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What is the best makeup advice you’ve been given?

Makeup has no rules. I just like that it’s something that can wash off, so there should never be a fear of just trying something if that is what one is inclined to do. There should be no judgment for trying out a new color or technique or that sometimes, it’s about creativity or wearing something different and not about what strictly is “most flattering.”

— Christine

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67 Comments

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Agree -makeup has no rules! I can’t tell you how many times I tried a new color or new look because of your blog. I’m several shades lighter, but we both have dark hair and brown eyes, so I’m always thinking…..hmmm, well it DID look good on Christine, wonder if I can pull it off too…. So I try it, and not everything works on me, but no harm done, just wash it off and move on. And along the way, there have been some fantastic discoveries. I used to avoid orange lipsticks/blush, gray lipsticks, and pink eye shadow like the plague, but I’m finding I can rock some of those colors 🙂

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Early teens: Bring your eye shadow upwards, past where your eyelid fold is because it covers your lid. That’s why no one can see it!

Several years back: A YouTube video on how to do a cateye liner look on hooded eyes was a total GAME CHANGER.

Tonight: Went to Ulta to redeem my BD Benefit Rollerball mascara and $10 coupon. Looked around with no set plan. Looked at some stuff on my wishlist. Almost everything I was wanting to get was sold out! So, in a lark, I removed my heavy-duty lipstick. Tried on TF Melted Hot Chocolate something, meh. So then Melted Fig. Looked good. Got an idea, take some Melted Villain to it! Another customer admired it, complimented me on how it looked very cool. So I tell her that perhaps I’m too old to be wearing this. Her next words were GOLD; “Looks fine to me! What’s age got to do with this? You carry it well, so you might as well do it now *while you’re still alive and breathing*. Go on and rock it out, woman!” I now own Melted Villian, haha!

I love that comment, “What’s age got to do with this?” I’m a young 52–a grandmother that looks and feels 40. I am brunette but rocking blonde hair right now, and love it!! I love makeup and am very diligent about my skincare. I take my vitamins also. A good palette of smooth skin does make all the difference!!

Her words woke me UP, Desiree! I had begun to *feel* old, especially upon realizing that I’m 57 and a Grandma 3x over, with a son turning 30 in August. But even though I always get taken for much younger, the calendar has been beating my butt lately! After what she said, I felt, Idk? Defiant in the face of Father Time!

That all the coverage in the world is only going to make my aging, “texture-challenged” skin (lines, wrinkles, large pores, and several scars from an accident) look good for maybe an hour, tops. After that, all that product is going to start creeping into all the dents, dings, cracks, and crevices on my face, and shine a spotlight on them so that my skin looks worse than it did before I put on any foundation at all.

That up there explained why it’s been at least a decade since I’ve been happy with a foundation, and why the hunt for one that doesn’t look like hell on me within a couple hours has been so frustrating. When I became willing to sacrifice some immediate “flawlessness” in exchange for still looking reasonably pretty hours later, by sticking with a tinted moisturizer and just a bit of spot concealing, I started feeling confident and happy with my face again.

I can totally appreciate that! I’m very cognizant of how many textures I use to conceal under eye redness and dark circles while being careful not to use products that highlight these problem areas.

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I so appreciate it when someone is honest first rather than kind or politically correct about something. You get nowhere when someone is trying to be kind or just make a sale.

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i’m having this same exact problem right now and this advice helped me so much!! i am going to start trying tinted moisturizer + concealer. thank you !! 🙂

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Wear whatever you want — Just don’t be oppressive! (This means no cultural appropriation, no brownface/blackface/yellowface, and tread very, very carefully when it comes to drag make-up)

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This, I think. 🙂 Wearing what I feel good about wearing. It gave me the courage to walk away from a mua and start over myself just a few days ago when I was supposed to go on stage. With Groucho Marx brows and blotchy foundation that the mua scraped off while applying blush with a terribly pokey brush? No way. 🙂 I fixed my face myself, was happy, did well.

