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MIRROR, MIRROR

The evil queen at her mirror

The Evil Queen in Snow White isn’t the only one with “beauty” issues. And while I’m not going to go as far as poisoning apples, I must confess that I am on a never-ending quest for the best makeup that will help with this aging face.

A couple of years ago, I came across Le No Makeup Look on Jennifer Scott’s The Daily Connoisseur’s web site. While I always enjoyed her stories about life in France and all things chic and stylish, one day I was pleasantly surprised when she featured a YouTube video about Le Look. I was hooked, but it took a trip to Europe to see Le Look in the flesh.

It began in Amsterdam.

The Rijksmuseum and a canal  with bicycles in Amsterdam

I was riding a tram to the The Rijksmuseum and I happened to hear someone speaking French. Glancing across the aisle, I saw a lovely young woman. Her face was so natural it appeared as though she was not wearing any makeup. I studied her more closely and I could see that while she was wearing makeup, it was so subtly applied and subtly colored, I could barely see it. This was my first sighting of Le No Makeup Look in real life. And as the Dutch say, “het echte werk.” (The real thing.) Then I began noticing more women with Le Look and I would study their faces and try to analyze their makeup.

 When I arrived In Paris, I tried to research Le No Makeup Look on the internet. The French advertise free internet everywhere. But, lots of luck.

Free Wifi Paris posters

After failing to get online all over Paris, I zipped over to the Apple Store in L’Place de l’Opéra and asked why I couldn’t get free internet anywhere.

Sandra at the Apple store in Paris

One of the Apple employees informed me that you have to pay for the free internet in France. Let me get this straight. You pay for free internet access. Where is free not free? Only in France.

Once back home, I dived into YouTube, ferreting around for anything related to Le No Makeup Look. But I discovered a whole world of videos about makeup, in addition to Le Look. I don’t mean just a few, I’m talking about a lot. From blush to bronzers, from highlighters to concealers, from smokey eyes to hooded eyes, from drugstore to high end, from half-a-face to four-minute makeups. And I didn’t care if they were in French or Urdu, if they looked intriguing, I watched them.

My first major discovery was Lisa Eldridge’s website and YouTube channel.

Lisa Eldrige YouTube channel

She is the Grand Dame of makeup. Her videos attract well over a million views. This British expert offers instruction on makeup, skin care, vintage looks, mature looks, and subjects I hadn’t even thought of. Although she’s produced hundreds of videos, here are three of my favorites:

No Make-Up’ Tutorial

 

 

 

 

Meeting The Ex-Chat 

 

 

 

 

Youthful Make-up Tutorial for Mature Skin

 

 

 

 

This video actually went viral because so many people were blown away by the stunning transformation of a mature woman with a heavily-lined face. Lisa didn’t try to cover up anything, she simply accented the woman’s natural beauty and made her glow. This is a must watch video.

Next I found a delightful Parisienne woman named Hélène whose videos were all in French.

Her YouTube channel is Mon blog de Fille. I loved watching her videos and listening to her speak although I could not understand a word she said. I used Google Translate on her blog so I could try to follow her suggestions.

A year went by and I continued to watch her videos (in Gallic oblivion), when I had an epiphany. I sent her an email and suggested that she make English versions of her videos and blogs. She was thrilled with my idea. It was exactly what she had wanted to do, but was hesitant because she wasn’t sure if there was a market for her French perspective.

She also shared with me her apprehensiveness about her English. I asked her to send me a video so I could hear her speak ‘la langue Anglaise.’ She did and she was delightful. Even her mistakes were charming. She now has an English language YouTube channel! It’s The French Touch Up. This is the wonder of the internet…you can reach out to a woman thousands of miles away, make a simple suggestion and change a life.

Here are a few of her most recent videos in ENGLISH.

How I wear my scarves

My French Skin Care Routine

My Foundation Routine

 

 

 

Have you noticed that somehow our mirrors seem to get sharper as we age?

I mean, there is no place to hide. 

Rubens_Venus_at_a_Mirror_c1615

So, the search goes on and in my continuing quest to patch, patch, patch, I recently found more panaceas at Angie at Hotandflashy.com

Angie of Hot and Flashy YouTube Channel

Her appeal is to the woman fifty and over. She has great tips on how to make up hooded eyes and maturing skin. I’ve tried them and her techniques have worked the best for me. I even bought all the MAC colors she suggested and put them in a palette. She also talks about caring for an “older face and body,” meaning eating healthily and exercising. Excellent and sensible advice that I wish I could follow. Really. How can she be so disciplined?

Look Younger! – Foundation Tutorial for Mature Skin

 

 

 

 

My Fitness + Eating Routine for Healthy Aging

Makeup for Mature Hooded Eye

 

 

 

So, Mirror, Mirror, how does all this relate to me?

