As a teenager I couldn’t wait to wear makeup. I wanted to look older and more sophisticated. (Anyone remember Twiggy?) Now that I’m over 60, nature has taken care of the “looking older” part, and I’ve discovered that I have a love-hate relationship with makeup. It’s a little like my love-hate relationship with technology.
Cosmetics, like high-tech gadgets, are always being upgraded. Whether it’s a smartphone or a foundation, there’s always a new latest and greatest – or a many of them. With the number of choices burgeoning, especially in the age-friendly makeup category (yes, marketers have us in their sights), I often don’t know how to even start finding the best product for me.
Good-looking makeup is a combination of product selection and careful application. And both are based on age, personal taste and lifestyle – just like with technology. I use my iPhone differently than many 25-year-old women do and I probably shouldn’t wear the same makeup.
That’s one thing I’ve finally learned: The makeup routine I got comfortable with decades ago just isn’t right for me anymore.
On the Hunt for Makeup Help
Having decided that my makeup collection and techniques might benefit from a face lift (so to speak), I hopped online to look for instructional videos of practical makeup tips for older women.
I started my search on Google and Google Video, and continued the hunt on YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest and even Twitter. On each platform, I used the search phrases “makeup tips for older women” and “makeup tips for women over 60,” plus “over 70” and even “over 50.” I could barely stand to watch some of the videos, because the language was so ageist. I also noticed that older women of color are hugely under-represented in makeup video tutorials.
Here are some of the best professional makeup video tutorials for older women I found on the Internet. Each tutorial offers suggestions on how we can change our makeup routines to look our best without trying to “look younger.”
As the model in Lisa Eldridge’s video below says, “Embrace your lines.”
Lisa Eldridge, Makeup Artist
Lisa Eldridge has been one of the United Kingdom’s most authoritative makeup artists for over 20 years. In this tutorial, she demonstrates techniques on 64-year-old Yvonne, who happens to have lots of wrinkles. This video went viral in 2013 and now has over 1.2 million views.
Eldridge identifies onscreen the products and tools that she’s using as well as offering a detailed list below the videos.
(Video link for “Glowing, Youthful Day Makeup Tutorial for Mature Skin“)
I liked that Eldridge works with a variety of makeup brands and mentions alternate product choices for different skin types. But if you lead a busy life or can’t be bothered with a lot of makeup, this video might not be for you. While Eldridge calls it a “really modern, simple make up look,” there are too many products and steps for me to follow before rushing out the door in the morning.
Eldridge has four videos aimed at older women, including a “Menopausal Make-Up Tips & Chat,” which uses a model in her 50s but gives tips that address the types of issues most older women deal with every day – how to combat sweating, camouflage facial hair and cover age spots.
Tricia Cusden’s “Look Fabulous Forever”
Founder and M.D. of Look Fabulous Forever (LFF) Tricia Cusden began her company in her 60s. She was frustrated by how hard it was to find makeup that worked on her 65-year-old face and guessed that other women felt the same. LFF is a line of makeup specifically formulated for older eyes, faces and lips, and these videos tell you how to use the products. Still, once you get past the “only use this makeup brand” message, Cusden’s videos provide useful techniques – and you can substitute your preferred cosmetics.
The Look Fabulous Forever YouTube Channel contains more than 25 videos to date, with specific under-a-minute, how-to videos as well as longer, full face makeovers. Cusden delivers the instructional voiceovers while makeup artist Linda Sullivan demonstrates on real women.
I learned about a problem that many women face, and which increases as we age, called hooded eyes. Our eyes look smaller as the skin below our brows gets looser and sags down, covering the socket line and resting on our eyelids.
Here’s the LFF video on how to apply makeup to look better with hooded eyes:
(Video link for “MakeUp for Older Women: Define your Hooded Eyes“)
Here are some other tutorials in the series that I liked:
- “Quick and Easy Day Makeup“
- “How to Apply Eye MakeUp When You Wear Glasses“
- “Makeup for the Mother of the Bride or Groom, “which has good tips for any special occasion.
Sixty and Me with Ariane Poole, Makeup Artist
Sixty And Me is an online community of women age 60 and over. Its founder, Margaret Manning, surveyed the group and learned that women wanted videos with practical, positive-aging makeup tips for older women. She found that there wasn’t much available, so she partnered with celebrity makeup artist Ariane Poole, and together they recordeda series of 22 beauty videos, MakeupTips for Older Women. Manning is the model in the series and Poole provides simple, step-by-step tips and techniques.
