Old Gold

This is a summer of gold!

I love gold in the summer.  I can be bronze gold, green gold, yellow gold, or cooler white gold.  A wash of gold looks good with minimal makeup and just adds a little shine to a hot day or warm night.

So last December, I jumped on the golden lip bandwagon with Bite Beauty’s Creme Lip Gloss in Gold.  I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.


I usually want to wear gold for the winter holidays for warmth and glad tidings.  But this color didn’t work with my skin tone and it seemed too thick and sticky in the winter.  I didn’t consider it a lip topper at the time and really couldn’t see how to use it.  So I put it aside, especially after the holidays had come and gone.

Then when spring came this year, I was thinking about gold glosses and lip toppers and lipsticks of all sorts that were considered “gold” in one way or another.  Gilded, golden, anything like that.  Companies were launching bronzers and golden tan products.

As I said, I love golden summertime looks.  I dyed my hair blonde and started looking at gold makeup to complete my look.

I found two golden lipsticks from higher-end brands on Glambot, a used makeup site that I haunt frequently.  The Tom Ford lipstick was 1/2 price, so it was only $25.  Same with the Burberry.  I looked at them for about two weeks on the website and finally decided to buy them.

Tom Ford’s is a lip shimmer called Solar Gold 02.  Love that name.  The Burberry is a lip mist, which is an interesting idea, and is called Gold No. 217.  (I should be thankful I could read the bottom of the Burberry lipstick.   The writing is tiny and my eyes ain’t what they used to be.)  The two look very different, though.  Neither are opaque.  Neither have much pigment, relying primarily on shine to impart a sense of “gold.”


Here I’m wearing the Tom Ford Solar Gold.  Mostly shine.


The other one is about the same.


Ok. Not exactly what I was looking for in my summer of gold.

Next, I grabbed a gold lippie from Mac also on Glambot.  It’s a metallic called Digging for Gold.  (Pardon the blurry picture with the other two.  My camera was being ridiculous.) It’s more opaque than the others but still doesn’t have a lot of pigment.


The above three swatched on my pale-ass, old lady arm.  Top is Tom Ford, next is Mac, and finally Burberry.


They work best with a no-makeup makeup look, like the one I did for my husband’s birthday party.


Unless you want to wear them as a glossy topper for another color, but without much gold pigment or shimmer or flecks or glitter, these three impart little goldness.  Goldy-ness?

Sometimes…no, make that “usually,” I am looking for GOLD.  BIG GOLD!  Gold summertime eyes, lips, highlight.  Gold shimmer everywhere.  If we are going to wear gold, let’s wear GOLD.

And if you think you can’t wear it, don’t worry.  Yes, you can.

I did some golden homework to see what would work best–at least on my skin tone with my lovely Full Bloom, textured skin.  Feel free to modify any advice herein.

I revisited the Bite Beauty lip gloss.  I decided I could make it work.  I had to sheer it down, though, because it pulled so darn yellow on me, which made my teeth look strange.  (I didn’t even take a photo! Yikes.)  I mixed the Tom Ford with the gloss and found a nice combo.


Next up, I was looking for some good golden eyes.  Nope, no contacts to turn my brown eyes gold.  Eye shadow is what I had in mind.

Here I used a combo of browns, bronzes, and golds mainly from Colourpop.  I used Kathleen Lights Super Shock Shadow–a bronzy gold–and Nillionaire, which is an awesome shimmery gold.  It isn’t too hard to find great gold shadows.  20170610_141155Even glittery or shimmery shadows can work on older eyelids.  If you are concerned about wrinkles or texture, you can just use a spot of gold on the center of the lid or at the brow bone.  More or less, whatever your preference.  My preference is glowing to the skies and not giving a damn about texture.


Below is a monochromatic yellow gold eye look with a muted lip.  This look comes from Lorac’s Unzipped Gold palette.  Lorac’s palette has lovely, buttery bronze and gold shades to try.

