As We Age, Less Make-up Does more
Here are a few tips on make-up and application to help you look your best.
We’re not young forever.
Around the age of 30, our smooth complexions begin to crack here and there into those things called lines. I’m in my 60s, so I have quite a few.
It begins around the eyes with what we call ‘crow’s feet.’ A little hyaluronic acid cream and the creases plump and are less visible, for a while anyway. But they deepen, and lines appear around on our foreheads and lips.
Then the journey downward continues. Overall our skin is less taut and springy, our necks form folds, and the first signs of turkey neck appear.
Relax. It’s the same for everyone. Unless you get a facelift, you need to adjust your make-up routine to emphasize what you have and work around the other stuff.
Before we begin, always start with clean skin. Moisturize 10 minutes before applying make-up. This will give your skin time to suck in the moisture it needs from your moisturizer instead of getting it from your foundation, blush, and eye shadow.
Up through your 20’s, our first step was to apply a foundation. But our skin isn’t as smooth so we need to do a bit of spackling to fill in the imperfections, pores, etc.
Use a foam wedge (always) and begin your beauty routine by applying primer. Think of it as painting a wall. You don’t paint a wall with holes and dings. You prep it first. The same goes for your face. Skin primer is the way to go.
Apply it on your forehead first and sweep it down going slightly beyond your chin and jawline. Watch the shine on your face disappear.
I use Prep + Prime Natural Radiance from MAC Cosmetics. I like MAC because a lot of their products come in matte, which deflects light away from wrinkles. The quality is excellent, comes in two shades, but it is a bit pricey. There are other less expensive MAC options if you want to stay with that brand.
Smashbox has a selection of quality primers, as does Benefit Cosmetics. Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Face Primer is also another favorite of mine. Both brands are available at Sephora or from the cosmetic counters at department stores.
Ask for samples and try both. If you have a favorite line, check with them.
Now that you’ve prepped your skin, it’s time for the next layer.
Again, use a sponge wedge to apply. Never use your fingers. It will look smoother, and it’s more sanitary.
Heavier coverage, especially cake make-up, tends to sit in your wrinkles. It also emphasizes imperfections. For this reason, I no longer use a traditional foundation. BB and CC creams provide light but adequate coverage at a fraction of the cost.
My two favorites are Aveeno and Physicians Formula. They protect and moisturize in addition to providing a sunscreen. Both are available over-the-counter.
This is the principal place you simplify. We have wrinkles and fold, so dark colors, liquid liner, and heavy mascara will run or bleed. You’re going to use less, but maybe a better quality because you don’t need as much.
Take your time here. There are a few steps with the eyes. Hey, they’re the key to your soul, so they’re well worth it. They’re the first thing most people notice.
Consider an eye primer. It will keep the crease out of your shadow and the color on your lid longer. Again, I like MAC and use the Pro Longwear Paint Pot. If not, use the same primer you used on your skin and apply some compact powder as a pseudo shadow on your lid and brow.
For eye shadow itself, the first word is matte. Anything with glitter, frost or shimmer is out. Trust me on this; glitter spreads everywhere.
The second word is neutral. Pick a shadow that is a shade or two darker than your skin tone. Apply it to your lid and slightly above onto your brow bone. Fill in from your brow bone to your brow with the neutral, compact powder.
Again, I use MAC eye shadow as they have a great line of neutrals. You’ll only need one or two colors at the most.
And need I say use a brush? Do not use those icky free sponge applicators. Brushes will give your eyes a more sophisticated look. And we are sophisticated!
Next is eyeliner, if you are so inclined. Begin with a pencil and apply it after your color. Remember, we’re layering here. Don’t go all the way to the inner corner of your eye. Begin 2/3rds of the way in, work your way out, and turn the line slightly upward at the end of your eyelid.
Apply mascara to your upper lashes only. Otherwise, you’ll look like you haven’t slept in a while within a couple of hours. Another name is raccoon eyes. Everyone has their favorite mascara though I love ‘they’re real’ by Benefit.
Have a big brush handy. Get a subtle bronzer. Physician’s Formula has several over-the-counter choices.
Purse your lips and suck in your cheeks to see where your cheeks begin. Blend the bronzer with a bit of that matte powder I mentioned earlier in eyes and sweep up to the outer corners.
Use one of the foundation wedges to blend in. You want to highlight. Do this in a good light. You’re adding a little color, and the look you’re going for is natural.
You want to match your lip color or give them a bit more life. Limit the glitter, though a little is okay. A bit darker will offset your teeth by making them appear whiter. But too dark, and it will give your face a hard appearance.
Skin tone changes as we age, so our colors need to change as well.
You’ll need a liner and lipstick. Or liner and lip balm. Your liner should match your lip color as closely as possible. Outline the lips with the liner and then color your lips in between the lines. Blend it in using a lip brush. No fingers!
And yes, you do need a liner. Your lips are wrinkles in your face, and the color will bleed out for a clown-like look if you don’t fill in those cracks.
Coloring in your lips with liner gives you the added benefit of having two layers of color. When your lipstick wears off, you’ll have some color left. If you apply only lip balm, it serves as your color.
If you go the lipstick route, follow the creases in your lips. Note that they don’t go across. They go down. Loosen your lips as you apply the color. Blot with a tissue when done.
To keep the lipstick off your teeth, purse your lips, insert your index finger and pull it out.
When you’re done, reapply the liner.
Believe it or not, this entire routine takes me about 10 minutes. There are quick little details that help you use only what you need, so there’s no excess running down your face.
We don’t have to give up our make-up, but over the years, changing what I use and how much has helped me look my best.
I was a model for a few years, and loved my make-up. I refuse to give it up, but I’ve had to make adjustments. If you do the same, you’ll also look your best.
Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
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