How to Change Makeup as You Age (And: A Few Great Natural Makeup Tutorials)

how not to look oldHow do you change your makeup as you age? And which are the best makeup tutorials for professional women? Reader E wonders…

You’ve had all sorts of posts about makeup to wear when interviewing/commuting/etc. I’m wondering if you could offer some resources that step back even further. I’m in a career (and life!) transitional phase. Before now, I’ve been able to get away with not wearing makeup on a daily basis. Now I’m starting moving into management positions and my professional makeup needs are changing to something more daily. I’m also in my mid 30s and noticing odd things like “fine” lines and growing pores that my old makeup seems to accentuate rather than cover. Can you direct me to what you think are some good, basic tutorials that lay out how to do professional, daily makeup?

Great question. We’ve had an open thread about how your skincare should change as you age, but not specifically about makeup. You may want to check out Charla Krupp’s book, How Not to Look Old (pictured above)– she has a ton of great “aging gracefully” beauty advice in there. Unfortunately, the main piece I remember is that she advised against mauve/rose lipstick, which is my favorite lipstick color, so personally I’m going to ignore that one entirely. A few other suggestions on how to change your makeup as you age: [Read more...]

How Much Makeup Do You Wear to Work?

daily makeup for workHow much makeup do you wear on a daily basis to work?  How often do you change it up?  I saw a recent quote in the Huffington Post about how the editor of Elle Magazine says that makeup for work isn’t as necessary as you think, and it’s better to wear less when you’re young. We’ve talked before about what makeup to wear for interviewing, whether makeup makes you look more competent, and in this blog’s early days we had a really poorly constructed poll about what makeup you wear daily. So I thought today might be a fun open thread: what makeup do you wear on a daily basis? Are there days when you step it up at work — for example, will you wear more makeup if you’re giving a presentation or have a big meeting? Do you change your makeup on a daily basis, such as to better match your outfits? Do you change your makeup for the seasons? On the flip side, have you ever judged a coworker for her makeup choices?

For my $.02, I always consider my bare essentials to be curled eyelashes, blush, and concealer under my eyes — it’s a rare day when I leave the house without those on. For a daily makeup look, I usually wear (in addition to blush and concealer and curled eyelashes): [Read more...]

How to Schedule Appointments When You’re Very Busy

how to make appointmentsHow do you stay on top of hair cuts and other personal care appointments when you’re a busy professional? Reader S, who is about to start as a summer associate, wonders…

I’m in law school, about to start as a summer associate at a firm in NYC, and I was wondering if you had any advice on scheduling appointments while working at a firm. I know that as a summer, I probably won’t have the same workload as I would as a junior associate, so this is mostly a question for the future. When you were in BigLaw, how did you stay on top of things like hair cuts and waxing appointments? It just seem like the hours you need to be working and in the office would make it really hard to schedule things in advance or take the time off to get in with your favorite person.

Great question, S — for my $.02, the answer is to make friends with your calendar system. Let me explain:

- Schedule appointments at the first or last appointment of the day. Doctors, hairstylists, it doesn’t matter — everyone who is appointment-based falls behind. Another option: take advantage of weekend appointments where offered.

- Schedule WELL in advance. The first or last appointment of the day (or the weekend appointment) can be really hard to get, which is why you should try to schedule everything ahead of time, when you can afford to wait a few weeks or months. [Read more...]

Makeup For Biking to Work

makeup for biking to workWhich makeup is best for a biking commute, or another commute where you expect sweat and possibly wind? Reader K wonders…

Being lucky enough to live only four miles from my office, I’m wanting to start taking a bike to and from work every day for personal fitness, sustainability, and savings on gas and vehicle wear-and-tear. The difficulty is with wardrobe and makeup. Specifically, making sure I don’t look like a war zone every day. I have a feeling this is an issue for women in very urban environments as well, where walking and subway commutes can be the transportation method of choice. Since I’m in Texas heat is the biggest issue, but I’d also be interested in any ideas for dealing with the cold, wind, and other factors. What are some ideas for making sure I don’t look like a hot mess at work after biking in?

Great question. Biking to work (or walking!) are solid ways to sneak more exercise into a busy life — I actually really miss the time I used to spend walking to and from work. We’ve talked about the best bags for commuting, how to cool down quickly after a hot commute, and how to keep your regular bra sweat-free.  We’ve had guest posters share their love of wedges for walk-to-work heels, and I’ve shared my own trick — getting a pair of comfortable/stable “commuting shoes” that were the same height as my regular pumps (so I didn’t have to hem my pants differently), but maybe a bit uglier than what I’d otherwise wear around the office; I’ve also talked about how I’ve logged way too many miles in Reef/Teva flipflops with arch support (not recommended).  But we haven’t talked about which makeup is best for a possibly sweaty/windswept commute. [Read more...]

Beauty Wednesday: They’re Real! Mascara

They're Real! MascaraSo it takes a lot for me to rave about a new beauty product, but I really do love this mascara that I recently bought, They’re Real! from Benefit. I’m not sure if it’s the formula, the brush, or what, but this is my new go-to for a night out. The mascara adds a ton of length, drama, and va-va-va-voom to my eyelashes. I have the mini size, available for $10 from Sephora; the full size is $22.

On a day-to-day basis I’m liking (but not loving) Lancome’s Defencils; prior to that I loved L’Oreal’s Voluminous for daily wear.

Readers, which are your favorite mascaras (both drugstore and high-end)? Have you found any other new rave-worthy beauty products?

(L-all)

Work-Appropriate Braids

braids-for-workYes, yes, the braids trend has been around for-ever now… and I’ve been meaning to write a post forever!  It shows no sign of stopping, I think in large part because braided looks are easy and fun hair styles that can be adapted for fancy looks (weddings, galas) to every day looks (like work) — and because they’re just braids they’re pretty weather-proof as well.  I thought I’d round up a few of my favorite braid tutorials for you guys, and start the discussion — do you like to change up your hairstyle for work?  Do you think braids are professional enough to wear to work often?

For my $.02, I think some kinds of braids are a hard sell after you reach a certain age (e.g., milkmaid braids, the braided-halo look, etc), which means that in general those looks should probably stay away from the office.  Either you’re too old to wear them, or you’re emphasizing that you are young enough to wear them.  That said, my favorite grown-up way to do braids is to do a few braided strands as part of an otherwise normal look for you, whether it’s down, a bun, a ponytail, or a half-updo.  I’m putting Maria Menounos’s look front and center because a) I think she normally has a good professional hairstyle, and b) the YouTube video actually does a good job of showing you where to take bigger sections of hair and so forth.  I think she looks “new and now” (as they joke at the end of the video), but that she doesn’t lose any credibility points in doing so.  I can see this also being a nice update to a pulled-back look such as a messy bun or a low ponytail.  Here’s a similar take from Real Simple.  I actually always think of this as being a Lauren Conrad braid but could not for the life of me find a tutorial on her site, The Beauty Department — maybe it’s just too simple. [Read more...]