Monday, June 29, 2009

Beauty Tips and Tricks

I've been a bit obsessed with my appearance lately. As I get older I become more conscious of the fact that I won't look young forever, and I want to enjoy my good features while they're still relatively fresh. Once was, I couldn't be bothered with contact lenses, tooth whitening, hair colour, and makeup. Now I indulge in all of the above.

I finally bit the bullet around a month ago. I had been using the same moisturizer, $12 a bottle from the health food store, for over ten years. Nothing wrong with it, but my skin needed more help. I have a mild form of rosacea, and oily skin. By the end of each day I looked red and shiny, which is great if you're an apple. I'm no apple.

I shopped around at those fancy little kiosks that sell high-end lotions and potions: Clinique, Lancome, etc. I finally settled on Shiseido, and let the girl behind the counter sell me The Works. I even bought the silly sounding things, like the Balancing Softener (which looks like a bottle of water) and the special cotton puffs that cost $8 per bag. I thought I may as well go all the way. I dropped almost $400 at that little stall.

I fully expected it to be a complete waste. Then I could go back to my $12 moisturizer without any doubts in my mind.

Amazingly, the stuff actually works. Not all of it. I find that the expensive blotting papers are no better than using paper towels, and the special cotton puffs are iffy. But the rest is having a very visible effect on my complexion. I'm not nearly as red-cheeked as I was, and my skin is smoother. The SPF50 sun lotion doubles as an oil control measure (I believe the technical term is "mattifying"), so I don't shine by the end of the day. I'm a convert.

Here's my other good trick. I've been accumulating spider veins since the 9th grade, so at this point I'm not willing to show my bare legs in public. For a long time I only wore pants, because even a modest skirt showed off those ugly veins. I tried going for injection treatments at a cosmetic clinic, but my needle phobia got the better of me and I found it too stressful to continue. However, I have found a solution. There is a dancer's supply store near my home. They stock the completely opaque tights worn by dancers and figure skaters. I bought a few pairs in the generic "tan" colour. Now I can wear short skirts without grossing out the general public. Yahoo!

I'll try not to take it too far. I don't want to be one of those women who apply makeup with a trowel. But for now I'm having fun looking my best.


wigsf said...

I just had this image of you slapping a heaping load of cement on your face with a trowel then molding it into a your face.

Vanessa said...

I wish I'd known you were in the market for skin care! Oh well, next time, let me know and I can recommend a great company. :)

Did you know the colors you wear next to your face can minimize that redness too? It's dependent on your skin tones and I have to avoid greens, oranges and yellows otherwise I end up looking like that shiny red apple you mentioned.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

That's funny I happen to be wearing a pair of those tights now.

Jenski said...

I've been using the same moisturizer for probably 11 or 12 years and my skin has seemed really oily the past few weeks. Maybe I'll have to bite the bullet too. :-)

Enjoy your "bare" legs and new cosmetics! Glad they were worth it. Was it one of those times of year when they give you a free gift too?

unsigned said...

I bet you're a very attractive woman. I'd like to take a look at those legs and judge for myself.

Scarlet said...

I've been using Mary Kay for a few years and it's the only product line that doesn't irritate my skin (For being hispanic, I'm so damn WHITE!)

I don't know why, but I get a little shiny at the end of the day and I think it has everything to do with the South Florida climate. Powder helps.

I'm not going the plastic surgery route. This is as good as it gets, baby, and I'm OK with it!

Aurora said...

$400! holy crap!
I've always wondered if those things worked so it is kind of comforting to know that they *do* and that it's worth spending money (some, any--if it works, it's worth it).
And welcome back to the land of minis! they are very in now. My own spider veins are beginning to taunt me, too, so I may be looking for more tips, and soon!

LL Cool Joe said...

I use the L'Oreal "Man Expert" range of products, because I wanna try and look good for my age too. I'm all for any gender making the best of themselves. I go to a unisex hairdressers and you see as many guys in there having their hair coloured as women and I think it's really cool. Why shouldn't they?

Good for you.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I used to wear a ton of make-up (not a TON, but as in foundation, powder, eye-liner + shadow, mascara and lip stick every day). And then I went through a period where all I wore was eye liner and mascara. Now, I'm somewhere in the middle, though still not wearing nearly as much as I used to (though, now I probably need to!).

Sparkling Red said...

wigsf: If you could invent a product that would allow women to mold themselves a new face every day, you'd be an instant billionaire.

Vanessa: For sure, I'm careful what colours I wear. The worst ones for me are black, red, and yellow. But I can get away with those colours if I put on enough makeup. Ah, the magic of makeup.

Ron: That's fantastic! No wonder you're doing so well at your dance class! The proper attire is the first step to dance stardom. So, do you have a tutu?

Jenski: Yup, they gave me a sample lipstick in a colour I'll probably never wear, and a cute little carry-bag. Fortunately I have a younger sister who is willing to take any samples off my hands. ;-)

Unsigned: Well, aren't you the sassy one?

Scarlet: I also don't intend to ever get plastic surgery. I've seen more than one woman referred to my workplace after a botched facelift. Scary! Anyway, you don't need it. You're beautiful. :-)

Aurora: Yeah, it's a big wad of cash. I don't have very many expensive indulgences, so I can afford it for now. I figure I use my face every day, so it's worthwhile to invest in.

Joe: It's good to see men taking care of themselves. Funny how, in the past, women tried to gain equality by not shaving their legs etc, but now we've swung the other way and everyone is spending more time and money on appearances. Ken shaves his legs more religiously than I do mine.

Nilsa: I also go through phases during which I wear more or less makeup. My current daily ritual is: sunblock, eyeliner, eyeshadow, undereye concealer, powder, and lipstick. If I'm feeling too red-cheeked I use foundation too. It takes a long time to get ready, but at least I only spend 30 seconds on my hair now that it's 3/4" long.

powdergirl said...

I wanna picture of Ron in those tights!
Right now!

Nothing wrong with wanting to put your best face forward Sparkly, a little vanity is nothing like conceit, it just keeps a girl looking presentable, which is nice : )

I do love a good moisturizer, but I don't use a lot of cosmetics as I don't find that it makes me feel more attractive. A little lip-gloss, and a tinted, spf moisturizer by day is about all I can swing. If I'm going out I may use a little more product but not much, feels heavy to me.

I once saw a trowel wielder on a construction site after a rain storm.
My goodness!

Glad you found something you liked!

powdergirl said...

Oh, Happy Canada Day, eh?

Sparkling Red said...

Ron, are you listening? The ladies are clamouring for a man in tights.

Powdergirl: I know what you mean about not wanting to wear heavy makeup. That's why I love my Shiseido so much - it makes it possible for me to look presentable without wearing foundation. I mean, what if I have to scratch my nose? You can't touch your face at all in full makeup. It's a real pain.

savia said...

Shiseido is supposed to be amazing - good on ya, lady. Sometimes you have to pay the big bucks to get the quality. I'm fortunate that I have a future sister-in-law who is an esthetician who gives me her cast-offs, and another friend who is a professional make-up artist who gives me tips on products. I'm getting together with her in the next while and will be bringing her all my makeup so she can teach me how to use it. I need professional help! :)