1. Use highlighting color to lift and brighten.
Next to sun protection, a highlighting color can be the most valuable tool in your makeup wardrobe. As we age, gravity makes things fall. Careful use of highlighting color can counter the appearance of this:
- Brow: Use a little bit of highlighting color just underneath the brow and a little bit above the brow to lift, open, and brighten the eye.
- Cheeks: Use the same highlighter at the top of your cheekbone to make it more prominent. Again, it’s a lift up.
- Mouth: Use the highlighter around your mouth where those little lines sometimes settle in. Just sort of outline the mouth to make it look a bit fuller. This also softens the lines around the mouth.
2. Open your eyes.
I think women over fifty should always use some eyeliner. Apply it above the top lashes and don’t go too thick; it can be a very thin line and then you can smudge it out a little bit by the eye. Keep the eyelid lighter in color rather than darker in color because it will keep the eye looking open. Choose an eyeliner color that flatters your coloring—something that defines the eye but isn’t too hard. Black is good, but sapphire blue can be beautiful, or coppery brown, or a deep purple.
3. Go easy on the lip liner.
Definite lip liner was popular about twenty years ago. Today, too much lip liner has a dated, aging effect. If you’re going to wear a lip liner, wear a very neutral color just to cheat the lip line a little bit.
4. Enhance your lip color.
You want nice, moist, pretty lips but with some color. I think glosses are great, but I think once you’re over fifty, put a little color with that gloss.
5. Don’t be afraid of a little eye shimmer.
Many women over fifty are very afraid of eye shadows that have shimmer in them. Twenty years ago, you needed to be afraid because the particles were so big that they made the eyelid look crepe-y. But today, everything is so refined you don’t have to be afraid of a little shimmer. This is a big change.
6. Flatter your neck and jawline.
There are things you can do to flatter these areas which can be a problem for some women. For example, under the chin and onto the neck you can apply a little bit of contouring color (two or three shades deeper than your foundation color) to shadow it back a little bit. Another trick is to apply highlighting color above the jaw line and below the bottom of the cheek, to lift the face.
Finally, learning these tricks is easier when you’re shown how to do them. If you go to a department store, approach someone whose look you like and who is age-appropriate. But you may get better attention at a smaller apothecary because in an apothecary they are not selling a specific line—they are selling what works best for you.
Photo courtesy of Susan Posnick