Marjorie’s Topical Makeup Choices and Advice

«TopMakeup Remover

Before I get into my favorite topical makeup offerings and advice, I’ll address taking makeup off and protecting skin with sunscreen. 

I’m very concerned about the type of products I use on my skin, especially around the eyes. 

My very favorite product that I have used for many years to remove makeup is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Facial Cleanser, product number 300.  This is an olive oil and rosemary based product that is soluble and formulated especially for removing makeup in a healthy manner. 

A 6.7 fl. oz container will likely last a person with normal use from 8-12 months, and it’s very affordable.  Go to to order.  If you mention my own personal customer number 760625 I’m told you will receive a 10% discount off your first order, regardless of the number of items you order; this offer is not limited to just the Deep Cleansing Oil Facial Cleanser.


I no longer have a favorite sun screen product.  Not long ago the FDA required different labeling to limit SPF protective claims. My favorite product at that time was Ti-Silk by Procyte but due to FDA requirements the company took the opportunity to reformulate Ti-Silk and rename it.

I’m having the same challenges finding a product that feels good on my skin and is protective at the same time.  I’ll keep you posted as to what ever product I decide on.

«Top Now on to my favorite makeup choices

Estee Lauder, Mac, Origins, Bobbie Brown, Lancôme, Laura Mercier, Chanel, Shiseido, Christian Dior, Prescriptives (department store brands,) and a multitude of selections at drug and discount stores, just to name a few, all want your topical makeup business and have a huge inventory of choices to consider.

The topical makeup industry generates billions of dollars a year from people who depend on their products to feel more confident about themselves.

Permanent cosmetics, which of course I am a proponent of, can ease or eliminate the need for application of topical makeup and the morning drudgery of looking in the mirror and wishing you didn’t have to do much of anything but wash your face, dress, and get on with the day. Ah... it can be that easy with permanent cosmetics, but if you don’t have permanent cosmetics, the down side is that topical makeup requires periodic repurchase as well as application and maintenance throughout the day.

One of my current clients came to me out of sheer embarrassment. She was working out at her health club and apparently had, in the course of a good workout, wiped off one of her eyebrows. Finally a friendly person advised her she was exposing her face to others with just one eyebrow on, the other smudged beyond design recognition. She was devastated. It was then she made the decision to pursue permanent cosmetics. She had her eyebrows tattooed on and according to her, it was one of her best decisions regarding her appearance.

With that said, permanent cosmetics doesn’t necessarily cover all the bases of makeup a person may elect to use. Even women such as me, and my customers who have eyebrow, eyeliner, and lip procedures still sometimes find the desire to apply certain types of makeup, in fact it is to our advantage at times to enhance permanent cosmetic procedures to provide a variety of appearances from the natural “clean scrubbed face” look to the more dramatic evening or special occasion use.

 I for one enjoy variety. Whether enhancing permanent cosmetics for variation, or possibly for one reason or another you are not a good candidate for all permanent cosmetic procedures, I’ll share my favorites with you. The makeup artists at the department store counters can guide you along as well (take care when experimenting in the store with makeup, and ensure clean practices) but here are my “picks” as a more mature woman who is traditionally a “minimalist.”

«TopMakeup Brushes

The tools of any trade vary greatly in cost and you have to be choosy about the materials makeup brushes are made of if you want the best finish to your topical makeup application.

Mac brushes are my pick for department store selections (Nordstrom) and Jane Iredale has good brushes as well, but may be a little less convenient to purchase. Some salons, spa’s or medical offices carry the Iredale line of brushes, but you have to make some calls or look around on the Internet.

I particularly like the Jane Iredale “Dome, White Fan, Handi, and Eye Shader” brushes. You can go to her website and put in your zip code for a supplier closest to you. If you purchase products on the Internet, I just recently discovered that Soft Surroundings’ on-line store carries Jane Iredale brushes. This is the website address:

I feel quality is important when choosing brushes. It really does affect how the makeup appears on your face. Jane Iredale makes a point of advising that no animals are killed to make their brushes, which is a requirement for me. Both brands have a wide variety of brushes made from quality materials to meet every makeup application need.

