When it comes to the insta-trend world of makeup, there’s security and comfort in knowing what really works — and what’s just hype, media and marketing. As a beauty editor who has spent decades on photo shoots with top makeup artists and A-list celebs, I’ve learned the 5 best tried-and-true tips for women age 30-plus. Despite new brands, formulas, and technology, count on these insider secrets for your DIY routine.
1. Start fresh
Successful makeup needs to be applied immediately after washing, exfoliating and moisturizing your face. The combo of warm water, facial massage and your choice of cream, oil or serum gets things going by plumping up lines, buffing away flakes and hydrating dry or postmenopausal skin. This means absolutely no gaps between cleansing, moisturizing and applying makeup. To be clear: You can’t wash your face, eat, check your messages, shop online or talk on the phone, and then pick up where you left off.
2. Do eye makeup before face makeup
It’s the smart mess-free order. No worries about powder shadow fallout on cheeks or under-eye liner smears that can “dirty” foundation, blush or concealer and require a redo. Prepping lids with a primer or cream shadow first will keep eye makeup fresh and guarantee a smoother, more even application.
3. Use neutral shadows to accent eyes
Natural hues — warm tones for dark eyes, cool tones for light eyes — never fail. There’s no need to do the whole contour deal. But know that a pale, shimmery shadow on lids can add sparkle to tired eyes, a medium shade in the crease and just above it can erase any fleshy overhang and make eyes appear larger, and the darkest browns and charcoals work as a smoky top coat for your gel eyeliner to soften the look or hide squiggles.
4. Use makeup brushes
Mature skin is textured with expression lines, tiny eye crinkles and bits of brown, red or blue discolorations. Heavy coverage fools no one; in real life, it just looks caked and faked. Silky synthetic brushes make makeup look skin-authentic. A foundation brush will prevent makeup from settling in crevices and corners. Start at the center of your face and blend foundation outward, fading off toward the jaw and hairline for a seamless application. Use back-and-forth and circular motions and go back over nostrils, under the nose, around the lips and in nose-to-mouth creases, where excess makeup tends to settle. Use a smaller concealer brush to tap-blend camouflage under the eyes, at the inner corner next to the nose and on any specific brown spots, broken capillaries or blemishes that bug you.
5. Blend bright blush high on cheekbones
It adds life and energy to your face, blends right into your skin for a natural-looking flush, and pulls attention to the eyes and away from distractions that might disrupt a fabulous look. Choose a vibrant and clear shade of pink, rose, apricot or red, depending on your skin tone. What looks initially startling fades as you tap-blend to melt seamlessly into the skin.