You know the drill: A beauty brand launches a new product, and most often it is photographed on a 20-year-old with flawless skin. But what about midlife? While it is not necessary to follow a strict set of rules for wearing makeup over 40, the skin and structure of the face change, so making the most of makeup as you age may require some more practical tips.
Whether it’s adapting the products you already use or buying new ones to add some fun to your makeup routine, we spoke to some of the world’s leading makeup artists to find out about the expert techniques they use on the means of life.
Apply moisturizer everywhere
by Bobbi Brown
Make sure you moisturize your neck, hands and face. And don’t forget the eyes. If you are older than a certain age, you need to use eye cream before applying any makeup to moisturize that area. Next, you want a concealer to even out your skin, so focus on the key areas to address the redness and then any dark under the eyes. Try The Face Pencil (£ 23, Jones Road).
Use a damp sponge to apply the foundation
by Val Garland
As the skin ages, it becomes thinner and fine lines and wrinkles appear more under a heavy base. Also, the more product you put in, the more it clumps and settles in those lines. Avoid this by applying foundation with a damp sponge to ensure a lighter finish, or try using your fingertips for a more natural application. The warmth of the fingers helps to melt and dissolve the foundation seamlessly on the skin. Try True Match Foundation (£ 7.99, L’Oréal Paris at lookfantastic.com).
by Mary Greenwell
It is so important that women over 50 pay close attention to the effect of makeup on their skin. Contouring can age a lot, but use a little bronzer around the sides of the face and temples. Cheeks should be gently reddened with a soft color that accentuates the cheekbones, adding warmth and giving structure to the face. Try Les Beiges Water-Fresh Blush (£ 42, Chanel).
A good application is everything
by Lisa Eldridge
Older women are often told to switch to a tinted moisturizer, and that’s fine if you have good skin, but what if you have pigmentation or rosacea? In that case there is no substitute for a good light foundation. I don’t think there are shades or finishes to avoid completely, but I would recommend applying a small amount of the product in thin, well-blended layers. This will avoid a cakey look, which is very aging. Try Seamless Skin Foundation (£ 44, Lisa Eldridge).
The power of redness
by Rubino Martello
Growing up, I realized the importance of blush. Applied correctly, it can increase the radiance, radiance and lift of the face. For ease of application, I like a cream blush. You can apply and blend it with your fingers when you’re in a hurry, or apply it with a brush if you have more time. It’s hard to go wrong! Try Cloud Paint (£ 17, more polished).
Prepare the skin properly
by Isamaya Ffrench
Youthful-looking skin is all a matter of preparation. I like to use a serum before applying any makeup, so look for one with hyaluronic acid to create the perfect base, or you can mix it with your foundation to add a natural-looking glow. Try Skinlacq (£ 60, Isamaya).
Where to place the blush
by Gioia Adenuga
To achieve a slight facelift, skip applying blush to the apples of the cheeks and aim for the cheekbones, sweeping in and out with a fluffy brush. Most of the color should be on the cheekbones rather than the cheeks. I would also recommend replacing the intense highlighters with soft highlighter powders, which give a blur effect and a seamless natural glow to the skin. Try ambient lighting powder (£ 45, hourglass).
What to look for in powder
by Gucci Westman
The most important thing as you get older is to maintain a youthful glow on your skin. As a woman in her fifties, I always try to make my skin look as healthy as possible and that may require layering of different products. Once you’ve applied your foundation, a face powder is still a good idea – look for one that has been micro-ground into a formula that removes unwanted oil and gives shine. Try Vital Pressed Skincare Face Powder (£ 69, Westman Atelier).
by Huda Kattan
One of the most important things for me is to always enhance your natural beauty and never mask your skin. The quality of our skin changes a bit with age, so it is imperative to have a strong skincare regimen, as your makeup is only as good as the base it is on. Use a peptide-rich face cream, which will help plump skin, reduce redness and even out your complexion before you get to the foundation phase. Try Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer (£ 37, Wishful at Cult Beauty).
Fuller false lips
by Alex Babsky
There is a consensus that as women get older, they should wear less makeup. I agree with this in terms of skin, but I think wearing a little more on the eyes and lips can look great. Try recreating the fuller lip shape of your youth with a matte lip pencil. You need a lip liner that stays in place and won’t migrate on wrinkles. Finish with a velvety lipstick. Try Nudiversal Lip Duo (£ 22, CTZN Cosmetics).
Beware of diamonds
by Mary Greenwell
If your lips have gotten a little smaller, avoid bright, vivid reds. Choose colors that enhance and for most people this means staying in the ranges of skin tones, whether it’s four tones lighter or four tones darker than your natural lip color. I always choose darker lipsticks for myself, because giving the mouth a little snap helps to define, but always in the neutral family. Try Contour Lipstick (£ 26, Sensai).
Naturally enhances the lips
by Cher Webb
Define the shape of the lips with a soft pencil that mimics the natural shade of the lips. Apply to all lips and follow with a lip tint to smooth and moisturize the lips. Try Bitten Lip Tint (£ 32, Victoria Beckham Beauty).
Soft definition is key
by Nikki Wolff
The key to creating the most flattering definition around the eyes is to work from the lashline outward. Start by lining the eyes with a pencil and then use a brush or ring finger to gently blend and diffuse the edges. Then, using an angled brush, take some black eyeshadow and press on the outer corners of the lashline. This helps create the illusion of a raised eye and thicker lashes. Try the Beauty Tattoo Waterproof Long Lasting Gel Eyeliner (£ 19, KVD at Boots).
The expert way to fill in your brows
by Lisa Potter Dixon
Filling in your brows can make a big difference to your face. We tend to lose the tail of the brow as we age, so adding some hair-like features can act as an instant eye lift. To know where to apply the pencil, hold a makeup brush from the corner of the nose to the outer corner of the eye. This is the angle where your forehead should end, so just stretch that far. Try The Brow Perfector Pencil (£ 21, Nars from John Lewis).
Enhance your eyes by “squeezing”
by Kenneth Soh
Take a long-lasting gel pencil and work it in and along the upper lashline, running it right between the lashes. It doesn’t have to be clean. Then remove most of it above the lashes, leaving the pencil between the lashes, giving you a “straight line” that defines and makes your eyes stand out naturally. Try the Voyeur gel eyeliner (£ 27, hourglass).
Mix two colors
by Lan Nguyen-Grealis
In my experience, it’s a balancing act between the glam but not over the top. My advice is to graduate the definition of the eye contour using two colors rather than blending one color, in order to still have a strong impact, but the overall effect is softer. For example, a color that suits the lashline more is a black kohl liner and a brown kohl liner layered on the edge of the black, then blend where the colors overlap. Soften brown as needed with a blending brush or cotton swab. Try Intense Gel Eyeliner (£ 22, Trish McEvoy at Liberty).
The plot is crucial
by Adam De Cruz
For people in their 50s and 60s, I always think it’s about choosing the texture of your products wisely. For the eyes, avoid metallics as they will emphasize lines. Eyelash curlers are an absolute must before mascara: they open the eyes and prepare the lashes. As for mascara, choose one that has a glossy finish to keep your eyes fresh. Try Hypnôse Mascara (£ 28.50, Lancôme at Boots).
Get the right eyes
by Rubino Martello
My style is now less about eyeshadow and more about shaping the brows and adding definition near the lashline to define the eyes with an eyeliner that has a micro tip. Also, think about your attitude: I simply accept that the products now may be different from the ones that worked for me when I was 20. Finally, a magnifying mirror is also useful! Try precision eyeliner (£ 18, Ruby Hammer).