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Does Your Makeup Routine Need a Boost?

What happens when you open your makeup bag every morning?  Do you think to yourself, “Yay, this is fun!” or do you think, “Why can’t I get it to look like the pictures in the magazine?”

One other thing…have you ever noticed that 99% of the makeup directions out there are given on women under 25 years old.  What’s that about?

Makeup does not look the same on mature skin and so many of those tips are useless.

While there is not a one-size-fits-all makeup application, there are a few techniques that can make a big difference when it comes to creating a finished look you like.

And, please, be kind to yourself.  If you are 40, 50 or 60, and especially if you have not had any cosmetic surgery, do not compare yourself to someone 20. It’s a whole different ballgame but that’s not to say you can’t look equally as amazing!

Here are three steps that make a difference:

  1. Concealer is Your Friend. As we age the center of the face (inner part of the eyes (near the bridge of your nose), under your eyes, along the nostrils and the lines down to the mouth) can begin to get a tad dark and shadowy.  If you lighten up that part of your face, you feel instantly lighter, brighter and more youthful.  Use a good concealer in that area before applying your foundation.

    Apply a tiny bit of translucent powder over the concealer to set it.
  2. Maintain Your Eyebrows.Our eyebrows are one part of our face that we tend to neglect or just plain ignore.  As we get older they often become a bit more sparse or short.  Using a powder or pencil (I’m a fan of powder because it tends to look very natural and is easy to apply) in a tone that complements your hair and skintone will make a huge difference.Unless you are super handy with the tweezers, have your brows professionally shaped.  The difference will surprise and delight you!

    If, up until now, you have done very little to your brows, allow a little time for adjustment.  Changing them can be a bit disconcerting but commit to stick with the change for at least a week.  By then, it will most likely feel just right.

  3. Line & Define. Want to draw focus to your eyes?  You can skip the eyeshadow but always apply eyeliner.  And, here’s the clincher…I know it’s harder to do, but you must apply it to the top lid.  Lining the bottom lashline is optional (and it often depends on factors like under eye circles, the size of your eye, how comfortable you are with a little extra makeup, etc.).  Never, I repeat, never, line only the bottom lash line.  With rare exceptions, this will just make your eyes look bottom heavy rather than give a lift to your face and draw focus to the beauty of your eye color (which is the ultimate goal of eyeliner, of course).

    Powder liner is generally the most natural looking (and easiest to learn to apply) but if you are handy with an eyeliner pencil (natural colors only, please) then go for it.  And, liquid liner often looks hard and overpowering, so I recommend avoiding it!
Lastly, your makeup can only look as good as the skin you’re putting it on, so be sure you are taking very, very good care of your face before you pick up a makeup brush.  Forget the excuses, a good skin care routine does not have to take more than 3 minutes…tops…and when done diligently (yes, that means every day!), will make the world of difference.

12 Responses

  1. I’m one of those women that falls in the tolerate category, though I must admit that I’ve been having more fun with makeup in the past six months. The key for me was finding better makeup (instead of shopping at the drug store, I go to MAC or Sephora now). I’m still not used to the look of liner (and I only do the top lid) but I have a new liner pencil from Stila that’s very creamy and makes it easier for me to experiment 🙂

  2. Well, I pretty much have mascara working for me now. I still haven’t gotten a handle on the eyeliner powder. I guess it will take more practice. 🙂

  3. Ginger,
    Getting your makeup tips gave me a bit of a boost as I’m trying to make the most of winter too (not my favorite time at all!). You so easily make tiny improvements in the way I look and feel add up quickly, Thank you!

  4. I love to use powdered eyeliner but I have difficulty keeping it from smudging onto my upper lid and under my lower lash line. How can I make it stay where I want it to stay?

    1. Hmmmm…I usually find that powder eyeliner (which is usually just a dark eyeshadow) doesn’t smudge anywhere near as much as a pencil. But, the key might be to be sure to powder under your eye with a translucent powder. That way makeup doesn’t move as much. Or, lightly dampen your brush before applying the powder. That will give it more staying power.

    1. I’m not as familiar with all the concealer brands out there. I stock a couple of them and have one that is a foundation that doubles as a concealer. The key is to find something that isn’t too dry or heavy (you’re better off being able to see a little of the darkness than having the concealer look cakey). You might want to go to a makeup counter and let them experiment to find out what you like (but don’t feel obligated to buy unless you’re sure!).

  5. I’m one of those women whose mother taught her that a woman “puts on her face everyday, regardless”. So I always wear makeup. I have found that as I hit my 50’s I feel like the makeup is sometimes to harsh looking. Any tips on keeping the look soft?

    1. I agree, Karen. Although my mother didn’t teach me that I know I always feel better when I do my makeup (and it only takes 5 minutes so there’s no excuse!). Less is more is really the key (softer eyeliner, softer blush and often lighter lipstick (especially if your lips have thinned down at all (which they have a tendency to do as we get older)). Also, it’s critical to take good care of your skin, as I mentioned in the article, because your makeup can only look as good as the skin you’re putting it on. Oh, and definitely always wear your best colors because they reflect on your face and can make you look bright and awake or cast shadows and make you look tired — in which case it has nothing to do with your makeup and everything to do with your clothing color choices.

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Ginger Burr is a fashion stylist and personal shopper serving clients worldwide from metro Boston.