Here are some great tips and tricks when applying makeup on women 40+

Before applying your makeup, do a light test 

Is your bathroom lighting aging you? Overhead fluorescent lighting, for example, can add shadows to your face and make your skin look sallow. It might help to revise your lighting situation in the room where you apply makeup. Better yet, find a spot with good natural lighting where you can apply your makeup each day. In any case, when you’re finished, test it out in different areas. There rear-view mirror of your car, outdoors, lower-lit rooms, anywhere. This will give you clues as to what you need to pay attention to during application, such as too much blush or sloppy brow pencil.



Just because you’re older now doesn’t mean you need to cake foundation on your face – there’s nothing to hide! Fresh, even,moisturized skin is more youthful-looking skin. Take a dollop of your favorite moisturizer and mix it with your foundation. It’s the perfect “no makeup” makeup look. You can adjust the ratio for the amount of coverage you’d like on any given day. This is also a good solution for winter, when your summer-time foundation may be a little dark. Speaking of that, don’t forget to layer your SPF underneath, no matter how little makeup you’re wearing.


Like other things in life, foundation selection gets easier with age. Instead of wondering if you’re pink or neutral,default to a slightly yellow undertone. It’s not a universal tip, but many women look best with a warmer shade as they mature. The hint of gold adds a bit of warmth that is more commonly associated with youth.


How to Prevent Foundation Settling into Lines and Wrinkles 

This will be less of a problem if you manage to find a silicone-based product that works well for you, but, in general, foundation always settles into lines and wrinkles to some degree, no matter what you use or how you apply it. When this happens, gently blot with a Q-tip before fixing with powder. Or, if your lines aren’t too deep, press your middle finger lightly against the skin with a slight rolling motion. This also disperses concealer that has settled into lines. 


Unless it’s a color corrector product, always apply concealer over your foundation. That way, you’ll only apply it where your foundation can’t provide enough cover. Apart from that, you won’t ruin its perfect placement, which you would if you were to apply foundation on top of it.

When used to cover flaws, your concealer should match your foundation exactly.

Covering Flaws (Like Age Spots)

Concealer is completely opaque and looks “caked” if too much is applied. The best way of controlling the amount you put on is by using a rounded concealer brush. Just dab the product onto the flaw and work it into your foundation with the tip of the brush until it’s invisible.

Covering Dark Circles

If your under eye circles are very dark, use a yellow color corrector beneath your foundation to neutralize their bluish-purple tone. Add regular concealer only if your dark circles are visible through your foundation. Don't try camouflaging dark circles with a concealer lighter than your complexion, since this will dolittle more than accentuate them.

Using Concealer as Highlighter

Because concealer provides a natural-looking matte finish, it works much better as highlighter on mature skin than opalescent or illuminating products. Anything that creates aglitter or shimmer effect emphasizes lines, wrinkles, and drooping contours.

To highlight with concealer, use a shade two tones lighter than your complexion. Liquid products provide the best finish and can be layered when serving as concealer and highlighter (e.g.,highlighting the tops of cheeks and the bridge of the nose while camouflaging broken capillaries in these areas).

If you find that even liquid concealer is too heavy for large areas like cheeks, try using cream foundation two tones lighter than your complexion instead.

Regardless of which product you use, always blend well with a rounded foundation brush or a wedge-shaped sponge.

Tip: For an instant lift,use concealer to set highlights at mouth and outer eye corners.

Concealer for Covering Broken Capillaries

To play down broken capillaries, wear a green color corrector (sometimes referred to as "green concealer") under your foundation. You'll still have to apply regular concealer to completely hide them, but not as much.

If your broken capillaries are more purple than red, you’ll need a green-yellow color corrector.

Keep the amount of color corrector you apply to a minimum or it will shimmer through your foundation and concealer (if used). 

Face Powder 

You’ve probably heard otherwise, but face powder is your best friend. Not only does it fix foundation, it also leaves a matte finish—shininess will highlight every line,every wrinkle, and every sagging contour.

It’s true that powder can leave the complexion dull and chalky, and accentuate lines and wrinkles,but it depends on the product used and how it’s applied.

Which Powder Is Best for Mature Skin?

