When was the last time you visited Ulta or Sephora or cruised makeup lessons on YouTube? Lots of teens and young women have taken makeup to extremes, but I’m shocked to see how many women over 50 have joined them.
Many look like they’ve been to clown school.
Not long ago I popped into Ulta to buy some eyeliner and was met by a host of young men and women with dark streaks down either side of their nose and face, big lips… I mean jumbo-sized lips… that were drawn way outside the lip line, and eyebrows that look like they’d been applied with asphalt rollers. Okay, I get it. They’re young. They work in a cosmetic’s store, and it’s easy to get carried away, but I wasn’t prepared for the mature customers who looked just like them.
What’s up, ladies? Some of us are either taking makeup advice from our granddaughters, or we’re trying too hard to look younger.
FIVE MAKEUP DON’TS FOR WOMEN OVER 50
• Don’t overdo the dewy look. It can look greasy.
• Don’t wear colored, pearlized highlighter on your cheekbones. Let me count the ways it looks dumb.
• Don’t forget to blend contour shadow unless you want your face to look dirty.
• Don’t use a heavy hand when filling-in eyebrows.
• Don’t wear extreme false eyelashes.
While makeup should enhance what we have and fill-in what’s missing, like eyebrows, we need to be careful or we will draw the wrong kind of attention to ourselves. Most of us remember the sting we felt when we no longer turned heads like we used to, but coloring too far outside the lines only makes us look pathetic.
Back in the day the advice for women of a certain age was to wear less makeup. It would make us look younger. But I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my friend, legendary makeup artist, Sandy Linter.
When I asked Sandy if she thought this was true, she said, “Less is less. Without makeup we look older, like we’ve quit trying.”
When we reach a certain age, more than ever, our eyes and brows need defining, especially if we wear glasses. We need to add a thin smudged line of eyeliner at the roots of our upper lashes and some mascara. Then apply a soft eyeshadow, blush and lip in the same color family that complements our skin tone. I prefer a sharp lip pencil to lipstick or a stain, because the pencil doesn’t bleed through my lip lines.
I love this photograph Jennifer Denton took of me a few years ago, and one of the reasons is my makeup. My blush, lips and eyeshadow are all in the same color family. If you’re interested, the products I used then and now are listed below. Sometimes I experiment with other brands, but for the most part, I’ve found what works for me. I like these because they’re highly pigmented, which means they apply well and don’t fade easily.
Nothing will turn back the clock, but in ten minutes we can look better than the woman we were when we climbed out of bed this morning. Do you wear makeup?