“It’s too cakey.” “I can see my lines.” The list of makeup complaints from 40-plus faces is endless. What does it take to move these women to embrace their makeover, not fear it? We need to address their special needs by hiding, not exposing, the signs of a life well lived.
– Makeup artists shouldn’t let clients talk them out of foundation-I use a sheer, oil-free one that hides redness and sun spots but isn’t caked on. My favorite? MAC Face and Body foundation. Though mature ladies like the dewy look, shimmery foundation only highlights lines, as will shine anywhere on the face. Cover left-over spots with a good camouflage cream of pro quality such as Dermablend.
– Under-eye concealer is an aging woman’s worst enemy because it settles into lines. Use a creamy pen-based one. The ultimate concealer is Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat. A less expensive choice is Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector. To set the concealer and make it last, use a sheer powder such as MAC’s Blot Powder compact. If powder accents lines, roll a damp Q-tip over the area.
– Face powder is the 2nd worst enemy. It helps foundation last and tames shine, but go light. Finish powder with down-strokes. You don’t want to notice the cheek hairs. Spritz water over the final finish if you are worried about that “powdered” mask appearance.
– Use matte eye shadows. Frosts on mature eyes spotlight skin lines. Stick with neutral taupes, browns, and grays, not trendy color. See MAC and Makeup Forever brands. For drooping lid skin, use one taupe or medium brown shade on the whole lid and into the crease. I like MAC Cork and Quarry.
– Use waterproof eyeliners. Use a lighter color on the lower eye-line than on the lid. Try Annabelle’s Smoothliners in Brownie (upper lid) and Bronze (lower eye-line–the only place I like shimmer). Set with eyeshadow in similar shades such as MAC’s Brun and Mulch. When you line, swoop the pencil up wider on the outer 1/3 of the lid, to give a non-surgical eye-lift. Finally, line the inside rim of the upper eye; older lids curl up revealing too much flesh.
– Drooping lids will blink and smudge mascara. Use waterproof all the time or at least on the lower lashes. For fullness try L’oreal’s Voluminous.
– Curl eyelashes to open and lift the eye. Use Shu Uemura’s from Sephora.
– Define sparse and faded eyebrows with powder, not harsh pencil. Brunettes go lighter than their hair; blondes go darker. See Anastasia’s eye-brow kits, (Sephora). Note: create an instant face-lift by plucking and powdering-in a higher brow arch.
– Cream blushes are nice for a healthy glow, but whisk over a light coat of sheer powder to control shine. I like MAC’s Blushcreme in “Ladyblush.”
– Red lipstick ages a woman’s face. The darker the lipstick, the thinner the lip looks. Dark colors
also bleed into lip lines. And frosted lipsticks showcase lip wrinkles, while matte are too dry–use creamy formulas. Apply brownish pinks, not bubblegum or fuchsia. I love MAC’s Brave. Other favorites are Revlon’s Nude Velvet, MAC’s Brick-o-la and Mocha.
– Lip pencils rebuild long-lost lip shape and pigment. Draw slightly beyond the lip to enhance fullness. Never line across the whole lower lip because it runs wider than the upper; swing upward early to join the upper lip. Use natural lip shades like Wet’n Wild’s #666 pencil and MAC’s Spice.
– Final face tips: with gravity, noses get longer as we age. Dab taupe eye-shadow on the nose tip to hike it up and make the tip recede. Also blend around and into hairline to mask thinning hair.
A good makeup artist won’t ever leave clients feeling like they have to grow into their look. We are their expert guidance that should lead to a timeless and classic look. You can learn to be your own makeup expert with a little practice.