Translucent powder always works well on mature skin, but if you prefer more cover, choose one that matches your complexion or foundation exactly. Loose products are best for reducing shine and are generally lighter textured than pressed products. As such, they don't collect in lines and wrinkles quite as readily.

Avoid products with reflective particles. According to advertising these detract from lines and wrinkles, but they actually do the opposite.

How to Apply Powder to Mature Skin

Whether pressed or loose, apply with a large powder brush. Instead of literally brushing on, dab from forehead to chin, reloading the brush as little as possible. Always work downwardly. If you don’t, the tiny white hairs that cover your face will stand on end, creating the chalky, mask-like effect you want to avoid.

After you’ve finished,gently pat your face working from forehead to chin with a clean, fleecy puff to pick up any excess powder. In case you're going to be photographed with a flash, this also helps prevent "flashback," which is when face powder—particularly translucent and colorless finishing products—shows up on photos as chalky patches.

How to Prevent Powder Making Your Face Look "Flat"

If you feel that powder makes your face look “flat," you’re either wearing too much or you need to set highlights at the center of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, the tip of your chin and the tops of your cheeks-—do this with concealer as described above.

Alternatively, after powdering and applying blush, add a very light misting of thermal water to give your complexion a dewier quality. This proves counterproductive for some women,but it's worth experimenting with.

Powder Blush

When wearing foundation, use a powder blush rather than a cream product.

As with face powder,you need a very light textured product for good results.

Defining your cheekbones with strong colors can have a less than positive effect after a certain age, making your face seem hard and hollow. Instead, use softer shades like apricot and rose depending on your natural skin tone, and always blend well. A more diffused look will make you appear younger and fresher.

If you usually sweep a blush product beyond the apples of your cheeks to shade and contour, try using a pressed powder two tones darker than your complexion instead. As long as you apply sparsely, it won’t emphasize lines and wrinkles around the eyes and hairline, which is often the case with even the lightest textured powder blush.

Dust over your blush or contouring product with a little powder after you’ve finished.


Lips become thinner with age, with wrinkles appearing along the upper contour.

Conceal & Contour Lips 

Any lines, hollowness, or sagging around your mouth casts subtle shadows. Therefore, if you want to make the most of your lips, conceal the area around them to cancel out any discoloration. This makes your lips stand out a little more. It can also be done after applying lip stick to clean up any little mistakes and keep the lip line crisp and uniform.

Want lips to look a little more voluminous? A little concealer or highlighter can help there, too. After setting/blotting lipstick, make two to four very tiny dots in the center of your mouth with the concealer or highlighter. Use a clean, stiff brush to pat until blended. This will add more dimension to deflated lips.


Lip Liner

Lip liner stops lipstick feathering or "bleeding" into wrinkles, but for a rejuvenating effect, use a concealer pencil one or two shades lighter than your complexion instead.

Not only can it prevent feathering, it plumps lips up, and works as a corrective highlight to help diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Apply from the bow of the lip and blend to the mouth corners. Never use a white pencil for this—it creates an artificial effect and looks unprofessional.


To make lips seem fuller and smoother, wear light toned, satin finish lipsticks. Be careful with bright colours and abandon dark colours and matte products—they make lips look thinner. Another problem with matte lipsticks is the dry-looking texture they leave, which is never becoming on an older woman.

Lip Gloss

Lip gloss plumps lips up, but it also highlights every wrinkle, so avoid at all cost.

For the same reason, be careful with shimmery and dewy textured lipsticks, too.

Should You Use a Lip Brush?

It’s a good idea to apply lipstick with a brush for accuracy and to make it stay on longer. But if you find the hard contours a brush leaves too harsh, apply straight from the tube for a softer look.

Eye Makeup Eyeliner and Mascara

So you’re going to ditch the powder that’s been aging your skin. But you also want thicker lashes, so don’t throw it away just yet. You can use a loose powder to coat and prime your lashes before applying mascara. Only have pressed powder?It’s easy to loosen up with a clean mascara wand.

Use the wand to dust the powder onto your lashes. Apply two coats of mascara,wiggling the wand in at the root. From there, sweep up and inward toward your nose. Use a clean brush to sweep away any excess powder that fell out of bounds.

