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Our skin has changed just a bit since we were in our 20s and 30s, so those beautiful makeup looks we saw in Seventeen Magazine or Glamour may not be our best looks at this point in our lives.

As a professional, working makeup artist, who specializes in helping those of us over 50 look like the very best version of ourselves, I love sharing makeup techniques that work the best for us now. So, today we’ll cover eight makeup techniques that can make a huge difference in how beautiful we can look in our 50s and beyond.

How-To Techniques for Gorgeous Eyes

I think we’d all agree that when we’re looking at someone’s face, one of the first things we’re drawn to is that person’s eyes. So, let’s start there.

Mix Warms and Cools in Eye Shadow

Though using all cool colors or all warm colors in eye shadow can be lovely, by combining warms and cools, we can draw even more attention to our eyes and add more interest to our entire eye area. Check out the video above for a demonstration.

Use a Color Gradient

The second technique focuses on how to create a gradient of color from our crease to our eyebrow area going from darker color in the crease to lighter color toward the brow.

One easy way to create this gradient is to start out with a light shadow and put it in the crease. After depositing most of the color in the crease, take the small amount of product that’s left on the brush and apply it above the crease to create this gradient of color that gets lighter as the color moves toward the eyebrow. Then deposit a slightly darker mid-tone color in the crease, blend it thoroughly and only carry that color slightly above the crease.

Use Eye Shadow as Eyeliner

When we use eye shadow as eyeliner, we’re creating a softer, more natural look. It still adds wonderful emphasis and delineation to our eyes, but it’s not quite as strong or harsh a look as a heavily defined line across our eyelid area.

Another benefit is that it’s far easier to apply because we don’t need to go for perfection. Just apply the eye shadow as close to the lash line as possible with an angled or flat top brush. Then use the brush, an eyeliner pencil “smudger,” or Q-tip to gently blend out the shadow to create a gorgeous, soft look.

Now, of course there will be times when we want our eyeliner to look stronger, but for a natural, everyday look, eye shadow as eyeliner looks lovely.

Ensure That Our Eye Makeup Looks Flawless

When we’ve completed our eye shadow and eyeliner, it’s extremely helpful to look in the mirror and tilt our head back. This allows us to see our entire eye area – from the brow, down to the lid, and to the lashes – so we can quickly and easily assess whether there’s a spot we need to blend out more thoroughly.

We may want to take a brush with no product on it to do some more blending, or we may want to use a color close to our skin tone to soften the look. Blending – and then more blending – is definitely the secret to a gorgeous eye shadow look.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Curl Our Eyelashes

I know an eyelash curler can be an intimidating tool. However, curling our lashes makes a huge difference in definition, length, and fullness. The secret to getting the very best curl is to start at the very bottom of your lashes with the curler.

Once you have the lashes in the curler, raise your arm holding the curler so your elbow is parallel with your body at about eye height. This will give you the very best curl.

Hold the curler in this position for five seconds and then “walk” the curler up slightly higher and hold for another five seconds. Continue this “stair stepping” process until reaching the end of the lashes.

How to Foolproof Your Blush Application

I’m a huge fan of cream blush products because I feel they work so beautifully on older skin. Cream blush blends in without looking splotchy as powder blush sometimes does. And there’s a technique we can use to apply cream blush which not only makes the application easier, but which adds more moisture to our skin while also creating more glow.

We can simply put some moisturizer on the back of our non-dominant hand, and then put some cream blush next to it. Then mix in just a tiny bit of moisturizer into the cream blush and apply it with fingertips or a brush. It will glide on effortlessly, and it will also blend in so easily.

And the added bonus, as I mentioned, is that this technique adds more moisture to the skin while creating more glow. You can’t go wrong with that!

How to Create an Overall Flawless Look

Technique number 7 is all about how to create an overall flawless look to our face with our foundation and blush. It also helps if we use contour or highlighter.

