If you want to know about makeup, you’re probably asking the wrong person if you ask me. You see, I’m not particularly talented with my own. I am concerned with the state of skin, not what’s brushed onto it. There are, thank goodness, scores and scores of experts who do know, and talented they are indeed. And there are scores of beauty blogs on the subject, as well. There’s a new one out on television makeup called not surprisingly Film and Television Make-Up. Whether you plan to make television your career which is possible for some, but not probable for most there are great tricks to learn with paint.
I myself have watched fashion models transform themselves before my very eyes with sticks and jars and sponges and colors of every hue. They can make eyes appear where they disappeared before, and noses or chins disappear when they were not as neat as they ought to have been. These models are so talented at their craft that I once stood at a store counter next to a model with whom I’d worked constandy and never even recognized her until she gave a salesgirl her passport for identification and the salesgirl read the name aloud. I was shocked and could only query, “Is it you?” For without her makeup, this girl, who was one of the reigning models of her day, had no face at all. I mean it was bland, characterless, and completely unnoticeable. But let her draw it on with paint, and in front of the lights, she came off superstar.
The important thing to remember is that you must protect your skin carefully before you start to paint. If your skin is wearing its protective, acid-balanced armor, then no amount of paint assuming it is paint that is meant to be used on skin can harm it.
One famous fashion model informed me that Dr. Laszlo (yes, the same) had saved her skin from the destruction it was getting from all the heavy makeup she was forced to use to look the way fashion models are supposed to on camera. Beautiful, elegant, bone-structured. (And for your information, plenty of a model’s bone structure is the result of a clever paint job. In a photograph, it shows up real.) She was getting lines before her time, blemishes on a previously clear-as-crystal skin. Fortunately, models make money lots of it and this young lady was able to afford frequent private consultations with the doctor. After her skin was gotten into its perfect condition, and her protective preparations put on first, then the theatrical makeup could not work its legendary skin harm.
There are, however, a few things about makeup I’ve learned on my own. One important fact is that, the older you get, the less makeup you should wear. Sounds incredible, but it is quite the fact, for trying to pretend that we don’t all get older sometime is absurd. But trying to hide it with a lot of paint is going to make you look like Methuselah’s mother. I have discovered that I take it off as I go along. I have never seen a woman over forty who didn’t do better with less, rather than more, makeup.
The only possible exception would be lipstick. It seems to my fashion reporter’s eye that lipstick works the other way around. For a woman of, say, fifty, to try to get away with the teenage bare-mouth, big-eyed face would only look ridiculous. (It’s going out of fashion anyway.) And by this, I don’t mean she needs a bright red slash of a mouth or a forties kind of “camp” black lipstick. What I mean is she needs color. I guess what I really mean is that woman should look like woman, and a child can get away with whatever she wants.
As for the eyes having it well, they’re not getting as much these days, thank goodness. The Cleopatra look with the hard-edged black line drawn around the eye is definitely gone, although there are many more exciting ways to paint up the eyes. And it can be fun. So do as you like here but beware of one thing, for your eyes’ sake: The moment a product burns your eyelids, take it off just as fast as you can. Remember, you have no protection there. The eyelid is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, and it is there for the protection of your eyes. Don’t you forget that.
That is the reason you must be extremely careful about what goes on that eyelid. The eyelid can absorb things, right into your eyes, and occasionally those things can be dangerous. Beware of sunscreens, for example, that were meant for your nose, perhaps your eyes, never. There are many substances that are good sunscreens, but contain
substances that present a very real danger to the eyes a danger that could result in blindness. So if the label says, “not to be used near the eyes,” then don’t think they’re kidding.
One more warning about eye products. Be wary of the ones that you may buy abroad or that a friend may have given you. I know of a fashion model who used fashionable French eyedrops to whiten her eyes. And all was well until the whites of her eyes turned blue and remained that color forever. This is a true story and is meant to frighten you. These drops have since been removed from the market, even in France. But that won’t help this model’s ruined career or her ruined appearance. So beware of foreign products for the eyes, and, if in doubt, do the usual check with your eye doctor. He will know.