Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 3 Oct 01 17:54
Cynthia Robins is the Beauty Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of "Call Me Cyril," the autobiography of philanthropist/merchant Cyril Magnin, "Barbie: Thirty Years of America's Doll," and "The Eyebrow," written for makeup artist Robyn Cosio. Cynthia's latest book, "The Beauty Workbook: A Common Sense Approach to Skincare, Sun, Makeup, Hair and Nails," for Chronicle Books, is a simple, hands-on approach to the practice of keeping what nature gave you without buying into the myth of products that promise eternal youth and magical properties. "The Beauty Workbook" is a hands-on primer for almost every woman -- from the 13-year-old in the throes of puberty to the college grad looking to upgrade her look before she enters the job market, to the re-entry woman of 35 who knows she needs a change, to the 60-year-old for whom maintenance is not a buzz word but a necessity. Leading the discussion with Cynthia Robins is Linda Castellani, long-time WELL member, and co-host of the inkwell.vue, crafts, and mirrorshades conferences. Linda is not a beauty expert, but she firmly believes you can never have too many lipsticks or colors of nail polish. She is also startled and disappointed to learn that products that promise eternal youth and magical properties are only a myth, and is looking forward to seeing what other surprises are in store for her (and all of us) in this conversation with Cynthia. Please join me in welcoming Cynthia Robins to inkwell.vue!
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 4 Oct 01 00:29
Hi Cynthia - Before I get into the contents of the book, I want to talk a little bit about the physical book itself and how you came to write it. First, this book is gorgeous, and from what little I know about book production, it must have cost a fortune to produce. Four-color bleed photographic cover over a spiral binder with a special pocket in the back for keeping newspaper articles or other information; it's lavishly illustrated with gorgeous color photos, in addition to wonderful line drawings, and each chapter is separated by a divider whose rounded edge peeks out from the pages, each one in a different color. It's a work of art. It's divided into chapters on Skin, Sun, Makeup, Hair, and Nails, and I hope to get into each chapter in depth as the conversation progresses. First, though, let's talk about how this book came about. In addition to your first three books - talk about variety: from Cyril Magnin to Barbie to Eyebrows! - you've been a journalist for nearly 30 years, writing about rock and roll, theater, ballet, film, politics, society, and numerous Sunday magazine stories for the Examiner and the Chronicle that included Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, Ambassador James Hormel, Jay Leno, and your most recent, S.F. Opera Director Pamela Rosenberg. With your background in mind, I have to ask the obvious question: what led to your writing this particular book?
Fashion Maven (cynthiar) Thu 4 Oct 01 09:05
Would you believe: They asked me! I was contacted in 1998 by Leslie Jonath, an editor at Chronicle Books who had been reading my beauty coverage in the Sunday Examiner magazine and decided that Chronicle Books should branch out into art-type books on beauty. Mine was to be the first. They had been very successful with notebook/workbook formats before for cooker books and even their hit, "Griffin and Sabine" which had envelopes and pockets and was spiral-bound. So, the idea was to write a book of tips, easily understood. At first I wanted to call it: KISS Beauty, as in "Keep it simple, Sweetie," and in deed, I kept those letters on my computer as I was writing to remnd myself that beauty is not brain surgery and that practical maintenance (key word, here) worked for everyone -- makeup divas to makeup phobics. You did not need to be a fouffy girlie-girl to get something out of this book. So, we did a contract and I turned in the book in April, 2000. I am ery pleased with the result. It was not an easy passage because I am a very opinionated person who has a specific sense of design and what a beauty book should look like. I told the design team: You do such pretty pastelly books and you hve all those neat little black lines around your pictures. Fergeddaboutit! Here's a bag of makeup. Use THESE colors; bleed the pictures off the pages; do not frame them with neat little black lines. OH, they said, you like AGGRESSIVE color and design. Darned straight, sez I. I have just recently met Laurie Frankel who not only did the photography in the book but picked the type face and laid it out. I love her work and I adore her. We're hoping to continue the franchise together with a Men's Grooming Workbook, a Fragrance Workbook and a Teenaged Beauty Workbook. Fingers are crossed here.
