I can remember very clearly when I was around 40, reading an article about how many pitfalls there were for older women when it came to makeup. The tone of the article was condescending and patronising.
No doubt written by some thirty year old beauty editor, it warned of the horror of foundation settling into the wrinkles on older skin and implied that bright lipstick was a no-no on older, thinner lips. ‘Less is definitely more when you are older’ it warned and I’m fairly sure that ‘put a bag over your head when you leave the house’ might have been the advice if our beauty maven had been able to fully express her disdain for faces less young and beautiful than her own.
How I would have loved to show her the amazing ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures on this page!
Today’s 10 makeovers have been chosen by Julia Biddlecombe, a top makeup artist (Lulu, Liz Hurley, Joan Collins, Jenny Agutter et al and she did Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s makeup for her wedding to Prince Charles and accompanied the couple on a two week tour of the USA). I also invited her to the photoshoot for all the photographs in my book and can honestly say that her makeup on that occasion was phenomenal - as the photo at the top attests. Somehow she had to choose from over 200 makeovers which were created by members of Tricia’s Super Troopers Group on Facebook. The challenge was to name your three favourite makeup items from the Look Fabulous Forever range and take a selfie with a bare face, and then after you’d applied your normal makeup. It was my task to download all 400 plus photographs, so I became very familiar with all the images. I honestly didn’t know how Julia would be able to choose which 10 deserved special mention, but choose she did, and alongside each makeover below she has given the rationale for her choice.
Julia has worked as a makeup artist for thirty years since graduating from the London College of Fashion in 1991, and, in my opinion, she’s one of the best. I first met her when she did the makeup for both me and my daughter for her wedding in 2006 and was very impressed with how fabulous she made us both look. I also invited her to the photoshoot for all the photographs in my book and can honestly say that her makeup on that occasion was phenomenal - as the photo at the top of last week’s blog attests. I asked Julia to say what she thought of the overall standard of the entries and also to give us the benefit of her experience with some top tips which I have added at the end of this piece. Here’s what she said:
“Your ladies have done an AMAZING job, their bases are beautiful and most have chosen great lip colours to give that ‘pop’ to the face. Really impressed, Tricia! So - well done to them all - and maybe watching your tutorials and using your fab products have helped them on their way.”
Our 10 Prize Winning Finalists and Why Julia Chose Them:
Anne Hanlon (left): loves LFF Brow Shape, Beauty Balm 2 and Face Prime
“Amazing transformation from before to after. I love that Anne showed us in her close-up before shot she has lovely laughter lines, so needed to skillfully apply makeup but not too heavily. She has not been afraid to go for smoky eyes which are actually quite hard to get just right but she has achieved it . Also the rest of her makeup is naturally blended so congratulations to her for amazing makeup skills."
Maud Old (right): loves LFF Conceal 03, Peach Cream Blush and Soft Coral Lipstick
“Maud has used her makeup techniques to transform herself to a very modern look. She had taken at least 10 years off without the need of botox or anything surgical, just good makeup choices and skill. Really pretty makeup."
Sue Harasyn (left): loves LFF Base 02, Rosy Glow Blush (best blush ever!) and No Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio
“Sue’s before shot shows some discolouration, this is very common as we get older , thread veins and age spots being most common. She has naturally and skillfully evened out her skin tone with foundation then added a healthy rosy blush to the apples of the cheeks. Excellent."
Violet Townsend (right): loves LFF Face Prime, Base 02 and Conceal 02
“Really love Violet’s lipstick application and choice of colour, her lips look plumper than her before shot so she has skillfully slightly gone onto the lip line to enhance them. As we get older lips may get thinner and drier so careful lipcolour is very important. Too dark, and the lips look thinner, too light and they disappear. Well done! The ‘after’ picture is beautiful."
Denise Harper (left): loves LFF Face Prime, Base 02 and Soft Neutrals Trio
“Denise has some thread veins on her cheeks so she has really done a great job at covering them . Denise also has no eyebrow hair so to completely draw the shape in and blend them softly is great skill.. She has added definition to her eyes really well also, well done."
Joan Packard (right): loves LFF Grey Brow Shape, Face Prime and Aubergine shadow
“On her before shot Joan has a pinky skin tone so she has done a great job at very naturally evening it out. Using a tinted moisturiser, or a very small amount of foundation especially during the summer months can make a huge difference , then setting with powder on T zone if you tend to get bit shiny or all over if you need it. Be careful with powder round the eyes and cheekbones as it can age the skin if too much product is used."
"Beryl’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics are fantastic. By concealing under her eyes and using eye shadow and shading correctly she has lifted her eyes upwards and taken years off. As we age everything goes down slowly....So to compensate taking the corner shadow line up and blending into the socket lifts. Also using the LFF light illuminating pen just under the outside corners of the eyes and blend onto top of cheekbones also helps reflect light to give the illusion of lift. Very skilled work"
Caroline Hutchings (right): loves LFF Face prime, Conceal 02, Base 02 and especially Foxy Lady lipstick!
“Comparing Caroline’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos shows she had used the concealer skillfully as her eyes are beautifully defined. Her choice of lip colour is lovely and has softened her face, very pretty look and very well done"
Louise Mallard (left): loves LFF Grey and Bluebell Eye Shadow and Cherry Red lipstick
"Louise’s ‘after’ photographs show how much her lipstick really brings her face alive, so congratulations to her for finding her perfect lip colour. Some women struggle to find it - so well done! If a colour can feel too bold then simply blotting it with a tissue can take the colour down."
Marilyn Jones (right): loves LFF Face Prime,Base 02 and Conceal 02
“Marilyn’s skin looks so healthy and glowing in her ‘after’ shot so her natural application of the makeup is beautiful. Using the right tools to apply and blend makeup is so important. Lovely ‘after’ photo."
And Finally Here are Julia’s Top Tips:
Everything goes down instead of up after 35ish… so start to lift with highlighters on cheekbones, concealer on under eye bags and add blusher on apples of cheeks where the glow has gone.
Keep foundation from going into wrinkles by using a primer to smooth first and use a small amount of product
Younger faces can take glitter and contouring but older ones need soft bronzer for cheek contouring. No glitter but slight shimmer on the top corners of the eyelid.
Fill in brows to look natural and frame the eyes, lots of mascara on curled eyelashes
Always add definition at the lash line and lift upwards at the corners
Always finish with a lovely splash of colour on the lips.
I have loved this makeover competition. I wish I could take the photographs of all 200+ makeovers to that beauty editor and say ‘see how wrong you were?!’ Older women do not need your patronising ‘less is more’ approach. They just need some encouragement to enjoy and love their faces and to feel confident that the right makeup applied in the right way can create some truly amazing makeovers!
Do have your say by leaving your comments below. I read every one of them and really love your involvement. Tricia x
An apology to those who missed our first live Zoom session with Toolally Founder, Mags Walker…I know that some of you were upset not to be invited to join our first live Zoom session. So to explain. We have 80,000 people on our email database, so we decided to send the link to those that registered via the Facebook Super Troopers group. We had over 300 register for the meeting and 200 actually joined the session. Even that number was rather overwhelming as we were learning how to operate the various Zoom controls so that people could actively participate. This created some challenges but we learned a lot! However, we did record it so you can now see it here. Going forward we will have the usual Teatime at the Ritz video on Tuesdays every other week - alternating with the live Zoom sessions which will be open to everyone. We have the capacity to take up to 500 for the live sessions, so it will always be on a first come, first served basis.