Women go through a level of maturity and growth with their makeup application strategies over the years. We start off applying a little lip gloss as tweens and then learn how to apply a natural look in our teen years.
As adults, we’ve graduated into darker eye shadows and bold lipstick colors. But as women over forty, the application we used in our twenties has the ability to make us look aged far beyond our years, so you have to learn and rediscover new makeup strategies!
Start with a Good Skincare Regimen
As with makeup when you’re over 40, less is more when it comes to the skincare route. You don’t want the harshest, strongest products on your skin that’s becoming more fragile day by day.
You do want to use skincare as a foundation for great looking makeup, though. When you age, your skin dries out, starts to sag and wrinkle – and dead skin cells make it look more haggard.
Start with a gentle cleanser that you use in the morning and in the evening before bed. You need to wash the makeup and everyday toxins off of your face so that your cells that work to help you retain a more youthful appearance. Some women use face wipes specifically designed to get the makeup off.
Every morning you also want to moisturize your skin. But the best thing you can do for it is to choose one that has built in sunscreen. The sun will dry your skin out and make you look aged – not to mention it increases your chance of having skin cancer. Choose a daytime moisturizer that’s light and works well under your makeup.
Put on an eye cream that works specifically for that area of your face – it isn’t as thick and won’t clump up under your eyes, making them look worse. Eye creams can also diminish the dark circles under your eyes. They have both day and night eye creams you can use.
At night, use a thicker moisturizer that helps hydrate your skin and keep it plump. You might even want to use a hydrating mask once in awhile to help keep skin smooth.
After you’ve begun taking care of your skin, you’ll notice a marked improvement in how your makeup appears when you put it on over smooth, silky skin instead of dry, cracked skin.
Use the Right Foundation and Concealer
When you get older, you will really start noticing changes around your eye area – as well as with the uneven skin tone all over your face. Concealer used to only be for nights when you stayed up too late – now, it’s an every day occurrence.
Your eye area is thin and fragile to begin with, but more so the older you get. It will look dark and you may need a lightening agent to help freshen up your appearance.
The thick, cake-like concealer sticks that you find in drugstores won’t work for you anymore. They pool up and show the lines and wrinkles under your eye area, having the opposite result from what you hoped it would have.
You need a light approach. Choose a concealer that has eye brightening gel or ingredients in it. This should help reduce the transparency of the skin below your eyes so that dark circles are less visible.
As for foundation, you probably grew up using one form of foundation (or base makeup as it’s also commonly called) that was specifically for your youthful skin. You may have had an oily T-zone, for example – but now you’re aging, and your skin isn’t oily – it’s dry!
If you choose a thick foundation that’s made to cover up acne, like you did as a teen or young adult, then you will notice that it piles up on your face and gets into the creases (wrinkles) that you have, making you look older than your true years.
Aside from a thick foundation, you also don’t want one that has a powder finish or a shimmer built into it. You want something that brings about a dewy finish. This might not be what you’re used to at first, but It does make you look younger than a thick foundation does.
Many of the foundations for older women contain SPF in them for sun protection, but they also include time-release moisturizers, too. This helps your skin stay hydrated during the day so that it doesn’t look dried up by the time you’re heading home from work.
You don’t want to use a foundation that says “matte” on it. That’s an indication of a thick foundation. Even though you may need your skin tone evened out due to aging spots and an uneven appearance, a light foundation can do the job for you.
Should You Use Powder at this Age?
Powder is typically a bad idea when you’re over forty. Not in every case, of course – some women at this age may indeed have oily skin that needs to have some powder to keep the shine down, and that’s okay.
But in most cases, the powder will just serve to cake up on your face over your foundation and make you look older and more wrinkled than you really are. Even the lighten powder has this effect on some women.
You might be able to powder lightly only on problem areas, rather than use an all over facial approach, where it might clump up in the wrinkles around your eyes and mouth.
There are some powders that are specifically made as anti aging makeup solutions. For example, Maybelline has their Instant Age Rewind formula in the Protecting Finishing Powder product that reduces the appearance of fine lines, offers UV ray protection, and helps smooth out the look of your skin without being heavy and clumping.
You don’t want to cover up the reflection of the light in the room that makes you look younger – and that’s what powder does, so if possible, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
If you find it hard to go without powder, consider blotting tissues that you can carry in our purse to soak up any oil residue that’s left on your face whenever you’re more active.
