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Animal rights

Beauty versus Animal Rights

Politically, I’m a moderate. I haven’t always been. I grew up in the 1960s, and my politics have ranged from idealistic liberal to confused bipartisan. Now, as I stand loosely planted in the new millennium, I can earnestly say I am convinced that few, if any, issues in life are black and white, or all or nothing. I find more and more often that there is truth on both sides of the issues and the middle ground is often the only reasonable position. At least the middle ground is the only position that acknowledges the whole picture and not just one side.

This middle position also reflects my perspective on animal testing as it pertains to cosmetic products and the health-care industry. While I unquestionably advocate the humane and ethical treatment of all life, especially unprotected and dependent life, I am not in favor of eliminating all forms of animal testing when it comes to health-care issues or human safety issues.

I feel terrible pain and anguish when I think of animals suffering in any way so that I can put on mascara or clean my face. Many animal tests that are used to ascertain whether a cosmetic will hurt people are cruel and gratuitous. No one is ever going to eat 50 pounds of mascara. Forcing animals to do so in order to demonstrate how much mascara people can eat before they die makes me want to resign from the human race. How can anyone put an animal through such torture?

On the other hand, my older sister who had breast cancer, my father who had prostate cancer, my friends whose parents have suffered through Alzheimer’s, my friends who have multiple sclerosis, and my brother-in-law who has diabetes all take or have at some point taken medication or undergone medical procedures that improved their quality of life or facilitated recovery. All of these medications and procedures had been proven effective and safe as a result of animal testing. I absolutely do not want to see even one animal die by being force-fed foundation or eyeshadow to prove a favorable formulation. Yet, if sacrificing an animal’s life can help find the cure for Alzheimer’s, prevent more cancers, or reduce the risks of high blood pressure and a host of other illnesses, I would and do support that research.

Most of us are aware of the dramatic pictures distributed by animal-rights groups showing the terrible torment of animals in research laboratories. They have exposed conditions that are indeed grotesque and painful and that all of us should be sickened by and do our best to change. But this narrow, shocking display does not address the positive results of animal research (the creation of safe products and medical treatments), nor does it represent the labs that treat animals humanely by caring for them and anesthetizing them.

Children who survive leukemia owe their lives to animal testing. Arthritis patients who can walk again owe their agility to animal testing. Successful excisions of brain tumors are due to animal testing, and on and on. Human health-care advancement and the use of animals to test various protocols and risks are inextricably linked and cannot be separated. This is the dilemma of animal testing.

There are many arguments surrounding this issue from both points of view. On one side are the animal-rights activists who claim there is no need or reason to ever use animal testing (or eat meat, use leather goods, or use animals for any purpose other than as pets). When it comes to animal testing, they point to alternative methods of research assessment that can be used. Spokespeople for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) claim that a preponderance of research proves that all animal testing is inconclusive and has no relation to what takes place in humans. Animal activists insist that all animal testing is motivated by financial profit and stubborn, old-fashioned doctors or “good old boys” who refuse to change. Their reasoning is that animal testing is big business, and no one wants to alter what they are doing and potentially lose money.

On the other side are the vast majority of physicians, medical research groups from most major universities, national medical organizations representing everything from cancer to heart disease, and pharmaceutical companies, all of which believe the use of animal models for research is essential to evaluating new and old medical treatments and procedures. These physicians and organizations often agree that in vitro (test tube-oriented) tests and computer model studies can replace some animal testing, but definitely not all of it.

