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Over 50 Minimalist Makeup Look Using Techniques That Work for Us Now

If I asked each of you to choose the makeup products you’d use for a minimalist makeup look, I imagine I’d see quite a variation not only in the number of products each of you would use – but also the specific products you’d choose. Because a “minimalist makeup look” can certainly mean different things to different people.

If you haven’t worn makeup up to this point – or have worn very little makeup – a minimalist makeup look might mean two or three makeup products. For those of us who are used to wearing a bit more makeup, a minimalist makeup routine might mean paring down to four or five products.

The 2 Most Import Factors to Consider

Today I’m going to choose makeup products for a minimalist look based on two factors. The first factor involves looking at the results of two research studies that determined what helps us look our best and the second factor involves taking a look at how some of our facial features have changed over the decades and what products will help us the most to deal with these changes.

First Research Study Conclusion

First, let’s look at the research studies. In one study several years ago, researchers wanted to discover what makes us most attractive to other people. What they discovered was extremely interesting – and especially relevant for those of us over 50. Their research determined that what makes us most attractive to other people is the amount of facial contrast we have.

But, as we get older, we lose that facial contrast because our skin and lips get paler, and we all know what happens to our brows. So based on these research results, what will help us look our best is to create more facial contrast.

Thus, if our brows have gotten sparser and are starting to blend into our skin because of the white and grey brow hairs, we need to fill in our brows with the help of some makeup products. We also need to create more contrast on our skin and lips by adding some blush and lipstick.

Second Research Study Conclusion

The second study was done in Germany and determined that the most important thing we can do to look our best is to even out our skin tone. In fact, this study even concluded that we can look 5 to 20 years younger by doing this.

We may not care about looking younger, but many of us like the thought of looking like the very best version of ourselves now. We often see discoloration on our lids and veins that starts to show through. On the rest of our face, we may see redness, age spots, or other types of discoloration. So, the makeup products to create a more even skin tone are concealer or foundation.

Makeup That Addresses the Research Conclusions

So in the video above I’m going to go ahead and add some makeup that addresses the conclusions of these research studies. But I’ll only apply the makeup to one side of my face so we can compare the two sides when we finish.

I’m first going to add more facial contrast by filling in the brow on one side of my face, by covering the discoloration on my eyelid with eye primer and the discoloration on my face with concealer. I’ll also add blush and lipstick. I’m going to start by filling in my brows, but if your brows haven’t become sparser or more populated with white and grey brow hairs, you can certainly skip this step.

Next, I’m going to even out my skin tone by covering up the discoloration on my eyelids and my face. For my eyelids, I’m using an eye primer that matches the color of my eyelids.

To cover up my age spots and other discoloration on my face, I’m going to use Clinique’s Even Better Concealer in the shade “Alabaster” which is a good match for my skin. This concealer has particularly good coverage.

Next comes adding in more facial contrast by applying blush and lipstick. Two of my absolute favorite blushes are from the Rare Beauty makeup line – their cream blush in the shade “Nearly Neutral” – which is a soft, neutral pink – and their liquid blush in the shade “Encourage” which is also a soft, neutral pink. I’m going to go with the cream version.

Since I have the most product on my brush now, I’m going to start my blush application at the temple and then bring it down along the center of my cheekbone until I get to the middle of my eye. This application method helps work against gravity and lift the face.

I have a major problem with my lipstick migrating into those fine lines which is why I have to take two extra steps before applying lipstick. To create a barrier on the outer part of my lips to help prevent the lipstick from feathering, I’m first going to apply my Clinique concealer on my outstretched lips and then apply a lip liner.

Next comes lipstick and I’m going to apply a wonderfully inexpensive lipstick from the drugstore line Wet and Wild in the shade “Retro Pink.”  

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!

The Second Important Factor

Now let’s focus on the second factor which involves taking a look at how some of our facial features have changed over the decades and what products will help us the most to deal with these changes. For most of us, the greatest amount of change has occurred in our eye area – such as under eye circles, hooded eyelids and crepey texture.

If you feel you want to address these changes, the four different makeup products you can use – which I demonstrate in the video – are eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and color corrector. But what’s most important is to use the techniques that work best for us now when applying these.

