IT Cosmetics – Illumination!

I know that everyone right now is reviewing IT Cosmetics new Bye Bye Foundation, but I have just tried their CC+ Cream Illumination – and I am pretty wowed.

it cc


It’s as full coverage as an illuminating finish can be – and it’s 50 SPF.

And I got a DEAL!

I have been using the regular IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (in rotation with a few other foundations) but just used my very last drop, so I was going to get another tube.

But the Internet knows EVERYTHING… and I got an email from QVC, where I have made only two purchases in my life – one for shoes for my mother, and one old-lady old-fashioned zip-up bathrobe for me. But QVC emailed me that they had a  deal about to expire for an IT Cosmetics’ IT’s All About You Customer Favorites collection.

I hopped right on – and found it was for the Illuminating version of the CC cream.

I have seen both good and bad reviews for the illuminating cc cream. But my God, what a deal.

Instead of the usual 1.08 ounces for $38 – it was $59.96 for 2.53 ounces – more than twice as much product. And that wasn’t all – they included a full-sized Bye Bye Pores Blush, a tinted lip serum, and a foundation brush.

it illumination set

AND – free shipping!

I would have gone over to Ulta and Sephora to give the products a test drive, but it was well into the evening, and the sale was over in a few hours.  I thought it was worth the risk.

I received the shipment 4 days later.

OMG – it is so beautiful!

The illuminated finish on the cc cream is exactly what I like – I had actually been mixing in an illuminator with every foundation I have. (usually No7 Skin Illuminator, which I have in both Nude and Bronze.)

no7 illuminator

I bought the Medium shade of the CC cream, which is just slightly dark for me now at the tail end of Winter, but I do wear the Medium in the regular version, as the light is just a bit too pale. But Medium works great for me as soon as we get a little sunshine, and I can always mix in a bit of lighter foundation.

The foundation brush is a very nice brush, but I prefer to apply my foundation with a beauty blender. But it’s a quality brush, and soft enough, I think, for powder.

The lip serum is a nice pink, in IT’s Je Ne Sais Quoi shade, but I’m not crazy about really glossy lips.  However, I gave my lips a swipe at the beginning of my makeup application, and let it sink in a bit. Then when I was ready for my usual lip color, I wiped off the excess, and it really did seem to give my lips a beautiful soft nourished surface for my favorite Marc Jacobs lip crayon.

The bonus blush is fabulous. The shade is Sweet Cheeks – a warm peachy pink.

sweet cheeks

This photo doesn’t even convey how warm and fresh-looking it is. And it’s called Bye Bye Pores blush for a reason – it really goes on smoothly and doesn’t accent the texture of my 60+ year-old skin.

So – all in all – even if I NEVER use the lip serum or the brush – I got a great deal! The foundation alone – at 2.53 ounces – is worth $89. And the blush retails for $24. That’s a total of $113 for $59.96.  (and I DO think I will use the lip product and the brush – so they are just terrific extra freebies.)

The special offer is gone now, but QVC is still selling the set for $73 – which is still a fantastic deal.

So if you like a dewy finish like I do, it’s really something to consider.

Here’s the look. I did not lighten the foundation at all – so this is a true idea of the Medium shade, with the Sweet Cheeks blush.  My setting spray is a dewy finish too (Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray) so I am all aglow. I also did not use a finishing powder today, to better show the actual effect, but you absolutely could, if you want a slightly more satin finish. I also did not put concealer on the freckles on my nose, which peek through, but the cc cream did cover the age spot on my upper lip almost entirely.

0316181500e (1)


This is a look that will be perfect for warm weather.


A Quick Fix For Cake-Face

Here’s a quick fix to a problem I encounter once in a while…  a fix that I discovered out of desperation.

I was on my way to a little event and screwed up my makeup. What I did – and still do once in a while – is OVER-POWDER.

