As we sidle into 2017, we will be venturing into all things new and improved. Thusly bringing our indecisiveness to the top of the emotional heap! But, as we do move forward, I want to take some time to share with you some stuff that needs a shout out.
Yes. This is the face of a 61 Year old woman. And although no products I use have created miracles and turned the face of time back to give me the appearance I had thirty or forty years ago, I still have my best products and other stuff of last year that I want to share!
As Oprah has her favorite things, so do I. But mine are mostly more budget-minded and work well for the mature woman. Since the beauty and fashion industries continue to ignore us older ladies and focus solely on youth, I feel it is my personal mission to get our empowering and beautiful demographic of women noticed. Well, I’m sure to fail in getting us noticed but I’ll take the initiative here and share some of my favorites that got me sailing through last year!
Without further ado, I give you my best stuff for 2016!
Best Makeup Remover: Albolene. Hands down, this is the shit! I’m sure all my drag queen besties will attest. Albolene gets rid of every speck of makeup—no matter how heavy you slop it on! Makeup just melts off. The price is great too. For a huge mutha of a jar, I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $14. A little goes a long way. In addition, you don’t have to “tug” at your skin to get your makeup off—and at our age, tugging is a no-no!
I took this photo in August of 2015. The very same jar is in my bathroom and still has about 1/4 of the cleanser left. I don’t call this a cleanser though. I use it as a makeup remover!
Best Primer(s): I’ve spent money on high-end primers and I have to admit. The ones that work best for me are the low-end. elf and Hard Candy. Both smooth and prep the skin in a lovely way—especially the Hard Candy—it is very hydrating. A little goes a long way. At a price point of $6 for the elf, and around $8 for the Hard Candy, your skin—as well as your purse strings will thank you!
With these primers, there is no need to waste money on the high-end. I know this. I’ve learned my lesson. Less expensive is better.
Best Foundation: This is a tough one because I have gone through so many foundations in my mature and immature lifetime! I’ve narrowed it down to three. And after much thought, my number one is Marc Jacobs Full Coverage Foundation. It literally glides on. If you want more coverage, you can build. However, this is a light foundation that does the job to cover and stays put all day! And in all honesty, it is the most “old lady” friendly because it isn’t cakey. I’ve hemmed and hawed during 2016 as whether to repurchase—and after almost a full year of using this, I will. A bit pricier at $55., but given the fact it’s almost a year old and I’m still using it—the price isn’t really too bad. The next two are “best of’s” but for different reasons. Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is a wonderful color match for me—and it does offer a bit of luminosity and is long-wearing. I find that if applied too heavily it can look a bit cakey—you gotta tread lightly. At $44, it could be pricey if you use a lot but t it’s still a very good foundation. Coming in next is the elf Flawless Finish Foundation at six bucks, this foundation is an excellent buy! I’m not kidding! This is my go-to travel foundation. (if you know me well, you are aware that I travel with low-end cosmetics because I would freak out if I lost the good stuff or left it behind!). Coverage is excellent. Not a lot of shades to choose from but if you find a match, you are in luck! Long lasting. Only issue I have is with elf’s pumps. They have a tendency to break fairly quickly. Overall though, this foundation is an excellent buy!
From left to right. Becca, elf, Marc Jacobs. All 2016 Best Of’s!
Best Eye Shadow Palette: Two have become my favorites last year. Yeah. I have the Naked’s and I have Stila and more. However, I’ve used two palettes during 2016 over and over again. Mally’s Nude Attitude is a great palette. The shadows have a bit of a subtle sparkle but still manage to work well on mature eyes. Nice nudes with a couple of colorful shades, the pigmentation is excellent and the shadows stay put during the day—and I don’t use an eye shadow primer either. A bit of fallout but cleans up so easily. If applied with a light hand, no fallout issues. $35 is the price point. Not overly expensive but certainly not inexpensive. Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic Elements–I have to thank fellow blogger Adryana of Adryana’s Beauty Blog for introducing me to the Makeup Revolution brand. Wow! Just. Wow! This palette of matte nudes is only $7.00!! Seven Bucks! I cannot say enough about these shadows. They go on so silky smooth and there is virtually no fallout. The pigmentation is incredible and as mattes can be a bit on the “ashy” side, there is absolutely no “ashy” look to these shadows at all! I kid you not when I say that every woman should have this palette in her collection!
Top–Mally Nude Attitude Palette. I’ve hit pan on the color Cafe au Lait and just hit pan on Sand. I’ll be hitting pan on other colors shortly. Bottom: Revolution Redemption Palette. I can’t say enough about how great this seven-buck palette is. The after effects of the shock of this low price point still gives me the chills! I highly recommend this palette to everyone!
