Last week I wrote a piece on how to fix common makeup mistakes, which I think we can all agree was the finest piece of literature ever written, Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, notwithstanding. (Do they send you the Nobel prize? Or do you have to go in and pick it up? I’ll find out soon enough I guess.)
As promised I will now follow on with advice on makeup errors commonly made by those loveable rascals among us who have elegantly skated past 40. This, of course, is a wild assumption, based on nothing more than generalisations. You might have been gifted with superb genes and still look 35 at 50, or you could have fried that gorgeous face of yours in the sun your entire INXS-saturated youth, and now at 35, look 45, or you could have been part of a weird Romanian science experiment and been frozen for 20 years and have the skin of a teen. I DON’T KNOW.
1. Re-assess your foundation. Harshly.
It’s highly unlikely the foundation you were using at 30 is relevant for you at 45. Skin changes seasonally, hormonally and definitely with age. Also, let’s all stop using foundation as a mask over your entire face – it’s unrequired! Crazy! Doing that beautiful face no good! Just because you might have more things you want to hide, does not mean you slap on more product. Instead, get your skin hydrated and in top shape (skincare with ceramides, AHAs, peptides and retinoids are your friend) and always moisturise before applying your foundation.
For your new youthful, sheer look, use a liquid (or creamy compact) foundation that will boost radiance (like Dior Capture Totale or Max Factor Age Renew) but not make you look like you’ve applied it with a soup ladle. A sponge or foundation brush will help you get precise, even coverage and you’ll see how great the right base can for diminishing the bad – age/sun spots etc – and accentuating the good. (If your skin is excellent, you can use tinted moisturiser instead, but do wear something – it’s such an easy way to get glow.)
Finish with creamy concealer to brighten up and conceal the under eye area (and if you have dark circles, a yellow-based corrector under that) without making it dry or crepey. (Try Revlon Age Defy Concealer.) Pop on your blush and eye makeup, then set your finished face with a light, translucent powder if you feel you need to, although keep in mind that too much powder will only accentuate any dryness and wrinkles, so use very sparingly, if at all. The skin naturally becomes drier as we age, so there shouldn’t be as much need for powder anyway. (If you need or want more coverage, rather than pressed powder, opt for a semi-matte foundation.)
2. Soften up your eye makeup, why don’t you?
The older we get, the softer our eye makeup should be. Leave the severe and dark colours (try the gentler version of the colours you love… So, if you wear chocoloate, go more latte. Love violet? Go lilac. Mad for navy? Switch to soft blue) and unflattering textures (especially shimmer, which accentuates wrinkles and crepey skin) alone, and move into matte or satin powder eye shadows that will conceal and smooth out the skin.
BUT! Before you do that, brighten the whole eye area with a creamy liquid or crème eye shadow in a peach, buff or soft pink tone over the entire eyelid, and then apply your powder shadow. (Try Jane Iredale Eye Gloss in Pink Silk, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place ShadowCreme in Golden Sands or Illamasqua cream eye shadow in Wail.)