Make up as you get older

Skin changes as we get older and the products and colours that worked for you 10 or 20 years ago can actually make you look older than you are.

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  • Mature make up tips

  • Go easy on the foundation
    As we age lines appear, not to mention sun spots and uneven skin patches. While it's tempting to block it out with a heavy foundation, applying too much can add years to your face and create a mask-like, unnatural finish. Opt for lighter foundations or tinted moisturisers rather than heavy products that are likely to settle into the creases and exaggerate any wrinkles.

    Make-up is there to enhance your features, not blank them out or over power them, so always use a light hand. If needs be, you can always add more – but it's much harder to take it away if you apply too much.

    Lightweight liquid foundations are generally better than powder based ones and have the advantage of moisturising the skin, which is more prone to dryness as we age. Apply it with your fingers rather than a brush – that way you'll have more control and be less likely to apply too much.

    Conceal with care
    The same rule goes for concealer too. Spot concealers are great for covering pimples but use them sparingly – and certainly not for other problem areas. Never apply a concealer to dark under eye areas – its heavy formula is designed to hide a spot and is too rich for the delicate, thin under eye area. Instead try camouflaging any dark areas with YSL Touch Eclat, which will add instant brightness to the face.

    Say goodbye to frosty eye make-up
    You may love your trusted eye shadow in frosty silver or blue but glittery, sparkly products are best kept in the drawer as we get older. Shimmery eye shadow settles into the creases of the eye and makes them more prominent. Matte shadows in soft colours, such as peach, grey or taupe are flattering for most skins.

    To create the appearance of a more 'open' eye, avoid using dark colours and blend the main colour with a lighter shade that gets lighter at the outer corners of the eye. Steer clear of heavy eyeliners on the bottom lash, and instead apply to the upper, outer corners of the eye.

    Colour correction
    Everything fades as we get older – our hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, skin tone, which makes it more important than ever to put some colour in your face. You might feel more comfortable with neutral shades like beige and taupe but brighter colours will lift your complexion and can take years off you. While you should avoid anything that makes you look washed out, equally take care not to wear anything too dark or heavy – avoid plum shade lipsticks, vampy reds or heavy black eyeliner.

    Find a middle ground with soft, fresh colours like berry, rose, pink and apricot, which will help to give your features definition and add vibrancy.

    And remember to follow the golden rule of enhancing only one feature – if you dislike your lips then make a feature of your eyes and wear a lipgloss with a hint of colour. If your eyes aren't your best feature, wear a brighter lipstick.

    Choose lip colour with care
    Dark colours make any surface area look smaller – including your lips. If your lips have become thinner with age, the last thing you want to do is wear a dark colour, such as plum or dark red, as this will only make them appear smaller. Instead, try wearing a vibrant lip gloss in coral or soft pink – the shine of a gloss will make them appear fuller.

    Go for a bright blush
    Don't be afraid of colour when it comes to choose a shade of blusher. Skin fades and can look sallow as we age, so you can take a brighter colour than you think. Cream base blushers may look incredibly bright in the pot, but once you add a little and blend you'll be surprised how they look on the skin. Again, go for creamy blushers rather than powder ones to add moisture to the skin and create a youthful rosy glow.

    Try a few different colours in the store – even better get the assistant to apply them for you – and then take a look at the results. For a more modern look, don't draw a line up to the temples, instead apply the blush higher on the checks and blend downwards towards the apples.

    Eyebrows tend to fade and thin with age and using a brown eyebrow pencil to add definition can vastly improve the look of your whole face. If you pluck your brows, take care not to over do it – thin eyebrows can make you look older than you are (and the trend now is for fuller ones anyway).

    Youthful radiance
    Ten or twenty years ago, the trend was for matte finishes and powder – now the aim is to create a youthful glow with a natural shine. Thankfully, it's a trend that suits the older woman. You'll find lots of products that promise to illuminate, high-light and brighten the skin. Try dabbing on a few small dots along the line of your cheekbone and blend well. With any luck, you should notice an instantly brighter looking face.

    If you have oily skin and can't give up the powder, apply only a light dusting to problem areas, such as the forehead. A natural shine will give you a more youthful appearance.

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