Too much powder on any skin can look cakey. It somehow looks really flat while at the same time shows wrinkles you didn’t even know you had. And so it is really Aging. And when you are already aging, looking extra old is not exactly a look you are going for.

And the day I discovered my fix – I had WAY over-powdered (I don’t even know how I got it so wrong) and did not have time to start over.

I took a clean soft brush and tried to brush the powder away, but I still looked dry and cakey. I needed something better than setting spray to soften the look and add some moisture back into the look of my skin.

And out of desperation, I took a little of a very soft, very silky silicone-based primer. I spread just a tiny amount onto the pads of my fingers and lightly tapped it onto my cake-face. I tapped it on my cakey undereyes, my cakey cheeks, my cakey smile lines, the cakey frown lines over my eyebrows.

And it worked.  My “finish” look softer and I recovered a little bit of a glow.

What I used was this:

maybelline baby skin

Maybelline Baby Skin. It’s called a “pore-eraser” primer, because of its blurring effect. It is colorless and extremely silky to the touch.  And it’s only about $6.99 for .67 ounces.

Now, pressing a little of this primer over your powder as a last step will not make your makeup last longer, like a setting spray does. In fact, it probably lessens your wear time.

However, if you are running late and looking too powdered and dry – it’s a fast fix that will solve your issue and get you out the door.

Today I did it again. Over-powdered because I was texting and doing my makeup at the same time. And I used my Baby Skin trick, and it worked.


After fixing my cake-face with Maybelline Baby Skin. I got my glow back.


Just FYI… lipstick in this photo is Marc Jacobs’ Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon in the shade Send Nudes. Beautiful color, texture, and longevity.

Makeup To Accommodate My New Reality

For several years now, I have been dealing with a physical issue that had me mystified. I would awaken in the middle of the night unable to open my eyes.

At first, I thought perhaps I was just deep in a dream, and so it would take several seconds to fully wake up. But it got worse. I truly could not open my eyes unless I physically pried them open with my fingers. And that would hurt.

The ophthalmologist I was referred to finally figured it out. My eyes were so dry that during a long period when my eyes were closed (i.e., sleeping) my eyelids just plain stuck to my eyeballs. A bad case of Dry Eye Syndrome. (I knew I was just like Jennifer Aniston!)

How could my eyes be that dry and I didn’t even know it? Because it happened so gradually my body was lulled into the idea that everything was normal.

The doctor prescribed several kinds of drops and ointments to help lubricate my eyes, which helped a little but not a lot. So last week I had my follow-up visit, and the doctor was not impressed by my progress.

One remedy for this, that does not require any drugs (which is good) is to close the tear ducts so that one’s tears will not naturally drain, and so will increase the lubrication of the eye. so that’s what the doctor did. He placed plugs (called punctal or lachrymal plugs) into my lower tear ducts.

I told the doctor I would not want the plugs if it meant:

A) I could not wear my contact lenses.
B) I could not wear makeup.

But he assured me I would be able to do both. And so now I have plugged tear ducts. It doesn’t really show – if I pull down my lower eyelid you see a tiny white plug in the inside corner, where you normally see the little dot that is your tear duct. And it doesn’t really hurt. It is slightly uncomfortable at times, but I think that feeling will disappear  – I already notice it less after just a few days.


I did my research after I came home from the doctor’s office. And although lots of women with these plugs still wear eye makeup, there are a few recommendations.

To reduce the risk of infection, you are advised to forego any lining of the waterline. And also, so that you don’t tug at the lower lash line, to skip mascara and/or shadow on the lower lashes so that you are not rubbing your lower eyelid to remove the mascara at the end of the day.

I like to line my waterline – my top waterline with dark brown or grey liner to make my lashes look thicker, and my bottom waterline with a flesh-colored soft liner to make my eyes look bigger and more open. And I always wear mascara on my lower lashes AND shadow below my eyes.

So this new reality means a change to my makeup routine.

But here’s what I have found.

