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Makeup as We Age

As skin ages, the classic approach to makeup with foundation and powder can become less effective as makeup settles into fine lines and wrinkles. Instead of covering up, the best approach to mature beauty focuses on nourishing from within and enhancing what you have.

For myself, I’ve noticed that my skin is in its best shape when I stick to my diet, get plenty of sleep, and regularly exercise. That doesn’t mean I don’t still wear makeup most days. Instead, my approach has evolved when it comes to application and techniques. As I prepare to begin my 43rd year on this planet, here’s a rundown of some beauty and makeup tips and tricks for ladies of a certain age.

First, the inside work. As noted above, a balanced diet, rest, and exercise are essential for beauty and general health. And by diet, I’m including water; keeping hydrated is key; I consider my reusable water bottle as an additional accessory to my outfit. But beyond the physical, emotional health also contributes to aging well. Meditation, prayer, doing what gives you joy, whatever best works for you to find inner peace, and an emotional resting place will aid in your beauty routine.

Speaking of routine, needless to say, following a dedicated skin-care regime of cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating is a make-or-break component for your complexion. So, before you even apply your makeup, create a glowing base by spreading a veil of hydrating yet weightless moisturizer on clean skin, as heavy creams are not compatible with makeup. After the moisturizer sinks in, target areas of fine lines or dry patches with a quick-absorbing primer.

Next, conservatively cover up with a moist sponge or foundation brush to apply a sheer, hydrating foundation. Ostensibly, you can’t hide wrinkles. Attempting to do so with makeup usually draws more attention to them. Plus, you don’t want your face to look plastered on, so keep foundation light and use a robust yet lightweight creamy concealer that blends easily on more ruddy or hyper-pigmented areas. For eyes, concentrate on the under and inner corners to counteract dark circles.

When choosing a foundation or concealer shade, you may seek out an exact match to your skin. However, matchy-matchy makeup tends to end up looking washed out and aging. Try a shade or two warmer for more of a glowing effect. Use a foundation brush to blend very slightly around the neck, and then apply some bronzer to warm up the skin even more. Sweep under the cheekbones, down the sides of the nose, across the top of the forehead, and under the jawline for a more defined glow.

Smiling while you apply blush is not an effective technique as you age. Instead, apply blush at the top of the cheekbone and blend inward to point attention to your eyes.

You want to open up the eyes by making them look as big as possible. Curl your lashes with an eyelash curler, then apply mascara.

Use eyeshadow as an accessory to play up your personal style if you’re so inclined, but be thoughtful. Don’t just plop shadow on the center of the lid; use a small brush and start from the outer corner of the eye, working inward for a bigger, wide-eyed look.

For eyebrows, focus on keeping them as naturally full as possible, so instead of tweezing, trim them. You may also consider applying growth serums for fuller brows. Makeup-wise, fill in the arches with a featherlight brow pencil using hair-like strokes. Less is more for a more natural look.

Finish by balancing out your mouth using a soft lip pencil in a your-lips-but-better shade. To create symmetry, draw on four separate stokes, starting from the corners towards the Cupid’s bow or center of the bottom lip. Apply lipstick in the same fashion, then use a lip brush to soften the edges. For a matte lip, consider adding gloss for extra shine and definition.

As you get older, whether or not you wear makeup every day or only on specific occasions, remember: Wear the makeup, don’t have it wear you. Instead of trying to hide flaws, enhance what you’ve got. And drink plenty of water.