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Top Celebrity Makeup Artists’ Tips for Older Women

By Elise Marquam-Jahns August 24, 2023 Beauty

While most of us love the idea of aging gracefully, that doesn’t mean that we don’t also want to put our best face forward and highlight our best features. Fortunately, makeup has come a long way in allowing us all to look and feel our best at every age. As legendary makeup artist Trish McEvoy said, “What time takes away, we can bring back with makeup.”

As a makeup artist myself who specializes in helping those of us over 50 look like the best version of ourselves, I always find it interesting and inspiring to check out tips from other makeup artists I respect and admire. So today I thought you might enjoy hearing some of the top tips for older women from some highly respected Hollywood makeup artists.

Skin Prep Is Key

Makeup artist Jenny Smith is an advocate of skin prep – especially exfoliating our skin. If we don’t exfoliate our skin, we can sometimes end up looking like we’re wearing heavy makeup because even the lightest application of foundation grabs onto dry patches and clings. Just about every makeup line makes an exfoliating product, but my tried and true exfoliator which I won’t do without is Tatcha’s The Rice Polish in “Deep.”

Celebrity makeup artist Kate Lee – who’s with Chanel – is also a firm believer in the incredibly important step of prepping our mature skin before applying makeup. She suggests using products that are lightweight, easily absorbed and moisturizing. The moisturizing aspect is especially crucial since our skin usually gets drier as we get older.

Another tip from Kate Lee is especially important for those of us with dry skin. Even though it’s tempting to use a product that is very emollient, we don’t want to use a product that is too emollient since that can result in makeup that actually moves around on the skin. And products that are too emollient can also change how our makeup looks.

For instance, I have a couple of moisturizers that I love, but they’re quite heavy. And I notice that if I use them before applying a favorite glowy foundation, I don’t get the lovely soft glow that I would get if I used a lightweight moisturizer. So, I usually save those heavier moisturizers for nighttime application and use a lighter weight moisturizer under my makeup.

And Lee’s next tip is that it’s also very important to be patient and wait a few minutes for the moisturizer to settle into the skin before moving on with makeup application. Since most of us want to apply our makeup as quickly as possible, it’s very tempting to apply additional products before the one we just applied settles in.

Update Your Foundation

A mistake Kate Lee often sees is older women using the same products for many years. In her words, “Foundations are incredible these days – formulations change constantly and if you stick with one product for many years, you may miss the magic. Also, it’s highly likely that the foundation of your 20s and 30s may not be the most flattering when you hit your next glorious decade. I encourage people to try new products and techniques – that in itself is an act of youthfulness!”

Several foundations I’ve recently tried which I feel are especially beautiful on mature skin: Nars’ Light Reflecting Foundation and Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Foundation. Both give a lovely soft glow to mature skin.

Less Is More

Kate Lee is also a firm advocate of the philosophy that “less is more” – especially for mature skin. She suggests focusing on areas where you absolutely need the coverage by using a lighter formula foundation and then building up the coverage slightly only where you need it most.

Another tip from Kate Lee is to use concealer just on those areas where you need the most coverage – rather than covering your entire face with foundation. So, in the video, I’ll use my Clinique Even Better Concealer – which has great coverage – just on the areas where I have the greatest amount of redness and discoloration.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Techniques for the Eyes

Makeup artist Trish McEvoy confirms that the first area of our face to show signs of aging is the eyes. She suggests brightening the upper and under eye area using the “Triangle of Light” technique. To do this, we create an upside-down triangle under each eye – gently pressing the product into the skin. This technique, which you will see in the video, makes the area look dramatically lifted.

Makeup artist Kindra Mann says she always hears her older clients say they want to avoid any eyeshadow with shimmer or sparkle in it. She agrees with the sparkle part but feels that a little bit of shimmer can look nice on the lid. Her advice is to avoid putting shimmer on the brow bone area. So in the video I’ll add a little shimmer to the eyelids with a soft shimmer from the Doll 10 2.0 Eyeshadow Palette.

Trish McEvoy also feels it’s very important to give some definition to our lash line by using an invisible lining technique. To do this, she suggests pressing the eyeliner in between each lash along the lash line. She feels that this brings the look of lush and full lashes even before adding mascara. And there’s unanimous agreement that mascara is essential. I’ll apply my Doll 10 Effortlash Mascara.  

