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  • Writer's pictureElise Marquam-Jahns

How Not To Look Old! 11 Pro Makeup Artist Tips for Older Women

Link to accompanying YouTube video:

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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