As women over fifty, our makeup needs are not what they were when we were in our twenties (or even thirties). Our skin is drier, there are more lines on our faces, and there’s discoloration from undereye circles and sun damage. Thankfully, there’s makeup! Today, I’m sharing five midlife makeup mistakes that I was making. (And I suspect you may be making them too!) I’m also linking to all of my favorite products. (Click the links or images for details.)
1. Skipping Primer
When you were younger, you didn’t need a makeup primer. You may not have even used foundation! Times have changed, my friends! Makeup primer acts as a base for your makeup. It fills in lines, allows makeup to go on smoother, and makes it last longer. I use mine all over my face and neck because it’s a serum and primer in one. The delicate upper eyelid area needs its own primer, to hide discoloration and prevent eyeshadow creasing. For an everyday look that makes your eyelashes pop, use this No Makeup Eyeshadow primer alone, without eyeshadow. I do this all the time!!
2. Applying Undereye Concealer in a Line
I learned this one from Bebe Tran, the makeup artist who sometimes does my makeup for photo shoots. (She didn’t do it for this one, and it’s clear!) If you’re applying it with the swipe method, you’re probably doing it wrong. The correct way? First, moisturize your undereye area well. Next, use primer on your entire face (including the undereye area), followed by foundation or CC cream. Then apply a hydrating concealer (I like Benefit’s Boi-ing.) in a V-shape under your eye. This makes your face look fuller and more youthful by highlighting the front of your face.
3. Not Wearing Lipstick
The color in lipstick draws attention to your mouth and energizes your face. You don’t have to wear red like I’m doing in these photos! (This was part of my holiday photo shoot, so that’s why I was wearing it.:)) Be sure to whiten your teeth, so that all the attention to your mouth doesn’t draw the focus to yellow, coffee-stained teeth. Wear a color that is flattering to your skin tone and your outfit, and steer clear of very dark shades. They’re aging. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot on a lipstick. My go-to shade is a Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer called “Rhubarb” that retails for under $5!
4. Putting Blush in the Wrong Spot
You’ve probably always heard that you should apply blush by smiling, putting it on the apples of your cheeks, and then swiping it outward toward your temples. That was great advice when we were younger with perky, full cheekbones! Unfortunately, cheekbones lose volume with aging, and if you continue to follow that advice in midlife, once you stop smiling, your blush will end up somewhere near your nasolabial folds or the corners of your mouth. (If you don’t believe me, try it in the mirror!) Instead, forget about the “apple” rule, and apply it higher up—actually on your cheekbones. The best kind of blush for older women is a cream blush because it looks more natural and doesn’t fold into lines or creases. Powders can accentuate wrinkles and make older, drier skin look even more dehydrated. My favorite is Revlon’s Insta-Blush. It’s lightweight, blends easily and comes in multiple shades.
5. Not Using Contour and Highlighting Sticks
Contouring creates the illusion of structure and lift. You can make your cheekbones sharper and define your jawline (I’m going to do an entire post on this soon!) Ideally, for aging skin you want to use a lightweight, dewy cream-based product that will hydrate and contour simultaneously, because powder may accentuate fine lines. At the very least, you want to use a highlighting stick on your brow bone, at the inside corner of your eye, and along the very top of your cheekbones. Use a contouring stick just under your jawline, to soften and hide a double chin. If you have a long face, contour your forehead and temples; if you have a square face, contour along your jaw to soften; and if your face is round, contour under your cheekbones and on your chin. Whatever you do, use a light hand (you can always add more!) and blend, blend, blend.
I hope this post was helpful. I’ve made lots of midlife makeup mistakes, that’s for sure! Have you? Tell me about them in the comments, okay?
I think midlife women are so beautiful, and I love the lines and softness that tell the world we’ve loved well and smiled much. 🙂
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Photos by Megan Weaver.