Fashion & Beauty

Makeup for Minimalists

April 9, 2019

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FOR ME, roaming the makeup aisles of Barneys New York, surveying the latest magical lotions and potions is the most fun you can have on a Friday morning.  The people watching is splendid; the only damage you can do is to your pocketbook. But on that particular morning I was determined not to buy anything or be lured in by an overzealous salesperson. Just browsing, thank you.

Then I noticed the new line (Westman Atelier) from makeup artist Gucci Westman. I pointed it out to my makeup maven pal, who decided she must have a new brush. The salespeople there were unexpectedly low key. I declined when they asked if I wanted to sample anything. But then I had to admit to the unassuming guy behind the counter that my skin was looking a little sickly (shall we say from an little overindulgence the evening before?), and I didn’t have any makeup on. He asked if he could touch up my skin with a highlight stick. Why not? He followed up with a creamy blush, and I looked instantly better.  I bought both new products, and in the last few weeks have used them when I wanted to get out of the house without scaring myself or anyone in my path. Which has led to my being squarely in the camp of less is more when it comes to makeup. At least for daily doings.

While we’re on the subject of no-fuss beauty products, I also discovered Patchology’sLip Service Gloss-to-Balm Treatment around the same time. It comes in a convenient little tube that you squeeze onto your dry lips. The hint of honey in the taste is a nice touch.

I’ve zeroed in on four more items to add to this list, including two that are new for me, one an old faithful that I haven’t used in a while and the fourth a recommendation from a skincare-savvy friend in Philadelphia.

—Janet Kelly


I keep reading that the new look in makeup is to look like you’re wearing none. Well, the Lit Up Highlight Stick from Westman Atelier is sheer and subtle. You just roll it over your cheeks, forehead and eyelids, and your face looks alive and hydrated.  $48, Barneys and Violet Grey.




I love applying Westman Atelier’s  Super Loaded Tinted Highlight. It looks like a powder in the compact but you swipe it up on your cheekbones, and you feel its creamy consistency. Unlike powder, it doesn’t creep into those pesky wrinkles. Put it on over the highlight stick, and you’re ready to go out the door with skin that looks moist and polished. $78, Barneys and Violet Grey.



This Lip Service Gloss-to-Balm Treatment from Patchology felt heavenly on my chapped lips a month ago. My lips aren’t as dry now, but the stuff feels so good, I’m continuing to apply it. $15, Dermstore.

LEFT: I made the mistake of buying another brand of micellar water, and it irritated my skin —I had a burning sensation when I took off my makeup, and my face was blotchy red. There’s a reason this Sensibio H20 from Bioderma gets raves. Perfect for removing makeup from the face and eyes. $14.90, Dermstore. RIGHT: This Addict Lip Maxmizer from Dior is on the spendy side, but ever since I ran out of it a year or so ago and didn’t replace it, I’ve regretted my decision. It’s shiny, not sticky, and your lips feel and look plumper. $34, Nordstrom.


LEFT: I had heard the praises of Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream, but it wasn’t until I was in a Berlin drugstore that I decided to buy a tube. One, because my skin was desert-dry, two, because I love buying products from European pharmacies and then remembering the city I bought it in.  My 40-something German niece warned me that it was intense (it has a beeswax base), but that’s exactly why I wanted it. The best way to get it to sink in is to slather it over damp skin. Did I mention it smells wonderful? So does the hand cream. RIGHT: According to my friend, whose skin was feeling flaky using micellar water, you put a gob of this Bye Bye Makeup ™ 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm on DRY hands and rub together to melt it, then put it all over your DRY face. You then work it into the skin and eye makeup until it feels like all the mascara is off, then add a little water and work up a bit of a lather. Rinse or take off with a wash cloth. This It Cosmetic balm also does double-duty as a mask, sinking into the skin and leaving it feeling soft and moisturized. $38, Sephora.


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2 thoughts on “Makeup for Minimalists

  1. Nancy McKeon says:

    amazing. i too recently discovered Gold Bond! i saw those big words ROUGH and BUMPY on the jar and thought, oh yeah, that’s me. it may well be that it “solves” the bumpy problem by laying a thin sheath of dried cream over the surface of the skin (it does feel that there’s something there). whatever, i’m in! (don’t know if i want to experiment with it on my face, though…)

  2. cindy tilson says:

    I’d have to say that the best surprise product I’ve found this year is Gold Bond Ultimate Rough and Bumpy skin cream. My skin is extremely dry and crepe-y, especially on my arms and legs. I slather it on after a shower, let it dry, and then let it go to work. This cream has triple acids to exfoliate, and moisturizers that create a barrier to seal the skin when it dries. In fact, if you rub your skin after the cream dries, it peels off in flakes. I began to use it on my face too – can’t tolerate Retin A, but this cream causes no stinging or flaking, yet the difference in my skin is evident. Others have noticed and asked me to share my skin care regimen – soap and water with Gold Bond R&B cream! Hardly glamorous, but it works.

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