I seldom wear makeup. I’ve tried to make it more of a habit these last couple of years, simply because I discovered at a late stage (56 or so is rather tardy to become enamored of cosmetics, wouldn’t you agree?) it’s fun to dabble- or to be entirely honest:  It’s fun to buy and own an arsenal of fabulous choices of face paint and brushes. Brushes! I’ll talk about brushes later. I’m wild about brushes!

When I was much MUCH younger and thought liquid foundation was all there was, I used it to excess. This is a belief I’ve come by slowly. I never deliberately slathered it on. At the time I thought the amount I applied was in accordance with what was needed to achieve a fine air-brushed glow. I always felt I was clogging my pores at the same time. I was a flower child of the late 60s and early 70s. Au-natural was much more my style (eg lazy). Besides I never felt I knew “how” to apply makeup properly. So, I hid behind my Hippie persona for most of my life.

I was seduced by the mineral makeup boom a few years ago, and although mineral makeup wasn’t “new,” Bare Escentuals marketing did a brilliant job of bringing it to the fore of makeup’s must haves. Every time I passed a display, I was intrigued, but kept walking. It was at least a year into the boom that I began researching mineral makeup, and ordered from dozens of brands (Meow, Blusche, Earthnicity, LaurEss, Everyday, Signature, Sterling, Lily Lolo, Rock Face, Ocean Mist, Alice are just a few.) that offered sizable samples in jars. I’ve never tried Bare Escentuals based on their ingredients containing bismuth oxichloride and talc. I tuned in early that I wanted minerals without either of these ingredients. The search was loosely (no pun intended) based on finding a perfect match for my skin and tone, although I mixed enough minerals together to last a lifetime! What a blast I had doing that, as well. All on samples no less. But in the end,  I settled on Sterling loose mineral foundation in Amara which is a perfect match for my skin color and tone; Everyday Minerals Intensive concealer in light as my concealer- the first concealer that goes where I put it and covers my dark circles, spider veins, sun discoloration under the mineral  foundation and lasts for hours without cracking. I tried dozens of blushes and finally went back to Lancome blush in cedar rose. I got this 10 years ago when I stopped at the Lancome counter wanting a day-into-night lip color and ended up getting my first and only total make over! My blush compact will last longer than I do, no doubt. For my brows I use MAC Lingering Brows crayon. I’m on my second pencil in about six years.

Then there are the brushes. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what you’ve got in makeup quality if you have crappy brushes for application. You need four. Or rather, I need four. While acquiring my “four,” I managed to accumulate, oh, around 40! But seriously, you need:  A foundation brush (a proper one; either for liquid or dry foundation), a concealer brush, brow brush and a smudger. I don’t apply my lip color with a brush as many do, but if you do that brush would be a major player. My foundation brush is a very dense chubby-handled blue squirrel hand cut hair brush, while my concealer brush is synthetic bristles made of taklon. I got my brow brush (#206) while visiting the MAC store in Vancouver B.C., and I simply adore it. I have an assortment of smudgers, as well as other brushes I love just because they’re amazing brushes. The Vancouver B.C. MAC store has this bad boy body brush that I WILL be bringing home with me next time I’m visiting if they still stock it!

There are some seriously good synthetic brushes on the market today. In my hunt I’ve acquired a few enough to know. But natural or synthetic, you have to take care of your brushes. I simply shampoo mine, depending on use, in the bathroom sink and leave to air dry on a washcloth overnight. Take care of your brushes and they’ll be something your granddaughters will eagerly be waiting to inherit. Think I’m overstating?  A little trick for bent bristles on synthetic brushes:  Bring a pan of water just to a boil, move the pan to a cool burner, and dip your brushes in the “just under boiling” water. This straightens the bristles like magic.

Back to “seldom” wearing makeup which is really barely ever, if I’m truthful. I tried to wear it a couple years ago on a regular basis, and, still, I want to, my spirit does!  But then I have to go through a major removal at night… and that’s a drag. I keep promising myself more energy to fit in a few minutes for both phases- not be so lazy. I look okay without makeup is the thing. But I look so much better under its mask! I do get complimented. People notice. I wish there was an air pump for vanity, so I could pump mine up a bit. I’m not vain! Holy.

So the Holiday Season is a time it seems my pots and brushes get brought out and admired and used. This season I realized how many great things I have, and had fun with application. I’d like to hear what YOU wear and why. Habits, rituals, brands, anything and everything makeup!

Happy New Year from this four weeks away from 60 aging hippie!!!