Makeup Dos and Don’ts From Your Teens Through Retirement

Airdate: 4/4/14

Former makeup artists Bryan and Nathan join forces to present their best makeup application tips decade by decade. Find out how (and why) your makeup should change with age, learn how makeup can make an aging face look younger, and break some rules that may be holding you back from getting the look you want—at any age!

Bryan Barron: Hi everyone. I am Bryan Barron, the research and content director for PaulasChoice.com and our Beautypedia reviews section. And you are listening to our radio show. Of course you know that, or what else would you be listening to if you’ve actually clicked on this. And I’m here with the social media community manager at Paula’s Choice, Nathan Rivas.
Nathan Rivas: Hello.
Bryan Barron: Hello. If you’ve been listening to our show for a while and you’ve heard Paula on, sometimes Paula will say that I’m the other half of her brain. I kind of like to think of Nathan as being the other third, because I don’t know if just -
Nathan Rivas: It’s getting crowded in this brain.
Bryan Barron: It is getting crowded in this brain.
00:00:43 But we - I rely on Nathan probably more than he knows. He’s a valuable member of the team and we are all working together at Paula’s Choice to help you find the best products for your skin, whether they are from the Paula’s Choice or from other brands. And on our radio show we are going to talk about pretty much anything that has to do with beauty.
00:01:05 We will help you make the best decisions about everything, whether it’s skincare, makeup, hair care, cosmetic procedures, surgery. We aim to tell the truth and all that truth is always supported by published research. We’re not making this stuff up. Of course, we will always throw in our personal experience on these shows because I think that this is a great forum to discuss that.
00:01:30 We don’t delve into personal experience much, if at all, in our product reviews because what I may personally like for a moisturizer may have nothing to do with what you like or more importantly what your skin needs. So, without further ado we are going to be talking about makeup dos and don’ts through the years, so everything from your teens when most women start wearing makeup, through retirement and into those golden years when you are doing whatever the heck you want.
00:02:03 You’ve put in the working hours and who knows, at that point you may just say the hell with makeup. I’m going barefaced. And that is totally fine. Actually, that’s a good way to start this show in the sense that makeup is always optional. Don’t ever feel like you have to wear makeup because that’s what’s expected. It is what you make of it. And as much as we like to think that there are hard and fast rules with makeup, it’s really more about what makes you feel comfortable, what’s appropriate.
00:02:31 And the what’s appropriate part is really what we’re going to touch on today because makeup changes by culture, makeup changes by the type of career you’re involved in. For example, if you are a Wall Street investment banker your makeup look is likely going to be very different from someone who is a performing artist. Nathan, anything to add to that?
Nathan Rivas: That’s true. Absolutely. That’s a good point to start out with because it is just makeup. It all washes off.
00:03:01 So, if something makes you feel more comfortable in terms of wearing a particular type of eyeliner or a particular type of blush, then by all means go for it. But, there absolutely is, as much as we like to think that makeup is one of those things that everyone can experiment with, there absolutely are - the reality is that there are appropriate times to wear certain types of makeup if you want to be taken seriously in certain environments.
00:03:26 As Bryan touch on there if you have a very kind of corporate job and you go to a very busy office. It’s really not something that would be an appropriate place to be taken seriously if you were wearing a very shimmery highlighter or a bright purple eye shadow.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Nathan Rivas: Certainly, that might be something you can do when you’re going out in the evening, but the reality is not during the daytime.
Bryan Barron: Because, here’s the thing, the take home message is that if you are going to wear makeup, and as we said it’s always your choice whether you do or you do not, but if you are going to wear it you have to realize that people are going to judge you by the makeup. They are going to form impressions.
00:04:05 So, how it’s applied. How much is applied. And how it looks based on your job as we were talking about as well as your age matters. So, what we are going to be talking about today are what you should and shouldn’t do with makeup. And why it should change with age. A lot of women fall into the trap of using the same makeup products and/or doing the same makeup look year after year after year.
00:04:29 And I get it. You get stuck in a rut. Life gets busy. You do what you know how to do quickly because you just want to get out the door. And for while that can work great, but then at some point you really should step back and say, “Now, I need to change the way I’m doing this eyeliner.” Or, “Gosh, I haven’t seen anybody else sport this type of lipstick color in about 20 years; maybe I should try something new.” And sometimes it’s just fun to try something new. So, we’re going to talk about all of that today and take a few of your questions on the Paula’s Choice Facebook page.
00:04:59 So, let’s start with the teen years.
Nathan Rivas: The teen years, this is a good time to experiment with makeup. And this is often the times that I think a lot of people are really kind of beginning to find their own personal style of makeup, what really appeals to them, but also really learning how to apply it and what sort of makeup is really “necessary.” But, I think one of the big things starting out with your teen years is learning, of course, the basic elements of taking care of your skin.
00:05:28 Learning the basic elements of skincare now is certainly going to preserve the health of your skin, which means that the makeup you do use as you age is going to look, you know, that much better.
Bryan Barron: It’s a common - I think for a lot of teen girls the allure of makeup is very strong. And they will often use makeup not only to experiment in terms of their identity, which is all well and good, but they often fall into the trap of using makeup to cover up what’s wrong with their skin. In other words, they bypass skincare completely, or they just have no idea what to do for skincare.
00:06:04 Or their mothers may not really know what to do for their skincare. And so they just figure, well, if I can’t solve this issue with skincare I’m going to cover it with makeup.