Softer colors and textures create a diffused definition that always flatters a woman of a certain age. Therefore, use brown or dark gray eyeliner and mascara in place of black.

If you find that liquid and gel eyeliners look harsh or overshadow the natural beauty of your eyes, use kohl instead.

Eye Shadow

Matte powder eye shadows are best for mature skin. You can use cream eye shadows, but powder eyeshadows are just way more forgiving, especially when we’re fighting the oils in your eye area. Creamy and glossy products can accentuate wrinkles and make the skin appear crepe.  They also settle in the creases more than a powder shadow.  If you are going to use a shadow with shimmer, apply to your bottom lid only. AVOID glitter completely!

If the colors you’ve always worn start to make your eyes look dull and tired, try going a couple of nuances lighter. If you’re completely unsure of which colors to choose, you’ll never go wrong with subtle nude or soft earth tones.

How to Avoid Eye Shadow from Creasing 

1.   Don't apply facial oils or moisturizers that aren't oil-free over your eyelids. 

Your eyelids get oily on their own. If you add more oil and moisture to your eyelids, your eye makeup will certainly slip off before you're ready for it to. If you want to use an eye cream and have makeup that doesn't crease, use the cream before you go to bed. Make sure to wash it off in the morning so you start with a clean eye lidslate. 

2.   Don't prime your eyelids with concealer or foundation. 

"This is the biggest misconception when it comes to makeup. "While it might provide grip momentarily, both formulas usually contain oils that cause your eye makeup to move around on your eye, which is what you're trying to avoid."

3.   Use a primer if you need 24-hour color lock. 

If you need your makeup to stay put from morning until way into the night, use an oil-free primer or pat a pressed powder on your lid before applying makeup.



Grab that little bottle from your makeup bag and spring into action! Concealers are made to be long-lasting and a lightweight formula on your eyelids is always the best route when priming. Your eye shadow will look picture perfect throughout the night.



Grab your favorite highlighter and use it as a base. Not only will it keep the pigment on your lid, but it can also help brighten and even add some glow to your eye shadow shade. It works great if you’re going for a bright-eyed look! Blend the creased shadow with your finger (the oil will help the color move around), then blot any excess oil away with a blotting paper.The sheer sheet will absorb the oil but won't lift the color.


Set it with powder. 

Take your favorite eye shadow brush, dip it into a little bit of setting powder, then apply it over the lid. This sets whatever base you previously applied so that they don’t settle into your crease, and it also helps to absorb any oil.


REVIEW:  Ten Basic Makeup Tips for the Mature Woman


1.   Before applying makeup, your skin should be exfoliated and well moisturized.

2.   A foundation primer is essential for mature skin.

3.   Best is a foundation that provides just the coverage you need while allowing you to keep concealer to a minimum.

4.   A loose, very fine textured face powder is less likely to collect in lines and wrinkles. For best results, apply with a large powder brush.

5.   When wearing blush, soft colors like rose and apricot are more becoming.

6.   Satin finish lipsticks don’t accentuate lip wrinkles.

7.   For a softer, more flattering finish, apply lipstick straight from the tube instead of with a brush.

8.   If black eyeliner and mascara seem too harsh,create a more diffused look with brown or dark gray.

9.   Switch liquid and gel eyeliner for kohl.

10. Use powder eye shadow.


Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact Debbie at

Debbie Goulding - MUA : Learn more about Debbie at:

About the Author

More Inspiring articles

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

D.R.I.V.E. Your Sales Results to the Finish Line!

As I travel and teach ad sales training, I’m seeing a lot of salespeople aren’t creating a plan, which is costly.

Read More

Top Challenges That Business Owner's Face

The Top 5 Challenges Business Owners Face When Starting a Business

Read More

Shelley Bellefontaine - Founder of You Name It Face and Body Art

Read More

Limestone District School Board - Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) - Did You Know?

A Special Collaboration with Women Mean Business Network & The Limestone District School Board

Read More

Connect & Flourish Newsletter

What's the latest?

January - February Events & Updates from Women Mean Business Network

January 30, 2024

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates, news and events, directly to you.

Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Try Again or Refresh if the error persists.