Tag Archives: aging


Lora Spiga, Lancôme Canada’s Official Makeup Artist

As time goes by, it’s hard for women to keep track of trends, especially in makeup. What was done in the 80’s–the big hair, strong blush and contouring–isn’t done anymore, and what you might have done when you were younger–glittery eyeshadows, bubblegum pink lips–isn’t really age appropriate anymore. So what to do? Where do you take your makeup next? Some women have adapted, some have not. This might be a gentle wake-up call for some of you…but we are only here to help.

We asked Lora Spiga, Lancôme Canada’s Official Makeup Artist, for the lowdown on what the best makeup tips and tricks are for women with mature skin.

What are some top no-nos for mature skin?

  • Don’t wear heavy foundations that give a masking effect to the skin. Instead, stick to lightweight, hydrating formulas that are designed to correct colour/tone irregularities.
  • Don’t over do it with eye shadow. Using satin or matte textures are best and stick to light to medium intensities
  • Don’t over blush. In addition to wearing too much blush, it’s also very common to see the wrong blush colors on mature skin. Using the correct tools for applying blush (professional Blush brush) will allow you to apply the right dose of colour and they are also shaped respecting the size of the cheek area. Choose colours that are softer. They look more natural.
Are there specific makeup trends that you see on women that instantly date them?

  • Darker lipliner used with lighter lipstick…typically plum in shade
  • Heavy liner on the bottom lash line (of course paired with really bad 80’s hair)


Do you have any favourite foundations that don’t settle in lines?

Do you have some tips for distracting from lines/wrinkles?


Perfectly, elegant red lips. A timeless accessory that diverts your attention to the lips but most importantly to what a woman is saying.
Or you could pick up a tube of Visionnaire Blur…I love to use this on a mature skin. I apply it under a light foundation to help minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

What is the best way to deal with sparse eyebrows?

Lancôme has a product that I love to use for sparse brows…it really is one of our best kept secrets…it’s called Brow Expert. It’s a brow gel that comes with a brush and it tames unruly brows while depositing some colour to give a natural groomed effect to the brows. Every time I use it women are amazed.

What is the best way to cover bags under the eyes?

Concealer works wonders, but the key is putting it in the right place. It really comes down to playing with lighting. Typically, the puffier part of the under eye bag is lighter. Then just below the bag is a dark crease. You don’t want to highlight the puffy part because it already light. Therefore don’t conceal this area. Only lighten the crease directly below the puff.

Thank you Lora for answering all of our questions!


“Taking care of your skin, body, and health as teens, will set you for your adult years”
–Cindy Miguens, Make Up Artist for Pretty Little Liars

One thing that most women want to avoid is an aging face. We’ve heard from many readers who feel clueless on what products to use, when to start using anti-aging products and most of all–how to get rid of lines.

To answer your questions, we spoke with Dr. Sheetal Sapra, Dermatologist at the Institute of Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Oakville. He is a leader in the field of dermatology and a pioneer of new technologies.

Just so you know: We are in no way promoting plastic surgery to you, this is just Dr. Sapra’s honest opinion about fixing lines/puffy eyes whatever (there are things that lotions and potions just can’t fix). He’s giving it to you straight. If he is mentioning those as solutions, then it’s not because you should do it, it’s just because he’s being realistic. There isn’t a magic cream out there that will fix everything. Aging happens naturally, and of course, you should be encouraged to do that exactly as it is. Let you do you! But for those of us who want a little help, we’ve got the answers for you.

Dr. Sapra graciously answered our many questions pertaining to aging for you, so here we go.

What order do I put my skincare products on (i.e. serum, eye cream, moisturizer, acne products, etc.)?

It definitely depends on what products you’re using. However, the general rule-of-thumb would be to apply any active acne products first; followed by any serums you’re using. The only exception would be if you’re using a topical Vitamin C serum, in which case you’d want to use this first. Next apply your eye cream. Finish up by using a quality moisturizer with sunscreen in it. If you choose to use them separately use your moisturizer first.

How many products is too many products?

I like to tell my patients to keep it pretty simple. I recommend starting with an effective cleanser. Then use at least one strong active product (such as an antioxidant serum, repair serum, Vitamin A/Retinol, or AHA product etc.). The good thing about many of the physician-only brands is how these products combine multiple active ingredients to address multiple concerns. And last but definitely not least, a good moisturizer with sunscreen.

How can I reduce/get rid of the lines around my mouth and forehead?

Unfortunately these lines are typically caused by movement and cannot be easily addressed by topical skincare. However, Botox can be used effectively on the forehead to soften these lines. Treatments such as resurfacing, fillers and/or Botox can help to soften the lines around the mouth as well.

What SPF should everyone be using?

Everyone should be using at least a minimum of 15 SPF, but I will usually recommend at least a 30.

