I get a lot of questions about makeup for mature skin. As we age, we tend to experience changes or have concerns about our skin which also affects our makeup application.
Whether you’re experiencing such changes, you’re an aspiring makeup artist or simply enjoy doing makeup on others, today’s post will cover all you need to know about applying makeup on mature skin…
“We’re not meant to be perfect; we’re meant to be whole” – Jane Fonda
Let me start by saying, makeup – as at any age, is only as restricting as you choose it to be. It’s all about what you personally feel comfortable with, so be mindful of the following tips and tricks but don’t forget to rock whatever it is you feel your best in.
There’s quite a lot we need to cover so I’ll divide this post into sections to make it easier to follow. I also included links to related posts and recommended products; as well as ‘how-to’ videos by Sephora detailing makeup application for mature skin.
This pointer goes for everyone, regardless of age or skin type: Your skin is your canvas. The cleaner and healthier it is, the better your overall look will be – whether you wear makeup or not.
Of course, as we age and our hormones change, we also start experiencing changes in our skin which may require different levels of skin care. From spa and laser treatments to amazing skin care products, we’re quite spoilt for choice when it comes to keeping our skin at its utmost prime.
At the very least, a daily skincare routine of cleansing, toning, moisturizing (both serums and night creams) and eye creams; coupled with weekly exfoliants and masks are a must.
If you have specific concerns or you’re unsure of what type of skincare products you need, a consultation with a skincare expert or a dermatologist is a great starting point.
PREPPING THE SKIN FOR MAKEUP
This is yet another area that applies to everyone wearing makeup regardless of age. A well prepped skin not only allows for a more flawless application of products but it also helps the products perform better.
For mature skin in particular, moisturizing or using a primer (or multiple primers depending on your skin type) is essential. Hydrated skin looks and feels more plump and smooth. This includes the eye area so be sure to apply a light eye cream and eye primer before makeup.
As an additional step, using gel masks prior to applying makeup provides an instant pick-me-up as they lock in the moisture more than traditional sheet masks.
“I love my age. Old enough to know better; young enough not to care; experienced enough to do it right” – Angela Bassett
Base makeup is foundations, concealers, correctors and powders – basically all the products to achieve a flawless even canvas. As we age and our skin develops fine lines, wrinkles, pores and texture, it can be quite tricky to work with base products.
The key is to go light! And this again ties back into how important skin care is because healthier the skin, less product you will need. Furthermore, the coverage level and formula of products can also have a major affect on the overall result.
Heavy coverage foundations can collect in fine lines/wrinkles and feel quite cakey. Instead, it’s so much more effective to spot treat problem areas, followed by a light layer of foundation – if and where needed.
Spot treating dark circles, pigmentation spots and redness with concealers and color correctors help cover and cancel out uneven skin tone without having to layer too many products.
I find Beauty Blender works best in applying base products on mature skin as there’s no dragging action. It also helps push the products into the skin which provides that smooth airbrushed finish.
Nourishing finishing sprays such as MAC Fix+, Caudalie Beauty Elixir; or setting sprays such as Urban Decay All Nighter are also great alternatives to bind and settle all base products; and extend their longevity without having to use too much (if any) powder.
If you prefer setting with powder however, tanslucent powders are a great option. They’re finely milled so they create a light veil over the skin which doesn’t collect in lines and wrinkles like traditional powders can. You can use translucent powders for setting oily areas of the face such as the T-zone and leave the rest of the skin as is – to keep the luminosity of your foundation.
“Just standing around looking beautiful is so boring” – Michelle Pfeiffer (pictured with Sarah Jessica Parker)
PREPPING THE EYES
Along with dark circles and puffiness, fine lines and creasing around the eye area can be quite challenging. Again, the key is to go as light as possible with products.
Color correct darkness under the eyes with salmon/orange correctors. Follow with a dot of concealer under the eyes and diffuse up towards the lash line with a small fluffy brush or a Beauty Blender Mini.
Build up coverage with small amounts as needed, rather than applying a thick layer to begin with. This trick will distribute just enough product to cover the darkness without it settling into creases and lines. Finish with a very light dusting of translucent powder.
See Product Series: Color Correctors to learn all about color correcting and favorite products
Let me start by saying: The “said rule” that mature age women should not wear shimmer eyeshadows is complete and utter BS!
