Ever since I turned 40, I have been noticing something missing in the beauty and skincare category of social media and advertising.
I am seeing that beauty brands are getting better with diversity in race, gender, and even size. But the inclusion of women that have some age on them and actual wrinkles, well they are few and far between. (Wait – lets refer to them as smile lines, wisdom lines, and laugh lines:)
Basically women over the age of 30 get very little face time when it comes to cosmetic advertisements or being prominently featured on beauty + fashion websites…and it’s a shame really. As a working makeup artist and over 40 beauty blogger, I love love following makeup + skincare brands for inspiration on social apps like Instagram.
Buuutt when I scroll through my feed, it feels like no one is speaking to us, highlighting us, teaching us, or using women that LOOK like us.
Don’t even get me started when I see a company boasting a wrinkle cream or concealer for dark circles, but their model is a 20-something with ZERO lines or deepened eye sockets!! Ugh, it’s so disheartening and honestly, kinda burns me up. These brands should take notice and include older women in their ads because we are the ones that really want it and need it! Hello target market…Okay tiny rant over and moving on!
So for todays post, I am going to talk directly to my MATURE FEMALE AUDIENCE.
I have my good friend and fabulous over-60 fashion blogger, Beth, to thank for this post idea. Beth is the beauty and brains behind the popular lifestyle blog, Style At A Certain Age. I have known Beth for awhile now, we both live in Athens, and I even had her on my podcast here as my 2nd guest!
Be sure to take a listen to her story. It is one that will reassure you that it’s never too late to start something new or to reinvent yourself. (Spoiler alert – she didn’t even start her blog til the age of 50!!) Also, go ahead and follow her over on Instagram if you’re not already.
Beth before her makeover. (we actually had already filled in her left brow, then realized we hadn’t taken the before pic! ha!)
Beth after her makeover.
Beth reached out with the fun idea of me doing a personal makeup session with her that she would record a video and put up on her YouTube channel and her blog. She was in the mood for a makeup update and figured this was a great time and way to share some of my favorite makeup tips for older women!
So this gave me the idea to piggy back on the idea for her video tutorial we did together. Be sure to go watch it first!!
What I am going to focus on today are 5 COMMON MAKEUP MISTAKES older women are making and how to fix them.
#1. Not enough skin prep. You gotta prep the canvas before you can apply the paint!! Our skin gets dehydrated as we age and that causes makeup to settle in the fine lines and wrinkles even more. I always say that your makeup will only look as good as possible if you’re taking good care of your skin and you need to plump it up!
How to fix it : Every single day you should be cleansing, toning, exfoliating (you know I’m going to say with this magic exfoliant), and moisturizing! And give yourself a tiny facial massage when doing any face oils or creams at night and in the morning. This increases circulation and gets the blood flowing in the face which gives you a natural glow and brings more color to the skin.
#2. Ignoring the eyebrows altogether OR making them too dark. I harp on how important eyebrows are ALL the time. They are literally the starting point of your face. Notice in the video I began dealing with them FIRST to set the pace for the rest of the makeup. Skinny brows are a dead giveaway of being older.
You need fullness in the brows to appear more youthful since most of our brows fall out and get sparse the older we get. You don’t see 10 year olds walking around with pencil thin brows do you??
How to fix it : Use a brow pencil or brow powder a shade lighter than your natural brow hair color to fill in and shape – do not try to match it to the hair on top of your head. But on the flip side, too dark of a brow with a shade that is harsh is also completely aging and overpowering.
Before and After of my client Jacqueline.
This is one of my recent clients Jacqueline whose makeup I did for her head shots. All of the fixes I am mentioning in this post I used these techniques on her. She explained to me that she wasn’t much of a “makeup gal” on an everyday basis but asked me to accentuate her best features like her eyes and her skin for her photos.
Implementing #3 and #4 below made a big noticeable difference in brightening up her entire face. I thought her before and after really showed how with the RIGHT makeup you can really enhance your face without hiding it and actually erase a few years!
#3. Harsh eyeliner. It’s not so much about what colors NOT to wear, but HOW you apply the liner. A thick uneven line on your upper and lower lash lines are super aging. And please do not do not ONLY line the lower lash line – that area is already kind of annoyingly dark!
How to fix it : I like to use a soft pencil and apply short strokes as close and thin to the lash line as possible. But then you should go a step further and smooth it out with a matching eyeshadow using an eyeliner brush to swipe on top to blur the line. This makes that pencil appear softer. Because most of us can’t get the liner straight the first time anyway.
#4. Skipping concealer for dark circles. NO it’s not going to make your wrinkles around your eyes look worse! I hear this worry all the time. And I say the same thing every time – I’d rather see a brighter lighter eye bed and a few wrinkles than a deep dark sunken in eye bed any day. Concealer is actually a game changer for older women because it has the ability to bring home a flawless complexion and cover more than just foundation because of it’s consistency.
How to fix it : Apply your concealer AFTER your foundation or any face makeup is applied. You don’t want to dilute the concealer because it’s the powerhouse. Dot it only along the area that is dark and looks sunken in. (If you carry it below that dark area then you’re just bringing attention back to it by lighting up the already light areas of the face.) I like to apply it in a V formation under the eye and then carrying it up high towards the temple to give a mini eye lift.
#5. Choosing the wrong lip color. Now I’m all about trying anything and any colors that you are curious about, and lips are typically the easiest to experiment with. But it’s a fact that more matte lip formulas and dark lip colors can be aging. But on the flip side, NO lip color can also scream your age if your lips are left dull and colorless.
How to fix it : It’s really all about balance. A bright bold lip color like a red orange or hot pink can bring a lot of youth fullness to a face IF the rest of the makeup is softer. You don’t want your eyes and lips to compete for attention. But if you choose to go for a bolder smokier eye, then keep your lip color soft and subtle with maybe a hint of shine. And creamier to glossier formulas are best for the illusion of fuller lips.
Special thank you to Beth and her son Christian for most of the photographs used in this post and for creating the awesome and informative makeup video!