I remember as a kid watching the movie “Steel Magnolias” many times with my mom. One line that stuck out to me that I though was oh so funny at the time is spoken by Dolly Parton’s character to Julia Roberts’ character after she admits to finding the first stages of crow’s feet. “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin’ across your face.” Ha-ha. *sigh* If you are old enough to remember that scene, then this post is for you, my peeps. I love the beauty community and all the information that is available, but the online beauty presence is overwhelmingly made up of young women and girls. Though I fully support anyone brave enough to put themselves out there with blogs or Youtube accounts at any age, the 30+ demographic is getting missed, let alone those in their 40’s or 50’s and beyond. The tricks and techniques that it seems everyone is doing don’t always work on skin that isn’t firm and taught. Some can even make us look older, and we sure as hell don’t want that. I am in my mid 30’s, so I have a lot of time to go, but I can definitely see that I am not 20 anymore. Here are some tips and tricks from my own research and experience that are geared toward those who have noticed a little softening or sagging and don’t want to emphasize their flaws. And even if you are still in your 20’s, these are good things to keep in mind for the future.
Start with the best canvas. Obviously good skincare is essential at any age. A beautiful face of makeup starts with good skin, so be sure that you are moisturizing and exfoliating. As far as makeup, I really think that primer is necessary as you mature. Primer helps to fill in pores as they get larger with age, as well as smooth over lines and any dry patches that you may have. Yes, it’s an extra step, but it makes a huge difference and is well worth it.
Avoid the Matte Myth. As we age our skin tends to get dryer. Even women with oily skin in their youth will see a decline in oil production as they age. Because our skin changes so much, the foundation that we used for years may not be the best for us anymore, especially if it is mattifying. There is some controversy over what I like to call the “Matte Myth”. Some people swear that once you hit 40 every product you use has to be matte. That makes no sense to me. If I already have dry skin in my 30’s, why on earth would I use matte foundations in my 50’s that will just dry me out even more? Younger skin has a natural glow, and we should try to reproduce that trait with the right products. I personally believe that a light foundation or tinted moisturizer with a dewy or satin finish is best for mature skin. Avoid thicker formulas because they will cake up.
Apples aren’t your friends. When it comes to blush, how many times have you heard to smile to find the apples of your cheeks and apply your blush there? Too many to count, right? Do me a favor, look in the mirror, smile, and put your finger on the apple of your cheek. Go ahead, I’ll wait. You didn’t do it did you? Seriously, go do it. No, really. In the mirror you can see the apples of your cheeks are nice and high. Now, keep your finger on your cheek and stop smiling. Did you see your finger drop? I know. It will be okay. As we get older our features start to droop as we loose elasticity. That means that our apples get lower and lower, so applying blush to the apples of our cheeks can actually make us look older and sort of like one of those sad crying clown paintings. Instead, apply blush to the high points of the cheek bone toward the temples. Just be sure to blend well so you don’t look like you have stripes on the side of your face. (Is it the 80’s already?) Also, I really think that a satin finish blush or even one with a subtle shimmer is the best bet. Remember, we want to avoid the Matte Myth and bring back a youthful glow. Just be sure not to go too shimmery because chunky glitter looks really odd on anyone over 15.
Control your shimmer, woman. Okay, so we all know by now that I love me a shimmer shadow. That’s never going to go away, and I refuse to kiss shimmer goodbye. And I don’t see any reason why I should have too. The reason people avoid shimmer is because they don’t want the light to reflect and emphasize wrinkles and creases. Older women often limit themselves to matte neutrals for this reason. That’s a fair point, but you don’t want your eyes to get lost in the shuffle. If you want to detract from the lines on your face, what better way to do it than to play up the eyes that can definitely still look bright or sultry. A little bit of shimmer can give you the extra oomph you need to make the eyes the focus of your face. Just be smart about placement. Keep shimmer limited to the moving part of your lid. Avoid the crease because shimmer will bring out folds there, so a matte crease color is best. Also, be sure to use a matte highlight on the brow bone. The section under the brow can droop substantially and you don’t want to call attention to that area, so a matte highlight is key. With that flash of shimmer just on the lid, your eyes will command attention without turning on you. And keep in mind that primer is your friend. Prime your lids first, you’ll thank me later.
Limit your color palette, but don’t throw it out. I’m sorry, but the days of cobalt blue eyeshadow are over. Don’t despair, though, because there are still plenty of colors that you can still wear. You are going to want to steer clear of really bright pop art colors, but you are not completely limited to shades of brown and gray. Olive or forest greens are still definitely on the table, as well as pinks, peaches, and plums. Don’t be afraid to pop some color, but use it strategically with other neutral shades.
Brown is best. Black eyeliner can look too harsh on older eyes, but you don’t want to go without liner completely. As your lashes thin, you definitely want to bring out that lashline and frame your eyes. Liquid liners are tricky on aging eyes and can sink into fine lines and feather. Pencils will work best with lines and creases without going where you don’t want it. Use a pencil liner in a dark brown shade. It will look more natural than black, but still have the right impact. Line three quarters of the lash line (top and bottom), but leave the inner corner bare. Lining the entire eye all around can close it off and make your eyes look smaller.
Your lips don’t lie, though it’d be great if they did. Your lips lose fullness and start to look thinner and thinner as you get older, the traitors. Because of that, you are going to want to avoid dark or vampy colors for the most part. Now, I am not saying that you can’t still rock a red lip every so often, but it should probably sit out of regular season and just come out for the play-offs. (Did I just use a sports metaphor? What is wrong with me?) Dark colors tend to make lips look smaller anyway, so they aren’t going to do you any favors. Now is the time to start your love affair with nudes, mauves, and berries. If you do go for a darker shade, be sure to line your lips to keep the color from feathering or migrating. (That may be a good practice, no mater what your lip color.) Oh, and keep the finish in mind. Just say no to frost and pearl. All a frost will do is take every line or crack on your lips and shout “Look at me, I’m here and I have friends!”
Be the master of illusion. I can see why older women avoid lipgloss. High shine lips definitely look better on youthful faces. However, you may want to pick one up. The thing about light is that it brings things forward. That’s how contouring works, highlights bring features forward and shadows pull them back creating defined shapes. You can kind of do the same thing on your lips to make them look fuller than they really are. By adding a dab of gloss to the center of your lip it gives the illusion of fullness. To add to the effect, you can also shade the outer edges of you lip with a lip liner.
I hope that you found these tips helpful. If you have any other tips on how to look younger with makeup please share them in the comments so that we can all benefit. Before I wrap up, though, I do want to say one thing. I strongly believe that beauty comes in many packages and I do not equate youth and beauty. It can be hard to see our physical appearance change, and our wrinkles may not always be welcome, but they do not have to be the enemy. Our lines show that we’ve lived. And remember, “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, beautiful old people are works of art.” -Eleanor Roosevelt