It’s not so bad at all!

Without mascara and shadow on my lower lash line, I don’t really need a light liner on my waterline to widen my eyes. They look bigger without any darkness below – what do you know?

And although I do miss lining my top waterline, I can smudge a little liner just at the top of my lashline, and the effect is okay.

Here’s the result:





Now I may not look as completely “done” as I prefer, but I can live with it.

And even perhaps, now that I am getting a bit closer to 70, dropping undereye makeup might even be a good thing.

And it points out something that I think is important to everyone: take care of your health first – you will look better if you are healthier, anyway!

Just FYI… most of my makeup in these photos is from Too Faced, especially from their peach collection:

Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette
Too Faced Just Peachy Matte Eyeshadow Palette
Too Faced Sweetie Pie Radiant Matte Bronzer
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder Duo



Here’s looking at you, kid!


Essence Haul

For most “beauty hauls” – we are talking about shelling out a ton of money to get a bunch of products.

With Essence Cosmetics, you need less than $20.

Which is why I figured I’d give Essence a try.

I already have a couple of Essence products: their very famous and beloved Pure Nude Highlighter and a very nice gel waterproof eyeliner. The highlighter is a favorite of many beauty bloggers – it is just the right amount of sheen without too blinding. And so frugal! The generously sized highlight (0.24 oz) costs just $4.49. And the eyeliner (I have gunmetal, but I’m not sure they are still producing the get waterproof liner, but they have) was $2.99.

Which is part of the reason I decided to try a few more Essence products.

The biggest problem with trying Essence is finding it.

Ulta carries some of the line – that’s where I bought the highlighter and liner I already had. But their carriage is limited, and even in the small display, most of the slots were empty.

So I went to Essence website (

Now many cosmetic brand websites will give you free shipping if you spend $40-$50. But Essence is so inexpensive, you’d never get to $40. So they offer free shipping for orders over $15. How sweet is that?

The product I especially wanted to try was the Satin Touch Blush in the dusty pink color called Satin Love.


This blush is extremely highly rated by my favorite reviewer, Christine at Temptalia. Christine reviews mainly high-end products, not drugstore, but she loves this blush and compares it to the iconic Flesh and Fantasy blush by Marc Jacobs. The Marc Jacobs Flesh and Fantasy is a beautiful blush I have been lusting over – but it is $42. The Essence Satin Touch is $2.99.

Sure, the Essence blush is smaller, but comparing apples-to-apples, Essence is about $18 an ounce. The Marc Jacobs is $150 an ounce!

So I really wanted to try the Essence blush. Could I really get a good blush for $2.99?

With free shipping at only $15 – I kept shopping.

I bought the only other shade of the Satin Touch Blush – the Satin Coral (also $2.99).

And another product I’ve seen good reviews for is the mascara – The Lash Princess mascara in the False Lash Effect version.



This mascara is $4.99 and I’ve seen it compared to Benefit’s Roller Lash (which I love) and IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara – both are $24. I had read that it is doesn’t clump or flake – so I was certainly ready to give it a try.

I also added the Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil in Silky Nude – also $2.99. I am always looking for a good nude pencil for my lower waterline – which really opens up the eye.

And to finish off the order and get to the $15 minimum for free shipping, I added the Make Me Brow eyebrow gel “mascara.” I’ve been happy with Ulta’s version – called Brow Tint, and at $10, it’s not too pricey, but I’m almost out so I thought I would try this $2.99 version.

So – FIVE products came to $16.95.


And how good are they?

The blushes are FANTASTIC.

The mascara is EXCELLENT.

The eyeliner and brow gel are not spectacular, but they’re pretty good.

Here’s my finished look – using the Satin Love (rose) Blush, the mascara, both the liner I already had plus the flesh-toned new one, and the brow gel. The only Essence product I did not use was the highlighter – but only because I forgot and used my current subtle favorite, Too Faced Candleglow Highlighting Powder Duo.