This picture is from last golden summer.  I was concerned about mixing gold with grey hair, but I was pleased with the result, since the gold created a vivid contrast to the grey.  It’s a versatile color and can work on many skin tones.

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I played with bronzers and highlighters for more golden summer looks.  As stated before, I am not concerned too much about texture or wrinkles.  I don’t mind showing off my “Full Bloom” face.  I don’t care if the bronzers or highlighters emphasize my age.  I’m completely fine with my age and my skin.  I am lived in.



Feel free to highlight to heaven.  Here, I’m using my very favorite Jaclyn Hill x Becca Champagne Pop.  The highlight is popping!  I added some Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Celestial as a base for the Champagne Pop.  Great glowy combination.



One of my very favorite lip colors for summer is bronze gold.  I’m wearing it in the picture above with my sparkling highlight.  Below are two favorites, Milani Amore Metallics Lip Creme in Chromatic Addict and Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lip in Pussywhipped.  Both have long-lasting, creamy, comfortable formulas.  Both dry down completely and are transfer-proof.


Below, I’m wearing Milani Chromatic Addict along with the Lorac Unzipped Gold palette.  I love this bronze-gold look.


Gold pairs well with other colors, too.  I experimented with rose-gold, green-gold, and purple-gold pairings, focusing on lip colors since that’s what I found in my collection.  Apparently, I like those colors…

Rose-gold has been very popular recently, and though I love the color, only specific rose-golds look good on me.


Lime Crime’s Happi is one I can wear.  I haven’t found too many others that fit with my complexion.


Green-gold is a fun dramatic look.  It might not work for every day, especially a green-gold lip.  But Ofra has a wearable bronze-gold-green lip color called Emerald City.  I wore it repeatedly to work and felt totally comfortable wearing it.  The Lip Tar by OCC Cosmetics in Derelict is too dramatic for me to wear every day.  But it is so pretty I want to wear it for an evening out, if I can stay awake that long.


I paired the two for a softer green-gold.IMG_20170609_111209_002


The combination of the Ofra Emerald City and Lip Tar in Derelict created this dark bronze that I would wear for a special occasion.

Purple and gold might seem like an odd combination, but they are two of my favorite colors.  Those were my colors when I got married.  I didn’t have any of the wonderful lip or eye products featured today back then.  I contented myself with purple and gold nail polish, which was fancy enough at the time.  I had rarely seen a true gold nail polish.

These days, with so many metallic lip and eye colors, gold and purple combinations abound.  Jeffree Star and Ofra have two nice metallic purples in No Tea, No Shade and Fantasia.




I also used Colourpop’s Nillionaire and Jeffree Star’s Beauty Killer palette for my eyes in these photos.

And last but not least, my golden summer includes a golden mani with a green accent nail on a purple background with gold trees!  I’m nothing if not completely color-matched.


I do believe that we at any age can wear gold either as a holiday color, or in my case, as a summer color.  In this post, I barely scratched the gilded surface of golden possibilities.  Every day, companies develop and launch new versions of this versatile color, some more shimmery, some less dramatic.  Lots of options exist and experimentation is always available.  Glambot sells used, sanitized makeup to try out for less cash and you can sell to them if you have makeup you don’t love.  Or if you buy something new and it doesn’t work, mix it, like I did with the Bite Beauty lip gloss.

Never say you are too old for gold.  Old gold is the best gold.

Affiliate link Glambot:  https://www.glambot.com?affid=7376rtgch

Many Mani’s for Mature Nails

Many Years O’ Biting

I’m a nail-biter from way, way back.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t bite ’em.  Over the years, the many, many, many years, I have tried to quit.  Here’s what happened.

When I was about nine or ten, I discovered nail polish.  I can’t remember if I was biting then.  Picking cuticles and ripping off my poor, sad, flimsy nails…  Probably.  Anyway, I discovered polish.  Cutex, to be specific.  I loved every color.  I wanted every color.

