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Make-up for older women - 7 secret tips

makeup for older women


Make-up tips for older women

"I absolutely hate the words anti-ageing. There isn't really anything anti about ageing; we enter in and out of beauty phases all through our lives and being older is one of them. However, that doesn't mean that we can't, or shouldn't, be interested in maintaining our beauty as we get older." 

So says Jane Cunningham, aka British Beauty Blogger, and having answered all your beauty and make-up questions via our Q&A, is returning to share her words of wisdom on the best make-up tricks every woman over 50 should know.


The heavier your foundation is, the more drying it will look and feel on your skin. While it might feel as though it goes against the grain, less is definitely more. Light, dewy coverage like a BB cream, such as Garnier Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One Anti-Ageing BB Cream, is far more flattering and helps skin to look hydrated and flexible.

Ignore the "blemish" part - it's more to even out the skin tone and give light, radiant coverage.

Gransnet says:


Personally, I think crème blush is the friend of older skin rather than dry blush which is powder in another form. It's as simple as smiling, dabbing a dot onto the smile apples and blending over them apples!

Word to the wise though - don't whip it up to your ears; you're aiming for a healthy looking flush, not a Sable Colby lookalike.   


Unless you suffer with oily skin, and possibly even if you do, powder is an absolute no-no. In the past we were taught not to shine - these days shine is "glow". Powder seeps into lines and creases and does nobody any favours at all, so keep it to an absolute minimum and then only around the t-zone area where oil can settle.  


Far from paring back mascara, I think you should ramp it up a level, especially for evenings. While you perhaps don't need the 'fat lash', heavy kind of mascara, well-defined, ultra-black lashes will make your eyes look more intense.

I regularly use whitening eye drops because I think it's flattering and makes your natural eye colour more vibrant. I like Boots No7 Stay Perfect Mascara - a tubing mascara that gives your lashes a defined look and washes off with warm water. Plus, I've never known it to smudge.


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Eye make-up 

This is often a problem area for older women's skin because of natural elasticity loss which can make lids creased and give you hooded eyes. If you have creased lids and don't feel confident with shadow, go for a soft, kohl eyeliner (I use Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' KohlBourjois Khol and Urban Decay 24/7 Liner) and line it as close to the lashes as you possibly can.

I use a lot of black, but whatever shade you choose, don't be shy with it. It's okay to have sexy, smoky eyes at any age! Do make sure you blend it - a cotton bud is ideal - just smudge it a little so that the colour doesn't look like it’s been crayoned on.

Because 'smoky' is such a good look at any age, it's almost foolproof because it's not supposed to be precise. A good tip is to check out the Charlotte Tilbury website - whether you want to buy anything or not (and I do recommend), she's sectioned off shades for specific eye colours and it's a very helpful guide.

Gransnet recommends:



It's true that brows can get sparse as we age or maybe you were a teenage plucker! You might want to check out this page on how to fix thin eyebrows, but in the meantime, a little brow pencil can lift your whole eye look. The key is to keep your brows tidy (snip if you have to) and look for a brow pencil such as No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil with a brush at the other end so any obvious pencil lines are brushed out. If you have very thin brows, I feel it's best to leave them alone entirely or go for a shade or two down - it's better to have a whisper of definition than a line of shame.

You don't have to play by any 'rules'. We have more choice than ever before in terms of price - budget buys are very often just as good as premium buys. 


Gloss, gloss and more gloss! Lip gloss is the best way to make lips look less lined and plumper because it's so light reflective. However, gloopy, extreme glosses aren't the most flattering when you are older; instead opt for a product such as Bobbi Brown Brighten Lip Gloss that gives exactly the right amount of sheen for an elegant look. Stay right away from the matte trend unless you've been blessed with the smoothest lips in the world!

Gransnet recommends:

Use YouTube tutorials for ideas - often, YouTubers are youngsters but it doesn't mean they don't have great ideas for make-up. I like Pixiwoo and Lisa Eldridge (who has several looks specifically for older women). The bottom line is that age is irrelevant when it comes to dark and defined lashes and a beautiful red lip.  


Products we love...

liz earle blush MUA blush
Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush MUA Blush Perfection Cream Blusher

A good quality option that allows you to build colour up gradually.

Dewy, but with a good colour pay off, this is a firm budget favourite.

Buy: John Lewis, £17.50

Buy: MUA, £3

Laura Mercier powder
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Laura Mercier Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

As recommended by Jane, this BB cream is light, won't settle into lines and povides just enough coverage.

This powder is fine and light enough to blot away shine, without settling into lines.

Buy: Superdrug, £6.66

Buy: John Lewis, £27

stay perfect mascara rock n kohl
No7 Stay Perfect Mascara Charlotte Tilbury's Rock 'N' Kohl Pencil

Another of Jane's recommended products, this mascara creates 'tubes' of product around your eyelashes to make them fuller.

Part liquid eyeliner, part kohl pencil, this is a wonder product, with intense pigment and the precision of a liquid eyeliner.

Buy: Boots, £13

Buy: John Lewis, £19

wonder brows
Soap and Glory Archery DIY Brow Bar No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil

Everything you need to sculpt, shape, define and highlight your brows in one convenient compact.

Another favourite of Jane's. Erase pencil strokes easily with the handy brush at the other end.

Buy: Amazon, £13.99

Buy: Boots, £8

brightening lip gloss benefit gloss
Bobbi Brown Brightening Lip Gloss Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss

Wear it alone or over lipstick for shine and volume.

A beautiful pink, made with a non-sticky formula - hurrah!

Buy: Bobbi Brown, £21

Buy: lookfantastic.com, £11.60


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Images: Shutterstock