No one among these countless medical professionals would concede that all or even most animal testing is futile and immaterial. They can point to thousands of chemical substances and operations that were first determined to be safe and effective or dangerous and deleteri­ous because of animal testing. Suggesting that these be stopped would halt most medical research, from AIDS to Alzheimer’s, and the development of any new drug. Even physicians deeply involved in finding alternative research methods to replace animal testing would not agree that we should close the door to the ultimate goal or eradicating many diseases.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Medical, pharmaceutical, and cosmet­ics industry experts freely admit that, in the past, they were doing far more animal experi­ments than were needed to prove safety. Animal-rights activist campaigns inspired a vocal consumer base to force a major change in the number and type of animal tests being done. Many companies responded by reducing animal testing, changing to alternative methods whenever possible, and instituting humane treatment of their animals. Yet all or nothing is the goal of animal activists, and it may not be the goal of all consumers buying makeup, taking medicines, or considering medical procedures. Consumers should look at the whole issue, not just at shocking pictures.

For example, according to an article in the January 1997 issue of Drug and Cosmetics Industry magazine (Drug and Cosmetics Industry magazine’s name has been changed to Global Cosmetic Industry), Gillette has been a boycott target of PETA since 1986. What PETA does not acknowledge is that, since its boycott, Gillette has reduced tests on animals by over 90%, has contributed millions of dollars to alternative research, and has donated over $100,000 to the Humane Society. You would think PETA would ease up on Gillette, but that isn’t the case. It still lists Gillette among its companies to boycott. As long as a company does any animal testing, humane or otherwise, it is a target for PETA’s condemnation. That is regrettable, because as a consumer you get only a limited perspective.

Most of us are against animal testing, but we also have the right to safe products and straight information about how that can best be accomplished. It would be wonderful if alternative, computer-based, and test-tube models were sufficient to establish a cosmetic, drug, or medical procedure’s safety, but that doesn’t seem to be true, at least not now or in the near future. If alternatives do become common practice, that will probably happen in the world of cosmetics first, mainly because cosmetics are not ingested and alternative research methods for irritation studies are in use.

I will continue to earnestly support the humane and ethical treatment of animals, but I do not at this time support a complete ban on animal testing. I personally do not use animal testing for any of my Paula’s Choice skin-care products, either directly or indirectly (meaning I don’t hire third-party testing facilities to do my testing for me). I use only proven, long-established formulations and ingredients, as do many other companies that make claims about no animal testing. But because all of the cosmetic ingredients currently in use have at some point been tested on animals, including everything from vitamin C to sunscreen ingredients, no one can claim that the ingredients in their products involved no animal testing. It’s great that they don’t test on animals, but at least some of the ingredients they use were tested at some point in the ingredient’s history.

By creating products that are not tested on animals and by my supporting through financial contributions such organizations as animal welfare groups and legal groups that fight for animal causes, I feel I am doing my part to help create a world where fewer and fewer animals will be used for testing, and those that are will be treated humanely and ethically every step of the way.

I want my readers to know that I believe their decisions and consumer activism in this area have been and continue to be vital. Cosmetics companies only started changing and looking for alternative methods because you, the consumer, brought pressure to bear and forced them to change. It is important to keep up this pressure. However, I feel it would be foolish to follow organizations like PETA and NAVS blindly unless you truly agree com­pletely with their goal of abolishing all animal testing and creating a completely vegetarian or vegan society.

Instead, I encourage you to support organizations fighting for the welfare and safety of all animals, for limited and humane animal testing, and for continued research to find alternatives to animal testing in hopes that someday no animals will have to be used in any research experiments. This is completely in your power, because you, the consumer, have everything to say about what you buy and whom you buy it from, and your actions speak loudly and clearly to all kinds of corporations and enterprises the world over.

The Beauty industry’s effect on girls

In our society, for young girls on the perilous journey from preadolescence and adolescence to young adult status, one of the emotional pitfalls is the social pressure and self-awareness that precipitates wearing makeup. Putting on blush, lipstick, mascara, and eyeshadow has become one of the primary rites of passage that marks the moment when changing hormones begin to influence both mind and body. As this new style of expression is developing, teen­age anxiety begins to take on a whole new depth (witness a teen’s explosive desperation at a single perceived insult or problem). What do you do when the little girl in your life (who is looking less and less like a little girl) wants to start wearing makeup? Particularly when her sensitivities are overflowing but her sophistication is lagging? And it isn’t just that she wants to wear makeup—she has to. To make things even more confusing, teenagers continually demonstrate an inexplicable duality of fierce individualism, while at the same time buying only what everyone else is wearing. How many times have you heard the teen in your life proclaim loudly that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, while at the same time she refuses to wear anything else but the same style of makeup, shoes, skirts, blouses, sweaters, and dresses her friends or her latest rock-star idol are wearing? Too many to count!