Totally agree with everything you said. There shouldn’t be rules for makep. After all it’s my face and my choice. I was always told I don’t put on my makeup heavy enough and that it’s too light. But that’s how I like it!!

I was told to practice when I’m home and either don’t have to leave at a scheduled time or am just gonna be home. That way you won’t feel rushed or pressured and can really take your time to play with new techniques or color combos or even new colors. If you mess up or it doesn’t look great it can simply be washed off! I’ve also been told to not be afraid of a color in the pan…it may look crazy there but once it’s blended with other colors and applied to your face it may not be so scary!

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Blend blend blend. I just used to do such a thoroughly crap job of it.. pretty much thought in order to keep the colour intensity of my eyeshadows I had to pack it on.

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1. Spend more time and energy taking care of your skin, and your makeup will always be perfect.
2. Always check your teeth when wearing red lipstick.

To do what makes me happy. Seems silly that I needed to be told this, but nude lips and warm tones (even lots of neutral ones) make me look ill so it’s good to know that there are ways to look modern without fitting in with certain trends.

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Do your makeup for you – how and when you want to do it is your choice.
Embrace your “flaws”, one of the great things about makeup is YOU choose when you want to cover them up and when you don’t care if they show/are there.
You can wear other colors besides red, pink and nudes. (meaning for eyes, lips and cheeks)
Lastly, how much your makeup collection costs and/or how much a certain product cost is no one else’s business except your own.

There are no rules.

The nice thing about makeup is that its so personal to everyone. If you wanna wear a black lipstick in July, go for it. If you like a highlight that can be seen from space, that’s your choice. Makeup is meant to be fun and enhance your individual beauty. And the best part is that is washes off at the end of the day and you get to try something totally new tomorrow!

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A while ago an MUA told me, “Sweetie, you are in your 40’s. Your skin is different, your face shape has changed, you’ve got the hooded eye thing going on and you need to get current so just let me do what I do and I’ll walk you through it.” Some may scoff at the bluntness or rudeness, but I was relieved and grateful for it because by the time I had sat down in his chair, I was pretty frustrated and was beginning to wonder if I’d basically aged out of makeup. I remember thinking “Ohhhhh. Is that why everyone has been so hesitant and vague when I ask about products and usage and all that?” It was like FINALLY! Someone has said what they’re all thinking and we can get down to business!

I’d felt for a while that I was being treated with kit gloves when I’d go in store and I think it was because they didn’t know how to tell me that, because of my aging skin or face, a product I wanted wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to or give me the look I wanted. To be fair, I’m a magpie and I get sucked in by the latest new sparkly thing and used to buy into the hype, and it can’t be easy coming up with a way to say “this will not look the way you think it will look because of the way your skin is or face shape” with the unspoken end of that sentence being ” because you are older”. I think if you go in store and just ask for the product and get it and go, it’s not a big deal. I’ve never had someone ask why I wanted something or what I was going to use it for before they handed it over. But, if I ask for said product and have questions about it or application, that’s where it’s always gotten awkward because of the age factor and I swear I can see the terror in their eyes, “Oh God, does she know that she’s *gasp* older?”

For me, I don’t mind being told that something will or won’t work because of my “mature skin or face changing” because I’m after the end result – a polished look – so if what I think will work isn’t going to work, tell me what will so I can buy that! But I imagine my reaction is probably not a common one, and I also think it’s hard for the younger sales associates and MUAs to broach the subject of age in terms of using a product. Maybe they also think because I am older, I automatically know what I’m doing and I know more or am past the experimenting and enthusiasm of the younger consumer base? I don’t have a problem with ‘being older’ and I’m not precious about my age or aging. Once I figured out what was going on, I would approach the MUAS or sales associates by saying “I’m aware of my age/face shape/ textured lids/whatever and I saw this and thought blah blah blah” and sometimes the answer is “yes, but use it here/apply it like this” or it’s “no, get this color/texture/finish instead because of xyz”. MUCH easier, no awkwardness and they get the sale and I get my new shiny sparkly thingy.

