Thursday, January 19, 2012

Brave Face: Foundation prep for women over 40 - Tutorial

This may be the bravest thing I've ever done on the internet .  . . post a photo of myself with no make up!

Over the past couple of years, I've had several friends ask me about make up, and the challenges of putting make up on as you age. The reason why they asked me, is that my very first job was a make up artist in Hollywood. I trained at Joe Blasco Make up College in Hollywood, CA, and won "Best Make Up Artist" for my class in 1984. Afterward, I worked in Hollywood, around CA and NY as a make up artist for several years, until an arm injury made me decide to go back to school for my Graduate degree.

So, here is how I do my makeup . . . because I show step by step, it might look like a lot, but I am the queen of five minute makeup! I may give more time to my make up for a special event, but in general, five minutes is my limit!

So . . . here I am, age 47, with no make up. Yes, kids . . . this is what you have to look forward to . . . dark circles and red blotches. Sigh.


Okay, to start, I my make up by using 35 SPF moisturizer and eye cream (hence the shine beneath my eyes in the photo above.)  My next step is to use a primer. No matter what kind of makeup I use, I start with primer. Trust me. If you haven't tried primer, try it. If you tried it and didn't like it, try a different one! They work!

I use a variety of primers, but this one is probably the one I use most. You apply it all over your face. I've heard one Blogger say that it feels like smoothing pearls over your face; and that is a pretty good analogy. It smooths your face, and your make up will apply better and easier. 

I'll mention this again later, but if you have enlarged pores (I find I have them at the sides of my nose), try using a pore minimizer. You can get testers at Department stores, because some work better than others. If you are interested, comment below, and I'll pull out mine and give you the info!

It is just a personal thing, but I also line the inside rim (water line) of my eyes before I start my make up. I find that having this definition helps me with make up placement. YMMV. In the photos below, my eyes are lined inside rim only.

This is my favorite concealer: Mac NW20 Studio Finish Concealer.

Because I'm so fair, it is not easy to see the concealer (which is one sign of a good concealer), but I apply it on my nose, the sides of my nose, just above my eyebrows, and on the inside of my eyes along my nose. I took this photo at this point to show where I use it, but what I would normally do is blend this as I apply it. (See that half-hearted smile? That's me thinking . .. I can't believe I'm going to post photos of myself like this on the internet!)

One of the ways that being a portrait photographer has benefitted me, is that I've learned how to Photoshop women to make them look younger. Almost always, I lighten the inner corner of their eyes, and I lighten the nasolabial fold (smile lines).  I haven't applied concealer at the smile lines, because I feel like it is just too much for everyday, but I do it if I'm getting dressed up and doing a more "formal" makeup application.

These are the other two products I use for priming / highlighting. The first is Laura Geller's Eye Spackle, which I find is genius for keeping eyeshadow on - also, as you age, your eyelids get vein-y and this will cover that.

The other is a Sephora two-sided highlighter. It basically has two different size concealers - one at each end. The pen format makes it easy to apply to small areas.

This is where I use the highlighter - just on the inside of my eye, and along the line under my eyes. When you have dark circles, you have to apply product ONLY where there is dark. If you just highlight the entire under eye area, you will bring attention to the problem. This is obviously before I blended the concealer in.

When you are over 40, you start to get crepe-y skin under your eyes. It isn't pretty. What makes it worse, is if you get make up on that crepe-y skin, and then add powder! You will age yourself by years in an instant! So, use the absolute minimum!

Because I have long nails, I use a brush to apply the Eye Spackle to my lids.

Then I blend it with my fingers.

I use two different options for "Foundation", depending on the temperature outside, and what I'll be doing.

I am a big fan of this Make Up For Ever High Definition Foundation! I used to use Christian Dior spray foundation, which I still love, but the Make Up Forever is even better, IMHO.

If it is hot out (like the crazy Oklahoma summers), or I will be doing something where I'm likely to be sweating (like photographing a newborn, or hiking), then I go with this powder based foundation. The only caveat I have to say is that you absolutely MUST use primer before using this. It isn't an optional step if you want it to stay on. Also, keep it away from under your eyes, or any place you have wrinkles, so that it doesn't settle into lines.

So, using the Make Up Forever foundation, I apply dots on my face - basically dots on my cheeks, chin, and forehead. I avoid my eye area. Then I blend with my fingers. Make sure you work it in any area where you have enlarged pores. If enlarged pores are a problem, consider using a pore minimizer on these areas before you apply make up.

Depending on my day, I use either pressed powder or loose. I like this Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder. Sometimes I will use this later in the day just to knock down any shine on my face. I use this with a powder puff (always pat your face with a puff, don't wipe! Wiping removes make up which will make you look shiny and un-make up later, patting removes shine but leaves the make up on. ) or a soft brush.

This Smashbox loose powder rocks! You turn the disc at the top, and it slowly adds powder, so you aren't dipping your brush into a huge bowl of powder, and you do't have to worry about spilling. It is Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder, in Fair.

 (Pardon my crazy face in this photo!) Use a light hand and powder over your entire face. The rule of thumb is that every time you put something on your face that is liquid or oil (pencils are usually oil based), you want to set it with powder.

After applying all these steps, I go in with a cosmetic sponge (this red one is from Sephora), and remove any make up that has snuck into lines around my eyes.

This is not the most flattering photo in the world, but it shows you what my eye looks like after applying the foundation and concealer. You see that there is no make up lurking in the wrinkles / crepe-y skin around my eye. (And I do actually have eyelashes, it doesn't look like it in this photo, but they are there . . . sadly, they are very straight before curling, and pretty short!)

Next, taking a eyebrow brush, I remove the powder and product from my eyebrows.

When I was a kid, I remember my grandmother saying that she wouldn't leave the house without her eyebrows. It's a sad commentary that I can now relate! I'm using the Tarte EmphasEYES brow pencil. I can't recommend this product highly enough! The pencil is very thin, making it easy to use small strokes to fill in your brows and get a natural look. The other end is a brow brush to blend the brow pencil after you've filled the brow in.

Next, I use Maybeline Expert Wear Eye shadow in Creme de Cocoa to shade under my chin. I've put on some weight, and I'm getting those horrible jowls . . . Creme de Cocoa is the perfect shading color. It is a soft brown with just a hint of gray. Shadows are gray, so to create a shadow on your skin, you want to use a slightly gray brown . I found this huge fan brush on in an inexpensive set, and I love it. It makes applying color on the jaw line a breeze!

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but I do all of this in about 3 minutes.

So, that's it . . . I didn't go into eye make up, lips, cheeks, etc. as I wasn't asked about that.  Below, is what I look like when everything (including eyes, blush, and lip color) is finished! This is what I do for every day makeup. It is simple, and light, and most importantly, fast!

Here is the before . . .

Here is after.

See this post linked here:

Blog Hops Everyday and A Mommy's Blog Design Studio Friday Blog Hop


  1. Home of the brave and the beautiful. Nicely done.

  2. Tera- This tutorial was wonderful. You answered a lot of questions - especially about the eye area. I get it now!! Thanks for the info!!

  3. Just found you through the social parade at Smart & Trendy moms! Following with GFC @s8r8l33 Twitter @s8r8l33 & FB @SaraLee E Please follow back.

  4. Thanks for the great tutorial--apparently I don't have half of what I need! I'm younger but I think I have premature dark circles and blotches! Yikes!
    Have a great week and Happy Valentine's Day!
    (new follower!)


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