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Fashion Tips and Tricks for Women Over 50: Makeup

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Has your look expired? Are you still following the same makeup regime you did when you where 40? Wake up, girlfriend. The Big Five-Oh decade means it’s time for a makeup makeover. So put down your blue eye shadow and pay attention.

As we age, we have to be more specific about the colors and textures of makeup we use. So let’s start from the beginning:

Face: Don’t use a heavy foundation, and beware of mineral makeup (it can settle in cracks and creases and make you look drier than the Mojave). Try liquid foundation, mixed with moisturizer if your skin is really dry. Apply it with a flat foundation brush and then pat it in with a sponge (don’t rub or you’ll wipe it off.) If you have dark circles or puffiness under your eyes, dab on a tiny (and I mean tiny) amount of concealer with your ring finger after you’ve applied your foundation. I like Effacernes Waterproof Undereye Concealer by Lancome, but any lightweight product will do. If you use powder to set your makeup, do so sparingly and use a translucent powder. A little bronzer can be nice in the summer, but again, use sparingly and only on forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin.

Blush: Although they can give you a more dewy look, I find cream blushes hard to control. I prefer powder in a peachy or pink tone. I like Orgasm by Nars. It looks good on any skin tone. The key is where to apply it. Here’s the trick. Smile and apply blush on the apples of your cheeks, then sweep your brush up and out toward your temple, as if drawing the number 6.

Eyebrows: As we age, eyebrows become sparse. You sometimes lose the tails completely. Use a pencil rather than powder, which can be too harsh. Make sure the pencil is sharpened to a point and use short, feather strokes to fill in your brows.

Eyes: Even if your eyelids have more folds than an Origami swan, covering your lids with a pale peach or pink shadow opens the eye. (Rule: just like in fashion, light brings out, dark takes away.) Forget about a deeper color in the crease (if you can even find the crease). Those days are gone. Next comes eyeliner. Yes, you can still wear it. But choose a softer color—brown or charcoal. My new favorite is navy. It looks good with any eye color and makes the whites of your eyes pop. Use a powder or pencil; liquid is too hard to control. Keep the line close to your upper lashes, and extend it a smidge (no Cleopatra eyes, please) beyond-and-up from the outer lid to create an uplift. Smudge it with a Q-tip, curl your lashes, and apply mascara.

Lips: By age 50, your lips tend to be dry and perhaps flaky. Prep them with a lip balm or primer; then, before applying lipstick, line them with a nude lip pencil or one that matches your selected shade. Avoid anything darker—the ’80s are gone. If you have a problem with feathering, there are lots of lipsticks and stains targeted for this. Remember, darker shades exaggerate little lines and flakes and can make your mouth look smaller.

One last tip: Don’t spend a lot of money on color. Save it for your skin care or perhaps even a facelift!

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About Judith Marshall