Makeup & Beauty

The Best Part Of The Parent-Visit

The word on the street is that the best part of visiting your parents’ house is the refrigerator. It tends to be stocked with fruits and vegetables and fancy cheeses that parents of adults can afford because they no longer have to afford children, plus all sorts of wonderful leftovers from meals that you did not have to make yourself.

Except if you have my parents, in which case the refrigerator contains a tub of margarine, two drawers full of different types of birdseed that will hopefully bring more joy into the life of an extremely anxious parrot, and a half-full jar of capers. It’s very appetizing. (It’s also my fault, because a few months ago I introduced my parents to Blue Apron, and now they don’t cook anything else. Whenever they aren’t making Blue Apron, they’re having dinner at the restaurant next door. Or, I don’t know, maybe they’re eating bird food. I can’t be certain.)

Rummaging in my parents’ refrigerator is no fun at all. Rummaging in my mom’s makeup drawer, however? Tons of fun. Because my mother is the kind of person who, when approached by a salesperson in the makeup department of Saks Fifth Avenue who tells her she’d look absolutely gorgeous in a Brand X’s new lipstick/face cream/eyeliner/magical anti-aging dragon dust – here, sit down and let me show you!, says “Ooh! Sure!”

So whenever I visit my parents I find myself lurking in the bathroom come bedtime, sifting through whatever new potions my mother has acquired since my last visit. I stand in front of the mirror dotting on creams and gels and oils, while she stands behind me earnestly enumerating the benefits of each product (and the exact application instructions) while also relaying – in impressive detail – the epic saga titled “The Makeup Counter Lady Who Knew The Exact Color Peta Murgatroyd Wore On Dancing With The Stars Last Season (subtitle “You Should Go See Her Sometime Honey; She Could Really Make You Look More Rested. Her Name Is Carol, Tell Her I Sent You”).

What can I say. It’s how we bond.

In case I haven’t made this clear: My mother is the owner of enough random products to open up her own eBay shop specializing in jars that have already been opened. But this also means she tries a lot of random products, and her constant experimentation (plus the fact that she has zero long-term brand loyalty) means that she actually does know what she’s talking about when it comes to this stuff.

Below, in no particular order, are the skincare and makeup products that I found in my mother’s cabinet and tried on over the weekend…as described in Mom’s own words, because if anyone can expound upon the distinctive virtues of an Arabian Blue eyeliner, it is my mother (I am serious, and I say this with complete and utter respect).

Take it away, mama.


Benefit "Fake Up" Concealer

My go-to for face makeup is this under-eye concealer. The concealer is in the center, ringed by some sort of moisturizer that makes it goes on really smoothly. It covers undereye shadows, as well as redness anywhere on the face, and doesn’t cake or bring out any fine lines.


Olay Total Effects CC Cream

I started using this product way back when Jordan worked with them on a video and ad series and told me how great the cream was. I don’t like the look of most foundations, and this lightweight product gives just enough coverage to even out skin tone without feeling heavy.


Hourglass "Veil" Mineral Primer

This is one product I never go a day without using. I discovered it because *someone* snuck a sample into my Christmas stocking a couple of years ago, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. It smooths on beautifully and leaves the skin feeling like silk. (I turned my sisters onto this product, and they’re both obsessed as well.)


Trish McEvoy Gel Eye Pencil in Arabian Nights


Hand MD Transformative Duo

On my hands, I use Hand MD (a gift from Jordan last Christmas). It’s both a serum and a moisturizer, and is the only thing that seems to work on my very dry skin.


Trish McEvoy Eye and Face Makeup Remover

This eyeliner goes under the lash, rather than above, and creates a natural – but still lightly smoky – look. It also stays on all day without smudging even a tiny bit. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s kind of hard to get off – only the Trish McEvoy eye and face make-up remover that is specially formulated for their products seems to do the trick (and even then, it takes a bit of work to get the liner off).


Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Face Oil

Despite my daughter’s insistence that face oils are life-changing, I always said that I would never try one because I assumed it would leave a greasy residue or cause breakouts (yes, you still get those when you’re 70, sorry). But a makeup counter lady made me try this oil, and now I’m obsessed: it goes on smoothly, and within seconds the skin is dry and silky and feels amazing. (I also use it on my neck and décolletage.)


Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Eye Serum

The same makeup counter lady who sold me on the face oil also sold me on this: just a drop around the eye area instantly smooths and depuffs (and feels great).


Clarins Skincare Products, Generally

So my skincare regimen at the moment is to layer on the Beauty Boosters, and then apply the Clarins products pictured above on top (I especially love the night cream).  I’m not sure whether it is overdoing it – it probably is – but I just turned 70, and my skin is smooth and relatively free from lines, so I feel like I must be doing something right.


Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15

Notwithstanding all of the above, if I was marooned on a desert island and could only have one product, I would choose this. You can get it at any drugstore. Go figure.

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