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 4 Oct 01 11:55
I will keep my fingers crossed as well, particularly about the Men's Grooming book, because as I was glancing through the book, in preparing for this interview, I wondered if this was going to be a conversation that men would be able to participate in, too. Perhaps when we get into the specifics later in the interview you could address how they apply to men as well. In the meantime, though, I want to ask about the dedication of the book (I read EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything; hey this book is set in Joanna MT and Lubalin Graph!); the first two things you say in your dedication are: To Ron Pernell, my dear friend and creator of beauty and dreams. and To every makeup artist I've ever learned anything from. Both of these statements are quite intriguing. Could you say more about Ron Pernell, who he is and how he creates beauty and dreams, and perhaps something about those makeup artists who have made such an impression on you?
Fashion Maven (cynthiar) Thu 4 Oct 01 17:10
Ron Pernell is my hairdresser and one of my dearest and oldest friends. I met him years ago when he was just starting in teh business on Union Square in San Francisco. He was doing hair in a salon called The Big Tease owned by these two magicians with hair, Fritz and Rick, both of whom died from AIDS (and both of whom had "magic hands," ie: did faboo hair. Ron was so adorable back then. He had these incredible dreadsd and wore a kerchief around them; he lvoed donna Karan and had (and still does have) the single most gorgeous smile I have ever seen. I think he hasn't a cavity in his head. Anyhow: when Fritzie died, I went to a slon called Schiavo where Jher Schiavo, a very good cutter did my hair until one day, he got mad at me and butchered me -- hair grows but that relationship was permanently ruptured. Ron was working there and I booked with him. I liked his attitude, ie: he never forced me into anythign I didn't want; he erred on the side of caution; he wasn't at all prima donnaish and his word was his bond. We sparked on each other, adored each other and, being a very loyal person, I have stayed with him for nearly 15 years. When I had John Barrett cut my hair in New yOrk, Ron was there tracking how Barrett did it so he could duplicate the cut. He has absolutely no ego; is as gentle as a lamb and an incredibly generous, giving person. He has kept my hair looking in fighting shape; he does my m akeup when I need to; he's gotten me into weraing fake eyelashes again and we've even contemplated buying houses together. So, when I say I owe him a lot, I really do. Now: in the course of 25 years of writing about amkeup and other related fouff, I've been worked on by some of the best (and worst) in the country including the late Way BAndy who was the first superstar makeup artist to work on me and still one of the best; George Masters who makes eveyrone look like Ann-Margret; Laura Mercier; Jeanine Lobell; Trish McEvo; Sylvie Chantecaille; Vincent Longo nd Grancois Nars. I have learned a trick or two just watching THEM work and in the case of some of my favorites who maybe aren't house-hold names like Robert williams at Nars; Jair Robello at Guerlain and Tiffany on the MAC Pro Team, they've actually sat me down and walked me through how to do certain things. What I like about these people is their generosity of spirit, their sense of the dramatic, their flair for color and their very practical makeup techiques and tips, some of which I"ve tried to put in the book.
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 4 Oct 01 23:16
It sounds like you have been very fortunate to have come into contact with the best in the business. But what about the rest of us, those of us who wander innocently into Macy's and find ourselves in the cosmetics department with a bewildering array of enticements and no one to guide us? In the introduction to your book you talk about the intimidation of the beauty counter. Do you have any advice for those of us who want to make the most of what we have, but don't really know where to start other than to wander from counter to counter, brand to brand, hoping that a kind-hearted salesperson will take pity on us and lead us somehow to the product and look that's perfect for us? How do we conquer the intimidation of the beauty aisle?