Best Lip Glosses/Sticks: Oh how I miss the bee-stung mouth I had back in my twenties and thirties. I could wear dark lipstick. I could wear neon lip color! I could wear the burgundy’s. Sigh! Alas, my lips have aged. I would say my mouth is the one area of my face that has aged the most. Reds and dark colors look harsh on me. I’m mature and wise enough to realize that “color” no longer works for me. Pinks can be difficult too—my skin coloring is pale with pink undertones and I need a more muted pink in order to look halfway decent. The following are my faves from last year. IT Cosmetics Lip Stain, Lip Vitality and CC Lip Serum. I find IT cosmetics to be very hit-or miss. The foundations are horrible for my aging skin—although the products are advertised to be anti-aging. However, the lip products are epic! The lip gloss stain and vitality flush in the color “Je Ne Sais Quoi” are the perfect hint of color—especially if you have heavily pigmented lips like mine. I’ve also used the Lip Vitality Flush as blush in emergency situations. The Lip Serum in the color “Love” is a wonderful almost caramel pink. I have to say that I have three separate “sets” of these products, two in purses and one at home. The price point of these items runs around twenty bucks apiece but it is so well-worth it. These are my lip holy grails! Coming in second are the NYX products.
My “Holy Trinity” of lip products! IT Lip gloss stain and Vitality Lip Flush in “Je Ne Sais Quoi” and serum in “Love”. Stellar. Just. Stellar! And for mature lips, the no-color colors work so well..
Also on my “best of” are NYX lip glosses, sticks and butter gloss. The color on the photo of the products looks more peachy, but the bottom photos show the true color once applied. Oh..and that Sephora gloss that snuck in there is pretty good too!
Best Mascaras and Eyeliners: Mascaras-my best of’s are the Bella Rose Lash Fiber Mascara and Maybelline’s The Falsies for my top lashes. Both products are great. I love the Bella Rose because of the lushness it gives the lashes. I am a fan of The Falsies because of the same lushness it gives my lashes. I interchange between the two. I order Bella Rose from Amazon. At $14.99 it is a great buy. The Falsies I purchase at Walmart because Walmart offers the lowest price–around five bucks–and I go through Mascara the way the president-elect, what’s-his-name goes through lies! On my bottom lashes I use Wet ‘n Wild’s MegaLength and New York Color’s SkyRise Mascaras. It depends on which one I grab first. I LOVE both these mascaras for the bottom lashes because of the wands. They both have a thin wand which doesn’t pick up a ton of product and makes it a cinch for applying mascara to the lower lashes. Each mascara costs around $2.00, making them inexpensive but great bargains!
New York Color also has a favorite eyeliner of mine–and has been for quite a few years. In fact, I hoard this eyeliner. Under three dollars, it is a liquid liner that has a super-thin brush and the liner is dark and lasts all day! I’ve had a difficult time finding the right felt-tip liner. Many of them don’t house a lot of product and the tip just wears down. Not so with this Tarte Lights Camera Action Precision Liner. The tip is thin and has managed to not wear down. It is easy to work with and makes a great line. I did buy this on a special sale at Ulta for $10.00. Normally $20.00 it is still worth spending the money on!
Top: Bella Rose Fiber Mascara and Maybelline’s The Falsies. Bottom: Wet ‘n Wild Megalength and NYColor’s Sky Rise mascaras. Great “best of’s”!!
See what I mean about the bottom lashes? Both these mascaras do a fantastic job!
Top: Tarte’s liner. Bottom NYC Liner. I’m a lover of eyeliner only on my top lid. I can’t line the bottom because it looks aging and harsh. Instead, I’ll apply a thin line of a lighter shadow.
Best Cosmetics Brushes: Years ago, Oona and I purchased cosmetic brushes from Vera Bradley. Yes. That Vera Bradley. The brushes were amazing. Great quality, no shedding, wooden handles and they came housed in cute Vera Bradley brush holders. These little wonders were discontinued. But I still have them. All my regular brushes have been packed away on a little vacation. So have my beauty sponges. They have made way for the new kind of brush that has intrigued me since I saw them. What do you call them? Spoon brushes? Tooth brushes? Whatever they are called, this new, oversized, heavily dense kind of brush is (in my Oprah voice) AH-MAZE-ING!!! Oona gifted me with a set this Christmas. I know, I know—I received these gems at the very end of the year, but in the week that I’ve played around with these brushes—and play around I did, I found that the blendability is superior, less product is needed, and you can really go light-handed. The set that Oona purchased for me is around $30 on Amazon. I know you can spend upwards of $400 for this type of brush but this less expensive brand, Bestidy, makes a great brush. I’m definitely a fan!
