First Step: Prepare Your Skin
As humans age, our skin develops fine lines and wrinkles, and we might develop a habit of moaning about different parts of our faces we wish we could change. We might complain about the sagging jowls, the sallow skin, or the deep lines on the sides of our noses.
But before you convince yourself you absolutely need to go under the knife, you should consider the transforming power of makeup. Even though some things may seem like a lot of makeup, they actually don't have to be. In fact, following the tips below, a "faux facelift" can take less than 10 minutes.
Makeup artists know the secret to a truly flawless face of makeup is actually not in the makeup, but in the state of the skin. The better the condition your skin is in, the less makeup you'll need. One of the biggest problems that comes with age is dryness. Before you apply eye makeup or foundation, always start with a generous slathering on of moisturizer. This is the most important step in any makeup routine—it plumps up skin, and can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Apply it over your entire face, and dot eye cream around your eyes. If it seems you need it, over your driest areas, dab a bit of "super rich" face balm.
Clean Up Your Brow Line
Eyebrows are often overlooked as people age, but a great set of brows is as important as even skin tone, perfectly made up eyes, and the right lip color. A good brow may mean less makeup, and could be one of the few things you need.
There are 3 brow problems that older women face. The first is brows that are out of control, like a garden left to grow untended. The second problem is a bad, and unfortunately permanent, shape: too thick on one end, too thick on the other, or a brow that stops too short. And the third problem, a natural part of aging, is thinned-out brows.
Out of Control Brows
The good news for people with out of control brows is that full brows are now more desirable than they once were. It's become common to drawing them in, making brows appear even fuller. If you fall into this camp, getting your brows professionally tweezed, threaded or waxed is the way to go. Once a pro has shaped your brows, upkeep is relatively simple. All it takes is a magnifying mirror and a great pair of tweezers. Follow the map set by the pro, and tweeze the stragglers.
Badly Shaped Brows and Sparse Brows
Those in the "bad shaped brows" camp also need a visit to a pro, then they need to get comfortable with filling in the sparse parts. A simple brow pencil may be all you need.
If you have sparse brows, you have a few options. You can fill in your brows with pencil, get brow microblading, or use any of the many other brow products on the market. The easiest method is to fill in sparse brows with an eye pencil, but brow gels (everyone loves the Dipbrow Pomade from Anastasia Beverly Hills) work just as well. Use an eyebrow brush dipped in the color to fill in brows.
Create An Even Skin Tone
Once your moisturizer is on and soaked in, it's time to camouflage your dark, under-eye circles, any blue veins around the eyes and red spots on the skin. All of these are normal on women of all ages and the good news is, they're relatively easy to cover up.
- To conceal dark circles, dot concealer under your eyes. Press the concealer in with the pad of your fingers.
- Dot concealer on any red areas on the face. If you have super red spots that concealer or a light foundation won't cover, use a stick foundation on those areas only. Apply with a light hand—too much stick foundation can leave you with cake face.
- Finally, apply a light tinted moisturizer or foundation over face to even out your skin tone. I recommend covering up only those areas that require it—usually along the sides of the nose and on the chin.
The jury is out on whether to apply concealer before or after foundation, and each way has their merits. However, once you cover up the bits you want to cover, you may notice you need less foundation or tinted moisturizer.
Use a soft buffer brush to apply foundation so that it goes on smooth and doesn't settle into fine lines.
Add Dimension to Your Face
One beauty trick I love to share with women is how to add dimension to their faces using bronzer. Applied along the jawline, under cheekbones, and on the temples, bronzer can give your face the illusion of being chiseled.
You know how great you feel with a tan? Well bronzer can also have that affect for you, adding color to an otherwise sallow face. To add color, use a big rounded brush to apply on the spots where the sun naturally hits—your forehead, cheeks and nose. Be sure to blow off excess bronzer, so you don't go overboard.
