Most of us get into a lifelong makeup routine, but at some point the makeup we wore at 35 is not flattering at 65. Those smoky eyes are too dark. That lipstick is too bright. The foundation we’ve been using accentuates our wrinkles instead of hiding them.
Older women face a double whammy, too: the makeup tips in most magazines and videos are for younger women, and most makeup advice uses many products (that could run into hundreds of dollars) that require hours to apply.
So where are we older women to turn for makeup advice? YouTube! Here are a few YouTube videos that demonstrate makeup routines than even the most makeup-averse older woman can follow.
A simple 4-minute routine demonstrated by Margaret Manning, the founder of www.sixtyandme.com (learn about it here) uses only a few products that most of us already have. She shows how those few minutes make a subtle but essential difference in her everyday appearance. The lesson of this video (and the other ones targeted at older women) is that less is more. Her website has an entire section dedicated to makeup, which you can explore here. It’s brilliant.
Darby Day’s SurvivingBeauty2 youtube channel includes a comprehensive and detailed tutorial with specific brand recommendations for all the products she uses for women of color. A nice touch: she includes special makeup artist tricks to highlight brows, which tend to fade as we mature. She also advises not using too much shimmer when you’re over fifty. Here’s a link about the same model, a few years later, too.
Sometimes that light touch isn’t easy to achieve, but this video shows Lisa Eldridge, a professional makeup artist, demonstrating essential techniques for the mature woman, such as how to put on eyeliner and mascara without overdoing them. Links to all the products and tools are included at the youtube link here.
Beauty on a Budget
Here’s good news if you find watching makeup videos useless or depressing because the products are so expensive. This comprehensive (it’s long) video, called “Budget Makeup Kit for Older Women” by Kathy A Fisher, features a complete suite of great budget products. Learn and see inexpensive moisturizers that work well for older women, plus tips about new developments in makeup that we may not know (primer under foundation really helps it stay put) or a really good undereye or dark eye concealer for under $5. It’s all stuff you can buy in CVS or Walgreens, and you can send comments to her here.
You may not want the follow the entire makeup routine—which is fairly involved–of this makeup artist (the wonderfully named MsGinaBonita, see her channel here) but she has some great product suggestions, such as Instant Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer. Suggestion: turn on the closed captions so you don’t miss the names of all the products.
Here’s how to do your makeup for the “red carpet look” just in case you’re going to a wedding or other special event. An evening look gives you a lot more leeway for makeup creativity since you don’t have worry as much about looking too harsh. This video (link here) is by Tricia Cusden, the founder of Look Fabulous Forever, a UK-based makeup line for older women. The website is full of fun fashion and practical makeup tips, too.
The most important skincare tip
You’ll be surprised to learn that makeup with sunscreen built in does not protect against sun damage. “Don’t rely on makeup for the best source of SPF as it’s notoriously unreliable in terms of the level of protection,” says Dr. Bruce Katz on Makeup.com. Makeup isn’t always applied evenly, as well, and comes off easily — thus, decreasing optimal coverage.
You want to wear sunscreen underneath your foundation. It actually provides a better base for your makeup application than primer. Apply it evenly all over until it vanishes. You need both UVA and UVB protection. It’s important to look for these three ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide and Avobenzone, which are physical, rather than chemical sunscreens. They provide a physical barrier to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s like wearing a mask. Don’t forget to apply some to your neck and ears!