Taming makeup madness

Any FOF who doesn’t have a vanity, sink top or drawer full of unused makeup is a truly remarkable FOF. I am not truly remarkable. My “vanity” runneth over with shadows, shimmers and blushes, not to mention creams, lotions and tonics, that might very well have fungus growing on them from age and lack of use. So when makeup artist, Jennifer Snowdon, offered to analyze and organize it, I said: “Come on in!” Jennifer works with professional organizer, Ann Sullivan, to get you straightened out ASAP.


STEP 1 (ASSESS): Jennifer transfers all the makeup on my vanity to my dining table.

We'll keep this

STEP 2 (SORT): She segments everything according to where it’s used (eyes, lips, skin) and puts each group of products into a plastic bin. As the organization progresses, it’s easier for me to throw out products I don’t use, such as dried-out mascara, lipstick that feels like sandpaper on my kisser and blush that would look better on Clarabell (a clown, for those FOF friends who didn’t watch Howdy Doody in he fifties).


STEP 3 (ACTIVATE SYSTEM): Jennifer transfers the remaining products to a multi-compartment, lucite carry-all so they’re all in one place and easy to access. Eye cosmetics go in one compartment, lip products in another, blushes in a third, etc. She also puts the larger bottles and jars for hair care and skin cleansing (shampoos, conditioners, facial cleansers) in a separate basket.


STEP 4 (PRESERVE): Jennifer leaves behind 10 Tricks of the Trade to keep your makeup in tiptop shape.  Here are a few to whet your appetite:

1.     Put pencils in the freezer before sharpening to prevent excess breakage. Sharpen them regularly to keep them clean.

2.     Use rubbing alcohol to repair broken powder, blush or eye shadow.

3.     Clean your makeup brushes monthly using mild shampoo or facial cleanser. Gently lather and pat on a towel.  Let dry with brush heads slanted downward. Jennifer loves Cinema Secrets Brush Cleanser.

Jennifer is an artist with makeup. This is the "after" me.

Now for the fun part: My makeup analysis and lesson. Jennifer gave me real sensible advice, based on my skin tones and texture. A few of them:

1.     I should wear under-eye concealer with orangey tones to erase brown or blue under my eyes; concealer with yellow tones works best on red or purple under the eyes.

2.     An oil-free, liquid foundation covers red areas (around the nose, for example) and evens out the look of the skin better than mineral powder foundation.

3.     Lining the lower eyelids with light pencil opens up the eyes.

Jennifer has kindly offered a free Shop Your Vanity Drawer lesson for one lucky FOF. It has a $250 value.  If you live in the New York metro area, or want to come to New York to see Jennifer, submit a comment here for a chance to win. I love what she did for me!

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5 Responses to “Taming makeup madness”

  1. Press | Jennifer Snowdon says:

    […] ‘Taming Makeup Madness’ (2010) […]

  2. What's Up? | What’s Up? – Shop Your Vanity Applause says:

    […] Check out Geri’s comments and Jennifer’s step-by-step process here! […]

  3. Emily Owen says:

    You look great, Geri!! Happy Holidays and hope you are well!!!

  4. Toby Wollin says:

    You know what I need? I need someone who is in the business who knows all the products out there and can give me the name of the product..the one product..that will do what I need to do to my eyebrows, which seem to have basically turned white. And wiry. I don’t want to have to use clear ‘eyebrow tamer’ gel and then brush brown eyeshadow powder on them (this works until they dry and then the powder starts to rain down on my face). I don’t want to use the Revlon ‘looks like slightly brown mascara wax’ product — that doesn’t work either. When we were young, there was an actual ‘eyebrow and eyelash’ tint for blonds, but that no longer exists. Anyone know what’s out there that will really work..because I know I’m not the only woman over the age of 40 whose eyebrows have basically disappeared.

    • Jennifer Snowdon says:

      Hi Toby
      Another solution is to comb brows up and gently trim above the brow arch. Or have them done for you. Then you can comb them back into shape and they will stay put without brow gels.
      If you want to add a little color that doesn’t look painted or drawn on I recommend Paula Dorf’s
      2+1 for brows and it comes in Blonde/Brunette/Red/Pewtar. Her line is at Bendel’s and they can advise you of what color to use. Something softer that goes with your hair color. There is a light and darker tone of each shade with a wax. You touch a stiff brow brush to the wax and then pick up the color you want or mix them.The wax keeps the powder on all day. This is actually used by those undergoing chemo and softly replaces brows. You can also color in the background if there are any areas that are sparse. Never looks drawn on. I recommend enhancing the arch and gently coloring the brow hairs.
      Good Luck, you always have to find what is right for you.
      Jennifer Snowdon


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