Article was written by BFR's founder Leslie Munsell
Back when I was a young make up artist working with more mature women, it seemed they always complained about their aging looks and repeatedly pointed out and obsessed over wrinkles and sagging skin. I remember thinking “if you’d quit obsessing and stop focusing on looking older, it won’t effect you so much.” Well, that might still be true, but now that I’m here (61!) I realize how difficult it can be to look in the mirror and love the changes you see. Especially in a culture where the focus on looking young is everything. If I hear one more time- “you look so good for your age”. I know it sounds like a compliment, but why can’t it just be- “you look so good”? There are so many positive things that come along with aging; knowledge, experience, patience, acceptance, etc. that I’m embracing it and all of the fine lines that come with it.
I intend to age gracefully into my 60’s, 70’s and beyond. I’m not saying that a little help from a great derm now and then is out of the question, but let’s not go too crazy and end up looking like we’re trying way too hard. We’ve all seen it- restraint ladies!
Here are a few magical and easy makeup tips that will keep you looking your best at any age, but especially for us with more life experience.
The first absolute essential for applying great make up is a good mirror with a magnifying feature. Most of us over 50 wear glasses and you must take them off to do your eyes and this means you can’t see a damn thing. Without a magnifying mirror you may as well be putting your makeup on in the dark. Speaking of which, good balanced light is essential too. If you are able to do your makeup facing a window, natural light is the best for daytime applications. (Or if you’re like me, a hand held magnifying mirror in my makeup bag. I often do my make up in the car! Shhh). If you don’t have a window or are applying at night, I’d recommend a magnifying mirror with built-in lights. Trust me, it will change everything. I use and recommend Beauty For Real's Glo Tech Mirror
Hydration is everything as we age. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and requires hydration from both the inside and out. Dehydrated skin has more texture with increased fine lines and wrinkles but did you know it also leads to more skin sensitivity? Dehydrated skin is less effective as a protective barrier, its defenses are weakened creating skin sensitivity, irritation, and premature aging. When dehydrated, your skin tends to react easily to active ingredients or outside elements. By adding hydration back to the skin it becomes stronger, healthier and less reactive. So if your skin is over-sensitive and reactive, it could be a sign of dehydration. Drink up that water and slather on the moisturizers! Use Beauty For Real's Skin Revival Orgnaic Oil.
In addition to dehydration, there’s something else that creates more texture in the skin that is sometimes overlooked. That’s the dead, dry skin cells that are on the surface of your skin if you aren’t exfoliating regularly. As the skin cells age, they rise to the surface until they are shed naturally. A light exfoliation will accelerate the shedding of the aged cells, revealing a more even texture and brighter color. All skin treatments will become more effective and make up will go on more smoothly and evenly with regular exfoliation. Try twice weekly. Bliss Incredi-Peel Pads. These are great on your hands to lighten age spots too!!
Nothing shouts health and beauty more than a big, gorgeous smile. Keep yours clean and bright with regular tooth whitening. In addition to routine cleanings at the dentist, Crest White Strips do the trick for me.
When doing your makeup, don’t get stuck in a look from the decade you think you looked your best. Keep it fresh and new!
Something that’s fun and easy to do while adding a little touch of concentrated color is a Gel Eyeliner in an unexpected color blended into your lash-line. Get a long-wear, waterproof formula that won’t smudge or smear (eliminating the dark, aging under-eye raccoon look). I love Beauty For Real’s Jade, 24-Karat and In the Navy. Navy also has the added benefit of making the whites of your eyes appear whiter!
Great mascara is a must. Yours should be lengthening and volumizing, as a lush set of lashes brings focus to and really lifts your eyes. If you have issues with it smudging, make sure to get a water resistant formula and skip applying to the lower lash-line. Try the best Beauty For Real Hi-Def Mascara.
