Menopause and Cosmetics

The skin becomes lighter and its texture changes somewhat as you age. Thus, makeup that has always looked good on you may look odd. Either it is too dark or too light or too bold. You should experiment with color. A good way to begin is to schedule an appointment with a professional makeup artist. (Makeup artists are usually available at the cosmetic counters of department stores.) With­out explaining in detail what is bothering you, see what makeup products and colors they choose for you.

For makeup to work for you, it all has to work together. Midlife is usually not the time for makeup extremes, even if you could get away with them in your younger years. The natural look is beautiful and makeup should serve as enhancement, not camouflage. Consumers spend billions of dollars a year on cosmetics. If you support this large industry, make sure you are buying what is right for you. Learn what it is that you are putting on your face and whether it is good for you.

We suggest that you stop buying cosmetics on impulse and buy only what suits your coloring. Once you have determined your look, buy into it. There are many looks to work toward in the years before “fiftysomething.” Some women who have passed that mark, like ac­tress Joan Collins, can still wear the darkest hair, the lightest skin, and the reddest lips. For others, a softer palette creates a quite different, yet equally attractive, face.

No amount of cosmetics can cover poorly cared-for skin. Begin cosmetic application with a clean face and a good moisturizer. We have a friend who prides herself on wearing only powder, light lip­stick, and a touch of mascara most of the time, and she looks terrific. We have another who can’t leave home without false eyelashes and a complete paint job. She looks good, too. They have chosen to make up in a way that makes them look and feel good. You choose for yourself what works for you. If you do choose a full range of makeup, be sure you know how to apply it artfully. Study yourself in daylight and in lamplight. The effects of your makeup change in different lights. You may find you need a lighter hand during the day.

However you feel about cosmetics and their use, if you use them, use them to your best advantage. That professional lesson we men­tioned earlier can work wonders for you in helping you to pick your image and enhance it with makeup.