Their banter is authentic and humorous, plus Poole makes it clear that she is one of us – we loved that she had to put on her glasses before she began. Poole only applies makeup on half of Manning’s face, and it’s interesting to see the side-by-side contrast as the lessons progress. Not only does Poole work with a variety of brands, she also incorporates products that Manning already has in her makeup bag into her new beauty routine.
In this video, Poole and Manning discuss which questions you can ask consultants at a makeup counter so that you get what you want for cosmetics toolkit.
(Video link for “How to Choose Makeup for Older Women: Questions to Ask At the Makeup Counter“)
More Videos Worth Watching
These makeup artists’ videos are worth a look-see:
“Flawless Makeup for Mature Skin: A Makeup Tutorial Video”
Makeup artist and author Robert Jones gives a detailed demo while he explains the how, what and why of his product choices and techniques. He also includes links below the video for the Robert Jones Beauty Academy, a fee-based online makeup school.
“Easy Natural Day Look for Mature Skin”
British makeup artist Harriet Hadfield demonstrates on her mother, who is beautiful without a stitch of makeup. Hadfield has a clear, breezy style and uses brands with different price points – but her routine is far from “easy” day-to-day.
“Natural Makeup Tutorial for Mature Women”
This is another daughter-mother demo, but NYC makeup artist Kerry-Lou Brehm’s mother looks like women I know – not like a model. In the description below the video, her list of the products that she uses is helpful, too.
- More makeup tips: Read Anti-Aging Is a Scam: Makeup Tips for Older Women on Senior Planet.
Have you changed your makeup routine as you’ve gotten older? Do you have any online videos that have been helpful? Please share below.
I use black opal cover creme in the color of carob and black radiance powder in bronze glo. I find that you have to use what works best for you. I also like my eyebrows thin with a little pencil to fill them in sort of the old look of the glamours women back when women were not afraid to wear makeup.
My skin has been oily during the day And when I wake up I use retnia a at night 0.025. Day I use aveenio mostlrizer for oily skin. By evening my face is very oily. Should I moisturizer? Before makeup I use moisturizer before applying foundation. Where can I get quality brushes? I have blue eyes, natural blonde hair colored of course. I have bags under my eyes, wrinkles above my lips and eyes. What are the best colors for me to use on my eyes? How to use? Thanks for the help
What powder is used under the eyelashes on the video. Please publish name and brand of the powder
what is base??? is it moisteriser? or bb or cc cream please specify what is base in the US. we dont have things in stores called base
Kerry Lou Brehms mother’s hairstyle is wonderful and well as the makeup. Is there a way to get a copy of this hairstyle to show my stylist in Alabama.? I tried to print it from the video but was not successful.
Hi Diane, we’ll email a screenshot from the video to the email address you supplied.
Nicely written, as usual! I look forward to watching the tutorials and implementing some new ideas.
Have worn makeup all my life trying to keep up with fashion, but now I find my eyebrows are no longer there from the middle to the end also my lips are rather thin now. What do I need to do? I am now approaching 80 and I still loe my makeup.
Here is a link to the Look Fabulous Forever video about defining sparse eyebrows.
You might also want to try Google to find other videos on that same topic and for techniques for applying lipstick on thin lips.
I know this question wasn’t meant for me. But I do makeup on my eighty year old grandmother so I thought I could help.
A couple of tips about the thin lips are: outline the outside of your natural lip liner with a lip liner slightly darker than your lipstick, wear light coloured lipsticks, add a lighter colour (more illuminating the better) and apply to the cupids bow and the centre of your bottom lip (you can also do the centre of the lip with a lip gloss). Also take into account your skin tone, so if you’re fair go for a light pink, or if you want to change it up try a light peach. If you have a medium skin tone try mid pink and peach colours, and if you lean more towards olive then go for a berry or apricot. If you have a deep skin tone try a dark berry or dark apricot. Another tip is to go for moisturising lipsticks, rather than tick and matte textures as they can seek into your lips and be ageing.
With filling in your eyebrows, draw the hair with short feathery strokes with a pencil your shade, but be careful not to do it too much at the beginning as it can make it look too harsh. Brow powder on a small angled brush similar to an eyeliner will help it look more natural then a bigger brush. Draw the hair in an upward motion following the natural direction of your brow hair. Also get a brow brush and brush your hairs up to make them appear fuller.
Hope this was helpful xxx
Fabulous article. When are you coming over to do my eyes.
I loved this article.
I use the drug store brands such as Maybelline and nyx … they are just as good if not better than mac, and others.
Thank you so much for the info.
Found it very useful.
Thank you for this invaluable guide!
I occasionally need to don makeup to honor an occasion, and I have been at my wit’s end about it. This will help hugely!