Nancy Crossman took her fashion cues seriously in the 1980s.
With eyes glistening with rainbow eyeshadow, thick black eyeliner and navy eyelashes, she was the epitome of Madonna style.
"We all looked the same," the Moncton woman says with a laugh while
recalling hair whipped into spiral perms. "When I look at pictures, we
are all nearly identical. It's hilarious." There may be comfort in
numbers. Millions of women follow cosmetic trends that, like fashion,
are ever evolving and tend to represent specific moments in time. Each
season, fashion runways showcase the newest, most modern looks with
variations on colours and application methods. The succeeding
interpretations of them tend to be popular as quick, easy, painless and
inexpensive ways to help women update their style.
By age 30, most women find the hemline that flatters, the eyeshadow
that suits and the haircut that works. Then, they get comfortable. And
Conversely, the most au courtant and stylish women in history never
stayed still. Rather, they flowed from one decade to another by picking
up a different waistline, losing a bouffant hairdo and exchanging
Burgundy Wine lipstick for Whisper of Pink gloss without any period of
mourning. Remaining chic, it would appear, is all about moving on,
diplomatically discarding looks that you love but that will date you.
"Makeup is all about feeling better, looking better," says Kimberley
Gautreau, owner of Kimberley the Studio in Moncton. "It's about caring
for yourself." For the trendiest looks this spring and summer, focus on
the eyes. It's said that a true geisha can stop a man in his tracks
with a single glance, heightening the status of the so-called windows
to the soul. A fresh, naturally sheer look looks fresh now, with a
highlighter in the tear duct of the eye. As shown during the Chanel and
Dior shows, there is a modern take on the play of light and shadow
inspired by movies, studio work and black-and-white photography. It's
easily accomplished by highlighting the inner corner of each eye with
an opaque white liquid shadow (or a more subtle beige) and gently
smudging. Then, using a white kohl pencil, draw a line on the inside
rim of the lower lids as a brightener.
So-called Twiggy eyelashes - long, voluminous, thick lashes - are
making a strong comeback. For those who are lacking in the lash length
department, a mascara that has a formula with fibres can help since the
miniscule fibres build onto existing lashes. Fake lashes may also be
used, both the single lashes and the longer strips. Start by curling
your real lashes and applying mascara by tilting the chin up slightly
and the head back slightly while lifting eyebrows up, as though you
were asking a question. This makes it simple to run the mascara brush
along the length of the upper lashes from the base to the tip without
With shadows, the newest cosmetic combinations seem to be bold
blues, greens or gold on the eyes, with the main colour chosen to match
clothing. Most eye-colour kits come with three to five different shades
inside, but not all need be applied at once. Years ago, highlighter was
applied to the brow bone (the area right underneath your eyebrow), the
darkest shade went on the crease of the eyelid and a midrange light
colour followed on the lid itself. At times, a little bit of darker
color was added to the outer edge to give a wedge shape to the eye.
These days, the look is less studied, with a lighter tone on the brow
blended into the lid colour.
"Most people will do a neutral on the lid, a different colour in the
centre of the lid and a darker colour at the corner to open the eye,"
says Megan. "A neutral light goes on the brow bone and all are blended
so it appears very natural." Colour choice matters. Bright colours can
look garish in summer, so the aim should be to look for faded hues that
remind you of a favourite T-shirt that turned from cobalt blue to a
water pool colour. Translated into makeup, the result becomes a
seethrough or sheer look that can be worn on the eyes, lips and cheeks.
"A soft line is much more flattering," says Kimberley.
For women over 30, blending these soft colours upward right above
the middle of the eye - where the iris is when you're looking straight
ahead - will give an automatic lift to complement the arch in the
eyebrows. Use a lighter tone for the brow bone and blend it carefully,
stopping at the eye crease. A thin line of shadow is also now used
instead of a liquid liner near the upper lash line."It still looks like
a line, but it is much softer," says makeup artist Megan Robertson,
manager of Faces Cosmetics in Moncton. "You want a very soft, natural
look." Finish the eye area with clean, natural-looking brows.
As the frame of the face - and especially, the eye area - they look
most modern in a gentle arch. This is said to be a great asset for
anyone over 30 because it provides an automatic lift to the face. To
begin, brush brows down and, if they require filling in, do so with
eyeshadow rather than a pencil. Set unruly brows in place with eyebrow
gel.In the yin-and-yang of an overall look, strong eyes should be
balanced by softer lips or vice versa. The update to the thousands of
shimmering lip glosses already on the market is that cosmetic companies
are now paying attention to brilliance and a pearled effect in addition
A light, babydoll pink is wearable for everyone, say makeup artists,
as is a neutral liner filled in with a shimmery gloss. "The sheen
should not be too bright," cautions Megan. "Lips should be like a
bubblegum pink, but in a sheer, or a golden to pibk bronze."
When it comes to skincare routines, be sure to start with a clean
palette. Wash your skin following your normal routine and apply a light
moisturizer with sun protection on the face; the delicate eye area also
requires a moisturizer since it has almost no oil glands.
Exfoliating the skin every few days will help improve its
appearance."You can put all the fillers and Botox you want on your
skin, but if your skin does not look healthy, you are not getting
optimum results," explains Rachel Gautreau, a nurse specializing in
medical esthetics at Bellissima Medical Aesthetics in Moncton. "When
you age, everything slows down, including the cells on your skin so
using a line like Obagy (a prescription therapeutic skincare line)
helps by speeding up the process so your skin looks and acts younger."
One way to fake a summer tan or accentuate an existing one is to use
a powder or liquid bronzer on the face,or to rely on a self tanner.
Almost every brand - whether at the low end or high end - is boasting a
variety of products to re-create the glow one gets from the sun but
without any of the skin-damage risks. "It's the safest way to tan and
having a light wash of colour is nice in summer," says Megan.
"Sometimes, you can wear less makeup with that extra bit of colour,