To keep your appearance fresh as you age, you must be willing to adjust your makeup shades and application techniques. As New York City makeup artist Beth Bender points out, your skin changes as you get older, and too much makeup can actually add years to your face. Here, Bender offers a guide to makeup tips for every decade. First, two rules to keep in mind no matter how old you are, she says:
- "Begin with the best skin you have. Cleanse your face at least every night using gentle products and use good treatment products appropriate for your skin care needs. Protect your face with an SPF 15 every day. "
- "Less is more. If you enhance your eyes, for example, keep the rest of your makeup soft. If the focus of your look is your vivid mouth, keep your eye makeup subtle and simple"
Do: "If you want to use makeup in your your teens, begin with your eyes. Take baby steps. Choose eye shadows in neutral shades or very pale pastels. Use cream-based shadows and shimmers you can apply with your fingers. If you use shimmer, it's more flattering on the lid than on the brow or corners of the eyes. Curl your lashes. Apply mascara. You can wear a little eye-liner if you want."
Something to think about: "Don't try to copy an eyebrow look from a magazine. The tendency to over-pluck will be too great. Don't over-pluck your eyebrows! It will slow down the growth of your brow hairs, and you don't want to do that at a young age. Be prudent with tweezers."
Tip: "There are amazing makeup artists at some cosmetics counters. They can suggest colors and will do a chart for you, and you're not obligated to buy anything."
Do: "Your 20s are the years to focus on one of your best features ... your skin! By using bronzing creams, powders or self-tanners you can glow year-round. But remember, if you're working with bronzers, you only need a little! Lightly apply a cream-based bronzing stick wherever the sun hits your face, like the bridge of your nose, forehead, cheeks and chin. (This only works if your skin is moisturized first. Bronzer will drag on dry skin and won't look natural.) If you want to use self-tanner, choose the lightest color you can find, and apply it on moisturized skin. (Don't forget to wash your hands to keep the color off!)
"For a more glamorous look, enhance your eyes with false eyelashes. Don't overdo it. A small strip of 6-10 individual lashes is absolutely beautiful. It's very subtle but will definitely make a man's head turn. (Coat your lashes first with mascara to create a base.)"
Something to think about: "Don't use foundation all over your face. Less is always more! If you think you need coverage, use a tinted moisturizer
Tip: "To keep the emphasis on your radiant skin and lovely eyes, keep your lipstick color neutral. There is a wide range of natural-looking lip shades on the market. Use one that either matches your natural lip shade or is one step deeper. Top it with clear gloss."
Do: "Find a concealer you love and use it. But only use it sparingly, and where you need it. With any concealer, make it lighter and easier to apply by mixing it with foundation. The key to application is to gently drive the product in by patting it into the skin. Do not smear it from side to side; pat the concealer, using staccato taps of your finger until it dissolves and blends."
Something to think about: "Don't apply powder unless you do these two things: Use a fluffy powder brush and always, always "tap" it off after you dip it in the powder before putting it anywhere near your face. The idea is to apply the sheerest layer of powder possible. If you don't apply it right, it can make your makeup look cakey and heavy. (This goes double if you are applying powder under your eyes!)"
Tip: "Wear an eye cream and moisturizer with an SPF 15 or 30 every day."
Do: "A makeup highlighter is great for a woman in her 40s because it softens everything. It takes the focus off undereye circles, creases and lines. I use Paula Dorf's Highlighter over my concealer under my eyes. To apply it you just lightly dab it onto your skin and tap it over and over until it gently melts and blends in."
Something to think about: "Don't stress out. I find stress shows up on women in their 40s more than any other time of their lives. Frown lines, hair loss, mottled skin, sagging under the eyes. Taking care of your skin is so important during these years. Diet, exercise, supplements and nurturing yourself all come into play. This is a crucial decade where you should be focused on being as healthy as you can be."
Tip: "Choose makeup colors carefully because shades that are too bright can make you look out-of-date and older than you are. Stick to neutral tones
Do: "When you're in your 50s, the most important step in your makeup routine is to use the right moisturizer. Once your skin is hydrated it will be easier to apply makeup. Wear eye cream night and day. You may want to see a dermatologist to talk about botox injections, peels and other skin-rejuvenating techniques."
Something to think about: "Don't wear too much eye makeup. The skin around our eyes is usually the first part of the face that creases and wrinkles. And lids can get crepey. If you apply makeup over this skin it looks heavy and it can age you."
Tip: "Be flexible. Be ready to change. Don't be glued to your lifelong look. Get an assessment with a makeup artist at a makeup counter. If you love color she can help you find shades that work for you. You might find that a simple, neutral style makes you look and feel healthy, vibrant and younger