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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Makeup for beginners

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 24, 2006 11:10 PM (Eastern)

Let me preface this post with a casual observation: I have noticed recently that younger women in San Francisco seem to be eschewing makeup. I don't mean this as a criticism, nor as a should be a choice, not a mask; and, in the later 60's through the early 70's, there was another makeup-less trend among younger women.

All of that said, I feel that makeup skill is the same as any other craft. It tends to be difficult at first (unless it is a craft with which you grew up and learned from an early age), even intimidating, and it can be expensive when you don't know what you're doing. Stick with it though, and you get good at it, perhaps to the point that it ascends into an art.

Where to begin...not with color cosmetics. Those should be last. I know, it sounds strange, but someone called Dain turned me on to this concept years ago...almost eight years ago I do believe. Like any other sheer genius, it's all obvious once someone else has figured it out for you.

Dain always espoused skin, skin, skin. Mind you I never became a skincare ho myself (I fancy myself a lipstick ho, thanks) but I got the message. Skin is the foundation of the house, and if you have cracks in the foundation, well, your house will require far too much maintenance and expense. Fix the foundation first.

To me skincare is almost wholly an internal thing. To be fair I've had adult acne since 1995, to the point that I have my own blog about it. Acne is not something that occurs from the outside in; it is just the opposite. But I think anyone's skin can benefit enormously from a reasonably healthy diet, a good daily multi-vitamin, less soda pop, less hormones from meat and dairy, a good daily sunscreen, and so forth.

Sunscreen tends to be the bugger here. I use All Terrain TerraSport SPF 30+ but no one else seems to. I've seen raves for Clinique City Block and the Neutrogena Dry Touch'm sure there are more, it's just that for whatever odd reason, it is not that easy to find a good facial sunscreen in the U.S. I prefer physical sunscreens (zinc oxide and titanium oxide), these should be micronized so you don't look like a ghost, I don't like moisturizing sunscreens, and I don't want to break the bank over it. So far only the TerraSport has satisfied all of these factors for me.

Anyhow...once you've improved your nutrition, and protect your skin from the sun, most of the work has been done. You'll need a basic cleanser. I use Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash myself (have for years); it was a rec I got from the original Lipstick Page Hang-Out. Some like Cetaphil, some like Eucerin, some like Purpose (same thing as the J & J though, a tad less scented), some like the fancy stuff, whatever...get your cleanser in order.

Do you need a toner? I don't tone. I toned enough in the 1970's to last me the rest of my life. But you can get a toner if you like it well enough.

Do you need a moisturizer? I think even oily skin can do with a moisturizing treatment at night. In the daytime, oily skin can skip the moisturizer. At least that's how I've been doing it. Find your moisturizer. I use pure jojoba butter...yep, Heather Loraine. Before that I used liquid jojoba oil.

This is great for oily to normal skin; I don't think it would be moisturizing enough for dry skin (just guessing here). In fact I'll go further to say that the drier your skin, the more interest you will have in moisturizers altogether. Since I don't need much moisture, this works perfectly for me.

Do you need eye cream? If you're old, sure. I mean if you actually need eye cream, that's when you should start to use eye cream. Unless you have an SPF eye cream, I can't see how using one prematurely will help you.

Do you need to exfoliate? I don't. To me it's like the's optional. Nice if you like it.

Do you need masks? Again, like toner...if you like to mask, by all means mask.

That's about it, isn't it? If you need a separate makeup remover, then go for that too (I don't use one but then I don't wear mascara).

Is it that hard? Well, yeah, it is, if you're ever stepped into a drugstore, health food store, or department store, faced aisles or counters laden with thousands and thousands of beauty products, and felt suddenly dizzy. But that's what indie beauty sites are for. We have forums and there are other forums around. Ours is good...I may post on other forums to give advice, but I always post on ours if I need advice.

Once you've got your skin in good shape (and this can take time, be patient), the majority of the work is done. Surprise! You won't actually need to apply that much color cosmetics.

(To be continued...)

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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