Makeup after 50 – a work in progress

One of my birthday gifts this year was a gift certificate from a local salon, Todd’s Room, that is known for fantastic makeup artists.  Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, wondering if my husband was subtly attempting to tell me I needed help – this is a gift I requested. (as previously discussed, I am pretty exacting with my gift suggestions.)  It should come as no surprise that as I approached – and then sailed past – the big 5-0, things on my face are different than they used to be.  My eyes have changed shape, my skin is dryer and gravity is having it’s way with my visage.  The same ol’ tips and tricks I’d learned over the years were no longer working and I didn’t know quite how to adjust.  It was time to call in a pro.

Todd’s Room came very highly recommended to me by a good friend, Laura, who has been visiting the place for years.  I got the name of her favorite artist and made my first appointment for an eyebrow shaping.  Here’s the thing: I am terribly intimidated by places like this. They are inevitably filled with ladies of a certain income who are used to having things done for them – they have standing appointments to have their hair color tweaked, have their personal shopper on speed-dial and wouldn’t consider ever painting their own nails.  This ain’t me.  Yes, I visit a salon regularly for haircuts but I generally do my own hair color, my own shopping and my own toes.  I’m also pretty shy (I mask that well) and having to talk to someone one-on-on that I don’t know for any extended period of time is scary too.  Therefore, walking into places like this where the chairs are filled with expensive blondes is daunting, but walk in I did.

As it turned out, Todd’s is pretty down to earth.  The makeup artists work in a large room with several chairs and mirrors.  There’s some comfy chairs in the center as sort of a waiting area, music (not too loud) in the background.  I believe I saw a dog snoozing in a bed in the corner but it may have been someone’s coat, too.  Jeanie, my chosen artist, was ready for me just after I walked in and away I went.  After a few questions, she went to work with her tweezers and in under 15 minutes, I had nicely shaped eyebrows that actually matched each other.  We talked make up and my needs for a few minutes and I made my next appointment – this time for a makeup lesson.

I spent 2 weeks being inordinately impressed with my eyebrows until make up day arrived. I invited my friend Laura to meet me there – ostensibly so she could benefit from all of the learning but really because I wanted a bit of support.  Jeanie was ready for me when I arrived and away we went.  After a few questions about what products I used and what issues I felt I was having, she set to work.  It didn’t take too long to discover that for the last several years at least, I’d been doing EVERYTHING WRONG.  Jeanie never came out an said this, of course.  She just gently corrected my assumptions along the way and helped me understand what was needed.  Here’s a few of the important lessons I learned:

  • Sparkly eyeshadow is a big NO once your eyelids start to get droopy.  Seems all that glitter just accentuates the “texture” – as Jeanie so tactfully referred to what I’d call wrinkles.  Time to bid a sad goodbye to all that shiny, shiny Mac in the little black pots.
  • Eyeshadow goes on first, then foundation, powder and all the rest.  Otherwise you’re just dropping bits of eyeshadow powder all over the pretty foundation you’ve just carefully patted into place.  Darker color (matte, if you please) on lid (apply 3 times for staying power), lighter color to brow, then lid color is extended up past the crease and blended nicely.
  • The time for liquid liner and cat eyes is past (not that I’ve done either for years, truth be told) so no great sadness there.  Instead, she recommended a nice gel-based pencil, applied to the top lashline first, outer to inner, a bit at a time.  (lower liner is done after foundation/powder/bronzer is in place)
  • It’s time for Teri to accept using a real foundation.  The tinted moisturizer I’ve been using for years is fine on the days I don’t wear makeup but it’s time to allow a bit more coverage.  Powder is needed too, to set the foundation and make later applications of bronzer and blush go on smoothly.
  • And speaking of blush, the Nars “The Multiple” I’ve been relying on for 3-4 years needs to go as well.  Again, sparkles don’t do me any favors.

There was much more, of course, but these were some of the biggies.  All of this information was imparted gently, while showing me how to do each step and allowing me to make the decisions about shades, depth of application and more.  The whole thing took about an hour and ended with Jeanie writing the directions for all of this down, along with the colors and brands used, so I had step by step directions for my own at-home attempts.  Also deeply appreciated was the lack of hard-sell of product.  Todd’s sells their own line of make up, along with a few other select lines but Jeanie suggested I wear my new face for the day, look over what I had at home and then decide what I needed to buy.  I did just that and two days later ended up at the shop to purchase the foundation, liner and lipstick. (reasonable prices, too – especially for someone who’s been buying Mac)

I skipped off home to show off my new look to great acclaim.  Husband and daughter were very complimentary. Son didn’t notice but that’s probably a good thing – he’d only notice if it was startling.  The best part: the next morning I was able to do a fairly decent job of recreating my new look. Jeanie’s directions were so easy to follow I could handle things easily.  It takes a bit longer than I used to spend and I do miss all of my sparkles but I really am liking this new-ish me.  I don’t necessarily look younger – but I’m no longer making myself look older. If you’re in the area, give Todd’s Room in Birmingham, MI a call and ask for Jeanie.



One thought on “Makeup after 50 – a work in progress

  1. Ironic that you just did that, because at the beginning of the year I stopped for the full face on at Macy’s. I did the eenie-meanie-minie-mo and picked Lancome. Been on a French kick lately. Anyway, I got a wonderful gal, who told me all sorts of no-no’s too. She gave me great advice and even tho I don’t do makeup often, it’s fun to know what I’m doing, use the proper products and jazz myself up once in awhile. Of course, I can’t get it to look nearly as great as she did, but alas…I’ll just go back for a pointer the next time I’m at the Mall of GA. 🙂

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