Curious about mature makeup? This is it. You don’t need to go anywhere else to discover all there is to know about applying makeup and the tricky issues that arise with age. We’ve gone straight to the top to find the answers to all of your burning questions from Makeup Director at Priceline, Sarah Laidlaw.
Can you share the best application for makeup on hooded eyes?
Nothing shimmery, light or frosted for eyeshadow as anything with shimmer or light in colour brings texture out in the skin. Often hooded eyes are also papery or crepey so anything slightly lighter than your skin tone will push something back. For example, when you are dark near your tear duct it looks like it’s deep- put a bit of concealer in that and it will bring it forward because the light brings it forward. So if you add a bit of a taupe, matte eyeshadow on that hood, just one or two shades darker than your own skin, it pushes that hood back.
The other thing that really helps is curling your eyelashes. When your eyelash is in front of that hood you look at the lashes instead. The combo of a little bit of that beige and the curled lash work amazingly. You don’t need anything fancy just a traditional curler, just choose a curler that suits your eye shape. Some eyes are rounder and deep and others are flatter so put one to your eye and check which is the best fit.
We have heard conflicting opinions on whether we should keep using powder as we age. What is your advice?
Powder has its place because shine brings out the texture in our skin. If you look at the flesh around your nose when you smile, that tendon, when that is really shiny you can look odd in a photo. Powder, lightly placed in the right areas, works amazingly to flatten out the skin.
You can use something quite hydrating but if you’re a big ball of shine, you will see every wrinkle anyway. Conversely, too much powder and you still see it all anyway.
Place a very light dusting of powder on those eye pods (in between your eyebrows) on those parts around your nose, near the fleshy bits of your cheeks, on your chin and maybe on the tip of your nose- it works brilliantly in strategic spots just don’t go crazy with it. Avoid under the eyes or around the smile areas as it will crease and show up.
What is the importance of blush as we age?
Blush makes such a difference. When the natural blush fades away with age it’s not about doing a really bright pink cheek, but often working with a cream colour applied under a sheer foundation or BB cream – it gives you this amazing glow and you look healthy and more youthful.
Application: don’t smile when applying blush. When we’re older, you smile and the apples of your cheeks come up and when you relax they fall down and you end up putting blush right down near your mouth. So no smiling and you can place it on the front part of your cheekbone, generally high.
Lipstick bleed- how do we prevent it?
A lip pencil will always help because it’s a lot stiffer and a lot drier than your lipstick. Some of the really long-lasting lipsticks now, they’re almost like tattoo versions, are really good too. They used to be very dry and uncomfortable and you could only get matte, but now some have a glean and a gloss. Some people say, apply lipstick, then powder and another coat of lipstick… sure, if you don’t have a lot of fine lines around your lips but if you do, then powder is not great.
What are the best and worst types of foundation to use during menopause?
With fluctuating body temperature comes red, flushed skin and potential bouts of sweat – go for a minimal foundation like a BB cream, something that screens out the redness but leaves your skin still looking quite natural. That way if you do get a little bit of perspiration it won’t leave you with a line of heavy-duty foundations that’s melted away.
I have a little press seal plastic bag and I carry a makeup sponge in it during the day that still has the makeup on it from the morning. I just dab that around my face when needed to retouch. Because you’re not smearing it on with more, it blends it really quickly. Revlon has a really good magnified mirror, it’s the best one I’ve found, it’s only little and has 2 little suction caps on the back and you can stick it to your mirror to see what you’re doing. My focus has changed with age and now I can see my makeup well in my mirror – I don’t want to put my glasses constantly on and off to do makeup. I also keep one in my handbag or you can attach it to the review mirror of your car if you need to.
How do brows help make us look more youthful?
Don’t do anything too heavy. Don’t colour them in dark like an Instagram eyebrow, whatever you do!
I like to use a little flat, chiselled brush that is cut on an angle and is very thin. And use a cream colour on the brush to lightly put in little extra hairs in the gaps by applying tiny, flick strokes throughout the brow. The trick is to reapply the colour to the brush each application so you make the sharpest flick each time. You can actually create a fuller look in an over-plucked brow – it’s the makeup version of micro-blading [eyebrow tattooing] but much safer. You have to be so careful with tattooing as you get older – the ink doesn’t sit in the same way that it would a 20-year-old’s skin, it can bleed a bit. And depending on what ink is used, it can fade out to green or red.
As we age, the outer sides of our brows start to collapse and it creates a more extreme arch in the brow- so a more youthful brow is slightly flatter. I often fill in little hair at the arch to flatten out the brow slightly.
Another great trick is to take the side bits of your hair, just above your ear and pull your hair back into a band. Just watch how much lift it gives to your face and not just around the eyes, from the mouth up. Obviously, don’t do this every day to take care of your hair but it’s an instant free facelift.
How much does skin tone affect the appearance of age?
I often do make up for mothers of the brides (I love doing weddings) and these clients have often never had their makeup done – and I’ve noticed the one thing women must always learn is how to even up skin tone. Cover up the redness caused by broken capillaries and age spots and that will take so many years off you. It’s simply a basic concealer and a BB cream if you want to be light, but a foundation is ok too. They’re not as heavy as they used to be, there is a lot of range in coverage and 85 ranges in Priceline alone- there is something for everybody. It is overwhelming but there are well-trained staff in stores who can help you. Go in knowing what you want your make up to do- .i.e. cover up age spots, rosacea or fine lines and spell it out if you don’t want to look too “made up”.
Don’t forget you can use makeup like you do skincare- more in the places you need it and less where you don’t. People still tend to apply it like an even mask, but as long as you’re blending it well and it’s the right tone for your skin, you can apply it more where required. Maybe it’s your tear ducts or extra pigmentation on the top of your forehead, add into the areas you need it and blend, blend, blend.
“As we age it’s best to do less, but cleverly placed, makeup – get more out of less. Perhaps only use a mascara and lash curler to lift your eyes, then cover any age spots and you’re done. It can be that simple.” – Sarah Laidlaw, Priceline Makeup Director
FROM SMART. CASUAL. CLASSIC EDITOR: We ask all the experts about your concerns. It may be hair thinning, changes to your skincare after 50 or dealing with sensitive eyes. Get in the know here and comment below if you have any questions you’d like us to pass on to our knowledgeable professionals.