Beauty Expert: Elise Marquam-Jahns
There are a number of great beauty products that those of us who are older will never regret buying!
I really wanted to narrow down the number of products in this article and video to just six or seven, but somehow my pen just kept flying across my paper and I ended up with 14 which I felt I just had to mention! And by the way, you’ll find links to all of these products in the YouTube description box.
1. Mirror & Lighting:
First, let’s focus on makeup tools. And I’m actually combining two tools together in this first one because they’re both essential. The tools are a good magnifying mirror and good lighting. Believe me, I know magnifying mirrors can be painful to use but isn’t it amazing what we see that we’d never be aware of otherwise.
“So it’s important to check out that our foundation is blended in well, that our eyeshadow looks O.K.”
Like, for instance, those little black hairs that seem to just pop out of our chin overnight? Have any of you discovered some of those? In addition to helping us ferret out those rogue black hairs, a magnifying mirror becomes essential for the best makeup application because for most of us our eyesight doesn’t get better as we get older.
So it’s important to check out that our foundation is blended in well, that our eyeshadow looks O.K., that our brows match. Well, you get the picture. And if you can have a wall-mounted magnifying mirror so both your hands are free, that’s really ideal.
And this past summer I realized like never before how important good lighting is. For several weeks I was staying in a lovely home that unfortunately had very difficult lighting for makeup application.
The light came straight down from the mirror which casts shadows and it was very yellow. Since there was a small window behind me, I found myself standing with my back to the window juggling a small magnifying mirror. It was a painful process. Natural light or indoor lighting that is full-spectrum fluorescent or LED is best.
2. Razor That Works Beautifully:
The second tool is Flawless by Finishing Touch. If you think you’re seeing more peach fuzz on your face now than a decade or so ago, you’re absolutely right! As we lose estrogen, testosterone—unopposed—causes us to grow more hair where men have it. But this wonderful little tool can come to the rescue. It’s a small, portable, painless razor that works beautifully to quickly and easily remove facial hair.
“A buffing brush picks up the foundation and evenly distributes it so you get a wonderful, smooth finish.”
3. Good quality buffing brush.
This is one type of brush where I think it’s worth it to spend a little more to get good quality. The important qualities are that the brush is soft and dense. A buffing brush picks up the foundation and evenly distributes it so you get a wonderful, smooth finish. One of my favorites is from makeup artist Eve Pearl.
4. Makeup Sponge:
Next—number four—is a makeup sponge. Makeup sponges are so important because they’re so versatile and here’s why. Number one, they give an airbrushed, flawless look when they’re used to applying foundation. But, they can also be used to apply concealer, blush, highlighter, self-tanner, contour and even powder!
And I love using them at the end of my makeup routine. Gently pouncing the dampened sponge all over the face melds all the makeup together seamlessly and provides some wonderful added moisture to boot.
The next two products are skincare products that are especially essential for us as we get older.
5. An Exfoliating Product.
This rids the face of dead skin cells which helps our skin look brighter. I love Tatcha’s The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder. This is pricey, but it’s a very large jar that lasts a very long time since its recommended use is once or twice a week.
So in terms of price per use, it’s actually a good value and it makes a visible difference in how bright our skin looks.
“Too strong a percentage of retinol in a product can produce red, flaky skin.”
The sixth product—which is our second skincare product—is retinol. Dermatologists and estheticians will definitely agree that retinol does more than any other product to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
It’s a vitamin A derivative that can be purchased at a higher strength with a prescription or can be purchased over the counter. My favorite is Shani Darden’s Retinol Reform because it’s potent, yet gentle. And retinol formulations are not always gentle. Too strong a percentage of retinol in a product can produce red, flaky skin. This product helps firm and brighten the skin while softening the look of fine lines.
7 & 8. Drugstore Makeup Products:
Next up are four drugstore makeup products! If you have issues with lipstick feathering or migrating, this is a great product: L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Anti-Feathering lip liners.
The lip liners come in 8 gorgeous colors and they not only glide on to provide beautiful color but they also have ingredients that help prevent lipstick from feathering. My only regret with this product is that it has to be sharpened, but I’ll still never be without it.