Back in the day we were limited to powder eyeshadows only, and yes, the dry powdery formulas used to highlight lines and wrinkles – and hence mature age women were told to steer clear of them.
These days however, we have so many amazing formulas of powder, cream, liquid and hybrid (cream/gel) eyeshadows which apply beautifully and are flattering on all sorts of skin types, including mature skin.
As mentioned in the prep section before, it’s important to apply a hydrating eye cream/primer before going in with eyeshadows. There are stunning cream and liquid eyeshadows in shimmering hues which can be applied in the center or inner corner of the eyes which will add a hint of sparkle and open the eyes without highlighting texture.
Along with matte, satin and shimmery options, eyeshadows with warmer tones always add a softer, more youthful look to the skin – as opposed to cooler tones which can look flat/dull.
As for eyeliners and mascaras, long wearing/waterproof formulas keep the colors locked in so you don’t have to worry about the product melting, moving around or flaking on you.
False lashes are also a great way to define the eyes. Natural wispy styles are best to achieve a full yet natural look.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful” – Sophia Loren
CONTOUR, BRONZER, BLUSH, HIGHLIGHTER
Mature skin can lose definition on some parts of the face with age – depending on face shape and features of course. A light warm colored contour product or matte bronzers (either powder or cream) can help bring back dimension to the face.
Blush is extremely important as it’s an instant pick-me-up for any skin. For mature skin, applying blush on the apples of the cheeks will lift the cheeks and give the face a more plump and youthful appearance.
Soft coral and pink blushes are great to add a pop of color yet still look quite natural. Cream and liquid blushes are particularly good for mature skin as they help keep the skin hydrated and luminous.
Highlighters are a similar concept to what I mentioned in the eyeshadow section. Yes, mature age women can definitely use highlighters thanks to the amazing array of formulas we have available.
Liquid formulas which contain micro shimmer are a great way to add that healthy glow to the skin. They help keep the skin hydrated, they can be used on their own, mixed into foundations or applied on top of the foundation to attract just enough light and add dimension. Dabbing the product in with fingers or a Beauty Blender gives the most even finish.
If you’re using powder highlighters, ensure the formula is finely milled rather than sparkly or glittery. Applying a light spray of finishing or setting spray over it will also help it melt into the skin.
“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends” – Iman
And lips! Again, with age, we can lose volume and definition on the lips. Lip care is quite important so regular exfoliation will not only slough away dead skin which may cause our lips to look chapped and dry, but it will also help promote circulation and keep the lips looking plump and youthful. Check out my All About The Lips post including DIY lip scrubs to transform your lips in an instant.
As for products, always moisturize the lips before applying any color. Let the balm/cream sit on your lips for a few minutes so they’re well hydrated.
A lip liner is a must as it defines and adds dimension back to the lips. You can also use lip liners to slightly draw above the natural lip line to give them a fuller look. Long wearing/waterproof formulas are particularly great as they create a barrier around the lips so there’s no risk of the product smudging or seeping into fine lines.
Another tip is to use liquid matte lipsticks as lip liners. This has been a trick I’ve personally been using myself as these formulas are budge proof and apply so thin that you end up with a great frame for lipsticks. I usually use a small lip brush to draw a line around the lips.
Once you have your lip line defined, you can then go in with your favorite lipstick and gloss to fill in the lips. Creamy lipstick formulas are always a good option as they keep the lips soft and supple. Adding a layer of nude gloss on top will further hydrate the lips and give them a more plump look.
See Product Series: Lips to learn all about lip products and favorite brands
Perhaps the most important tip to looking and feeling your best at any age is Confidence. I’ve scattered pictures of some of the many many iconic women throughout the post, including some of their famous quotes.
These women exude the type of confidence and self acceptance that reflects on their outer beauty, which is a great reminder and inspiration for the rest of us. So…wear that bright red lipstick but don’t forget to attach the gorgeous smile to it :)
“40 is good; 50 is great; 60 is fab and 70 is f*cking awesome!” – Helen Mirren
And here we are beauties! Whilst makeup application can be tricky to master at any age, the advantage of having so many amazing products at our disposal is indeed making the process much easier.
Sephora has some how-to videos on mature skin makeup – which I think is a great way to familiarise yourselves with different techniques and be in the know of latest products. Check them out here: Everyday Mature Makeup Tutorial; How To Apply Makeup For Mature Eyes
What are some of your makeup concerns? Share your thoughts in the comments below :)