Are you over 40? Are you less than satisfied when makeup artists apply eye shadow for you? The most common mistake they make - and they have done it to me over and over and over again - is to apply shadow over crepiness on the upper eye lid. Even the smallest amount of crepiness can be accentuated with eye shadow. Read on to find out how to work around nature.
The photo isn't me (you know I'm a photo phobe!). It was taken from a cool site that has before and after photos of cosmetic surgery. This is a before photo and illustrates the crepiness that can develop in the inner half of your lid, right above the crease, as you age.
Here's the deal. Any kind of shimmer or sheen, certain colors, and sometimes even matte shadows can make those tiny wrinkles that comprise crepiness stand out. Instead of fading into the background with an expert application on other parts of the lid, they shout, "Look at me!" Take a look at the gorgeous Helen Mirren's eye shadow. That pink made her crepiness stand out.
What disturbs me is that many makeup artists paint right over crepiness, as if it weren't there. They have a paint-by-numbers look, by golly, and they are going to apply it to everyone. A few weeks ago, a darling young artist (keyword "young") did it to me. I wasn't paying attention, and sometimes it's hard to learn when you are too directive. So, I let her do her thing. When I was given a mirror to admire her work, the only thing I saw was gold pigment over my little crepiness, making me look about 80. What's so sad is that the rest of her work was pretty, and I fixed it easily when I went home. I just took a Q-Tip with a bit of eye makeup remover, and wiped the gold off that section of my lid. Then I covered it with a matte neutral shadow that I blended into her work at the middle of the lid. Presto! I looked good.
Loyd Cassler, Armani Beauty guru at Saks in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is a makeup artist who knows. The only shadows Loyd has ever applied to that section of my lid are matte or relatively "flat" neutral shades. You have to know your skin, and you have to know the shadow. Some will work over crepiness; some won't. I have found a shadow primer that works well over the whole lid, and it also brightens. Most of the time, I apply no shadow over it in that inner corner.
I leave the drama for the outer section of the upper lid (crease and up), which elongates my eyes at the same time. I use shadows that shine on the lid below the crease, where my lids are smooth and receptive to just about any type of shadow. I get my eye shadow fix, focus on a good feature, and avoid the trap.
Almost without fail, application of a shimmering shadow over wrinkling or crepiness will age you. Know your skin. Try different looks and find the ones that work for you. There will be a way to wear that striking new gold - as long as you put it in the right place!
Now, about eyelid surgery. If the crepiness gets really bad, you might want to consider an upper eyelid lift. The procedure is fast and can be done without general anesthesia (same for the lower lids - they use "twilight" anesthesia). Recovery is relatively simple, and the procedure can make a world of difference. I'm not advocating, just commenting. I haven't had the procedure, but know many happy women who have. An extremely well-regarded surgeon told me I was not a candidate and that there would be laser treatments available when I became one. Oh well. Maybe now that years have passed, I'll go talk to him again.
Photo courtesy of RealSelf and Yahoo! TV