«Top Liquid Foundation Makeup

My favorite liquid foundation for over a decade was Estee Lauder Enlighten.  Unfortunately this product is no longer available. I even had a friend of mine who was on a business trip in China check out the possibilities of Enlighten being available. No, it’s over…done deal.

As a result, I’ve had to experiment with different foundations. I personally like a foundation that is lightweight (heavier foundations can draw attention to wrinkles and any skin problems) and provides a moist appearance.

After months of sampling several products and trust me, no one could test them all and I’m sure there are a variety of foundations that would pass my preference tests, but I’ll list the two I’ve spent the most time on. Estee Lauder Futurist is a good product. If the proper color is selected it doesn’t leave a demarcation line at the jaw line. It provides lightweight coverage and stays fresh throughout the day. Estee Lauder is available at major department stores.

The other product I found that meets my preferences is not a department store brand. I purchased it though Soft Surroundings on-line. The name of the product is Perricone MD, No Concealer Concealer. The website address is:

This is an incredibly lightweight foundation, as one would gather from its name.

«Top Finishing Powder

Lancôme has a nice translucent loose powder called Ageless Minerale that leaves a very nice light finish without adding color or a heavy texture to the face. They recommend a special powder brush that I purchased, but have not decided if it was necessary or not. I had several brushes that might have served the purpose, but if you don’t have any to choose from, it’s best to take their recommendation. Cloth type powder puffs get dirty, accumulate bacteria, and usually cannot be easily or adequately washed.

«Top Mascara

My eyeliner and mascara has always been very important to me. Before I had permanent eyeliner applied, I was forever checking my eyes, dabbing off smudged color, and reapplying after any exercise or even after an outing on a hot day. Now with my eyeliner permanently in place, my focus is on enhancing it with a bit of eye shadow (occasionally, I’m not a daily eye shadow person,) but most importantly, mascara. I feel dark eyelashes beautifully enhance the intensity of eyeliner and the color of the eyes.

I have several favorites to select from. Two very high quality mascaras are Lancôme products - Hypnose and L’Extreme.  I’ve always felt they developed good mascara. Some would disagree, and mascara quality can be judged from a lot of different perspectives. Lancôme mascara is more expensive compared to drug store brands, many of which are of a good quality, but not all mascaras perform the same. This is a client specific product.

When I’m in a hurry, I use Lancôme Hypnose alone. This mascara is a great thickener of lashes, stays well, and doesn’t flake off during the day. Although my lashes are more naturally straight, I find I do not have to curl my lashes when I use Hypnose.  When I have a bit more time because I have such short eyelashes, I might put a second coat of Lancôme L’Extreme, which is lengthener mascara.

Maybelline - The Colossal Volume mascara applies nicely and is a good performing mascara that is available at the local drug stores. If the price of Lancôme feels excessive, I highly recommend this Maybelline product.

Not to confuse anyone looking for just one choice (I frequently test mascaras for quality and economic purchases,) but a few months ago I purchased It Cosmetics - Hello Lashes. What caught my eye about this product was the demonstration on QVC of the application brush. It’s pretty impressive. The brush is designed with a lash ball detailer at the end of the elongated brush to reach every inner and outer corner lash. I’ve enjoyed testing this product. If you order from QVC, it can be purchased from that source and Amazon also carries this brand of mascara at the following website address:

There are also several products which can be used to “pre-treat” the eyelashes adding thickness to the lashes before using mascara. I personally enjoy the Lancôme CILS Booster. Lancôme also has a similar product that is advertised to enhance the growth of the eyelashes. Products are always changing so be sure and ask the counter person for guidance.

«Top Eyelash Growth Products

There are many to choose from, some with possible side effects, some that work better than others. Over time, I’ve used Revitalash, Jan Marini Lash Treatment, Double Lash and Brow and the prescription Latisse product.

As a matter of dual use, the Godefroy Double Lash and Brow product is an inexpensive product (comparatively) that I feel keeps what little hair I have left in my eyebrow healthy and in place. If for no other reason (not expecting huge hair growth results) I put this product on my eyebrow hair. It acts like an eyebrow hair gel (it’s an ointment) and keeps my eyebrow hair in place. I feel it helps keep the eyebrow hair healthy. I’ve ordered it on-line fairly inexpensively through Amazon, but watch the shipping costs. At times it is more than the product.

