When I was in my 20s, and I acquired makeup clients in their 40s and beyond, I discovered that some of the techniques I used on my own skin didn’t highlight what was best about my clients’ faces. Most of my time had been spent with 18 year old models shooting for Elle Magazine, so I wasn’t aware that older skin has different needs than younger skin, and that certain makeup textures don’t work on most women past the teen years. Now, as a woman of a certain age, I’ve definitely figured out what makes me look my best without looking too made up or garish. My goal at this age isn’t to mimic everyone else and follow every new trend. I want to look like myself, polished and subtle with great skin.
Here are my swear-by beauty tips that will accentuate the lovely original that you are.
Make your skin your #1 priority. Ideally, it would be wonderful if we’d all been wise enough to always wear sunscreen, drink lots of water and eat healthy foods. But if that’s not your story (I didn’t figure it out until about 30), you may have sun damage, premature wrinkling and skin discoloration. The good news is you can do a certain amount of backpedaling through medical procedures such as microdermabrasion, injectables and intense pulsed light therapy. These treatments can be done as a jump start to better skin. You can maintain the health of your skin by using quality serums with vitamin C (great antioxidant), hyaluronic acid (plumps up the skin and makes it look more youthful) and other skin-brightening ingredients. Always wear full spectrum sunscreen, even on cloudy days.
Use lighter makeup textures than you did when you were younger. For some women, this seem counterintuitive. They believe that they need more or denser makeup as they get older to cover “problems”. In reality, lighter textures that allow for the skin to show, looks more youthful and touchable. Matte, powdered foundation and heavy cream concealers show wrinkles far more than soft, sheer textures. If you have an area where you need extra coverage, choose a foundation with light reflective qualities because it covers imperfections without covering up your skin. Be particularly careful with concealer as dense creams settle into wrinkles and make you look older. Choose a light cream concealer that has a good amount of pigments so you won’t have to apply several layers.
Use highlights strategically. In my 20s, I was addicted to shimmer. Now I know to tone that waaaay back. Using sheen (notice I didn’t say, “shimmer”) on the tops of cheekbones, the bow of the lips and the arch of the brow can be lovely, just make the placement work on your loveliest features. You can use it wherever you’d like to draw the eye and create a little highlight, say along the jawline if it’s not as pronounced as it used to be. Placing a shiny, golden-hued lip color right in the middle of the bottom lip creates the illusion of fuller lips. The rule of thumb is, use sheen and shine when you want to draw something to the foreground. Use darker shades when you want something to be less noticeable (or to create contour). Learn to use makeup as art. The trick is to blend well so it all seems very subtle.
Keep eyebrows flawless, curl your lashes and wear mascara. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Make them the focal point without a lot of daily work. Once you’ve had your brows professionally shaped, it will take you two minutes in the mornings to curl your lashes and throw on a coat of black mascara. Keeping this eye trio at the top of my beauty list means I always look pulled together without a lot of effort. You will, too!
I’d love to hear your best beauty tips for mature skin. What’s your favorite?