Make-up mistakes to avoid in your 50s +

Older woman applying makeup in mirror

Skin changes as we get older, becoming thin and more prone to dryness, and the products and colours that worked for you 10 or 20 years ago can actually make you look older in your 50s and 60s. Are you guilty of these make-up mistakes?

You don't bother with primer
Older skin invariably has more imperfections, including wrinkles, sun pigmentation and open pores. By applying a primer after your moisturiser and before your foundation, you'll give yourself a better base to work on.

Primers even out the skin, and create a smooth layer for the foundation to sit on. The smoother the skin, the less your foundation will sink into lines, making you look older. Try Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer for the perfect matt base.

You use too much foundation
It can be tempting to apply lots of foundation to hide imperfections, but too much can leave you with a 'cakey' look. Avoid powder foundations, especially if you have dry skin, as these can make the skin appear dry and flat. Opting for a fluid-based product will give you fresh, buildable coverage.

Use a small amount of good quality foundation aimed at more mature skin, and apply a little concealer if extra coverage is needed. Shisiedo's Lifting Foundation contains an anti-wrinkle complex which gives the skin a firmer appearance and gives a long lasting satin finish (more flattering than matt). A more budget option is Max Factor's All Day Flawless 3-in-1 Foundation, which contains a primer and concealer as well as a matte foundation.

Skin tends to thin as we get older, and it's easy to weigh it down with too much product. If your product is too heavy, try a BB cream, which will cover and smooth the skin without masking it. If you're not sure what colour to buy, as the shop assistant to test some out on your skin.

If you can't give up the powder, try switching to a translucent powder with light reflecting particles, such as Mac's Iridescent loose powder. Add a little onto a large good quality brush, shake the excess off and lightly brush across your forehead and cheeks.

Your eyebrows are unruly
Groomed, well-defined eyebrows can transform your face and take years off you.
To find your perfect shape, hold a pencil straight up and down the side of one nostril - this is where your brow should start. It should end just past your eye - any further will drag your eye down making you look older. The arch of your eyebrow should fall just above the outside of your iris.

Pluck one hair at a time, from underneath your brow. Brush with an eyebrow brush, and trim any particularly long hairs. Fill them with a brow pencil, brow powder or gel. Benefit's Brow Zings eyebrow care kit contains everything you need.

You use a shimmery eye-shadow
Shimmery eye-shadow is a big no-no as you get older. Your eyelids become thinner the older you get, and the shadow sticks to them making them look thinner, more lined and crepe-like. Plus, the shimmery effect they create reflects light around the eyes, which will illuminate any imperfections.

To catch the light, try using a cream shadow or highlighter on the inner corners of your eyes. This 'opens' the eyes so that they appear bigger.

You wear the wrong lipstick
Sheer lipstick and gloss can be very ageing. Once you reach your 30s, it's best to ditch frosted shades. Instead, choose pigmented lipsticks with a rich colour for a contemporary look. Lips tend to thin as we get older. For fuller-looking lips, try using a lip liner in a shade that matches your natural lip colour. Apply the lipstick and then add a small dab of gloss to the centre of your lips.

You wear powder blusher
It's easy to look washed out in your 40s and 50s but choose with care. Now's the time to ditch the bronzer and embrace a more natural look. If you haven't tried a cream blusher, it's time to switch. Cream blushers are less drying and can give you a youthful flushed effect. Apply to just the apple of your cheeks and pick a pinkish shade; there's a pink to suit everyone, ask at a beauty counter. Pout's Flush Blush in Flushed Pink looks incredibly bright in the tube but looks beautiful once blended on the face.

You've been using the same shades for decades
Your skin and hair colour will change over the years, and your make-up needs to reflect this. The same colours that were flattering in your twenties may stop working for you during your thirties, and could be a complete no-no in your forties. Try switching black mascara and eyeliner to a dark chocolate or warm grey shade which is less harsh – you might be surprised at the difference it makes.

You've always applied your make up in the same way
Be prepared to change the way you apply the latest products. For example, new mineral foundations are best applied with a brush and not the fingers. If you're not sure, as at the beauty counter for advice.

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