Nathan Rivas: That’s true. Absolutely. And there’s a lot of misinformation, I think, out there about skincare at that age anyway.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Nathan Rivas: So, just getting a good basic skincare routine that consists of a cleanser, of sunscreen certainly, very important.
00:06:27 But then also looking at what other issues you’re dealing with. A lot of people in their teens we all know deal with breakouts as a result of hormone changes, all that sort of fun stuff. So, getting the facts on taking care of skin at that young age, whether you’re a parent listening for your child, or whether you’re in your teens now and listening to the radio show is certainly a good place to start. And you can definitely find all that information out at our website, PaulasChoice.com, in the Expert Advice section. You can contact any of our customer service representatives. They’re fantastic with your questions and get a lot of that more personalized information here.
00:07:01 But definitely getting the basics of skincare will help you throughout your years as you age and certainly is going to mean a lot less covering up of the issues that you’re dealing with.
Bryan Barron: Yes. So, within the teen years, whether you start experimenting with makeup as a pre-teen or you’re talking driver’s license time where you’re about to go to prom, here’s a do: Do experiment with makeup. This is the time to make mistakes. This is the time to be more creative and fun. This is the time to experiment with different finishes. This is the time where you can pretty much go as shiny as you want to or as colorful as you want to.
00:07:38 And it’ll still be thought of as cute.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: Once you pass that threshold into adulthood and you’re in your 20s or you’re in or out of college, using the crazier colors, the glitter, taking more of a paint by numbers approach to using makeup to color your face - it starts to look silly. And you can start to look like a caricature of yourself rather than a beautiful young adult.
00:08:04 One of the don’ts in terms of makeup during the teen years is to not try to use makeup to make yourself look older. There will be plenty of time to do that as you actually do get older. But during the teen years use makeup to enhance the fact that you still look pretty damn good. You’re not dealing with wrinkles. Chances are you’re not dealing with brown spots. And you’re definitely not dealing with sagging.
00:08:29 So, pretty much anything goes.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. Those are both great points. I think a very good do is to not only as you mentioned to experiment with some of the - a lot of the different makeup options now to try kind of trendy things, but also realize that it would be a don’t to wear a lot of makeup in terms of foundation. A lot of foundation, a lot of concealer, a lot of full coverage foundation, especially as Bryan said, your skin already looks fantastic.
00:08:58 You know, when we’re all teens, providing -
Bryan Barron: Even if you’re dealing with breakouts and it’s mild to moderate acne, that’s relatively easy to get under control. Famous last words. But even if you’re not having much luck getting it under control, mild to moderate acne is relatively easy to camouflage with foundation and concealer and fake the look of good skin. So, you don’t need to go overboard by using heavy eyeliner, by really filling in your brows.
00:09:27 Matte lipsticks can look pretty harsh on younger women depending on what else you’re doing. I wouldn’t go overboard on the mascara, which is actually good advice at any age.
Nathan Rivas: That’s all true. And in terms of just developing a good basic look for day-to-day, honestly less is absolutely more at this age in terms of going for a lot of sheer colors. And this is, again, just for your day-to-day look, going to school, if you just want something that’s simple. You just want a good place to start. You know, a good sheer foundation. A nice concealer to dot in those areas where needed.
00:10:00 And then just some sheer color tools. A sheer color lipstick or lip gloss, you know, a sheer blush, maybe a little bronzer. That’s absolutely fine if you want to do just the bare minimum from day-to-day. Those are all good places to start. I would absolutely encourage you, especially at this age, to visit Sephora. A lot of their color experts there are very willing to help. We experience that certainly when we’re out looking at products to review.
00:10:27 Oftentimes most representatives at Sephora are very willing to help in terms of answering questions, of giving makeup tutorials, those sorts of things. So, if you’re absolutely clueless that’s a great place to go and get started.
Bryan Barron: It is. And you don’t need to feel that you are obligated to buy anything. You can simply be upfront with the sales person and say I’m visiting today because I’d really like to know, for example, how to apply liquid eyeliner. I love the way it looks. Here’s a picture from a fashion magazine. Can you show me how to recreate this look? I’m just looking today. I’m thinking about my options and may buy something later.
00:11:05 And you don’t even have to say that, but that’s a very good tip from Nathan just to take advantage of these options in the retail setting and not feel pressure to buy. I think that’s a good overview for makeup during the teen years. Now, when you get into the late teens, 20s, college age and beyond, generally that point in our lives when we’re kind of starting to form our career identity, decide what we want to be when we grow up.
00:11:32 And not just decide it but actually go out and do it. Depending on the profession that you choose, the career path you’re on, as well as what you generally like to wear clothing wise, that is going to have some influence on the makeup that you choose to wear. In a professional setting, you want to keep things understated. You definitely want to pay attention to how other women in that industry do their makeup and at least in the beginning follow suit.
00:12:02 That’s not to say that you can’t be an individual with your makeup, but for example if understated eye makeup is the norm in the office you’re working in, don’t be the woman that cakes on the eye shadow, that has the heavy brow and eyeliner all around the eyes. Don’t look like you’re about to go to a rock concert as soon as the five o’clock bell chimes.
Nathan Rivas: It’s absolutely true. And, you know, it is fun to be an individual with makeup, but as you mentioned earlier, of course, it all washes off.