What can women do to prevent wrinkles?

The most important thing is definitely using an effective sunscreen. Even if you’ve done damage to your skin in the past, it’s never too late to start. You can prevent further damage and improve the skin’s tone and texture. I also recommend treatments such as Botox which will soften the movement and ultimately reduce and prevent future wrinkles from developing.

How can puffy eyes/ bags under the eyes be remedied?
This can be quite difficult, especially if it’s caused by pockets of fat in the under eyes. Many of these concerns can only be remedied by a surgery known as Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Lift which should be performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. However, if caused by tiredness or fluid retention, one of my favourite gadgets is the Clarisonic Opal. It almost instantly depuffs around the eyes and helps to get your active eye products deep down where they need to go to be effective.

At what age should you start using anti-aging products?

I would consider sunscreen to be one of the most potent and important anti-aging products and should be started by children of a young age. When it comes to topical antioxidants such as Vitamin C, late teens is an excellent time to start a regime that consists of cleanser, topical Vitamin C and a moisturizer with sunscreen. Other products become more common in your 20’s to aid in prevention and correction.

What is the right age to start using a retinoid?
It is more dependent on the reason for use that will determine the appropriate age for starting on a retinoid. For example, someone who suffers from acne can really start any time in their teens; whereas someone concerned with sun damage/anti-aging should be starting somewhere in their twenties.

What anti-aging ingredients are most effective?

Definitely, sunscreen! Also, think about using Vitamin A (Retinol), AHA’s like Glycolic Acid, and antioxidants such as Vitamin C. There are many ingredients that get a lot of hype, but the most important factor is that you actually get results. Many patients say that a cream feels good on their skin or doesn’t cause them to break out. That’s great, but are you ALSO getting the results you’re looking for?

What ingredients should we avoid (harmful/too abrasive)?

Every patient’s skin is different. However, anything that causes your skin to react negatively such as a rash or irritation should be avoided. It is important to use effective skincare products that are recommended by a specialist that you trust. Physician-grade products often have rigorous standards; and the goal is to have a very minimal reaction rate.

Are Botox/fillers effective/safe? Would you recommend it?

Botox is very safe and can be used effectively to prevent and correct wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid fillers are also very safe and are most effective when treating volume loss in the skin.

What is your opinion on facials? Should women get them? How often?

Facialsare an important part of a woman’s beauty regime. Just like hair care and manicures, it is as much about the social experience as it is about looking beautiful. Facials should be used as a means of deeply cleansing the skin and may give you glow for that special night out. In the long-term they are not going to prevent aging or change the structure of the skin.
There are so many new non-invasive technologies that have such minimal downtime that can truly impact concerns related to aging. Therefore, as long as your expectations are set going into a facial, then you should be satisfied with the outcome. If anti-aging is your primary concern, there are other options that should likely be considered.

Do high end products make a difference?

The short answer is no. Some patients come in and complain that they have spent thousands on products at the luxury department store. Sometimes we assume just because it’s expensive, it must be worth it because it must work. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The most important thing is ensuring you are getting high-quality, ACTIVE, and penetrable products, and this all starts with the ingredients. Serums are often very effective, but it’s important to look for ingredients that have proven effectiveness instead of just fancy names. Active ingredients tend to be more expensive, but should not break the bank when you’re using them appropriately. Many effective Retinol creams and antioxidant serums can last 5-6 months when used once a day.

What are the most common skincare mistakes mature women make?

Thinking that creams and serums will make their wrinkles disappear. Unfortunately, this is not the case and requires intervention of Botox and/or Fillers to achieve the look that they desire. However, a Vitamin A cream should definitely be used to improve the look of wrinkles either alone or ideally in combination with treatment. The other common mistake is spending too much money on skincare that is not going to yield effective results.

Are there any non-invasive procedures to lift the eyelid?

Procedures like Thermage use radiofrequency to lift and tighten the skin. Even more recently we have seen outstanding results from Ulthera on the brow, which can be used to lift this area and ultimately open the look of the eyes.

The main takeaways:
-Use an SPF from birth, and always use a minimum SPF 30.
-Choose active ingredients for results (Vitamin C, Vitamin A/Retinol, AHAs, Glycolic Acid)
-Just because products are expensive, doesn’t mean they always work
-Creams and serums cannot fix everything.

-Facials are a great way to deep clean the skin.
Thanks again to the wonderful Dr. Sapra for answering our many questions! Look forward to another round with the doctor regarding all things acne.
Image sources: Vogue Paris


I had been wanting to try SK-II’s Facial Treatment Masks for a really long time, and was hoping to get a chance to before my wedding. In Japan, brides will use these masks everyday for 90 days before the wedding to get a beautiful complexion. Unfortunately, things got lost in the mail, and I wasn’t able to get my Japanese-bridal-glow on. Instead, now that all of the stress of wedding planning is over, these masks have helped to bring my skin back to normal (stress shows up on your face!).