The secret here is to use a buffing brush and/or a makeup sponge to go over our foundation and the edges of any blush, contour, or highlighter that we’ve applied. This technique ensures that everything blends in seamlessly together, so we don’t see lines where our blush, contour, or highlighter begins or ends.

How to Still Look Great at the End of the Day

My last tip pertains to the final makeup step we can take to ensure our makeup looks as good at the end of the day as when we first applied it. Of course, we do that by using setting spray.

We can either spray it directly on our face with our eyes closed, or we can spray some onto a dampened sponge and then press that onto our face. Even if we choose the former option, we may also still want to take a dampened sponge to gently pat the spray onto our makeup.

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There are some wonderful makeup techniques we can use to create bigger and even more beautiful, lifted eyes. And since our eyes are the first place to show age, this is especially important for those of us over 50. The right makeup used the right way can make a world of difference in helping us look and feel more confident.

I’m going to be focusing on all of the eye area real estate – from the brows down to the lower lashes. Now you certainly don’t have to use all 7 of these techniques. I just want to give you as many different options as possible so you can choose what’s right for you.

Eye Primer

The first way to help our eyes look bigger and more lifted is to apply an eye primer. An eye primer does two things: since we have oil glands in our eyelids, it keeps eye shadow on our eyelids from creasing and smudging.

And if we get an eye primer in a color that matches our skin tone or is slightly lighter, it helps brighten the eye area by covering any discoloration we may have. This brightening effect helps make our eyes look larger. I put eye primer on first so it can thoroughly dry and set while I do my eyebrows.


Have you ever seen that photo of Anne Hathaway with and without eyebrows that’s circulated on the internet? It’s a brilliant reminder of how important eyebrows are for framing and lifting our eyes. One beauty expert has said that “brows are the facelift without the surgery” which I think absolutely rings true.

First, brush the brows up which helps the eyes look a little more lifted. Then fill in the brows with eyebrow powder, pencil, or a pomade. It can also be helpful to use an eyebrow pencil to trace in the pattern you want along the top and bottom of your brows.

And finally, you can also use a brow gel to keep some of those wiry hairs in the tail areas of your brows in place. Here’s my recent eyebrow “how-to” video:

Eyeshadow Above the Eyelid

Using eye shadow helps the eyes look larger because it draws attention to the area on and above the lid. One of the most important things we can do to make our eyes look bigger is to use a light eyeshadow color on our lids. It all goes back to that color theory we all learned as kids in art class: light colors bring things forward which makes them look larger, and dark colors make things recede which makes them look smaller.

You can also use this light eyeshadow color directly under the arch of your brow and above the brow if you already have foundation on. This helps lift the eye area even more. And it also expands the size of the lid to put this light color on the inner corner of the eye as well.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Eyeshadow in the Crease

To create some dimension in the eye area, add a mid-tone color to the crease. If you have hooded eyes, bring the color slightly above the crease as well so it’s actually visible. But be very careful about how far over and down you bring the eye shadow on the outer corner of the eye. Bringing it down too low can make the eye look downturned or droopy. We want to create a backward 7 pattern.

To ensure that we don’t bring the eyeshadow down too low, it can be helpful at first to use a guide such as a tissue, a piece of masking tape (with as much adhesive removed as possible by sticking it to your arm and then pulling it off several times) or a purchased product like Elf’s “line and define” tape. Apply the guide so it goes in an angle from under the lower corner of your eye to the end of your eyebrow. Then when you apply shadow to this outer area, the “guide” will prevent the eye shadow from being going too low.


We can use eyeliner both below the eye and on the upper lid to provide some additional lift. We want to create a slight upward flick with the eyeliner, but we don’t want it to look severe or harsh which is why eye shadow works so well.

Also, it can be very helpful to use the outer 1/3 of the area under the eye to first create the pattern for the upward flick.

Then, for the upper eye liner, line the eyes only to the point right before where the eye starts to curve downward.

Instead of following the eye downward with the eye liner, bring it up toward the brow bone so it meets the flick you created from the line along the bottom of your eye. Then fill in that elongated triangular space with the eyeshadow you’re using as eye liner.


