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I’m 27 years old now – young enough to still get the eye roll when I mention to others I’m getting older, but old enough to realize that I can’t get away with spending 10 minutes on my makeup in the morning anymore.
That said, I’ve become curious as of late as to which products are great for women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond – and which are not.
- Black eyeliner. A daily staple for me in my teens and 20s, it can be harder to wear into the 30s and beyond because it tends to absorb, not reflect, light. As Dr. Jeffrey Schuldt, M.D., a Boston-based plastic surgeon notes, “Youth and femininity are accentuated as light reflects around the eye area.” It is better to use softer colors in light-reflective formulas.
- Frosted eyeshadow. On the flip side, illuminating fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes is also a bad thing. Best to use eyeshadows with a small amount of shimmer, without teenage-esque frost, glitter, or sparkle. I love BareMinerals eyeshadows, which have the perfect amount of pigmentation and shimmer for gradual layering.
- Dark matte lipstick. Full lips are seen as attractive, but as we age, the lips lose collagen and much of their shape. By using a dark matte lipstick, we are absorbing rather than reflecting light, again making our lips look even smaller. A better option? A lipgloss and lipliner, in the same shade.
- Matte anything. On the face, matte formulas can sink into fine lines and wrinkles, accentuating them. On the lips, matte accentuates creases. Around the eyes, it’s a nightmare. Best to select light-reflective formulas.
Formulas We Love for Aging Skin – 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond
- Concealer. Think light reflective particles – the finer, the better. And a moisture-rich, not matte, formula. For light coverage, we adore Yves St Laurent Touche de Eclat ($42.00, YSLBeautyUS.com). For heavier coverage, we can’t get over Laura Mercier Seret Camouflage ($28.00, Amazon.com) – one dot with a makeup brush, and our blemishes, dark spots, and fine lines are erased.
- Foundation. Again, the key here is light reflection and moisture. For light coverage, try Chanel Vitalumiere Ultra Light SPF 15 ($60.78, Amazon.com). For heavier coverage, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($61.88, Amazon.com) leaves skin as sleek and polished as Armani’s designs.
- Eyeshadow. Hands-down, my favorite eyeshadow is BareMinerals. Rather than play the guessing game for the right color, I recommend trying a quad, such as BareMinerals READY ($29.00, Amazon.com).
- Lipstick and Lipliner. Remember: Matte is the enemy, and you must match your lipliner to your lipstick and lip gloss! (That “darker line around the outside” trend never looked good on anyone, especially not older women). I love tarte Lipsurgence sticks ($15.00, Amazon.com), which are a combination of lipstick and lipliner, with a glossy finish. Also, don’t forget your SPF – lips are ultra-sensitive to UV rays. My favorite is Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 – but avoid the frosty shades!
- If you have oily skin: The right primer – and blotting papers. One problem with non-matte makeup is that oily skin can look even more so, especially during the summer. I recommend offsetting this effect with a great primer that is right for your oily skin type, such as Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer ($52.00, Amazon.com), which is a virtual godsend for oily skin. It contains an array of lightweight silicones and a high concentration of alumina, one of the most absorbent materials on earth (GlobalSpec). If you still have oil production, try Boscia Blotting Papers ($10 for 100, Amazon.com).
To age gracefully, think soft and subtle: no harsh colors, matte or frost formulas, or giant sparkles! What are your favorite age-defying cosmetics? Let us know in Comments!