These masks are well-known for their superpowers–Lisa Eldridge uses them on models pre-photoshoot and people are known to be so devoted that they will even apply them on flights, shrugging off the fact that they will look semi-frightening for a little while so that they can emerge from the flight with a radiant complexion.

I gave these masks a trial over a 3-week period, applying one every Monday night.

Mask 1:
If you will be doing your mask around others warn them.
Me: Jordan I’m about to do a face mask that is said to make people look like Hannibal.
Jordan: Ok.
I walk out of the bathroom
Jordan: No, you look more like Buffalo Bill.

Take 20 minutes to close your eyes, relax, and have someone take a photo of you so you can send it to your sister to freak her out.

While lying on my couch, I looked up some tips for the mask. After reading a few Sephora reviews, I learn that I can wring out the mask afterwards and keep the leftover magic goop (Pitera) in a bottle. I put mine in a mason jar (how hipster of me), because it’s all I can find. I have been applying it nightly ever since after my toners to keep the benefits going. My skin already looks clearer and more even-toned plus it is more hydrated and so, so smooth.

Mask 2:
Once again, I put my mask on, put on Orange Is The New Black, scare Jordan, and let the mask sink in. I leave it on longer than 20 minutes this time, hoping for maximum absorption and also because I don’t want to get up.
Before I throw out the mask, I rub it on my neck, chest and the backs of my hands. The mask is so concentrated with the magic goop, you just can’t let it go to waste. I also squeeze the leftovers from the package into a jar for nightly use.
I wake up and the first thing I notice is that my nasolabial wrinkles have completely disappeared. I can’t believe this. The mask just filled in the lines. My skin is also smooth, radiant, clear and even toned. Also, some of the red spots that were coming up disappeared. I’m going to be really sad when I don’t have any of these left.

Mask 3:
I repeat the mask/TV mix, but this time with Pretty Little Liars (I know, I know). Then I get freaked out because I’m alone, and it’s nighttime, and A is in Spencer’s house. I remind myself not to look at a reflection of myself in a mirror in case I think Hannibal/Buffalo Bill is in my apartment.
The next morning, once again, my skin looks great, my nasolabial wrinkles have been filled in, and, the slight forehead wrinkle that was beginning to appear when I lift my eyebrows is gone! I’m pretty surprised at this and these masks really do prove that they have anti-aging power–literally undoing done damage.

Overall, these masks are a bit pricey (6 for $90 or 10 for $125), but, really, facials cost at least as much as these masks, and facials last only once. If you have the money, these are really a great investment for your face, they will make a noticeable difference in your skin. If you have a special event coming up (your own wedding, someone else’s weddding, birthday, etc.), I definitely recommend using one of these beforehand to get it your face looking it’s best.

SK-II generously supplied three of their masks to sample.


Summer is coming (or shouldn’t it already be here?) and it’s time to lather up with some SPF (though you should really be wearing it all year round). Having SPF in your makeup is just not good enough. Most SPFs in makeup or tinted moisturizer can actually disappear and dissolve after application from rubbing the product with your fingers or with a makeup brush.

Since my facialist recommended that I stay away from heavy moisturizers and sunscreens, I decided I would see if I could beat my much-loved Kiehl’s. Thinking, what could be lighter than water?, I picked up Neutrogena’s Water-Light sunscreen. Really, what everyone hates most about sunscreen is:

1) applying it
2) the smell
3) how greasy it is
4) how shiny your face looks afterwards

With new formulations for sunscreen coming out all of the time, you really have no excuse to not be wearing sunscreen. Get with the times people. If you want to look like a gross leather handbag at 50, then be my guest and ignore this. Sun is the number one cause of aging. Why wouldn’t you stop it if you could?

This suncreen claimed to be extremely lightweight with a matte finish. I would say that this sunscreen is just as good as the Kiehl’s for a fraction of the price. They are equal in weight (or both “water-light” if you prefer) and don’t leave a greasy finish. They work perfectly under makeup so you really have no excuse not to use it. Neutrogena has an extra SPF factor of 10 compared to Kiehl’s but I’m still not sure whether or not anything above 50 is actually better than 50 (maybe someone knows more about this?).

In my opinion, it’s probably better to spend a little bit less on sunscreen if you’re going to be precious about applying a more expensive one. While not all drugstore sunscreens are equal (some of the cheap ones can cause rashes on some people), there is no point spending $50 on a sunscreen if you won’t want to apply it generously.

Remember to apply it a few times a day on your face, neck, decolleté and the backs of your hands. If you have any more doubts about why you should be using a separate sunscreen, Beautymouth has a great cheat sheet on SPF (all of her cheat sheets are great).