Fashion Maven (cynthiar) Fri 5 Oct 01 07:18
First of all, go to the store with NO MONEY AT ALL. So when some comission-happy "beauty advisor" wants to start loading you up with product you 1) don't know how to use; 2) and will NEVER use, when you tell her you're "just looking," you're not lying. Be very specific about what you need. A moisturizer? A cleanser? An eye cream? Ask for samples Sampling is a great way to find out how about 3-day's worth of product is going to behave on your skin. If it stings, makesyou break out, turns your skin red, stop using it and don't buy it. But if you like how it feels, like what it does, like the price, the smell and the texture, then invest in it. If you feel you want to update your look or get a "look" in the first [lace, then sit in the chair of a makeup artist at a line you think you like -- color-wise, prie-wise and packaging wise (and the way to do that is to tear out pages in magazines, stroll the aisles and putter (without money, mind you) first. Sit in the chair of the makeup person, tell them exactly what your life is like. If you've a 2-year-old or a paper due; you are not Mrs. Gotbux with all the money in the world; if you hate to wake up early and are always in a rush; if you've got a demanding partner who hates makeup; if you're seriously inadept with brushes and even your finger tips, then you're not going to want a makeup regime that 1) takes too much time; 2) that requires a steady hand (no black skinny eyeliner for you) or 3) that will require floating a bank loan. I believe that a woman who has 2 seconds to dress and get out of the house can put on mascara and a great red lipstick and look "finished, not done." And that's the art of it. To give your face a kind of classy polish where your skin is glowing (because you take good care of it and that's an entire chapter), your eyes are bright, your hair is shiny and your makeup, however little or lot you choose to put on, is done with surity and practice. Even if it's just lipgloss. So let's review here: 1) go to the store with no money 2) be specific about what you need in the way of product 3) don't allow the counter person to intimidate you. Enlist their help by giving them enough information to help you get what you need an want. 4) do your homework first by either browsing or cutting out ads or articles (the book has a handy pocket in the back cover for storing such).
Laura Proctor (proctor) Fri 5 Oct 01 17:07
Hi, Cynthia. I know a lot of women (myself most assuredly *not* included--I believe I fall under the classification of "makeup addict") who don't like to wear makeup at all. Either they think it's too expensive to spend money on cosmetics, or they think it's too much trouble to put the stuff on, or other reasons. What would you say is the best beauty routine for those women?
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 5 Oct 01 17:37
I'm one of those women who is always enticed by colors and the packaging and the being touched aspect of it so I've got drawersful of stuff I'll never use. Cynthia, in your book you describe the moment in 1958 when Charles Revson held up a jar of his latest product, Eterna 27, and said, "This is hope in a jar." And certainly to this day there are product claims being made like the one I heard yesterday, "I don't want to just erase the evidence of aging, I want to stop it dead in its tracks!" How in the world does anyone evaluate the claims of a beauty product? Is market longevity a clue? For example, is Eterna 27 still being made? And if it's not, is it just because times change and has nothing to do with how effective it is? And, I'd like to hear your thoughts on how beauty products are marketed to women. Why can't we see age-appropriate models? What good does it do me to show me a model who doesn't have the problems I want to solve?
Dr. Leda Horticulture (leroy) Sat 6 Oct 01 07:17
Hi, Cynthia! And congrats on your book. I guess I'd better get hold of a copy asap. I'm one of those makeup-phobes (proctor) describes, but my reason is that nothing seems to work. I think there must be something wrong with my skin (especially my lips), that makeup just WILL NOT stay on it for more than about ten minutes before it completely disappears without a trace. I've tried different brands, gone to the counters and had it professionally applied, but so far nothing works. Maybe it's my oily skin? Perpetually chapped lips? Beats the heck out of me. The other reason I shy away from makeup is that I always feel so silly when I wear it. I look like a seven-year-old playing dressup with mommy's stuff. I'll never forget one of the rare times I wore mascara when my kids were little: I walked downstairs all decked out, and my son looked at me and burst out laughing. "You look like Big Bird!" he shrieked with unabashed glee. It was true. And again, the professionals at the mall don't have any better look though of course they're too polite and, well, professional to just shake their heads and roll their eyes and say, "Face it, lady, you're hopeless." I trust you to be brutally honest here, Cynthia: do you think there are some women who for one reaosn or another just can't wear makeup, especially as they get older? I swear I feel like a clown when I wear it, but without it I feel like I fade away and turn invisible. Should I give up and join a convent? (I promise I'll buy your book before I do anything rash.)
Scott Underwood (esau) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:06
I'm a guy reading this topic, and from here--I won't press this point-- makeup seems like some mass hypnosis designed to make women feel terrible about themselves while making them poor at the same time. How is it that I *can* leave the house after showering, shaving, and combing my hair (no product, please), but my wife is uncomfortable even going to Home Depot without checking her lips and eyes. If I mention a woman I saw who wore no makeup, she assures me that she was wearing something but I didn't know it. I don't want to derail the conversation, but I wonder if your book touches on the "how come" aspect at all. That Charles Revson quote above just strikes me as deeply sad. Hope in a jar? Hope that men will find you attractive? Hope that you won't end up old and alone? Hope for what, exactly?