Feeling attractive is an overwhelmingly important aspect of life for many teenage girls. It is often complicated by well-meaning adults who don’t quite know what to do or say. “You look beautiful, you don’t need to wear makeup” is just as irksome as “A little pink blush, rose lipstick, and brown mascara will make you look beautiful.” The first statement, “You look beautiful just the way you are,” comes off as a thunderous lie. It discounts what the teenager sees all around her on television and in magazines—that women can look more exciting and glamorous with makeup on (or why else would Mom and the rest of the world be wearing it?). The other comment about adding just a little color here and there suggests that the girl is unattractive and would be better off hiding her face behind a layer of cosmet­ics (albeit a small one). Then there’s the ever-popular, “You can start wearing makeup when you’re 16 and that’s that.” At best, an arbitrary date like this ignores the specific needs and development of each teen.

What to do? I wouldn’t recommend any of the above approaches, that’s for sure. Instead, I suggest incorporating all three positions into a compassionate compromise. The goal is to acknowledge the teenager’s needs, letting her know they are valid and important. Tell her something along the lines of “I know wearing makeup is important to you and it could look lovely on you. But at the same time I want you to know that I think you are beauti­ful just the way you are.” Then the two of you can decide together what is appropriate, giving in a little as you go. Remember, what you think is important may not be what the teen thinks is important. Gloss yes, lipstick no; blush yes, but only a little; mascara yes, but only brown; concealer yes, but foundation no; and so on. Mostly this process is about being gentle and respectful of the teen’s feelings as they arise (and not about trying to control or contradict).

Another option is going together to a professional makeup artist or makeup demonstra­tion. This can be a positive experience as long as you are careful to ward off any attempt on the part of the salesperson to foster insecurity and vulnerability via sales techniques. Let the salesperson know ahead of time, in no uncertain terms, that you don’t want her to use any language that suggests something is unattractive or wrong with any aspect of your teen’s appearance. If the salesperson wants to introduce something different she can easily say, “I think a softer blush can be an attractive look,” instead of “The blush you have on is all wrong for you.” Don’t let the counterperson get away with “You have small lids and a bright color will make them look larger,” when a simple statement such as “A pale brown eyeshadow on the lid is a good color choice for you.” Instead of encouraging an addiction to makeup brought on by insecurity, that phrasing can go a long way to build self-esteem.

If the age of your teen is of great importance to you in making your decision about when to allow makeup, you can put off the inevitable by intervening with an emphasis on skin care (which is a good starting point in general). Encouraging the everyday use of UVA – protective sunscreen, regular cleansing with a water-soluble cleanser, exfoliating gently with an AHA or BHA product, and using 2.5% benzoyl peroxide over blemishes is a great way to start paying attention to beauty issues without getting into makeup, except maybe for mascara or lip gloss. At the same time, it is essential that you take the time to share informa­tion about how the cosmetics industry can take advantage of women and stress why it is a waste of money to buy expensive products. That combination is an excellent and beautiful introduction to the world of cosmetics.

You and your teen can even read one of my books or visit my Web site together, mark­ing areas to discuss. If you reach a crossroads and cannot agree, seek out an impartial third party to mediate (preferably not male unless you’re looking for a “Who cares?” response!).

