Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Beauty for the ages

Two readers -- one 50, one 60 -- update their looks with the help of beauty wiz Bobbi Brown
Hundreds wrote in when we put out the call for over-40 women who wanted a makeover and the opportunity to meet famed makeup artist Bobbi Brown, who herself just hit the big 5-0.

Truth be told, we think all of you who replied looked pretty good, from the 40-somethings to the 70-plus former beauty queen. The two women we selected -- Debbie Wasserman, 50, a marketing assistant from East Meadow, and Rhoda Angelier, 60, an office administrator from Coram -- were chosen not so much because their issues were extreme, but because they mirrored the concerns we heard about from just about everyone.So, early one morning a couple of weeks ago, our big, excited group including our makeover candidates (neither wore a stitch of makeup), the Newsday fashion staff and hair stylist Leigh Anne Rodgers, of Salon Blue and Spa 190 in Mineola, took off for makeover land, the earthy brick and wood Bobbi Brown workspace in Montclair, N.J. Here's how it went:

Who: Debbie Wasserman, 50, East Meadow

The trouble: "Who knew back in high school that the sun was so bad for your skin?" asks Wasserman. "These days, my skin is much more sensitive to the sun and I'm getting rosacea and freckling. I feel like my skin is really dry, and I'm noticing that especially when I wake up, there's lid puffiness, and it looks like I have these big divets under my eyes." Wasserman, who has had several surgeries on her knees, says she'll pass on cosmetic surgery. Her expectations of her makeover? "I hope I get the lift without the knife."

The fix: Elizabeth Keiser, Brown's studio manager, goes to work on Wasserman, first prepping her skin with a cream cleanser, face tonic, hydrating eye cream and a SPF 25 moisturizing balm. So much for dry skin. Wasserman is already looking dewy. Beige concealer and foundations are applied with a bit of bisque color corrector to even out her skin. Cheeks get a glow with pink truffle pot rouge while lips get nude liner, filled in with Brownie and topped with peach gloss. To give more oomph to her blue eyes, Keiser layers on espresso eyeliner and black mascara. Says Keiser, "Debbie is a beautiful woman who just wanted a little makeup refresher. I focused on skincare and foundation to achieve the gorgeous glow she felt she had been lacking. A pop of cream blush, a natural lip color and a clean eye look was all she needed to bring out her already amazing features."

The good news: "I was really happy ... it brightened my face. I felt the makeup artist was honest and very positive. I'm very impressed with Bobbi, and read in her book that when she turned 50, she became comfortable in her skin. It's reinforcing you can look good, be your best and just get comfortable with who you are -- I love that whole philosophy, and the makeup can help."

Who: Rhoda Angelier, 60, Coram

The trouble: "I've noticed fine lines and dark rings around my eyes," says Angelier. "And I need a change. I've been wearing the same lipstick, Silver City Pink by Revlon, for 25 years. I hope to bring myself into the contemporary world in terms of makeup but I don't want to look overly made up. I want to learn how to do things like a smoky eye and I want to be hipper, but age appropriate," says the grandmother of twins.

The fix: Mark Hopkins, a member of the Bobbi Brown Beauty Team, moisturizes Angelier's skin with hydrating eye and face cream and matches concealer and foundations to her skin color. He uses a light bisque corrector, natural concealer, medium tinted balm, natural foundation stick only where she needs to be evened out, and he used a light bronzing powder. Two shades of pink, natural and pale, give her cheeks a natural bloom. Her lips are done in a brown lipstick and pink gloss. Hopkins shows her how to do a subtle smoky eye -- mahogany shadow strengthens her brow, white goes on the brow bone to highlight, suede cream shadow goes on the lid and chocolate ink liner adds drama to her look. He finishes with black mascara.

"The biggest challenge is to take someone into something new after they've been wearing the same thing for years," said Hopkins, "and Rhoda loved her new lipstick. She definitely has great facial features, and I wanted to play up the eye ... she doesn't wear a lot of makeup usually, so I tried not to overwhelm. I thought she looked amazing."

The good news: With her hair blown shiny sleek and her new makeup, Angelier says, "I thought I looked, without sounding conceited, really nice, really beautiful. It was very natural but still very modern. My husband said I looked great, and I went to the office and my boss said, 'You're the beauty queen.' I hated taking that makeup off at night. It was a wonderful day."

Bobbi's advice When Bobbi Brown turned 50, she gave the rest of us a present -- in the form of a book, "Bobbi Brown Living Beauty" ($29.99, Springboard), that addresses the skin care and makeup concerns of women over 40.

Interestingly, those concerns were pretty much those expressed by the women who wrote to us hoping for a makeover. The No. 1 problem, by a mile, seems more psychological than physical. Our readers expressed a deep fear of change. One admitted to "wearing the same makeup since I've been 20."

To this, Brown says, "As human beings we evolve, we have to look at ourselves differently. Every five years there's a minor or major change, and that's when you need to alter what you're doing. Be open and experiment, not necessarily with trends but with what looks good on you. It's makeup and it washes off. Some women will be wearing less makeup because they've always worn too much, but a lot more women don't wear enough. As you get older, women who are fit and healthy and have a sparkle in their eyes are beautiful and the tools to get there are at their fingertips."

Here's a quick list of some of our readers' major beauty issues, along with Brown's advice:

Uneven skin tone, redness, blotchiness: "It's hard to give a generic answer but this is the most common thing, and you need to find a foundation or a tinted moisturizer that evens those things out. The color has to be right ... and the product has to be right for your skin texture, dry, oily. ... The end result has to look like your skin, not like you have foundation on."

Eye issues (bags, puffiness, crow's-feet) : "When you get older things go south. The things that make a difference are eyeliner, really black mascara, medium shadow on the lid to give the appearance of depth in the eye, light shadow under the brow bone, these instantly take care of those problems."

Sun damage: Almost all of us, including Bobbi, regret having spent too much time in the sun. "First of all, it's never too late to wear sunscreen. ... In terms of a makeup solution ... some skin that is over-sunned looks better with a tinted moisturizer."

Lip lines: "The best thing is not to wear dark lipstick that will bleed into your lines. Using a lip pencil can stop it, so outline lips and make sure you hydrate lips with moisturizer."

Foundation fear: "If the foundation looks like cake batter then it's going to look that way on your face. Most foundations are the wrong color and texture." To check it out, apply to the side of your face and the middle of your forehead.

Time concerns: Newsday readers want easy and basic makeup routines. Bobbi reels off the over-40 must haves: "Moisturizer, concealer, tinted moisturizer, pot rouge for lip and cheeks, black mascara."

Dull-looking skin: "Exfoliate using cleanser with washcloth to get rid of tired dead skin. Use self-tanner for a little color but the main thing is to hydrate. I use face oil all the time, just make sure it's non-pore clogging. In a pinch, olive oil works."

Disappearing eyebrows: "Fill in your brow with a shadow that matches the natural color of your eyebrow. If you really have no eyebrows, line where the brow should be and pat down using shadow."

1 comment:

Laureen said...

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