MAKEUP FOR OLDER SKIN
Anyone else confused about what are the “best” products to use when the skin on your face starts fraying around the edges a little? (Not to mention the skin on your neck, knees, stomach and arms).
I’m getting quite frustrated that there’s so much choice out there in the lucrative “anti-ageing” market and with the way they tap into our insecurities by promising us products that will delay, reduce or reverse the signs of ageing.
Do any of them actually work and who, out of the wealth of experts, should we trust with our (ageing) skincare recommendations?
In a recent Instagram post promoting one of her latest products Bobbi Brown said:-
“I don’t believe in anti-ageing products because there is no such a thing.”
WHAT??? AAAGHGHGHGGHG. Her view is that it’s not about looking younger, it’s about looking better and that moisture is the game changer.
On the other hand, India Knight has brought out a new book called “Beauty Edit – What Works When You’re Older.” I’m genuinely interested in reading it, but is there any point after what Bobbi says? India’s take on the matter is:-
“New formulations and technological advances have reinvented makeup and skincare and made both dramatically more effective.”
So who are we to believe?
If we were to put our faith in India Knight and trust her opinion on everything she knows about midlife beauty and invest in her top 7 midlife must haves – including something I’d really like to try which is a neck serum (I’m totally with Nora Ephron these days), we would be spending just under £400 – which is a huge amount, if after a month or so none of it feels like it’s worked (although she says it does). One of the products she recommended was a lip liner that she suggested you cheat with – putting the liner just slightly beyond the borders of your lips (because our lips shrivel as we get older). Well I’ve tried that before and the minute I came downstairs my daughter said “OMG mum, what have you done to your lips? You’ve missed your mouth entirely. You look like a clown!” Just not worth trying anything sneaky when you have a harsh, 20/20 sniper-visioned daughter ready to pounce at any moment.
So the real question is why do we think we look less great when our skin isn’t as dewy and malleable as it used to be? Why don’t we just accept it’s a different phase and concentrate harder on enjoying that inner peace that comes with getting older and embracing the challenge of how to get that eye pencil across rather more rugged terrain. I’m not sure I’m really that bothered about my wrinkles – they’re developing nicely just as my eyesight deteriorates WHICH IS GREAT. You just have to remember not to look at yourself in the mirror with your glasses on, because that really is a bit of a shock.
My mother didn’t appear to give a shit about her wrinkles, despite always looking great. She said that we should all embrace our wrinkles and be thankful that we were still alive. She would often tell me that if I kept smiling, no one would notice my wrinkles. It’s recently occurred to me that she had an unusually healthy attitude to wrinkly skin and didn’t try to plaster it in thicker foundation or consider expensive cosmetic treatments and she thought that anyone who spent too long worrying about their face was wasting their precious lives. I’d like to get to the same point – where I’m 100% totally comfortable with them and not endlessly trying to look younger or cover them up. Literally just comfortable in our own skin. So how do we get there when there’s so many mixed messages? How do we rethink our relationship with ageing? How do we learn to love our wrinkles and embrace them? Maybe we should stop being so gloomy and doomy about our lines or let companies try and sell us elixers of youth. We’ve bloody earned these lines on our faces. These battle scars. They should be appreciated like badges of honour – like all those ridiculous badges we used to sew onto our Brownie and Girl Guide sleeves – WELL DONE badges for darning socks, talking to old people washing dishes, running, jumping, skipping… maybe we should just get little tattooed arrows put on our faces pointing at various lines that say “got through childbirth”, “survived divorce”, “survived another arsehole relationship”, “teenager nightmare”, “stressful job” and so on….so much more life affirming than trying to hide them. We’re meant to be improving with age. Not made to feel as if we’re turning into mouldy old bananas that nobody wants to sit next to on the bus.
I just tend blob things on my face as I find them in drawers (almost definitely out of date) or buy new products to try out when my friends recommend them and I haven’t really embraced a lot of expensive products (I’m currently using the No 7 serum (although it’s called Future Renew, damage reversal – which suggests that’s what it’s going to do….everyone raved about and it seems to be good, although not much damage reversal happening I would say). I’ve never understood why people who make products for skin think that the biggest compliment you can get is “OMG your skin looks amazing!!!”. No one has ever said that to me (because I was brought up in HK by parents who forgot to put suncream on me) – but honestly, I’m not that offended….I’d rather be told I was funny, or kind, or interesting, or had shiny hair, or pert bosoms, or a nice arse….anything really. Skin is quite boring to talk and think about and look at I think. And yet, it’s so significant and important and strange. Our largest living, breathing organ that we’re all born with that is mainly there to protect us and yet we can all be pretty judgemental about skin. Sometimes, depending simply on the colour of the skin, people can feel invisible (or worse) – the same happens when the skin suddenly doesn’t fit the body quite as well anymore and begins to sag – when that happens – especially to women, there is also the feeling of invisibility on numerous occasions (and not just when you’re waiting to buy a round at the pub). I just don’t understand why we have to have such a difficult relationship with skin.
Anyway, I’m certainly not going to offer you a makeup video or tutorial of how I look after trying various products – but here are some of the things I’ve tried out recently. A friend recommended one of Bobbi Brown’s new “Jones Road” products called Miracle Balm – which is meant to re-add the moisture our wrinkly old faces are so missing. So I immediately bought it and (so far) it makes me look like I’ve rubbed my face in a pinkish lard – all shiny and greasy looking, invariably with little bits of it stuck in my hair. Not sure how I’ve managed to get it so badly wrong, I definitely need an expert to show me how to apply it. At the same time I bought her bronzer and a new brush – both are very good but the bronzer is less than two months old and it’s almost finished! Normally my bronzers (from Laura Mercier) can last six months or more, so I’m not very happy about that. That’s the Miracle Balm at the back of the photo – it’s going to last ages I suspect – and the other pot is a gel bronzer – also quite like that so far! Although no idea if it can go over foundation.
Here we have a mascara a friend said I simply MUST buy recently because everyone was raving about it and it’s AMAZING, so I did, because I’d been the one to comment on her lovely long eyelashes (and she is my friend who lost all her hair last year due to cancer – but thankfully managed to hang on to her eyelashes), it’s a Rumi Volume care+ one – but on me it just tangles my eyelashes up into clumps, so I much prefer the Bad Gal BANG ones my daughter recommended for me by Benefit (even if the name isn’t entirely fitting for the older female market….or maybe it is? I also think their waterproof one is pretty good) :-
And lastly, a shout out to Trinny who I love. She’s such a character and so easy to watch on her Insta channel and she’s done so unbelievably well. I love her stackable pots – they’re great for travelling. Her skincare products didn’t really suit my skin, but I love how she does very quick lessons in how to apply your makeup with your fingers and then leave – super easy – which is what I’m after. CBA to spend any more than 5 minutes on my face:-
And btw, this is not a sponsored post in any way – which I’m sure you will appreciate, given I haven’t been overly effusive about any of it. I’ve bought everything myself and all opinions are my own! But if anyone wants to show me how to use that Miracle Balm properly I’d be most grateful!