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:18
Let's take these number by number: No. 7: Proctor The best beauty routine for anyne -- makeup diva or no makeup diva; man or woman is great skin. Preseving to the best of our powers what we were born with. Skin is so porcelain when we're babies. Transluscent, fairly blemish free (with the exception, of course, of kids who have diaper rash and some birth rash). But, by and large. we have an entire lifetime to screw things up. When we hit puberty, the true character of our skin cmes out -- it can be oily, it can be acne-prone, it can be thin and ery dry or it can be "norma/combination? -- oily through the t-zone (forhead, nose, chin) and ok on the cheeks. So: what to do. Keep it clean, first of all. use a non-soap soap and tepid water, don't use abrasive scrubs; pat dry with a clean towel. Moisturize. Even if you have oily skin, protect your skin from the elements. Also: drink a lot of water; avoid smoking or alcohol in excess and if you're doing any kind of drugs, prescription or recreational, you're going to notice drying and other nasty effects. Even though regular washing and drying will naturaly exfoliate dead skin cells (as wil sleeping at night against a pillow), older skin needs a little help so using an exfoliating crea with an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid which can be a glycolic cleanser) or a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid, usualy salcytic -- aspirin) in it maybe once or twice a week (once if you have sensitive skin) will nudge those skin cells to leae your face. Your skin will look clearer, radiant and maybe, yes, younger because aging skin looks cloudy because the skin cells aren't sloughing off themselves in he regular pattern they did when you were under 30. So, this is a long answer, Laura. But basically, a person with really good, clear, clean radiant skin probably doesn't need too much.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:37
No. 8: Linda The FDA controls what ads can say about cosmetics, what claims cosmetic companies can make about their products. I have written package copy for three or four companies over the years and as a copywriter, you have to walk a very thin line, else the FDA can come after you. First of all, the law was writen in 1937 and updated only a few times since. But the technology of the cosmetic skincare industry has gone light years ahead, what with high tech deliery systems like nano-technology, AHAs, BHAs, retinols, etc. These are products that can have a drug-like effect on your skin, ie. penetrate the skin and actualy change some of the cellular structure. These are called "cosmeceutical," cosmetics with a pharmaceutical action. They are still OTC (over the counter) and not prescription because the companies cannot make outlandish claims or even tell you the truth about what they do. Dr. Rich Glogau, up at UC-SF hospital is a dermatologist who has consulted for Neutrogena which was one of the first companies to stabilize a form of tretinoin acid, aka Vitamin A, the main ingredient in Retin-A which is definitely a prescrition drug. The retinol products are way weaker than Retin-A, but do hae a very clarifying effect on skin if used with some regularity. He told me hat ther was no way that the company coul;d begin to tell the public what the Neutrogena product did. Instead, they couch the projected "over time" results in terms like: gives a younger effect; or gives the apperarance of youth. Stuff like that. The fact is: these new products can help you if you use them religiously and don't have too many expectations. Now: That cleared up. Marketing with age-appropriate models. We're seeing more of that. Lauder brought back Karen Graham to advertise their Radiance line which is aimed at menopausal women. And you are not seeing really young women advertising skin creams unless, of course, those lines are targeted to teenagers and young twenties like Revlon, L'Oreal, etc. Clinique had a really smart campaign about ten years ago about not looking young but looking your best and they used real life models that spanned a 13-60 demographic (the exact same one of my book, guys!) Point is: most women who use creams that they can afford in the mass market, ie. drug store, are going to see ads with recognizable stars touting the product like Halle Berry, Milla Jovovich, Beyonce, Venus Williams, Queen Latifah, etc. Whoever the flavor of the month is. It sells product. And if you're over 35, some of you are gong to resent that your demographic is not represented. In products geared to the more wealthy -- where, by the way, you're probaby paying for the designer's name on the package and the expensive packaging itself -- will either not have a model in the ads or will have someone who is at least 30 (not that that's any consolation). The implication of course is: use this product and you an be just like me: young, juicey, flawless. Well, when Charles Revson held up that jar of Eterna 27, he was banking on women's insecurity -- that he would hit them where they live: their phobia about aging. Beauty equated to youth back then. Nowadays, beauty, at least to my way of seeing it, equates to energy, life, good skin and a great smile. THAT, however does not sell product.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:47