00:12:32 But if you want to be taken seriously, for example, Bryan, you touched on clothing. That’s a good point. You wouldn’t wear a halter top into the office because that’s just something you really like to wear. You know reasonably if you want to be taken seriously you don’t want to wear something that’s totally inappropriate. I think another good don’t is to not wear too much makeup. And especially not even just with some of the basics. I mean, I think that we see quite often, and we get questions about this quite often, especially when it comes to foundation.
00:13:01 Sometimes, for some reason or another somewhere along the lines a lot of women got the idea that more foundation is better. And it’s kind of surprising because a lot of the people that we talked to, especially on Facebook about how much foundation is appropriate or even necessary, it ends up that their skin is relatively nice. Just for some reason they got kind of stuck in this mode of applying a really thick layer of foundation.
00:13:28 Or perhaps maybe they’re not using the right tools to apply a foundation with and they end up using too much. Or, they’re just using a bad foundation that just tends to cake up fairly easily. But, definitely less foundation is certainly the best route to go and if you have some imperfections to cover it’s really best to rely on a concealer to touch up those spots that need a little bit extra work and just use a lighter amount of foundation to cover out and even the general skin tone.
Bryan Barron: Yes. The twenties is a good decade to really pay attention to and hone your application technique.
00:14:02 It’s a great decade to begin experimenting with professional makeup brushes. Maybe in your teen years, either due to lack of funds or just because you didn’t know any better you were experimenting with the applicators that came with the products. And, you know, you were satisfied enough with the results you got. But then in your twenties when you’re going for a more sophisticated or more polished look, and such looks can be done with very few products and look quite natural. But you will be amazed when you start using professional full-sized brushes.
00:14:30 Not those little baby doll brushes that come with the products or in some palettes. Those can be okay and there are travel size brushes that work exactly for that purpose, for a few days use, but full-sized brushes can make a huge difference. Learn how to apply concealer and highlighter to get the best look. Where on the face blush should go based on your face shape. Experiment with eye shadow designs. Don’t just swipe one color from lid to brow and call it good.
00:15:00 Experiment with two or three colors. And learn the art of shaping and shading. All of this is stuff you can do on your own or you can also work with a makeup artist either privately or in a retail setting. And, again, it can help to make several counter visits over the course of a year or so. On this visit I am focusing on eye shadow. On the next visit I am focusing on eyeliner techniques. Then, maybe the next one, how to do a perfect smoky eye, or how to do the perfect red lip.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
00:15:32 It really can’t be said enough that no matter how good you think that you’re applying your makeup, when you have a set of brushes, of well-made brushes, and you actually don’t have to spend a lot. There are some great brushes from brands like Sonia Kashuk, from Real Techniques, all very inexpensive. Just as there are some amazing brushes from brands like M.A.C. Cosmetics, or NARS, or Sephora, along those lines.
Bryan Barron: The EcoTools line is pretty nice, too.
Nathan Rivas: I’ve heard a lot of good things about EcoTools. A lot of Facebook fans and other places on social media have mentioned those pretty frequently.
Bryan Barron: And those are animal-friendly, yes?
00:16:04 I believe they’re synthetic bristles.
Nathan Rivas: Yes. Synthetic versus natural. Some of that is to your own experimentation to find what’s going to work best for your particular type of makeup. But, you’ll be amazed at the difference applying something like foundation or concealer with a brush will make versus your hands. Especially if you’re not as skilled at using your hands or your fingers in terms of applying certain types of products, like eye shadow, especially cream eye shadow versus powder.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Nathan Rivas: But the underlying truth is that brushes, good brushes, will always make the difference.
00:16:38 And as Bryan mentioned, going to a place like Sephora or M.A.C. Cosmetics, a lot of those representatives really enjoy teaching. So, don’t be afraid to ask those questions so you get a little bit more knowledge. So, Bryan, in terms of caring for brushes, what do you typically recommend in terms of washing brushes and what types of cleansers to use with brushes?
Bryan Barron: First, you don’t need to wash makeup brushes all that often.
00:17:06 It can come down to personal preference. If you have oilier skin, if you have oilier skin and those oils are being transferred to our brushes you should wash them more frequently, probably at least once a month, maybe once every two weeks, you only need - I wash makeup brushes with either a fragrance-free shampoo like the Paula’s Choice All Over Hair and Body Shampoo. Or, just a regular liquid hand soap.
00:17:30 Or, depending on how cakey the brush has gotten I may even use Dawn or a dishwashing liquid. Palmolive, Dawn, whatever you have at the house. Does not need to be a special cleaner. If you are a working makeup artist and you’re using your brushes on multiple people then those spray on instant dry type brush cleaners can be great. But, for brushes reserved for your private use, first of all, they really don’t get that dirty, especially if you’re using them on the same products.
00:17:59 If you have a limited number of, for example, eye shadow brushes and you are routinely experimenting with different colors, especially going from light to dark colors with the same brushes, you should definitely wash those more often. And any brushes that you use to apply products that I consider moist or wet. So, lipstick, lip gloss, a liquid concealer, liquid eyeliner. Those long-wear gel eyeliners. You’ll want to wash those brushes more frequently. Perhaps even once a week, once every ten days.
00:18:29 For the gel eyeliner brushes you may need to wash them after every use because the product can dry on the tip of the brush. Just the nature of the formula, and then that makes the brush pretty much unusable until it is clean. But that’s something you can do right after application and then it’s ready for the next time. Powder, brushes that are used to apply powder products, blush, powder, power eye shadow. Those can be washed once a month or even less frequently depending on how many colors you use, and again, how oily your skin is.