The Techniques That Work for Us Now

To make my eyes look bigger, I’m going to apply a light matte shade of eyeshadow across the entire mobile lid. Since I have hooded eyes, I want to create a new crease with one of my stick eyeshadows in a darker color which will give more depth and definition to my eye.

I’ll apply it slightly above the crease. If I applied it just in the crease and not also above the crease, the eyeshadow wouldn’t show up.

A second way to give definition to the eyes and make them stand out is to use eyeliner. I’ll show you two different ways to apply eyeliner which makes it far easier to do. The first way is to tightline and the second way is to apply eyeliner by using an angled eyebrow brush, rubbing it across the eyeliner and then applying the eyeliner as close to the base of the lashes as possible.

Using a brush rather than an eyeliner pencil makes eyeliner application much easier since he brush smooths everything together so the eyeliner looks perfect.

The third product we can choose to use is mascara. After the first application, wait for it to dry and apply a second coat. And an easy technique to curl the lashes is to hold your index finger up against the lash horizontally while the mascara is still wet and hold it there until it dries.

The fourth and last thing we can do to help our eye area is to cover up the dark circles under our eyes. The best way to do this is to first use a concealer in a shade that color corrects the dark circles. The best shade to use is a peach or salmon colored concealer. Then dot on a concealer shade over the corrector which is slightly lighter than your skin tone.

Which of these four products you choose to use – if any of them – depends on the specific challenges you have with your eyes and which product – or products – you feel will be most helpful.

In the video I take a close up look at both sides of my face. On one side I didn’t use any makeup and on the other side I used the products and techniques that help me look my best based on the conclusions from the two research studies and the eye makeup products.

I hope you found this article and video helpful in deciding what products and techniques will work best for you to create your most flattering and beautiful minimalist makeup look.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you like to create a minimalist makeup look? If so, what products do you feel are most important for you to use? Are there any special application techniques that work best for you?

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Elise, lovely video and you are lovely, with and without make-up! A few things I learned from you: I never would have dreamed of a violet color based lipstick, but it looks great on you. Using the angled brush for the cream eyeliner is a great tip.And holding the lashes up with a finger when they are damp with mascara, what a great tip. Because eyelash curlers are just too big for my eye! Both sides of your complexion looked excellent. I notice the full foundation side had a nice moistness. I guess it’s important to buy a foundation that will add that bit of sheen. How will I know before I buy? Thank you!
And I see you have an Instagram too. Instagram is great for our age group, and little used.

Lauren Teton
founder of Twifties, the fun people over 60

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Lauren–Thank you so very much for your kind words. I’m so delighted to hear that the tips have been helpful! To answer your question about how to know if foundations have a bit of sheen–many of them have the word “dewy” or “luminous” in the name of the foundation (for instance Wet and Wild has a regular foundation which is matte and one that is dewy that has the word Dewy in the name). But the surest way to tell is to look on the brand’s website and read the description of the foundation. Brands will indicate if the finish is matte, skin-like, satin or dewy. I hope this helps!

Sandy Cooper

This is a great article with all the ideas and reasons for each use well explained!

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Sandy–Thanks so very much for your kind comments. I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. It was great fun to put together.


I always like to listen to your videos. Discovered you on “Sixty and Me”. I am almost 69 and your tips on how to apply makeup have been really valuable. I use LimeLife products by Alcone which are made in sustainable ways, contain nutritious ingredients, and are medium priced. Thank you for giving older women such fantastic tips. You look marvelous!

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Ann–I’m so delighted to know that you’ve found the tips on my videos to be helpful. It’s so kind of you to let me know and I really appreciate your taking the time to do so. And thanks also for sharing the brand you use. I’m not familiar with that line but will definitely check into it!

Jan Borgman

I am 72 n wear eyebrow color, moisturizer n maybe a litter blush. I’m outdoors so not into makeup. Minimum color on my lips n or just lip moisture

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Jan–It sounds like you’ve found the perfect look that works for you. And just a little eyebrow color can make a world of difference!


Great suggestions and I especially appreciate the reasons! What are your thoughts on using a BB or CC cream? I like the one and done approach fir my skin, a soft eyeliner on upper lid, lip pencil to keep that lipstick in place.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Laurel–Thank you so much! BB or CC creams can work wonderfully. The only drawback with them is that there are usually not as many different shade options so it can sometimes be trickier to find a shade that matches our skin. Your look sounds lovely and thanks so much for sharing it.

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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