Essential face wear

Women would 'rather have make-up than a new car or food'

Fairfield Daily Republic ©

Just about everyone wants to start the new year with a clean slate. It's that whole resolution dialogue so often heard at the house, around the office, during drinks, while looking in the mirror, outside the shower . . . you get the point.

I decided I'd start the year by confessing my make-up habits. I'm not one to spend hours or even minutes standing before my house mirror gently and methodically putting on make-up. That would mean additional time taken from my morning routine, one that has every second planned.

Instead, I spend each stoplight on my way to work applying foundation and blush. My lip liner and lipstick, however, require more time. I do this part (a wrong move on the liner could skew the lips) while I'm waiting at the Starbucks drive-thru at the mall. I know I did something right (smile) when barista Sarah tells me I look good (coffee and a confidence boost for $2.80!).

By day's end, however, my face looks washed, the blush is gone and my lips are of the palest pink. What to do? Is it my make-up?

Earlier this week I spoke with Leslie Blodgett, president and CEO of Bare Escentuals and MD Beauty, a well-known cosmetic giant based out of San Francisco who advised me on the importance of skin care.
The natural make-up line, made from 100 percent pure, micronized minerals free from preservatives, oils, synthetic ingredients and fragrances, blossomed in sales soon after Leslie took over in 1994.

It's safe to say her background in product development played a key role in creating a line that catered to the care of skin. After all, what happens to your skin after wearing make-up for years? That's a question, she said, that large cosmetic companies never asked.

"It was important to create a product that covers and does it in a healthy way and women in California understood that," she said.

The product, sold in boutiques, on the QVC channel and now, at Macy's, caters to women with sensitive skin, acne, blotches or just regular skin.

"It's healthy and it gives you the look and feel that you're not wearing make-up," she said. "It covers the brown spots and zits. You don't see the line where it starts or ends."

That last line was huge for me. Let's face it, how many times have you seen a woman with a dark foundation line forming a silhouette on her face and you just wanted to run a cotton ball along the jaw line to blend it? How many times have you just stood there and stared at that line, not listening to what she was saying but acting like you care?

Moving on, Bare Escentuals make-up and skin care improves skin, according to Blodgett. For instance, they have a new nighttime product called Rare Mineral that is dug from virgin soil that helps with aging skin and will remove spots. I want it. Really.

I finally asked for advice.

How important is make-up to a woman?

I think they would rather have make-up than a new car or food. It really does make them feel good.

What advice do you have for women regarding make-up?

I think less is more, don't over do it. Enter your comfort zone, whether you're young or maturing. And blend, blend, blend. Just take brushes and buff around the eye, smooth out applications.

If you see a woman wearing her make-up wrong, would you say something?

No, I would never do that. Only if women want to talk to me about make-up or ask my opinion.

Have you had women give you advice?

All the time. Women tell me about new colors and products they want.

What shades are in for make-up?

Warmer tones, clear lip colors and apricots and peachy tones in the eye area. There are no rules, however. If you have an attraction, you should wear them. If you're happy, you'll be more confident.

Do you ever give your make-up products as a gift?

Oh, yes! My friends have a lot of fun! And when I get letters from customers who had a little heartbreak, I send presents.

Who is this product for?

Anyone who has skin.

One more resolution: I'm sending her a letter.