Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

Makeup for Women in their 50's

As you read these tried-and-true make-up tips, keep this in mind: Don't try to reclaim your youth, instead, reclaim yourself….you, only better. If you’ve been reading Crazy Blonde Life for a while, you know that I have no problem with injectables or plastic surgery, however, if you’re 50, you’ll never look 25. When you're over 50, the goal of applying makeup shouldn't be to make you look younger. Instead, it should gracefully enhance your best features and offer flattering, subtle highlights to your face. I believe it’s always about being the best you can be and makeup can go a long way to help you to look and feel your best.

My number one rule is…Don't skip out on beauty sleep. Ever. A good night’s sleep does make a difference to your skin, as it repairs and restores itself while you rest. Not only will your skin look better, but you will feel better. Lack of sleep makes the skin appear dull and lifeless, and accentuates dark circles under the eyes.. Your biggest beauty consideration should be the health of your skin. With great skin, you'll need less makeup. In fact, if you get enough sleep, keep your skin well-hydrated and exfoliated, you may feel comfortable in nothing more than under-eye concealer, mascara, and lip stick. I personally like to wear a little more, but I love makeup! Here are my tips for putting your best face forward!


Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Nothing plumps up the skin better than hydration. It also helps everything glide on better, including your concealer, foundation, sunscreen, blush, and everything else. Dermatologists often recommend hyaluronic acid, which helps with aging skin and is especially helpful during the winter months. Hyaluronic acid such as  Neocutis Hyalis is often recommended by dermatologists. It's especially helpful during the winter months when skin is dry. When selecting hyaluronic acid, read the label. The most effective products will list hyaluronic acid at the beginning of the ingredient list, not at the end. Always use a moisturizer for your skin type. If you’re unsure of your skin type, this great article will help.

Apply a retinol cream every few days. This is a great way to maintain a brilliant glow and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Retin-A can be too harsh for aging skin, however many dermatologists recommend a variety of products, including RoC Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer SPF30 (I’ve been using this product for about 2 years and have seen great results).

Exfoliate daily.  Flaky, dry skin is not a good base for foundation or any makeup products. Exfoliating every day with either a facial scrub or a washcloth dipped in coconut oil (love this tip) will help tremendously.  Patricia Wexler's Skin Resurfacing Cream and Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant are two products that come highly recommended.

Never go to bed without taking off your makeup.  Either cleansing oils or creamy cleansers will leave your face clean and makeup free, ready to wake up refreshed for a new day. Products like Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser and Dr. Patricia Wexler's Universal Anti-Aging Cleanser are great nighttime cleansers for more mature skin.

Use Sunscreen. Keep your face, neck, and hands out of the sun to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sunspots. Wear sunscreen on your face, hands, and neck, rain or shine, and hats if you are out in the middle of the day. 

Maintain Your Eyebrows

Good eyebrows can make you look years younger. Keeping your brows nice is like having a face-lift without surgery. You don't want to over pluck brows because they are less likely to grow back if you pluck excessively.

Droopy eyes can be changed by slightly arching the brows and extending them outward toward the temples (rather than having the tail curve down around the eye). The arch is an important part of the brow, and should be a gradual and very gentle lift.

A few tips for getting perfect brows will help:

Fill in your brows with a brow pencil to make them appear fuller. You can also "brush" them out with a mascara brush (unused and clean of any mascara) that's been spritzed with hairspray or use a brow gel like this one from Laura Mercier.

Avoid drawn-in brows. The pencil-thin line with no hair can look fake and overdone. Filling thin brows will give you a much more natural look.

Avoid over-tweezing by getting your brows professionally done every few weeks or use the professional's job as a map for your own tweezing and pluck any stray hairs.

Don't tweeze gray brow hairs. Instead, conceal them with a brow powder or pencil. I like this pencil from Dior.

Use Primer and Foundation

Invest in good quality makeup brushes! - Here’s Why!

A primer can be life-changing when it comes to makeup application. Just as you prime a wall before you paint it, the secret to flawless makeup lies in makeup primer. Invest in a good one like the one made by Laura Mercier. or Lancome's Hydro Glow Primer - it has illuminating properties that give the skin a fresh look. Murad's Invisiblur Perfecting Shield fills in fine lines and wrinkles. It blends advanced anti-aging treatment with SPF. Primers smooth out skin, fill in large pores and smooth the skin while keeping it moisturized.

Choose the Right Foundation - Many older women still use the same foundation they used 10 years ago. However, your skin changes yearly and even seasonally, so your foundation should as well.  I love Dior Air Flash Foundation for full coverage, or Nudestix Nudies Tinted Blur for a more lightweight look, but there are so many good ones out there. Take the time to go and have foundation matched to your skin. Makeup is meant to camouflage and highlight.

Finally use a concealer for dark circles, blemishes and spots from sun damage. Concealing dark circles with much lighter concealer will only emphasize wrinkles and sagging skin so make sure to use a concealer that’s the same color as your skin. Apply concealer lightly, layering it over your foundation and patting it into place with a small stiff flat concealer brush (or use your ring finger or a high-quality silk sponge). NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is amazing for mature skin as is the YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Concealer. They both have a soft finish and hydrate the skin. Try setting your under eye concealer with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder…this is one of my favorite products and I’m never without it.

Highlighter pens and illuminating creams can work wonders when used properly. Highlighters bring a "lift" to the face and instantly shave off a few years. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Concealer is one that I highly recommended.

How to Apply Bronzer and Blush

Blush is essential in the over 50 woman’s beauty routine because it instantly adds a radiant and healthy glow in one quick sweep. Although there are different shades to suit skin tones, peach is perfect for all skin tones and ages. My absolute favorite is the cult classic Nars Orgasm which gives a natural healthy looking color that adds an instant glow. My favorite bronzing powder is Nars Laguna. Luckily, Nars makes a blush/bronzer duo that contains both! Nars also makes a multipurpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips and body.