Nathan Rivas: I think it’s a good point of distinguishing between textures or products because, you know, if you have a liquid product like if you’re using a foundation brush for example and you begin to notice that the foundation is going on a bit streaky or you’re not getting that even application that you’re used to. And that’s a good sign that your brush is pretty much gone as far as it can go in terms of cleansing.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Nathan Rivas: So, that’s something you’ll have to measure out if you have a foundation brush versus an eyeliner brush to see about how long you can go.
00:19:31 But with those types of textures, as Bryan mentioned, about once a week I think is probably an average for a lot of people.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. And really quick, getting back to - closing out makeup tips for the twenties. I think that’s the decade where you can definitely experiment with doing two different looks. You’ll have your professional daytime look for whatever schooling path you’re on or career path. And then you can have a fun look for the weekends, or for those times when you’re just going out with the girls, or with your boyfriend, or husband, or whatever to have a good time.
00:20:04 Your party makeup look. That is when you can incorporate more fun elements. You can really amp up the shimmer, experiment with bolder, crazier colors that you know instinctively - because I really think a lot of people instinctively can tell. They have a good eye for color. Or the types, you know, what’s appropriate in a situation. And cultivate those two different looks so you don’t feel like if your weekday makeup look is a bit on the conservative side you don’t feel like you’re not letting the real you show.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
00:20:36 And just a couple of last pointers before we close out this age. This is probably the age where a lot of people are looking to find that right - those right products, like how do I find the right foundation for my skin tone, how do I find the right concealer? Solidifying those basic elements. Just a few quick points on finding the right foundation for your needs.
00:21:00 Generally in terms of - the big things you want to consider, of course, is your skin type and then also what type of coverage you’re looking for. And then what types of tools you’re using to apply them. But, in terms of some basic pointers on finding the right color choice for foundation, Bryan, what would you say those are? Just a few good basic things that would apply?
Bryan Barron: The two main things are to determine your skin’s undertone which a lot of people find very difficult. It does not have to be that difficult. Almost all of us have a slightly yellow undertone to our skin, even if we’re a bit ruddy or red on top.
00:21:37 You want to find out if you have more of a warm undertone, which would be more decidedly yellow, or a cool undertone, which would be a bit of - people sometimes will say it’s pink, but it’s actually more of a blue. I’m more of a cool undertone whereas if I put a yellow - a noticeably yellow, I’m not talking jaundiced, but a yellow tone foundation. A classic example would be like Bobbi Brown’s Sand shade.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah.
Bryan Barron: If I put that on my skin, it just looks wrong.
00:22:06 I know it’s not right for my skin tone. But Lauder has a shade called Ivory something or other that is really neutral overall but there’s just a little bit of a blue base to it. And that type of shade on my skin tone is just right. You’ve got to experiment. Get samples. Test it in natural light.
Nathan Rivas: That’s actually a great point is samples. I think that a lot of times people tend to try to match, you know, their foundation to their inner wrist or their neck or something along those lines.
Bryan Barron: I’ve never understood that.
00:22:40 Foundation needs to go where it’s actually going to go. The skin on the inside of your arm, for almost everyone it’s lighter than your face because it naturally is turned away from sun. Or think of how often we go around wearing long sleeves, so that area is not getting any UV hit.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: It’s always lighter. Even on an African American woman, the skin on the inside of her arm is lighter than the skin on the top of her forearm and it’s lighter than the skin on her face.
Nathan Rivas: And sometimes you might be tempted to just put on a little bit, even like on your jar or something, and maybe you go run outside and you see what it looks like in natural light and that can be one way to do it.
00:23:20 But, Bryan, I think you mentioned that really actually trying the makeup out in terms of your normal life of how you would normally use it, live with it for a day, get a sample from Sephora, or from Nordstrom. The tricky thing I think with drugstores and picking foundations is there really aren’t always testers out for a lot of products.
Bryan Barron: Oh, if ever. Yeah. What you can do though in terms of saving money is find the types of shades that you know work for you at the department store, maybe even buy a couple of them and use them. It’ll be your foundation. But then when it comes time to replace that color, not like oh my gosh I have one day left, maybe when you have a couple weeks left, then you go to the drugstore with that foundation in hand and you can kind of hold up the bottle to what you’re seeing in the store.
00:24:07 And try to get as close of a match as possible. It isn’t a full proof method because depending on how the foundation at the drugstore is formulated it may go on or set a bit differently than it looks in the container. When we notice that tendency for foundations that we review we always mention it, so you can also check our reviews. You can access Beautypedia reviews from your mobile device right there in the store. Just go to Beautypedia.com from your phone, so that can help.
00:24:36 But yes, once you get to have a better understanding of what shades work for you it does become easier to shop for foundations at drugstores. And you’ll almost never find samples or testers unless the foundation is new and you just happen to be in the store when this new Maybelline foundation, for example -
Nathan Rivas: They just set it out.
Bryan Barron: And it’s right there and they have the little bottles and if they’re not already mangled and picked over. Thirties and forties, those decades, really I think for most women those are the twenty years or so that they tend to focus on what’s important.
00:25:13 They are dealing with career. Often they are dealing with kids. They are likely busier than ever and it’s perhaps the first time in a woman’s life where she feels that she really doesn’t have enough time for herself and things like applying a full face of makeup seem like a luxury. You know, gosh, I would love to have ten minutes to be able to do that.
