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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Staying Put

Well, now that I'm all fired up about makeup since my last post, think about how many times have you been invited to dance with a leader only to see his shoulder covered with foundation, lipstick or mascara? Yuck. Makes the embrace a little less inviting, doesn't it? And it's certainly not his fault, that's for sure. Poor guy.

Inevitably, smeared faces can be the result of a close embrace dance. I've thought of some products and ideas that will reduce the chances that your dance partner will need to throw his shirt in the trash when he gets home.

In general, here are the basic rules to prevent smudging and smearing on you and your partner:

  • Less is more.
  • Avoid cream and gel-based products, including eyeshadows and blushes. The odds of them creasing and smearing on warm, sweaty skin is pretty much 100%. I'd skip the gooey lipglosses, too, just because those are bound to end up somewhere other than your mouth.
  • The term "waterproof" is extremely subjective. It is a great marketing tool, however. I have yet to find a truly waterproof product (my litmus test is the crying bride). Don't see waterproof written on something and think you're home free.
  • Keep some q-tips in your little makeup kit in case you need to clean up a bit in the corners of your eyes.
  • I'll say it again: Less is more.

  1. If you're going to wear eyeshadow and you have a problem with it all running into the crease, use an primer for your eyelids. The best one I've ever used by far is the Laura Mercier Eye Basics. I like them because: a little goes a long way, they dry extremely matte but make a great base for holding shadow, and they are opaque so if you have dark or discolored eyelids, it will act as a concealer so you can use lighter eyeshadows that don't usually show up on you.
  2. Set any creme you wear (foundation, blush) with a light layer of translucent setting powder. Cremes, by nature, will break down on warm skin, so setting them with powder will make them last longer. And when I say translucent, I mean just that. If you need to blot your nose, using a powder with pigment in it will keep adding more color to your face as the night goes on. You just want to keep down the shine, not change the color of your skin.
  3. Use a foundation primer. You'll probably use less foundation with a primer, it will go on smoother, and hopefully will last longer. Personally, I like the Sue Devitt and NARS primers.
  4. Try not to use too much makeup on the sides of your face and your neck. Usually the area needing coverage is the T-zone. If you can get away with it, maybe all you need is concealer and powder. The Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge is the bomb. But you might need to have the sales associate help you find your color and show you how to use it the right way. GET THE BRUSH. Once you get the hang of this product, you'll love it.
  5. I happen to LOVE the Vincent Longo Lip/Cheek stains. I don't use them as blush but as a pretty permanent lip color that you can top with a little chapstick or a teeny bit of gloss, they are awesome. I wear them all the time and the color really lasts. They tend to be bright but you can apply them sheerly for a bitten-lip look. Or, a cheap, classic and natural look for many is the famous $0.99 Wet 'n' Wild lip pencil in 666 (you little devil, you) with lip balm on top.
  6. I am a diehard fan of the Laura Mercier cake liner. Of all the eyeliners I've used, this one is the least likely to smudge. But you do need the brush and you do need to practice using it. I would not recommend a kohl pencil or any liner that has a creamy consistency. It just won't hold up.
  7. Get more mileage out of your lashes and use less product by curling your lashes before you pile on the mascara. I still think the Shu Uemura eyelash curler is the best on the market. Please don't skimp on this and get the cheapie drugstore brand. This is one instance where spending a little more makes a difference. Your lashes will thank you.
  8. And you know how I feel about the Shu Uemura fake lashes. I already went nuts about them here. And here.

This is just a short list of products I like, and you might have found some that you think work well for a night of dancing, so please share your knowledge with us. This isn't even close to a list of all the stuff I covet/hoard/lust for every day wear, evenings out, skin care, etc, but that all will have to wait for later.

Let me know if you have any questions! Let me know if you like makeup-ey posts. I would probably write them anyway, but it's nice to know if they're helpful to you. ;-)


Elizabeth December 11, 2007 at 6:06 PM  

Tangobaby, This is fantastic. One thing I have to say that as an (ahem) mature woman, is that powders of all types seem to age my face. Any thoughts about this? I prefer a minimum of makeup and very sheer. There is a funny trick to blotting that maybe you already know, that the paper in the restroom for the toilet seat protection is a great blotting tissue for a moist face. I am definitly going to get the Laura Mercier eye stuff. Thanks a lot.

Red shoes December 11, 2007 at 7:57 PM  

How fun, how fun. I will hunt for that eye shadow primer...I use Bare Escentuals because they have my favorite eye shadows ever, but I'm always getting crease lines. How clever of you to know the answer to that problem!

katie December 11, 2007 at 9:12 PM  

GREAT tips!! Thanks! :)

NYC Tango Pilgrim December 12, 2007 at 8:29 AM  


Can you tell me how to remove the lipsticks, foundations and whatever else the women used to make them look radiant, sexy, beautiful and delicious from my limited edition BR heritage shirt? :)

Thank God, I don't have a jealous GF.



