Apply Makeup To Aging Skin The Right Way With These Easy Beauty Tips

I’ve never worn a ton of makeup. 

Not to brag (ok I’m bragging a little), but either genetics or luck deigned to bless me with relatively good skin. 

Laziness plays its part in my makeup routine as well — the thought of spending more than 10 minutes applying shit to my face, not to mention making sure it’s blended and looks good, exhausts me. 

But now that I’m getting older and noticing wrinkles creeping (and crepe-ing) into certain facial areas, makeup is being applied to lessen those creases. 

My first foray into foundation began at Ulta, where a 20-something wrinkle-less beauty consultant coated my facial skin with a heavy foundation. 

She was beaming as she proudly put the mirror in front of my face. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I smiled, acted pleased, BOUGHT the foundation that I hated and waited to cry until I was in the car — I’m polite! I looked even older — the foundation was settling into every crease. My fine lines were not so fine. 

As we age, we should be switching up our makeup routines to meet the needs of our changing skin. We’re going to explore what products we should cut back on, or even stop using, and what ones we should begin using to adapt to our skin’s needs.


Foundation Is Not Always Your Friend

For many, foundation is the base of makeup routines. 

Getting older means your foundation needs will change, Maybelline New York artist Melissa Silver explains. “No foundation is better than bad foundation, but good foundation is best.” 

“If you skip foundation, your skin tone will be uneven. If you apply your foundation too heavily, it can settle into fine lines and creases, highlighting your imperfections,“ Silver says.

Silver recommends using a foundation that is “heavy enough to smooth out your complexion without becoming cakey.”

“Drier skin is common as you age, so you may be happier with a liquid or cream foundation, or even a tinted moisturizer, instead of a powder foundation which can make your skin look flaky.”

Never skip moisturizer, ladies! 

Lancôme Skin Feels Good Hydrating Tinted Moisturize

I’ve found that all I need is a tinted moisturizer, so I’ve been using Lancôme Skin Feels Good Hydrating Tinted Moisturizer. It’s light, has good coverage and does not settle into my creases. 

Blend, blend, blend. And then blend once more for good measure.

Especially where the chin meets the neck — no one needs to know your secrets, it is none of their business.

Cut Back Or Do Away With Powders

We’ve been taught to use powder as a finishing step, but as mentioned above, powder tends to dry out skin, and we’re already becoming more arid — our skin is producing less oil. 

“With drier skin, powder tends to seep into fine lines,” says makeup artist Ariel Lewis. “Try using a setting spray instead!” 

She recommends using a setting spray, like Urban Decay All Night Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.

makeup setting spray

Less Is More – Professional Tips

Celebrity makeup artist Cynde Watson explained, “Women need to understand that ‘less is more,’ but less doesn’t mean no makeup. … It means the right makeup applied (should be applied) strategically. Women should stay true to their signature style and accent and highlight their basic or signature look with seasonal trends.”

Watson stressed that long-wear and waterproof makeup is important as women age “because body temperature fluctuates, due to hormones” (those bitches). 

She offered these helpful tips for changing up your makeup routine as you age:

No. 1 Concern: Maturing Skin

– Skin appears dull and matte with visible fine lines and wrinkles, on the skin and around the eye area.

– The number one complaint that I hear from my clients is, “How can I keep my makeup from sinking into my fine lines and wrinkles?”

Makeup Solutions

Product recommendation: SPF moisturizer, moisturizing primer, tinted moisturizer, moisturizing foundation and concealer, sheer powder, self tanner, bronzer

Products to stay away from: Heavy powders & foundation

No. 2 Concern: Maturing Eyes

– Eyes appear smaller, puffy and droopy with visible fine lines (crow’s feet).

– Eyebrows appear sparse and faded and eyelashes start to lose vibrancy and thickness.

Makeup Solution

  • Eye cream during day and night. (Start using it now.)

  • Shape & fill in eyebrows. It’s like a mini eye lift — do not wear brows darker than your hair color. In most cases the tail of the brow will start to disappear. If you’ve had thick, bushy brows then they start to thin out and you have to fill them in. 

  • Line eyes thicker on the outer corner getting thinner towards the inner corner. This gives you the appearance of a more almond-shaped eye. Use waterproof products around the eyes. The body is changing at this age and you do produce more water and sweat, usually in areas that you don’t want.

  • If you see little gray eyelashes and it really bothers you, then you can have them professionally dyed. DO NOT TRY AT HOME. Or just use mascara.

  • Apply basic shades (taupe, gray, soft bone, basic brown palette) on the eyes and accent with seasonal trend shades and shimmery textures.

  • Use a double-pigmented volumizing mascara. Your lashes start to dull and you lose volume and pigment.

No. 3 Concern: Maturing Lips

– Lips begin losing volume, definition and pigment. 

– Lipstick and gloss also start feathering into fine lines around the mouth.

Makeup Solution

  • Lip conditioner

  • Line lips with a fat pencil, fill in lips, add lighter shade in center of lips to give a plumped up, fuller effect.

  • Use lip primer and a lip liner in a natural shade to avoid feathering.

  • You don’t have to avoid bolder shades, just choose sheer formulas (not glossy). You can get a sheer red by using a stain. A color-last marker pencil will give you the look. If you have very thin lips, gloss them up. If you have fuller lips, gloss the bottom center lip. As we age and approach our 40s, we should use less gloss.

Products to stay away from: Dark matte lipstick and extremely bright shades.

What We Learned About The Best Makeup For Aging Skin

You don’t necessarily need foundation to cover up your perceived flaws — a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream can step up to the plate and knock your old makeup routine out of the park!

Blending is key. Blend once, then blend again just to be sure. Beauty blenders and brushes are your friends, not your foes. 

Always use primer — it fills in the cracks! Do not skip this step, as it is key to help whatever makeup you’re wearing sit right (and stay right). 

Glow is good. I wrote here about trying to achieve a dewy, youthful appearance and there are so many products that will help you achieve this look!

Lastly, ABM — Always Be Moisturizing. If I knew then what I know now, I’d have been moisturizing constantly. 

Learn from this older lady’s moisturizing missteps.  


What updates have you made to your makeup routine? Tell us about your favorite products in the comments!

Our Skin And Beauty Care Needs Change As We Age. Check These Out To Learn More:

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