Makeup can be a great way to further hide the signs of aging. However ….poor preparation, using the wrong products, colours, or application techniques can leave our skin looking older.
Prep your skin
1) Exfoliate once or twice weekly.
Dry flaky skin is not a good base for any makeup, especially foundation. If you’ve ever noticed your makeup starting to flake a few hours after you’ve applied it, chances are a buildup of dead skin is to blame. Add a gentle facial exfoliant into your weekly skin care routine. A great exfoliate, which is not too harsh -yet gets the job done is Enhancements Microdermabrasion Paste
2) Balance with a Toner
For many, the word “toner” brings to mind stinging astringents from the 1980’s. The original was an alcohol-based product that was used to dry up oily skin and remove any leftover dirt following cleansing. HOWEVER ‘some’ of today’s high quality formulas have completely evolved.
Toner balances your skin’s pH, which helps it build a healthy protective barrier. So apply an alcohol-free toner on your face after cleansing to keep your skin radiant. For more info on modern day Toners see here
3) Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
Nothing plumps up the skin, making it look more youthful than a splash of hydration.
The secret to hydrated skin is to use a hyaluronic acid serum before applying moisturiser. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a renowned anti-aging and hydrating ingredients. This is due to its ability to attract moisture into your skin, to soften, soothe, and smooth your skin. This will help makeup glide on better.
See here for all the amazing benefits of HA.
4) Don’t skimp on moisturiser
A good moisturiser will help lock the moisture in. This will further help balance aging skin’s natural dryness.
Choose a day cream that will absorb without a greasy feel (heavier creams are best left for nighttime).
5) Follow with a Primer
A good Primer is a game-changer if you want a smooth, long-lasting finish. It prevents makeup from creasing and comes in a variety of formulas — from illuminating to pore minimising — so you can find the right one for your needs and occasion. Using one with a radiant illuminating finish can give you a brighter look.
Specific primers for your ‘eyes’ can help eye shadow stay in place. As we age our eyelids become heavier as the skin above them becomes less elastic and starts to droop. This increases the risk of having eye shadow smudge and slide off. Eye primer will help prevent eye shadow from settling into fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help mask imperfections like veins and age spots, which become more obvious as eyelid skin thins.
Pass on the Powder
Powder can easily become trapped in wrinkles and creases. Fine lines then become more noticeable -as the makeup settles and cakes in. Skin can also then look flaky and dry.
Avoid heavy matt foundation and instead go lighter sheer formulas OR a tinted moisturiser that will give your skin a more hydrated (less crepey) look.
Tip: You can turn any foundation into a sheer coverage foundation by applying it with a damp sponge. This technique thins out the product, and allows you to build more coverage only in areas that need it.
Also remember less is more when it comes to foundation.
For a good foundation option try MAC Face and Body Which is a lightweight fluid foundation with a unique blend of emollients that delivers low-to-medium buildable coverage and a natural satin finish. The moisturizing, long-wearing formula glides on well, is non-drying, for all skin types, including sensitive and dermatologist tested. Another great option for a light day coverage;- which is breathable, won’t clog pores and has SPF 25 is Dermacosmetics Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid.
There is an exception when it comes to powder …
If you occasionally get shiny in your T-zone, you can dust a bit of translucent setting powder around the center of your face. If you’re not oily, a liquid setting spray will do just fine. It will help set your foundation and will make you look less dry and more dewy.
Try a warm toned foundation
Whether you have a warm, cool, or neutral skin tone, a foundation with a warmer golden undertone has many benefits. It will give you a youthful healthy glow and (because yellow neutralizes redness) it will help balance out redness from broken capillaries.
No need to go too yellow — for example, if you usually wear the neutral shade N25, you could try a different undertone in the same color, such as warm W25. You’ll be surprised at what a difference a small change makes.
Conceal the under eyes
Concealing under the eyes helps to illuminate and makes your eyes look bigger and more awake. Choose a concealer that is one shade lighter than your foundation— this brightens a particularly shadowy area of our face.
As skin is much drier around the eyes (especially in our 40s and beyond), it’s best to choose a concealer with a more liquidy consistency, rather than a heavier or even waterproof formula (these tend to settle and dehydrate the skin.)
To apply, dab concealer underneath the lower lid and then blend out in an inverted triangle shape. This gives the illusion of an elongated under eye.
Fill in sparse brows
Unfortunately as we age our brows thin out. This can be made worse if you over-plucked your brows in the 80’s / 90s like I did. When gravity starts to take a toll, there is no greater instant fix than subtly filling in your brows. It’s one of the easiest ways to lift features and frame the face, helping make us look younger. Another option is to have your brows feather tattooed (ie natural looking brush strokes rather than solid block tattoo).