My mother bought nail polish for me, along with a cuticle kit and files and all the trimmings.  I purchased more bottles with babysitting money or allowance.  Then I proceeded to paint my nails repeatedly.  I did manicures with friends, by myself, and on any pet that would sit still.  I painted my mother’s nails, which were big and smooth and oddly shaped because she never bothered with them.  They broke all the time, like mine.

My father was a biter like me.  I asked my mother how he stopped.  She shrugged and said that one day he just quit doing it.  I’m wondering if it had to do with smoking because he was big into cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.  She said no, he bit and smoked at the same time.

One afternoon, I remember painting my nails repeatedly with different colors, one on top of the other, just because.  I must have been bored.  I barely waited for the coats to dry as I applied and reapplied every color I owned.  The polish became a thick layer on my nails.  I kept messing them up as I was listening to records or reading magazines.  Finally, one nail stopped sticking.  I peeled off a thick layer of polish, all different colors, and spent some quality time inspecting it.  I peeled the other layers off and placed them on the table to investigate.  They were little smooth oval plastic dots.

After a thorough inspection, I started over with a fresh layer of polish, carefully applied on each nail again.  I was trying to apply it perfectly so there were no marks on my fingers, but at a certain point, I gave up.

I remember going through periods of time when I stopped biting and grew the nails out.  Then I would lose focus and peel them all off.  Not the polish, but the nail itself.  I repeated this pattern for a long time.

Nice Nails

When I turned 50, I didn’t think I would ever have nice nails.  It wasn’t in the cards.  I just bit and picked my way through life.  But after speaking with the wonderful people who are involved in The Balance and Beauty Collective, I learned that Yolanda Britt, nail artist and founding member of the collective, would help me break my habit.  All the people I spoke to at the Collective told me Yolanda was the one.

She was and she did.  Yolanda looked me in the eye and talked to me about nails.  She showed me how to take care of my nails and still keep them natural instead of using extensions.  Not that extensions or acrylics are a problem…but I wanted to keep mine shorter and natural.


This is an early picture, when I first got my nails done.  I can’t remember if this is the actual first picture, but it is close.  Yolanda enticed me with gorgeous Shellac color and hand-created designs.

The Advice

Yolanda told me to oil cuticles all day every day, as much as possible.  We identified when I felt most compelled to pick and I thought of other things to do with my hands at those moments.

I had to learn to be a little careful with the nails.  These babies are totally mine.  I can eat pie, grade papers, and write assignments on the computer.

For more strenuous work, I need gloves.  Rubber gloves for washing dishes and cleaning, which is fine, because I was using them anyway.  I purchased heavy-duty, waterproof work gloves and now I make myself use them for outdoor work.  I use them for some indoor work like moving boxes or furniture, etc.  If I can remember.


I can spray paint a backdrop for a project, but it does have to be the same color as the shellac.  I forgot my gloves and got lucky.  My mani was fading anyway.


Usually, I need to sit and enjoy the mani for a day after it is completed.  My day is often Friday or Saturday morning.  Friday is better because I can do more teaching work and less physical work.  I have to let the mani cure…haha…before I do any heavy lifting or else I will have wasted my money.

One time, I came home and canned tomatoes afterwards.  Not a good choice.  The shellac peeled off after one week.

If I’m careful and oil my cuticles, I can make the mani last a solid two weeks.  My nails are very dry as is my aging skin.  I have to keep track of oiling and lotioning hands all day.  Some days I do better than others.

If, by chance, I lose a piece of shellac, I want to pick and peel.  It’s just there looking at me and it’s hard to resist.  Yolanda does not recommend peeling off the polish as it peels off a layer of nail, too.  I don’t have much nail to begin with.  I need all the layers I can get.  I try to trim off any parts the might flake or peel back instead of pulling them off my nail.  Sometimes I’m successful.  Sometimes it’s too much for me to resist.

I have started to purchase “dupes,” that is, duplicate or similar colors of polish, from the drugstore.  I use these to cover up areas of nail that have peeled or chipped.  I don’t see the chip and refrain from picking.  Mind games!!!

You know what gave me that idea?

Yeah, the spray paint.

