Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mythbusters Part 2

"Women over 40 should never wear shimmery eye shadow." How many times have you hear that? Change the age to 50 or 60, the message is the same. You're too old to have fun with eye shadow.

Nonsense! Anyone - even women with wrinkles, crepiness, or a combination of symptoms that add up to age - can wear shimmer. We just need to use it wisely.

I have found that most women "of a certain age" have smooth skin between their upper eyelashes and the crease. Over the crease? There may be issues.

My issue is slight crepiness on the inside (near the nose) over the crease. I can wear primer there, but I prefer to wear no eye shadow at all. Any eye shadow applied over crepiness will usually accentuate the look of crepiness. Why try? Interestingly, most makeup artists are blind to the wrinkly looks they create when they paint by numbers and apply eye shadows - shimmery or not - over crepiness. The result is ugly.

Nearly every woman can wear shimmery eye shadows or eyeliners under the crease. The photo above shows color applied the way I like it, with the emphasis on the outer lid under the crease. The look above is neutral, but imagine a pop of color, either in the center above the iris or on the outer one-third of the lid. It makes your eyes pop along with the shimmer.

Because my crepiness is limited to the inside area over the crease, I can wear shimmer over the crease on the outer half of my eyelid. I prefer to keep the glam colors under the crease.

I've always wondered why "experts" want to make us accept boring and mundane. I don't - and won't. Give it a try. Wear shimmer - even if you just apply a pop of color over your matte shadow, limited to the area over the iris. You may have fun while you look good.

Photo courtesy of Kanebo

23 comments:

Rosemary said...

Yay! I love this post, CG. I get so annoyed when people spout off the "rules" for 40+ ladies. It's insulting. Let us decide what we want to wear, when we want to wear it, and how we want to wear it! Another "rule" I hear is no darker lip colors for 40+ ladies. Forget it! I'll wear my reds and dark berries. I have dark hair and those colors look good on me. Give me credit for knowing what is pretty on me and what's not.

Don't get me started on the "all women over 40 must cut their hair above shoulder length." Not happening! My hair is thick and pretty. I always get compliments on it. My eyes and my hair are my best features. No way I'm cutting my hair or missing out on a bit of shimmer on my lids to conform to what "they" think is right.

These rule-makers can take their rules and---well, you know. ;)

Rosemary

Claire said...

Amen to this, CG! Never ever too old to wear shimmer judiciously -- or any trend in that matter.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post and I completely agree. I had an unpleasant interaction with one of those set-in-their-ways make-up artist recently. It totally depends how shimmer is applied. I didn't like it when Bobby Brown sent forth that idea some years ago - and now she has shimmer galore.
Best,
Tanja

Kate MacDonald said...

This piece of "advice" has always been a pet peeve of mine. I wondered what was magically going to happen to my eyelids on the eve of my 40th birthday that would suddenly render me unable to wear shimmer. The fact is that I've ALWAYS had slight crepe-iness on the inner part of my eyes, so I've always needed to go easy on shimmer there. Usually, I'm just careful to use a good blending brush on any shimmery shade I use there and things are fine.

Eileen said...

I always cringe whenever I read someone say they can't wear shimmer because they're over 40. It saddens and frustrates me that they believe such negative ageist thinking! As I'm sure many of your readers know, I am 69 and still adore shimmer and sparkle when used judiciously. It just requires being honest about the condition of my features and about the amount and type of sparkle that will enhance rather than detract from my appearance. There are, indeed, tricks to making the fairy dust work as we get older, but they're easy to learn and can be continually adjusted so that we can enjoy some sparkle for as long as we like.

The MA who originally came out with that ridiculous pronouncement that women over 40 can only wear matte neutrals was being lazy and unimaginative. Granted, working on an older woman is more challenging because the cookie-cutter approach that was perfected on some young model simply doesn't work. Personally, though, I find the utterance of such absolutes to be the mark of laziness. I'm sure it is much easier to work on a smooth and flawless young face, but it is also far less interesting and certainly less challenging. When it comes to older women, MA's need to take into consideration the condition of the skin completely surrounding the eye and know where to place the shimmer to bring light and sparkle to the eyes without emphasizing wrinkles, crepiness, and sagging. That takes a much higher degree of artistic talent and, to be blunt, not all MA's are artists and so they take the easy way out and simply say not to wear shimmer.

I've been fortunate to have had my makeup done by some of the top professionals in the industry--thoughtful, creative, artistic individuals--and none of them have ever shied away from using some shimmer on me if that was the look we were after. So, to thine own self be true (honest about your features) and to hell with the so-called MA's who make sweeping generalizations based on a woman's age alone.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Shimmer placed correctly can soften the face. As we get older our faces can become a set of sharp planes which need a bit of softening up. Matte eye shadows can look too harsh. Eye lid shape also dictates how dark or light one can go. In my case an over visible lid and brow area requires medium colored shadows.

Chia-Yi Liu said...

great post! i had recently expressed concerned to my bf that i would be outgrowing my collection in another 5yrs since it's dominated by colors, shimmers and glitters. what a relief to know that all that will be needed is an adjustment in application!

Donna said...