No. 9: Leroy. Nice to hear from you. You don't have to wear makeup to look what I call "finished but not done." Leroy, you work outside. Protect your skin first of all with sunscreen, a regular cleansing regimen and moisturizer, night and morning. Use an exfoliating cream on your lips to unchap them. Wear gloves and keep your hands moist and your nails buffed. Look like you CARE about yourself. And that does not mean you have to tart up. If mascara makes your eyes tear, don't wear it. You can have permanent liner tattooed on that will outline the base of your lashes and give your eyes some definition. If lipstick fades or comes off, use Chapstick or a clear gloss or a slightly tinted lip gloss when you go out. Again, looks like you've taken some care with your appearance. Men are attracted to vibrant women who sparkle with an inward fire. You don't need red lips to exhibit that (although, I don't think Laura or I can get along without it, but that's our preference). You might want to clean up your eyebrows -- they sort of anchor your face and a good arch can show off your eyes. You might want to use a little cheek tint -- you an get those new gels that you can put on directly over your moisturizer to give you a kind of attractive flush. If your skin tone needs evening up, there are some tinted moisturizers with Sun Protection Factors out there that will allow your natural skin to show through. You're an outdoors girl, Leroy, a true natural. Good grooming does not depend on makeup. As for feeling silly when you wear makeup and allowing somebody else to control your experience. Ball-oney! In the quiet of your own house, practice. Wear it around the house. Look in the mirror. Acclimatize yourself to using just enough to accent your best features. It doesnt' have to be a lot, or anything at all if you decide you really hate it. Makeup is a habit I got into very early on. I started wearing moisturizer when I was 12; nail polish when I was 10; lipstick at 12; and mascara and liner at 14. Because I had an older cousin who used to treat me like a doll baby and dress me up. I loved it. What can I say? No excuses. That was just me. For you...experiment. And have fun with it. The wonderful thing about it is: you can wash it off.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:55
No. 10: Scott Makeup is one of the toys in our arsenal. And it is a continuation of the joy we felt when we got our first box of crayons when we were kids. Someone, when trees were red and grass was blue and the sky was yellow, before someone taught us how to color in the lines, we experimented joyfully with that box of crayons, with those water paints. There is a creative freedom inherent in makeup. It's fun, honey, it's fun. and to tell you the truth: a good red lipstick can do wonders for a girl's psyche. True story: My friend Jane who worked with me at the Examiner is a very chic woman, ie: dark curly hair, long hands and feet; looked great in black, very French. Very elegant. She was having a very bad day. I could hear her (her cubicle was close to mine) screaming at somebody on the phone which was very out of character for her. I always keep a cache of red lipsticks in my desk and I reached in and pulled out Chanel's Runway Red which is a very bright lipstick and I walked over and laid it on her keyboard. About 15 minutes later, she came by my desk with her new lipstick on and a smile on her face, thanking me. I've seen pale, wan, tired-looking women go to the ladies room in the middle of the afternoon to refresh their lipstick and it brightens their whole day, not to mention their face. If a woman is insecure, no amount of makeup is going to help her. She will hide behind it, create a mask that will help her through life instead of "enhancing," and that is a keyword here, her natural attributes. Makeup is a tool, not the beall and the end all. I've said in my book that I'd like women to look "finished but not done," and that means appear like they've taken some care with themseles which engenders respect and access in the people they have to work with, get jobs from, deal with daily, instead of being overdone. Which telegraphs an entirely different message: inseurity, conceit, caution, distrust in their own appearance, fright. Or. . . they could just like it that way.
Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Sat 6 Oct 01 10:05
Hi Cynthia! Congrats on the new book. I happen to agree with the less is more philosophy, too. Focusing on skincare will cut down on your make-up time because when your skin's healthy you don't need layers of foundation, paint, etc. to look good. Someone recently told me she had spent $300 on cosmetics and I was amazed -- I would take $250 of that and spend it on facials, and maybe spend $50 on some very basic cosmetics. Scott, you speak of hope or question what it's all about. Well, I hope you realize ... one of the greatest pleasures in life for many women is a man's appreciative smile, the acknowledgement that we make the world pretty. As for leaving the house in a well-groomed state, I definitely appreciate it when a man takes care of his appearance, picks out some clothes that look well together, presenting a tidy mannered look to the world at large. This idea that women agonize unhappily over their looks while men just slob around is not universal. Taking the time to be pretty makes me feel happy, getting dressed and groomed for a date or an interview is a form of stopping to smell the flowers. The dour comments you make about beauty are puzzling to me. Do you think we should all live in square unpainted shacks and stop caring how our homes look? Do you think home renovation just makes people feel bad about their unrenovated living quarters? I hope I'm not being too hard on you here, but I have to say -- your comments are provocative!! A woman who is depressed or pessimistic may see beauty in negative terms -- i.e., "I can't leave the house without lipstick." But if a person is feeling optimistic, she may see it as an opportunity: "what lipstick do I wish to wear today?" I'm looking forward to reading Cynthia's book... it sounds scrumptious yet practical.