To Rest or Not to Rest

Some people question whether or not you should have ongoing manicures or whether you should let nails rest and breathe.  For me, it’s not a question.  The shellac is both weakening and strengthening, I guess.  If it’s off my nails, as happened one time when I took off the polish myself, I’m more likely to pick.  The nails are weak and break off.  I can’t get enough moisture or oil on them to compensate.  Regular polish does not strengthen my nails the way gels do.

That being said, though, my nails are weak and breakable to begin with.  They are like my mother’s nails, which were soft and bending.  I have never had strong nails, so I don’t mind keeping them covered at the risk of “weakening them.”  Hell, they are already weak.  So it’s better if I keep them covered and strong with gel than to take time off and let myself start up picking again.  I was not successful when I removed the gels myself and had a couple days before my next appointment.

I would rather cover my nails with pretty colors and pay money to keep my hands looking good.  If you are someone who has never bitten nails, you may not understand the depth of my feelings about this topic.  But it’s very important to me.  And gels didn’t exist when I was younger.  Regular manicures peeled and chipped in a day or two.  It wasn’t worth it then.  It is now.


Living Happily Ever After

Overall, I’m really happy.  I have broken the habit of peeling nails and picking cuticles.  My hands are something I can be proud of and I receive compliments on my nails now.   I don’t mind having shorter nails.  I ask to keep them short so I don’t break them off or get annoyed with them.  I believe the longer they are, the more I’m going to mess with them.  And the more likely I am to damage them as well.  I’m bashing my hands against everything in this house as I go about my day.

Now and again when I’m anxious, I try to start something.  Find a baby hangnail and start working it.  But these days I’m able to catch myself.  I oil up, lotion up, and woman up.

I love my nails.  Seriously.


My Mother’s Makeup

My mother had an on-again, off-again relationship with makeup.  She grew up in the south in her older brother’s household on a farm where makeup was not a priority.


When she ran off to the big city up north with my father, it is clear she embraced the big city ways.  There are various pictures of her in her eimg038arly 20s wearing lipstick and eye makeup.  Her hair was “done” in the latest styles and different colors popular in the 1950s.


She briefly did a few photoshoots for local ads in Chicago.  I don’t believe she was signed to any particular agency.  If she was, she didn’t mention it to me.  All I heard was that she did “a little modeling a long time ago.”  She told me this as I was ransacking her makeup at the age of nine.



My mother continued to wear some makeup for her job–she worked all while I was growing up.  Pictures of her at work show lipstick, brows, and foundation at least.

However, she stopped dyeing her hair after she experienced a bad allergic reaction to a red dye.  She called herself allergic to hair dye until she was 70 years old.  Her stylist and I had to reassure her that the dyes had improved a lot in 50 years.  She finally allowed Brenda to dye it for about a year.  Then, that was it.

Somewhere in the 1970s, my mother only wanted to use brow pencil.  She considered her brows too light and said they disappeared halfway around her eyes.   She was correct.  Her brows were well-shaped, though she stopped tweezing them.  They were darker by her nose and trailed off blonde (or gray) toward her temples.  Mine do the same.So if she planned to attend an event, she would pencil her brows and maybe slap some kind of lip gloss on.

She left all her old makeup hanging around her bedroom along with jewelry, scarves, and hats.  I was always a girlie-girl who loved digging through all the makeup.  My mother’s complexion was darker than mine.  I have my father’s lighter skin.  But I slapped on her Max Factor Pan Cake in some kind of beige.

I played with the tube of Erase, which was a thick concealer she said she used to cover her “bad acne.”  She told me pregnancy cured her.  Erase looked like a bad beige lipstick in a gold tube.  I thought it was lipstick at first and popped it on my mouth.

My mother also had this thick, greasy, gritty medicated makeup pan with sulfur in it, called Sulforcin.  It smelled awful and made me itch if I put it on.  The medicine itself is still in existence.  That stuff was quite horrible.  I can’t imagine trying to wear it daily with powder and “rouge.”