00:25:33 So, when I say focus on what’s important, if you are still wanting to wear makeup you will likely need to pare down your routine to the essentials. Don’t try to rush a full face makeup application, because it just never looks good. Take the time to apply what’s most important. Maybe that’s concealer. A little bit of powder. Some lipstick and mascara. Maybe it’s even less than that.
00:26:00 But, pare down your routine so that you have those products ready and then you can even keep a separate makeup bag with all of your other stuff, so that maybe on those special occasions, maybe when you do have that extra 20 minutes to actually enjoy putting on makeup rather than rush through it, then you have those products ready and they’re separate from those day-to-day products that, okay, when I need to get out the door in five minutes, boom, boom, boom, here’s what I need. You’re not rifling through a bag.
Nathan Rivas: That’s absolutely true.
00:26:29 And having less time I think is a good point because here at this age generally you also have kind of a bit more money going around for a lot of people in terms of you might be at a point in your career where you can spend a little bit more on things like skincare and treatments. And you would be surprised at the difference it would make in terms of paying more attention to your skincare routine, but then also general upkeep that can help to reduce the amount of makeup that you wear.
00:26:55 Getting groomed brows, for example, can mean spending less time having to fill them in, having to shape them, having to worry about them. Also, if you’re starting to see signs of sun damage now or starting to see red marks that aren’t going away, perhaps you might even consider in addition to your normal skincare routine you might consider getting a light peel down, or maybe a laser treatment, something along those lines to help reduce some of the things that you would have to worry about covering up.
00:27:20 So, that way you’re really just as Bryan mentioned worrying about the basics. And that could be, as Bryan mentioned, just a few dots of concealer, maybe a little bit of a basic eye shadow, maybe a little mascara. Things that you really don’t have to work at blending in and having to make sure it’s all just perfect like you would if you were doing like a full face of makeup and eyeliner and all those sorts of things.
Bryan Barron: Right. Thirties and forties are also the two decades, particularly the forties, where in most women will start to see more pronounced signs of aging. The fine lines you were seeing in your mid-twenties to early thirties are actually turning into wrinkles which are not so fine anymore.
00:27:57 You may be considering procedures like Botox or dermal fillers to correct for some other signs of aging. You may be seeing dark spots as a result of sun damage for the first time. The temptation is to run out and buy, if not skincare products, but that’s another show topic, but you also want to use makeup products to cover that up. You also may be noticing for the first time that the foundation you’ve used for years is magnifying your wrinkles, which most foundations will do.
00:28:25 Or maybe because of sun damage your pores are getting bigger and your powder just isn’t doing the job anymore, so you need to start considering new products. So, Nathan, what are some tips that you would share with women in their thirties and forties who are looking to adapt their makeup to account for the signs of aging they’re seeing?
Nathan Rivas: It’s a great question. So, I think that for most people looking at some of the more advanced foundation options that are available now, and there has been a lot of really interesting advancements in terms of how - in terms of color technology and in pigment and in coverage with looking like a mask and a lot of those products, a lot of really good options for foundation that tends to work for most skin types.
00:29:10 The Makeup Forever HD Foundation. The Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation. Both of those are really truly excellent options for getting a nice amount of coverage with very, very little product and also concealing some of those minor imperfections and that’s a very good option. If you have dry skin, like a dry to very dry skin, that’s a whole other issue in terms of being able to manage how foundation looks.
Bryan Barron: When you have dry skin, regardless of the age, it can be more common as you get older, particularly post-menopause, but not always. Managing dry skin with makeup can be very tricky because the majority of makeup products, even liquid foundations that claim to be moisturizing aren’t going to be enough.
00:30:04 You really need to manage dry skin with skincare and then use makeup as kind of the icing on the cake, so to speak, or really more of that final decorative icing because the skincare is the actual icing.
Nathan Rivas: That’s very true. One more point, in terms of concealers, concealers can absolutely be your best friend now in terms of helping to cover -
Bryan Barron: Ooh! I’m almost 40 and I do not leave the house without concealer if I do nothing else.
Nathan Rivas: As one of the staffers at Paula’s Choice mentioned, she doesn’t even answer the phone without concealer in the morning.
Bryan Barron: It is a life saver.
00:30:43 Oh my gosh, especially if you haven’t had enough sleep. You know, you start getting those little capillaries that show up.
Nathan Rivas: That’s absolutely true. Some very good options for the face. Now, it is important to distinguish that for between face and under eye area most people will need two different types of concealers because a lot of the really good options that work for covering up discolorations on the face sometimes will end up being a bit drier and won’t work for those areas around the eyes that can be a bit drier.
00:31:13 They might emphasize lines.
Bryan Barron: Also, for the concealer color around the eye, that’s where you want it to be about one or two shades lighter than your skin tone. Because concealer isn’t just meant to cover around the eyes. It’s also meant to highlight and brighten. And if you are applying a concealer around your eyes, particularly if you have dark circles and you chose a color that matches your skin tone, you’re not going to see much difference.
00:31:37 You’re not going to see that high lit brightening effect that a lighter shade would afford. Now, I’m not talking if you have fair skin going all the way to white. But I’m talking maybe if you normally use light beige for your concealer or for your foundation you choose a concealer color in the ivory family. So, just think one, 1.5 to two shades lighter than your foundation. But you don’t want a reverse raccoon effect.