Using an eyelash curler and mascara makes our lashes look longer and lifts our entire eye area. This technique increases the amount of curl in our lashes which results in our eyes looking larger.

The technique we use to apply mascara can also make a difference. We want to start at the very base of the lashes and wiggle the brush upwards. Then let the lashes dry before applying one more coat of mascara.

Putting mascara on your lower lashes – just a touch – can expand the entire footprint of the eye area, making your eyes look larger.


Finally, we can apply concealer, slightly lighter than our skin tone color, right along the very edge of where we applied the masking tape guide. It’s amazing what a difference this small amount of lighter color, applied in an upward sweep, can make.

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I’m excited to share with you today 11 Pro Makeup Artist Tips on how not to look old for those of us with mature skin who are in our 50s and beyond.

Starting at the top of the head and working our way down, I’m going to be talking about (and demonstrating in the YouTube Video—see link above) makeup application techniques and types of products that tend to age us . . . and more importantly, what we can do instead to help us look our very best. I’ll talk about each tip first and then demonstrate on one side what can make us look older and then demonstrate what can make us look our very best (and dare I say, younger), on the other side of my face.

Now I do want to say that the most important thing about wearing makeup is that it helps you feel your best and that you have some fun in the process. But if you use some other makeup techniques-- and love them-- then by all means keep doing what you’re doing. After all, it’s all about personal choice.

So what I’m going to share with you today are some color theory tips that apply across the board to fashion and home decorating and makeup application. I’ll also share with you some recent research findings that can make a very big difference in how our makeup looks.

So, here is tip #1: Now this first tip is a beauty tip dealing with hair rather than makeup, but it’s an important one so I wanted to share it with you. I am not a hair expert, but here’s what I’ve learned from some research. For most of us, a flat, one length cut can age us—as can a severe center part. Maybe Cher can pull off that center part, but most of us probably can’t. Most of us need to have layers and depth and find a cut that flatters our face shape. For instance, if you have a long face, wearing your hair straight and flat against your head, will emphasize the length of your face. However, if you create some fullness around your face with your hair, you create more width. And for those with a long face, cutting your hair so it’s above chin length can also make your face look fuller. I know, it’s easier said than done to find just the right haircut, but it’s worth doing a little research to find a shape that flatters our face shape.

Tip #2 comes from some very interesting recent research. Eyebrows that are too light or too dark can age us. . . as can eyebrow tails that come down too low. The rule of thumb is that if you have dark hair, go one shade lighter. If you have very light hair, go one to 2 shades darker. If you have gray hair, either go with gray or taupe but definitely fill them in. I’m not going to fill in one eyebrow on one side of my face and fill in my eyebrow on the side of my face that will help me look my best.

Tip #3 relates to our eyelids. As we get older, our eyelid skin gets thinner and often our eyelids produce even more oil. This means that veins or other discoloration can be very noticeable and eye shadow can crease or smudge more easily. Using an eye shadow primer that matches our skin tone can even out the skin tone on our eyelids and get rid of any discoloration. Putting on eye shadow primer or eyeshadow base (as it’s also called) before eye shadow is similar to putting a primer on a wall before we paint. And in addition to covering up discoloration, eye shadow primer can also keep our eye shadow in perfectly in place without any creasing or smudging.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Tip Number 4 is all about eye shadow. When we first starting wearing makeup, most of us probably learned to appy a dark color across our eyelids. Dark eyeshadow across our eyelids can create a beautiful smokey eye look, but for most of us, this look can age us by making our eyes look smaller. To make our eyes look bigger, we need to apply some color theory tips. Since light colors make things appear to come forward and look bigger and dark colors make things appear to recede and look smaller, we can make our eyes look larger by applying a light color all the way across our eyelids. Most of us have probably noticed how a room painted a dark color can make it look a lot smaller than if it’s painted a lighter color. And of course we all most likely have at least a couple of pairs of black slacks which help our bottom half look smaller. This same color theory holds true on our faces with makeup as well. (However, there’s one exception to this concept of applying a light color on our eyelids—if you have very prominent eyes--then dark eyeshadow will make the eyes look less prominent). And wearing a lighter (and especially a shimmer color) above the crease can draw attention to an area that for many of us is hooded or where there is looser skin.

