We women can be very hard on ourselves, and I wonder whether that doesn’t somehow result in the need to over-process our naturally beautiful features. The Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign is a perfect visual for those of us who need to be reminded that we should be kinder and much less critical of ourselves. Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” I think she was onto something; each of us has an entirely unique face, and all of us have at least one fantastic feature, whether it’s lips, eyes or cheekbones. Each of us needs to know our best feature in order to accentuate it with makeup and accessories.
Read Related: Loving Your Body Just the Way It Is
FIND YOUR BEST FEATURE We have all seen her; the adorable 80-plus woman wearing powder blue eye shadow, tarantula-leg mascara, hot pink cheeks and red lips. We can only hope to be blessed to reach her age and still have the energy to put on makeup. This woman is an extreme example of a very common habit: overdoing makeup and looking like a mannequin. Instead of playing up her best feature, the Grande Dame does what she’s probably done all her life—paints her whole canvas in bright, garish colors instead of highlighting her best feature.
If you’re not sure of your best feature, think about the compliments you receive. (C’mon, you know you get them!) Do friends and coworkers complement your big, dark eyes? Maybe the arch of your eyebrows? How about your full lips? The facial feature that people notice and comment on the most is surely your best. So take it and run with it!
START WITH A CLEAN CANVAS Before we even consider putting on makeup, we have to think about the canvas. Van Gogh started each painting with a clean, blank canvas, and that’s how we have to start with our faces. Keeping your face clean, exfoliated (lips too) and hydrated is essential for natural, glowing beauty. These steps, plus removing all makeup at the end of the day will help keep the signs of age at bay. Cleansers, exfoliators and moisturizers don’t have to be $300 per container to be effective. Everything you need for a healthy-looking face can be found at your neighborhood pharmacy. If you want to keep it really simple, just mix a tablespoon of baking soda with enough warm water to create a paste and use this as an exfoliant.
THAT ONE FEATURE Remember, when you accentuate one feature, you need to let the others take a back seat. That means bright lips or lots of eye-shadow and liner, but not both. Once you pinpoint your fab feature, play it up and leave the rest alone.