Style Is More than Fashion (Plus Makeup Tips)

Let me say, first off, that there is a huge difference in shopping for clothes when you have recently lost thirty pounds, and shopping for clothes when you have recently gained thirty pounds. Guess which is more fun?

Also, there is a big difference between shopping for an outfit for, say, a night at the theater, and shopping for outfits for a wake and funeral. I know these
things should be obvious, but somehow I thought that, even under the circumstances, it would still be somewhat fun to spend money on clothes. Guess what? It wasn’t.

Lizzie was with me, and shopping for subdued clothes for a 14-year-old is impossible. Even with help from a stylist at Nordstrom, Liz and I were almost in tears after SIX HOURS of trying on clothes. We’d see a lovely dress for her and pull it off the rack, only to discover that it was shorter than a tennis skirt, or it had fake gold chains around the neck, or it had a panel of see-through lace across the abdomen, or it hugged the hips like a boa constrictor, or it had enormous fake diamonds under the bust…

As for me, the simplest Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress made me look like the madam of the best little whorehouse in Texas, every single little black dress (LBD for the fashionistas out there) just didn’t work, and the sheath dresses with jackets were gorgeous but cost about $495 — per piece.

We finally left with something for each of us, neither of which we were really happy about.

I eventually went with this one,this one with a little black sweater. Somehow, it looked different on me.

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But I’ve realized something in recent weeks. I believe fashion is all about what you wear. But style, which I’m trying to write about, is what’s on the inside AND the outside. Style has to do with not only what you wear but how you wear it. It encompasses your confidence, the way you walk in the world, your beliefs, and how you treat people. Following in my dear mother-in-law’s footsteps, I’d like to focus more on style — living with grace and poise and love AND great clothes — than just fashion.

On a happier note, I was recently browsing online for makeup tips, and have enjoyed experimenting recently. (I’m still in love with subtle sparkles even though some people say it’s a no-no for women my age. Screw ’em.)

So here are some thoughts on makeup for more “mature” women. I think some of these thoughts, like color for lips, are meant for women older than middle age, but it’s something to consider.

–Try dark brown eye shadow with an eye shadow brush, applied lightly, under the eye instead of eyeliner. It will give you a smudgier, softer look rather than a stark look which is (apparently) not great.

–Keep away from glitter or use just a touch in the middle of the lid and at the corner (I’m sort of ignoring this one).

–Neutrals on the lid are best, especially if your eyelids are “crepey.” Sorry, I hate that word. But mine are getting sorta, well, crepey.

–Liquid highlighter gives your face “luminosity.” Using a makeup brush, dot the highlighter in a heart shape from under eye to the temple, down the nose to the tip and a wider dot at the tip, then just a touch on only the right side of forehead (really). Then blend it. Add your foundation, if you wear it, over the highlighter. (Note: I have been doing this and both Paul and Lizzie say my skin does have a sort of glow. I take that with a grain of salt, since a: they love me, and b: they get tired of questions like this and take the path of least resistance.) I use this one.

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–Lip color should be just a shade or two darker than your lips, with gloss. Dark shades can make your face look harsh if you’re beginning to lose pigment and elasticity. Apply with your ring finger, not the tube.

–Eyebrow pencil is a must.

–Eyelash curlers make eyelashes look longer. Heat the curler up with a hair dryer for a couple seconds, then curl. (Note: I burned the shit out of my eyelid when I tried this so I do NOT curl my eyebrows). Brush mascara from base of lashes to the end, jiggling the mascara wand back and forth to separate the lashes and get as much mascara as possible on.

–Lengthening mascara is better than volume mascara for older eyes. Volume mascara weighs down lashes and makes eyes look tired.

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