Women want to look their best no matter what their age. And with the right cosmetics, they can. The aging process dries the skin. Lines and wrinkles appear, lips thin, and skin color fades. Because of these changes, the makeup a woman uses in her youth likely will not work well as she ages. But that doesn't mean she can't continue wearing makeup – she just needs the right products and a few tips on how to apply them.
Preparing Skin for Makeup
Start by preparing the skin for makeup by using a good moisturizer or a moisturizing foundation primer, if desired. Not only will skin feel better, but the added moisture ensures that makeup will look its best when applied. Add a light eye cream under the eyes, but avoid the top lid – it could ruin eye makeup.
Foundation and Powder
Choosing the right foundation can make or break a look for older skin. Avoid matte or powder foundations, which can accentuate lines and wrinkles and make skin look dryer. Shimmer or sparkle foundations should also be avoided for similar reasons – they make lines and wrinkles more prevalent. Instead, choose a foundation with a light sheen to give mature skin a glow without emphasizing flaws.
Before applying foundation, cover any discoloration on the face. For tips on applying color-correcting makeup, see “Correcting Skin Discoloration with Makeup.” After applying color correcting makeup, dot on foundation with fingertips or a cotton swab. Stipple foundation over color correcting makeup so that it doesn't smear or remove them. Foundation can be applied with a cosmetic sponge, Beauty Blender, or a brush. Blend well.
A light dusting of powder may be applied with a powder brush, but be careful. Applying too much can emphasize lines and wrinkles. Try a spritz of MAC Fix Plus after powder to finish makeup, if desired.
Choose a lightweight, moisturizing concealer. A heavier, dryer one can emphasize lines and wrinkles. Gently dot concealer on under the eyes, then blend it into the skin with a sponge or Beauty Blender.
A lighter application of eye makeup works best for mature skin. As with foundation, sparkle and shimmer should usually be avoided, but may be used on smooth areas without any lines or wrinkles. It's all about placement when it comes to shimmer for mature skin. In many cases, shimmer should be completely avoided. A sweep of matte, neutral color on the lids adds dimension without emphasizing lines around the eyes. Follow with a brown or gray liner, blending well to avoid any harsh lines. Sweep on mascara.
Fill in brows with brow makeup, but avoid dark colors – especially black. It makes most people look older. Instead, choose a lighter color that's close to the natural color of the brows.
Over time, skin in the lip area thins, lips lose fullness, and fine lines often appear. Lipstick can bleed into fine lines around the lip area, but a lip pencil can help to keep it in place. Choose a lip pencil that matches the natural color of the lips or a transparent one. Lip liner can also help lipstick to last longer when applied over the entire lip before adding lipstick. For very mature complexions, bright colors work very well.
Lips may become downturned during the aging process. To de-emphasize downturned lips, dab a little concealer on the outer corners of the lips and blend well.
Blush is especially important for older skin. It adds color that makes the complexion look more youthful. Powders can emphasize lines and wrinkles and make skin look dryer. Choose a creme blush, which will add color without making skin look older. Dot it on the cheeks and blend with a sponge, fingertips, or a beauty blender.
Getting older means gaining wisdom – and maybe a few lines and wrinkles along the way. The makeup worn in younger years may work against a more mature complexion by emphasizing fine lines and wrinkles. But by making a few changes with products and how they're applied, mature women can continue looking beautiful at any age.