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The Top 7 Makeup Techniques, Products and Tools That Make the Biggest Difference

By Elise Marquam-Jahns August 11, 2022 Beauty

As a makeup artist who specializes in working with those of us over 50 – and who is well over 50 myself – I know first-hand the changes that take place in our facial structure and skin as the decades roll by. As one beauty expert has said: “The cheeks we were born with aren’t the same cheeks we see in the mirror once we’re fifty. And, like a host of other body parts, they tend to move south as our birthdays move north.”

But the right makeup, worn the right way, can truly transform us. So, today we’ll be talking about the techniques, products and tools that make the biggest difference in helping us look like the best version of ourselves. And in the accompanying video I’ll demonstrate these techniques, products and tools on one side of my face.

Now we certainly don’t need to do all of these things. What’s important is to choose the techniques that will make the biggest difference for you based on your situation.

Tip #1: Moisturize

Moisturizer does two very important things: first, it hydrates the skin under your makeup which helps to reduce the look of fine lines and increases the brightness of the skin. And second, moisturizer smooths the skin’s surface so foundation and concealer stay on longer and apply more evenly and easily. Without moisturizer, foundation grips onto dry patches and looks uneven.

Tip #2: Lift and Fill Your Brows

Here are the two key tools we need to do both: an angled eyeshadow brush and a spoolie. If you have very few brow hairs or need help shaping your brows, another helpful tool is an eyebrow stencil. If you’d like more detailed information on the variety of brow products, the pros and cons of each and more eyebrow tips, here are a couple of videos:

Tip #3: Use the Right Color Eye Primer

This product is extremely helpful for two reasons: 1) eye primer makes our eyes look bigger and brighter by covering up discoloration on our eyelids; 2) eye primer keeps eye shadow from creasing and smudging and helps eyeshadow last longer.

Tip #4: Make Your Eyes Look Bigger

The contours and texture of our eyes change as we get older. For this reason, we need to make our eyes look bigger, and eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara can really do the trick.


If you’ve not worn much eyeshadow or are a beginner, you may want to check out my Eyeshadow 101 video.

Eyeshadow can really be quite quick and easy if we use the right products and techniques. The quickest way to apply eyeshadow is to use a cream stick eyeshadow. But in the accompanying video I do a very quick and easy look with powder eyeshadow using the Dominique Cosmetics Transition palette. This palette makes powder eyeshadow application very easy because these are quite creamy matte eyeshadows which blend like a dream.

If you have hooded eyes or smaller eyes, use this technique to make your eyes look bigger: apply a light color on the eyelids and create a new crease by applying a mid-tone color in the crease and also slightly above the crease.

Placing the color above the crease is important because this placement allows the color to actually be seen when our eyes are at rest and we’re looking straight ahead. If we can’t see the eyeshadow, we need to bring the eyeshadow up higher.


Once eyeshadow is in place, it’s important to use some eyeliner to help define the eyes and make them look bigger. Applying eyeliner can definitely become more challenging as we get older because we have more texture on our eyelids and a surface that’s less taut, so in the accompanying video I’ll demonstrate the two easiest ways to apply eyeliner. (And if you’d like to know some additional eyeliner application tips, be sure to check out this video.)

The first option is to tightline which works especially well for those with very hooded eyes. With tightlining, the eyeliner is applied in the water line directly under the top eyelashes. Option number two is to apply eyeliner as close to the lashes as possible, preferably with a gel eyeliner which glides on more easily than any other type of eyeliner or by using eyeshadow as eyeliner.

The easiest way to do this is to take a thin, angled eyebrow brush, rub it against the gel eyeliner or eyeshadow and then use the brush to apply it. With a brush, it’s possible to get a thinner line closer to the lashes and it’s also easier to smudge out the eyeliner a bit which not only softens the look but also smudges out a line that we may not have drawn perfectly, but which will look perfect once it’s smudged.

Then to finish up the eye look, curl the lashes using an eyelash curling technique (which I’ll demonstrate in the video).

Lastly, apply mascara.

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!

Tip #5: Cover Up Uneven Skin Tone

Use a concealer or foundation to cover up uneven skin tone because uneven skin tone that is red, blotchy or patchy actually ages us more than wrinkles. And we not only want a foundation that evens out our skin tone, but we also want our skin to look brighter.

There are four ways to create a brighter look:

  1. Apply a brightening foundation;
  2. Mix in a small amount of highlighter like Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter into a foundation or L’Oreal’s Lumi Lotion;
  3. Use a separate highlighter with a soft glow such as RMS’ Living Luminizer, Merit’s “Cava” or L’Oreal Lumi Lotion;
  4. Spray a dewy skin mist onto a dampened makeup sponge and press it into the skin where a brighter look is desired. I love Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist for this step.

Tip #6: Use Cream Blush

Cream blush looks more natural because it looks like it’s coming from within and not sitting on top of the skin. Powder blush can be drying, settles into fine lines and can look splotchy. With the right application method and blush, we can look like we have a lovely, luminous natural flush to our skin. Without blush, we can look tired.

The two most important things with blush are: 1) where to apply it and 2) how to apply it. Rather than applying it on the apples of our cheeks, we want to apply it in a way that lifts our face. So it works well to apply blush on the middle of our cheekbone up toward our temple. Most importantly, don’t bring the blush down lower than the tip of the nose.

However, if you have a long face, apply blush on the cheekbones below the outer corner of the eye and bring it to below the middle of the eye in a horizontal rather than a downward line.

Tip #7: Choose the Right Color Lipstick

A mid tone color that works with the undertone of our skin helps our lips look their best. If you’re not sure of the undertone of your skin, see this video:

And we definitely want to avoid lipsticks that are very pale or very dark. Since our lips also get smaller and lose definition, we want to create more definition by using a lip liner. We can also slightly increase the size of our lips by applying the liner to the outer edge of the lip line rather than on the lip line or inside the lip line.

And another trick that helps make our lips look fuller is to add some gloss to the middle of our upper and lower lip.

I think you’ll agree that the difference between the two sides of my face in the video is pretty darn dramatic. With the right makeup techniques, products and tools, we can definitely look our best and feel more confident.

What do you feel are the most important things you do in your makeup routine to look your best? What part of your makeup routine do you enjoy the most? What are your top two favorite products to use?

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Two Milani products I love are a brightening oil and an eye primer called Super Charge. The brightening oil is absorbed and does not sit on top of the skin. The eye primer is a beautiful light pink in color. For every day, I’ve worn these products alone w/o make-up.

Alicia Hart

I really enjoyed your video. Finally someone who understands the aging process…🫢
I loved you eye tutorial. Aging eyes have been difficult for me. I loved all your information! The lips and eyebrows also! Thank you!


Too complicated. Too many pop up ads make the videos stall



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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