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What’s the Hoopla Over Digital Makeup?

Mirror Mirror

Mirror on a decorative wall shelfI never thought I would see the day that I would not be able to see my reflection. Talk about taking things for granted, this was something that was inconceivable and at times downright scary. If you wear eyeglasses, to simulate this experience try spreading some vaseline on your lenses and then look in the mirror. Interesting isn’t it?

If you tried the experiment mentioned above it’s important to remember that this particular simulation does not cover the vast range of vision loss. For example the difference in an individual with tunnel vision varies greatly from someone who has peripheral but lacks central vision.

While many of my fellow baby boomers can possibly relate to changes in vision due to being more seasoned than other populations, for women who have worn makeup most of their lives these changes can be a major pain. Toss in age related vision loss and it can bring you to your knees.

In view of my personal experience with the loss of vision and long time makeup aficionado  I’ve been dreaming of the day when someone would invent the “smart” mirror. This mirror wouldn’t just be a device where a person could see their reflection and try on different outfits or makeup, but this one would be audible and totally interactive.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer
Urban Decay

Imagine sitting at your vanity getting ready for a big event. You have all your cosmetics lined up and ready to go. You flip a switch and suddenly you’re greeted with a “hello Ginger, how would you like me to assist you in becoming fabulous today?” You smile to yourself safe and secure in the knowledge that you are in expert hands.

We have the technology and really all it would take is someone with the know-how to put it all together. The mirror would be preprogrammed with data that in turn could be personalized to each individual. It would give explicit direction on the makeup application process and even provide genuine feedback letting the user know that they need more concealer coverage or to re-apply smeared lip color.

Sephora Luster Matte long-wear lip color
Sephora Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color

I’m pretty confident that we aren’t very far away from this type of universally designed smart mirror which while fulfilling the need within the blind/vision impaired community could also be embraced by the community at large. As a matter of fact in January of this year Panasonic unveiled its prototype at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show). You can check out the brief article HERE.

New Additions

Until the launch of a real interactive “smart” mirror I’ll continue plugging along with my current makeup routine. As I’ve mentioned on a number of occasions, the number of cosmetics I use has dwindled over the years and I’m really testament to the “less is more” philosophy. Until last week I only used 6 products consisting of foundation, eyebrow pencil, eye liner pencil, mascara, bronzer and lip color. Last week I added three new products from Sephora described below:

  • Concealer | Urban Decay Naked Skin
    I got this lightweight concealer to use under my eyes and so far it seems to be working very well. Since my foundation provides sheer coverage I wanted an equally weightless and easy to apply concealer for use under my foundation.
  • Lip Liner Pencil | Sephora
    I did away with lip liners years ago but wanted to try to see if it would help with feathering. While I wanted a pencil this one is more of a crayon but it fits the bill and the color, “The Red”, is bold and beautiful.
  • Lip Color | Sephora
    The vibrant lip color “Scarlet Luster”, works beautifully with the lip pencil. I was a little skeptical though because it comes in a tube similar to lip gloss. The color goes on wet then dries to a matte finish but in comparison to MAC mattes this one doesn’t feel as drying but I still use a little vaseline as a top layer to soften.

The last item I got was a sample of Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion because I’ve noticed that my eyelids seem to be more oily these days and it’s especially annoying when I’m wearing my makeup. I didn’t want to invest in a full size product so I requested a sample to try before I buy. I’ve only used it a couple of times but it seems to do what it’s supposed to and this is without eyeshadow. Fingers crossed that it keeps working, I’ll keep you posted.

Sephora Retractable Lip Liner
Sephora Retractable Lip Liner

Full disclosure: I didn’t find out until after the fact the lip liner and color do not appear to be “cruelty free” and the only reason I was pressed to buy them was because of an event I had to attend. Though I prefer online shopping for first time cosmetic purchases, I need to go to the physical store to get a closer look at colors. Perhaps a “smart” mirror could provide the solution for this dilemma?

“Women have two weapons: Cosmetics and tears.” ~Coco Chanel

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The No Makeup, Makeup

Fresh Faced Minimalism

~YouTube Video: 100 Years of Beauty in 1 Minute from is a time-lapse of a model getting her hair and makeup done to match every decade from 1910 to 2010.

