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Our debut post was just so much fun, we’re back for more good stuff! Your questions have been coming in fast and furious, with a wide variety of concerns, experiences, or stories about what has worked for you and what hasn’t. I’ve even had a few suggestions for new products that I could try (and you know how I love new products!).

One email in particular made me laugh out loud. It was from a woman who wrote, “Who cares? I don’t wear makeup, now or ever. I think it’s vain and silly. Why do you women need to put that junk all over your face to feel attractive? And what’s up with those expensive skin care routines? I just use soap and water, and my skin looks fine.” My immediate reply was a heartfelt “That’s great! Please feel free to not read my posts.”

Makeup is not for everybody. And it’s not legally required to be worn in any state. If you don’t like it or don’t feel like you need it, don’t wear it. We can still be Facebook friends. It’s all good.

She did make a point, though. Why do women wear makeup? Because we can.  Imagine for a moment that you’re a man. Every morning when you wake up, that’s as good as you’re going to look all day. Signs of aging, fatigue, or that second bottle of wine the night before are written all over your face, for the whole world to see. .

We, however, can go into the bathroom looking like Great-Aunt Bertha from Des Moines, and come out a half-hour later with even skin tone, sparkling eyes, darker and longer lashes, a little youthful blush on our cheeks, a dusting of healthy, sun-kissed color on our faces, brighter lips, and mysteriously vanished under-eye circles. Sometimes it’s good to be female.

Makeup is like clothing for the face. We’ve reached the age where naked is probably not our best presentation. It’s easy when you’re young, because everything is pretty much flawless because it’s so new, but five or more decades of being smacked around by the environment, sun exposure, and ill-advised health habits tell us that we look better with a little help. Makeup is like that black leather moto jacket we bought because it was just so cool. Or those fabulous boots we want wear with everything we own. They make us feel more confident and more outgoing. Maybe even more powerful. Less invisible. Makeup has the same effect. It can be an extraordinary confidence booster. And besides, it’s fun.

So let’s get to your questions!

  1. My eyelashes don’t seem to exist anymore. I need a good mascara! Mascara is great, but it’s only as good as the lashes you put it on. ( And I know how you feel. Whenever I get really stressed, all my lashes fall out. All of them. I look like a blonde hoot owl for weeks.) For eyelash 9-1-1, get an eyelash growth serum. They come in a tube, like clear eyeliner, and work to thicken and lengthen your lashes. It takes about four weeks to see results, but as they say, four weeks will go by anyway. My favorite is Lilash. Available online. Full retail can be up to $85 a tube, a 2-3 months’ supply. I disregard that, because I never pay full retail for anything. I get mine on eBay for about 30 bucks.  Your other option (although you can do both) is to take 5-10,000 mg tablet of Biotin once a day. I do this when my lashes makes me feel like a hairless cat, and it brings them back to life.  As far as mascara, I’m a lover of all things L’Oreal. I’ve jumped around a little because they have a bazillion choices, but I always go back to Voluminous Superstar. It comes with a primer at one end and mascara at the other. The primer is applied first, for more “oomph,” then apply mascara. This product is my go-to Clydesdale. It’s easy to apply and remove, doesn’t rely on weird wands, and delivers on its promises to make your lashes look longer and more lush.
  2. I’m wrestling with age spots. What’s a good OTC? Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream works great. It takes 4-6 weeks to see results. And remember, age spots are often caused by the sun. Three words to live by: Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And stay out of the tanning beds.
  3. The absolutely best moisturizer? That depends on your skin. Your question implies that your skin is dry. Mine, too. I’ve sold $175 moisturizers for years (women of means love them because they’re yummythey smell wonderfuland they come in gorgeous jars), but I don’t buy them.I haven’t found any that perform any better than my current fave, Garnier SkinActive Miracle Anti-Fatigue Sleeping Cream. The title kind of says it all. I wear it during the day too. (What the hell, your skin can’t tell time.)
  4. What the best product for under-eye circles? When I do makeovers for women, I prefer Maybelline Stick Concealerin yellow. It lightens and brightens the under-eye area. Apply a tiny amount with a small brush, and blend lightly. (Don’t use your fingers. They pull on the thin under-eye skin. You won’t like how it looks in ten years.) Fingers also tend to put the product on more heavily. You shouldn’t be able to see your concealer. (Kind of defeats the purpose.) Always apply after foundation. The whole point of foundation is to even the skin tone and cover tiny flaws. Start there. Whatever your foundation doesn’t cover is where you put your concealer.
  5. Help for thinning, post-menopausal hair? Isn’t it awesome that the hair on our head thins out and then migrates to our chins? God has a sense of humor. I would go straight to the solution and pick up some Rogaine for Women. It targets exactly that problem. Use it consistently for a few months, and you’ll see a visible improvement. The brand product can be a little expensive, but every drugstore has a generic version which is often less than half the price.
  6. Under-eye puffiness. I constantly need to shrink it down, but can’t find a product that soaks in, but still works. I try to avoid “feeling it” on my skin. Insider secret: Most women in the beauty industry, and many professional models, use Preparation H. (The cream, not the gooey ointment). It works. I use it around my eyes to reduce expression lines. Of course, avoid getting it into your eyes, like you would any eye cream. Put a tiny bit on your fingertips and pat lightly over the area, even on top of your foundation. Pat. Don’t rub. If you haven’t found anything else you like, what have you got to lose? Try it!

 

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