Scott Underwood (esau) Sat 6 Oct 01 10:39
> The dour comments you make about beauty are puzzling to me. Do you > think we should all live in square unpainted shacks and stop caring how > our homes look? Oh, of course not, any more than I will leave the house without washing my hair and face and seeing that my earring clasp is hidden--but that's the extent of my preparation (aside from clothes). And Cynthia's comments on "makeup as a tool" are perfect, fine, dandy--I understand. But I feel that for some women this beauty preparation is a *sentence*. They literally *cannot* leave the house without a minimum of preparation, no matter the destination. And I know that my wife is not particularly bad in this regard, but she still has to do more than I do, and it seems unfair. Why am I the only one who gets to see my wife's pretty face without makeup? Because we are talking about degrees here--she does not go from "unpresentable" to "presentable" by applying lip gloss, at least to me.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 6 Oct 01 12:20
Cynthia, in your response to Leroy you suggest having a line tattooed along her eyelashes to make her eyes stand out. The thought of a tattoo needle anywhere near my eye turns my insides to jelly. What can you tell us about that procedure and why you recommend it? Whenever I think about cosmetic tattoos I think of the young women I've seen who have had a permanent lipliner tattooed around the outline of their lips and how weird and vampirish that looks, although it may have been the height of fashion when they did it. What's going to happen to that line as they age and the shape of their lips naturally change? Won't the same be true of an eyeline tattoo?
Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Sat 6 Oct 01 13:39
"Why am I the only one who gets to see my wife's pretty face without makeup? " Hmmmm. I think it's okaaaay for a spouse to have special privileges, for a man to see some aspects of his love object's face or body that others don't see. "But I feel that for some women this beauty preparation is a *sentence*." That is true. Like I said, I think some women are neurotic about their looks -- but the make-up isn't the cause, it's just an expression of something already bothering them. Some women also act out their depression by NOT attending to their looks. It can work both ways. Cynthia, is your book entirely practical? Do you address the emotional aspects of beauty and selfcare? Beauty in the context of a relationship? I'm curious as to how you feel about grooming and romance. For example, I will never let a boyfriend see me in my velcro rollers. Do you agree that beauty and hair care should be boundaried and private -- or do you, as a professional, find it pointless and crazy for a woman to surround her personal preparations with secrecy? What do others here think?
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:05
Tracy: I love your comment abuot the optiism of asking "What lipstick do I wish to wear today." To extrapolate: When I stand in front of the mirror in the morning -- and boy, you should see my medicien cabinet! It is packed with black, silver and gold compacts, 50 lipsticks (at least) and more "toys" than I know what to do with -- Heaven only knows waht I'm going to do when I stop getting my product gratis -- but the medicien chest is my "lab," by the way. Anyhow: when I stand there with a bare, clean moisturized and SPF'd face in the morning, the question is: Who do I want to be today?" I also agree that the best cosmetic monies spent are with a facialist or a dermatologist who will help you get your skin in great shape. Besides, there is nothing ore rewarding than fiding a good esthetician who can teach you excellent skincare habits. As for covering good skin with makeup: the new foundations are so sheer as to be weightless and buildable, ie: you can get them on as sheer and non-existent as you want, just useing them to even out skin tone, or you can put them on a little heavier if you like it that way. Either way, they're made with polymers which allow your own skin to show through.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:14
Scott: Some women would never leave the house without their wallet, car keys and handbag, either. For us, makeup is one of those fun girlie-girlie things that comes with the territory. It's all part of being a "girl," no matter how old we are. In the 20th century, when women came into their own, one of the first things they did was to paint up as a rebellious, joyful act. The flappers of the 20s flattened their hests, bobed thehir hair, rolled their stockings to their knees, got rid of their bustles and underpinnings and painted up: beading their eyelashes with melted mascara wax, plucking their eyebrows down to ant tightropes, painting doll-like circles on their cheeks and using red lip rouge. They were totally liberated, those women. For centuries, women cowtowed to the demands