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Makeup Tips for Women in Their 40s

Makeup Tips for Women in Their 40s

In 1513, explorers from Spain stumbled upon The Fountain of Youth, an iconic spring in what would later become Florida, that promised eternal juvenescence for anyone who dared to bathe in or sip from it. Five centuries later, those same promises now come in the form of beauty products, many of which swear they offer similar, if not dubious results. However, the 1500s have come and gone, and the beauty of the natural aging process is something that women are now embracing with open arms. Of course, natural aging doesn’t mean completely abandoning makeup; in fact, a key ingredient to maturing in style is flawless makeup. And, for women over 40, it isn’t as complicated as it may seem. In reality, it’s really just about simplification.

The most noticeable changes that happen to skin as it matures are the development of lines, wrinkles, and sometimes an increase in pore size. Additionally, there’s an overall dulling of the skin, and while many women try to combat that by piling on the cosmetics, the secret to keeping makeup looking fresh is a simple matter of getting back to the basics. As I approach my 40s, here are a few basic techniques that I’m starting to use.

Before you even start applying makeup, prep your skin with a hydrating, as opposed to matt primer. With age, increased dulling of the skin calls for more hydration — and your primer can aide with that. A good primer will also help protect your skin from pollutants and smooths the texture. The Algenist Pore Corrector/Anti-Aging primer from Sephora is great for women in their 40s who may also be fighting the occasional breakout, as it helps to absorb excess oil while smoothing skin to prep for makeup. Or over on Amazon, there’s Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener, which is great for duller skin, as it creates a bright layer for makeup to lay on top of.

Once your face is prepped, only use foundation where it’s needed, if at all. Too much of a base won’t necessarily make for a smooth finish. A full face of foundation can settle into lines and end up looking cakey and crepey. Instead, use a damp sponge or fluffy brush to apply a sheer wash where needed. Or use a brush with a small amount of foundation for the entire face, with the makeup tapering off around the perimeter of the face. I’m a fan of the Sonia Kashuk brushes at Target for foundation, bronzer, and blush application. There’s also the famous egg-shaped Beauty Blender sponges available from Sephora.

After you have the correct amount of coverage, add luminosity to your skin with a cream-based blush, especially here in the winter. Blush can help wake up a face, as well as provide definition to the cheek bones, and what woman (no matter her age) doesn’t want a more definitive cheek bone! Smile when applying blush to make sure it hits at the apple of the cheeks. Try mixing highlighter with blush for even more of a glow. Glossier’s “cloud paint” in storm is a gel-cream blush in a warm rose shade, perfect for the colder months. I also like Milk Makeup’s lip + cheek perk, which works both as a lip and blush stick to hydrate skin with a sheer flush.

Next up is eyes. And just like the rest of your face, you’ll need to prep before applying cosmetics. I’m a big fan of under-eye sheet masks. E.L.F. offers affordable hydrogel under-eye masks that will plump, moisturize, and soothe the area. Regularly hydrating your under-eye will help you avoid concealer, especially for daytime looks. I rarely use concealer under my eyes, as it tends to settle in to fine lines and weigh down my face.

Of course, you don’t want to leave your eyes completely bare. However, eyelid skin tends to grow looser with age, hence we need to be more precise with eyeshadow application. Be sure to keep the shadow on your lids rather than reaching into the crease. Also try switching to softer tones, like Covergirl’s 3 kit shadow in shimmering sands, and keep the darkest shade closer to the lash line, working like eyeliner. For evenings, show off the shape of your eye with false lashes, but again keep it subtle. Use smaller lashes with flexible bands, like Kiss Lash Couture from Walmart. Hold a mirror below you rather than in front to allow full access to the top of the eye and let the glue get very tacky for 30 to 45 seconds so the lashes grip immediately.

From eyes to lips, beware of drying matte finishes for your lipstick. However, before you even begin to think about lip color, you’ll need to provide some lip care. Burt’s Bees condition lip scrub will help exfoliate and hydrate dry lips. Again, winter is a tough time for your skin, especially your lips, especially for women in their 40s or older. So, as you prime your face and sheet mask your under-eye, why not go all-in, and apply a bit of lip scrub? Once you have soft, healthy looking lips, go for a lipstick with added hydration and shine, like Guerlain’s kisskiss creamy satin finish from Sephora. A satiny veneer will help distract from any tiny lines around the mouth.

Lastly, keep finishing powder to a minimum. A full face of setting powder will “set you up” for creases in your foundation as the day goes on. Instead, dip loose powder on a fluffy blending brush and gently roll it across areas that need setting, such as the T-zone. Laura Mercier’s translucent loose powder from Ulta is extremely lightweight, with a silky sheer finish.

As we get older, priorities will shift and vanities will pare down, however, there’s no age limit on wanting to look your best self. So, as the beauty routines you developed in our 20s and 30s give way to a more simplistic makeup and style, remember inner beauty is ageless. But it’s always nice to look beautiful no matter your age.

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