As women grow older, they must change their make-up routine Black beauty makeup tips.
Top make-up artist Sandy Linter reveals her 'anti-ageing' tips
Published: 22:06 BST, 16 April 2014 | Updated: 14:14 BST, 17 April 2014
Mae-up is my area of expertise. I’ve always known what shade of lipstick flatters my pout (scarlet), which colour eyeliner brings out my eyes (inky black) and where to smooth on blusher to fake sharp cheekbones (the apples of my cheeks).
Or so I thought. At 45, my bag of tricks is no longer working. Catching a glimpse of myself made-up sometimes makes me feel queasy. I worry that my beauty habits are making me look older but I’m so stuck in a make-up rut, I don’t know what to do.
Top make-up artist Sandy Linter, author of The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalising Your Look At Any Age, is not surprised. ‘Using the same make-up in later life that you did in your 20s ages you considerably, as your skin-tone and face-shape dramatically change with age.’
So can ‘anti-ageing’ make-up take years off me? See how the experts’ tips worked…
Help your lashes
Dig out your eyelash curlers and brushes. ‘As you age, eyelashes become shorter and sparse, so curlers and brushes that make lashes look longer are important,’ says Sandy.
Wear black, not brown mascara as it makes the whites of your eyes — which often discolour with age — look clearer and brighter. But avoid thickening formulas because lashes dry out as you age, making mascara likely to clump, flake off and settle in the fine lines beneath your eyes.
Mascara on the lower lashes is also a faux pas as it draws attention to any dark circles. Stick to upper lids and apply more thickly to the outer corners, where eyes tend to droop.
Ditch liquid liners
You may have been using your old favourite black kohl for years, but sadly it’s got to go. Thick black lines don’t do any woman over 35 any favours as it makes eyes that are already getting smaller with age look even tinier.
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And the rock-chick look is too harsh for ageing skin tones, so switch to brown or charcoal-grey.
‘Avoid using liquid liner above your eyes too,’ says celebrity make-up artist Oonagh Connor. ‘It just draws attention to fine lines and will sink into your wrinkles.’
Instead, get a thick, creamy crayon liner (Charlotte Tilbury does a nice range starting at £19, charlottetilbury.com) and smudge it gently under the outer third of your eye. Don’t do a harsh line corner to corner — use a brush to smudge and blend the crayon for a softer, younger look.
Choose creamy concealer
You need concealer to hide dark circles, which get more pronounced with age as skin thins. But caking on powder or using flaky sticks will only highlight your grooves.
Keep concealer light, and opt for liquid or cream textures applied with a brush. And remember, the most popular brands aren’t necessarily the best.
YSL Touche Eclat is the world’s top-selling concealer but Oonagh says it doesn’t work well on older skin. ‘It’s too pink, and looks obvious on pronounced eyebags,’ she explains. She recommends the more subtle Benefit Boi–ing (£17.50, Boots), which comes in five shades.
Soften your blusher
Ditch reds, maroons and bright pinks. As you age, your complexion naturally reddens thanks to thinning skin — and bright blushers only serve to emphasise this.
Try subtle shades such as peaches or corals. Bobbi Brown Nude Peach Brightening Powder, £40, has a nice sheen and doesn’t dull the skin.
‘You must also stop smiling as you apply blusher,’ says Oonagh. ‘The blusher will collect in the creases and highlight wrinkles.’
Even more surprising is Oonagh’s advice not to apply blusher on the apples of your cheeks. ‘Cheeks sag as you get older, and the apples will be lower and highlight the droop.
‘Instead, apply it on the highest point of your cheekbone with quick upward strokes.’
Groom your brows
Get your eyebrows right and you can knock years off your face.
As we age, our brows become more sparse and can go grey, so use a pencil that’s a shade or two darker than your hair colour and carefully fill in your brows. Never use mascara on them as it is too harsh, says Sandy Linter. ‘Also, dab some highlighter under your arch to open up your eyes,’ she adds.
Grooming will make all the difference — professional threading is best.
Dab on powder
Don’t be tempted to skip powder. As you age and approach the menopause, the oiliness on your chin, nose and forehead increases. Powder applied sparingly to these areas will reduce the oily shine. Too heavy and you risk the dreaded death-mask look.
Oonagh recommends a light, brightening powder that has luminescent particles to brighten up your skin, such as Korres Wild Rose Compact Powder (£21, bathandunwind.com). Her last two tips: avoid dabbing powder under your eyes, as it will seep into the fine lines and emphasise them, and don’t go for pink undertones as they’ll wash you out.
Dump dark lipstick
Scarlet, dark or metallic lipsticks look wonderful on 20-somethings, but as we age, they’re out. Lips get thinner — and dark tones act as an optical illusion to make your mouth look smaller.
Instead, go for peachy, pinky tones and consider dumping your lipsticks altogether in favour of lip gloss for a softer look. ‘Dab a bit of extra gloss in the Cupid’s bow to define the lip, and apply with a brush from the centre outwards,’ says Oonagh.
Lips, like so much else, droop as we get older, so don’t apply gloss right to the corners as this will only emphasise the sag.
It’s also worth buying a high-tech lip plumper. These are made with a mild irritant, such as chilli extract, which causes the lips to swell just enough to give you a hint of a pout. Try Soap and Glory’s Gloss Stick (£9, Boots) or Champneys Plumping Lip Gloss (£8).
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Lighten your foundation
As you age, you need foundation more than ever to cover discolouration and redness. But a thick liquid or wax formula will sink into lines and emphasise them. Instead pick mousse foundations or tinted moisturisers.
The new generation of BB and CC creams are perfect, says Oonagh, adding: ‘Less is definitely more.’ She recommends La Roche Posay CC cream (£16.99, Boots). Use the same shade or one shade darker than your natural skin tone.
Line your lips
Your lip-line can fade as you age, making lipstick more prone to bleeding or feathering. ‘Using lip-liner can help it stay put, but ignore the usual advice to go a shade darker than your natural lip colour,’ says Oonagh.
Instead, trace your natural lip line with a neutral shade as this will enhance the shape and definition.
Again, dump deep reds and other dark colours
— they’ll only accentuate the lines above the mouth.