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8 Lies and Myths We’ve Been Told (And Might Believe!) About Makeup After 50

By Elise Marquam-Jahns March 10, 2022 Beauty

I think today’s topic is one we can all relate to: the many things we’ve read and heard that we should and shouldn’t do regarding the makeup we use after 50. And some of these “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” are really pervasive in our culture and frankly, are pretty ageist, so I think you’ll notice that I feel pretty darn passionate about this topic.

I first want to thank Marlena Stell – who’s the Founder and CEO of Makeup Geek – for first broaching this topic in a YouTube video she did this past October. When I watched her video, I just wanted to stand up and cheer! I totally agree with all she said!

First, let’s talk about our eyes because we all know that we probably see the most changes over the years in that area.

Myth #1: No Eyeshadow Over 50

We’ve most likely all heard, read or thought that we shouldn’t even wear eyeshadow after 50 because we have hooded or crepey eyes.

This one is so wrong on several counts because eyeshadow not only makes our eyes look bigger, but also better since with the right techniques, we can camouflage a hooded and textured eye. I have both hooded and crepey eyes, so the video should give you a good illustration.

Myth #2: Neutral Eyeshadow Colors Only

That’s similar to the myth we hear about clothing: that we should stick to black, brown and dark grey as we get older. Frankly, how boring! There’s certainly nothing wrong with wearing neutral makeup or clothing. Neutral colors can and do look beautiful. But, color can also work beautifully.

In fact, wearing eyeshadow that is a complementary color to our eye color can really highlight our eyes and look stunning. And, wearing colorful makeup can bring us joy, make us smile and help us feel better. It can also be just plain fun and can even be therapeutic.

If stepping away from wearing neutrals is a little outside your comfort zone, but you might like to at least dip your toe into color, be sure to check out this video:

Myth #3: Forget Eyeliner

I will agree that eyeliner application can be a bit more challenging than it used to be when we had tauter eyelids, but there are techniques we can use that really make lining our eyes easier. I’ll share two of them with you today, but if you’d like to learn more, watch this video:

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!

Myth #4: Don’t Wear Shimmer

Well, I will agree that shimmer and metallic eyeshadows do accentuate texture on our eyes. That’s just how color theory works: shimmer and metallic colors draw light toward them because they catch the light which draws attention to our eyes.

Now, there are no makeup rules, so if you love shimmer all over your eyes, I say wear it. Life is too short, after all, not to do things we love. But if you’d prefer not to draw attention to an area of your eye that has more texture, applying shimmer to the center of the eyelid where most of us have less texture can be gorgeous.

In the video I’ll apply shimmer right in the middle of my eyelid on the eye where I added more color earlier. For a lighter application of the shimmer, applying the shimmer with a brush works well. If you want a stronger application of shimmer, it helps to use our index finger to apply it.

Myth #5: Bring Blush Is a Big No-No!

Actually, a recent research study has shown that the greater facial contrast we have, the more attractive we look. We all start to lose facial contrast as we get older since our skin and lips gets paler – which reduces our facial contrast. So wearing blush that creates more contrast can really help us look our best.

Now I’m not saying we should overdo our blush because too much blush is not attractive no matter what our age – but there is a happy medium!

Myth #6: Only Apply Blush to the Apples of Your Cheeks

Since gravity has pulled several of our body parts down over the years – including our cheeks – it can be more flattering for many of us to apply blush in an upward sweep from the middle of our cheekbones to our temple. This method of application helps lift the face. In the video I’ll go ahead and apply some blush in an upward motion toward my temple using Makeup by Mario’s cream blush in “Petal Pink.”

Myth #7: Highlighter Accentuates Wrinkles

As I mentioned earlier, shimmers and metallics do attract light which can accentuate texture, but what does work beautifully is to add a soft lovely glow. If we look at a young child’s face, we don’t see shimmer, but we do see a radiant glow. That’s what we’re after.

Two of my favorite highlighters that create this soft, radiant glow are Merit’s Highlighter and the highlighters from RMS Beauty. Merit’s highlighter comes in two colors and the RMS Highlighter comes in six shades. I’m going to go ahead and use the RMS “Living Luminizer” shade. As you’ll see in the video, it doesn’t look glittery or highlight texture, it just creates a wonderful glow to the skin.

Myth #8: Tone Done Your Lipstick

The research study I mentioned earlier applies to this myth, too. Because our lips and skin do get paler as the years march by, adding more color to our lips helps create more facial contrast which helps us look more attractive.

Nude lip colors – on the other hand – tend to wash us out. And that’s exactly what we don’t want! So, in the video I’ll apply a brighter, stronger lip color. And then I’ll add a little gloss on top of it.

Since we hear so often about things we shouldn’t do as we get older, I’d love to hear in the comments section below your thoughts on anything we should do as we get older – whether it’s makeup related or not!

Videos you might find helpful:

The Quickest, Easiest Eyeshadow Application for Older Women

 Help for Hooded Eyes

 Research on Why Eyeshadow Helps Us Look Our Best

What do you feel are the most important things we should do as we get older? What are “makeup after 50” myths that you hear most often? How do you feel about these myths? Which ones do you love breaking?

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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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