Most of us grown-ups started off on the wrong foot with makeup and skin care, some­how learning incorrectly from the outset that it would make us perfect and correct all our flaws (of which there were always too many—eyes too close together or too far apart, nose too broad or too narrow, face too square or too round, skin too yellow or too pink, and on and on). We are now in a good position to hand the next generation a new measure of self-worth and to tell them the truth about cosmetics and what they can and cannot do. That’s something the cosmetics industry probably isn’t expecting.

Correcting Some popular makeup Myths

• Some makeup artists declare that you shouldn’t be afraid to touch your makeup. The truth is you should be very careful about touching it. After you’ve taken the time to apply your foundation smoothly with a sponge and your eyeshadows evenly with brushes, there’s no reason to use your fingers unless it’s absolutely necessary, and only lightly at that.

• Don’t spray water or toner on makeup to set it or freshen things up. It doesn’t work. A mist of water can streak foundation, powder, and mascara. How this makeup myth got circulated is anyone’s guess!

• Don’t change every part of your makeup with every season. If you want to go softer during the spring and summer, that’s fine, but it isn’t an absolute must. Makeup should reflect how you want to be seen by the world and what makes you feel good—and that’s not dictated by the seasons.

• Don’t use makeup to correct the shape of anything on your face, especially the lips. Close up and in person you can absolutely tell when lipstick has been applied beyond or inside the natural lip line.

• Don’t use foundation or color correctors to change the color of your skin. Foundation must match the underlying skin tone exactly. That will soften any skin discoloration or redness. If you have yellow or olive skin there’s nothing you can or should do to change it. It’s best to accept it and work with it for your own look. Even if you succeeded in changing the color of your face, it would look strange next to your neck and along the hairline.

• To keep pencil eyeliner in place, many makeup artists recommend going over it with a matching powder eyeshadow. That works, but why do two steps when only one is needed? Forget the pencil and just use dark eyeshadow to begin with.

• Glowing skin does look nice, but mostly just in pictures. In real life, the same skin looks like it is covered with glitter. That isn’t bad, but it isn’t as appealing as the pictures make it seem, and any wrinkles will be illuminated, too. It is an option for an evening out, but that’s about it.

• No single set of colors is absolutely right for any skin color. The days of being typed into one color grouping are long gone. Just because you have red hair doesn’t mean you have to wear corals and avoid blue-red lipstick. It’s all up for experimentation and finding what looks best. Quite honestly, most women can wear just about any color they want to, as long as they pay attention to color intensity and application and adjust the details accordingly.

Choosing color

Finally, we come to the most difficult subject of all to discuss, at least on paper. I would love to have the time to sit down and create a makeup look that works for everyone. That isn’t humanly possible, but I do have some rules that can help you create the makeup look you want.

• Foundation must match the skin exactly so there are no lines of demarcation. (I know this is getting repetitive, but I can’t emphasize this point enough.)

• Concealer is only a shade or two lighter than the foundation.

• Powder should match the foundation exactly or go on transparent so it does not affect the color of foundation in the least.

• Eyeshadow colors should be neutral shades ranging from pale beige to tan, brown, dark brown, and black (and the thousands of shades in between).

• Eyebrow color should match the exact shade of the existing brow hair, unless your brows are naturally blonde, in which case the brow color should be slightly darker.

• Eyeliner on the upper lid should be a darker color (all the way to black, depending on the look you want) than the line along the lower lashes, which should be a softer shade of brown or gray.

• Blush can be almost any color as long as it coordinates in some logical fashion with the lipstick color, but it must be blended on softly, without any noticeable edges whatsoever.

• Lipstick can be bold to neutral—there is a fantastic range of great colors. When you’re choosing, remember that smaller lips should wear brighter shades than larger lips.

• To create a tanned appearance, use golden brown and chestnut shades for your blush, eyeshadows, contour, and lipstick. Never apply a foundation or bronzer all over the face if that means you’ll end up with a line of demarcation at the jaw or hairline.

Color mistakes to avoid

• Don’t wear white or very pale lipstick with a white cast to it. This can look ghostly and ghastly.

