Skincare and Makeup Tips for Mature Skin

I have clients who ask me what are the best skincare and makeup tips to create looks that are elegant and glamorous for mature skin. Try to take good care of your skin when you are young but if you haven't been too attentive to your skin, it's a good time to start now. Here are some of my favorite tricks for youthful and radiant looks.

1. Gently Cleanse, Exfoliate & Moisturize

Great skin is the canvas for your finished look. Use a gentle cleanser. Many women I encounter use harsh cleansers which strip their skin from its natural moisturizer. This forces the skin to overcompensate by producing too much oil which makes the skin have that tight/dry, but oily skin effect. No bueno! If your skin feels tight and try after rinsing off your cleanser, it means your cleanser is too harsh for your skin. I love a good cleansing oil which breaks down makeup and cleans your skin in one step. You rinse off the oil so there are no breakouts. I've been using cleansing oil for at least a decade and my skin loves it. I recommend it to all of my clients -- it will change your skin for the better and make your face feel like a baby's butt. My favorite brands are Shu Uemura, DHC, and my own private label cleansing oil from my studio.

Exfoliate all the dead skin 2-3x a week to reveal fresh, polished skin and then moisturize before applying your makeup! Some great brands for physical exfoliants and scrubs are Laura Mercier, Dr. Brandt, & Guerlain. We also have an amazingly effective microdermabrasion scrub with fine particles available at the Maria Lee Makeup & Hair Studio. It's one of the best I've tried and I use it regularly in the shower.

2. Use Primer

A radiant, water-based primer can give your skin a lit-from-within look. It will also help smooth out the skin and prolong your makeup look. Primer also prevents makeup from absorbing into your skin so your makeup will look fresh all day. Try the regular or radiance primer from

3. Use a Dewy or Natural Finish Foundation and Cream Blush

A foundation that is too matte can settle into fine lines. Pick a finish that is more on the dewy side or with a natural, skin-like finish to make the skin look more youthful. My favorite is the Face Atelier pro foundation which is silicone based and buildable -- it can be found at For more sheer coverage, I love the Sheer Glow from Nars found here. I also love using cream blush which looks like the color is coming from within the skin and oh so natural! After setting the cream blush with a little powder blush, the color will last a lot longer because the powder blush will have more to adhere to. There are several amazing, smooth and non-sticky cream blushes in a variety of colors available at Maria Lee's studio in San Francisco. 


4. Choose the Right Lip Color

Pick nude shades that aren't too nude, think of a "my lips but better" rosy or pinky nude to keep the lips from looking too thin or washed out. Use a lipliner first to line your lips and then apply all over the lips before applying lipstick, liquid lipstick, or gloss. In addition to just getting some awesome creamy, waterproof lipliners we also have in stock some new liquid lipsticks packed with vitamins C and E for great antioxidant protection and moisture! My clients and I love them. :)

4. Use Eye Makeup to Lift and Smooth Out Features

Strategic placement of eye shadow and eye liner can actually give the appearance of larger, more lifted eyes! Darker colors all over the ball of the eyelid or at the outer corners of the eyes can upturn or lift the eyes. This is a great trick to de-emphasize sagging eyes as well as uneven eye shapes. If you have any questions or would like to order any products, you can make an appointment to drop by the studio by emailing For more info on taking a makeup lesson in San Francisco, please click here!


Best Holiday Sets of 2016

The holidays are right around the corner, and I'm sure you are just as excited as we are for the incredible gift sets! We've pulled together a list of the some of our most wanted sets for this season. Great as a gift for a loved one, split into multiple stocking stuffers or to treat yourself!

1. Bite Beauty The Perfect Bite Set ($25.00)

This is an incredible value for 4 travel size Amuse Bouche lipsticks in a wide range of neutrals. These lipsticks are incredibly creamy and pigmented. They are also organic and gluten free! Available at Sephora.


2. Laura Mercier 'Layer Up' Caviar Stick Eye Color Collection ($38.00)

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks are always a must have for my kit. This is a beautiful range of neutrals that is perfect for day to night looks. Caviar Sticks are perfect for a quick on the go wash of rich, metallic color, or a beautiful base for your nighttime smokey eye that will stay on all day. Available at Nordstrom.

3. Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Five-Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection ($49.00)

This set contains 5 deluxe size Le Marc Lip Creme lipsticks with a keepsake makeup bag. This is a great price for a range of wearable shades that will look beautiful through the holidays and all into the New Year. Available at Neiman Marcus.

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette Color Wheel ($44.00)

This palette contains 10 full-size blush and highlight colors. For some light-medium skintones this could be a great all-in-one face palette to contour and highlight the face as well. In years past the holiday blush palettes from Tarte have always sold out, so this will also be a must have! Amazonian Clay Blushes have great pigmentation and all-day staying power. Available at Sephora.


5. L'Occitane Advent Calendar ($55.00)

Gift someone with surprises all month long with this advent calendar. This set contains some of L'Occitane's best bath and body products including their cult-favorite hand creams and shower oil. Available at Nordstrom.

Five Exciting Shades to Wear this Fall!

Fall is here! Here are some beautiful shades to wear for a pop of vampy color. Earthy, rust tones and bold lip colors will be a must have for Fall fashion and beauty!

Rihanna for  CBS

Rihanna for CBS

1. Oxblood Nails

Essie Berry Naughty $8.50

2. Berry Lips

Burberry 437 Oxblood $34

3. Copper Eyes

Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach $62

4. Terracotta Cheeks

Giorgio Armani Beauty Ceek Fabric Sheer Blush #305 $48

5. Burgundy Rust Glitter

MAC Glitter in Reflects Rust $22