of their men -- their kinds, fathers, hsubands, lovers. Prostitutes painted up; "nice" women weren't supposed to but they bit their lips to make them redder, rubbed rose petals on their cheeks and when they were told that pale skin was prized, killed themselves by the thousands by using whiteners made with ceruse, a lead-based paint. So women using makeup as a rebellious act is nothing new. It's just been in recent memory, since the rise of the fashion magazines and the odels who work for them, that the American woman has begun to feel inferior because she secretly compares herself to the the young things with mile long eye lashes and ruby lips staring back at her from Vogue and Glamour and InSTyle. Feh. I say, feh! Makeup is a woman's (and, guess what, Scott, pretty soon, a MAN's) prerogative. As for your wife, lucky woman that you adore her any way she looks. But if she were to go apply for a job, believe me, if she went in looing neat, clean, tidy and like she took some care with herself (but not too much), ie. eyebrows groomed, fingernails not bitten, a little bit of lip gloss and her nose powdered, the interviewer would make a note of it. The implication of course is that she's a well-adjusted adult who likes herself, has taken care with her personal presentation and will probably take care of the job she's applying for. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so why not make a good one. If you think that eauty is a "sentence" instead of fun, you are, indeed, dour. Lighten up honey. And lookout: male moisturizer is here and tinted moisturizer is not far behind.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:20
Tracy: The book is a very basic, simply approach to skin care, makeup, sun, nails and hair. Down to what tools you need and how to use them. Maintyl, however, this book has some important "games" up front that deal with self-image and self-confidence. I play "The Stranger in the Mirror Game," for instance where you wlak into yoru bathroom and turn out the light. Face the mirror and turn the light back on. Look at yourself as if you were meeting yourself for the very first time; give yourself a compliment. Point is: when women look at themselves, they are usually hypercritical. Instead of noticing what gorgeous eyelashes they have, they see the bags under their eyes because they didn't get any sleep the night before. Their eye goes to the zit or the wrinkle instead of the great lipline or eye color. No, I did not get into the transactions that happen between men and women concering the "mysteries of the beauty ritual." That is personal and YMMV. What I do talk about is attitude, especially about colors; some personal history; simple methods for how-tos; and, in the sun chapter of which I am particularly proud, why you should wear sunscreen all year round; how tanning/burning works; how SPFs work. I subtitled the book: "A Common Sense Approch," so you won't see all those ginchy little diagrams that make you crazy about where to put makeup. I teach finding the topography of your face with your fingers. Once you know where landmarks are, you don't need diagrams.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:23
Linda: Cosmetic tattooing has come a very long way. My friend Rocky Zion who is the makeup artist at the Chanel counter at Neiman Marcus has bee dong cosmetic tattooing for several years now. The eyeliner tattooing can be gorgeous and eliminate the need for liner AND mascara. And it is done VERY carefully. The colors do stay truer and they don't fade as fast as they used to. I agree with you: the lip tattooing is a little too limiting for me and I hear it hurts like fury.
Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:40
Cynthia, thanks to Retin-A, I have genuinely good skin for the first time in my life. But one of the unavoidable truths of Retin-A is that sometimes it makes your face peel like a mild sunburn. I don't wear any foundation or concealer on those days, of course, but what can I do on those days to keep myself from looking like my face is falling off?
Scott Underwood (esau) Sat 6 Oct 01 15:42
Great answers, Tracy and Cynthia. Thanks. (Tinted moisturizer? Moi? I think not. But then, I had a perm once, and I would've bet against that, too.)
Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Sat 6 Oct 01 19:42
Scott, now I feel guilty about getting on your case. (We girls are so easy!!) Cynthia, Linda, an aspect of permanent makeup that spooks me: my hairdresser once pointed out that if you get your brows or whatever tattooed you could end up with a line that is "dated" -- you don't quite have the option of changing your style and some people may end up with the eyebrows of 1999 or whatever. Admittedly, I haven't done anything different with my brows in five years -- mine is a very simple look -- but I thought he had a good point. It's good to have options. What do you think??
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