She had a couple of Cover Girl brow pencils in medium brown, her natural color.  She had a couple of short, stumpy pencils and one or two longer ones.  The outside was red and looked like a colored pencil.  I may or may not have used them as pencils… accidentally, of course.  Or not.

And then she had lipstick.  Lots of lipstick in all colors.  The idea was if ladies wore nothing else, they should powder a little and add some lipstick for color.  My mother had full-sized sticks, some almost used up.  She would dig a small brush into those and apply the color.  She also had a large collection of tiny samples of different colors.  These baby lipsticks were the best because there were so many to play with.  I tried so hard not to mess up the perfect point when I put the tiny lid back.  I could never decide if I liked the light pink or the fuchsia…or the creamy orange.  The blood red or the maroon.  All so pretty.

My mother had cake mascara and a little brush that looked kind of like a tiny toothbrush.  She showed me how to wet it and make a paste.  Some girls, she said, would spit in the mascara to wet it.  I could see in the pan where she had added water and swirled the brush.

I do not remember any eye shadow.  My mother has hooded eyes, as do I, and perhaps she didn’t wear any.  She didn’t seem to know how to apply eye shadow.  At a certain point, when she got older, she would ask me to apply any eye shadow she wore.  It was my eye shadow, though.  I have no memory of hers.

My mother gave up wearing makeup sometime when I was a child.  She didn’t wear makeup much at home on a daily basis.  She reserved it for photos and special occasions.  Even then, her makeup became more and more minimal as time went on.

Now, me, I loved makeup and all the trimmings.  I did my nails and put stuff all over myself from the time I was a tween.  Which, by the way, was not a word back then.  I was a preteen.

At 13, I remember wanting to wear makeup all the time but could only wear some clear lip gloss to school.  Preferably that sticky roll-on lip goo in root beer and strawberry.  I also had bubblegum lipstick in an impossible light shimmery pink.  Tasted awful.  Lip Smackers were the new thing and I had to have Coke and Dr. Pepper flavors.

I suppose I was about 15 or 16 when makeup became a daily thing.  Meanwhile, my  mother wore none at all.  She asked me to help her do her makeup if she somehow needed to wear it.  Those were rare instances.

The last couple of times my mother wore makeup were unusual.

At age 60-something, she decided out of nowhere to apply some of (I’m sure) my old eye shadow and lipstick for a casual party.  I happened to be there.  She rolled in looking like someone had popped her in the eyes.  She had lost any ability to apply shadow, if she had any skill to begin with.  I never saw evidence of eye shadow in her kit.  At the party, I simultaneously wanted to wipe it off and fix the shadow.  She was so excited and proud of herself.  I did neither.

Around the same time, my mother was recruited to film a commercial.  Yes, one on TV.  For a local company.  Unbelievable.  She asked me to do her makeup, but the folks on set did both hair and makeup for her.

The final time my mother wore makeup was when she won an award.  She called and asked if I wanted to do her makeup for the event.  I suggested she talk to her stylist, Brenda.  My mother got a new dye job, haircut, style, and professional airbrushed makeup all for this event.  She wanted to look good.  She didn’t want to look as sick as she really was.


I have no idea if my mother did her own makeup for the few times she modeled in the 1950s.  I imagine she did and showed up in heels and stockings, with perfect hair, powder, and lipstick.

Later, when life got busy, she no longer wanted so much upkeep and let the daily makeup fade and the hair turn into wash and wear.

At the end of her life, though, she allowed herself to be dolled up by professional stylists and makeup artists.  She wanted to look and feel her best.

And that’s really the whole point.  Makeup can make us look and feel our best, whether under special circumstances or just on the daily.


Color Works

Do you think you can’t pull off bright colors?  Here are some ideas to think about.