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I get your point here, Pearl. I love that my partner will not hesitate to put his opinion to me bluntly. If I ask, he will offer; no sugar coating. He knows his opinion does not dictate, but if I am asking, there is a reason.

I too have had to change a lot of my thinking and makeup routine over the last 2 years due to the aging process. Not that I was stuck in a bygone makeup era, more so that the products and techniques I was using no longer did their magic. I was starting to look drawn and downright haggard. I am getting better at ‘seeing’ what will and will not work for my now face, but it has definitely been a rather expensive trial and error period. Strangely, I have always been very successful with clothing and only have to picture the article of clothing on me in my head to know immediately whether or not it feels right, but.. Makeup is far trickier. Kudos to you for wearing your grown up girl pants and being completely open to constructive criticism. My biggest growth as a person has always stemmed from comments or observations (even mean spirited negative ones) which have not been easy to swallow. This is absolutely fine by me… I have thick skin and negative comments are not going to crush me 🙂 Your MUA dude gave you new tools to find your best NOW you. I think that is fabulous!

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Completely agree Wwendy. It’s great that this MUA was honest and relaxed and it’s absolutely fabulous that you took his advice and you can be relaxed about it too now, Pearl. Thanks for sharing this. Makes me more confident about the future (turning 40 next week and I hate it).

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10/10 agree on the lack of rules! I’ve been told that many lipsticks are too dark and that highlighters on my skin have to be “””normal””” colors. Guess who wears pomegranate lips and lilac and green highlighters? Yup. Feels like battle armor for me and I love it.

ALSO: when I first started out in makeup, I had no idea what colors would and wouldn’t look good on me. My mom told me, “If you want to play it safe, choose eyeshadows in colors that you get in bruises.” It’s a reliable way to pick neutral colors, especially for matte blending shades!

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Right?! At first I didn’t believe her but matte mossy greens and smoky purples are some of my favorites for defining my crease and blending into my transition browns. Meanwhile, I cringe away from my old photos where I used ashy greys at every chance ? Not the best look on someone warm and fair lol!

Hahahahah I hear that! I have a very warm complexion and red hair so the days where I did the ashy grey thing were so terrible! Lol not extremely dark taupes seem to work best for me =]

Keep practicing on eyeliner. It’s taken forever, but I can finally get it reasonably even on both eyes. Sometimes, I can even do a cat eye.

DId you ever try using tape or a business card (any card with a straight edge)? I like the tape method myself, but try it out and do whatever feels more comfortable.

Blendblendblend, and use a lighter hand as you age.

Although I think there should be no rules, I never understood why people wear makeup that makes them look awful just because it’s new or in style. I’ve always used makeup to enhance my features and make me look more attractive, not to get attention or to make myself look worse. To each his/her own, but I still don’t get it.

Concentrate on getting the best foundation for your particular needs that your budget will allow. The right concealer(s) is the second most important thing. All the rest is the fun stuff.

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To apply the concealer in a V shape. To contour the face (it´s great for me that I have a round face) and also: blend, blend, blend….

The suggestion of using primer and setting spray. They make an amazing difference. Also buying high end products. They last forever and wear so much better.

I think the best advice I received was in the mid-80s and it was “invest in decent brushes and use them”. Back then, there were only a few companies that made them and quite often, MUA just purchased fine art brushes. I got a matching set from Prescriptives and it cost $90 and I believe there were only 5 or 6 brushes – I was the only one who had them for a very long time. Today I have a mixture of brands and price points but I STILL use fine art brushes for my brows.

The advances in synthetics have come so far that spending a lot is not truly necessary any longer if you really don’t have the money which is nice so everyone can have fun experimenting with application. I like good brushes and upgrade as I can. I have some MAC that are older than 15 yrs.

I have a friend who does makeup for Bobbi Brown, and she always says you can use whatever product you like, but a good brush is what makes the look. I have no problem splurging on brushes. It really does make a difference.

