I turn 50 this year.
My freshman year in high school, a few years back, my mom took me to a Mary Kay consultant for a makeover and to teach me how to apply make up. She did a great job. And my make up has been nice for the ensuing decades.
I haven’t had a make up lesson since then.
I’ve changed make up products and styles and jobs, but never instructions.
So last month, I took Jentry Kelly up on an offer she made on a closed Facebook group I follow. Jentry Kelly is a make up artist and company based here in Houston. One of my best friends did her make up tutorial when she turned 50 over a year ago and raved about it. But a make up lesson? At almost 50?
If you are 35 or 45 or 55 or whatever age, and it’s been a few years since you first learned to apply make up, then I highly recommend a makeover.
It made me rethink how I apply make up. AND I was doing things WRONG! That’s right! You could be doing it wrong – and I think there’s a wrong and right after this session.
I probably wouldn’t have done the lesson if they weren’t offering the lesson for free. However, if you’re in Houston, you can sign up for a make up lesson and it’s free if you buy three products. Jentry Kelly has no idea who I am so I’m not making a dime from this should out, and is certainly not the only option for makeover lessons, but it’s an easy option for those local friends of mine. (I went to the lovely West campus and used @laurenfalls.)
They gave me that handy dandy face you see pictured above to remind me what I need to be doing along with the products (and brushes) on the back to help achieve that look.
Did I move to all Jentry Kelly products? Nope. But did I figure out some things I should be doing differently? Yep.
What were the biggest makeover lessons?
- Use bronzer. The one time previously I had tried bronzer, I did not like the look on my face. It felt orange. Bronzer has made a lot of progress. And when I figured out how to apply it correctly, it gave me already high cheekbones, more definition (my face is rounder than it used to be). Bronzer isn’t just for your cheekbones – it’s for your neck as well.
- Careful eye makeup application. Lesson one, no mascara or eyeliner on the bottom lids. I’d long left eyeliner off but not mascara. JK’s philosophy: No Bottom Lashes. Then one of my favorite new products is called brown lift and it’s the white cream that goes under your eyebrows. Using an eye lid base helps my eyeshadow (if I use it, you don’t need it after the eye base) stay on. Finally, run the accent shadow, if you use it, on the crease going in. It totally keeps the accent from settling into my laugh lines.
- Eyeliner. It’s a whole different thing. One, maybe you don’t use. If you do use, get away from that harsh pencil that pulls at your skin.
- Tinted moisturizer. Whatever base you use – whether base or moisturizer or CC cream (like me), stop at your chin. I’m sorry. I know all of you that are haunted by 80s deep base lines on your chin are screaming. But turns out, if you use the exact shade for your skin, which is a requirement, then stopping at your chin and then moving to bronzer helps your neck as you age.
Those are just a few things I learned. It was looking at my face from a fresh perspective and the products I use. My routine is longer now but the results are consistent. It doesn’t look heavy, just fresh.
Because of all this focus on new makeup routines, I asked my social media peeps what mascara to switch to. I have historically used Loreal Voluminous and recently switched to Too Faced, Better than Sex, and a Sephora brand. I liked the thickness of the Too Faced brand but it flaked on my cheeks and didn’t come off well. The Sephora brand went on a little wet so sometimes my lashes stuck together.
Overwhelmingly, women recommended Thrive. It was hands down the top vote getter. In addition, people recommended Lancome, Fantasize, Dior, Tarte, Maybelline Sky High, Blinc (a tubing mascara), Get Big, Hour Glass, Tom Ford, ILIA, Mary Kay, Ever Whiplash, Clinque, Damn Girl, Armani, CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom, Lash Girl, Honest, Bestidy, Bobbi Brown, IT Superhero, Trish McEvoy’s Lash Curling, and Buxom.
Also, y’all are the best!
So here are photos of the ones I tried out, in order of photo below:
Thrive, Fantasize, Dior, and Tarte (Lights Camera Lashes).
I ranked them on a scale of 1 to 5 in these categories:
*Appearance (of course – I’m looking for definition and thickness),
*Wear (this was how it stayed on and whether it flaked onto my face), and
*Removal (I use Mary Kay eye make up remover, I love this product, and if my lashes break or it won’t come off then it gets demerits b/c this product is super gentle).
These photos are unfiltered in my bathroom so no fancy technical improvements and sadly it was hard to capture the real distinctions in the lashes from photos.
- Thrive – 4 on appearance, 4 on wear, 1 on removal. People say if you use water it comes right off but I did not like it. It flakes off in plasticky pieces and I worried it would damage my eyelashes. So I returned it for a refund. However, this is the overwhelming winner of the masses.
- Fantasize – 4 on appearance (I actually loved the appearance but the application was a little hard – I think if I get the full size, which I will, instead of the trial size it will be easier), 5 on wear, and 5 on removal.
- Dior – 5 on appearance (full disclosure, I got the pack of primer + mascara – this primer is a GAME CHANGER), 5 on wear, and 5 on removal.
- Tarte – 4 on appearance, 5 on wear, 4 on removal.
So I returned Thrive and plan on making Dior my #1 choice and Fantasize my #2 choice. I bought sample sizes of all of the last three at Sephora and I plan to buy full sizes of #1 and #2 but I will say that there’s a very fine line between those and Tarte and I would also recommend it.
In order to test them fairly, I went back through the trial (sans Thrive) and used the Dior primer under each of them. I liked them each better with it. Two of my friends said this was a must do and while it felt like unnecessary work for me when I read the rec, it does make a difference. One of them recommended the Lancome primer but I’m obsessed with this Dior one so I will continue using it. It’s the brush. Crazy how it plumps and separates lashes.
I realize this is a totally fluffy and superficial post. But sometimes it’s fun to get back to our make up and fashion conversations. What is your must have make up product? Share in the comments so we can all check it out!