Well, as I have aged, had more basel cell cancers removed from my face and let my hair grow grey, I find that I need more definition in my makeup. I’ve learned how to do it by watching these videos. In the process, I discovered that I must have this concealer, this brush, this bronzer, these eyeshadows, and a plethora of other essentials. I buy way too many brushes, way too many lipsticks, way too many blushes and way too many of just about everything.

Recently, my ten-year-old granddaughter happened to glance at my dressing room counter top which is buried under all my makeup paraphernalia and asked, “Grammy, what do you do with all this stuff? You don’t need makeup!” Then I had her look at my face before applying makeup and afterwards. She gazed at me for a moment and observed, “I guess you’re right, Grammy, you do look better with makeup.” Out of the mouths of babes.

 

All images appearing on MIRROR, MIRROR are the expressed property of Sandra Sallin. All rights reserved. In other words, don’t steal it!



  • Elsa Louise - I find you consistently lovely in all the photos you present to us here. Of course, though, now my curiosity is piqued regarding current before- and after-cosmetics pics. Might you be willing to share?

    Not at all sure I could do it, and here I am, regardless, wanting it from you … I am too bold. Still, thought to ask, in light of your granddaughter’s observation.

    Courage!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - You’re right it takes courage. I’ll do it I think. But I’ve got to have my husband take a good before photo. 🙂 I knew someone whould ask. I roomed with Julie DeNeen at BlogHer, showed her my before face and she didn’t faint. 🙂 Give me time.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara - Sandra – this is confection in a post! It’s a Saturday night and I can’t wait to settle in and watch some of these posts….thank you. Going to pop some popcorn now and watch the show(s).ReplyCancel

    • sandra - That sounds perfect, Barbara. I can get lost going from one to another. Enjoy.ReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - Even though I don’t have an obsession with makeup (yet) I was fascinated by the way you are a pitbull for information. This has so many helpful links and resources!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Julie, I love that comment about being a “pitbull for information.” Your’re exatly right. Just never thought of it that way. But I will now.I dig and dig and dig somemore. Even when I find the answer I’ll dig somemore.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Rudell Beach - This is so funny ~ and I love your granddaughter’s comment 🙂 I too enjoy watching youtube makeup tutorials and have learned a lot of makeup tricks and secrets there. And I just love the image of you watching French makeup videos “in Gallic oblivion.” {oh, and the secret to free wi-fi in Paris is to stand just outside of Starbucks and use their free network on your iPhone.}ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Aha, Sarah. I didn’t have my iPhone with me. I had my iPad. I was worried about roming charges. But don’t you need some special words to get into Starbucks Wifi? I should have asked you my dear friend wikipedia. Of course I didn’t know you at the time.ReplyCancel

  • Debra Eve - Out of the mouths of babes, indeed. Loved this, Sandra. I wear very little makeup, but I’m fascinated by the techniques. BTW, check out “skin needling” on YouTube. I do it myself and it looks a bit like medieval torture, but I swear it’s taken years off my face.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Ok Debra, you’ve got me curious. Off I go to look up “skin needlin.”ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - So true with me as well as I age. I need makeup to define my features more than ever. The videos Lisa does for Chanel are wonderful. The more natural color I loose, the more I need to add. Great post!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Jennifer. Ain’t that the truth. I just fade away if I don’t accent my features. I just love listening to Lisa. Her voice is so soothing and non judgemental. A delight.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Liew - Yes, Youtube is the best place to learn about make up. I don’t have a makeup obsession yet, but I think I should pay more attention to skin care!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Michell, it’s all there waiting for you. An amazing amount of information at our fingertips. First rule is to wear sunscreen everyday!ReplyCancel

  • Arleen - These tips were great. I loved the one for mature woman. Plan to see if I can get some of the products. It is frustrating when you get older to hide the age spots and the wrinkles. Truly great infomrationReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Arleen, Isn’t that video just magical? Glad you enjoyed it.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - Hey, I’ve actually seen some of Helene’s videos! I don’t know how I chanced upon them..but what fun to know that you were responsible for her ‘English’ videos! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Roshni, Isn’t that the wonder of the internet? I was just so frustrated trying to understand her. I think she’s going to have her website translated also. Yipee!!!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is JUST what I need, and I can’t wait to “study” this on my next day off.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Slagel@Shape Daily - You certainly did your homework. I have always been a fan of very little make up. I try my hardest to just use a sheer moisturizer and a light pink eye shadow. The only make up I can’t get away from using is black eye liner and black mascara. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to tone these down to a soft brown because I love the looks you mentioned above.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Mary, When i was young I wore very little make-up. It was when I went grey and got older that I needed to use make-up to bring some definition to my face. So I wear makeup but try to make it as natural as possible looking. Well, natural as makeup can allow me.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon Bradley-Colleary - Sandra – I’m bookmarking this page to use in my future beauty exploits. Thanks for the comprehensive guide. And you are my beauty mentor, I hope to look as chic and glamourous as you a few years hence. xoReplyCancel