I remember Bobbi Brown before the buy out by Estee Lauder and in her first book. Stated only mat eye-shadow from mid thirties onward. In a panic I bought only those, I enjoyed them of course. But as they years moved on I started wearing shimmer some soft metallics. Now I wear whatever I like with a light hand and keep it soft.

grlnxdor said...

Wonderful post, CG! I'm so tired of hearing what the experts have to say. I was born with eyebrows many shades darker than my haircolor-like Margo & Mariel Hemingway. There is no way I am going to bleach them to "match" my haircolor. I also hate it when an SA assumes that I need a moisturizing foundation because I'm over 50. They need to ask me about my oily forehead and not assume that they know what is best for me.

May said...

What a timely post. I had actually recently been debating between 2 Chanel Eyeshadow Duos for my mother, the Sable Émouvant (shimmery) and the Taupe Delicat (matte). Color-wise, I much prefer Sable Émouvant but I ended up getting Taupe Delicat for her instead, because I remembered that "les femmes d'un certain âge" "shouldn't" wear shimmer. Now I know that isn't true, and I'm really tempted to exchange Taupe Delicat for Sable Émouvant while it's still untouched. However, my mother rarely puts on eyeshadow, and I have a hunch she doesn't really know how to (hence why I bought her a 2-color palette instead of one with more colors - keeps things simple for her!), so Taupe Delicat is still the safer, albeit more boring (IMO), choice. Maybe I'll get Sable Émouvant for myself. ;)

Bengaltiger said...

A topic after my own heart!I am 56 and I wear shimmer and even glitter strategically placed on my eyelids and I get compliments all day long! Just a tiny bit on the first strip of lid makes all the difference. And on evenings out, a dab of sheer sparkle with your pinky on the centre of the eyelid looks amazing. Life is too short to not have bling in it!

Mamavalveeta03 said...

I used to abide by this rule (Yes, I read it in one of Bobbi's makeup books, too!), but then I decided life is too short to conform and now I wear it judiciously on my lid and sometimes, just a little bit below the eye. I don't have crepey lids...yet...so I don't know what I'll do then. But isn't it fun to have choices?!? (An aside: A BB top makeup artist told me that although Bobbi sells sparkle, she NEVER wears it herself on her lids!).

Valerie Morrow said...

Hooray for some fun loving common sense!
Everything in moderation and with flair!

S Derrick said...

Great post once again CG! I wear what I like when and where I want . Ageism has no place in make up. There's enough of that everywhere else. Besides, if all of our skincare products are really working then we look younger than I are anyway. So there! Lol.

Valerie said...

Hooray for some fun loving and tasteful thoughts on eye makeup!
Everything in moderation and with elegance.

DRTVrMoi said...

While I love makeup (& your blog), I wear a very streamline look. A bolder lip, nude blush and....a shimmer shadow. I wear one shade, usually on the lighter shade side and always with a bit of glow. It's simple, timeless and tasteful. When I wear any matte makeup, I look tired, older and that I've tried too hard. What I've learned is to forget the rules, the trends and the experts and learn what looks good on you.

Anonymous said...

I have always been a rebel and done my own thing. I love shimmer and I've gotten many compliments on my makeup through the years. I'm 60 and as my mother used to say "all things in moderation and sometimes with a slight modification". That's very true of makeup, imo. Rock on, ladies!

roxymisha said...

Love your post about this and everyone else's comments. You have us fired up on this topic! A little shimmer applied with your fingertips can make all the difference and why shouldn't we have fun as we get older? I can't bear people making general statements about age groups when we are all different. Some women who are 50 look much younger than their years, and others look older. I don't recall the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor changing the way her eyes were made up or stopped wearing bold coloured lips when she was in her 50s, 60s and before she passed away. These so-called rules are utter nonsense.

Niki

lizzybee said...

Really thank you CG for this post especially, but for all you do!!

I love it when we are all still able to do as we wish, with reason.

Your observations are right on the money- Happiest of Holiday Seasons to you and your family ... xo Beth in Pgh

Anne C said...

Hear, hear! I came across that "rule" ages ago and because of premature wrinkles on my eyes, I was on a shimmer buying ban for a time. Then it hit me, that rule was discriminating and insulting. Why would I let anyone dictate what I want to wear? I am in charge of my life and as long as I am happy and not hurting anybody, I will do what I want. I am never too old to play and have fun, specially with makeup. :)

Eileen said...

Hi Mamaval,

I just had to say that I got quite a chuckle when you reported that although Bobbi sells sparkle, she never wears it. It reminded me of one of her QVC appearances when she was presenting a number of products she didn't use. The enthusiastic hostess kept trying to get Bobbi to say that she herself used those particular products so as to better sell them to the viewers and Bobbi kept shooting her down with a straight-faced, "No, I don't wear that." LOL

Moonchime said...

Hooray! What a great post, Charleston Girl. I'm 58, and I still enjoy wearing a small and carefully applied amount of shimmer on my eyelids.

Makeup should be fun, as well as functional, no matter what our age.

Lucy said...

Agreed, especially as you show, a shimmer worn as a form of eyeliner around the outer edges, especially. I find it really 'pops' the shape of the eye and a touch of intense shimmery color is modern and festive. I am 58 and can pull it off, and I can imagine it even as time goes on. It's all a matter of proportion.