Don’t Be Afraid to Sparkle thumbnail

Don’t Be Afraid to Sparkle

3 Things by Shannon Lell,

3 Things by Shannon Lell,


Maybe it’s 35.

Maybe it’s the fact that my age is starting to show in the lines around my eyes, or that I’ve developed a mild case of rosacea under my right nostril. Maybe it’s the years of sleepless nights and taking care of others before myself, I don’t know, but I’m suddenly interested in beauty products and makeup application technique.

I used to take pride in how little makeup I wore. I used to brag about how a pressed powder could last me well over a year and how I still use the same tube of lip gloss I bought for my wedding eight years ago.

The truth is: I believed I was less vain than other moms; that I was wise enough to embrace growing older with grace and humility; that I wouldn’t miss the second glances from strangers or being carded at the liquor store. What I realize now is… I just didn’t have wrinkles yet.

As much as I want to the be the highly evolved esoteric who cares not what she looks like (I’m so much more than my looks!)—I am not, and I do—and I’ve found some wonderful products lately that help me feel better about this whole aging thing.


When it comes to makeup, my tip is this: take the time to figure it out.

After being makeup illiterate for so many years, it took a bit of reconnaissance at the makeup counter and a lot of trial and error to find the right products. I’m not going to lie; it took a couple of months to get it right. But once I figured it out, I adjusted to the new normal, and you know what? Considering how long it takes to get two toddlers out the door for preschool drop-off, my makeup routine still takes minimal effort. Five minutes. Tops.

Make an appointment with your dermatologist. Spend a couple of hours at Sephora, or Macy’s, or the drugstore. Spend money on the important things like concealer and face powder, and less on eyeliners, shadows, lipsticks and mascara. I use a dermatologist recommended mineral powder and concealer and the rest comes from the drugstore.

And also, as a bonus tip, don’t be afraid to try something a little outside your comfort zone. Something with a little pizzazz!


Glittery eyeliner by NXY Cosmetics.

For a mid-thirties woman whose makeup routine consisted of three products, glittery eyeliner was a bit of a stretch at first. I bought it for a “fancy” night out, but soon realized that I liked it for everyday too. It’s just the right amount of pizzazz.

And you know what else is cool? My kids love it. They call them my sparkle eyes. And on those days when I’m feeling ho hum, when I’m aware of no second glances, it happens from them, and it’s even better than from strangers.

But what’s even better than that? Is that on the days when I take the effort and wear my Glitterati Eyes—I talk to strangers more, I smile a little bigger—not just at the world, but at myself in it, because glittery eyeliner at the grocery store is a little silly and I think the world needs a little more of that whenever.

And strangers don’t respond to looks as much as they do to smiles.

So for less than $5 at the drugstore, I get a little sparkle in my eyes and a smile on my face because, deep down, what’s more important than how I look… is how I feel.

Sparkle Eyes II


Contributor: Shannon from
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