In case you haven’t heard, the spring 2015 trend in the cosmetic realm is the no makeup look. So how does one wear makeup to appear as if they aren’t wearing any? And why wear it in the first place if the objective is to look natural?

Last weeks’ post: Your Best Skin Ever partially answers the first question in that a good skin care routine is the start of the no makeup look. Toning down makeup by using less, opting for a more neutral color palette, and learning subtle contouring techniques combined, add to the ‘less is more’ fresh-faced, natural look.

When taking proper care of the skin achieving a dewy au naturel appearance is a cinch. I have a good friend from childhood days who, with the exception of a little lip color, has never worn makeup but she has always taken great care of her skin and let me you she is gorgeous. Her skin always looks healthy and luminous and honestly adding makeup to the mix would be an unnecessary extra step.

The answer to the second question – why wear makeup if the objective is to look natural is two-fold: number 1 – it’s still fun and number 2 – it’s an art to wear cosmetics with goal of looking healthy and makeupless. Who would have thought from back in the glamour days of “Greta Garbo, and Monroe, Dietrich and DiMaggio” we would come to this point in time where going bare-faced or at least appearing to would be in Vogue?

Less Really is More

For those of us over 50 who are blind or vision impaired, swapping out cosmetics better suited to our evolving skin and having to contend with fewer products is not only beneficial to our skin but also makes it considerably easier to apply. If you have never worn makeup because you weren’t sure you could pull it off, now’s your chance.

A good place to start would be a department store cosmetics counter (I recommend taking a trusted friend or relative) for a makeover where you can learn what products are suited to your skin tone and how to use them. Sephora is one of my faves specifically for their beauty services. You can opt for a free 15 minute walk-in makeup session or a full-blown 90 minute custom makeover and personal shopping session (complimentary with a $125 minimum purchase).

Last summer I stopped by my local Sephora to get my foundation Color IQ (individualized color-matching service to find my precise foundation shade) and ended up with a mini makeover. I used to swear by mineral powder foundations but have since switched to a sheer liquid formula that is so weightless it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything on my face. What I like most about this foundation is when I apply it with my fingers, because it is so light-weight, it’s remarkably easy to blend without streaking and my skin looks and feels great without that cakey, made-up look.

The consultant who helped me also showed me how to use concealer over my foundation then taught me how to use a highlighter to accentuate positive features and deflect flaws while using a bronzer to contour. A couple of notes on the concealer: like the liquid foundation, I find creamy formulas easier to apply with the fingers as I can feel when the product is absorbed, the color should match the foundation, and it can be used either before or after the foundation is applied, it’s a matter of personal preference.

Subtle is the Keyword

If you are like my friend who was blessed with great skin (and to keep it she took great care of it) then you will not need to use concealer, primer, or foundation all over your face. Rather you can spot use these products or if they aren’t needed then go without.

For lip color (just a dab) you’ll want a shade very near the natural color of your lips. A very minute amount of this same color can be used on your cheeks for blush. Curl your lashes then call it a day or you can work some no-makeup magic on your eyes (discussion for another day).

Following is a list of products referenced in this post at three price points from lowest to highest in each category. Please keep in mind this is just a small sampling and does not represent products for every skintype. All the products listed are free from animal testing and are rated the Best on Paula’s Choice Beautypedia:

  • Concealers (Cream)
  1. Soft Cream Concealer by Paula’s Choice
  2. Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Concealer by Tarte Cosmetics
  3. Cancellation Conditioning Concealer SPF 25 by Mally Beauty
  • Primers
  1. Studio Hydrating Face Primer by e.l.f. Cosmetics – Studio
  2. Prime Objective Skin Perfecting Face Primer by Studio Gear
  3. Age Intervention Prime Face Primer by Jan Marini Skin Research, Inc. – Age Intervention Line
  • Foundations (Liquid)
  1. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation SPF 15 by e.l.f. Cosmetics – Studio
  2. Stay Perfect Foundation SPF 15 by Boots – No7
  3. Liquid Halo HD Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 by Smashbox
  • Lip Colors (Sheer)
  1. Lip Service Lip Butter by Flower Beauty
  2. Sheer Temptation Lipstick by Boots – No7
  3. Sheer Lipstick by NARS

Takeaways from today’s post: To achieve a no-makeup look implement a good skincare regimen, concealing where needed, using less product (no harsh lines) and working with neutral shades that compliment your skin tone.

