Sunday 6 November 2011

What is your Make-up Age?

An article in Grazia last week questioning what is your real make up age, got me thinking about how we judge makeup on others and how differences in the application of make up and beauty products affect our perceptions of others.

As bloggers, we are more aware than most of new products and new techniques available in make up and therefore we tend to keep abreast of current trends.  One forgets that sometimes the average woman in the street isn’t aware of such trends such as magnetic nail polish, BB creams and the differences between trends for matte or shiny lip finishes.  Many women find something that they are comfortable with and which suits them and decide to play it safe, not deviating from tried and trusted products and finishes. 

In the article, Grazia chose to highlight Kate Middleton’s constant application of dark kohl eyeliner, implying that this was a quite dated way of wearing liner and that a dark brown pencil liner is much more modern and youthful for someone of her age.  Now I don’t wear black liner all the time but I do like to wear it on occasion and it has its place with an evening smoky eye look when effortlessly smudged out.  For day to day wear however, I tend to prefer a liquid liner, usually one of my Bourjois Liner Pinceau, or my Mac, ‘I Get No Kick’, pencil liner which is a gorgeous light golden shade with a sparkle which subtly lightens the eye.

When I was younger and not as interested in makeup and beauty as I am now, I used to associate red lips with older, more mature women, but these days, I enjoy wearing red lipstick or gloss – it is all about how you wear something rather than what you wear. If you pair a red lip with dark eyes, heavy liner and a matte finish foundation, this appears to me to be a little dated.  However the wearing of red lips with dewy skin and minimal eye makeup is more modern and is a fresher take on the look. 

Our thoughts on makeup are also traditionally strongly tied with how members of the opposite sex view us as if you ask many men what makeup they prefer on a woman, they will say minimal and fresh-faced, without the presence of heavy blusher or lipstick. In reality though, we know that this ‘natural’ look is actually  more difficult to achieve as one can spend ages constructing the perfect base that is dewy and transparent, whilst still covering all perfections.  A fresh, makeup-free face is associated with youthfulness, and it is this which I would suggest the makeup and beauty industry is constantly making us desire. You only have to look at recent launches from Nip & Fab and Nanoblur to see that consumers are constantly searching for the next best product to maintain a youthful appearance.   

So how do you ensure that your makeup techniques and products are not making you look old before your time?  Well Grazia suggest that warm colours, such as bronzes and golds are more current, rather than grey, black and brown eyeshadow, however I would suggest that these are classic colours that will never date and it is all down to your application and the formula you choose as to what is a more youthful take on a look. Formulas such as Chanel’s Illusion d’ombre in Epatant, which is a gorgeous sparkly black cream, is perfect for either lining the eyes or creating a modern, sophisticated smoky eye.  Staying away from one-dimensional matte products seems to be the key message, and allowing a little dewiness to come through.  Grazia recommends ditching the powder, however there is no way I could do this as I would just turn into an oil slick by the end of the day, but the secret is to powder only on the areas that require it and not over the whole face.  Modern textures are key with cream products rather than matte being a particularly good option.

Ultimately though, the key is to feel comfortable in what you are wearing and to be happy in how you look.  Make up is often used as a tool to help boost our self confidence, and one can only be confident if you are comfortable in the makeup you wear.  Fashions and trends may change but if you decide a sparkly pink lipgloss isn’t for you, you shouldn’t feel you have to conform.  As long as the pale blue sparkly eyeshadow remains in the 80s!

What are your thoughts on ‘age appropriate’ makeup?
Do you agree with Grazia’ statement that we should ditch the powder?  Or do you think people should be free to ignore trends and wear what they want?

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't really know what was age appropriate make up wise to be honest, Kate Middleton is a couple of years older then myself and i'm still rocking the black eye liner look, but that's because without it I don't really look awake!