Choose the occasion to use color.  Going out?  Choose a bright lip and pair it with a matching sheer eye.  Choose a color that you like or that matches you outfit or compliments your skin tone.  Liquid matte lip colors are very vivid.  Jeffree Star Cosmetics has a gorgeous range of colors if you feel adventurous.  More affordable options include Milani and NYX.  Below is a picture of me wearing Jeffree Star’s Watermelon Soda liquid lip color.  I have a light wash of eye shadow in a complimentary color from bh Cosmetics Galaxy Chic palette.  I used no eyeliner and little mascara.

If this lip color is too bright for your comfort, keep the same color scheme but tone the brightness down with a metallic overlay.  Metallics are popular right now and they keep some boldness with a slight blur and shift of color.  Here I cover a metallic that’s in a similar shade and add a pink overlay on top.  As I toned down the lip color a little, I added some liner and more mascara to balance the look.  But that is completely optional.


Still too much?  Going to work?  Maybe you want a more casual look.  You can further tone down lip color and create a more pastel color with concealer or powder.  Start slowly and build up to where you like the look.  Below, I patted concealer in the center and moved outward until I liked the color.  It’s an ombre lip with dark on the outside and light in the middle.  You can put as much or as little as you like.  I added a dusting of powder to further mute the color.

Don’t forget that the final look may include glasses, which create another focal point on your face, so a dark lip or smoky eye isn’t so prominent.  Unless you want them to stand out.


Color can be great for mature skin.  Even if we aren’t totally dewy and wrinkle-free, bright, vivid colors can still work, depending on your level of comfort.


In the interest of total disclosure, I do use a filter on my pictures.  Here are two in outdoor light show the texture of my skin.


And here are the products used.  I hope  you try some different colors!  Let me know in the comments.

Color My World

I do love color and I don’t care who knows it.

I used to read books about how people of a certain age should stick to soft browns and beige, nude lip colors, and light blush.  That’s fine.  I love that look, too.

Then again, I like color.  I like the different colors that cosmetic companies develop and promote.  Not all of them look great on me.  I wouldn’t say that.

However, we do not have to necessarily stick to neutrals for eyes or lips or cheeks if that is not what we like.  I have not been interested in what others think. I am interested in what I think.

If you are uncomfortable with color, you can always play, take a picture (or not), and take it off again.  I have done that many times.  Or I have toned down the brightness for going out in public.

When I go to work, I switch between brighter and softer colors depending on day, time, and season.  I usually don’t want to wear a dark lip to work because it tends to get in my way after a while.  But I do like a darker, smokey eye.

I also plan times when I can go out to a club or bar with friends and play a little dress up.  Then I can wear whatever I like and enjoy the look in public.

Don’t be afraid to play at any age.  Try colors.  Many makeup lines these days carry inexpensive, brilliant, and good formulas.  Some fun ones to try include Colourpop, BH Cosmetics, ELF Cosmetics, Ofra Cosmetics, and Morphe Brushes (which also makes eyeshadows and lip colors as well).

Color my world.



Lady of What?

Well.  Here I am at the ripe old age of 54, determined to share my interest in makeup with everyone.

I’m not a professional artist.  I am learning more about how to work with makeup every single day.

I started wearing makeup and dozens of coats of nail polish when I was a tween.  We were called pre-teens back in the 1970s.  I slapped on anything my mom had in the bathroom cabinet and went looking for more.

When I was 19, I had my look:  eyeliner, mascara, and brown lip gloss.

Here I am:


Many years later, I decided not to wear any makeup at all.  I didn’t have time or money to do it.  I felt that my natural beauty was plenty fine.  And it was and still is.



In 2015, I made a friend who loves makeup.  She hooked me into a Facebook group called Makeup Madnesss.  It’s a body-positive, supportive, loving, uncritical environment with a group of feminist women and men of all ages and persuasions.

The makeup light shined right in my eyes and woke me up again.  I am now older and interested in makeup and skin care for older people.

But we will not be dull or lifeless, clinging to the idea that older equals colorless or moderate.  Maybe it does.  Maybe it doesn’t.

My idea is wear what you like, what brings you joy.  There are lots of products and techniques to help makeup look good, blended, smooth, colorful, and fun.