One of the failings of inexpensive makeup, though, is its inability to last. Often you get a couple of hours, and then it fades away. Or with mascara, it will flake and leave those annoying little black dots under your eyes.

So it’s important to also see the staying power of the Essence products.

So here are two photos from a few days ago.

First, freshly done (and I used the coral blush here – sometimes it is difficult to see the difference in a photo, but in person, the rose and the coral do look slightly different):

0208181208 (1)


And here I am five hours later:



Forgive the hat hair please – but other than that, I think I look pretty much the same! What fared the worst was my concealer – which was not an Essence product, but also not a surprise that five hours is about the limit for concealer on me. (I turned 67 this week, BTW, so I’m not complaining about my concealer issues.)

I don’t have a photo of what I look like at the end of the evening, but after 10 hours, I will say that the blush held up fairly well… a bit faded, but not too much. I did have one little speck of mascara under my eye.

So my opinion of Essence is a definite yes on the mascara and an equivocal “meh” on the brow and nude eyeliner, and a very enthusiastic yes on either of the blushes. I am not going to purchase the Marc Jacobs blush – at least for now.

Although my favorite is still the expensive Hourglass blush in Luminous Flush, how can you go wrong with a pretty, long-lasting blush for $2.99?






My husband knows that I love makeup and skincare products. He also knows I love Sephora, and as a former sales executive, he has been impressed by their store and their marketing efforts. He actually likes to shop there.

So for Christmas, I often give him a list of products available at Sephora that I would like to try. This year I gave him a list of six items. I assured him I only wanted one gift from the list, but by giving him six, he could have a little wiggle room for availability, and also still surprise me.

This is what he picked (or what the Sales Associate picked for him):


Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Eyeshadow Palette.



It’s a beautiful palette. The compact itself is substantial and really pretty. The clasp alone reminds me of how my mother’s best makeup used to look back in the 1950s.

It is described as an all matte palette. But the color called Peach Sangria…. (the purply one second from the right on the bottom) does have a little bit of a lustry finish.

I love almost all of these shades, and they all work extremely well together. The two lightest shades (Peach Meringue and Peach Butter) on the top left and middle left do not show up at all on my lids. I’ve tried using an eyeshadow primer first. And also foundation and concealer – to start with a lighter lid than my normal reddish lids. But no. They are just invisible.

And the two brightest shades, the Peach Sangria mentioned above and Peach Punch right above it, need a light hand or need to be muted with another shade – because they are beautiful but very highly pigmented, and so a bit too unnatural looking for my older eyes. That being said, I do like them when toned down.

All the other shadows are heavenly just the way they are. Richly pigmented and flattering.  And combinable in so many different looks. And speaking of heavenly – they have a peach aroma that is very appealing (to me, anyway).

Here’s one of many looks I was able to achieve using Just Peachy.

The main shades I used here were Peaches & Cream, Fresh Picked, Peach Cobbler, and a touch of Chocolate Dipped.



By the way, the Bronzer I’m wearing in this photo is also from the Too Faced Peach and Cream collection. It’s Too Faced Sweetie Pie Bronzer.


It’s called “radiant matte” and although that sounds a bit contradictory (radiant AND matte?), it’s a nice muted glowy look that was just right for my complexion now that Winter is here and I’m really pale again. It retails for $30.

The Just Peachy Mattes eyeshadow palette retails for $45. To me, that’s pricey, even for 12 shades, even considering the overall quality. So I was really happy that my husband chose it for my gift. I’m sure I’ll be wearing it often.



Best Blush Ever! (so far, anyway)

I have dozens of blushes. With one or two mistakes, I love them all. I have pinks and corals and peaches and nudes and plums. I love them all.

I do not need another blush.

I do not need another blush.

This was the mantra I repeated as I opened the door to Sephora.  I had really been visiting the shop two doors down. I meant to walk by. I really did.