For most of us, some type of concealer is a “must-have” for covering up discoloration, age spots, hyperpigmentation, or that dark under-eye circles. One drugstore concealer I love is Elf’s Hydrating Camo Concealer.
“Clinique’s Even Better Concealer which comes in 42 different shades so you’ll definitely find a color match.”
I use it in Light Peach to color correct those dark circles and then pat on a slightly lighter color than my skin tone—Fair Beige– over the color corrector. And I have to take a second to mention one other concealer that provides even more coverage: Clinique’s Even Better Concealer which comes in 42 different shades so you’ll definitely find a color match.
9. Drugstore Blush:
Number nine is a drugstore blush: Flower Beauty’s Blush Bomb Color Drops which come in 8 colors. What I love about it is the texture which makes it so easy to apply. It’s a silky, lightweight gel-cream. I’m going to be purchasing two or three more colors so I can mix and match them to create a more custom look. But the one I have now is a cool pink called “Bubbly.”
10. Eyeshadow Palette:
Our last drugstore-priced product—which is number ten—is an eyeshadow palette. Actually two eyeshadow palettes. These are two neutral-colored eyeshadow palettes from Juvia’s Place called Warrior and Warrior two. Warrior Two is an all-matte, 9-pan palette that has a perfect neutral color story with a pop of a burgundy brown color and two orange shades.
Good Things About These Two Palettes:
The Warrior palette has beautiful shades of browns, bronzes, and golds. Three are mattes and 6 are rich, beautiful metallics. The deep brown in this palette works beautifully as an eyeliner. I frankly can’t say enough good things about these two palettes. They are very reasonably priced and you can often find them on sale on the Juvia’s Place website.
“Truly, it’s hard to make a mistake using these eyeshadow palettes.”
They’re highly pigmented and what’s most important is that they’re so easy to blend. Truly, it’s hard to make a mistake using these eyeshadow palettes.
11. Eye Primer:
If you’ve watched any of my YouTube videos, you’ve seen me use this product all the time: it’s the Urban Decay Eye Primer. As our eyelids get thinner, we often notice veins showing through or other discoloration.
This product not only keeps eyeshadow from creasing and smudging but also covers up a discoloration on our eyelids. It’s rather like putting primer on a wall before painting because this primer allows the eyeshadow color to look the same no matter where you apply it to the eye. I use the color Eden, but it also comes in a deeper color.
Next, number 12, is Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara. Because of the very small brush, it applies to the bottom lashes without also applying to the skin under the bottom eyelashes. To my mind, it’s brilliant.
13. Baked Highlighter Duo:
The last two products I use just about every time I apply makeup. The first is Laura Geller’s Baked Highlighter Duo. It comes in two different colors: a lighter color and a more luminous color. These duos now come in two different options for different skin tones: French Vanilla and French Kiss for Fair, Light and Lt. Medium skin tones and French Poodle and French Almond for Medium to deeper skin tones.
“And, both colors in the duos can be used wet or dry.”
The two things that I think propel these products into the “you’ll never regret buying” category are how many different ways the lighter color can be used and the incredibly soft, lovely glow of the highlighting color. The French Vanilla or French Poodle shades can be used on the eyelids, on the inner corner of the eyes, above the Cupid’s bow of the lips, and under the arch of the eyebrow.
The highlight color—the French Kiss or French Almond in the new duos—is soft and not overpowering and has no glitter. And, both colors in the duos can be used wet or dry. When used wet or applied with the finger, there is a greater color payoff.
14. Multi-Dimensional Soft Glow:
And last, but certainly not least, are the highlight, blush and bronzer ambient light powders from Hourglass. They refine the appearance of the complexion, help conceal imperfections and create a multi-dimensional soft glow.
Some of the bronzers, blush and highlighting products can be purchased in a mini size. All are available in a regular size and some of the products are combined into beautiful, multi-use palettes. Hourglass creates a new palette with highlighters, blushes and a bronzer each holiday season and this year they have two different palettes for lighter and deeper skin tones.
It’s really hard to describe the difference these powders make. It’s subtle but really gorgeous.
About the Author:
Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty. Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe! Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness. And, if you’d like to receive more inspiration each week, check out my weekly newsletter. To get your copy, just drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know you’d like to receive it.