I would say the best advice I’ve ever been given is to have fun. Other than that, highlight the collarbones!

The best makeup advice, was watching early on different ways of putting makeup on and how to take care of my skin from the inside out. What you put in your body does make a difference. Example drink plenty of water so your skin looks well hydrated, ect. I don’t think that anyone should be afraid to do what makes them feel and look beautiful. Being you, is unique. Being you the without any inhibitions, is beautiful!

1.). Spend money on skincare first, makeup second

2.). Makeup has no rules. Experiment!

Best two pieces of advice I have ever gotten, both from my mother ❤️

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The best makeup advice I was given was when I was shown, by an Elizabeth Arden MUA, how to apply my eye shadow successfully to suit my hooded, almond shaped eyes. It was a game changer for me.
Secondly, the advice I have read here by you Christine and comments by fellow blog readers has also helped me a lot in terms of my purchases and how to choose the correct shade of foundation.

Not necessarily makeup advice, but more skincare. 1. Wash your face – every.single.day. 2. Stay out of the sun. Both came from my mother. 🙂

Never be afraid to experiment with hair. It’s just hair, and it grows back! Always feel free to express your beauty — whether through makeup, piercings, or otherwise. It’s important to express yourself. Also, eye cream, eye cream and more eye cream.
It’s never too early to start using anti-aging moisturizer. Lipstick is an extremely important tool. Pick a hairdresser and stick with him. And you can make anything look expensive as long as you wear it the right way — with confidence. Age is just a number, strut your stuff!!!!!!

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Yep, Christine said it perfectly! The best advice has been to do whatever makes you happy and to not be afraid to try new things because… it’s only makeup. It washes off.

The other tip that made a big difference for me was to use a puff to apply setting powder instead of a brush.

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hey that’s interesting. Everyone always seems to use brushes and tells that a brush is better for setting powder. Why does a puff work better for you?

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When I first starting using a puff to set my makeup, it was because I was having a lot of issues with dry patches around my nose, mouth, and cheeks. The brush, no matter how soft, would make the drier skin more obvious because the bristles would cause the skin to flake. Now that I have the dry skin under control (for the most part), I still use a puff (except for under my eyes) because I use less powder and the powder works better for me, especially in my t-zone where I tend to get oily.

I get just a small amount of powder on the puff then press and roll the powder onto my face. This way I can be sure not to disturb my foundation or cream products. I still use a brush to apply my finishing powder in order to blend my blush, highlight, and contour, but I only buff the perimeter of my face.

Thanks a lot for your elaborate answer! Yes it makes sense, especially if you use only a small amount of powder I guess, like you said. 🙂

Match any foundation on your cheek so it seems to disappear when you rind the correct shade, and apply with a light touch. You can always add more later.

Boring, yes, but finally figuring out that I have moderately to badly hooded eyes – and finding tutorials/education on YouTube on why ‘normal’ eyeshadow application doesn’t work well for me and how to apply shadow properly to a hooded eye.

The best advice i hav been given is that base is the mainstay of makeup. But that doesnot mean that base should be applied all over the face. It should be applied only where it is needed( like areas of redness, etc) so as to even out the skin. I am anyways a sheer base lover. Donot try to cover blemishes or dark circles with foundation.. A good concealer should do the trick. Also, a sunscreen with a goid spf is a must have for day times; if you are going out even without makeup.

I mean, a lot of this is stuff I learned online, rather than given specifically. But I think it still counts.
– A lot of makeup skills are practiced, not inherently known
– Liquids generally work better for my dry skin, because they don’t highlight skin texture
– Thin layers over time > one thick layer once (Lisa Eldridge?)
– Apply and blend eye shadow LIGHTLY. Add pressure gradually. (Wayne Goss)
– Pixiwoo hooded eyeliner tutorial on youtube CHANGED EVERYTHING
– Don’t be afraid to use your hands, if a brush isn’t working for you (Mary Greenwell)

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