At the end of the day, Latisse is a wonderful prescription only product. Latisse offers a side effects disclaimer, and one woman I know had an allergic reaction, but considering its wide-spread use, I haven’t heard about a lot of problems. Since it does require a prescription, discuss it with your physician who knows about the characteristics of your skin.

For an over-the-counter (non-prescriptive) product, I think Revitalash is a good choice that is easy to purchase. There are many brands, all competing to offer the best product for the longest lashes ever! Word of mouth recommendations from friends and physicians often help pave the way to an appropriate product that you know works for at least one other person.

Just remember, regardless of the brand you decide on, a person has to be persistent about following the directions or the lashes will return to their normal status. Let me know if you have any personal experience with your favorite lash growth product. I’d love to hear from you.

«Top Eyelash Curler

I’ve used so many eyelash curlers I wish there was a turn-in program. I’d be rich. I’ve finally settled on my choice. Shu Uemura’s curler is by far the best considering the mushroom shape and silicone pad. I’ve not lost lashes from the curling process. It can be purchased at a local Nordstrom and on-line at

«Top Blush

I think blush topical makeup is pretty easily satisfied by a variety of different brands. I’ve used drug store brands and department store brands. I haven’t noticed a great degree of quality differences, although I did take a liking to a particular color of Lancôme called Blush Subtil, available in department stores, which I have stayed with for quite some time.

Before that I headed for the Mac counter for the huge variety of choices. I don’t personally care for the creamy texture blushes. In my opinion, they have a tendency to get messy in the container and melt in hot weather if you carry it in your purse for touchups.

Cheek stains are nice but must be put on carefully on smooth skin or the product can “grab” on dryer areas of the cheeks. I find when I was younger I could wear the more obvious blush and get away with it. Now I prefer something more subtle. Blush is not a procedure I recommend as a permanent cosmetic service so I’m a big believer in adding a bit of color to the cheeks with topical makeup only.

«Top Eye Shadow

As a more mature person, I have to be very careful about eye shadow. I don’t recommend eye shadow as a permanent cosmetic service so I don’t have it. I’m out there with the rest of you shopping for nice accent colors.

The formula has to be well balanced so it does not end up creasing along the top lid in the middle of the day. I’ve gotten so spoiled with my permanent makeup that I really expect a lot from what little topical makeup I do wear.  Estee Lauder and Mac eye shadows, available in department stores, seem to suit me best.

Of course I believe the formulation one wears successfully has a lot to do with the condition of their skin and selecting the right product.  If you are more mature, I recommend staying away from the frosty eye shadows. Frosty blue, although making a comeback, usually looks best on younger (under 25,) pencil thin models in magazines that wear foot long false eyelashes.

For women who don’t fit this description, any “frosty” color normally is not the greatest pick. A matt mink or taupe color is nice for green and hazel eyes, plum for brown eyes, and a very subtle green (khaki) for blue eyes. Actually taupe looks nice with about every eye color but sometimes a little more color is fun. You want to contrast your eyes, not necessarily match them. Almay, available at drug stores, has a very nice trio package of eye shadow colors specifically formulated for a certain color of eyes, which is called out on the package. As an example: Almay “trio for browns.”

For women who have eyelids that do not take well to the powdered eye shadow products, I’ve found a little trick that works well for me. I occasionally use the Mac Impeccable Eyebrow Pencils in taupe and black (this is not a harsh black appearance.) The pencil is soft enough to be used as a shadow and it doesn’t settle in lid creases quite like some powder eye shadows do on more mature women’s eyelids.

Brow bone white, off white, gold, and pink highlighters are also nice but again, typically the frosty formulations look best on the very young. If you are more mature, look for a matt finish so the highlighter appears smooth on your skin.


The tissue under the eyes is very fragile and the texture varies in condition and color. What must be avoided is a heavy appearance. White and flesh tone pigments reflect light. For this reason less is better when using a concealer product to diminish the appearance of darker circles under the eyes. Laura Mercier, available at Macys, has a nice product for this purpose that is a cream with some lighter powder properties. Just a little goes a long way and that is really what appears the most natural and stays fresh throughout the day.

