6 genius foundation tips everyone over 40 needs to know. Immediately.

Nabbing smooth, dewy foundation is a task at any age, but when you throw things like fine lines, wrinkles and dry skin into the equation (rude), it all gets a WEE BIT HARD.

Look, there are some outstanding formulations out there for mature skin (hydrating! lightweight! won't tell fibs!), but more often than not they can all end up looking a little... meh on your skin. You know?

The foundation that was supposed to help enhance your complexion, ends up just hanging out in your fine lines, playing cards and smoking ciggies. Sigh.

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But, you guys. What if it wasn't the foundation? What if it was something as simple as the way you've been applying it?

Because there are some Rather Easy Things you can forget to do when it comes to slapping foundation on your face. And these things might just be the difference between lovely healthy looking skin, and stage paint that looks like it was applied by a four-year-old in the dark.

So, you know what we did? We've asked celebrity makeup artist Michael Brown to give us some of his top tips on the best things you can do when it comes to applying foundation in your 40s and above. 

Tip #1: Moisturise.

Obviously! We hear you say. But are you actually doing it? Didn't think so. 

Before going gung-ho with foundation, prepping your skin properly is KEY - no matter how old you are. So, we recommend always starting with a moisturiser (one that's hydrating but not greasy and slippy).

"Skin prep is so important for any skin type and age bracket, but even more so for mature skin, especially if dryness is a concern," said Brown.

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You could also reach for a couple of drops of face oil, and gently dab it into the areas that tend to look dull, thirsty and dry. You know the ones. 

If you're really excelling on the dry skin front, you could even work some of the leftover facial oil into the foundation. 


"For very dry skin, I recommend even mixing foundation into a serum or moisturiser to avoid a cakey effect, especially during long-wear," he said.

Look at chu! So healthy! So glowy!

Tip #2: Find the right primer.

You should! You really should. Primers are like the heavy lifters - they do all the hard work and fix some of your niggling skin texture concerns first, so it isn't left for your foundation and concealer to deal with. 

"Lots of moisture is key for a better bond with foundation, but also a blurring primer can smooth away unwanted texture concerns," said Brown.

There are SO many different kinds of primers now, and they all do fairly different things. But there is some glorious wizardry behind the soft-focus effect of 'blurring' primers - those that focus on softening lines, smoothing out the skin's texture, blurring the skin and such. 

These kinds of primers aren’t particularly new, but some of the latest versions have less of that heavy, silicone-y feeling we all hate. You know the one? The stuff that feels heavy and pills all over the shop? Yeah, the new ones are a galaxy better.

Oh, and remember to reach for a formula that isn't matte - they can make your skin look drier, and that's just not something you need right now, friend.           

Tip #3: Less is more.

We know, we know. 'Less is more' is easier said than done - especially if you're battling concerns like adult acne and rosacea. 

But if you're struggling to get the right amount of coverage AND ensuring you don't look/feel like you're wearing a mask, we recommend searching for buildable formulas that allow you to customise your coverage. 

"Try to avoid very thin textured foundation," said Brown. "The thinner, more liquid/watery the foundation, the more chance it has to slip and creep into expression lines, as there’s no density or weight to make it stay put."

According to Brown, cream textures work best for mature skin. (Try L'Oréal Infallible Foundation Stick, $12, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, $72 or IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40, $63.)

When it comes to actually applying the foundation, focus on the middle of your face first, tackling any niggling issues before moving outwards.

"Start with areas of concern first, under eyes and cheeks for any redness, then slowly blend out if necessary. The whole face doesn’t need the same coverage," he said.

"Avoid applying heavy coverage on very expressive areas like forehead, crows feet and around the mouth. Keep product in these areas to a minimum and only use higher coverage under eye and front of cheeks, the more focal part of the face."

Tip #4: Always opt for hydrating foundations. 

ALWAYS. Why? Because as we age, our skin tends to get drier and needs a helping hand when it comes to adding moisture. 

That's why we recommend looking for hydration-rich formulas that offer skin benefits and coverage in one. Anything with words like 'dewy', 'luminous', 'glow' etc., should do the job nicely. Again, matte isn't great for this, so steer clear. Plus, he always hangs out with his mates and never texts back, so...


Tip #5: Ease up on the powder front.

Omg, slow down hun. She can turn on you. Yep - EVEN if you have oily skin. 

So, y'know - just be wary of where you put it and approach with caution, because powder tends to slink into creases and grab onto dry patches and such. 

If you're simply not budging on the powder front (that's okay! You do you etc, etc), we reckon a nice sheer silky powder will be less drying than some of the others out there. Just sayin'.

Tip #6: Use a brush or a sponge.

So, what's the best way to apply foundation to mature skin? Beauty sponge? Foundation brush? Your fingers? ARE FINGERS FINE?

Well, while fingers are the easiest and quickest way to applying foundation - sometimes things can get a lil blotchy and uneven. So, using a makeup sponge or foundation brush will probably give you a more even and natural finish.

"I use a foundation brush to apply sweeping movements, starting from the centre of the face outwards. Starting central guarantees a seamless blend of product, then finishing at the edges of the face means there will be no product build-up in sight," said Brown.

"For extra coverage (mainly under the eyes, cheeks and chin), I then use a beauty blender type sponge to dab/press and roll, building up coverage as needed."

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Pop them in the comment section below. Go on.

Feature image: Getty + Mamamia.

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