The more I use these, the more I love them. The really thin brush on the left hand side, I’ve been using it to apply powder shadow as a liner on the bottom lid and works like a charm…
I place a bit of product on the brush and blend..
better for contouring than a blender sponge..
Finished face–all products except lips, liner and mascara were used with these brushes..even brows!! I’m sold!
Best Cleanser: 2016 was a year that I found myself becoming increasingly interested in skin care because…well, I’m in my ‘60’s now. I can’t afford a face lift. I’m wary of fillers, which I cannot afford either. I also am pragmatic enough to realize and see the reality that wrinkles happen! Lines happen! Aging happens! We need products that offer hydration and elasticity. My favorite cleanser is Vivant Skincare’s Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Wash. This cleanser has become my “go-to”. I use it after taking the makeup off with Albolene. A gentle cleanser that works, you only need a tiny bit—it lathers up well and your skin doesn’t feel taut or tight after washing. At $40, it is not cheap—but considering the small amount you need, it is worth the price. I use this sparingly. I do NOT use this in the morning. In the morning I use only warm water to wash my face because my face was already cleansed. Water. It’s the best and least expensive beauty product!
I’ll be honest. I did discover Vivant SkinCare through their sending me products to try, but I’ve since purchased and this has turned out to be my Number One cleanser! I will continue to purchase!
Best Moisturizer: Moisturizers are like Lay’s Potato Chips—you can’t eat just one! With moisturizers, you can’t use just one! I have a few. First is actually a “kit” by SkinActives. It is supposed to be a DIY version of La Mer and it is the “Formulation for Beginners” kit. *Reminder to self—order more when you finish this post! The kit is $29.50 and the product you “make” will last a long time. The skin cream made from this kit is so hydrating that my face almost drowned! It feels so good going on your face, wet and cool and, ohhhh, I just love this so much!
I was also very fortunate to be gifted with this kit from SkinActives to review. It turned out to be such a favorite that I had a giveaway. And yes, I STILL order from SkinActives and will continue to order from them. This is a fantastic kit and allows you to specialize it to your personal needs. When I finish up this post, I need to order more!
To my “best of” regimen are a couple of other items: Caudalíe Polyphenol Anti-Wrinkle Protect Cream. Look, this ain’t getting rid of my wrinkles any time soon, but I do notice that it makes my skin appear slightly better. There is a good amount of SPF in this, AND does not irritate the eyes if it gets too close (that is my main issue with all products that contain sunscreen—my eyes are sensitive). This is unscented and a teeny bit goes a long, long way. There is a large price range on this and averages around $40. I’m not gonna lie. I paid half-price at City-Pharma in Paris so I stacked up on Caudalíe products. Another product by Caudalíe is the Resveratrol Night Infusion Cream. Quite honestly, I almost shit a brick when I saw how much this cream is selling in the USA and on the Caudalíe site. $76!!! Again, I purchased this at CityPharma in Paris. I think I paid 29 or 30 euros. Had I known how pricey this is here, I would have purchased three of these! This is a fantastic cream, and you know I don’t lie. Using this does firm without feeling dry. Again, I use this very sparingly. Would I pay $76 for this? Hell no. If you can afford it, go ahead! But you can bet that on my next trip to France when I’m NOT in Paris, I will search high and low through every pharmacie to find this at the best price. Oona discovered this in my stash when she was visiting over Christmas and loved it! She’s in her twenties and it is never too early to start the skin care regimen. I’ve also become quite the fan of Bi-Oil. I use it before applying primer during the day and after moisturizing in the evening. It keeps the skin hydrated without being greasy. It also works well to keep the ends of my hair from getting dried out in between trims! This has a much more purse friendly price of around $12 for four ounces! The amount of hydration this offers is epic! Nuxe also offers an oil too–but I find that I’m leaning more toward the Bi-Oil because of the price. The Nuxe is around $30.00. Still a great oil though. And last of all, the infamous original Olay Beauty Fluid Lotion. Eight bucks! Inexpensive and does the job. This is my travel moisturizer.
Clockwise? I still get confused. Anyway, pictured is the Nuxe Oil, Caudelie Resveratrol Lift Cream, Bi-Oil and the Caudalie Polyphenol cream.