But I could smell the heavenly aroma. Sephora smells better than the pastry shop.

I just thought I would see if they had any after-Christmas sales. I got lots of new makeup for Christmas (which I will share with you eventually).

I do not need more makeup.

I do not need another blush.

But as I was meandering down the aisles, stopping here or there at beautiful colors and intriguing displays, the Hourglass aisle overtook me. I could not help myself.

I found a blush that just looked so beautiful. I could not resist.  I just had to pick it up. Just had to swatch it on my hand. And then – OMG – it was so pretty I had to try some on my cheeks.

It is Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush.



It’s described by Hourglass as a radiant finish champagne rose blush, infused with their Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light (a champagne pearl).

It’s rosy but also warm. Glowing, but not shimmery.

I can’t do it justice swatching it on my hand, because it just won’t show up in photos. It’s  simply a radiant glow that the camera can’t capture in a swatch.

It’s also very small and pricey.  $38 for just 0.15 ounces. As a comparison, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blushes are $29 for 0.2 ounces So even though I was enthralled when I tried it, I walked away.

I went and had lunch and coffee in Barnes and Noble. I turned my camera on selfie and I thought I looked awfully nice.  I went to the restroom, and even in the restroom’s awful lighting, I thought I looked downright beautiful.

I went back to Sephora and gave them my credit card.

And I have been wearing it consistently for the last two weeks. And I still love it.

I love that I look like I have just come in from a lovely winter walk.

Healthy and radiant is a terrific look any time of year.


Grudgingly, I’ll Admit It’s Good

Late this Summer, I was in Sephora to replenish my favorite night cream.

The salesperson was – thankfully – not a young kid, but a woman closer to my own age. I would guess she was somewhat younger than I, as just about everyone is these days.

This woman and I did not get off to a great start. She told me that the cream I love, Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins, was not good enough for my needs. She told me it was time to “Step up.” I thought that was a little insulting, since it insinuated that I “cheaping out” by not “stepping up.” But hey, Sephora sells the damn product there, and it’s highly rated too. And at 66, I think my skin looks pretty good – better than that wrinkly old saleslady. (Bitter? ME? Well, maybe a little.)

I ended up not buying the Night-A-Mins there. I ordered it online from Origins. And they gave me free shipping and some samples too. And they think I made a very wise purchase indeed.

However, back to Sephora. Although I sound like a person who knows her own mind on this blog, I was quite intimidated by the saleswoman, which was one reason why I didn’t buy the product she poo-pooed – not at the time, anyway.

We did however have a conversation about eye creams. I have been using an inexpensive eye cream I bought on Amazon. It’s okay – I liked it at first, but now I think it is nothing special.

My undereye area is very crepey. Concealer often makes it look even worse, and the product settles into the crepey skin and creases badly. And the powder I was using to set my concealer was not helping at all.

But I need concealer, because my undereyes are also very dark, a little trait I inherited from both sides of my family. Thank you, gene pool.

The salesperson did not think there was much wrong with my concealer and setting powder – although she did think I should use a lighter hand, and she was correct on that score. She did, however, think I needed to use a much better eye cream.

She gave me a very high-pressure sales pitch for an eye serum. It is Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum.


It costs a whopping $85 for half an ounce!  Whoa!

But this aggressive salesperson insisted that the tiniest bit goes a long way and the bottle will last for months and months. And that it was really good. And that I really really really needed it.

And in a moment of weakness (and I have a lot of those) – I said okay.

I bought the tiny damn bottle that no cream or serum that doesn’t contain liquid diamonds plus a cure for cancer should ever cost.

I had buyer’s remorse as soon as I got home. I left it in the bag and figured I’d return it as soon as possible.

But it sat there – patiently waiting in its box in its black-and-white striped bag – for two weeks.

And in another moment of weakness (I told you I have a lot of those) – one evening I took it out and used it. Just a tiny bit.

And the next night and the next.

