By Carol (my mother)
You have to try new things, I tell myself. You must try new things. I’m making it a mantra. It is so, so easy to fall into a rut, as time goes by, particularly regarding cosmetics.
We’ve all seen faces that seem arrested in their own generational time warp. Like sealed time capsules in deep space, they float by one another and the rest of us, seemingly impervious to change, at least stylistically. You might say they are not so much “old hat” as old face. I can vividly remember an eerie-looking kindergarten teacher of mine, Miss G. Time stopped for her somewhere in the early 1930s. I can still picture her wearing her long, tweed, hobble-skirted coat with its swooping fox collar, framing a face made up to look like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. Those eyebrows! (This, in the era of Doris Day.)
Or take my mother’s generation. They came of age in the l940s, when luscious, Hedy Lamarr-style lips were everything. To this day, these ladies wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without their beloved lipstick though they could readily forgo all else.
I plead guilty, too. The 1960s were my era, the era of eyes, and I continue to love the look of that time. In those days, I took my inspiration from Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Anouk Aimee, et al. and even now I can go pretty heavy on the eyeliner. Sometimes I think, am I doing a Miss G.? Maybe, and it’s not working for me either. For a while now, I’ve noticed that I really can’t get away with black eyeliner – a softer look is definitely in order.
To that end, I’ve been experimenting with a whole new look, one that is particularly in sync with summer. And a whole new color palette. I’m excited! I have very fair skin that I try to protect from too much sun so I’m used to supplying color via a pink-toned blush (always a cream blush, never powder because of my dry skin). But pink wasn’t working – it looked too hot-house flower, too wintry. So I started applying Loose Lips New York Cre’me Blush in the tint called Show Off. I confess I had my doubts about it because of its tawny hue. Tawny usually translates into muddy on me. But I applied it and voila – the healthy, tanned glow I had been after was suddenly mine! Lovely, subtle, and translucent.
As for the eyes, I have been painting them with a very fine brush from the most adorable tiny pot of gel eyeliner from Elizabeth Arden called Color Intrigue Gel Eyeliner in Bronze Pearl (to go with my new tawny look). It is very forgiving, in that even if you think you’ve applied it too thickly, it still looks good. That said, it does take a bit more of an effort than a pencil but I probably just need more practice. The results certainly seem worth it.
So, let’s not turn back the clock. There are lots of wonderful new products out there that are just waiting to be tried and I assure you that some of them will turn some of your old notions on their heads. It happened to me.
[Related: read Amber’s thoughts on Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Gel Eyeliner in Bronze Pearl.]