Makeup chair can be war-zone for aging clients.
This article I wrote was originally published in Revive magazine. So popular I’ve introduced it on my new website.
“It’s too cakey.” “I can see my lines.” The list of makeup complaints from 40-plus faces is endless. What does it take to move these women to embrace their makeover, not fear it? We need to address their special needs by hiding, not exposing, the signs of a life well lived.
- foundation isn’t the enemy—use a sheer, oil-free one that hides redness and sun spots but isn’t cakey. My fav? MAC Face and Body Foundation. Though mature ladies like the dewy look, shimmery foundation only highlights lines, as will shine anywhere on the face. Cover left-over spots with Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.
- undereye concealer is an aging woman’s worst nightmare because it settles into lines. Use a creamy pen-based one. The ultimate concealer is Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat. To set it, use MAC’s Blot Powder compact. If powder accents lines, roll a damp Q-tip over the area.
- face powder is the 2nd worst enemy. It helps foundation last and tames shine, but go light. Finish powder with down-strokes. You don’t want to notice the cheek hairs. Spritz water over the final powder so a client won’t battle you on its look.
- Use MATTE eye shadows. Frosts on mature eyes spotlight crepey skin. Stick with neutral taupes, browns, and greys, not trendy colour. See MAC and Makeup Forever brands. For drooping lid skin, use one medium brown shade on the whole lid and into the crease. I like MAC Cork and Quarry.
- Use waterproof eyeliners. Use a lighter colour on the lower eyeline than on the lid. Try Annabelle’s Smoothliners in Brownie (upper lid) and Bronze (lower eyeline–the only place I like shimmer). Set shadow in similar shades. When you line, swoop wider on the outer 1/3 of the lid, to give a non-surgical eyelift. Finally, line the inside rim of the upper eye; older lids curl up revealing too much flesh.
- drooping lids will blink and smudge mascara. Use waterproof all the time or at least on the lower lashes. For fullness try L’oreal’s Voluminous.
- curl eyelashes to open and lift the eye. Use Shu Uemura’s from Sephora.
- Define sparse and faded eyebrows with powder, not harsh pencil. Brunettes go lighter than their hair; blondes go darker. See Anastasia’s eye-brow kits, (Sephora). NOTE: create an instant face-lift by plucking and powdering-in a higher brow arch.
- Cream blushes are nice for a healthy glow, but whisk over a light coat of sheer powder to control shine. I like MAC’s Cremeblend in “Ladyblush.”
- Red lipstick ages a woman’s face. The darker the lipstick, the thinner the lip looks. Dark colours also bleed into lip lines. And frosted lipsticks showcase lip wrinkles, while matte are too dry—use creamy formulas. Apply brownish pinks, not bubblegum or fuschia. I love MAC’s Brave. Other favs are Revlon’s Nude Velvet, MAC’s Brick-O-La and Mocha.
- lip pencils rebuild long-lost lip shape and pigment. Draw slightly beyond the lip to enhance fullness. Never line across the whole lower lip because it runs wider than the upper; swing upward early to join the upper lip. Use natural lip shades like Wet’nWild’s #666 pencil and MAC’s Spice.
- Final face tips: with gravity, noses get longer as we age. Dab taupe eye-shadow on the nose tip to hike it up. Also blend around and into hairline to mask thinning hair.
A good makeup artist won’t ever leave clients feeling like they have to grow into their look. We are their expert guidance that should lead to a timeless and classic look.