Lip Liner is also a must. Unfortunately, as we age we lose the definition and balance of our lip line, particularly the upper lip, making them look faded, thin and uneven. For the most natural effect, eliminating the tell-tale lip liner look, choose a lip liner that matches your lip tone and use it to redefine and re-balance your lip line. A liner will also ensure your lip color doesn’t bleed. Use Beauty For Real's D-Fine Lip Liner.
Next, when choosing your lip color there are 2 things to keep in mind- dark colors (dark burgundy, brown tones) will make your lips look smaller. Not good. And we do want a little color as nude skin tones can wash you out. Choose something with enough brightness to bring color back to your face. Anything from a tawny rose, a pink or coral, even bright red depending on your mood and the occasion. I like a tinted lip balm because it provides just enough sheer color along with needed hydration. The best are Beauty For Real's Lip Revival Lip Balm.
To frame your face and lift your eyes, shaping, balancing and defining your brows should be done regularly. If you find it hard to get the shape right, go to a pro to establish the shape, then do it yourself. It’s easy if you have the patience and the tools. You can always go back to the pro for a tune up.
Keep your brows in great shape with the help of your lighted, magnifying mirror (see above) and good tweezers. (The best tweezers I ever bought were from a legendary shop in Milan that sold all kinds of grooming tools and cutlery that no longer exists. I’m holding on to them for dear life.) Tweezerman makes great tools- the tweezers with the slant tip are easiest to use.
When defining your brows, if you’re a blonde, choose a color that is slightly darker than your hair color, if you’re a red head, slightly less bright than your hair color and if your hair is dark, slightly lighter than your hair color. This gives the most natural effect. Anastasia Beverly Hills has a varied selection of makeup for brows. My favorites are the pencil, Brow Wiz (12 shades) and the pomade, Dipbrow (11 shades) for easy application of defined and enhanced brows.
Another alternative for a more permanent solution to filling in your brows is to have them micro-bladed. I did this about a year ago and love it. Because it’s a tattoo and semi-permanent, make sure to do your homework in your area in finding someone who will do it with a light hand that keeps it natural. If you’re in Miami try the guru, Caleb, at Skn Elements for the best micro-blading.
Your complexion products should improve the appearance of your skin by evening out your skin tone and enhancing the overall texture, providing smoothness and luminosity. As we age, it’s imperative that the complexion products are not dry, heavy and mask-like. To provide hydration, radiance and an even skin tone, choose a lightweight foundation, BB Cream, CC Cream or Tinted Moisturizer. Make sure it matches the skin tone on your face and is complimentary to your neck, shoulders and arms if they‘re exposed. Use powders very sparingly, if at all, as they make your skin look matte and dry- which is aging. You can’t cover up wrinkles and most times less is more with complexion products.
Concealer should be just slightly lighter than your skin tone and is meant to provide more coverage under and around the eyes and anywhere you may need extra coverage. Because it is heavily pigmented, use it lightly only where needed and not as a highlighter. It’s too opaque and you’ll lose the quality of illuminated, healthy skin. This technique might look good in a photo, but not in real life. Beauty For Real’s MVP Tinted Moisturizer and Concealer has the tinted moisturizer in the body of the tube and the concealer in the cap of the tube taking the guesswork out of choosing colors and giving you a 2 in 1 product for convenience.
Cream blush is usually a better choice than powder to provide a bit of color on the cheeks while maintaining the glow and luminosity from your powder free complexion product application. It also blends better than powder on naked skin if you’re just popping a bit on in a hurry. If you’re a cool skin tone, choose a blue based pink and if you have a warm skin tone, coral and peaches look best.
Cream highlighter with a bit of shimmer (not matte or glittery please) on the tops of your cheekbone, on the brow bone, down the bridge of your nose and on the cupids bow brightens your face and gives it added dimension. Try Beauty For Real’s Blush + Glo for both Blush and Highlighter in one product.
Makeup can be magic - you know that feeling you get when you look good, it gives you that extra shot of confidence to face your day and give it all you’ve got.
Please share with us some of your favorite tips!