18 Nov 2016

Less Is More: The Truth About Make-Up

When Less Is More, The Truth About Make-Up on vickiarcher.com

Less is more with make-up.
I am finding this to be the case more and more.

It’s the ageing process that is causing the conundrum. There is no denying my face requires some different attention now. I am happy with the ageing process, I do think I have come to terms with that, but I get nervous about make-up and the application of it.

Less make-up really is more because too much can look a disaster. Especially when it comes to foundations and blushers. There is nothing worse than a face full of make-up that stands out and screams cover-up. I have lost count of the foundation creams I have purchased in the hunt for a dewy glow or a rose petal complexion. The best I can hope for is a more even complexion and a few illumination properties; reflect and deflect.

For special occasions a make-up artist who has magical powers is the best idea in the world; for daytime when I am in charge of the brushes and pencils, less really is more.

I have a few standbys now that make up my routine.

I use a very light CC cream as my foundation over a primer and dab the concealer when and where I need it. The under eye area is my problem with too many late nights and lack of sleep causing dark circles and unwanted puffiness.

My eye routines are three-fold and very easy; pencil, mascara and eyebrow gel. The cheeks get a dusting or a dab with a shade to match my current lip colour fad. I brush a loose powder through the T-Zone and that is about it. A simple and no more than 5 minute routine.

I won’t stop the passing parade in their tracks with this routine and neither will I be self conscious all day that my make-up is wearing me and not the other way around. If I want to be bolder and make a statement I will wear a darker or more vibrant lip colour.

Perhaps I have become a scaredy cat; I prefer to think I have matured and my “painted doll” days are behind me. I can still remember my love affair with bright blue eye shadow, thick and gluggy massacred lashes and pale pink frosty lipstick. Yes, it’s true and all three were worn together. The application took a good hour and the removal another. Funny thing was, I thought I looked gorgeous and definitely aspired to the “more is merrier’ memo.

Life really does pass in the blink of an eye. I prefer to blink with less mascara, smile with a matte shade of lipstick and go about my day with a transparent glow.

If I am thinking less is more, I must be a grown up. xv

Less Is More: The Truth About Make-Up

tom ford illuminating primer  //  giorgio armani cc color control  02  //  giorgio armani concealer  //  laura mercier translucent powder

charlotte tilbury chameleon black diamonds eye pencil  //  charlotte tilbury legendary lashes  //  eyeko tinted brow gel  //  charlotte tilbury birkin brown

image of ava gardner

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In This Post:




1- Under eye darkness can be hereditary and is not always from allergies… Puffy under eyes are from everything from lack of sleep to too much salty food eaten the day/night before, a mild diuretic will fix that, as will drinking lots of water and flushing it all out.
2- Chanel and Lancome make the BEST under eye cream stick to hide that darkness.
Sadly, I am the voice of experience lol


PS … my 2 year old grandson, has bags under his eyes. LOL … we are convinced he is a party animal after his mama and daddy fall asleep.


If he isn’t now .. he might be one in the making ;)
I bet he is so cute… 2 is such an adorable age ..

Cathy C.

Hi Vicki,
I agree with you and further I don’t think that the overly made up look is flattering to anyone regardless of age. Make is about accentuating the best features and carefully minimizing those less flattering ones. I love that age has given me the confidence to go out with a bare face (save for moisturizer and sunscreen of course).
Have a great day!
Cathy C.

Pamela Bain

The older I get the less makeup I use. I splurge on great skin care, basic over all color, but lightly, just a small bit of blush, shadow and mascara, and lipstick. Anything else is way too much!


Hi! I have enjoyed your post for the past year or two. I literally read every article that is written by you. I’m inspired to travel to places that you have taken photos. I would like to add that I am in the states. Out of hundreds of post of beautiful women, I am curious as to why you have never found or have posted beautiful photos of ethnic women. I am bi-racial with a caucasian mother. I think she is beautiful but as I’ve traveled the world, I have noticed women of other race so beautiful that it hurt (in a good way). I would like to challenge you by opening your mind to including everyone in your post as I like many others would like to read and see how the beauty of the real world exist. You do have a minority and majority fanbase
Signed one of your greatest fans


I second this :-) Thank you for saying this!!! My daughters are multi-ethnic and this has opened my eyes to exactly what you mention <3 <3 <3


Less is more, definitely applies after a certain age.
I use a light touch of Chanel’s water based foundation on the T-zone. Their khol eye pencil in graphite is a nice soft gray liner, have used it for years.
When Summer’s tan begins to fade, a quick sweep of Bobbie Brown’s bronzer can bring back the glow.
It’s always a bit off-putting to see older women with plastered faces. The goal should be to look healthy and fresh!

Wendy Going Forward

lymphatic drainage massage ( found on you-tube)helps with under eye puffyness. I apply moisturizer, eye cream and begin. It takes a few minutes and makes a difference. I switch off the daytime eye cream. I am currently using Murad for lift and puffs. It seems to work pretty well. My nighttime eye cream is always Le Mer eye concentrate.