Nathan Rivas: Some really good options for the face for a concealer that are extremely pigmented enough for a lot of coverage with very little product.
00:32:12 One great one is Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer. Another good option is the NARS Creamy - is it Radiant Creamy or Creamy Radiant Concealer?
Bryan Barron: I think it’s Radiant Creamy Concealer.
Nathan Rivas: One of the two. And then you had mentioned, I know you just did a review for Google Plus, the video review, and which one by Maybelline was that?
Bryan Barron: Oh, the Dream Lumi Touch Highlighter and Concealer.
Nathan Rivas: And you had also mentioned there was one by Revlon which was their ColorStay is another good one. Is that correct?
Bryan Barron: Revlon’s new ColorStay, I think it’s the ColorStay -
00:32:43 There’s the ColorStay Concealer itself, which is very good, and then the Revlon Age-Defying DNA Advantage Concealer.
Nathan Rivas: That’s true. Both of those.
Bryan Barron: The latter one, the DNA Advantage is a liquid concealer technically. It’s actually a bit more creamy. But it’s not as creamy or as heavy as those concealers that come in a pot.
Nathan Rivas: So, those are all very good options in kind of a wide range of prices that do tend to be kind of medium to full coverage.
00:33:08 Certainly, again as we mentioned earlier, a brush is also going to be a very good friend of yours here, especially if you’re not really skilled with using your fingers for that.
Bryan Barron: Nathan, in the thirties, forties, and even into the fifties, that seems to be around the time when a lot of women ask us about primers.
Nathan Rivas: Yes, absolutely.
Bryan Barron: Or pore fillers. Or wrinkle fillers. Anything that falls into that category of priming or prepping the skin prior to makeup.
00:33:35 What do you think about those?
Nathan Rivas: You know, primers really for the most part are just - for most of the primers that we see are really just simple silicone combinations. And really all they’re geared at is creating a smoother finish to skin so makeup goes on a bit better. Some of them tend to be more mattifying if you have oily skin. But really, you know, if you have your daytime SPF, your daytime moisturizer with SPF really should be doing that job for you. If your daytime moisturizer with SPF isn’t serving as a primer then really you probably should be looking at getting a new daytime moisturizer with SPF.
00:34:10 Oftentimes, again, as I mention a lot of those primers are really just incredibly basic formulas and a lot of those use the same types of ingredients you would find in some really good daytime moisturizers. We have quite a few options at Paula’s Choice. I know one that’s very popular for customers and staffers that doubles as a primer that has those same benefits we just mentioned is the new Resist SPF 30, Resist Super Light SPF 30
00:34:37 It does have kind of a very light smooth, almost powdery finish that lends itself quite well to makeup, but that’s just a good example of if you have oily skin then you want to basically look for kind of a mattifying smooth finish daytime SPF. If you have dry skin, generally you’d want to look for something that is a bit more moisturizing that helps prevent some of those little dry flaky bits of skin that can pop up when you’re applying foundation.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
00:35:03 And also going from forties to fifties, if you find that foundations are - no matter which one you try, if it just tends to make the wrinkles pop too much, or if it’s really emphasizing enlarged pores in a way that you’d just rather not have to deal with, you could consider using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, or even some of the BB creams that offer lighter coverage. Most western, meaning US, Canada, western part of the world BB creams are really more akin to tinted moisturizers where as in the eastern part of the world and the Asian countries, BB creams really tend to be more like a foundation in terms of coverage and finish.
00:35:45 But, tinted moisturizer with sunscreen instead of a foundation and then you can set that with a light dusting of a powder foundation. Laura Mercier’s new one is one of my favorites. That can give you a really nice soft diffused look without that heaviness into the wrinkles that some liquid foundations can create.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. I think it tends to be truly that we’ve seen from a lot of the questions and kind of bits of confusion we have from customers who have a bit more mature skin or are starting to show more pronounced signs of aging is that they try to start filling in those lines with foundation or use something that, “Oh, I’ve got lines so I need to add more foundation to fill it in.”
Bryan Barron: No, no, no, no.
Nathan Rivas: That only makes it worse.
00:36:25 It only makes it worse.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. There are wrinkle fillers that are actually called wrinkle fillers or some serums that have a spackle-like texture that can absolutely help to temporarily fill in both fine lines and more pronounced wrinkles. It’s not going to be an effect like Botox. It’s not going to be an effect like a dermal filler, but they can absolutely help make those imperfections, those divots in the skin much smoother and enhance makeup application. Then, oh, one more quick comment about a powder foundation or even just a pressed powder, especially when you are older in your fifties and beyond.
00:37:02 Do not apply that with a puff or a sponge. It just lays down too much product and if you do that over your wrinkles I promise you in an hour if not less you are going to look in the mirror and think that you’ve aged ten more years. It’s just way too drying. Even a powder that claims to be moisturizing, which really there’s no such thing. If it’s an actual powder it’s going to have an absorbent ingredient as its base. So, even if there are moisturizing ingredients in there they’re not going to be able to do much.
Nathan Rivas: And you may find that if you have dry skin especially at this age and you have a lot of signs of aging and fine lines or not so fine lines, you may find that you don’t even need powder.
00:37:43 Or maybe you just need a light dusting of powder perhaps right down the nose or right in the forehead area. But don’t assume that you have to have powder depending on your skin type and how your makeup sets and how much makeup you’re wearing.