A New Blush Technique

For blush, I’ll use my Milk Makeup Blush in the shade “Rally.” In addition to applying it upward along the middle of my cheekbones toward my temple – which is what I normally do – I’ll also apply it in a second spot – across the eyes. Hollywood makeup artist Nikki LaRose suggests this technique to give more life to the eye area and to also create a more cohesive makeup look.

Add Some Beautiful Sheen

Makeup artist Kindra Mann prefers to add a lit bit of sheen on more mature skin since she feels it helps keep our complexion looking more youthful. And makeup artist Amanda Bells recommends using an oil-based product as a highlighter to add that sheen. She believes that the subtle light reflectivity of an oil-based product creates a lovely diffused glow of natural radiance which looks like it comes from within.  

I couldn’t agree more and a coconut oil-based highlighter that really creates that diffused glow of natural radiance is RMS Beauty’s Magic Luminizer. The Luminizer come in five different shades, but the one that I feel has the most beautiful glow is the Magic Luminzer. I like to tap it in with my fingers and then use a different finger to blend out the edges.

Give Some Love to Your Lips

Iconic makeup artist Pat McGrath has this advice for lips: exfoliate the lips with a lip scrub. If you don’t have one, it’s very easy to create a DIY lip scrub. There are many recipes out there, but the easiest one that has ingredients you most likely already have is this one: Mix one teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of sugar. Then gently massage the mixture into your lips and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing off.

She then suggests applying all over your lips a concealer that matches your skin and then applying a lip balm on top which gives hydration. Next, she suggests applying lip liner and filling in our lips with the lip liner before applying lipstick. For those of us with mature skin, she recommends a lipstick formula that’s more hydrating to ensure smooth, even coverage.

Next comes lip liner. After applying my Naked Bee lip balm, I’ll use one of my Doll 10 lip liners to outline and fill in my lips. I’ll first apply my moisturizing Beauty Counter lipstick in the shade “Lily” and then my Ilia lipstick in “Ultraviolet” and apply my Lawless Gloss in “Daisy Girl” over it.

I think that covers all the tips and I certainly hope you found some of them helpful. If you use any of these tips or have some of your own that you’d like to suggest, I hope you’ll let us know.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you follow any celebrity makeup artists? What have you learned from them? Have any of their tips worked especially well on you? Do you have any favorite tips of your own that you can recommend? What makeup tip do you feel makes the biggest positive difference in how your makeup looks?

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Sorry I have to agree with others in the comments, there is a lot going on here; plus I too would not choose products in these price lines.
Fortunately, I have found a product which is being made locally as a moisturize it cannot be beat, and believe we truly can be our best without too much coverage and look younger as a result. A lot of fussing tends to result in a older look.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Nancy–It’s always wonderful to find a product you love and that works beautifully for you. That’s what it’s all about with makeup–finding what works for us to help us feel our very best. I try to do many videos on a variety of different products at different price ranges–including many drugstore products–since we all have different preferences and different budgets.


I always enjoy your demos and articles, Elise. But I do find myself thinking, “those are a lot of fancy and expensive products to put on or take on a trip, and that doesn’t suit my sporty, on the go, fast moving lifestyle!”
Have you posted a 5 minute makeup routine using 3 products, in multiple ways? I would enjoy that!
Lauren Teton
Founder of the #TwiftiesLifeStyle, for fun people over 60!
Centered around Birth Year 1956

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Lauren–Great idea for a video topic–thank you! Although I don’t have a video covering exactly what you’re suggesting, I do have several other videos that focus on quick, easy and/or minimalist looks. Here are a few of them: “The Quickest, Easiest Makeup Routine for Older Women”:
Another one is “Minimalist Makeup Look for Over 50”:;
a third one is: “This Very Small Palette Almost Does It All”:
And a fourth one is: “My 8 Minute Makeup Routine”:
I hope one or more of these might be helpful!


Hello – I am 72 years old and my skin is still oily, so I can’t use some of the suggested products. Also, I can’t afford most of the products mentioned in the article. I sure would enjoy an article like this for older women with oily skin and with some a lot less expensive products mentioned in the article. Thanks for listening. Leen

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Leen–Thanks so much for the good suggestion. I will definitely put this video topic on my “to film” list!

The Author

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional makeup artist who is passionate about helping women 50+ get their glow back. She is the founder of Boomer and Beyond Beauty and runs the “Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise” YouTube channel. Elise has authored the free guide The Top Four Research-Proven Makeup Techniques That Help Us Look Our Best Now.

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