So I just turned 40 and I've learned a lot of tips and tricks to have my makeup looking its best as I get older. As we age, our skin changes — it's an inevitable part of life. But these changes don't mean you have to give up on the glam. In fact, makeup can be a powerful tool to enhance your natural beauty and celebrate your age with confidence. Here's a guide to applying makeup for mature skin, perfect for women over 40.
1. Prep Your Skin
Healthy skin is the best canvas for makeup. Start with cleansed skin. I'm currently loving the Paula's Choice Gentle Skin Cleanser - it feels really good on and cleans without stripping and is great for sensitive skin. Make sure you exfoliate at least twice a week. I recommend an exfoliating toner with ingredients like glycolic acid. I always recommend the Pixi Glow Tonic, been using it for years. There's a reason why it's a tik tok favorite.
Next apply a serum - I'm all about hydration - hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient. Eye cream is next - don't skip this step, it's wear we show our age the most. Lastly, apply a moisturizer with SPF protection. Hydrated skin ensures that makeup goes on smoothly and SPF keeps harmful UV rays at bay.
2. Invest in a Good Primer
A good primer can be a game-changer for mature skin. It not only helps your makeup last longer, but it also smooths out fine lines and pores, giving your skin a flawless finish. Look for a primer with hydrating properties to keep your skin moisturized throughout the day. I also recommend a primer with dimethicone which can help fill in any fine lines and helps foundation glide on smoothly. Illuminating primers are also great because the fine sheen in them helps to make skin glow. A kit favorite of mine is the Smashbox Pore Minimizer Primer
Then I apply a sheer layer of Supergoop Glow Screen in Bronze to give some sheen that will look gorgeous under my foundation. This technique is known as underlighting.
3. Choose the Right Foundation
Avoid heavy, matte foundations as they can settle into fine lines, making them more prominent. Every time I give a private makeup lesson, this is the biggest mistake I see that is aging my client. During my clients' Personal Makeup Shopping Sessions I tend to look for products that say blurring, glowy, hydrating or anti-aging. Choose a lightweight, hydrating foundation or a tinted moisturizer. These products offer a natural look and feel, and they let your skin breathe. My current go to foundation is the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - I wore this on my wedding day and it seems like they've extended their shade range which I'm so happy about. I just bought it in shade 7.5 and my skin was radiant for my 40th birthday in Vegas.
For everyday wear, I use my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer - because it's so sheer you're more likely to get a perfect shade match year round since your skin shines through and bonus - it also has SPF. I recommend this to my clients who want a really natural finish.
4. Go Easy on Powder
Powder can draw attention to wrinkles and dry out your skin. If you must use a powder, opt for a finely milled translucent one and apply sparingly. I'm loving the Laura Mercier Ultra Blur Translucent Powder as it blurs away fine lines. Focus on the T-zone where you're likely to get oily and under the eyes where our concealer tends to crease. You can also skip the power and instead use a Makeup Setting Spray - I love the IT Cosmetics Setting Spray because it's super hydrating but also makes your makeup last.
5. Add Color with Blush
A pop of color can bring life to your complexion. Cream blushes are great for mature skin as they blend beautifully and offer a dewy finish. Apply on the apples of your cheeks and blend upwards for a youthful lift. I love Glossier Cloud Paints - the color looks intense but actually blend out really sheerly so they're user friendly. A little goes a long way. If you go overboard with blush, I suggest using your foundation brush to help sheer it down.
6. Define Your Eyes
Eyeliner and mascara can make your eyes pop, but avoid harsh lines which can age your appearance. I recommend smoking out your eyeliner with a bit of eyeshadow on a pencil brush to soften it.
My go to liners are the Urban Decay 24/7 Liners because they apply super creamy but then set to waterproof. A lash curler and mascara can do wonders for opening up your eyes.
7. Don’t Forget Your Brows
Brows frame your face, so don't neglect them. As we age, brows can become sparser. Fill them in with a brow pencil or powder that is one shade lighter than your hair color. Remember, soft, natural strokes work best. I love the NYX Microbrow pencils because the thin pencil tip can create realistic hair strokes and they're super affordable while being just as good as the high end brands.
8. Choose Lip Colors Wisely
Stay away from dark, matte lip colors as they can make your lips appear thinner. Instead, go for hydrating lipsticks or glosses in neutral or brighter hues that complement your skin tone. I love to line the lips first to redefine the lip line and prevent feathering. Then I apply a creamy lipstick and top with a little gloss to the center of the lips to plump and shine. My favorite lip pencils are from NYX - again super affordable and in a huge range of colors.
Remember, makeup should be fun and empowering, no matter your age. Embrace the changes in your skin, play up your best features, and wear your age with confidence. After all, beauty is ageless.
If you need a little extra help and live in the Atlanta area, my most popular service is the Combo Makeup Shopper Session and Personal Makeup lesson. We'll go shopping for your perfect makeup products and then I'll show you how to apply them step by step. Every client tells me they wish they had done it years ago. It's great no matter what age you are - from young adults first learning how to apply makeup to mature skin who need to switch up their routine and products. Happy Glamming!