And then a teensy amount in the morning too, before I applied my makeup.

And I knew I wouldn’t return it. So I kept on using it. For the next 3 months.

And guess what????

The damn stuff WORKS!

I’m still 66 years old – it’s not like my wrinkles are going to disappear.

But OMG, the crepiness is much improved. My concealer doesn’t crease nearly so much.

And when this ridiculously expensive bottle is empty, I’m going to go to Sephora and buy another one.

And maybe apologize to that salesperson.

(But probably not.)


I’m deliberating using an unretouched photo where I’ve already had my makeup on for hours. So you can see that my undereye is not perfect, but not so bad either.

Great Drugstore Foundation!

Lately I have been reading some wonderful reviews of Milani’s Conceal & Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer.


This liquid foundation runs around $10 for 1 ounce, and since my current favorite foundation,  IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream retails for $38 – and I have paid as much as $48 for Laura Mercier foundation – (and I am low on both) -I thought I would give Milani a try.

Milani comes in 19 shades – and because it is a drugstore brand without samples, finding your shade can be a little tricky.  The bottle is a bit tinted, but you can see the color pretty clearly by looking at the bottom of the bottle, so I compared in-store with a L’Oreal shade that I know works for me. And Light Beige 03 for me turned out to be a great match.

I  relied on IT CC Cream all Summer because it is very good coverage with an SPF 50 sunscreen. But now that Summer is over, I won’t be worrying so much about high-level sun protection. I can go with a sunscreen just in my moisturizer (I am currently using Neutrogena Visibly Even with an SPF of 30, which should see me through Fall And Winter in Connecticut). So Milani’s lack of sunscreen is not an issue right now.

Conceal & Perfect is described as a full coverage foundation – full enough to double as your concealer too. I wouldn’t go that far. But its coverage is good – certainly as good as IT CC cream, and much better than Laura Mercier’s Candleglow foundation.

The finish is satiny, rather than full matte. I’m currently infatuated with a very glowy look, so even a satin finish is not quite dewy enough for me.

But I’ve been adding an illuminator to my foundation anyway, for that healthy, dewy – and hopefully youthful – look. And I found a good deal on that too: last month I purchased No. 7 Skin Illuminator at Ulta.

no7 illuminator

It retails for $12.99 for 1 ounce. In comparison, the “holy grail” of illuminating drops, Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops, will set you back $42 for just 0.5 ounces. Of course, the Cover FX drops are very intense, so a small bottle will last a long time, but …still… $12.99 vs $42!

And yes, No. 7 Illuminator is more subtle, and you need a bit more. I use 2 parts foundation to one part illuminator.

But oh my, the results of Milani’s beautiful satin-finish foundation combined with No.7 Skin Illuminator – my skin looks as glowy and flawless as a sixty-something complexion can look.

I am all set for Winter!



Makeup Tips for Non-Teenagers

I watch a lot of makeup tutorials on YouTube. I love them.

But mostly, these makeup experts (and they are really experts!) are teenagers. Or at least extremely young women.

There are a few women who are “mature” – and they have some good tips and product reviews. And even the teenagers once in a while show me something that will work for me.

I’m 66, by the way, which is a really tricky age. I’m on Medicare (so I have a card in my wallet that states I am officially old) – but I think I’m quite pretty – which I did NOT think when I was 20, or 30, 40, or even 50. It was only when I turned 60 that I began to like the way I looked.

This could be due to a couple of reasons:

  • A)  I understand after all these years how to make the most of what I’ve got;
  • B)  I was always pretty, but I just didn’t recognize it;
  • C)  I have actually and miraculously gotten prettier as I aged.

In my case, I think the answer is

  • D) All of the above.

Whatever the reasons, it is amazingly wonderful to finally feel good about my looks.


As much as I want to look as young as possible, some trends and makeup looks are NOT for women my age. Or not for me, at least.