Best Blush/Cheek Colors: NARS Multiple in Riviera a multi-purpose stick, I use this as a cheek color. A peachy pink that gives a subtle color and glow, this was used on a constant basis during 2016. I paid $40 at Sephora. Given the fact it has lasted for an incredibly long period of time and is nowhere near the end of the stick–it’s a great buy. Also on my best of is a little inexpensive liquid cheek stain from New York Color–Lovatics Lip and Cheek stain in the color Cheeky Pink. This is a very pretty berry pink color that I like to wear during the warmer months with a bit of a fake tan or bronzer–you have to work fast because it dries quickly. The price was around $4.00 and a higher brand could make this and sell it for ten times more! This is an excellent product and a little bit goes a long way making this the bargain of the year!
NARS Multiple and NYC Lovatics Lip and Cheek Stain. Two great products that became bests during 2016!
Best Illuminators: Ok. This is an extra. I received the Benefit Girl Meets Pearl from a co-worker. She was giving away a ton of beauty stuff she never used when she started purging for a move. I got lucky because I LOVE this product. I apply it over blush when I want a little bit of a dewy look. The tube it comes in is also quite handy. You twist the bottom and there’s little holes on the top that the product comes out of. A tiny bit goes a long, long way. At $30.00 it is a bit pricey and I think I would look for a dupe before giving up the three tens for this. But then again, it works really well. So the second “best of” illuminator isn’t really an illuminator at all. It is a primer. Well, it’s kind of both. I received a sample of this Wonder Glow Radiant Soft Focus Beauty Flash primer from a CharlotteTillbury sales assistant at Nordstrom. To tell you the truth, I loved the sample so I went out and made the $55 purchase. Ouch on my purse strings but not on my face. I use this to give my skin a very nice glow and use it OVER foundation. The “glow factor” is what makes this a “best of” and when I say a little is all you need–I mean it. I guarantee this will last for two years! That comes out to a cost of $27.50 per year and makes it a more user friendly price point. With that being said, Tillbury came up with a winner! During 2017, I plan on checking out more Tillbury products..we’ll see….
Charlotte Tillbury’s Primer cum Illuminator and Benefit’s Girl Meets Pearl. Both products give off a great glow and luminosity. Both are not inexpensive either but they both work well!
Best All-Around Multi-tasker: Chapstick!!! It isn’t just a lip balm. I use Chapstick (and have written about this) as a “blur” for lines by my eyes and mouth. The waxy texture fills into those tiny lines like a charm! I also use this as an illuminating product from time to time. It gives a nice “glow”. And at a buck a stick—you can never go wrong. I have one in every purse. But use the “original” Chapstick for multi-tasking!!
I don’t know what that line in the middle of the photo is from. Obviously my iPhone’s camera was malfunctioning. Again! But Chapstick is the great multitasker. The Laino lip balm underneath is a great moisturizing lip balm I picked up at CityPharma in Paris. I’ll be frank–the most moisturizing lip balms I’ve ever had were purchased throughout France for one euro. Why can’t we formulate the same at the same price equivalent here in the States? Chapstick is the great multi-tasker but isn’t as moisturizing as the ones the Frenchies make!!
Best Helper Hair/Hair Helper: Look. As we age, our hair changes. A very small percentage of women are lucky enough to have a thick head of hair throughout their lifetime. A large percentage of us suffer the pangs of thinning hair and worse. There is nothing wrong with a little help from your fake or real helper hair! Believe me, I know this! If you need a bit of help, try Uniwigs toppers. They run specials all the time and you can find a great topper for under a hundred dollars. Toppik hair fibers are also a great way to fill in the thinning spots. I’ve been using Toppik for years and still use it when I “wear” my bio hair!
My helper hair. To tell you the truth, ALL of these are “best of’s” and if you suffer from hair loss you know what I’m talkin’ about! From left to right. Uniwigs Yaki Hair Topper. This is my favorite and my best of the best! The Yaki hair, resembling straightened African-American hair blends in best with my coarse and wiry hair. I love it. A lace closure which blends well, it is my favorite! Next is a “Tony of Beverly” topper, at $55, it is a steal but you need to play with it to get it just right. The synthetic is softer than the Yaki hair but it is thick enough in density to give my bio hair the appearance of thickness it used to have. Next two are wigs. Both inexpensive. The first of the wigs, I threw on over my bio hair–don’t judge–it works for me. it is a Noriko wig but I can’t remember the name of it. It is NOT the Milan topper-my Milan did not make it to my best of list. Adam trimmed the bangs for me and I do believe it looks pretty natural. Last of the group is the Vivica Fox Brie V wig. I took this pic with the wig straight out of the box without styling it. It is my second Brie. I ruined the first one by cutting the bangs too short but turned it into a topper so I can still wear it. This wig is less than $40 and is a great, great bargain. It lasts a long time without getting all knotty and frizzy!