And remember – when you feel good, you look good!

Questions, comments, suggestions? Leave a message in the comment box or email me directly at

Have a wonderful week!!   

“If you feel beautiful, then you are. Even if you don’t, you still are.” ~Terri Guillemets

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Get Your Face Summer Ready


Nothing aggravates me more than trying to find the perfect or near perfect foundation shade for my face. With so many shades, formulations, types and brands it’s enough to make your head spin. You’ve got your creams, liquids, oil-based, sheer, matte, mousse, stick, powder, minerals, tinted moisturizers and let me not forget BB (beauty balms) and CC (color correcting) creams.

Over the years I’ve tried many brands and different formulas some good, others not so good. It didn’t help matters when my skin would change from sensitive, to oily, combination to dry or anywhere in between. Until recent years, the whole looking for new foundation process was just an exercise in frustration.

So, when I caught a May beauty episode on The View I couldn’t contain my excitement on some of the products as shown by Lori Klein. Lori, an expert in the field of beauty, has been makeup artist to Barbara Walters for 19 years.

The first item the outcome of the collaboration between Sephora and Pantone is Color IQ. Color IQ takes the guesswork out of determining the perfect shade of foundation for your skin tone. The Color IQ device (looks to be about the size of an iPhone) is placed against your face in 3 different areas this will ensure you obtain a foundation shade tailored specifically for you. After this is done a number will be assigned which then needs to be inputted into Sephora’s foundation library.

With over 1,500 formulas in Sephora’s library, once you have plugged in your Color IQ number and selected your preferred type of foundation you will receive a number of results from which you can choose. The in-store consultation is free and once you have your Color IQ number you can purchase foundation in the store or online.

For those of you in search of a self-tanner that doesn’t make you look like an Oompa Loompa (the orange people in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) you need look no further than Clarins Golden Glow Booster. All it takes is adding 3 drops to your favorite day or night cream to develop a gradual tan that adjusts to your skin. Jenny McCarthy even spoke up and said that the golden tan she has through the winter months is from using this product. By the way when you stop using the product the tan will diminish as gradually it evolved.

Golden Glow Booster
Golden Glow Booster

Eye makeup wearers the world over have at one time or another had that panda bear look from eyeliner smudging. Heat from the sun, sweat, rain and tears can all wreck-havoc on our eyeliner. Thank goodness for Makeup Forever Aqua Liner available in pencil or liquid formulas.

The Makeup Forever Aqua Liner is available in a variety of shades, is waterproof, smudge proof and doesn’t fade throughout the day. What I found interesting about the liner is that it was developed for the Parisian Aquatic Ballet and it was tested underwater for 5 hours.


For lips Lori presented Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector a 3-in-1 lip color that I can’t wait to try. I’ve noticed with age that not only has my skin become dry but my lips as well and it got to the point where I found myself constantly using lip balm so I’m open to trying this product. This 3-in-1 is lip color comes in 18 shades and is described as:

  • Hydrates like a balm
  • Shines like a gloss
  • Intensity of a lipstick
Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector
Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector

Though I am satisfied with my Sheer Cover Mineral foundation the next time I am in the vicinity of Sephora I am going to do the Color IQ so that I can write about my experience and subsequent feedback. The Lancôme Lip Lover Dewy Color Lip Perfector is the other item I am going to try because if memory serves when I tested Lancôme lipstick years back I liked it. So be sure to stay tuned…

“The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural.” Calvin Klein

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Putting on My Face

If I have one complaint about the loss of my vision it would be that it takes so long to do the simplest of things. Take this video for example. Shooting it was no problem, uploading it was no problem, editing – this was a HUGE problem and for today I cannot overcome it.

…Oh well, to avoid further delay in posting today I’ve uploaded the video to the blog as-is.

Another note worth mentioning, since I am in the process of packing and relocating my posting schedule may be impacted this month as I attempt to keep myself sane. I will make every attempt to continue posting with as little interruption as possible however I wanted to give you a “heads up.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” ~Nelson Mandela