And as much as I am not ashamed to be 66, I still want to look beautiful.

YouTube – and my own trial and error efforts – has provided me with a few tips that really work for “mature’ women.

Here’s the best of what I have discovered:

1. Luminous Foundation. I have a few age spots and freckles I’m not fond of. So I like a foundation with good (medium to full) coverage. But some matte foundations make my skin look very dull and flat – and old. I more dewy, luminous look. And it’s not difficult to add a bit of radiance even to a matte foundation. Just add a few drops of oil (like argan oil or rosehip seed oil – any facial oil) or liquid illuminator. I have the travel size of Benefit High Beam, and I add just a drop or two to my foundation. I love the result.  In addition, I’ve been using a setting spray with a dewy finish rather than matte – like Milani’s Make It Dewy.

2. Soft – But Full – Eyebrows. Thin little lines of eyebrows are very aging. The thinner the brows, the older you will look. However, you need to balance a thicker brow with a soft look. The best way to do this is to avoid that “comma” look with too much emphasis on the inner corner (the nose side) . When you apply brow product, (and I like a nice light brow gel that you apply with a tiny mascara-like wand like Ulta’s Brow Tint), don’t start at the inner corner. Start about a quarter of the way into your brow and do both brows. Then go back to the inner corners. You will have a lot less product on the wand, and so the inner corner will be much softer. It’s way more natural and flattering.

3. Disguise for Sparse Lashes. I’ve written before about my sparse eyelashes and how my castor oil treatments are working – and they are. But us older women will naturally find that our lashes get increasingly sparse as we age. One way to make them look thicker (besides great mascara, of course) is to tightline your upper lash line. ‘Tightlining’ means using your eyeliner (I love IT No-Tug Gel Liner, which really stays put) on your waterline… upper only, and then lift your lids a little and really get in between your lashes – fill in any gaps between your lashes. I like this so much, I now rarely even line my top lids in the traditional way, except maybe for a smudge on the corner.

4. Widening and Lifting Your Eyes. I’m not saying I would never get plastic surgery – who knows what the future may hold for me. But there are a couple of tricks to help make your eyes looks younger without surgery or Botox:

A) Lay off the undereye eyeliner. I loved lining my lower lids when I was young, but now it just makes my eyes looks small. Instead, I apply a little shadow with a fine brush – in a medium brown or plum usually – to add just a bit of definition. Or nothing at all. I do add a little mascara on my lower lashes – but again, with a light hand.

B) Open up your eyes with a flesh, pink or even lavender liner in the waterline. I have a nice flesh colored creamy eyepencil I’ve had for ages (Chella Highlighter Crayon). I line my lower waterline and my eyes look instantly bigger. (Don’t use white though – too stark).

C) Don’t extend your shadow past your eyes. The smoky eye is a beautiful look – for young women. On older women, it can make you look unhealthy and emphasize droopy lids. Once I finish my eyemakeup, I take a bit more concealer on a brush, and re-do my inner corners – that’s a no-brainer. But the genius trick I found on YouTube is to also add, as a finishing touch, a bit of concealer on the outer corners of your eyes, sweeping it up to lighten that area and eliminate any shadow extending past your immediate eye area. Instant eye-lift!  The difference to me is amazing!

5. Lip Liner. I’ve only recently changed my mind about lip liner. I have thin lips and I always felt that lining them made them look even smaller. But I have finally admitted to myself that my lips have lost whatever little bit of natural definition they had. And the right liner can really help. I use a very soft liner – Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner (which is very inexpensive) in a color just a bit darker than my lips. “Epic” is the shade I like. And after I apply it, I blend it well… over my whole lip area, which softens any harsh line. As a bonus, my lipstick last longer too. (Bonus tip: Rimmel liner is extremely soft and fragile… do not wind it up more than the tiniest bit over the casing, or it will break off.)

These are my favorite makeup tricks for looking my best at 66.