You can create the effect of an “eye lift” by slightly arching the brows and extending the tail.
If using a brow pencil, make sure the color is a close match to your own brows. Follow the natural shape of the brow and blend the color lightly so the brows don’t appear harsh and drawn on.
For a super natural look and easy application try Benefit Gimme Brow.
Choose eyeshadow wisely to make your eyes appear larger
When it comes to eyeshadow for mature eyes, it’s better to stay away from dark charcoal (which can accentuate wrinkles and make your eyes look smaller) and also cool greys (which will make your eyes look tired). Look for neutral warm satin shades such as brown, beige, bronze, rose gold, cream, and peach.
Avoid dark eye liner on the bottom of your eyes, as it makes the eyes look smaller and can draw attention to dark circles. Stick to the upper lids to make your lashes appear fuller — you can make the line slightly thicker toward the outer corners, where eyes have a tendency to droop as we age.
Avoid sparkle and also ‘overdoing’ the shimmer. This can age you more by drawing attention to areas that are more creased than they use to be. SO avoid extending shimmer too laterally, as this can enhance the appearance of crow’s feet. Instead, when adding a touch of shimmer, try applying it to the corner of the eye—just enough to add a little pop when the light hits it.
A satin finish helps brighten and is more flattering than matte which can settle into fine lines more easily.
Bring youthful colour to your face with BLUSH
In our youth, our cheeks tended to have a permanent rosy glow. Unfortunately as we age, our cheeks lose that flush due to decreased blood circulation to the skin.
Even if you like to keep your makeup routine to a minimal, skipping blush can wash you out and make you look tired. A gentle sweep will add a warm, healthy glow and can make a huge difference.
Stay away from cool frosty tones or a too-dark colour. Instead go for a warmer peachy pink shade with a satin finish – which flatters aging skin.
Apply blush to the height of the apples of your cheeks (ie not too low). Blend it lightly back and up to define and lift your features.
Highlighting the top of the cheekbones creates an instant lifting effect— making volume loss and sagging less noticeable. Look for a highlighter with a sheen — anything too glittery will look unnatural.
You can also put a little highlighter on your brow bone to open up the eyes and draw attention to your upper face. Some makeup artists also apply highlighter to the the bridge of the nose, forehead, and cupid’s bow. However, the cheek bones and brow bone will give the biggest wow factor.
Daily lip conditioning is a must before even thinking about adding a splash of lip colour. As we age our lips loose volume, pigment and moisture. Adding colour to dehydrated lined lips will only emphasise lip wrinkles. To help your lips retain their natural moisture (for a smoother and healthier appearance) you should be prepping daily with a product such as Lip Renewing Serum. Ingredients to look for include:-
- Shea Butter – is full of fatty acids which hydrate and nourish lips, while also soothing irritation. Not only does Shea butter moisturize, it is also has healing properties and creates a physical barrier on top of the skin to prevent water loss.
- Vitamin E
Ingredients to avoid in lip conditioners / lip balms / chapsticks:-
- Petrolatum (AKA Petroleum Jelly) – because petrolatum is derived from petroleum (oil), it needs to be refined, and some refining methods use toxic compounds. Petrolatum is considered potentially carcinogenic.
- Parabens – are known to interfere with hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer.
- Artificial Fragrances, flavourings & colours (esp red 33 & yellow 5). Fragrances and flavors are the “hidden chemicals” of lip balm ingredients. Unfortunately the FDA federal law allows manufacturers to include nearly any ingredient in their products under the name “fragrance” without actually listing the product used.
- Lip enhancing and plumping balms- these are usually drying and can contain mildly irritating agents, which can cause an inflammatory reaction and aggravate dryness.
Then for a splash of colour…
Avoid matte lipstick or long-wearing formulas, as they will contribute to dryness and settle into fine lip lines. Stick to sheer lipstick or lip gloss which will make your lips look (and feel) more hydrated and youthful.
If you have fine lips, avoid dark colours OR very bright shades as these can make your lips appear thinner.
Your natural lip line can begin to fade as you age, which makes lipstick prone to bleeding. Lip liners can help your colour stay in place and also make fine lips look fuller. Avoid dark colours (so 90’s) which look harsh and can draw attention to fine lines above the lips.
Finish with a Spritz
Mature skin tends to be on the dryer side. So if you haven’t already, switch from translucent powder to a setting spray. Powder is really only suitable for mature skin that’s still a touch oily.
A few spritzes over your makeup will help balance dry skin and keep your makeup from caking or flaking off.
Oh and lastly ….Never go to bed without taking off your makeup
😊 Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse) – Skincare / Dermatology