Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

In the Eye of the Beholder

I’ve been wearing makeup – not counting the cheapo mascara I bought for about $.25 from W.T. Grant’s in high school – since about 1975, when I graduated from college and started working in NYC. I literally had to start from scratch, counting on those Estee Lauder “purchase with purchase” specials, to fill my coffers. Back then, quality makeup cost the same everywhere, so it was an opportunity to shop at Bergdorf Goodman and Bonwit Teller. How chic!

But my question is this: after wearing makeup for over 35 years, am I the only one who still feels like she doesn’t know how to apply eye makeup? We all read the how-to articles; how to make wide set eyes look closer and close set eyes look wider. But does any of it ever stick? To this day, I get transfixed when I see a friend’s well-applied eye makeup – how does she do it? Damn her!

Okay; you guys are thinking – boring! – but this is something very important to a lot of women (except those who’ve gone through life either not needing makeup – or thinking they don’t. . . ). What feels worse than going to a big event and facing that ladies’ room mirror at the same time as one of those women: the Michaelangelos of eye makeup?

I think I do a pretty good job with the rest, but big deal. Putting on lipstick? Blush? Foundation? That’s no challenge. But the eyes. . . ? Can I tell you how many eye shadows I have? (BTW, I actually threw away about two dozen lipsticks last week. Yay for me.) I keep buying them, thinking that is the key. Believe it or not (and I know you will), I still have the first Estee Lauder eye shadow PWP I got back in 1975. Luckily for me, I do some acting, so lots of those horrible colors come in handy on stage (which is my excuse for keeping them).

But, getting back to the problem at hand, why don’t these adult schools and community colleges offer a class in something women really want – eye makeup application – so we can all face the mirror (and each other) with confidence and poise? Forget Tupperwear or jewelry parties; give me a makeup party where someone can help me get the smokey eye!

Besides, I need to know what colors go with under eye bags.

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 7th, 2011 at 11:52 AM and is filed under Grooming. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Margo D says:

    Lol No you’re not…new years eve I tried to switch it up, do the smoky eye thing… I had to wipe everything off and start over…looked a lil like a racoon!

  2. Ellen C says:

    you are not alone……

  3. Jackie V says:

    Not alone at all……keep trying different stuff and go right back to what I did in the beginning….with the exception of blue shadow!

  4. Mary F says:

    I’ve given up – I’ve poked myself in the eye too many times with a mascara wand.

  5. Jade Greene says:

    Lucille !

    What are you talking ? In the pic at the top of this page, your eyes look fabulous ! Simply lined, they are hypnotic.
    I’ve learned through the years that pricier is not always better. Two of my current faves are drug-store offerings, something I once swore I’d NEVER indulge in. One was Max Factor’s white Erase,which has become Cover Girl’s Neutralizer stick since they bought out MF. Dab that around your eyes and they light up, looking years younger. I have oily skin, so I dust that with white shadow, then line my eyes with Styli-Style’s Black Bullitt(the same sort of kohl-kajal that Indian women use to good advantage). Both items can be had for about $10, the technique takes 3 minutes of my time, and I get lots of compliments on my “sexy” smokey eyes !

  6. Regina says:

    The older i get the less i can see if my eyeliner is correct!

  7. Kathy says:

    Why is it that you always say what many of us are periodically thinking? Once again you are right on the money. I was just talking to one of my old friends from grade school (40+ years ago) and reminded her that we took a cover of a matchbook and placed it under our bottom eye lashes in order to put on mascara without a smudge. It was genius. I laughed out loud at Margo’s comments above trying to get that smokey eye look! Too funny.

  8. Melissa Galt says:

    When I worked in B’ham years ago running a fabric store, there was this mother/daughter pair that would come in. Think they were 50/30 years old and both had these hilarious racoon eyes ever time, entirely on purpose! I know the feeling, models in ads can pull it off but in person it can be dodgy.

  9. Elizabeth Q says:

    I have always sworn by Donna Mills for my eye make up tips:

  10. Lynn says:

    I have a simple method for the smokey eye thing and you only need 2 colors. I also prefer to buy “separates”, not eye shadow kits with lots of colors you’ll never use. Start with a dark grey or even a really deep (almost khaki) green and apply that to the portion of your eyelid that tends to disappear if you open your eyes real wide. Then use a lighter compatible color (even creme) over the crease in your eyelid. I NEVER use a liquid liner – too harsh. Use a blunt tipped dark pencil (brownish black or black) to make line over and under your eyes. Then use a Q-tip to lessen the crispness of those lines, and to blend the colors on your eyelids. Done.

    I love Revlon ColorStay products – with my oily skin, I never have racoon eyes, my blush stays put, and the lipstick never comes off (I call it porno lips – you can do ANYthing and it stays on).

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