Here are the products I’ve mentioned:


Milani Make It Dewy Setting Spray
Benefit High Beam Liquid Highlighter
Ulta Brow Tint
Yadah Silky Fit Concealer
IT No-Tug Waterproof Gel Liner
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner
Chella Highlighter Crayon

And here’s the result (pretty good for a Medicare-card bearer!)





Bronzers – A Little Late Season Color

It took me all Summer to find a Bronzer that really suits me.

But that’s fine, because now that Summer is just about over, I will need a little extra color.

But finding a bronzer that works on mature skin is not always that easy.

Contouring is a definite NO for me – I think older women look better without the sharp angles. But bronzer in the right shade can be lovely.  As long as it is not:  too glittery, too grayish, or too orangeish – and does not emphasize pores and lines.  Easy, right?

Here are four that I have been trying this Summer:




As the above swatches show – I have two cool shades and too warm shades.

Let’s go from the top down:

Ulta Beauty Matte Bronzer  (in Cool).  This is truly a matte bronzer – no radiance or shimmer whatsoever. It’s very pretty on the skin and very long-lasting. And the price is great – $10.00 for 0.32 ounces. It’s a creamy powder and I think the consistency, texture and look is a lot like Urban Decay’s Beached Bronzer, which is $28 – and also beautiful by the way. If you like a really matte look, Ulta’s Bronzer is very good – and it also comes in Warm, if you’d prefer.

Sonia Kashuk Undectable Creme Bronzer (in Warm Tan.)  This is the only cream bronzer I’ve tried. It’s super creamy, and very pigmented. I only needed a tiny bit to produce the swatch you see above.. and so a little goes a long way on your skin. It’s a very warm color and not quite matte – it’s a little glowy, which I like. The downside is that cream product can be hard to blend on the skin, as they tend to blend away, with your foundation blending away too. And I wouldn’t say they are particularly long-lasting. But if cream works better for you, and warm (very warm) shades flatter you, this one is nice. It’s $10.99 at Target.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer (in Luminous Bronze Light). This was my big impulse splurge. It goes for $50 for .39 ounces.  It’s amazingly radiant. I feel like I glow from within when I wear it. Someone just this week told me that I looked beautiful and so healthy. There is a big downside though (besides the price). It’s a warm bronzer – warmer than it looks in the pan – which you can see in the swatch. And for some reason, although it looks great in indoor lighting, it looks quite orangeish outside in natural light. So it’s just not flattering at all outside. But if I am going out for the evening, or someplace indoors during daylight – it’s gorgeous.

The Balm Bronzer/Blush (in Balm Desert). This has been my go-blush since I purchased it about a month ago. I’m so sorry I didn’t discover it at the beginning of the summer – but OMG, it is beautiful. I found it quite by accident through the website, which I love (and you should give it a try if you haven’t. Christine of Temptalia reviews more products and provides more dupes with side-by-side comparions than I would have thought possible.) Back to Balm Desert:  It is reasonably priced, although not the cheapest, at $21 for .23 ounces. It’s not available at Ulta or Sephora, unfortunately, but you can find it online at or at Kohl’s, where, happily, you can try it. It’s a rosy brown, on the coolish side, but it has a bit of a warm undertone. For me, it’s perfect. It’s not overly pigmented, but it is buildable, and because it is not too pigmented, I think it will also work come Winter, when I’m even more pale than today. It is not matte – it has a beautiful radiance. And it lasts all day. It looks just lovely in natural lighting as well as indoors. My favorite!!!!



Here I am this morning with my Balm Desert bronzer. I usually add just a touch of blush over this on the apples of my cheeks (either a dusty pink or a peach works nicely), but I really wanted to show how the bronzer looks by itself – both to give a true picture of the product, and also to show that it really can go it alone. It’s called a Bronzer/Blush for a reason.




And here I am in natural light – five hours later.



If you have a favorite bronzer, I’d love to hear about it!