Here's my experience with makeup.
1) Apply eyeshadow for an evening "out."
2) Weep my way through the evening, make determined effort not to claw at itchy, swollen eyelids.
3) Swear I'll never do that again.
1) Find a foundation I like that's light, unscented and not itchy or thick.
2) Keep it for 3 years because I don't use it very often. (Yeah, 3 years is too long).
3) Next time I need foundation - it's been discontinued and the new one is like poster paint or full of itchy ingredients.
Rats. A little makeup helps people take us more seriously (in context, anyhow), but it drives people like me to distraction. So what is it about makeup that gives it such power? It turns out, the answer is really simple. Contrast. Darkening of the eyes and lips. Smoothing and evening the skin tone, no matter how dark or light your skin, provides better contrast for a bigger difference between eyes, lips and face. How you use makeup is not as important as that you increase the contrast.
Contrast of facial features is a feminine characteristic. More contrast looks more female. Less contrast looks less female. And looking more female and more "beautiful" (meaning more contrast, more even-ness) gives you an advantage.
So what to do if your skin goes on strike when you wear makeup?
1) Even out skin tone.
- Find a lightweight, fragrance-free foundation to conceal red areas (scars, zits, that area around the nose or under the eyes).
- Cover acne or raised areas with a darker foundation.
- Use powder if you hate liquid makeup, just make sure you use face lotion underneath and have it with you for touch-ups.
2) Eyes: Darker... somewhere
- If you can't use eyeshadow on your eyelids - fill in your eyebrows with an eye pencil or eyeshadow.
- Use a clean baby toothbrush to put coconut oil, olive oil, hypo-allergenic hair gel (this works really well!) or petroleum jelly on your eyelashes instead of mascara (then wash it when you're done).
- Use foundation makeup (or powder) on your eyelids to even out the skin color.
- Sometimes (I make no promises) you can find an eyeliner that doesn't itch. Maybe look for liquid ones.
3) Lips - choose a lipstick or colored lip balm a shade or 2 darker than your own lips.
4) Especially if you're over 30, blush will give you more contrast on your face.
I can't say much about how to apply any of this because I don't much like applying makeup. These are just my work-arounds.©Science-y Hair Blog 2013
A little 1% hydrocortisone ointment is handy for any time you use a product that your skin reacts badly to.