«Top Lip liners

Because I have permanent lip color this is not something I use personally, however, I’ve heard good things about Bobbie Brown’s Lip Pencil, (available at Nordstrom.) Their color “Red” although it sounds extreme, is really a good color if used sparingly. For younger people who like a brown topical liner look, the “Cola” color would be a good color to consider.

Lip pencil color should be applied with minimum intensity and width only to provide a crisp appearance of the lip vermilion. Less is more, and unless you have permanent cosmetics, count on reapplying often during the day especially after eating or drinking.

«Top Lip Gloss

Colored lip gloss is pretty but it is also a really tiresome makeup accessory if you are depending on it as a standalone color, or if you do not have color in your natural lips.

I for one do not like the fruity flavors and a good majority of them are flavored. I have full lip permanent cosmetics so I can just use a color-free emollient product to keep my lips moist. Some lip moisteners that contain petroleum are reported to be somewhat addictive. The more you use, the more you feel the need to use it again. Although they feel very nice and for some people a product they enjoy, for alternative products, consider Burt’s Bee Balm or DHC Lip Cream (if you don’t have a problem with lanolin.).

DHC is the number one direct-mail skin care company in Japan. Burt’s Bee Balm can be purchased at drug stores. DHC Lip Cream, although occasionally available at major shopping malls, is primarily an Internet product and you can order on their website at If you mention my personal customer number 760625 I’m told you will receive a 10% discount off your first order, regardless of the number of items you order; this offer is not limited to just the DHC Lip Cream.

As for the tinted, flavored, lip glosses, in my opinion, I would doubt there is a huge quality issue to be concerned about. Blistex Lip Tone (available at drug stores,) has a nice neutral tone, and represents an inexpensive lip balm you may want to try.

«Top Lipstick

I don’t often wear lipstick since my full lip color is on permanently, and I do feel there are too many choices for me to offer any suggestions other than to suggest looking for the ones that please you from the color perspective. Lipstick on coffee cups and drinking glasses, eating utensils, and the tattle-tale signs it leaves on clothing if it comes in contact, is rather unsightly and of course the longer lasting the product, the less you have to pop into the powder room and freshen up.

Just remember that as a rule, the moister and shinny (glosses or high shine) the lipstick finish, normally this represents the need to reapply more often. However, some of the long wear lipsticks are reported to leave the lips dry.

Mac (available at Nordstrom) has a very large variety of traditional lipstick colors.

My two favorite long-wear topical lip color products to date are CoverGirl OutLast and L’Oreal Lip Color Rouge. Both are inexpensive (comparatively speaking) and available at most drug stores.

These lip color treatments, I’ve found, please many of my clients who are not good candidates for lip tattooing.

The Covergirl Outlast color “Natural” number 621 is one I recommend for an everyday look. Yes, like many of the all day lip products, some may find it drying. You won’t know if this applies to you until you try it. The only drawback to the packaging (which affects the color appearance) is that the colors inside are sometimes a little different from what you see through the translucent container. Be sure and keep your receipt in case what you see is not what you get and you don’t like the color as it appears on your lips.

The newer all-day lip color is L’Oreal Infallible Lip Color Rouge. Again, testing new products is somewhat of a hobby of mine and this one caught my eye due to its packaging and some flashy advertisements on television. So, I tried it. I have been quite impressed. There are several product types within the Infallible line. If you are interested in the specific “Lip Color Rouge” which I have tried, you need to look for the shiny dual (lip color on one side and lip gloss treatment on the other) package and of course identify it by the L’Oreal Lip Color Rouge product.

«Top Lip Plumper

I have to confess to not having extensive experience with lip plumper products; there are so many to choose from. I have, however, been using a product, Brenda Christian Phattenup for reduction of small lines around my mouth which is also advertised as a lip plumper product. I think this product is going to be popular. Here’s what they advertise:

You can order this product on-line at The product comes in a small container (0.17oz) and at first I felt like it would be expensive to continue it use over time, but I’ve used it nightly now for over a month and a little goes a very long way. I’ve not put a substantial dint in the original amount received.

