When it comes to makeup, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. We wear our favorite foundation and concealer for daytime outings and that certain shade of lipstick for special nights out. But our go-to cosmetics can start to look different on us as we age because, let’s face it (no pun intended), our hair and skin change.
The good news is that we can easily switch up our beauty routine with products and application techniques that take those changes into account.
We spoke with Tricia Cusden, makeup expert and founder of UK-based pro-age makeup line, Look Fabulous Forever, about her top six makeup tips for older women. Here are her suggestions:
1. Choose an age-related foundation and blush.
During and after menopause our skin becomes more absorbent and less smooth, making it hard for makeup to stay put and look flawless. But Cusden says specially formulated products that work with these changes make all the difference in the finished effect.
For example, Look Fabulous Forever’s hydrating Fabulous Base foundation contains coconut oil, a natural ingredient that keeps skin supple. It evens out skin tone without looking heavy or caked on. Powder blush should be avoided because it dries skin out. Instead, use a cream-based blush that suits your skin tone.
2. Prepare your skin before applying makeup.
Make sure your skin is exfoliated, clean and well moisturized. It helps to add a face primer once the moisturizer is fully absorbed into your skin. “Primer is fantastic when you’re older,” says Cusden. “It seals the skin by filling in any fine lines or open pores, and it forms this wonderful base on which to put your foundation.” Brush and buff a creamy foundation into the skin — it will look lovely and stay put for up to 14 hours.
3. Wear lipstick that reflects your personality.
We’re often told lipstick should be more understated as we age, perhaps a shade darker than our natural lip color. But it very much depends on personal taste and the occasion, says Cusden.
“I wear a different lip color in the summer than in the winter, and during the day or evening,” she says. “I love a swipe of bright red lipstick on an older face, especially with white hair.”
4. Choose colored cosmetics that match your skin tone.
As hair loses color, so does the face. However, our underlying skin tone, either warm or cool, does not change. For example, if you were a warm-toned redhead and now have gray hair, cosmetics with a yellow (warm) undertone will still suit you.
5. Contour your face with subtle touches.
Use light touches of bronzer on the sides of the face to slim it, and a small amount under the chin to minimize the “jowls”, advises Cusden. Use a liquid highlighter — it shouldn’t be too white — on the top of the brow and cheek bones, down the center of the nose and around the mouth to add luminosity and shape to the face.
6. Don’t overdo the lashes.
Volumizing mascaras create stiff spiky lashes that can look harsh on your face. “Always use mascara, but one that leaves the lashes well defined yet still soft to the touch,” advises Cusden.