'I'm a beauty writer over 50. Here are 9 common makeup mistakes and how to fix them.'

I quite often get asked by women over 50 for advice on how to make their makeup look a bit more polished. 

Surprisingly, I find that a lot of it comes from not having the confidence in applying makeup. The truth is, there are a few easy tricks that can help you look more pulled together when it comes to applying a full face. 

But you don't need to be scared of looking like a clown with face paint. That's why I'm here.

Watch: Bridal Makeup Artist Natalie Wright teaches us her techniques for a smokey eye with a twist... there's no black eyeshadow in sight. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

I’ve put together a list of things to try that are beginner-friendly and about creating an elevated, natural look. 

Now for the steps. Please note I have done one side using these tips and one side without.

Mistake #1: Not prepping skin.

Image: Teresa McNamara.


This is a MUST if you're aiming for a flawless makeup look — it's the first mistake so many people make. When you get your makeup done professionally, the first thing they do is to moisturise your skin and give it time to sink in. 

Your makeup adheres to that moisturiser and as it gets fully absorbed into the skin, it helps melt your base giving a more natural look. Without doing this, the foundation can grab to dry patches and the coverage can look inconsistent.

Mistake #2: Not filling in brows.

Image: Teresa McNamara.


I'm lucky enough to be born with eyebrows that started in my hairline and they somehow didn’t suffer too much when I over plucked them in the early 2000s. I only have a couple of thinning spots but there's still a difference if I don't fill them in. 

If push comes to shove, I could get away with just a brow tint. However, this is not the case with a lot of women my age. Luckily, most women still have a line of brows to follow and fill in, however fine that is. 

Keep in mind, we're not trying to follow any trends here — nor are we trying to make them thick. But if you're looking for something natural, I'd suggest some soft, light upwards strokes to fill in the brows. You can then set then with a brow gel to make it hold all day. This helps create a “frame” for your face. 


Mistake #3: Not priming eyelids.

Image: Teresa McNamara.

I've said this so many times before (just read some of my articles)… prime your lids! Even if not wearing eyeshadow. Why? Because as we age we start getting little veins across our lids, we get some darkness in the grooves in the inner corner and our skin tone looks unnatural and uneven. 

I'd recommend trying to go for something similar to your natural skin tone. Ideally you use an eyelid primer if you're planning on using eyeshadow. If not, you can also use a concealer (though, I personally only use eyelid primer as they are designed to withstand the natural oils in our eyelids whereas concealers can break down). You can tap it out with your fingers and set with powder.


Mistake #4: Not applying eyeshadow high enough. 

Image: Teresa McNamara.

This is such a common issue. As we age, our lids naturally begin to sag and droop (my eyes are a very good example of this as they have significant sag with heavy hoods). A big mistake is placing eyeshadow on the soft mobile lid space and maybe going a tiny bit higher when appalling it with their eyebrows raised. 


Once your face is relaxed you then can’t see it as it all disappears under your hood. You need to place it up much higher onto your orbital bone. 

I recommend applying your eyeshadow looking straight ahead into a mirror. It needs to be placed above your hood. (See my earlier hooded eyes makeup tutorial for more help).

Mistake #5: Not blending out eyeliner. 

Image: Teresa McNamara.

As we age, our lashes tend to get thinner and lighter. I no longer use pencil eyeliner on my lower lashes, instead opting to use an eyeshadow as liner and blending it. I love wearing liner under my lashes as I believe it makes my eyes more defined and my lashes thicker. 


The tip here is to line as usual but get yourself a small blending brush and using a second lighter shade to blend it out gently. This will help smoke out the eye and soften the harsh line, which is less ageing.

Mistake #6: Avoiding mascara.

Image: Teresa McNamara.

A lot of women don't like to wear mascara due to smudging or not wanting the hassle of taking it off at the end of the day. And that's totally fine — you do you! But taking a note from brows — defining your lashes will help frame the face and draw attention in. 


I'd recommend grabbing an eyelash curler first and then use a volumising mascara. There are so many options on the market now and if you do not like traditional mascara, then try a tubing mascara as it slides off easily with water. 

Mistake #7: Not correcting discolouration of the face.

Image: Teresa McNamara.

As we age, we also get a lot of different types of discolouration. For example, I get a lot of redness on my nose and across my cheeks with quite a few small broken capillaries. It's a totally normal part of ageing that everyone experiences, but if it's something that bothers you and you want some options, just be aware that you don’t need to go hard and heavy. You just need to use the right products. 


For redness, you can get a lightweight green colour corrector to counteract the redness and then just use concealer where you feel you need a bit more coverage and blend into the area. And that's it!

Mistake #8: Applying blush too low (or not at all).

Image; Teresa McNamara


If you're anything like me, you'll notice our faces are... falling. Meaning? I'd recommend applying things like blush a bit higher than we did when we were younger. For example, if I smile and place blush on the apples of my cheeks, it looks great, however the minute I relax my face, it drags it down. 

Face a mirror and smile… look at those cute, chubby apples! Keep your eye on them and watch how they drop when you relax your face. I do NOT have perky under 30 cheeks, but I DO have a sneaky makeup trick to make them look higher. 

I'd suggest not taking your blush lower than the edge of your nose or bring it in more than the centre of your eye. Instead, l look more towards the higher side of your cheekbones and strategically place it here. 

Mistake #9: Wearing drying matte lipsticks.

Image: Teresa McNamara


Ahh, Poppy King still has a lot to answer for — she single-handedly fuelled my obsession with matte lipstick from the early 90s. 

While we all still have our favourite matte lipsticks still hanging around, I have to say — for me personally, my lips are no longer as full or as juicy as they used to feel. I find matte lipstick tend to dry out my lips and give them a ridiculous amount of lines. 

I’m not going to lie, I still dabble in matte, but now I'll add a gloss over the top to juice my lips up. You can still use a bullet lipstick but go for a more satin finish if not wanting to use a gloss. 

That’s it. Try as few of these steps if you're not confident to have a go at them all and see how you feel. 

Just remember, at the end of the day, makeup is really personal and you should always do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

While you're here, check out my other articles on how to do makeup for hooded eyes and how to get a glowy face base.

Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to add? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied.

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