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Pro Makeup Artist Tips for Solving the Top 10 Makeup Challenges for Older Women

By Elise Marquam-Jahns September 11, 2020 Makeup and Fashion

As a professional working makeup artist who specializes in helping those of us over 50, I’ve met and worked with hundreds of wonderful women who’ve shared their makeup concerns and challenges with me over the past seven years.

A couple of years ago one woman told me: “You know, I wake up in the morning, and I feel like I’m 30-something. And then I look in the mirror and think, ‘What the blink happened?’” I think most of us can absolutely identify with that experience!

But the good news is that there are makeup techniques that can really help us effectively deal with the top 10 makeup challenges for those of us 50+.

Challenge #1: Getting a Clear Picture of Our Makeup

As we all know, our eyesight changes a bit over the years so makeup mirrors certainly help us deal with the remaining nine challenges we’ll be focusing on today. So even though it can be a little disconcerting to see our face up close and personal, a magnifying mirror can really help us do a far better job with our makeup.

Magnifying mirrors are available not only in 5x magnification, but also in 7 and 10 and up to 20. And there are special makeup eyeglasses available as well. On these special glasses, the lenses are magnified and either fold down or swivel from side to side.

Challenge #2: Sparse Eyebrows

The biggest problem for many of us is that our eyebrow hair is definitely getting sparser. Although powder eyebrow products are probably the quickest and easiest solution, powder doesn’t adhere well where our brows are thinner, so the two best options are brow pencils and brow creams. Both do a great job of adhering to the skin.

I also recommend creating a pattern for your brows before filling them in. To do this, take a brow pencil and, using short strokes to mimic brow hairs, create an outline of where you want the top of your brows to be. Repeat for the bottom of your brows then fill in.

For more eyebrow tips, check out 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!

Challenge #3: Hooded Eyes

Hooded eyes have excess skin that folds down from the brow bone to the lash line. And the degree of the ‘hood’ varies. Regardless of how heavily hooded your eyes are, here are three tips that will help:

  • Use an eyeshadow primer all over the eye from the eyebrow to the lash line to prevent any makeup from transferring onto other areas of the skin in the eye area.
  • Use a light shadow from the lash line to the orbital bone which makes the eyes look larger.
  • Create a new crease with a mid tone shadow along the orbital bone. And if you can’t see this mid tone eye shadow when you look straight ahead into a mirror, bring it up higher so you can see it.

For more eyebrow tips, check out this video:

Challenge #4: Eyeliner Application

As we develop some texture in our eyelid area, it can become more challenging to apply eyeliner. Gently pull the eye slightly taut and apply short lines or dots of eyeliner using a pencil or eye shadow as eyeliner.

Apply the eyeliner as close to the base of the lashes as possible. Then use a Q-tip, a smudger (which sometimes comes at the end of an eyeliner pencil), or an angled brush to smudge out the dots or short lines so they look perfect.

This smudging technique can turn a not-so-perfectly applied liner into a softened and smudged line which creates a lovely, natural look.

Challenge #5: How to Find the Right Foundation

To find the foundation that will work best for you, there are five questions to ask yourself that will help narrow your search.

  • What is your skin type – dry, oily, or mixed? There are different foundations for each of these skin types.
  • How much coverage do you want – light, medium, or stronger?
  • What kind of finish do you want to have – totally matte, a satin finish with some luminosity, or a dewy look?
  • What is the undertone of your skin – warm, cool, or neutral? It’s important to find a foundation that has the same undertone as your skin.
  • Do you want an SPF?

Answering these five questions will definitely help narrow down the huge number of foundation choices that are out there. And if you’re not sure of the undertone of your skin, this video includes nine questions that will help you decide if your undertone is warm, neutral or cool:

Challenge #6: How to Deal with Under Eye Issues

Many of us have dark circles under our eyes. To help with this issue, apply a color corrector in a peach or salmon shade before applying concealer. This color cancels out the blue/purple color of the dark circle.

Then use your finger to lightly dot on a concealer that is one shade lighter than your foundation. By dotting it on and gently pressing it in, you won’t disturb the color corrector underneath. Then dot on a tiny bit of pressed powder to prevent creasing.

Challenge #7: Blush

For years we’ve heard that applying blush to the apples of our cheeks is best, but our skin has changed a bit over the years. In order to bring some lift to our face, try applying a cream blush to the middle area of the cheekbone. Start two finger widths from the nose and take the blush upward toward the top of your ear.

Challenge #8: Lipstick Migration

There are two tips for the issue of lipstick migration:

  • Apply concealer around the lips with your lips spread wide
  • Apply a special waxy lip crayon or pencil around the outer edges of our lips. Or you can use a specialized lip liner, such as L’Oréal’s Age Perfect Lip Liner which incorporates this somewhat waxy ingredient into the lip liner itself.

Challenge #9: Thinning Lips

Where we apply lip liner is also key. To make our lips look larger, the liner needs to be applied on the outer edge of our lips. It may not seem like this would make that big a difference, but believe me, it definitely does!

The same product mentioned above, the L’Oréal Age Perfect Lip Liner, can be used to help increase the size of our lips as well. This makes it a great option to deal with both of these lip challenges at one time.

Challenge #10: Loss of Glow on Our Face

The last makeup challenge is probably the most important one to concentrate on since it deals with our skin. The challenge is, how do we go from dull to glowing skin? After all, glowing skin definitely helps us look fresher and more radiant.

First, it’s important to do two things for our skin: exfoliate our skin once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells. Exfoliation will definitely make our skin look brighter.

Second, use one of the best skin brighteners: topical Vitamin C – alone or in combination with Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid for stronger effect.

Finally, we can use a makeup product that brings some glow to the skin. This could be an under makeup primer that has some glow, a foundation that has glow in it, or a specific cream, stick, or powder highlighter that can be applied in strategic areas like on the top of the cheek bones and above the Cupid’s bow of the mouth.

To learn more techniques for creating a gorgeous glow, be sure to watch this video:

What is your greatest makeup challenge? Have you found products and/or techniques that have helped you deal with this challenge? If so, please let us know what you’ve found that you love!

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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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