• Don’t wear blue, green, or overly pastel anything, including eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara.

• Avoid navy blue eyeshadow. (Stick with black—it looks smoky, while navy just tends to look sooty.)

• Don’t wear overly shiny eyeshadows (they exaggerate any wrinkles around the eye); they may be fun occasionally, but only if you have smooth, unlined eyelids.

• Don’t wear rainbow-style eyeshadow designs (think Cyndi Lauper in the mid 1980s).

• Don’t wear blush and lipstick colors that clash; they should be in the same color family, not glaring opposites.

• Use shine sparingly rather than making every part of your makeup routine include it.

Balance, proportion, and detail

Have you ever wondered exactly what it is you admire when you see a well-made-up woman? You may not be able to pinpoint what it is you find appealing, but you probably envy her skill and wish you could figure out how she did it. At the airport several years ago, I noticed such a woman and watched other women (and a few men) turn their heads and take notice. It wasn’t just that she was attractive and her clothes were stylish; but that her makeup in particular was impeccable. Her face looked smooth and was accented with rich, though subtle, blush and contour tones. All the colors, from her lipstick to her eyeshadows, softly mingled into a harmonious sweep of light to dark, with just the right amount of shading—not too much and not too little.

That’s when it occurred to me that any woman can revitalize her makeup by going over a list of everyday makeup guidelines and just omitting the mistakes that detract from, rather than enhance, her appearance. Recognizing the nuances of a well-done makeup application versus one that is not so good can make all the difference in helping a woman look great all day long. Considering all the time most women spend buying makeup and wearing it, putting it on wrong just doesn’t make sense.

Besides the essential rules regarding application and blending techniques, there are only three basic concepts you need to keep in mind to achieve a flattering look: balance, proportion, and detail. Balance is about making sure the different elements of your makeup go together and that no one aspect is more prominent than any other. In other words, if you are wearing a dark, rich, brownish red lipstick, you must choose blush in a harmonious color (shiny pink blush is not going to work with a lipstick in that color range). Meanwhile, make sure your eyeshadows accent the eyes so they don’t get lost because too much attention is directed toward the lips. When colors and tones are in balance and no one aspect of the makeup shouts over another, you don’t notice the makeup as much as you notice the woman.

Proportion is about the total package of selecting what to wear. It’s about paying at­tention to symmetry, to how your makeup colors, wardrobe, and hairstyle work together. If you are wearing a classic, tailored business suit and the eyeshadows you have on range from tan to black, with a wine-colored lipstick and blush, that may indeed be a stunning combination, but a bit too dramatic and overpowering with what you’re wearing. The same is true for someone with very light hair and fair skin: the color combination may be dramatic and beautiful, but it will look out of place in sunlight or office light. Proportion is making sure that everything works together, with nothing looking out of synch, so your makeup doesn’t upstage you.

Detail is the most essential and perhaps the most difficult area because it takes so much effort and concentration. Pay attention to every nuance of your makeup. If necessary, ap­ply your makeup using a magnifying mirror so you don’t leave the house with eyeshadow sprinkles on your cheek or mascara smudges at the back corner of your eyelid. Do not be satisfied with doing a ten-minute makeup application in only five minutes when you’re in a hurry. If you don’t have enough time to do your normal makeup routine, be ready to change your look; do only what you have time to apply well.

I can’t tell you how often women have asked me what they can do differently with their makeup, and my responses were that they needed to blend their foundation better because it looked patchy and uneven, or the eyeshadow area looked uncertain or too obvious. Often these women reply, “Things were just frantic this morning, and this was the best I could do.” I then say, “I notice you have your blouse buttoned and your skirt zipped up.” Typi­cally their answer is, “Of course!” I in turn comment, “Well, even though you didn’t have much time, you didn’t leave the house undressed. You should apply the same rule to your face.” It doesn’t mean being late because of your makeup; it means doing less so it goes faster. But whatever you do, take the time to do it right. Because when makeup is sloppy, it just looks wrong.

