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Face Paint- yes or no

January 5, 2011 Reviewed by JulieKay 12 Comments
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!!!
  • January 6, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Susan- Thanks for the tip. You look fabulous! ~jk

  • January 5, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Sunday! great story!! =) I can just see it; the "day you flipped out!" And just deserved over a well-loved makeup brush! Amen.

    Oksana- I've said I don't use masks. I've begun trying them now and am having fun with it- but I used a honey mask in my 20s that you've reminded me of. I loved it! It was a wonderful mask. Wish I could recall the brand. Thanks for sharing all your beauty treats! Are there more?!!

    Cristina- Yes, brushes are my thing. I went absolutely wild while collecting the samples of minerals. After the storm subsided, I divided my brushes into three groups: Keep and use; keep and set aside; find a new home for (give away, heh). Even considering the painstaking assessments my dozens of brushes went through, I still retained 40 or so brilliant brushes that I have to admire now and again, each separately. They really are lovely. I'm going to look at the Tour Quam brush from Darac Beauty!

    I love your stories! Thank you for sharing. ~jk

  • January 5, 2011

    by Susan

    Julie Kay,

    Great writing. I'm not far behind you at age 55.

    I wore foundation from early teens (even to the beach), if for no other reason than to cover blemishes. I am convinced that it acted as a sunscreen even before foundation came in SPF formulations, as titanium dioxide has always been an ingredient in foundation. My skin has not aged at the same rate as others my age who were bathing in the sun sans make-up.

    Today I wear a mix of liquid foundation and mineral foundation. What I really want to share is Lancome (not my favorite line by a long stretch) has a GREAT new foundation out on the market called Teint Miracle. It is amazing stuff. You might want to check it out.

  • January 5, 2011

    by Cristina

    Great post.
    If brushes are your game, as they are mine, you should check out You will flip over their prices and quality. They have nice brush rolls, as well.
    I had been wanting a Tour Quam brush from Darac Beauty for years but never wanted to shell out the money for one. They were on a sample sale website a few days ago and I snagged one cheap. I love Darac Beauty and am always surpeised that they don't get more raves on line. They maked the world's best finishing powder!

  • January 5, 2011

    by Oksana

    I must share my special "treats" for once/week European facial I do myself:
    - Eminence pumpkin peel
    - Eminence Naseberry eye exfoliator
    - Eminence masks: most favorite are Raspberry HA, 7 Herb
    - self-made raw honey and a pinch of sea salt

    I will look into Becca. Last time I checked some of their products, they had parabens. I allow only one exception in the make-up I use now - NARS blush; it is so pretty!

    Agree with lip stains - they are my favorite! Korres pomegranate lip butter is great!

    I started using Eminence citrus lip balm about 2 weeks ago. Plumping, smoothness, pink flush - love it! very protecting as well. no burning, stinging - just a subtle ginger and citrus flavor. worth trying!
    Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil, sorbitol, shea butter, beeswax, stearic acid, natural peptides, citrus oil, lemon balm, hawthorn berry, lemon grass oil, peppermint oil, papain (papaya), bromelain (pineapple), paprika, salicylic acid.

  • January 5, 2011

    by Sunday

    Great post!! I have a eyeshadow brush that I've had since I was 16, I'll be 43 in Feb. ONE time and one time only, I thought I had lost it and really nearly had a cow. My then pre-teenager had 'borrowed' it and didn't mention it to me. It is still known as the day I flipped out about my eyeshadow brush, but it has NEVER come up missing again!!! I love the long length of the handle and the brush head has bent itself to my will, I can no longer tell you who it was from since all wording has long since been rubbed off. It's the perfect blending brush!

  • January 5, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Oksana- you remind me I forgot mascara and lip color! Well, not really, as I tend to not wear mascara even if I've applied the full pallette otherwise. Currently I'm using MAC in a black sparkly tube (simply because it was applied at the store on my eyes when I bought my second brow crayon). I've never gone through an entire tube in my life! Lip color is a Lancome dual pencil thin/thick tips that I did purchase 10 years ago on that "total makeover" day. It seems barely used, as well. I do like lip stains! I really think they're the ticket in lip color. I can't get away w a bright bold red now like I could in my 30s. Alas, time has its way with us.

    Leticia- Becca, huh? I'm going to check it out!


  • January 5, 2011

    by Leticia

    The absolute best mineral makeup I have yet to find is by Becca
    Use it with the Retractable Kabuki Brush, Omg!!!
    To die!! My best friends are all hooked.

  • January 5, 2011

    by Marta

    I hardly ever wear makeup, but Julie and Oksana have contributed so many great ideas here that I might start some cautious experimentation.

  • January 5, 2011

    by L

    Great post!

  • January 5, 2011

    by SarahK

    Great article! I especially appreciate the bent bristles trick.

    And Oksana, I'm planning on buying that mascara since my eyelashes are definitely abused by my regular one. Thanks for the tip!

  • January 5, 2011

    by Oksana

    Julie Kay,
    I can relate - my make-up staples have been forever a nice, natural, preferably organic foundation and a concealer. I do enjoy good quality, and preferably organic mascaras. Nourishing lip balm or gloss (special occasion or mood ;-) ) and I am ready for the day.
    I have an evening ritual of cleansing and treating my skin, that I really enjoy. It is so important to take care of yourself, even in such little ways! Below are the products that I really enjoy now; some every day, some not:
    - Jane Ireadle Circle/Delete #2 under eyes; #1 "red" spots
    - Jane Iredale Amaizing Pressed Base in "sand"
    - Peter Thomas Roth The Mascara (fantastic! my lashes has not fallen out ONCE, while removing make up, since I started using it 7-8 mos ago; great ingredients)
    - Tarte brow pencil in "blond"
    - Korres eye-liner in "brown" and "gold" (the most natural gold ever; just highlights beautifully)
    - NARS creamy blush in "penny lane" (once you try their creamy blushes, you will never go back to powder)
    - touch-ups/oli control with Laura Mercier oil-free perfector

    - Nurture Your Body creamy unscented cleanser
    - am: Dr.Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light
    pm: Eminence HA Strawberry Rhubarb serum under SkinActives ELS serum (this stuff is incredible - your skin looks so smooth in am, as if somebody "ironed" it for you)
    - eyes: I have very dry skin under eyes; YBF Correct did nothing
    am: SkinActives Let's Make Collagen serum under Epicuren Colostrum Serum Cream;
    pm: SkinActives Let's Make Collagen serum under ELS serum
    - decolette: MyChelle Apple Brightening Mist (very moisturizinf and lighteneing; your decolette glows after just 2 spritzes; great after shower)

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