Magic Elixir, Aisle 3!

So, the other part of this art alluded to beauty enhancers. Let’s chat about that a bit, shall we?

A lot of time is spent by a lot of women looking for that magic bullet–that one thing that will clear our skin, slim our hips and boost our energy levels. That bit of magic probably doesn’t exist (never say never, right?) but there are things that we can do–our own magic potions–that could improve our appearance and our life that’s not quite so mystical.

Beauty In, Beauty Out

Okay, so we don’t actually want to eat most of the health-care products on the market today. But the fact remains that what we put in our bodies can affect what we see on the outside. It’s not just about what other people see, but also what we see staring back at us in the mirror that affects our outlook on the day.

Water, for instance, is essential for supple skin as well as preventing headaches, so always be sure to stay hydrated. And eating the right food is a good idea, too–the better the food we eat, the better our bodies function.  Green smoothies are quite popular these days–even if I prefer my smoothies packed with peanut butter and cocoa powder–but eating the whole fruits and vegetables is just as healthy and maybe a smidgen tastier.

And before you blame chocolate, pizza or other maligned foods for that recent acne flare-up; there’s no real evidence that links those food to blemishes (thank goodness!). Even so, everyone is different and can experience various food triggers, so if you know that a certain food irritates your body (inside or out), it’s wiser to avoid it.

Once We’re on the Outside

There is a huge industry surrounding the potions and lotions to dry over-moist skin, moisturize the dry and fix everything in between. If you have sensitive skin, most of those products aren’t even worth trying because they’ll irritate your skin more than it already was.

Seriously, I’ve tried a lot of them with disastrous results. Even the so-called sensitive-skin moisturizers made my forehead drier, flakier and more broken-out than they were to start! About the only product line that consistently works for my skin is Bare Minerals though the cost does make my frugal heart quail at times.

If you do decide to experiment with a new product, test out only one at a time (and buy sample sizes whenever possible). Or, if you’d like to get back to basics, why not invest in simple glycerin soap as a cleanser, witch hazel as a toner/astringent (good for blemishes but can be drying), and extra virgin olive oil as a moisturizer. I haven’t quite gotten to that level but it’s tempting.

And if you can spare an avocado, I’ve heard very good things about this avocado face mask. Have you tried it?

Putting on a Brave Face

And then there’s makeup. Some people consider it camouflage or “war paint.” And the way some women wear it, I can see the resemblance! Still, I always remember what a good friend’s mom once said about herself:

“You paint the barn when it needs it, right? Well, this barn needs a coat of paint!”

Make-up, I think, works best when it highlights one wonderful feature and helps the rest step out of the limelight. I love to spend time on my eye make-up when I’m getting ready to go out, but wearing glasses tends to hide a lot of the hard work. So, most days, I just keep it to some eyeliner, maybe mascara, and let me lips play center stage in a deep red or slick, glossy pink.

I had friends in high school who were involved with theater and I was always impressed with the way a few strokes of eyeliner could transfer a young face into an old one. (There’s a tip, there, for over-doing it, I’m sure.) How bronzer and blush can be used to add shadows or highlights. While stage make-up isn’t appropriate for everyday, judicious use of shade and shadow can enhance a wobbly jaw-line or add cheekbone definition for those crucial days when we need a little extra bit of courage.

A Simple Request:

What beauty tricks do you have up your sleeve? Anything you’ve tried and wish you hadn’t? Help a girl (or several) out, and share with your sisters in the comments!

I still say, though, the best thing a woman can put on in the morning is confidence!

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