My genetic makeup blessed me with under eye dark circles. I recently learned to adjust the darkness with a corrector first then apply concealer. Makes a huge difference. Currently using Bobbi Brown corrector which works wonders. I am on the hunt for another that is not as drying. Open to suggestions!

Sharon E

Of all things, I found that Olay makes a decent corrector even though I am willing to pay more. My skin is dry. This one works for me and does not emphasize fine lines.


I have found three things make all the difference for me in “making up”. Foundation primer – Makes applying foundation so much easier with less product needed. Brow definition- especially as my hair is silver grey and my skin tone very light. I use a tinted gel product. Matte lipstick- when you eliminate the shine on the lips, they look fuller. Took me a long time to accept this. Thanks!


I apply serum, then day cream followed by a light foundation. Mascara is a must in a brown/black as to not be too harsh. And, then lipstick. I must take your advice and try a matte lipstick and see if there is a difference. Such a shame that our lips thin as our waists expand.


Marguerite, You might consider eyebrow tinting by a hairdresser. My hair is natural colour but about every couple of months I have my eyebrows threaded and tinted to a colour that works with my natural hair and skin colours – it really gives face definition but isn’t too dark or exaggerated. It also mean I don’t have to use any product on eyebrows or spend any time on them other than combing. Best wishes, Pamela

Mimi Gregor

Wow! I’ve just been noticing this with myself!

When I was young, I wore tons of makeup, right down to false eyelashes, on a daily basis. It took about an hour to do, but I thought I looked great. (Looking at pictures from then, I think I look like an underaged drag queen.)

As the years go by, I pare it down, and lately I’ve gone even more minimalist. No foundation. I use a mineral sunscreen, and that evens my complexion out. Even with foundation, I needed concealer, so I still use that. Recently, I realized that with no foundation, I don’t need the primer either. My powder (Makeup Forever HD powder) manages to give me the poreless look. I use my lipstick as my blush (Nars Pigalle). Eyebrow pencil always, as my brows have gotten sparse. But I’ve gone lighter on the shadow — ivory under the brows and a slightly darker than skin shade on the lids and under lower lashes. I still wear liner, but dark brown, not black, and a finer line. Mascara. My lips are the only place where I wear “more” — red instead of nude. It looks better on me now.


Message to Jeanne – I also use Bobbi Brown corrector and then the concealer. Be sure to thoroughly moisturize and then use a tiny amount of product on your finger tip and lightly tap it on – don’t use too much. I thought the same as you but then decided to experiment with it a bit. Very satisfied. I have never used too much makeup myself – always do my eyes and a neutral lip. I wear my hair on the shorter side – having it colored every 4 weeks in a gold streaked brown – I have a lot of hair and even my husband says that the shorter look makes me look younger. The long full look is too much for my small features – as much as I would like to go longer. I never use a powder blush – prefer the softer look of a cream or mousse. I agree with Vicki – less is more. It’s better to look good for our age rather than looking foolish with an over made up face and jet black hair!!!

Jane Jess

I’m so appreciative of this post as it hadn’t really occurred to me to make changes to my foundation regimen as I’ve aged and that it is time to lighten up. I am in the process of growing out my natural/grey hair colour and am conservative on eyes, lips and cheeks but I need to stop with the all over foundation. Great tips from all of you fabulous women, thank you! I am going to experiment with your various secrets! And thank you Vicki for always being the best big sister! xx


Totally agree! And to be frank I am utterly astounded at the vast and unending supply of Youtube makeup tutorials! These are the days of big eye shadow, layers of foundation and lip color! Not to mention lots of consumption. Why do women buy into this????? Plus as you say it is really time consuming!

Anita Rivera

Less IS more for me. Just lipstick has been my make-up routine since the beginning of the school year, but just this past week, I’ve been using mascara and eye shadow again. I did it because I got a haircut that I LOVE, but it a bit shorter than I expected, and I think my eyes needed to be accentuated a bit. But once my bangs get a bit longer, it will be RED LIPS against my fair skin that will make the statement! We are always transforming, and that’s O.K.

Linda Boardman Kerr

Agree that less is more. I am spending more money and time on skin care than applying makeup and it is paying off. Always sunscreen, and tretinoin at night, and moisture, moisture, moisture! I have, at 63, just gotten braces! Surprisingly, it’s not as awkward as I thought it would be. I actually think my smile is rather cute now! As do the highschoolers that I teach! So I am paying special attention to lip care, and having fun experimenting with different lip color/brace band combinations. I’ve loved reading all your responses, ladies.


my grandmother on my father’s side had really bad dark circles under her eyes, one bad thing i didn’t inherit

Jane Dunning

After buying and discarding numerous foundations since my forties (I didn’t need it before), a young niece and a younger friend recommended the Bare Minerals range. For nearly three years, I’ve been using their primer, then concealer – just brush all over using a largish brush – followed by powder foundation brushed on in the same way. I like that I can wear less or more depending upon how long it needs to last/how made up I want to look. It’s been a saviour the last few years!
Best wishes, Vicki!


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