When Lipstick Loyalty is Misplaced

I caught myself saying proudly to a client the other day “Of course, our House of Colour Lipsticks don’t change every season; we’ve been doing some of them for more than ten years now. It means that you don’t have to worry about replacing it when you run out. Unlike those colours on the high street that change every five minutes”

And it’s true. We have carried some of our core lipstick colours for as long as I’ve been a client of House of Colour. I well remember Kaye (my consultant, way back in 1997) handing me this shockingly red lipstick.  “Number Twelve: Brick” she said, watching me as I hesitatingly applied it to lips which suddenly looked as if they belonged to Mick Jagger! She just smiled at my horrified reaction and showed me how wonderful I looked wearing my Geranium Red.

By the time I left her studio my lips merely looked (to me) as if I had rather overdone the collagen injections and of course, by the time I had faithfully followed her instructions to wear it every day for a fortnight, I was in love. We still do No. 12, Brick, and I still wear it.

But I haven’t been faithful. The delight of working with all these colours of course, is that I have the opportunity to try everything out. And lipsticks look totally different on to how they look in the tube or even on a tissue. I’ve worn No. 1 (absolutely matches the Teaberry Colour from Kettlewell Colours) and No. 18, Terracotta (still my favourite, although that one we have discontinued). I’ve tried No. 606 Geranium Red and No. 55 Bright Red which is great for evening wear.

And now, with passing that milestone birthday, I’ve done something else; I’ve embraced lip gloss! For years I have dismissed it as being too shiny and wishy-washy: for teenagers and virgins only. But now I realise that it has its place. Not worn alone, but added over the top of a blotted lipstick. It gives a lighter, more translucent look; a younger, fresher feel. I’ve always known that as we get older our lipsticks need to get brighter, but I see now they need to get lighter too.

And I’m not alone in thinking this.

Another American video for you. I don’t embrace this whole-heartedly, and we’ll come to the points of difference when you’ve watched it, but most of the advice is at least partially valid.

Style Mistakes that Age You

So what do you think?

I’m not sure that the model necessarily looks older, but she does look dated, doesn’t she; as if no-one’s told her that the nineties are over and it’s been a new century for quite some time now.

And how about the advice they give?

  • Lipstick – Absolutely! If you feel yours is looking a bit heavy these days then ask me for a recommendation for a lighter, brighter version. Think about applying one coat, blotting and then putting a toning or clear lip gloss on top. For all you Romantics out there, we do a super sparkly clear lip gloss: gorgeous for the evening.
  • Hair – Oh yes! Softer in style and in colour please. It may be coloured to exactly to the shade that your hair used to be, but if you’re covering up the silver then your skin tone will have begun to change and that dark colour will start to look very hard rather sooner than you’d like.
  • Concealer – you may not need as light a colour as you think. I find that even when my clients need the lightest of our foundations (No. 28 – Nude) I still need to use our Medium TV Touch. And yes, that precision application with a brush to just the shadows (but get right in the corners of your eyes  on the side of your nose) is essential. Put less on to start with; you can always add more if necessary.
  • Foundation – Quite right: we need less of this as we get older. If you don’t need a matte powder finish then a tinted moisturiser may be just the ticket. Of course, we at House of Colour have the right shade for you and it includes a sun-screen too! If you’re like me and find that you still get a bit shiny through the day then the dual foundation is great as you can put just a dusting on or go a little heavier for the evening if needed.
  • Mascara – Oops: they’ve got this one completely wrong! Unless you are a winter then, please, never ever wear black mascara! You will just look hard and haggard. Springs and Autumns need brown and Summers usually look best in navy. The eyelash curlers are a good idea though. As for those lower lashes, well, there’s a happy medium between spider-legs on your cheeks and the “I have no eyelashes” look. I recommend that you just touch the mascara wand to your lower lashes after you have used it on your top ones. What you do need through, is a soft smudged eyeliner, otherwise your eyes will just get lost, especially if you wear spectacles.
  • Necklaces – oh for goodness sake! That girl should never be wearing a choker length necklace in the first place, whatever her age! This is another case where personality trumps architecture (or age)! I find that most people can either wear necklaces from Princess length (that’s about half way between the bottom of your neck and the knobbly bit of your breastbone) up to a collar (goes around your neck), or from Princess length down. Some unlucky girls get just the Princess. Never mind, it’s the most common length to find necklaces in. If a choker length (base of throat) looks good on you, then dragging the eye downwards with a long necklace is never going to work. It works on the model because it’s the right length for her, not because it’s “more youthful”!

OK – rant over. I hope you found all that useful.

Just as we would not wear the same style for ten years without thinking about it (the jeans and tee- shirt look possibly excepted – although even there, the jeans cut alters with the season, as do the colours the jeans come in) we shouldn’t wear the same face. So be a bit of a lip-stick tart; try something new. Spending a few pounds on a new lippy is a lot cheaper than a new frock and may actually do more for us.

Whatever age we are, we’re never too old to experiment – even if it’s in the privacy of our own bedroom, and even if we are too sensible these days to grab the hairbrush and start singing along to Blondie’s Atomic! But then again…

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