Hip Mom Gets Made Up
If you're looking to "up the ante" regarding your makeup routine, pay a visit to these local cosmetic stores.
(Author’s note: as I was finishing up this article, I attempted – without parental supervision – to light our fire pit for our girls to roast marshmallows. The gas was on too high, fire burst up and rather horribly singed my face and hair. I will spend many, many weeks looking really hideous. The irony of the situation is not lost on me!)
It doesn’t feel very dignified to admit that as a college-educated mother of many – one who takes her vocation to raise these kids into functioning adults Fairly Seriously – that I just adore makeup. Oh, but I do! I could discuss primers, lashes, foundations, BB and CC creams, and various skincare regimens until the wee hours. What works? What doesn’t? It’s an endlessly fascinating topic for me, especially as my tired, old skin starts to show some real wear and tear.
But of course you have to find a little regime that works for your schedule; I don’t think most of us have time for false lashes and eyebrow brushes every morning (a corollary: dear sweet young 20-somethings, why are you wearing any makeup at all besides a bit of lipstick? Your dewy, glowy skin is as good as it gets. Covering up your sweet duckling skin with makeup makes you look like me – a tired 40-something!). But, as the holidays approach – and perhaps an invitation or two to a sexy (ish) night out arrives – it’s fun to try to up the ante beyond our normal daily regime (for me, that’s primer, mascara, eyeliner and lipstick. Without these I would really horrify the good people of Target and my kids’ schools!). So, I set out to some makeup meccas for some help from the professionals.
My first stop is Bluemercury on Peoria. I recently discovered this gem of a cosmetic paradise; it’s actually a chain, but fairly new to Tulsa. Bluemercury boasts a lot of the fancy, pricey brands (Natura Bisse, La Mer, Darphin, Caudalie), but also lots of more affordable brands such as Kiehl’s, Bumble and Bumble, Lune and Aster.
But what’s great about Bluemercury is the lovely women who work there will help you with cosmetic trickery above your skill level! When I visit, the lovely April (you will know her by her gorgeous dark mane and Sleeping Beauty eyelashes) creates a very chic holiday eye look. Now, I’m not sure I could recreate it at home, but she uses several different eye shadows, a fantastic concealer, and a newfangled thing called eyebrow mascara (I over-tweezed back when that was the thing – the Mesozoic era – and have no brows. Bald brows are no longer bueno).
And then April introduces me to something I’ve always been scared to try on my own: false eyelashes. Bluemercury sells these wonderful “Lash Power” faux lashes. For a mere $25, you can have traffic stopping lashes too! Now I’m such a newbie, I didn’t even know you have to glue the things on (it’s cheap, you can get glue anywhere like Walgreen’s). But April painstakingly glues them on for me and wow! It is quite a dramatic effect. I am not totally sure if it’s “me” — maybe I feel a bit like a, um, woman of the evening? And for a while, I feel like I have baby caterpillars playing around my eyes, but I eventually get used to the feeling. April says she even sleeps with hers!
In the end, I decide not to wear my eyelashes out — I feel like maybe they make me look like I am trying too hard? — but now that I have this little weapon in my arsenal, I shall be sure to wield it when necessary!
April also points out several beauty tricks to get your skin party ready, too: Natura Bisse has a 4-step “Diamond Instant Glow” which I buy and it works — my skin looks much livelier and dewier, like I’ve just had a relaxing facial. She notes that Lune and Aster is a great, reasonable brand for moms. I use their BB cream because it is perfect one-step coverage. Nars has a great “Man Ray” collection for the holidays, and the colors are rich and opulent. And, if you haven’t used Nars eyeliner, get some now! It’s self-sharpening and lines perfectly. I will never use another eye liner again!
Next, I head to Ulta, that bright and sparkly beauty emporium for the masses. Audrey shows me all kinds of great delights for the holidays — or any day! Brow Powder is another easy answer to sad brows; just brush it on and boom — realistic brows. Another invention I just love is Duo Shadow Blender by They’re Real. Instead of having to somehow recreate the gorgeous eyeshadow art done by professionals, you just swipe these on with one brush, and, voila, you have two complementary colors! Exactly what I need.
In the same vein, she shows me a lipstick with the lipliner included — just apply and your lips are automatically lined as well. Audrey shows me her favorite concealer, Brightening Concealer by Benefit. It lights up and conceals those pesky dark circles under your (well, my!) eyes. I snatch some up on the spot.
And then, for a cheap and easy fix the day of an event, she recommends a sheet mask – just peel them, press on to your face and hang out for a few minutes. Brighter, happier skin in just minutes. Sheet masks come in all sorts of varieties – Rejuvenating, Brightening, Soothing – whatever your poor face needs! She also shares with me her favorite foundation primer — the POREfessional. This is just great for filling pores and wrinkles before applying foundation. I used to think primer was a bit over the top, but now I rarely leave the house without it; I often use it in lieu of foundation.
Shadow Duos at Ulta
Sheet Masks at Ulta
During the course of my “research,” I also learned about some new-fangled skincare trends: one is – put down your beverage – snail mucus! Oh, yes. Many Korean beauty lines — including K Beauty — include snail mucus in their skincare products. My friend Meg raves about her snail serum. Gulp!
Another wild, cutting-edge face thing? Microneedling. Well, you might have heard of it as the “Vampire Facial.” Oh, yes. A doctor takes blood from your arm, spins it in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells and plasma, and then your plasma is injected into your face with little needles! Seriously. It’s supposed to produce fabulous results. I’ll try it all, ladies, but you’re going to have to wait until my current “chemical peel” heals. In the meantime, go out and find yourself some fun makeup for all the parties coming up — even if it’s just your kid’s Christmas play.