As I mentioned above, I use several levels of makeup application, depending on the time I have and what the makeup is for. For me, and I’ve done this a lot, full makeup for a television appearance takes 20 to 25 minutes. Makeup for a business meeting or a formal event takes 15 minutes. Makeup for casual daily business or informal get-togethers takes 5 to 10 minutes. Makeup for running to the gym to work out takes a minute and a half (lipstick and mascara only).

Turning daytime makeup into night

All right, you’ve touched up your makeup, but suppose you now want to change it from your office or daytime look to a knockout evening visage? Here are some ideas to consider:

• Add a dark or black shade of eyeshadow to the back corner of the lid or in the crease.

• Use the same shade of dark or black eyeshadow to create a more dramatic line around the eye.

• Use a wedge or angle brush to add extra definition to the arch of your eyebrows, or add a bit more brow powder to the ends of your brows (but don’t overdo it).

• Use a powder or liquid that has shine to add some shimmering highlights to the cheekbones, center of the forehead, chin, neck, shoulders, or decolletage.

• A vivid red lipstick always makes a dramatic evening look, especially if you are wearing black.

• Avoid overdoing your blush. Making the cheeks look overly colorful doesn’t improve an evening look.

• Avoid applying more mascara, unless you’re adept at doing so without creating a clumpy, spiky mess.

Touching up

As the day goes by, even the best-applied makeup can slip, fade, and get phone – or finger­printed. Long days call for a few quick touch-ups to revive beautifully applied makeup. Following the steps below, in order, will revive the look you started with.

• If you have oily skin, blot away the excess oil by laying either a tissue or oil-blotting pa­per on it. Perm endpapers also work well. Do this before reapplying any makeup.

• Remove all of your lipstick so you can start over after you have touched up your face makeup. Apply a light layer of lip balm if your lips feel dry.

• Once the excess oil on your skin has been absorbed, take a fresh sponge and smooth out the foundation, blush, and contour (women with dry and normal skin should also follow this step). Use a gentle, buffing motion, making sure to smooth things as you go.

• Apply a little extra concealer under the eyes if that area looks a bit dark or if the concealer has faded.

• If you need a little more foundation over blemishes or discolorations, blend it on now, avoiding the blush and contour area.

• Dust a light layer of pressed powder over the face. A pressed powder with sunscreen that includes the UVA-protecting ingredients of avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide is an excellent option to ensure all-day sun protection.

• Apply more blush or contour if needed, but only if needed, and be careful; color “grabs” more over makeup that has been on the face awhile.

• If you want to touch up your eyeliner, particularly under the eyes where it might have smeared, use a powder shadow instead of a pencil. Use the corner or side of your makeup sponge to remove any smeared eyeliner.

• If your eyeshadows have creased, blot the area gently with a tissue or blotting paper and then use a brush to smooth out the color. Apply a powder over the area to even out the shadows and add whatever color is needed to make the eye makeup look balanced.

• Finally, reapply your lipstick and lip liner.

Applying lip Color

A lip brush or lip pencil is an optional accessory. You can use a lip pencil to draw a de­finitive edge around the mouth to follow when applying lipstick, and a lip brush to control your application. A tube of lipstick makes too wide a mark for some lips and too narrow a mark for others. If your lips are small, it is best to use a lip brush; if your lips are large, the only reason to use a lip brush is to improve your accuracy.

If you do choose to work with a lip pencil, always place the color on the actual outline of your mouth. Do not use corrective techniques that make the mouth look larger or longer, especially for daytime makeup. If you try to change the outline of your mouth with a lip pencil by drawing outside the lips, some time later, when your lipstick wears off, the lip liner, which almost always lasts longer than the lipstick, will still be in place and it will look like you missed your lips. Always line the lips following their actual shape, then fill in the lipstick color, using either the tube or a lip brush.

