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Transform Your Mature Eyes in 5 Minutes with These Drugstore Makeup Products

By Elise Marquam-Jahns June 22, 2023 Beauty

As an over 60 makeup artist my mission is to help mature women look and feel their best. And there is a definite connection between looking our best and feeling our best. I was reminded of this not too long ago when I read this lovely comment from a woman who had watched one of my videos.

She was dealing with long Covid and wrote: “One lesson that I’ve learned during this long illness is that if I look good, regardless of how I feel, it really boosts my spirits and makes a big difference in the kind of day I have.”

What Changes Have You Experienced Around Your Eyes?

In the in-person makeup classes I teach for women over 50, I always like to discover what makeup products the women wear most often, what their biggest makeup challenges are and what they’d most like to learn.

Most women love using lipstick and mascara and find the most challenge with the eyes – including dealing with sparse eyebrows, hooded eyes, crepey eyelids and undereye darkness. Although our eyes don’t get physically smaller as we get older, they appear smaller because of all the changes we experience in the eye area.

Because most of us do experience multiple changes and issues around our eyes, many of us no longer feel like we have the time, patience or ability to apply eye makeup – or that even if we do, that it will make much difference. And I can totally understand that feeling.

But I’m here to tell you that there are eye products and techniques that can really transform our over mature eyes, take very little time and can make a dramatic difference in how we look and feel.

In the video above, I will actually time my makeup application. Stay tuned to see how long it takes me to complete.

Eyebrows Are Key

Let’s first talk about our brows. When our brows get sparser, they tend to become invisible. But when we apply makeup to create more visible brows, our eyes look bigger because our brows frame our face and accentuate our eyes. So the first step in transforming our eyes is to fill in our brows with eyebrow powder or eyeshadow or an eyebrow pencil, gel, pomade or pen that matches our brow color.

If you’re unsure which eyebrow product might work best for you, check out this video:

The brow products I use vary depending on how polished I want my brows to look, but today I’m going to use a drugstore staple: my Elf Wow Brow. This buildable wax-gel hybrid is enriched with Kaolin Clay and hair-like fibers that adhere to brow hairs to give our brows a fuller look. It can be used on its own or as a topcoat over brow powder or pencil.

How Eye Primer Can Help

Most of us have some kind of discoloration on our eyelids – usually redness or darkness or both. And often because the skin on our eyelids gets thinner, veins can also start to show through. As you can see, I have all of these eyelid issues, which is why I use a tinted eye primer to cover all discoloration.

When our eyelids are an even skin tone color, they make our eyes look both bigger and brighter. And since our eyelids can get oily, applying an eye primer also prevents eyeshadow from creasing or smudging. So an eye primer is a great multi-tasker. I’ll use this Ulta Brand Eye Primer on my eyelids.

Quick and Easy Eyeshadow Techniques

For eyeshadow, I’m using one of Elf’s Bite Size eyeshadow quad called “I Love You a Latte.” This is my favorite Elf quad because it’s all matte and the shades range from light to dark and apply very easily.

Incorporating some color theory into the decision about where to apply these colors will make a big difference in transforming our eyes. Light colors make things come forward and look bigger and dark colors make things recede and look smaller. So to make our eyes look bigger, we can apply a light color all the way across the eyelids.

And to create interest, contrast and depth – which makes the eyes stand out – I’ll apply a mid-tone color in the crease and slightly above the crease. For hooded eyes, it’s important to bring the crease color up high enough so it can be seen when looking straight ahead into a mirror with the eyes relaxed.

The Quickest, Easiest Way to Apply Eyeliner

Eyeliner gives added definition to the eyes which draws attention to them. It makes the lashes look lush and can enhance the shape of the eyes. It can be quick and easy to apply a darker eyeshadow with a brush as eyeliner or to use an eyeshadow stick as eyeliner. I’ll use the darkest shade of brown from the Elf eyeshadow quad on my top lash line and along just the outer third of my lower lash line.

Mascara Makes a Difference

And then the final step will be to apply mascara to my top and bottom lashes. Mascara instantly adds thickness and length to eyelashes as well as a darker color which draws attention to the eyes and creates definition. It can help us look more awake and creates the illusion of bigger eyes.

Because I have very sensitive eyes, there are only three mascaras I’ve found that I can use, and unfortunately, none of them are drugstore mascaras. So I’ll be using the clean beauty brand Doll 10 Effortlash mascara on my top lashes and Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara on my lower lashes. But if you don’t have an issue with most mascaras, a great drugstore mascara is L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise.

You will be surprised to learn that the time I needed for this one eye makeup application demo was 1 minute and 53 seconds. So to do both of my eyes, it would actually take under four minutes! It really is amazing how quickly and easily we can transform our eyes using drugstore products.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are your biggest challenges with your eye area? Did you wear eye makeup when you were younger? Do you currently use any eye makeup products? If so, which ones? Which products do the most to help your eyes look their best?

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Toni Stritzke

Since I had a cataract operation, my eyes have become very sensitive and and mascara irritates them. I would love a list of mascaras that are for sensitive eyes.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Toni–Since I also have very sensitive eyes, I can definitely empathize. Your best bet is going to be mascaras from Clean Beauty brands, but everyone is different and even some of those mascaras don’t work for me. Here are some Clean Beauty brands with mascaras I’ve found that don’t irritate my eyes that you might want to check out: Honest Beauty, Merit Beauty, Doll 10 (their Effortlash Mascara). The only drugstore Clean Beauty mascara I’m aware of is Cover Girl’s Lash Blast Clean mascara, but I’ve not tried that one. Another mascara that works for me that is not technically from a clean beauty brand is Tarte’s “Lights, Camera, Lashes.” I hope this helps.


Elf products are not available in Australia, unfortunately.
And here, in this country, I think you would find that most ladies do NOT have discolouration on our eyelids. That is a very odd statement to be making!

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Jensy–I’m so sorry to hear that Elf products aren’t available in Australia, but I imagine you have some wonderful other low cost makeup products that would work well. And how wonderful that you don’t have to deal with discoloration on your eyelids!


Almost every older woman I know has discoloration on the eyelid.

Shaggy Maggie

Thanks! I’m ready for that upgrade, and love that you advised affordable

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Shaggy Maggie–You’re welcome! And I hope you’ll have fun creating a quick, easy eye look with some wonderfully affordable drugstore products.


I also try to use cruelty free products – Elf is my main one.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Bailey–We’re very fortunate that so many makeup and skincare brands are now cruelty free–especially good, affordable drugstore brands like Elf.


I have not read this as yet, but it is top of my list! I know it will be helpful as I used to have lovely eyes, but now they always look tired, so hoping I can pick up a few tips !!

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Bailey–I do hope you’ll find the article and video helpful. Just a few products and new techniques can really make a difference for those of us with mature eyes! And I hope you have a lot of fun experimenting and playing with the products you choose. Best wishes!

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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