Bryan Barron: You just want to consider what other color products you may be applying.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: For example, if you found a moisturizing foundation that you like and you opt to forgo the powder as Nathan mentioned and you try to apply a powder blush over that moist satin finish, it’s probably not going to go on that well.
00:38:12 But a cream blush or a cream to powder blush that has some movement can be great.
Nathan Rivas: That’s true. And especially at this age with more mature skin you might begin to see a little bit of kind of a loss of a glow, I guess you could say. You won’t have that natural flush that those who are younger would have. So, perhaps a cream blush might be a good way to go. But -
Bryan Barron: Yes. And blush period, that’s a very good point. As we get older we naturally lose color from our face and we lose color from our lips. So, a lot of women think that when they’re in their fifties and into their sixties and beyond that they should stop wearing blush or stop wearing brightly colored lipstick because it just makes them look or feel too clownish.
00:38:55 I promise there are colors out there that will work for you and that forgoing blush at that age can be a mistake. The right color blush on an older woman can look stunning and it can make you look ten years younger, more so than artfully applying concealer would. And then the lip color, especially as the lips get smaller or thinner with age, the tendency is to stay away from darker colors which can be good because darker colors on small lips isn’t the most flattering. It can actually make the lips look smaller.
00:39:34 But softer pink, nude pink, rosier tones, those colors that we associate with a younger look, a younger mouth, can be gorgeous.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. And I think it’s important to pay attention to the finish of the type of lip products that you’re using. If you have something that is overly glossy then of course you can get that, a bit of - because at this age you can begin to see some of those fine lines around the lips that can lead to some bleeding of lip products.
00:40:05 So, going with things that are too glossy or too greasy, I guess, you can say can lead to a lot of traveling of the color. Experimenting with some different options that are light and sheer, that won’t travel as much, and then using the right tools, a lip brush can do quite a lot in terms of getting that color where you want it to be and perhaps having a lot less travel. Oh, this travel time with the products.
Bryan Barron: And if you are prone to lip color bleeding into lines around the mouth, which can be an issue for women at any age, I think Paula has been plagued by it since she was 18, invest in an anti-feather lip liner.
00:40:43 There are some good options that have color to them like a regular lip liner and then there are products like - we have one at Paula’s Choice, the Long Lasting Anti-Feather Clear Lip Liner. Clear meaning that it is colorless. It forms an invisible border around the mouth. It can keep that color from migrating into the lines. And products like that, unless you’re using an exceptionally creamy to greasy lipstick, or very glossy color/glossy formula, they work.
00:41:09 They’ll keep your lipstick in place and you don’t have to worry about it.
Nathan Rivas: So, one point is probably a good one to bring up is as you begin to age and get more into your sixties, I think that especially if you start to see sagging around the eye area that it’s important to make sure that you’re getting definition along the eye line.
00:41:29 Having a little bit of eyeliner I think is probably one of the best things you can do to opening up the eye and creating some of that definition that you can begin to lose as you start to see skin sagging a bit around that upper eyelid.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Don’t that. Making sure that the eyebrows are professionally groomed and shaped, as in see a pro if you’re not quite sure how to do it yourself. It’s very easy to over-tweeze and end up with a look that you don’t want. In terms of eyeliner, though, that is one of the ways that you can cheat in terms of when the eye area starts to sag.
00:42:02 That is - when you start to see that you do not want to follow the exact curvature of the eye because doing so would simply be emphasizing the fact that the corners of your eyes are now downturned as opposed to upturned. So, as you’re lining the eye you want to, of course, stay close to the lash line like usual. But as you get toward the outer corner you want to cheat the end of it up ever so slightly. I’m not talking 1980s [winged] eyeliner.
00:42:30 And I’m not saying you need to go far beyond the edge of the eye. We’re talking - this is a subtle visual manipulation that you can do on the lower lash line, too, where the upper and lower eye lines meet. Don’t pull down. Pull up. And then you can also - if you went a little bit too far passed you can always use a cotton swab or a brush to soften the effect. But, that can be great. Using perhaps a powder eye shadow and a brush to line the eyes, either wet or dry as opposed to a liquid or a pencil liner.
00:43:01 It creates a softer look, or a look that can more easily be softened which can look better on an older eye.
Nathan Rivas: You mentioned pencils and liquids and gels. Would you say that there is probably one type of formula or texture of liner that would work better for this sort of - this sort of issue? Or is it really more of a skill-based determination?
Bryan Barron: It’s partly skill-based.
00:43:28 I’m not a big fan of pencils period, because I think that no matter how old you are, and even if the pencil goes on smoothly it just involves too much tugging and pulling at the eye. I love the gel eyeliners, the long-wearing gel eyeliners. I love how easily they can be manipulated. You can apply it with a brush really softly and kind of get that diffused effect. Or, you can really lay it on and get some nice intensity that looks like a liquid liner.
00:43:54 So, I love how much flexibility those types of lines give and when they set - once they have time to set and it doesn’t take that long, but when they do they wear, and wear, and wear. Even if you have oily eyelids. It’s amazing how tenacious they can be. So, yes, just to recap, those gel eyeliners are probably among the more versatile options out there and they just last and last and last, even if you have oily eyelids.