  • sandra - Oh Shannon, you’re beautiful just the way you are. Even better you’re hysterical!ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Sandra, you would look beautiful even with no makeup (despite what your granddaughter said). You have great bone structure and “une certaine joie de vivre” that brings joy and beauty to your face.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Helen, I’ve got to keep smiling so you don’t see the lines. 🙂 But thank you.ReplyCancel

  • SHELLEY R ZUREK - Thanks for all the great suggestions. I am headed over to follow a few of them right now!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Great Shelly, look around it’s lots of fun.ReplyCancel

  • Anne @GenFabulous - Thank you for so many great resources!

    I was just reading an article recently about a young woman experimenting with several different applications of makeup. The one best received was the no-makeup makeup.

    I think this matters particularly after midlife. I want to look fresh and pretty, but I don’t want to look overdone or like I’m trying to hard.

    At BlogHer, you always looked fresh and lovely, but I never noticed your makeup. A great advertisement for this method!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Yes Anne, that’s what I’m aiming for. It takes a lot of work to look like you haven’t done much. 🙂 I hate that makeup where you have just a face with flat color. You look like your’re wearing a mask. Hate that. I think the best advice is to learn to scuplpt your face subtly with bronzer. Gives you some bones and structure where you have none. It really helps.ReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - Ohhh bless your granddaughter! At least you know that you’re getting the makeup really right – Niece and Neff have no compunction about telling me when they think I look stupid. There’s a huge amount of info here, and just a lot, a LOT of effort! Both to put together (awesome) and to carry out in real life (faff I don’t have time for). One day when I start wearing dresses more and looking like a girl, I’ll think about makeup. For now I’m busy trying to ignore my first wrinkles.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Cooper - I do not have a major affliction with make up and do wear it on occasion. I love this post because you were able to connect and build a relationship Helen. I have too been to France and had trouble finding “free wifi”. It looks like you have an amazing trip. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Beverly Diehl - Noticed meeting you in person you look absolutely gorgeous, and not at all “made-up.” I assumed it was all you! I’m somewhat relieved, as I can’t change my genes, but I *can* watch some videos and buy some make-up brushes.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Scott - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I believe every person is beautiful in their own way. Some take the natural approach and do not wear make up and many of use use it to enhance our features. I love all the researched you did in order to find these great beauty gems.ReplyCancel

  • sandra - Hi Susan, yes the trip was wonderful. I’ll actually blog about it. I adore museums. So I’ll have to talk about that addiction. Love that you were looking for “free wifi” also.ReplyCancel

  • sandra - Thanks Beverly, trust me when I get the guts to do a before and after, you will gasp. Enjoy the videos and explore what has meaning to you.ReplyCancel

  • sandra - Thanks Elizabeth. I have friends whose eye’s glaze over at the mere idea of looking at a video on makeup. BUT, they’d just complimented me on how good I looked. I wanted to help them but they would have none of it.ReplyCancel

  • Carpool Goddess - I can’t wait to watch these Sandy! Awesome stuff.ReplyCancel

  • Nicki - Love this and the fantastic resources. Who’d a thought! And Helene? I just want to touch her skin, gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Kicki, Helene is very careful about her skin. She would never do the rough stuff we try to do in America. She would never use a Clarisonic.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - I smiled when you said Helene was not sure if someone would want to watch something from a French perspective. I think that shows how everyone everywhere has insecurities – and I think our sterotypes of each other are blurring our abilities to connect with one another.

    Gonna check out the youthful makeup tutorial – I think it’s time for me 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Helene was also very worried about her ability to speak English. She is utterly charming and so knowledgeable.ReplyCancel

  • homejobsbymom - That’s strange that free isn’t free in France. Why call it free then. I guess to confuse out of towners lol.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Yes, Krystle, I’m surprised they did’nt at that it was the”new” and “better” Free that is not free!ReplyCancel

  • Catarina - Loved the Glowing,Youthful Day MakeUp Tutorial For Mature Skin video. Stopped using foundation from YSL actually when I was 35 because I felt it emphasized your lines. Now I know where to get one that doesn’t.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Catarina, I was so surprised when I tried a foundation and I actually looked worse! I now know that lighter texture is better.ReplyCancel

