Beauty how-to books always make me tired. In this witty advice book for women over fifty, Andrea Robinson claims that your entire beauty routine shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. Considering that her eye make up list alone has nine steps and includes five different products and five specialized tools, I don’t see how she beats the clock. And since my everyday routine takes about thirty seconds—wash face and apply sunscreen—ten minutes is still a long time.
I’m probably not the intended audience for this book, but even au naturel types like me can learn from her insider view of the beauty industry. She gives general advice about anti-aging products for older skin, telling which ones work (only a few) and which ones don’t (most of the rest.) For those who use a lot of makeup, she warns against products she thinks further age older skin, including powder foundation, liquid eyeliner, and bold red lipstick.
Unlike many writers on aging, Robinson has an upbeat tone. Her goal, she says, is to make you look like yourself, only better; she has no plans to make you over into your daughter. According to her, the best tools to look good can be bought over the counter, and you don’t even need to go to a department store to find them. In her lists of recommended products, she always includes brands that you can find in a grocery store.
If you read carefully, though, you will discover that Robinson employs much more than makeup in her own beauty regime. She uses hormone replace therapy, has had a face lift, and gets regular filler injections from a dermatologist. Most of her preferred products don’t come from the drug store. A glance at her press photo tells you that she looks a lot younger than your average fifty year old. For me, this undercut her advice about loving yourself as you are.
What did I learn? Since I sometimes go beyond sunscreen for special events, I discovered better brands to try and entirely new makeup categories to consider. Just to be clear, though, I don’t think my first purchase will be an eyelid primer.