Written by Lesa Crowell
“A woman without paint is like food without salt.” — Roman philosopher Plautus
I guess I am unsalted. It was pretty funny when I was getting ready for last month’s photo. My hair and make-up guru, Casey Sorrels, started laughing and making fun of some of my make-up choices and scolded me for lacking the proper tools.
First, let me get this off my chest. I hate wearing makeup. I just don’t get the whole make-up thing. Just because I don’t like wearing make-up doesn’t mean I don’t need to slap it on when the occasion arises.
Most mornings I wake up with an entire set of luggage under my eyes. Might I add: Mother Nature must have a great sense of humor because if you don’t get acne as a teen, then boom! When you are the mom of teenagers you get to bond over Clearasil.
Luckily for me, I work from home and don’t have to face the public. One of my best friends, on the other hand, gets up every morning and does the full-blown “southern states pageant face.”
She will not go out of her house without make-up. I doubt that her husband has ever seen her face without the “war paint,” which, if you do a little research, is where make-up actually stems from. Think about that the next time you are reaching for the blush.
Braveheart’s William Wallace (aka Mel Gibson) would not have been so cool and intimidating to the British without that blue stripe down his face, would he?
What about the Native Americans? They knew the power of make-up early on. They even put it on their horses.
The term “drop dead gorgeous” and “to off someone” actually comes from the Italian Renaissance era — women wore lead paint on their faces and used arsenic cheek powder.
Aqua Toffana, so named for the creator Signora Toffana, was designed for women of rich families. The container directed the women to visit Signora Toffana for proper usage instructions of applying the product only when their husbands were in close proximity.
Six-hundred-dead husbands and six-hundred-wealthy widows later and the signora was sent to the executioner.
During the Middle Ages when the pale face was in fashion, women actually bled themselves to achieve that “fresh from the grave” look. Like any trend, you always have those who take it a little too far — actually bleeding to death trying to achieve that whiter shade of pale.
While I am not on the make-up bandwagon, I am on the skincare bandwagon. If you don’t take care of your skin, no amount of makeup will improve how it looks. My mother had an ironclad rule at our house. My sister and I were NEVER to go to bed without properly cleansing our faces.
No matter what time I go to bed — and believe me in my late teens and early 20’s it was usually when the sun was coming up — I could not go to sleep until I had done my cleansing ritual.
The skincare and makeup industry is a billion-dollar business, one that has played on women’s insecurities all the way to the bank. Every woman reading this column has a drawer full of products — bought with the promise to diminish wrinkles, unpuff our eyes and reclaim our youth.
I know that we have lipsticks that will never be worn, eye shadow that won’t see the light of day, and foundation that is all wrong for our skin type.
With that being said, here is my list of “can’t live without” products that I believe you will never regret buying.
Spring is here. Throw out the old and reclaim your bathroom space with products that actually deliver.
1. Crème de La Mer: I know this is expensive, but trust me it is worth every penny. It lasts and will save on future face-lifts. Look at it as an investment in your face. Blissworld.com, 1 oz., $110.
2. Glymed Skin Cleanser: This keeps your skin clear and bright. Blemishes are gone and it exfoliates your skin back to the baby days. (If you have teenagers, I believe it works better than anything else for acne.) The Mirage Day Spa, $29.68.
3. Meaningful Beauty Eye Cream by Cindy Crawford: I was skeptical about this, but ordered it anyway and was I surprised!! I love this stuff and the crow’s feet are going bye-bye. Meaningfulbeauty.com.
4. Bobbi Brown foundation stick and loose powder: I lump these together because your skin looks flawless and you actually look like you have nothing on. Bobbibrowncosmetics.com. $38 and $32.
5. Love My Lashes, Black Mascara, Moisturizing formula: I have tried all the mascara lines from Channel to CoverGirl. Only $1.99. You can’t beat it!
6. Arbonne International Nutrimin C Transforming Lift: This stuff really is a “face-lift in a bottle.” I use it for special occasions. If you have a class reunion approaching, it is well worth the investment. $38. Arbonne International, Arbonne.com.
7. MAC Lipglass: I wear “Greed” but it has been discontinued. They have a million colors so find one you love, but I believe this stuff wears better than anything. The shine is amazing. Dillard’s, $14.
This is my short, personal list — the things I feel can’t be beat, in my humble opinion. I would love to hear about your favorite beauty products
Written by Lesa Crowell