Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ask Lydia: Foundation and Fine Lines

Hi Lydia,

I am 33 years old and have never worn makeup. I look much younger than I am, often getting carded when I go out. I have just started experimenting in this fun little world of makeup. I went to a Mary Kay party the other day and they put the works on me--concealer, foundation and powder. It is really weird but I actually noticed wrinkles that I never noticed before around my eyes after the make was on me. It is almost as if makeup accentuates them! Is that possible?

I also went to Sephora and bought the Bare Escentuals starter kit since a few of my friends use it and love it. The gal put it on my face and I loved the look of the makeup, but when I got home I noticed the lines again. Do you know if there is anything I can do for this? I would appreciate any advice.

I have skin care questions, too. I have always worn sunscreen. I use Clinique City Block and love it! But in terms of a cleanser and moisturizer, I have tried a few different products. The crazy thing is I
think I do better with just plain water. If I start wearing makeup though I will need a cleanses and I know a moisturizer would be good as I am noticing those fine lines. However, I tend to get breakouts when I use cleansers and then my face either gets too dry or too oily. I would say my skin is normal except during certain times of the month when I kind of get a little acne here and there. I guess I would be normal to combination skin maybe? Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks so much!

Thanks for all the questions, Mimi! I'm going to break everything down a bit:
  • Can makeup cause fine lines to be more noticeable and how do you prevent them from showing?

    It's sad but true--yes, foundations, powders, you name it, can cause lines to seem more visible. Here are a couple of things to try:
    • Instead of a moisturizer, try applying a foundation primer first. If you bought the Bare Escentuals kit, I believe one is included in the pack. The primer will smooth out your skin, creating a more even surface and filling in pesky little lines. If you can't find a foundation primer, you could also try a pore minimizer.
    • Make sure you're not applying too much foundation. A light touch is always best. With Bare Escentuals, be sure to really tap off the excess. You don't want layers of foundation caked on your face--it will give the texture of your skin a strange appearance and will drag you down.
    • Check your color. This is where a trip to Sephora or the beauty counter and some trial and error with someone in the know (who can see your coloring, take into consideration lighting, etc.) might help. If the color you pick is too light, too dark, too orange, too whatever, your entire look will be off.

  • Do I really need to use a facial cleanser and moisturizer?

    In my humble opinion, you should be using a gently facial cleanser in the morning and at night. I look forward to washing my face at night to get rid of all the makeup, grease, pollution and other icky residue that builds up during the day. The world's a dirty place, and getting all the gunk off your skin just feels good. Try something really gentle, like Philosophy's Purity Made Simple. If you read past entries of my blog, you'll know that I'm very anti-bar soap for the face--it's much too harsh and will dry you out.

    Everyone says you should be using moisturizer daily, but I disagree. Moisturizer is one of the most overused products out there. If, after you wash your face, your skin feels tight, or if you have obviously dry patches, go ahead and moisturize. If not, only use it occasionally. A lot of foundations (including Bare Escentuals) include SPF, so you don't need to apply a separate sun block or moisturizer to get the sun-blocking benefit. If you want a moisturizer, you should go with something that does not contain oil...try Clinique--I know their moisturizer is oil-free. Since you have lines around your eyes, you may want to consider adding an anti-aging eye cream to your routine.

    You and I are about the same age, and it's time for us to think about preventative actions. You may want to look into using an anti-aging night cream after you wash your face. Think of it as an investment in your skin--if you can slow or stop the formation of fine lines and wrinkles now, you'll continue to look youthful over the years.
I hope this answers your questions! Keep 'em coming--I just love hearing from all of you. Let me know how you do with your makeup adventure!

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