Planning for a dress-up event ? Your child’s wedding? A fund-raiser? The holidays? Are you over 50, perchance?
In the face of a big event, young women may attempt a “cleanse” of one sort or another, Spanx in volume, or sequins and green metallic eyeshadow. We in our sixth decade, not so much.
As I may have mentioned, (and mentioned, and mentioned) I got married in August. As a Sturdy Gal, my usual makeup routine lasts 15 minutes, most of that spent on sunscreen, concealer and a sponged-on layer of foundation. My usual skin care routine is simple, all Apriori Beauty all the time.
But I knew I could dial it up for a special occasions. Hence, the extra steps below.
Put Your Best Skin Forward
When asked for high performance, my skin requires both coddling and a stern talking to. Coddling is easy – keep on moisturizing. But the stern talking to, for an event, requires both exfoliation and Retinol. I use Apriori’s Micro Scrub regularly.
For the wedding, I did a 30-day course of Retinol. Too lazy for it every day, worth it for an event.
Face Up To Eyebrows
Makeup people always talk about about face-framing, I never listened. I had let the plucking trend pass me by, content to beetlebrow along in painless, blissful ignorance.. But once those same eyebrows began to gray, and disappear, I paid attention. I could never manage standard eyebrow pencils, too unforgiving. Too much feverish rubbing of errant lines. But a powder pencil? With a brush on the other end to work that powder through the brow and even out mistakes?
Yes I could. And did. I found a Givenchy pencil at Sephora, but the Lancôme version above should perform the same way.
Plump Those Lips
All good makeup strategies require choosing either bright mouth or bold eyes. Significant Husband doesn’t care for red lipstick, so I obligingly chose a neutral. Have you noticed how lip color fades over time? In the land of Your Lips But Better I went from Giorgio Arman’s Pink 500 to M.A.C.’s Creme In Your Coffee – seemingly overnight.
However, to make sure neutral didn’t mean invisible, I researched plumpers. After all, one does want to have lips, at any age.
Too-Faced’s was very highly rated, so I gave it a shot. Yes it tingles, but I didn’t mind a little tingle on my wedding day. The plumped lips appeared to lend a hand to vertical lip lines as well. Score!
And Plump That Body Too
Huh? What’s that she said? Yes. Gain weight.
I had originally thought I should aim for fashionably gaunt. After all, we see skinny red carpet images everywhere. I buckled down, ate a lot of chicken and lettuce, lost a couple of pounds. It looked horrible. Sad. On a day when I felt lush and happy? Fie on that. Given that both my dresses allowed for a little midriff and low hip flesh, I fed my face and showed up plumper. Worked a charm for the photos.
Invest In Your Favorite Bits
Red carpet events ask for a tad of sex appeal. One may arrive at it via one’s aesthetic, witness Artsy Cousins and t the Appeal Of The Hidden. But we might want to flash a little something. For some people, it’s legs, for others, the decolletage. We’ve all got a part of our bodies that we love – in my case it’s upper arms. Which is to say I love my midriff for having given me children, but it’s not what I want to flash when I’m fancy.
So, for the month before my wedding I spent 3 minutes a night doing little pushups against the wall. Too much effort for daily life, just right for a big event.
Whiten Your Teeth
I’m a big toothbrusher and flosser, but I’m also a tea and red wine drinker. Mostly I don’t bother with tooth brilliance, but for the wedding I whitened. No time for appointments, dentist, etc. so over the counter it was.
And I absolutely saw the difference, even though I missed a few nights. What? Do you remember your teeth after a hard day at work? I thought not.
No Need To De-Wrinkle
The photo at the top of this post makes it abundantly clear that I’m on the back nine of 50. More bluntly, you can see all my wrinkles and crepe. I’m not going to say anyone who wants to Botox and fill should not. To each her own. But I am going to say that you can dress up without intervention, even at 50+. And that, by the way, with the right tools and a playful approach, it’s really fun.
Part of what I so enjoyed was doing the research, experimenting, thoughtfully choosing how to approach the day. So different from the younger years of overwhelm, the buying of stuff I didn’t need.
Silly me, I used to think those women who said 50 was great were fibbing. Not at all sad to be proven wrong.
*Links in this post may result in commissions. Any proceeds will be donated to Dress For Success. If you want to buy anything I describe, click the photos!
*Photo credit to Emilia-Jane Photography