My fifth tip has to do with eyeliner. We’ve all seen those magazine ads featuring a young woman who has black, thick eyeliner across her eyelids that looks a bit like a thick magic marker was used. This can be a beautiful, smokey eye look, but in general, thick black eyeliner across the top and bottom of our eyes can make us look older for several reasons. For many of us as we get older, black can look a little harsh because our skin gets paler—and the stark contrast between our paler skin and black eyeliner can be a bit jarring. Also, black around the entire eye can close up the eye area and make our eyes look smaller. And applying black eyeliner all the way across the bottom can draw attention to any crepeiness or texture under our eye area and drags down our face. Instead, consider using dark brown, dark grey, or dark plum liner across the top of your eye area and a slightly lighter shade only along the bottom outer 1/3 of the eye. And give the outer corner of that eye a flick up.

Tip 6 Not wearing mascara can definitely age us. Mascara helps to define and lift the eyes. And an eyelash curler can truly be your best friend. Let me demonstrate some helpful lash curling tips.

We’re going to focus on our skin for Tip #7. An uneven skin tone very definitely ages us. In fact, according to recent research, evening out our skin tone can do more than anything else to help us look our best. Most of us develop some redness, age spots or other discoloration as we get older. The key is to even out our skin tone—with tinted moisturizer, tinted SPF, foundation, or concealer. It’s at the top of the list of the most important things we can do with makeup to help us look like the best version of ourselves.

Tip #8 We’re going back to color theory on this one! Not using color corrector on the dark circles or bags under our eyes can definitely age us. Most of us usually think of wearing a lighter colored concealer under our eyes to help conceal dark circles and other under eye issues. But we can help camouflage dark circles or other under eye concerns more effectively by first using a color corrector. Since often under eye circles have blue or purple tones, using a peach, salmon or apricot color correcting concealer first can truly make a difference. How dark a peach or salmon color you choose depends on how dark your skin tone is. Let me demonstrate.

Tip #9 Going without blush and lipstick can also age us. Since our skin gets paler and our lips get paler, we lose facial contrast (which according to a recent major research study, definitely makes us look older and less attractive). We can create more contrast (which equals looking more attractive) by wearing blush and lipstick.

Our tenth tip deals with both lipstick and blush and the importance of wearing the right blush and lipstick color. Remember Carole Jackson’s book Color Me Beautiful from the 1980s? We were either a summer, winter, autumn or spring? Finding the right clothes colors to wear to help us look our best was the theme of that book, but she also talked about the importance of wearing the right color makeup. This is so important! It’s a matter of finding out your skin undertone—which can be cool, warm or neutral--and wearing the colors that are best for that undertone. And if you’re not sure what undertone you have, I’ve put a link in the description box below to a video which will give you nine things you can do to determine the undertone of your skin. If you have a cool undertone, you’ll want to stick with pinks, plums, raspberries, and blue-reds. Warm undertones can look gorgeous in peach tones, coral, tangerine, and orange-reds. And if you have a neutral undertone, you have both warm and cool tones in your skin so you can wear both cool and warm colors. But you probably don’t want to wear an extreme version of cool or warm colors. So, for instance, you might want to wear a light or medium pinky peach color rather than bright fuchsia or deep coral.

And my final tip-- #11-- deals with the type of lipstick formula we wear. Dark lip colors make our lips look smaller—which is that color theory we talked about earlier at work again! And matte lipstick absorbs light rather than reflecting light, so dark matte lipsticks can make us look even older. Bringing more light and radiance to our lips with a lighter, more luminous lipstick formula truly does help us look our best.

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