When I was young and fresh-faced, I never used blusher. When it came to make-up, my approach was always the sneaky wearing-make-up-to-make-yourself-look-like-you're-not-wearing-makeup-but-just-have-naturally-amazing-skin - with the exception of black eyeliner, which I often favoured (when I was in college, I would sometimes put on eyeliner before I went to bed and SLEEP IN IT ON PURPOSE to create the perfect smudgy eye. Don't do this at home, kids), and, around 1997, a touch of glitter.
As the years went by, I accumulated a vast collection of expensive foundations that made me look like I wasn't wearing any foundation and a frankly ludicrously large collection of nude lipsticks. And when it came to facial grooming, my eyebrows were naturally quite neat and well-defined, so apart from plucking the odd brow hair, I left them pretty much alone.
This was all fine by me. I wanted to look pale and (hopefully) interesting, so as long as my skin looked fresh and clear, blusher wasn't something that interested me. But then, as my thirties progressed, something happened. I was sticking to my old regime, but suddenly it didn't seem enough anymore. I couldn't even figure out what was missing, until I tried some Nars Orgasm blush. It was like my entire face had woken up. I didn't look 20, of course, but I didn't look so...tired.
I also started paying more attention to my brows. Against my will, I started feeling that if my face was getting naturally more haggard and less, you know, young, I wanted to make sure that at least my eyebrows looked good. Sad but true.
And I know I'm not alone in this. Recently a friend and I, who like myself as generally gone for an understated look, discussed our late-thirties adoption of blusher. It wasn't that we wanted to look ridiculously youthful. We just wanted to look, well, alive. And that's how everything from Bobbi Brown's little pot rouge (Powder Pink is my favourite) to Smashbox's Baked Fusion Soft Lights became a part of my regular daytime routine (when I'm going out to meet people, that is. I work from home, and I haven't reached the stage where I feel the need to don make-up just to go to the shops. Yet).
So what about you? Have you found yourself changing your products and trying out new ways to wake yourself up?