A light sweep of blush will lighten your face and add a warm, healthy glow. When applying blush take into account the shape of your face for best position (see image below).  As a general rule if you have a square or heart-shaped face, concentrate the color on the apples of your cheeks. If your face is longer or oval, you can swipe blush along the tops of cheekbones. With a round face shape focus the blush on the side of cheeks rather than right on the apples.  Don’t forget to smile – smiling helps you find the apple of your cheeks.

As we age our skin produces less oil, making us prone to dryness and many beauty experts recommend using a cream blush.  Start with minimal amount and blend to build color.  For stick creams, apply two or three dabs along the length of the cheeks, then blend with fingers.  For pot rouges, dip a makeup sponge into beauty pot, apply to the apples of cheeks and then blend upwards along cheek bones.

Set blush with a sweep of bronzer and highlighter for even more glow and definition.  When applying bronzer - you want to hit the areas that would be hit by the sun. Start at your cheekbone just at the top of your ear and lightly blend on the cheekbone, then sweep your brush into your hairline at your forehead and on your jawbones, creating a #3 on your face. Set with highlighter along the top of the cheeks.

Image from  Apex Beaute

Image from Apex Beaute

How To Fake An Eye Lift With Shadow

To enhance your eyes, you’ll need to do some strategic shadow application. Changing the shape of your eyeshadow can give the illusion of changing the actual shape of your eye. First, apply a layer of primer like this one from Trish McEvoy on your lids to keep your eyeshadow in place. To make your eyes look open and lifted, apply a light shadow all over the lid and up to the brow bone, then brush a darker shade into the crease, focusing the color on the outer corner. To make eyes pop, press your finger or a small brush, into a light pink or even white eyeshadow and then press this finger into the inside corners of both eyes. For the eyes stay clear of anything with sparkle in it, however, a little bit of shimmer can be nice on the lid.

A general rule of thumb when choosing eyeshadow is to compliment your eye color and your clothing color. In other words, don't wear a purple based eyeshadow on your blue eyes while you are wearing an orange shirt. If you want to wear a more dramatic eyeshadow look, pair it with neutral clothing colors such as black or white. If you want to wear a natural look, you can play around more with the color of your clothes. Blue eyes pop with earth tones while green eyes look great with purple. Almost any color works on brown eyes. Eye makeup can be especially tricky when you're facing fine lines and crows' feet., but changing up your makeup routine can give you a fresh, revitalized look.

It is best to avoid thick black eyeliner. Use soft, smudged shades in brown if you have light coloring and black for darker skin. You can still create a smokey eye when you’re in your 50’s …here’s how to do it the proper way.

Many makeup artists suggest lining the lower lid just under the lash line with a soft pencil. Another option is to dip a small brush into the darkest color on your eyeshadow palette, (my favorite is by Anastasia Beverly Hills) then draw a line under the eye. It creates a naturally smudged look that is fantastic.

If you have small eyes, try stopping your line just before you hit the inside of the eye.

A general rule of thumb with eyeshadow is to first compliment your eye color and then it shouldn't contrast your clothing. In other words, don't wear a purple based eyeshadow on your blue eyes while you are wearing an orange shirt. If you want to wear a more dramatic eyeshadow look, pair it with neutral clothing colors such as black or white. If you want to wear a natural look, you can play around more with the color of your clothes. For instance, blue eyes pop with earth tones while green eyes tend to glow with a little purple. If you have brown eyes, almost any color works.

Choose the Correct Mascara - In general, it's best for older women to choose a lengthening and volumizing mascara to lengthen your lashes and make them look thicker.

When it comes to color, if you have a light complexion and blonde or gray hair, a dark brown can look less harsh than a black mascara.

Use these tips to get your best lashes:

Curl your lashes, then apply a mascara primer, I like this one from Dior. The primer separates the lashes and the curler gives just the right amount of curl at the root of the lashes. Many women find that their lashes aren't as long as they once were. The easiest way to open up your eyes is to curl your lashes. For best results, warm up the lash curler with a blow dryer for three seconds and then curl your lashes. Make sure to test the metal first so you don't burn your lid. Then apply a couple sweeps of mascara to your newly curled lashes.

Always start your stroke as close to the roots as possible and wiggle the wand back and forth at the root to get as much mascara at the base of your lashes as possible. Pull the want through to the tips of your lashes as you wiggle. Use several coats applying while the mascara is still wet.

About False Lashes - If your lashes are not as thick and lush as they used to be, you can get lash extensions at some salons. Just make sure that they are applying individual lashes for a natural look.

You can also play around with false lashes for a special occasion. Again, it's best to apply individual lashes rather than a whole length of false lashes to get a more natural look.

Know Your Best Features

Take off all your makeup, stand back, and look at yourself in the mirror to consider your best features.

It’s best to play up your best feature instead of trying to downplay any bad ones.

If you aren't sure what your best feature is, think back to the compliments you've received over the years. Have people mentioned your eyes? Show them off with makeup and clothes that make your eye color stand out. If you get compliments on your lips, make wearing bright lip color your personal statement.

A good rule of thumb is to play up your eyes or your mouth, but not both because they will compete for attention. If you are a lipstick person, this tip is for you and you might want to downplay your eyes. Bright, bold lip colors can be stunning on older women!

Don’t be intimidated by makeup - learn what looks best on you and have fun with it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post…but the best part is that I’ve made a video to actually show you how to apply your makeup and it answers so many questions about what looks best on women in their 50’s. It’s coming next week so be sure to check back! My YouTube Channel has videos on everything from fashion to food and fitness and now makeup. Thanks so much for reading today!

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