It may be a stock photo, but I was too lazy to search through my many archived posts about my love for Toppik. The price ranges from low twenties to high twenties on this. I purchase my Toppik at Sally Beauty.
Best Fake Tanner: Jergens Natural Glow. Other than getting sprayed, Jergens is my top fave self-tanner. It is the one I keep going back to and in 2016 I played around a lot with the fake tanning. It is very moisturizing. They’ve improved upon the color over the years as well as the smell. It no longer smells really bad. It doesn’t smell like a bed of roses either but for the color you get, one can deal with the smell! My pasty-white legs use this year-round. And the price can run from $2 for a travel size upwards to $10. It’s better than baking in the sun!
The winner here in the Best of for 2016 is Jergens. Ocean Potion is number two and the Build-a-Tan is just too messy!
Best Bras: In 2016, I discovered that I am over Victoria’s Secret. I’m tired of the over-padding that make my titties look like two mountains one could ski down. I want a more natural lift. Trust me it is difficult as you age because the girls sag a bit and start to look –well, like old ladies under a sweater! I found the perfect bras in 2016. Princesse tam tam. The bras really have a great fit and the padded ones give that subtle face lift to your chest. The price point was around $50 each for the two bras I purchased in Paris back in November. No different than the price of a Victoria’s Secret bra. I’ve been doing research on where to purchase Princess tam tam in the States. It’s been difficult but I’m continuing my search!
Two two bras that made the “Best of” list–both by Princesse tam tam. The one on the top has no padding but has lift from the soft underwires..the perfect bra to wear under a button down shirt. The blue one looks heavily padded but isn’t…
Yes that is me and yes, this bra is a beautiful fit and no side boobage sticking out. Best bras ever. Thank you Princesse tam tam–now start selling your bras at Nordstrom please! Giving a lift to old saggies!
Best Tweezer: I still have not found one. I have a couple of Revlon tweezers and one Tweezerman but neither “grab” those soft, unsightly lady whiskers the way they should. If you have a best, can you share and let us know?
Best Way to Store Cosmetics: In my quest to be organized, which I usually fail miserably at, I found hanging jewelry organizers. They work like a charm and house all my makeup. I’m so glad that for once I had a bright idea that worked! Three dolliz each at Five Below!
There is a little place for everything with these jewelry organizers that I turned into makeup organizers!
Best Online Shopping: J. Crew. Yes. My name is Catherine and I am a J. Crew addict. But the brand’s clothing is my style. What can I say? I’m not a fan of Jenna Lyons, but I love the fit of both J. Crew and J. Crew Factory’s clothing for me. The two exceptions being their jeans and heels. As beautiful as the heels are, they are painful to wear—and the jeans just do not work with my body. However, the site has fantastic sales. I never buy full price at J. Crew and neither should you—especially since the discounts from the site are unbelievable! And even if you aren’t a fan of J. Crew, check out the websites from your favorite stores—you can always find great bargains! I have to admit, 2016 was the year that I started to shop online and grew to love it!
Best Jeans: The weight that I lost also brought back my love for jeans. When I gain weight, I feel too restrained when wearing jeans. When I lose weight, I find jeans more versatile and comfortable. And I love skinny jeans. AG Jeans were my “best of” for 2016. I love the fit! I love the way they look. They are over my budget but at Nordstrom Rack, I found two pair that were less than $65. Loft also has great fitting jeans for a great price when they are on sale!
While I realize the ripped jeans do not get a lot of love, the fit of these AG Jeans is incredible and flattering. I also have a pair of unripped ones! These are the best of 2016 in the world of Atypical60!
My best looks from 2016: Here they are…
Lots of different looks but these are my faves…
My blog is almost two years old and I STILL have not figured out how to edit and resize photos for the blog. Am I THAT pathetic or what? Anyway, these are some of my other favorite looks. I need to get a spray tan. Soon!
I know this post is long—probably annoyingly long. But I wanted to showcase some of my favorite products that worked best for me during the past year. We all have our best and favored products. And they can change from year-to-year or we can come across new discoveries. It’s important that we, as older women keep finding great stuff! We have only each other! Are you with me on this?
I’m so against ageism—in all aspects of life. So, ladies—embrace the coming year. We are going to be another year older, wiser, more empowering and more beautiful!
The Best is Yet to Come. Tony Bennett knows that!!