«Top Eyeliner

I originally thought of just leaving this section out but thought that might look obviously absent.

I have no recent experience to share with you for topical eyeliner. My eyeliner has been tattooed on for years so I never use it unless I’m using a pencil and doing some color enhancing above my tattooed eyeliner.

There are so many products to choose from. As a result, I would be reluctant to recommend one or the other without some additional experience worth sharing. I don’t think the topical makeup cosmetic manufacturers have yet found a perfect formulation for long lasting waterproof eyeliner.

 According to my clients who come in for eyeliner many of the products, even the more expensive ones, seem to eventually wear off during the day, smudge or require maintenance. Lack of long staying topical eyeliner is one of the reasons my clients elect for permanent eyeliner.

Although I do not wear topical makeup eyeliner, for fun, occasionally I do enhance my permanent eyeliner color with L’Oreal Le Kohl pencil, available at drug stores or on-line, for smooth defining eyeliner that stays in place for a reasonable (considering) length of time. I place it directly above my permanent liner for color (usually a plum that I can only find on-line through Amazon) and width variation. Everyone, including me, likes to play around with color and there is certainly a lot of it out there to play with.

People without permanent eyeliner could use it as an eyeliner product. It’s a good pencil, stays on reasonably well, and comes in a nice variety of standard and designer colors. Plan to check on it occasionally to see if it needs refreshing.

The same principles of eyeliner can apply as those for eye shadows. You don’t always have to go the traditional route with these products and a contrast with your eye color can appear very chic.

It’s hard to replace the long-term convenience benefits of cosmetic tattooed eyeliner that can be as minimal as an eyelash enhancement, or as obvious as topically applied eyeliner.

«Top Eyebrow Pencil

My eyebrows are tattooed, so again, I don’t use this product for myself, but for designing eyebrows on my clients or for those clients who are not good candidates for medical reasons for tattooing, my very favorite pencil is Brenda Christian’s Universal Brow Pencil. This pencil is more expensive (compared to drug store products - $18.00 and up depending on where you purchase it,) and is offered on the on-line from various suppliers including the Brenda Christian website at

This pencil is wonderful for designing templates for my clients to approve of before eyebrow tattooing. It can be sharpened to a sharp point, can be easily disinfected, does not contain a lot of wax, and the universal color is truly “universal” as it looks great on a variety of skin tones.

If you choose to continue to take the time and energy to draw on your eyebrows every day (which is hard for me to image,) this is the pencil to consider. It might be just a bit too light for some darker skin tones but it suits the bill for most Fitzpatrick I-IV skin types.

For people with darker skin, try the Mac Impeccable Eyebrow Pencil. I personally use it as eye shadow, but feel confident it would work equally as nicely for the purpose intended (eyebrows.)

As the rule goes, instead of trying to match the hair on your head (and this rule applies for permanent cosmetics as well, with client approval,) in the absence of eyebrow hair, eyebrow color for blondes should be one to two shades darker than their hair color. The reverse applies to eyebrow color for brunettes; it should be one to two shades lighter.

The whole idea is to provide harmonic contrast. Don’t step back into the 60’s when women all wore beige pant suites, carried a beige purse, and accessorized with beige earrings and shoes. Talk about blah. We all faded into the background. If you are considering permanent cosmetic eyebrows, it’s not always about matching the color of your scalp hair.

The selection of color for permanent eyebrows is also based on your skin tone and if you have hair in your eyebrow area, the natural eyebrow hair color must be taken into consideration. I ask the eyebrow client to bring her eyebrow pencil or powder she is accustomed to applying in with her to the appointment. I can then translate the color she is accustomed to using to pigment color if that is what we decide to do as a team. It is easy to match to a pigment color that will ultimately achieve a favorable healed result.

Eyebrow pencil colors that I feel are not flattering (but there are always exceptions based on the characteristics of a woman) are gray, black, and some auburn colors. Although a variety of auburn colors are tempered to reddish brown (selectively nice,) other more striking formulations are a brown-red that can appear orange and harsh on some skin tone types.