  • Niekka McDonald - I absolutely love youtube! I am always searching for make up tips. My favorite was the one in French, I didn’t understand anything she said but I was mesmerized by her beautiful accent. I am learning more about make up. I figured it time to start because their are time when I need to wear it like for gala’s and social events. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Niekka, Héléne is wonderful to look at and listen to even if you don’t understand a word she says. I love the French look and expressions.ReplyCancel

  • E. Jane - I loved this post, Sandra. The links were very helpful, and after watching, I have purchased some badly needed new makeup. My blog has focused on weight loss, but I am expanding it to include all aspects of living a healthy, productive lifestyle. This is particularly important as we age, and I’m definitely in that category.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I’m a make-up fanatic for lack of a more pleasant term. I’ve been to the Ulta grand opening locally 4 times in 5 days (often under the purchasing for someone else guise), try new products and review videos(this pade is officially bookmarked). I find that I love makeup so much because it is often the only thing that is just about “me”. I don’t ask for or need approval, I’ve gotten good with it over the years so it feeds my creative and it’s purely fun, as opposed to my often high stress but loved sales career.

    Thanks for the post and sharing your passion (age is totally irrelevant, I learned a lot).ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Stephanie. So glad I can share this obsession with you. I find it very relaxing watching the videos. It’s also expensive. There’s always one more thing I must have.ReplyCancel

  • sandra - Thanks E. Jane. I went to your blog, I’m going back to comment. It looks like your making lots of change to your life and looking better and updating are part of it. Glad I could help.ReplyCancel

  • Debra Yearwood - Great tips Sandra and what a fun writing style you have. I have an aversion to all make-up but lipstick so love the idea of Le No Makeup look. Just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean I don’t look better with it. 🙂 I’m going to take a look at the links you suggested, have already had a quick look at the French Touch Up.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - I’m glad you enjoy my stle Debra. I used to wear very little makeup also, but there comes the day…ReplyCancel

  • Arleen - Thank you for taking the time to put together make up for us older women. After looking at the videos I picked up some great tipsReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Arleen,it is not easy to find makeup tips for the “mature” woman. But when you do… They can make a diference.I need the diference.ReplyCancel

  • Krystyna Lagowski - What an awesome blog! There needs to be more advice for women “of a certain age” about makeup tips. So often women just keep on wearing the same look from their 20s or 30s, simply because there isn’t anyone offering these types of tips. A few years ago I had to stop wearing eye makeup because I became allergic – and realized I had to rethink my whole routine. Now I may have to rethink it again : ))ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Krystyna, you are absolutely right. There’s very little advice for women “of a certain age.” I think it must be because most people on YouTube are younger.ReplyCancel

  • Deborah Davis - Mirror, mirror on the wall…such a fitting topic. Your experiences really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing this marvelous story.

    My husband chides me constantly for always looking at myself in every mirror or reflective surface that I pass. He doesn’t understand it when I tell him that I am not vain, I am just “connecting with myself” and trying to make sense of the reflection that I see. Who is this person? Why does my face look so different now? What can I do to salvage my youthful complexion? Where did those dark circles come from? What are those indentations surrounding my mouth? Stop the clock!! Please!!

    I have spent many years getting Mary Kay party makeovers. subjecting myself to the dubious talents of department store makeup counter clerks and buying their expensive “miracles” that did not work when I tried them at home.

    Finally, through research, trial and error I have learned that “less is more” and “simple, natural and organic” skin care products made from stuff I have in my kitchen actually nourishes my aging skin and keeps it moist, unlined and youthful looking.
    A little witch hazel toner, coconut oil for moisture and a little lipstick, eyeliner and a dot of undereye cream has replaced “my old pancake foundation and friends”.

    I hope this simplified, natural routine continues to work when I’m much older. We’ll see!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - First of all I would love to move my body like Beyonce. Ain’t gonna happen. I’d love to take dancing classes though. I wear makeup but definitely always try and look as natural as possible. I do find I need blush and lipstick though to bring some color to my skin. But remember my hair is grey so I need color. Usually those SA at makeup counters make me look terrible. Too much stuff!ReplyCancel

  • Susan@Flattering50 - Sandra, this is fantastic! So many great resources. Thanks for making contact and introducing me to your beautiful site. — SusanReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by. I so enjoy your site also. There are more and more of us “mature” women out there. Our voices need to be heard.ReplyCancel

  • Aquileana - Excellent post… I totally enjoyed the way you mixed up your travel experiences with the art of “make up”…
    Oh my!!!, I just can´t live without it…
    Such a pleasure to came across you at Google plus, Sandra; Cheers,

    Aquileana 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Aquileana. Nice to meet you.So glad you enjoyed my makeup post. I love that stuff.ReplyCancel

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