if it's something more special. Love makeup but skincare even more...but that's a different topic.:)
    Charlene H

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    1. I have some of those given to me by Katie on the Laura Mercier line at Nordstrom. They're like mascara brushes without the tube of mascara. Very useful. While I was paying for my purchases that day, we watched as a woman went up to the L.M. counter, riffled through the box of those brushes, pulled out a handful and stuffed them into her pocket. I motioned to the woman and Katie just sighed and laughed. "People do that all the time," she said. I was astonished. I mean I know they're free, but at least ask if you can have a couple. This woman just scuttled off with about twenty. I didn't know they were called "spuolies," though.

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  22. I hope you are not receiving about 10 copies of the following "reply". Tried on my ipad, desktop, and iphone. Finally resorting to just "comment" again. Sorry!
    "My error..."spoolies". Amazon has 100 for $6.99 listed as "Disposable Mascara Wands".
    I would have been stunned by the woman grabbing at the counter, too. :/"
    Charlene H

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    1. Ha. I've just noticed... my error too. I can't even spell the wrong spelling correctly:) Disposable mascara wands... much better than I described them.
      P.S. Only one comment/reply came through. Blogger must be acting up today.

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  23. Oh yes Sue, I remember the safety pin. Prising rock hard lashes apart. Cripes that scares me now! When I started using mascara at 14 all that was available was the Max Factor spit-on-it blocks. Yikes!
    Retirement IS all about rediscovering ourselves, on that you are so right, for we have no acts to hide behind any longer. And in my recent experience no make up either! Since I retired the odd no make up day crept into my pensioner week until it became a 4-3 sort of ratio. Recently, due to my hubbs' health issues I've worn it twice in 4 weeks. So alien has it became that when I first wore it last week, it was only on the afternoon of the day after that I looked in the mirror and saw that I had panda eyes. Yes I'd forgotten about the make up removal palaver the night before. I'd forgotten I'd worn it and had got out of the habit of that whole make up removal ritual. I wore it again yesterday with the proviso that hubbs had to promise me that if he saw me in bed next to him that night, looking like Zsa Zsa Gabor, then he had to promise to shove me back into the bathroom again!
    Yes, retirement, we're quite literally making it up as we go along!
    Hugs my sweet friend, x.

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    1. Ha. I get it. When Stu was in hospital for his heart surgery... I can't remember what I wore or if I wore any make-up at all. But I haven't forgotten to remove make-up at night since way, way back when. You must have been very distracted. Ha... to the Zsa Zsa Gabor comment...dahlink.

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  24. As a person who wears lenses,the photo makes me shudder,too-I've never done that and even never heard about it.
    I love make up,love to see ads or walk between beautiful make up counters,read interesting posts(like yours-lovely photos!) or articles,but actually I don't wear a lot of it.
    I was always pale during winter and I've discovered blush first-it was a cream one -Lancôme. The cream blush is the only constant in my make up
    During gymnasium I've wear a lot of blue eye shadow (yikes!). I never had skin problems,so,that was it
    When I started to work,I've wear make up (fondation)for a while,soon realizing that it makes me tired.
    Today it is tinted sunscreen,a little bit of Chanel under eye concealer and cream blush,"invisible" transparent lip liner and one of red lipsticks,maybe a bit of mineral powder. No eye make up,very rarely some mascara. At home,I'm usually without make up. During summer months,when I have tan,the lipstick could be in nude or some other colour,or,at the seaside, I may go without anything at all.
    Years of experience did teach me that,for me,less is more,although I love to sea women with eye make up
    And,yes,I did my own make up and hair for my wedding,after a couple of professional trials during weeks before it :-)
    Dottoressa

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    1. I wear so much sun screen that I rarely get that sun-kissed look that I used to love in my twenties and thirties. Still a brush of blush across the bridge of my nose adds a bit of fake sun colour. It's just not worth it go go without sunscreen.

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  25. Oh! the picture with the safely pin makes me cringe, I couldn't imagine putting a pin that close to my eye!! I wear very little make up, more to enhance than to cover up, so freckles, pigmentation are usually visible! Tinted moisturiser, blusher, mascara, lip gloss or lipstick and I define my eyebrows. Even when I'm not wearing any make up I need to define my eyebrows ... a bit like a child's"dot to dot" puzzle these days as they seem to be disappearing and although my hair is keeping it's colour well, my eyebrows are rapidly turning grey! I've always struggled with eye shadow, feeling that I look better without it but recently thanks to Bobbi Brown I've had more success. Also, if I'm going out at night or somewhere special I occasionally try eyeliner, pencil or gel. I'm not very skilled, so sometimes it's hastily removed, but like my eyebrows I'm starting to feel my eyes need a little more definition. Although, during the day I just curl my lashes and use a clear conditioning mascara ... Interestingly my eyelashes are really dark!
    In my teens, I wore slightly more make up, but again not that much. I loved Boots no 7 lipstick in "wine shine" It was a very dark and glossy burgundy.prone to smudging! I remember one cringe worthy moment when I looked in the mirror after the lights were turned on at a school disco!! :) So much darker than I wear now. I tried a red lipstick a couple of Chrismas's ago and although it worked with my colouring etc I didn't have the confidence to leave the house wearing it as it felt too obvious! The couple of times I've had my make up done by a professional I've been disappointed as it just felt too heavy and consequently, aging. My daughter's friend did my eye make up for her wedding as we'd been advised it needed to be more pronounced for the photographs! I loved it! I notice my daughter and her friends all apply their make up beautifully ... very understated ... even in their late teens they seemed so much more "polished" than I remember being at the same age. Although I do think, as with hair products, the quality of make up is so much better than it was years ago, so easier to achieve a natural look.
    Another great post Sue. I've really enjoyed reading about everyone's relationship with make up, over the years.
    Rosie

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    1. Your daughter's friends did a great job. You both looked terrific. And you're right about the make-up being so much better these days. I remember some of the "rouge" my mum used to use. Ickk.

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  26. Oh my goodness yes, the safety pin thing. How much trouble I was in when my mom caught me at it. I'm 65 and still love makeup as I always have. It's not a hiding thing, nor am I under any delusion that I look younger/better for it. It's just so darn much fun to play with! I'm sure I'll keep it up until I can't see to do it anymore. Blush is probably my happiest item--it makes this olive-complected face come to life. It's been lovely to read your post and all the responses, Susan. Thank you for this and all posts.

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  27. I saw this and thought of you...

    http://www.cbc.ca/comedy/cross-country-carnage-1.4622951

    Suzanne

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All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.