8 Beauty Tips From a Makeup Artist Who Works With Women Over 40

Hallie Gould
PHOTO:

@iliabeauty

"A few months ago, I surveyed the websites of six major cosmetic lines to see if they used older women in any of their online makeup tutorials," Elise Marquam Jahns, a makeup artist who specializes in makeup techniques for women over 40, told me. "Only one did, and it was extremely brief. So information on makeup techniques for older women is definitely needed. The classes I teach that specifically deal with makeup techniques for 'boomer and beyond' women also tend to fill up the fastest. That response indicates how much older women appreciate a beauty education that specifically addresses their needs."

In doing research for this piece, it was shocking to notice the glaring exclusion of women over 40 in the beauty space—an industry so tied to aging. It's a counterintuitive approach, vying for the attention of women who want to smooth fine lines and treat wrinkles but completely erasing them from ad campaigns and media materials. "Most of us over 40 tend to talk back to our TVs when we see ads for anti-aging products that feature models or celebrities who don't have a line or wrinkle in sight, Jahns explains.

You see, most women aren't taught to replace the techniques they learned in middle school with ones that are better suited for their current age. No one talks about applying makeup to a face that isn't naturally plump, tight, and line-free. It's yet another benchmark in a society so obsessed with glorifying youth and casting women passed a certain age aside.

"Andrea Q. Robinson wrote a book called Toss the Gloss," Jahns told me. "She was an executive at several cosmetic companies and a former beauty editor. She feels there aren't a whole lot of products that meet her strict criteria for cosmetics that flatter the color and texture of older skin. She feels the answer is that most men running the major beauty corporations think we've 'lost it at 50 and aged out of their makeup market.'

"She contends 'the only products they're spending big bucks to market are wrinkle creams. [Companies] are afraid to address our specific needs with anything other than anti-aging creams because they are worried that they will alienate their younger consumer base, even though we (50+ women) are the largest demographic with more money to spend. They need to wake up and realize that we're worth their investment.'"

And with that, Jahns detailed helpful makeup tips, tricks, and techniques for women over 40.

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