Today I am going to review the makeover I set up for a friend. One of my dearest friends, Celia, is a 30+ woman who is short on time and wanted a simple, yet effective skin-care and make-up routine. She knew I was into playing with make-up so she asked me for assistance. When I found out she had been wearing virtually NO make-up for the last 4-5 years and had been wearing the same shade of Estee Lauder lipstick for 10 years, I said we have to do a make-over.

She and I talked about the various cosmetic lines and she wanted to be conservative first, so we chose Lancome. When she was last into make-up she had heard that Lancome had great products.  I told her about the various other lines, but we both agreed that conservative was the way to go so that she could work into it slowly.

Here’s a little background on Celia for all of you to get a better picture of what needed to be done. Celia is 30+, with naturally blonde, very straight hair which is cut fairly short to keep hair care at a minimum. Celia is married and has two girls:  a 7-year-old (and my daughter’s best friend!) and a 3-year-old who keeps her hopping.  The older daughter’s school starts at 8 AM.  So Celia’s skin care and make-up routine has to be fast and simple to do so that she can get out of the house and to school on time.  She and her husband take the family on various vacations throughout out the year: Colorado, St. Louis, MO and other places back east. Celia wants skin care and make-up simple and eminently portable.

Celia has a neutral pink complexion with bright blue eyes and light brown/blonde brows. I think MAC would put her in a N-2 or 3. She has pink undertones. She is showing fine lines around her eyes and has NOT been wearing any sunscreen unless she is out skiing or at the beach. Her skin is dry and she is unhappy with its texture and the flaking that has occurred. She does not have a regular skin routine. The last stuff she bought was a facial bar of soap from The Body Shop. She was planning on dropping upwards of $150.00 on a skin care line from a physician’s office when she and I began talking about her skin care/make-up needs. That is what prompted the make-over. No one needs to drop $150.00 on skin care alone.  So we scheduled a morning of beauty at Nordstrom with the Lancome person

Judy, the Lancome MA, was very understanding and was completely ready when we showed up. I had already told her the situation and what she needed to try to find for Celia. There was an array of products available for Celia to try. While I cruised the various counters, the MA cleansed Celia’s face even though she  was without  make-up. She put a bit of Vitabolic on her face and stressed the need for a cleanser and toner routine as well as sunscreen.  After prepping Celia’s face with toner and Vitabolic, Judy used some Bienfait Totale as a moisturizer with sunscreen-SPF 15. Celia immediately loved how it felt. I was concerned about the Vitabolic since some people have reactions to it, but Celia’s skin handled it nicely.

Judy found for Celia’s normal to dry complexion was two different regimens; one for day and one for night. The day one included Clarifiance cleanser (a nice choice) and Tonique Doceur toner.  The Vitabolic was recommended twice daily along with Bienfait all over the face. Some Primordiale eye cream was used around the eyes.

The night regimen was only slightly different: the same cleanser and toner routine plus Primordiale Nuit   cream and Renerge eye cream. The total on this block of products was over $200. We pared it down to the Clarifiance cleanser, the toner, the Bienfait Totale and Primordiale eye cream. All products to be used both night and day. Judy was great and tossed in a couple of nice Vitabolic trial sizes since the darn thing is so costly!  The new regimen makes it simpler for Celia to use the same products both day and night and not be bothered with trying to remember which is which. (She’s a pretty busy lady: constantly running to take the two girls someplace or going on a trip or expecting company from out of town.  So simplicity was the key here.) I told Celia, next time to skip the toner. It’s really not necessary for her complexion. It was really a waste of money, but I didn’t want to offend Judy who had worked so hard and been so nice. Celia seemed to want the product and I was not going to disagree with her. If the Vitabolic did its’ job, the toner would eventually become irrelevant.

By the time the foundation color was selected, Celia could already feel that her face was softer and moister- a nice plus since the Bienfait and the Vitabolic literally sank into her parched skin. Celia doesn’t look 30 +, but she looked better after putting the moisturizer around her eyes. The lines diminished quite a bit, because her skin was so dehydrated.

The foundation that Judy selected for Celia was the Maqui libre in Clair, a nice light pink-toned beige. She painted the concealer on top of her foundation around the eyes and base of the nose. The color was porcelain. It blended out nicely and left Celia with a fresh look face and not too many products to use. Judy dusted her with translucent loose powder and that was it. For blush, Judy chose Rose Fresque, a pretty, soft rose shade that perked up Celia’s complexion. It looked just like a healthy glow for her fair skin.

Next Judy decided against doing anything to Celia’s eye brows since they were a nice light brown color with slight blonde highlights. They framed her face nicely so why mess with something looks great! (I’m from the school of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”) She used an eye pencil in Café around the eye and softly smudged it. This is where Celia got nervous. She doesn’t know how to smudge. I told her we would practice. It’s just apply the darn thing lightly and then use a q-tip and smudge lightly.

The eye shadow was a nice duo of taupe luster and bamboo. I have both of those colors and love them. Boy, did her blue eyes pop after that application of shadow. It was perfect.   She creased it a bit deeper than Celia would –but Celia wears virtually no make-up. I told her just use her finger, since she has  no real brushes to her name. She just uses the brushes that come the various products (yikes!)

Celia’s doesn’t use mascara during the day and only if she is going out at night and already had some that she liked. Estee Lauder I think.  Judy lined Celia’s lips with #2 pencil in Charm and filled in with Anime’, a rose Rouge Sensation lipstick. Celia looked dynamite.

Next came the hard part. We had to select the products to buy.  Between the skin care and the cosmetics, the total was in the $350 range. Who wants to spend that much? She did buy the foundation.  Celia already had a concealer that she wanted to use up we skipped the Lancome concealer. Celia sprung for the Rose Fresque blush. she also bought the bamboo/taupe shadow duo as well.  I had the rosey Anime’ lipstick and the loose powder which I gave her.

We left Nordstrom just over $200 lighter with a whole bag of freebies and purchased products. Judy knew a good customer when she saw one so tossed in free eye pencil and plenty of stuff like Vitabolic samples.

I knew that Macys had a GWP event so we went over there afterwards. Celia purchased a Fume’ liquid eye pen and she bagged some great stuff from the GWP. She got an eye quad of 4 colors- 3 of which would work very well for her on a daily basis. The GWP also included   more Bienfait, toner and 2 other lipsticks, 1 of which was also perfect for her.

What is Celia really using now that she is 4 weeks past the make-over? She is using all the skin care products like clockwork and her skin looks and feels great. She is sometimes forgetting the eye stuff. She needs to include the eye creams and the foundation to just get more protection between her and the sun. I have encouraged her to use her finger to apply at least a swipe of color across her lids and blend with her fingers and use the liner quickly to finish the look. That seems to work for her.  While she does not have time for the whole routine every day, when Celia does do it, she looks really great

Celia wants to go on another make-up expedition, so we are shooting for hitting Nordstrom South Coast Plaza–a veritable makeup mecca where I can introduce her to some other lines and show her how to  blend quickly both foundation and shadows as well as the benefits of a wet/dry, cream to powder finish foundation. She also wants to see what the hot lines are: Stila, Nars, MAC, Smashbox, MakeUp Forever, Trish McEvoy and others. If they aren’t at Nordstrom, there is a Saks and a Barneys in the same center. I don’t go often but when you do, you hit all the stores. They even several freestanding cosmetic stores there as well: MAC, Aveda, and others. You will hear more about the Celia and Stevie Make-up Adventures!!! The journey has just begun. (P.S. I think her husband is going to kill me!) Stay tuned for more episodes!

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