What about the center outline of the mouth? Do you round the point of the lips or make the point more obvious? As a general rule, a softer appearance is better than a hard one. Leave the points neither rounded nor pyramid-like—someplace in between with a soft arch is best.

To prevent lipstick from gunking up in the corners of the mouth, don’t place lip liner or pencil in that area. Stop before you get to the very corners of the mouth. If you feel doing this makes you look as if you have missed a spot, carefully fill in this area with color using a lip brush, applying only the smallest amount.

Lip pencils should never create a contrasting dark, brown, or clearly visible line. Your lip pencil should not appear to be an obvious line that shows up as a colored border around the lipstick. The goal is to have the lipstick and lip pencil meld so that you can’t see where one starts and the other stops.

If you wear lip liner and you want to help your lipstick last longer, apply the lip pencil all over the lip area, including the outline of the lips, and then apply your lipstick over it. This extra step puts a more permanent color on the lips so the lipstick won’t wear off as quickly as it normally does. Beyond that, and with the exception of the various lip paints available (such as Max Factor Lipfinity or Cover Girl Outlast), all-day lipstick doesn’t exist. Even these formidable lip paints can present some reapplication issues if you eat oily foods, and there is still the issue of touching up with the moisturizing top coat that accompanies each of these paints. For years the cosmetics industry has been proclaiming new “all-day” or “long-wearing” lipsticks, yet women continually need to reapply their lipstick. To date it remains impossible for 99.9% of all lipsticks to make it past lunch, or even past midmorn­ing, still looking the same as when you first put them on.

How can you stop lipstick from traveling into the lines around your mouth? The first step is to stop wearing greasy lipsticks and lip glosses. The greasier the lipstick or lip pencil, the faster the color will slip into the lines around your mouth. The drier-feeling lipsticks are best for conquering this problem. Powdering the mouth with loose powder before applying the lipstick also helps, but can be a bit messy. Lip pencil will not stop greasy lipsticks from traveling, but it can slow them down.

Several years ago, some cosmetics companies came out with new products that were sup­posed to prevent lipstick from bleeding. I tried a lot of them and many never worked, but I finally found three that changed the way I wear lipstick. Regrettably, all of the options I used to love are no longer made. Refusing to be dismayed by this, I simply found out which company produced the formula (there are only a handful worldwide that make almost all cosmetic pencils) and added the formula I loved to my own line. If you have trouble with lipstick migrating into lines around your mouth, I strongly recommended my Long-Lasting Anti-Feather Lipliner in Clear.

lipstick and lip pencil mistakes to avoid

1. Do not use a lip pencil that contrasts with your lipstick; it has been unfashionable since the ’80s. Not only does it almost always looks severe, but it also gives a con­trived appearance to the mouth area.

2. Do not wear lipstick that is a different color tone from the rest of your makeup. For example, if you are wearing a rose-toned blush, wear a rose-toned lipstick.

3. Do not use lip gloss in place of lipstick during the day; it can bleed and won’t last as long as lipstick.

4. Do not exaggerate or change the shape of your mouth with your lip pencil or lipstick; it will look like you missed your mouth.

5. If you want your lipstick to last, wear more of it and don’t blot it; blotting takes off several layers before you’ve even left the house.

Choosing lip Colors

When choosing lipstick colors, there are three basic rules. (1) Thinner or smaller lips look best with brighter, more vivid colors. Brighter colors may take a bit of getting used to, but they truly make a smaller mouth more noticeable. Occasionally I read about or hear makeup advisors suggesting that women should wear a neutral color on small lips and instead play up the eyes (as if the notion is ever to play down the eyes or ignore the mouth!). Test this technique for yourself before you give in to this nonsense. (2) Avoid darker colors on thin lips; they make the mouth look severe and harsh. (3) Larger lips can wear just about any color, but softer shades look better because darker or vivid colors can make large lips look too prominent.