10 Expert Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

I just turned 58 and my makeup routine isn't working anymore. I take 10 minutes in the morning to throw something on, but it's become a chore and I'm not satisfied with the results. Any quick makeup tips for the over-50 crew?

The fact that it's become a chore is significant. Makeup application isn't meant to be a rote activity you mechanically submit to as you race out the door to live your life. It's an artful way to subtly enhance your features and should be applied thoughtfully (if at all) at any age. (Can anyone tell a makeup artist is talking here?)

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As we age, our skin texture changes. The products and methods we use should reflect that change, here are some guidelines to help you achieve your best look each morning:

Over-50 Don'ts:

  • Don't wear vibrant or contrasting colors and tones; they're aging.
  • Don't use pearl or shimmer makeup; it exaggerates the texture of skin and intensifies the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Don't choose matte products (made for oily skin); they look pasty and dry, especially matte lipstick, which to me is the biggest no-no for the over-50 set. (Kabuki theatre, anyone?)
  • Don't apply blush to the bones of the cheeks. As we age our faces become thinner and applying blush to the bones exaggerates that in an unflattering way.

Over-50 Dos:

  • Do choose colors that are natural against your skin tone in rich, moisture-based formulas: cream blush, cream eye shadow and moisture-rich foundation. Stay with subtle rose- or coral-toned moisturizing lipsticks and glosses.
  • If you must use lip liner, make sure it's in a neutral tone and apply it sparingly and on the lips, not over them our outside your natural lip line.
  • Do use blush, but smile and apply it to the apples of your cheeks, then blend like there's no tomorrow. Think of looking sun-kissed, not gaunt; leave that for the teenagers to emulate.
  • Do use mascara, but on the upper lashes only. The same goes for eyeliner. Makeup applied to the lower eye area inevitably travels down, creating the look of two black eyes.
  • Do use foundation, but sparingly, just where you really need it; the sides of the nose, for example, or on red spots. For under the eye, find a lightly textured concealer and blend with moisturizer before applying.

Lastly, don't allow the makeup define you; use it to decorate and enhance your features. Following the do's and don'ts above will help you be satisfied with the results each morning -- and that will help you start your day with a pleasing ritual, rather than a disappointing chore.

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