By Barbara Bishop
I remember my favorite Christmas gift I ever received as a child. It was from my favorite aunt. Aunt Karen. She was so beautiful. I wanted to look just like her. I wanted to smell like her. I connected with her on a deep level for a 10-year-old. I shared lots of secrets with her, including my love of beauty, makeup and fashion.
That Christmas, my aunt gave me a present. I tore open the wrapping paper and opened the box. In it was my very own “Beauty Box,” 40 years before “Beauty Boxes” became cool. It contained a beautiful light pink lip color by Cover Girl, “Love’s Baby Soft” cologne, a very light pink blush and some hair barrettes to match the whole pink theme. I was overcome with joy.
I still remember the soft feeling of the lipstick gliding on to my lips, as well as the smell of it. And Love’s Baby Soft – to this day, I still adore that scent. I wonder if it’s still in production?
As the years went by, I loved makeup, fashion and beauty. In my teens I was experimental. I ironed my hair, shaved my eyebrows, bleached my hair blond; wore bubblegum flavored lip gloss. My Aunt Karen stood by me all the way. (She even took me to a salon to get my bleached hair colored-corrected before my mom found out.)
Over the years, I grew my hair long, got perms, cut it short, made it blonde, went back to my natural color, dyed it red, and was a slave to the latest makeup and fashion trends.
Thanks to working with a makeup artist specializing in women over 40, I now am well-versed in the rules of the road, whether that means a bright red lip color paired with an all-black ensemble, or the opaque pink lip plumper that looks killer with full eye makeup and cat-eye liner. Here are a few invaluable hints my makeup artist gave me that I now swear by:
Always use two mascaras. Start with a volumizing one to create full, thick lashes, then follow up with a waterproof lengthening one to define and separate them.
Or, if you want something more permanent, get your lashes extended by a professional. A little pricey to begin with, but it eliminates the need to ever wear mascara. I have them and I LOVE them.
Have you ever worn foundation that’s totally different color from your skin? I have. It is a major mistake. Before purchasing, test it on your collarbone, not the back of your hand. Once you find one that is perfect for you, stay with it. Buy two so you do not run out. I have run out of foundation, went to a drug store to find something close to fill the void before I had time to buy my replacement. Mistake!
I am obsessed with eyebrows. I love the beautiful, full arches that the women of the 1940s had. Since the days of shaving mine, they have never been the same. (Duh.) I was shown how to properly fill in your eyebrows. First get a correct brush – small, slanted and stiff. Use a taupe-brown eyebrow powder.
Start with the browline closest to the bridge of your nose, and with the slant of the brush, press the powder into the brow, creating a defined line. Then, use the powder and the brush over and under the brow, filling in as much as you feel is necessary. Then blend into the brow with a small brow brush. Perfect every time.
I recently took the plunge and got a semi-permanent brow, kind of like a tattoo. It’s pricey, hurts a little, there’s after-care, but now I have the perfect brow for me, thicker-looking, fuller-looking (what little eye-brows I had were turning white) with a beautiful arch. I love them.