3 Makeup Tips Every Woman Over 40 Should Know

makeup tips and tricks for older women

A few quick makeup changes can make a huge difference in how (old) you (look) are perceived…not to mention how you feel. One of my favorite stories illustrating this point is when my Aunt Patty stopped by my spa for a quick makeup touch up; she was in her late forties at the time. Later that day, she called to tell me that when she left the spa, she was whistled at and even had a stranger approach her and ask her if she was a famous newscaster! Talk about a confidence booster…no new outfit can do that for you! In fact, some of the best compliments I get are from the husbands of my clients. Time and time again I’ve been told that the men in my client’s life LOVE the light touch that I use; many husbands even tell their wives to buy everything I applied!

My motivation to keep doing what I do year after year is the satisfaction I feel after each clients’ significant transformation – especially in such a short amount of time. As we get older, it becomes even more important to know what the right makeup can do for you…as well as what the wrong makeup can do to hurt you. My techniques are very fast and natural. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Tip One: Keep Up With The Times

A lot of women get stuck in a time warp, wearing the same makeup for years. I have one client that has been addicted to a bright orange lipstick forever; she’s worn it for several decades. I can’t drive past her house without imagining big orange lips on the front door, nor can anyone that knows her picture her without that bright orange kisser. Her friends routinely beg me to change it and suggest other colors. Throughout the years, I have spent time with her, showing shades that are far more flattering, but once out the door, she goes back to her security blanket orange color. Then there is the 60-something accountant that is still stuck in the 1960s with her pencil thin brow shape, powder blue eyeshadow and candy pink lips. She picked these colors about 45 years ago and has stuck with them ever since. We all know someone like this…or perhaps you’re realizing you ARE someone like this. Repent now…you’ll be glad you did.

Many women, like the ones above, are holding on to a lipstick color that’s all wrong for them. It is too dark, too matte, too brown…and men in particular hate it! It looks harsh and dull and accentuates lip lines and signs of aging. This is the issue that most women face: their makeup is actually making them look older. Without the right primers, moisturizers and great skin underneath, most concealers, powders and foundations get stuck in the fine lines and wrinkles and actually accentuate the imperfections. There’s also the problem of finding the right foundation color. Most women who sit in my chair are using formulas that are too yellow, which tend to make the skin look sallow, and lacking youthfulness. But they bought it years ago and just stuck with it. Women also tend to either not use enough make up (blush, etc.) because they are unsure of how to apply it, or they use too much…and usually use the wrong tools to apply it. As women get older, it is best to keep it natural…and be willing to try something new!

Tip Two: Don’t Try To Be TOO Trendy!

When you read about trends in makeup, I believe it is meant for teenage girls and that’s about it. Bold eyes with nude lips or bright blush and glossy lips are trends made to sell makeup, not bring out your very best. There are certainly times, like New Years Eve or a black tie event, when you may want to do a bolder lip or heavier eyeliner, but what I am tackling is the mess of everyday makeup that women do. Most of us aren’t trying to look like a Victoria’s Secret model to go to the office. And even if you are going on a hot date, there is nothing that screams desperate like a heavy handed makeup application. I will say it again: men in particular hate harsh make up.

The problem with department stores and the traditional way that makeup is sold. Most colors out there shouldn’t be available to, or worn by, anyone. I am always looking at the choices of lipstick, powder, blush, shadows, etc. and can usually find ONE color that I think would be flattering on most women. The rest SHOULD NOT BE WORN BY ANYONE – I call them CLOWN MAKEUP. Unfortunately, many of us buy our makeup at a department store, which is a recipe for disaster.

Tip Three: Do Department Store Beauty At Your Own Risk!

If you succumb to the department store makeover, you are at the mercy of the salesperson that is doing your application: his or her training and expertise, not to mention taste in makeup. Also, department store representatives are limited to selling the brand they work for, and as I stated, most of these should not be worn on anyone. They also may not have a lot of experience, so at best it will be a hit or miss with the colors they choose and application technique they use. I can almost guarantee that the application will be very complicated, as well as hugely expensive if you buy all the products that they use on you. I know because these are the horror stories I’m told time and time again. Let’s assume that you got lucky and actually like the look of the salesperson’s application, so you splurged and bought all the products. When you got home, though, and tried to recreate the look yourself,  you could not achieve the same results. There is always something missing. This is why it is always best to keep it simple, not too trendy but also not the same rigid application year in and year out.

MB York

Mary Beth York is recognized globally as a makeup artist, spa developer and the creator of her signature line of cosmetics, Beauty Ammo. Her makeup kits have become staples on the sets of shows such as Desperate Housewives, One Tree Hill, Dancing with the Stars and The E! Network.

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