Ten Rules for Wearing Cosmetics

It is by far and away better to have good skin, than good makeup.

It is by far and away better to have good skin, than good makeup.

With that in mind here are Dr Elaine’s top 10 rules for wearing cosmetics:

1. Heavy foundation may cover a pimple, but it makes you look older, and harder. A million times better to have good skin, and wear little or no foundation. So I put my time, energy and money on my skin.

2. There should be evidence to the naked eye that there is live human skin under your foundation. Ditto for blush.

3. Concealer on pimples or marks plug up pores and cause breakouts later. Don’t just kick the can down the road.

4. Most women need some lip color, either their natural color if they are lucky, or with a lip color product if they are not. But lip color should always approximate a color that is seen, somewhere, in live humans. Bubblegum Pink and Bright Maroon are not in that group.

5. Corollary—blush color, if used, should also approximate a color that actually occurs in live humans. Fuchsia and Burnt Orange are not in that group.

5. If you use lip liner, it should be subtle enough that you don’t look like you are playing dress up with Mommy’s lipstick.

6. For everyday, eye shadow should not include the color family robin’s egg blue. For nights and special occasions eye shadow and eye cosmetics can be more dramatic and artificial. That is because in those situations eye shadow is subconsciously classified as “decoration” closer to jewelry, while lip color, cheek color, and foundation remain subconsciously classified as “natural beauty.”

7. Foundation on oily skin often turns more orange as the day progresses. Choose accordingly.

8. Don’t buy cosmetics based on friendship with the company rep, unless the cosmetics are really right for you.

9. Spend the most money on getting the perfect, natural looking foundation. That is the trickiest for cosmetic companies to do right. Mascara absolutely, lip color often, and eye shadow a fair amount of the time are just as good from the drug store as the expensive brands.

10. Try very hard to find the “sweet spot” with your makeup and cosmetics. The sweet spot is in between wearing no makeup at all and looking like you just got out of the hospital but are still ill, and wearing so much makeup that you could make some extra money while waiting at the bus stop to pick up the kids. The “sweet spot” is where you look natural, polished and beautiful.

Next: How I look natural, polished and beautiful every day.