Makeup Tips for Women Over 40: The nicest thing about growing older is that you gain new talents and information along the way. (Did you know how to tie a silk scarf or audit your food bill as a 20-year-old? If this is the case, we applaud you.) We wanted to know if there were any beauty tips to perfect by the time we reached our 40s, so we asked four celebrity makeup artists for their advice.
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To begin, all four of them emphasized the significance of skincare. “If your skin looks good, your makeup will look even better,” says makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, who has worked with celebrities such as Kaley Cuoco and Rashida Jones.As women age, their skincare and makeup needs may change. Here are some makeup tips for women over 40 to enhance their natural beauty and address any specific concerns:
“The key to applying makeup in your 40s and beyond is hydration,” says Nechelle Turner, a Jane Iredale national makeup artist and educator. “Hydrating the skin pre-application gives it a more youthful and plump appearance from the start.”
Have you mastered the art of moisturizing? Let’s get started with the makeup immediately.
Understand your undertones
“Choosing the right foundation shade is all about knowing your undertone,” explains Monika Blunder, a makeup artist and founder of an eponymous cosmetic company based in Los Angeles. “If you find out whether you are refreshing, hot, or neutral, it will make choosing any skin products (i.e., foundation and concealer) so much easier.”
Here are several simple methods for determining your undertone:
Consider how you react to the sun. You have warm undertones if you tan easily. If you burn quickly, you will have cool undertones. You have neutral undertones if you burn a little before gradually tanning.
Take a look at your jewelry. Do you shine like gold? You have a warm complexion. Silver sparkle? Your undertones are cool. You have neutral undertones if you look nice in both.
Discover which colors complement your natural coloring.
“After you know your undertones, you can look at a color wheel and determine what colors compliment them,” Blunder said. “People with warm undertones look best in gold, reds, yellows, and browns with warm undertones.”Those with cold undertones look wonderful in silver, frosty blues, purples, and pinks, while those with neutral undertones can usually pull off anything, though I particularly like rose gold and mauve on them,” she says. “You can also complement the colors in your eyes or your hair color.”
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Always cleanse and moisturize your skin before wearing makeup.
Again, because it needs repeating, skincare always comes first. Celebrity makeup artist Robert Sesnek of Catrice Cosmetics prefers to prep his customers’ skin with moisturizer, eye cream, and primer because “it visibly plumps any fine lines and gives your makeup staying power.” Sesnek suggests “just a touch in any areas where the pores appear larger, which is usually on the cheeks or chin.” (Greenberg concurs, but adds that “less is more” in high-texture areas.)
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Makeup Tips for Women Over 40: “Learning a quick but effective base is a game changer.” “If you learn how to do it correctly,” argues Blunder, “you look naturally flawless.” “I enjoy using cream products because they are so versatile.” You can sheer them down or build them up to hide faults while still looking dewy and radiant.” (Sesnek likes Catrice’s True Skin Foundation ($11), which has plumping and hydrating components like hyaluronic acid and watermelon seed oil and is easy to build into a skin-like finish.)
Start in the center of the face and blend outwards for a more natural-looking finish. “I like to use a brush to lightly buff the foundation onto the skin before taking a damp makeup sponge to soften the edges around the perimeter of the face,” he said. “This will really blend everything together.”
Omit or use sparingly the powder.
All of the makeup professionals we spoke with for this story agreed that avoiding powder or applying it judiciously is critical for preserving youthful-looking skin. “Unless you’re really oily, stick to hot spots like the T-zone only,” he added. (Turner suggests double-checking the ingredient list if you use a powder.) “Talc absorbs moisture and can make the skin look flat,” she says.
This advice is really simple. “If you’re wearing a bold lip, maybe tone down the eyes—and vice versa,” says Greenberg (who uses colorful eye shadows, eyeliner, and even mascara to provide a subtle pop of excitement a la Tracee below). So, on that note…
Make your eye makeup less complicated.
“Strong hard lines can give a heavy appearance to the eye, while a softer line gives a more open and youthful appearance,” Turner said. Sesnek then suggests using a liquid or cream eyeshadow to “do a simple wash of color” on the lid. “By the time we reach our 40s, the skin around the eyes loses elasticity, which can make application a bit trickier,” he said. As a result, emollient formulas are easier to apply and are less likely to settle into tiny lines and crease as they wear.
Care for your lashes
As we age, our lashes and brows may become thinner and more brittle. Which is why I recommend using a conditioning treatment regularly. Turner explained. (When worn before mascara, substances like hydrolyzed wheat protein and vitamin B5 thicken and nourish your lashes while also prolonging their length.)
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Greenberg prefers applying individual lashes (rather than complete strips) for special events since they make a tremendous difference in opening up your eyes without weighting them down.
“Blush brings everything together and is especially impactful as you get older,” says Sesnek. “I like to apply it high on the apples of the cheeks to lift the face and add dimension.” (See Kerry Washington here.) “Sometimes I’ll blend a little blush into the crease of the eyelids to bring the entire look together,” he adds.
Fill the lips
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“Another concern for many women who are 40 and over is thinning lips,” Turner went on to say. “To create the illusion of fuller lips without looking overdrawn. Use a neutral-toned lipliner to enhance their shape before applying lipstick.” Sesnek also advises choosing moisturizing formulations over matte ones. Thank goodness lip gloss is back and better than ever.
Makeup Tips for Women Over 40 should take extra care when applying makeup. It is important to use products that provide hydration and sun protection. Choose lighter foundations and concealers that blend in with the skin, as well as a setting powder that will help your makeup last longer. Accentuate your natural features, such as your eyes and lips. Use a soft eyeliner and eyeshadow to create a subtle look, and add a bit of definition with a lip liner and lipstick. Lastly, make sure to remove all makeup before bed and apply a nightly moisturizer.