New Ways to Apply Your Eyeliner
When you were younger, you might have chosen bold, even harsh eyeliner colors and application methods. You grew up seeing bold looks in women’s magazines, so especially at night – you wanted your eyes to stand out.
Part of how we did that as younger women was to choose dark eye liners, line completely around our eyes, top and bottom, and possibly line inside the eye lid on the lower lash set.
Now, you need to brighten and open up your eyes. That means lining with softer colors and only lining the top lashes, toward the outer area, not right down into the eye lid where it gets close to the bridge of your nose.
When you put the liner under your eyes, it actually draws attention to the dark circles you have there – so if that’s an issue for you, there’s another reason to avoid the under eyeliner.
Skip the liquid liners that draw a harsh line on your upper lids. Even if it’s just he upper lid that you’re using it on, it’s too strict to work well for an aging face. Instead, you want to use a pencil liner and then smudge it in to make it look more natural and soft.
Pick the Right Eye Shadow Color
Have you ever seen older women who still wear the bright blue eye shadow covering their entire lids from top to bottom? It’s done in sitcoms on TV to make fun of the look (along with blue hair), but it isn’t anything to laugh about.
Some women over age 40 don’t understand what’s a shade that helps them look youthful versus a shade they grew up with and are still wearing decades later. Harsh shadow is never the way to go.
The best thing you can do is go with neutral colors – peach, pink and soft browns. Don’t go with blues, purples, or green colors. Youthful colors are for young women.
You can make your eye pop by making them look soft, smooth and radiant. This is done by applying the shades correctly over a hydrating eye cream. If your eyes are dry on the lid, then the shadow won’t go on right.
Color and Positioning of Your Blush
Some women don’t know what to do regarding blush when they begin to show signs of aging on their face, so they skip it altogether. This is a mistake. The blush, when used the right way, can help you achieve that youthful, rosy glow.
The key is to put it on correctly. Some older women cake it on, trying to falsely make their skin appear plump and flushed in one area. You want to have a slightly flushed appearance.
That means you don’t want to draw a stark line of blush across your cheekbones. This heightens the hollowing, frail look and makes you look older than you really are.
You also don’t want to put a big fat dollop of blush right on the apples of your cheeks. That looks bad, too. Instead, you want to use a large brush and gentle and lightly color the cheek area toward your temples with circular strokes, not a line.
There are different types of blush you can buy. You can choose powders or creams. If you use a cream (or gel) blush, make sure you use it lightly and work your way up to a look you’re trying to achieve. That’s better than clumping on too much blush and trying to get rid of some of it afterwards.
Many older women like the look of the cream blush because it helps maintain that dewy appearance – just like their foundation does. Just make sure it doesn’t contain the shimmery ingredients that are meant for younger women.
As for the color, you can choose this in different ways. Some people like their natural blush look. You’ll find this by going outside when it’s cold or putting cold water on your face.
Others like to match their blush to their lipstick, so if it’s peach lipstick, it will be peach blusher as well. You don’t want anything too dark and harsh because it will age you.
Lining and Coloring Your Lips
You may still want that deep, sultry look of a pouty mouth, but you don’t want to achieve it by using dark lip colors as you age. You can’t carry off a burgundy color like you once did because it will bring attention to the aging indicators around your mouth – fine lines that make you look older.
A bright red is too harsh for a woman over 40. A better look would be bright, but not deep colors, such as peach, pink, coral, etc. Do the same with your lip liners, too.
Some makeup artists don’t even use lip liners – they use highlighter pencils around the lips, rubbed smooth – and then the application of lip color. You still get the flawless straight lines, but your color won’t bleed into the crevices lurking around your lips.
That’s known as feathering, and you may have seen some women with this problem – maybe even yourself! Your lip liner looks flawless when you first put it on, but then it leaks into the fine lines and eventually looks jagged instead of smooth.
Try to choose a lip liner that is as close to the color of your lips as possible. This should never be a harsh, dry stick but a smooth and creamy one that help moisturize your lip area so that lipstick won’t flood into those spaces to try to hydrate them.
Don’t feel distraught over the fact that your skincare regimen and your makeup application have to change. Embrace it. You went from lip gloss to more makeup as you aged I your youth, and this is just another phase – where you’re actually going back to that early stage of appearing natural and glowing. That’s a beautiful thing!