Personally, I believe I have changed more lives with the application of permanent eyebrows than any other procedure I perform. Women spend so much time catering to drawn-on eyebrows; they take time to draw eyebrows on, and it seems to be a constant worry keeping them fresh.  With permanent cosmetic eyebrows there is no more concern or embarrassment during health club workouts, camping, swimming or guests who arrive before your “face” is on. Forget that. Women have come too far to spend their time in front of a mirror. We have better and more important things to do.

«TopHair Health

Scalp hair ages and changes along with other biological factors that affect our appearance and often how we feel about appearance. 

On July 3, 2013 I located the article and now better understand the aging  hair profile and the suggested more sensible (in my opinion) recommendations for better hair health.

I hope you gain something helpful.

People should discuss any supplement formulations with their physician to ensure ingredients are compatible with their health profile.

For those who may have some thinning areas that would benefit from a touch of color on the scalp, I have found that the Joan Rivers “Great Hair Day” product to be helpful, especially around the hairline and crown areas.  I’ve now used it for over a year.  I believe there may be other similar products available, but this is the one I use.

I purchase this product from Soft Surroundings as the price (as of this writing) is reasonable, and there is not an automatic shipment program that some other sites require.  Depending on how much of an area it is applied to, and how often, each person would need to determine when repurchase would be necessary.
Although my hair color ranges from a foiled- with- blonde medium brown to foiled- with- blonde auburn, I’ve only used the blonde and the red. 

The colors offered are Red, Light Blonde, Blonde, Salt and Pepper and Brunette.
Each person should experiment to find the color just right for them.  A friend of mine uses this product and has darker hair but felt even with darker hair color, the Blonde more beneficial than the Brunette.

«TopIn closing:

As I stated on another page of my site, I think permanent cosmetics should be worn as lingerie. Women not only need to know they always look nice and colorful without makeup which the permanent cosmetic service provides, but on the other hand, many also enjoy the variety of support color that the topical makeup industry offers.

There are so many cosmetic companies available to pick and choose from, it would be impossible to profile them all. If you are uncertain about what would look best on you, shop around for a good objective makeup artist, one who can represent several lines and help you through the maze of selections.

 Price is not always an indicator of good, better, and best makeup. There are many drug and discount store brands that serve the purpose well, especially for those who enjoy having a lot to choose from at home or are uncertain if a particular color would look nice. Buy it inexpensively and if you fall in love with the color but don’t like the quality, take the inexpensive product to a department store and ask for assistance in matching the color to a better brand of cosmetics. There are lots of tricks to the trade.

Read the ingredients in your products. Often it’s a maze trying to decipher what is in something as simple as mascara or lipstick.  Also, you must be aware of any products which may cause an allergic reaction such as lanolin and preservatives included in products to keep them fresher longer. A combination of knowing what you are sensitive to, what textures of makeup you like better than others, what colors are right for your skin tone and what your budget will allow all will ultimately lead you to one brand or another.

Professional makeup artists at department stores are more likely to be able to help you with the translation of ingredients in makeup than are the people who work in several departments at drug stores. The burden ultimately falls on the buyer to investigate the products they use and to know any allergies they may have to specific ingredients to avoid a reaction. If in doubt, possible a Dermatologist could be of some assistance.

As with any general offering of advice regarding products that touch the skin, a disclaimer regarding the generalities of my makeup picks must be provided. All products you decide to try whether my picks or otherwise, should be tested in small areas of the applicable area of the face as directed by the manufacturer before using on larger areas or on a continuous basis. If you have a history of skin sensitivities, discuss ingredients you should avoid with your Dermatologist before proceeding.

I hope you enjoyed this section of my website and found some advice worth considering. I’m always glad to speak to you personally, if you wish, about your permanent or topical makeup interests. I’m glad to help and you can always e-mail me your questions or comments about this section of my website if you wish at


California Bay Area Permanent Makeup

Permanent cosmetics/permanent makeup San Jose, CA, Santa Clara, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Mountain View CA, Milpitas, CA San Mateo, CA Hayward, CA Gilroy CA, Morgan Hill, CA San Francisco CA, San Bruno, CA Hillsbrough CA, Mill Valley, CA, Redwood City, CA, Fremont, CA, Marin, CA, and all surrounding Northern Bay Area cities