Elizabeth December 12, 2007 at 8:56 AM  

nyc, take it to a good dry cleaner and point out the spot. They can deal with it. Isn't that a nice problem to have?

studio wellspring December 12, 2007 at 9:18 AM  

tangobaby ~ let's go make-up shopping on our lunch break sometime! ;o)

dear nyc tango pilgrim: i have one word for you: oxiclean! this product is incredible ~ it has taken red wine & red lipstick out of my ecru linen sofa cover, taken red wine & dark chocolate out of a light fluffy carpet, and it's removed grass & blood stains from the knees of light colored khakis after a game of touch football that got a little wild. seriously it's the best stain removing product i've ever used, hands down. you can get it in most super markets {http://www.oxiclean.com/default2.asp}.
good luck!

tangobaby December 12, 2007 at 10:43 AM  

Hi Elizabeth,

Yes, you are absolutely correct about the powder products for your skin type. And on the flip side, people who have oily skin tend to use too much because they are shine-phobic and that makes them look dry, too.

Most people, if they use powder, really only need it in the t-zone anyway. I really happen to love the NARS creme blushes and the Multiples (I know I am breaking my rule about cremes now). But when used with a light hand, they can give a really sheer blush look without looking dry and heavy. If you set them with a teeny bit of powder, they'd look great and I think they will stay. I'm not a huge fan of liquid blushes like Benetint because I think they end up in your pores and look wierd, and you can't wear them over foundation. You could also use an itty-bitty dab of lipstick on your finger as blush too. That's a nice trick because then your cheeks and lips are the same tone. But just a smidgen is all you need.

Again, teeny amounts of anything should be fine. Including the LM eye basics. Too much of that is...too much! It will make your eyelid look crepey. Use your finger to dab it on and blend, not the wand.

Elizabeth, I thought I was the ONLY one who knew about the toilet seat blotter! ;-) So here is Elizabeth's fabulous tip: ATTENTION LADIES! Use the toilet seat cover paper as nose blotter. It is the best, ever! (Just don't use the one you're sitting on, ha ha. Get a fresh one.)

Hi Red Shoes,

I've never had much luck with BE but I know some people adore them. Again, try the Eye Basics. They are one of my Holy Grail products.

Hi Katie,

Thanks for checking in with me! I know you have lots of tips to share too. Everyone, check out Miss Katie's blog, Old Hollywood Glamour. You will love it.

Poor TP,

Looks like the other ladies have already shared some great advice with you. I agree, drycleaning is always a good idea. I happen to be a big fan of Z'Out, if the garment is washable. Or save that shirt for other kinds of special occasions so it will live a little longer.


Dear Ms. Wellspring,

I already have some mascaras in mind for your baby blues...just let me know when you want to break the bank (just a little...I'll go slow with you.)


msHedgehog December 12, 2007 at 3:48 PM  

My friend, who is about 6ft1, danced with a very tiny lady and went home with a perfect little moue of pink lipstick roughly half way up his nice white shirt.

How did that get there!

It took him forever to get rid of the stuff ...

tangobaby December 12, 2007 at 3:55 PM  

Did she kiss his belly button?

Oh man, lipstick is the worst because of the oils. I bet it didn't come out, especially on a white shirt.

msHedgehog December 13, 2007 at 5:44 AM  

It was a bit higher than that, but not much. I felt he would have been entitled to object.

I don't know if he ever got it out - I wondered if soaking it in olive oil would work.

koolricky December 18, 2007 at 2:54 AM  

Thanks tangobabay, maybe that will save me a few shirts!

koolricky December 18, 2007 at 2:55 AM  

Thanks tangobabay, maybe that will save me a few shirts!

tangobaby December 18, 2007 at 5:24 PM  

Hi Koolricky,

It will only save you a few shirts if the people you dance with read my advice...but it looks like there are some good cleaning products out there, just in case. Keep the white shirts at home!


Elizabeth December 20, 2007 at 12:46 AM  

Hey Tangobaby, Just home from a milonga. (a good sweaty one. danced nearly every tanda.) I had the new cake eyeliner over the base of primer, (Laura Mercier per your advice.) I have to say I was amazed to come home and look in the mirror and see perfect eye makeup. This is a miracle. I love you.

tangobaby December 20, 2007 at 1:55 PM  

Hi Elizabeth!

Woo HOO! Thank you for the feedback. You made my day. But mostly, we should thank Laura. She invented the stuff.

I'm so happy those products worked for you.


msHedgehog December 20, 2007 at 3:47 PM  

I've posted the results of my mascara tests - your mileage may vary.


tangobaby December 21, 2007 at 9:28 AM  

OK, Ms. Hedgehog. I'm on my way to check out your faves. ;-)