While I am not in my 50's, that doesn't mean that I can't provide helpful information to our mother's and grandmother's about the do's and don't's of beauty and fashion! For years, I've been a witness to my grandmother's own beauty dilemma...she tries to keep up with the latest trends, but I think she should embrace the time she is from.
Eye shadow palettes are a new vice. They offer instant gratification, fun browsing with a de-aging bonus. One great palette can enhance mature eyes quickly and effectively without a lot of additional products or decisions. Some palettes won't work for aging eyes (even surgically enhanced ones) due to inadequate shades, texture or quality; but lots of others do.
Matte Neutrals for Definition
A palette of greys, browns and beige-y nudes is DIY Photoshop (yes, a dream come true). Shine-free shades blank out crepe-y soft lids so drawing on bigger, firmer eyes is easy. All you do is contour with light, medium and dark shades for a natural or dramatic look. Matte neutrals are your basic everyday go-to. Blend the light mattes (vanilla, cream, nude, beige or peach) on the lids to open the eyes, trace the crease with medium brownish-grey for depth (also layer these over the light shades to vary or intensify them). Use the deep brown/black shadow as a liner. Choose velvety, finely milled shadows. Skip any that look chalky (I even went through all of my grandmother's makeup - with her staring at me with concern - discarding any expired cosmetic items).
After a trip to a few drugstores with my grandmother, I had her pick out a few different palettes, so that she'll always have options. The least expensive is Sonia Kashuk's Eye Couture Eye Palette - Eye On Neutral 02 for $20. Some other options are Urban Decay's Naked Basics Palette for $28 and Stila's In The Know Eye Shadow Palette for $39.
Shimmer to Brighten
Shadows that shine, gleam and glow give tired eyes a lively warm look and energize your entire face. Choose a palette with a neutral mix of matte, shimmer and subtle micro-glitter. Flow the light/medium/dark placement above. Treat shimmer as an accessory the way you'd toss on a statement necklace or a sequin scarf. It works as a pick-up whether your lids are loose, lined and saggy or surgically enhanced and smooth. Layer shimmery shadow over a base of matte shadow, use it as a highlight at the inner/outer corners or the very center of the lids. Layering same shade shimmer over its matte cousin intensifies the color.
During another outing with my grandmother, we attacked the eyeshadow department yet again. I wanted to make sure we were on the same page, without slamming her with too much information. The least expensive is Maybelline's Stylish Smokes Eyeshadow Quad, Natural Smokes 02Q for $6. Some other options are Dior's 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Rosy Tan for $60 and Bobbi Brown's Old Hollywood Eye Palette for $75.
Use Color to Feel Festive
Colorful eyes are really an after-dark or party option...or in my grandmother's case...a night out with the girl's playing backgammon or lunch out on the town. Choose neutral palettes with pops of color like blue or violet. Layer the color over or under the neutral brown, nude or grey to make it wearable but with sizzle. Apply color dry for a muted look, with a damp eye brush to intensify the color.
The least expensive is NYX The Smoky Fume Shadow Palette for $8. Some other options are Kat Von D True Romance Eye Shadow Palette-Poetica for $36 and BUXOM's Color Choregraphy Eyeshadow in Lambada or Belly Dance for $36.
Now, with all these simple steps...I wrote a step-by-step instructional guide (made 2 copies) for my grandmother on notebook paper and taped it to her cosmetic case (which I also purchased to organize her makeup) and her bathroom mirror.
See you next time,