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My mother in law has ever told me that make up is of the essence for a woman. If you’ve been playing with make up since your early childhood this post’s not for you. I didn’t. I had never put make up on in my life and, frankly, I couldn’t care less. Until I turned 40. 

When I turned 40 I admit I started giving make up a serious thought cause I could clearly see flaws I had never seen before that really made me look like my own older sister. 

But I had no experience and no time for practicing, so I had to give up.

But I’m proud to tell you that – since I moved to Switzerland – make up have no more secretes for me (just kidding). Of course the make up I refer to is not the flattering one that can turn yourself into Angelina Jolie in a blink of an eye (or in hours of careful application that is more realistic), but is definitely something that can make a huge difference when it comes to making your aspect looking like the image of yourself you nurture in your mind as much as possible.

If you are at 0 experience as I was in the beginning, two are the accomplices that will make the difference: 1. a good concealer and 2. YouTube tutorials.

Notwithstanding my conspicuous dark circles I’ve never really used concealer since it used to crease and crack settling into the fine wrinkles around my eyes so giving me that dowager countess look I do not long to achieve before hitting my 70 at least. But then – one happy and lucky day – I bumped into Benefit’s Fake  Up (https://www.benefitcosmetics.com/) and my existence dramatically improved. Fake Up comes in 3 shades and consists of 2 layers: the pigmented concealer is the core of the stick and around it there’s a ring of Vitamin E and apple seeds extract that prevents the colour from settling into fine lines. It lasts several hours without  cracking. 

Second step is slightly more complicated. To begin with search “contouring” on YouTube. You may have happened to hear about it already with reference to Kim Kardashian and her peers and you may have reasonably got to the conclusion that – as long as it has something to do with Kim Kardashian – it could be of no interest for you. I generally agree with this view of life, but in this very case you should give it a go. The principle is very easy: cast a shadow on the things you want to be neglected and light up those you want to enhance. Now, you will hardly believe what an astonishing difference a good make up can do. There’s definitely no need to be beautiful to be stunning if you have a good make up artist.  

Of course, if you’re not really into it, there’s little or no chance that you can magic yourself into Monica Bellucci just with your new Sephora all-in-one palette, but there are some tricks that work very well when it comes to making your nose slender or your jaw bone well defined. Particularly the “nose job”effect is amazing.  

The clearest istructions are those provided here http://youtu.be/WSoEgv8XAWU. For something a bit more sophisticated this appears to be the most popular tutorial http://youtu.be/_dLSy75M46o. Finally, if you want to enjoy yourself and try kind of an Angelina Jolie style (that is fairly easy but very effective in terms of result) this is for you https://youtu.be/GDcQJ32zmvg. It’s hardly worth mentioning that you can find tons of results and step-by-step charts on Pinterest as well.

As regards the best products to choose, the offer is just endless. If you live in any developed country where products like those by Bobby Brown, Urban Decay, NYX, MAYBELLINE are distributed you are going to be spoilt for choice. If you live in Italy a good and practical option could be the KIKO’s contouring pencils that – together with the brush set and the precious Benefit’s concealer – can make a good all-in-one to carry around.  

Last but not least, just because we’re fashionable gals always in the know about the last trends 😏, it is worth mentioning another make up technique purportedly expected to replace the contouring: the “strobing” that consists in over-highlighting the areas of the face where the light would naturally hit by applying pigmented fluids (or powders) so to create kind of a transcendental halo all around the face. Sort of an overexposed picture, if you know what I mean, nothing you would really put on to meet a client or pick up the kid at school. Personally it doesn’t really entice me, but should I feel particularly humorous one of these days I may even try. However, make up with make up and give it a go, in small doses it works like vodka: can get a new lease on life 😜