Brighten Up a Dull Complexion
Another beauty trick I swear by is adding lightness to the face using highlighting pens. Simply take a highlighting pen (I love Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Concealer, pictured here.) Keeping your eyes on the mirror, lower your chin. Take the pen and swipe it on all the dark lines on your face. These are usually along the nose and right under the corners of your mouth. Lift your face up and apply a couple swipes over each brow. Blend the color in with the pad of your fingers. The illuminator will literally "lift" your face.
Step back and look at your appearance. You should look more refreshed and awake.
Know What Eye Look You're Going For
The idea behind making up a "mature" face is to not go too overboard. You don't want to appear as if you're wearing a lot of makeup. So start with a light hand, and apply extra coats as need be.
When it comes to the eyes, decide how much you want to play them up. If you want a light touch, simply sweep a neutral color (RMS Beauty's Eye Polish in Utopia is great for this,) over the lid to the browbone and apply an eye pencil to the lower lashes, smudging them a bit so they don't have a harsh line. If you want a bolder eye, apply a darker contour shadow in the eye crease, making sure to blend, blend, blend the color in. You can follow up with a highlighting color on the brow bone, but it can look kind of unnatural—blend like your life depends on it.
Step back and look at your eyes. If you need more definition on the top lid, apply a liquid liner right at the lashes. If you have light skin and hair, don't go darker than brown or gray. If you have darker skin, you can get away with black liner.
Get a Good Eyelash Curler
Every makeup artist will tell you that an eyelash curler is a must, even on women with the most amazing natural eyelashes. And they're right: curling them can do wonders to open up the eye.
Many people like to warm up their eyelash curlers with the blow dryer (for about 3 seconds, no longer or you could burn yourself.) Some heated eyelash curlers exist already. If you don't have naturally long lashes, you might also consider getting eyelash extensions—they're hugely popular at the moment on women of all ages.
Consider Whether Blush is For You
A dab of blush can be the perfect finishing touch to a great made-up face. But not all women need blush. If you have rosacea or just a pink tone—think pale skin that sunburns easily and flushes easily—you can skip the blush most of the time. The same is true if you have blue eyes, blonde hair and pink lips, as you already have a lot of color going on. Blush is basically fake flush, and your skin naturally blushes. It's just one less thing to worry about.
But if you have yellow or olive-toned skin and your look tends to be more sallow than ruddy, blush might brighten your face beautifully. If you have dark hair and light skin, blush adds a bit of color to your face. Keep in mind that there may be times you can go without, and times you feel you absolutely need to add it. Just look in mirror and ask yourself, "Today, do I need a bit of color?"
There are many ways to apply blush so it highlights your best features, but the most popular application for blush is on the apples of the cheeks. In fact, if you ever find yourself in a beauty rush with only minutes to apply makeup, use tinted foundation, mascara, blush, and lipstick. That's all you really need to look flawless.
Dewy skin has made its comeback. But once we hit a certain age, it may be harder to get dewy skin naturally. Many older women like to skip the powder when they do their makeup, but if you feel you need powder to set your makeup, do it at the end of your makeup routine, just before you apply lipstick.
A writer for this site once knew an older woman who only wore lipstick. No mascara, no foundation, no powder or concealer. Only bright red lipstick. And she looked flawless. Of course it helped that she had great skin and naturally long lashes that skirted the most intense blue eyes they'd ever seen. But it was the bright red lipstick that made her look pop. She chose a color that was flattering to her skin tone. The interesting thing was that the red lipstick made her silver-gray hair and blue eyes pop, too. Just absolutely beautiful.
Now, this can be hard to pull off. But the story does prove a point: lipstick can really make or break a look. Too dark lipstick on a heavily made up face can look clownish. If you've made up your eyes heavily, then go light on the lipstick, instead opting for a gloss or light shade. You can go for a bold lip, but if you do, play down the rest of your makeup. A classic combination is the smokey eye, neutral lip look. Another classic combination is a light pink lip and a natural eye. You can do a red lip, but try to keep the eye makeup and blush to a minimum to balance things out.