The Most Common Makeup Mistakes Made by Women Over 50

If your skin, face shape or general approach to makeup has changed since your 20s, these pro makeup tips for women over 50 will help you find a natural and fresh new look that flatters.

One of the biggest mistakes that mature women make is “choosing not to wear makeup at all because they don’t know what techniques are suited for them at the moment,” says Jodi Urichuk, L’Oréal Paris Canadian Makeup Artist & Expert. While it may be true that the bubble-gum-pink lipstick, sparse eyebrows and heavy blush of your youth are no longer in style—or even flattering past a certain age—there is plenty of makeup for women over 50 that will give polish, definition and a touch of youthful freshness. Read on to discover Urichuk’s helpful guidelines and then experiment with colours and applications to find a personal makeup routine that works for you.

Shirking appropriate skincare and lifestyle habits

“Some 50-year-old women can look 35 while others look 65; it depends on genetics and how well they’ve protected their skin,” says Urichuk. “Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen and you’re off to a great start. Then work on sleep, diet and meditation.” She also recommends washing off your makeup every night and using an exfoliator to improve texture, plus hydrating with serums and moisturizers that include antioxidants and retinoids to keep your skin in tip-top shape.

Try L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base after your moisturizer for a bit of a skin boost, even if you haven’t always followed a flawless skincare regimen. The silky primer instantly smooths and minimizes the look of pores, fine lines and blemishes, which means your makeup will look better when applied. It also enhances the longevity of every product you put on top of it, so you’ll be able to achieve the very best face makeup for women over 50.

Applying the wrong foundation type—and using way too much

Mature skin tends to be on the drier side and has more fine lines, so it’s best to avoid matte foundations that settle into crevices and look like a mask. “You want your true skin to shine through as you age, and glowing, hydrated skin is the best recipe for a more youthful look,” says Urichuk. Use a primer like Studio Secrets (mentioned above) or Visible Lift (mentioned below) to create a hydrated, smooth base, and then dab a hydrating foundation only on the areas where you need a little extra coverage for pigmentation or blemishes. Don’t coat your entire face in a layer of foundation.

Try L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Radiance Booster, which brightens and hydrates the skin with nourishing oils. It will smooth and even out tone so you can wear less makeup and still put a fresh face forward.

Overdoing blush

“As we age, the natural contours of the face become more prevalent than ever thanks to density loss,” says Urichuk, which means that extensive contouring with bronzers and blush isn’t necessary. “You want bronzer to give you a healthy, sun-kissed look—you don’t want it to look muddy or fake—so sometimes I just apply a foundation that’s a few shades darker instead of a powder bronzer.” She also suggests using a light hand with your blush or even blending some lipstick onto the apples of your cheeks for a bit of soft colour.

Try L’Oréal Paris True Match Blush for a fresh, natural-looking blush that never appears dry or cakey. It comes in eight shades that are labelled N, C and W for Neutral, Cool and Warm so you can match your cheek colour to the undertone of your skin. 

Wearing too much eyeliner

Taking a black eyeliner and rimming the entire top and bottom lashes with a hard line is never the answer to making your eyes appear big or open. Instead, stick to a thin line of darker eyeliner on the top lashes and go for a softer approach on the bottom lash line by using an angle brush to swipe on eyeshadow with a hint of sheen.

Try L’Oréal Paris Lineur Intense Felt Tip Eyeliner to create a precise, slim line. Its supple felt tip is perfect for applying a touch of definition on the upper lashes or even a thin wing to elongate the eyes.

Fearing shimmer and shine

There is a well-known myth that eye makeup for women over 50 shouldn’t involve frost, glitter or shimmer because it will make you seem old. Urichuk only partially agrees. “It’s all about formulation and placement,” she says. “If you’re on the crepey side of the spectrum, you don’t want to apply frost all over your lid. But strategically placed, it can be very youthful and fresh.” Cream eyeshadows, rather than matte powders, are a great texture for 50+ eyes. You can also try a metallic kohl pencil blended softly along the bottom or top of the lash line.

Gloss on the lips is another great trick to make the face appear more youthful because it gives the lips a pouty, full look. Try L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Shine Lipstick for a comfortable lipstick that provides rich colour payoff with just one stroke. You can also dab it on your cheeks and blend for a slight flush.

Skipping brows

“I’m a victim of ’90s brows, and, unfortunately, they didn’t grow back,” says Urichuk. It’s a common problem for women to overpluck in their youth, only to find that patches permanently disappear. Now, fuller brows are trending because they act as a “frame for the face and give us so much dimension,” she says. “But people either go too dark or don’t fill them in at all.” Whether you have full brows or sparse areas that need to be filled, choose one shade lighter if you’re a brunette and one shade darker if you’re blond, and then draw hairlike strokes with a fine-tipped pencil. If you already have great shape and just want a little colour, use a brow mascara to fill and shape your arches for a natural effect.

Try L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer. It has a super-fine tip to help you mimic the appearance of individual brow hairs, plus a spooly brush on one end for grooming and blending colour.

It’s completely doable to achieve the best makeup for women over 50. Simply make sure to fill in your brows, improve your skincare routine and use a light hand with products like foundation, blush and eyeliner and you’ll feel fresh and look fabulous, too.

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