Fashion notes: With age comes some wisdom about make-up

Make-up has the power to change your entire style identity. By being a little bolder you would be surprised what opens up within your wardrobe choices.

‘The three of them were beautiful, in the way all girls of that age are beautiful. It can’t be helped, that sort of beauty, nor can it be conserved; it’s a freshness, a plumpness of the cells, that’s unearned and temporary, and that nothing can replicate. None of them was satisfied with it, however; already they were making attempts to alter themselves into some impossible, imaginary mould, plucking and pencilling away at their faces. I didn’t blame them, having done the same once myself.”

– Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

Sadly, few are ever satisfied with what they have at a certain given moment – looking forward, or more commonly, at our past, seems to be our preferred prerogative.

Which is a shame. For middle age is one of those unfortunate things that sneaks up, seemingly when we aren’t looking. Often occurring in a single moment, when grim realisation swoops in, finalising the fact that we can’t get away with a vague take on trends anymore, forcing us to search and stick to the things that “suit” us rather than the things we like.

Take make-up as an example. Once we pass the said age wearing a certain amount of make-up can actually make us appear older. When foundation starts to highlight a few cracks, or a favourite eyeshadow makes a home in the crinkles of your eyelids, it may be time to re-evaluate.

Most of us stick to the same old regime when it comes to make-up. I certainly do.

Sure there have been a few blips along the way – a few blue eyeshadow palettes the size of tea trays, or the time that some (insert expletive) Parisian brow expert left me with nothing up top but a few stragglers. Top prize, however, would probably go to the frosted lips I paid homage to in the 1990s, to which my father (not a man who notices much) stopped dead in his tracks, asking me, without a hint of irony, if I were meaning to look dead.

But, for the most part, I have pretty much stuck to what I know and love. A light base (Chanel Vitalumiére), a rosy cheek, a palette of taupe or brown for the eyes, an inky “flick” of Chanel liquid liner (if i am feeling up to it) and a few coats of mascara that I move in a zigzag pattern from the base to the tip. Boring really, when there is so much out there.

You see, make-up has the power to change your entire style identity. By being a little bolder you would be surprised what opens up within your wardrobe choices, allowing us to create a character if you like.

Start with the eyebrows. Don’t do them yourself. Parveen at Locks spa in Abu Dhabi is a magician – she will dye and thread your brows, and fundamentally change the structure of your face. I have sent endless friends there who now swear by her.

Your skin is obviously imperative. Everything begins and ends here. It provides the necessary base. Estée Lauder Advanced night repair is the favourite on the market. It treats the skin as you are sleeping, leaving it soft and supple in the morning.

Lastly, don’t go cheap on your brushes, because a good set will do some of the work for you. Mac’s Masterclass brushes are designed with their heads on a right angle, on a slanted handle, allowing an easier application.

What most of us tend to forget is that looking good is all in the preparation, in looking after the basics. It doesn’t have to be the extreme regime some of us think.

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Published: March 6, 2014 04:00 AM


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