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Makeup for older women - 7 secret tips

makeup for older woman

"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, who has shared her words of wisdom on the best makeup for older women. Whether you're wanting to focus on eye makeup or find the best foundation for older skin, we've compiled her tips and tricks on the best products and makeup techniques for over 50s. 

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Makeup for older women: top tips

From brows to dark circles and everything in between, here are seven secret makeup tips to swear by as an older woman.  

Makeup tips for older women

1. Foundation - less is more 

The heavier your foundation is, the more drying it will look and feel on your skin. While it might seem as though you're going against the grain, less is definitely more. Light, dewy coverage, like you'd get from a BB cream, is far more flattering than clunky foundation as it helps your skin to look hydrated. Always ignore the "blemish" part - foundation, BB or CC cream is solely to even out your skin tone and give light, radiant coverage. If you just can't give up your favourite full-coverage foundation, invest in a decent sponge blender or a foundation brush so you can get a photo finish.

If you're confused by BB creams vs CC creams, you're not alone! BB cream contains several products in one and is great for those who need next to no coverage. CC cream corrects your complexion by evening out your skin tone and providing more coverage than BB cream. Now you're in the know, your next job is to find the right BB and CC cream for you



Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

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

Smooth, brighten and even your skin tone with this lightweight product made especially for mature skin.

Buy: Boots, £9.99

Buy: John Lewis, £24.50


2. Blusher - it's all about crème blush

Crème blush is the friend of mature skin as opposed to dry blush which is powder in another form. It's as simple as smiling, dabbing a dot onto your smile lines and blending over those apples! If you want to go a step further and fake high cheekbones - or draw attention to your god-given ones -  lightly roll a highlighter pen over your cheeks.

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. 


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 payoff, this is a firm budget favourite.

Buy: John Lewis, £17.50

Buy: MUA, £3


3. Powder - avoid like the plague or, at the very least, use sparingly

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 only apply around the t-zone area where oil can settle.  



Laura Mercier powder
e.l.f High Definition Powder Laura Mercier Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

In three 'corrective' shades, this soft focus effect powder masks fine lines and imperfections.

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

Buy: e.l.f cosmetics, £7.50

Buy: John Lewis, £29


4. Mascara - tone it up a notch

The bottom line is that age is irrelevant when it comes to dark and defined lashes - makeup for older women can still pack a punch! Rather than scaling back when applying mascara, ramp it up a level, especially for evenings out. 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.

Also invest in some whitening eye drops to make your natural eye colour more vibrant. Pair with Boots' No7 Stay Perfect Mascara - a tubing mascara that gives your lashes a defined look and washes off with warm water. We've never known it to smudge either.


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5. Eye makeup - master the smokey eye look

This is often a problem area for older 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 or a quirky cat eye, go for a soft, kohl eyeliner and line it as close to the lashes as you possibly can.

Whatever shade you choose, don't be shy with it. It's okay to have sexy, smokey eyes at any age. Do make sure you apply eyeshadow with a small, soft brush and blend it - a cotton bud is ideal - just to smudge it a little so that the colour doesn't look like it’s been crayoned on.

Because a smokey eye is such a good look at any age, it's almost foolproof. After all, it's not supposed to be precise.



Scroll to the bottom of the page to see our Facebook Live with Look Fabulous Forever founder and beauty vlogger, Tricia Cusden 


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' 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


6. Brows - a little pencil can go a long way

It's true that brows can get sparse as we age... or they may well have been over-plucked during those angsty teenage years! Fixing thin eyebrows can be a bit of a challenge depending on the kind of treatment you need, but, in the meantime, a little brow pencil can do just the trick. The key is to keep your brows tidy (snip if you have to) and look for a brow pencil with a brush at the other end so that any obvious pencil lines are brushed out. If you have very thin brows, 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 awkward-looking line. Another great product is brow gel, which you can use to set your brow pencil, feather your brows or add some colour to them.

And best of all, you don't have to play by any rules - budget buys are often just as good as more expensive brands when it comes to brow products. 


urban decay brow tamer
Soap and Glory Archery DIY Brow Bar Urban Decay Eyebrow Gel

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

Tame, define and polish your brows with this tiny miracle. Choose from four shades.

Buy: Amazon, £17.89

Buy: Urban Decay, £16


7. Lips - go for the gloss

Go for gloss, gloss and more gloss! Lip gloss is the best way to make lips look plumper as it reflects light so well. Beware of loopy, extreme glosses though and, instead, opt for a product that gives exactly the right amount of sheen for an elegant look. You don't need to be a makeup artist to know when too much really is too much! Stay right away from the matte trend unless you've been blessed with the smoothest lips in the world...



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, £22

Buy: lookfantastic.com, £11.60


Prices correct as of 08/05/18

More beauty tips

For more top beauty tips from an industry expert, watch our Facebook Live below with beauty vlogger and founder of Look Fabulous Forever, Tricia Cusden. She gives us the low-down on the best makeup ideas and skincare routines for older women, plus reveals her very own makeup regime! 




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