Mirror, 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’sThe 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

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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.

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

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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

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

I mean, there is no place to hide.

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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

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

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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 toomany blushes and way toomany 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.

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