00:44:19 One more tip that women who are starting to see signs of sagging around the eyes can do with eyeliner, and you can do this with any type of eyeliner. I would argue that a powder or a gel is easiest is rather than follow the curvature of the eye all the way, which would mean you’d be following the downturn, which would emphasize the fact that the eye area is sagging, you need to cheat the line slightly upward at the end on both the upper and the lower lash line.
00:44:48 I’m not talking about creating a winged look a la 1980s eyeliner. It does not have to be extreme. This is a subtle upward flick, rather than following the actual shape of the lid which if you’re seeing some sagging around the eyes chances are the upper and lower eyelid is starting to succumb to the effects of sun damage and gravity. And by following that you’re only going to make that issue more apparent.
Nathan Rivas: Great. So, I think let’s take a couple of questions from Facebook. One question we had was from Tov. Tov had wanted to know whether or not if cosmetic grade retinol had demonstrated the same results as prescription, they said prescription Retin-A over time.
00:45:36 So, this is a question I think that we tend to get pretty regularly from social media.
Bryan Barron: Right. The information I’ve seen is that prescription retinoids generally speaking are about 20 times more potent than the over-the-counter version. Which means that they do work faster, but in the long run an over-the-counter product with retinol is going to work just as well, assuming that you’re using one that is well-formulated.
00:46:08 When retinol is applied to skin it needs an extra conversion step into all trans retinoic acid, which if you’re using for example prescription Tretinoin, the active ingredient in Retin-A or Renova, that conversion is already done. You’re actually using the end results so to speak. Whereas with retinol, that conversion has to happen in skin, which is the main reason why an OTC product with retinol is less potent than a prescription product.
00:46:37 The benefit, though, because again in the long run the results pretty much equal out, but the benefit is that a lot more people can tolerate over-the-counter retinol versus prescription products. And some people can even use both. They might use a prescription product at night and the retinol product during the day, followed by a sunscreen. So, in the end they’re about equal and quite a few -
00:46:58 well, not quite a few, two or three brands are offering more potent retinol products. And as the percentage of retinol increases you’re getting closer and closer to the results of a prescription strength product. However, if it’s still pure retinol, that conversion process still needs to happen. So, in that sense even a stronger over-the-counter retinol product is never going to be equivalent to a prescription, at least not from a chemistry point of view.
00:47:28 But, again, in the long run the results are going to be about equal, especially if you’re being good about protecting your skin from further sun damage.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. And as you mentioned from someone - I’ve used both prescription and non-cosmetic grade prescription, and I can tell you that there’s a lot more issues that come along with using a prescription retinoid than there are with cosmetic.
Bryan Barron: Yes. And Nathan does not look like he’s 55.
Nathan Rivas: That’s correct. But I by far prefer non-prescription-based because they’re just a lot easier to tolerate and use with the other products in your routine.
00:48:01 And you’re not dealing with a lot of irritation, flaking, and all that other sort of stuff.
Bryan Barron: And, disclaimer, Nathan is not 55.
Nathan Rivas: That’s correct!
Bryan Barron: Let’s do one more question, Mr. Nathan.
Nathan Rivas: Okay. “I’ve heard caffeine in skincare can help spur healthy looking skin, especially for eyes.” I assume she means under eye area.
Bryan Barron: Right.
Nathan Rivas: “Are there any reasonably priced caffeine containing products that you can recommend for bags or dark circles?” And that’s from Michelle.
Bryan Barron: No, Michelle.
00:48:27 Save your money. If all it took to reduce under eye bags and dark circles was caffeine, and if you’re like most Americans or Canadians or wherever you live in the world, coffee and tea consumption alone, which most of us consume one or the other every day, would have a remarkable effect and Starbucks stock would be through the roof because everyone would be buying it and enjoying their lattes while they watched their dark circles and puffiness go away.
00:48:54 Caffeine is an alkaloid ingredient. It’s a great antioxidant. But alkaloids, they tend to be astringent and so one of the - I think caffeine got this association for being useful for puffy eyes because if you use enough caffeine in a product and put it around the eyes it’s going to have an astringent effect, kind of like what witch hazel does. And if the puffiness is due to fluid retention rather than the fat pads shifting, which causes that pooch that needs surgery to be corrected, that astringent quality can - it’s dehydrating.
00:49:28 Another reason why if you drink too much coffee and not enough water your skin will pay the price. You just kind of look haggard and dehydrated all the time. The caffeine is going to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect around the eye. I’ve never seen research showing that any amount of caffeine is good for dark circles no matter what the claim is. So, that is something - caffeine does have some intrigue behind. I wouldn’t say it’s a throwaway ingredient, but it is not a specialty ingredient for the eye area concerns that you mentioned.
00:50:01 I’m sorry.
Nathan Rivas: You can dunk your head in coffee every day and I don’t recommend that.
Bryan Barron: I wish it was that easy. I wish. All right, well, that has been our show on makeup dos and don’ts from the teen years through retirement. I am Bryan Barron, the research and content director for Paula’s Choice and Beautypedia, here with Nathan Rivas, our social media and community manager. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you to all of those who participated with questions on the Paula’s Choice Facebook page.
00:50:31 We are all over social media. So, if you are anti-Facebook, you can follow us on Twitter. We’re on Instagram. We’re on Google Plus. We’re on Pinterest. We’re on YouTube. Oh, it’s a global skincare domination and we’re glad you’re along for the ride. I’m just kidding. We’re not really dominating. But, we are on a mission to make sure that you have the information you need to take the best possible care of your skin and that is what we are all about.
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