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Older women can wear red, too

By Al Varela

A 45-year-old reader wants to know: Are there any cosmetic colors that women my age should not wear? Is red lipstick a color that should be avoided? What do you suggest for eye shadow and blusher shades?

Let me dispel any notion you may have, that red lipstick cannot be worn beyond a particular age. All colors, when properly applied, can be worn by women of all ages. Hair, skin and eye color determine the color of makeup that you can wear. Your makeup professional should be able to help you select the most complimentary colors for your particular look.

Reds come in many shades from a blue red to an orange red with many shades in between. Sometimes, lip shape and size can also affect which shade of red looks best. If a woman has thin lips, the deeper the red the more pronounced the lips may look. This woman should use a lighter shade of red perhaps one that has more rose than blue.

Women with graying hair can also experience a problem with their favorite red lip color since the contrast is no longer what it used to be. A new color will be necessary, based on the degree of graying she is encountering. Coloring out the gray would also restore the original contrast.

Red lipstick can add drama to any look depending on the occasion. From a formal affair with your hair slicked back and a fabulous black dress, to a power look for work with a blue pinstriped suit or even at a conference for your teenager's bad behavior at school, red can be an excellent finishing touch.

Eyeshadow colors are determined by a person's eye color. As a rule you should not use an eyeshadow that is the same color as your eyes. This same rule applies to eyeliners. Black, brown and gray are the basic eyeliner colors. Also, never use more than two colors of eye shadow at the same time and the colors that you do choose should be contrasting.

The way you apply your blush is much more important than the actual color of blush you use. Blush should be placed over the cheek bone towards the ear, behind an imaginary line from the mouth to the outer edge of the eye. Never place blush towards the nose.

My mom, who loved her red Tangy brand lipsticks, would add a little to her cheeks to give her blush "some color". I'll give you the same advice I gave her, "Blend momma, blend".

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