"I've had to start wearing makeup like a 'grown up'. And I love it."

Happy birthday to me, I’m over 33, I’ve started wearing foundation and I love it – yippee!

Once upon a time, I was a smug twenty-something who would spout humble-braggy phrases such as “I don’t need to wear foundation. I’m too young.” If anyone said that to me now, I’d want to punch them in the face.

When I was younger, makeup was more about trends and colours, rather than correct application. So that meant no lipliner, no foundation, and definitely no primer (was that even a thing in the ’90s)?

I definitely thought that the more foundational, basic makeup products were for old farts, and of no use for perky little moi.

Well, cut to now, when I’m older, wiser and probably fartier and wearing makeup properly and like a grown-ass woman. And you know what? There’s a reason why basic beauty products exist – it’s because they work. Here’s a guide to some grown-up, lady beauty products I’ve been using lately, and why you should consider giving them a whirl, too.

Watch Carla talk to Shelly Horton about her natural beauty products and her beauty routine. (Post continues after video.)


For years, I was in foundation-denial. Like everyone, I have skin imperfections on my face, but I’d use anything rather than foundation to cover them. But for a flawless look with a natural finish, nothing beats foundation. BB creams and tinted moisturisers can be too sheer to cover blemishes, and heavy doses of concealer can quickly become cakey.

New foundation formulas are nothing like the heavy, pink sludge of previous years, so there’s no need to be afraid of it.

Recently, I’ve taken to applying Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation, $19.69 in the mornings to cover the weird veins on my face, and it’s a quick way for me to look fresh and bright.

TIP: If you’re looking for a budget foundation that doesn’t have a pink, ‘fake’ tint to it, I’ve found that Maybelline have a great range of colours that have a more flattering, golden tone.



Look, I was a teenager during the ’90s, when the hot lip look was brown-lined lips with nude lip gloss. It was enough to turn me off lipliner for life – almost.

makeup for older women
Last year, Jennifer Lopez gave us a 90s throwback with this lip liner look. Image via Getty (Jerritt Clark)

But now that I’ve embraced bright, bold red lips, I’ve actually been craving lipliner. It defines, prevents lipstick smears, and actually helps my lipstick last for longer. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in “Call Me Crazy”, $10.39. It’s a coral-toned red, but somehow, it manages to perfectly match several of my red lipsticks.

TIP: For more natural definition, apply lipliner after lipstick, and only in the spots where you need it.

Eye makeup primer.

If you want eye makeup that looks professional and stays put all day long, then a priming product is essential. Whether you’re using a cheap eyeshadow palette or an expensive pigment, a primer will bring out the best of the product in terms of colour and texture, and make it stick around and non-creasing.

Also, removing eye makeup is a breeze when you’ve laid a foundation with eye makeup primer. It prevents the actual colour from staining or sticking to your lids. How else do you think I managed to remove my crazy peacock eyeshadow?

Thanks to eye makeup primer, I was able to wipe this off easily. Image supplied.

For me, the pick of the bunch are NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, $35, and the genius budget buy, e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer, $8. Both of these products are colourless and matte, and work with any type of eye makeup.

TIP: Eye makeup primers come in a variety of textures, such as matte and metallic. For versatility, I prefer to use matte, as it works with all textures of eye shadows. (Post continues after gallery.)


Eye cream.

The skin surrounding our eyes is delicate, and can often take a beating from eye makeup and just life – you know, staring at screens or waking up in the middle of the night with your kid. In my twenties, that area of my face began to feel dry, but I refused to use a proper eye cream, because I was “too young” (ugh, shut up, baby Carla!).

Watch Jackie give an easy how-to on weather-proofing your make-up. (Post continues after video.)

So I used Vaseline or Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment, like a total doofus, and then wondered why I kept getting conjunctivitis. Ah, the ignorance of youth! These days, nothing beats the water-like texture and hydration of Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado, $43.

TIP: If you’re a night-owl like me, eye creams and eye drops will be your best friends for feeling – and looking – awake.

After pampering your eyelids, why not try one of these winged eyeliner looks? Post continues after gallery.

Cleansers and makeup removers.

Look, face wipes are great if you need to get your makeup off in a hurry, and they were a staple in my busy, work-focussed twenties. But I always found that I’d wake up the next day with smudges of eye makeup still there, or I’d find some blush on my pillow.

Now, I make sure I use dedicated cleansers and makeup removers to get all of the makeup off, in a thorough yet gentle way. To remove my waterproof mascara and eye makeup, I use Nivea Daily Essentials 3-in-1 Waterproof Eye Make-Up Remover, $6.74. It’s a cream-based formula that gently removes eye makeup, with minimal rubbing. After removing my eye makeup, I wash my face in the shower using Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser, $14.99, which vanquishes makeup and leaves a fresh feeling.

TIP: When removing eye makeup, use cotton pads instead of cotton balls, to avoid getting stringy bits of cotton fluff on your eyeball.

This post was originally published on The Glow.