I love scrolling through my instagram taking note of all the amazing make-up and beauty trends. I also love watching make up tutorials on YouTube. Though I am a long way from a pro when it comes to make up application, I’ve learned a lot from the many resources we have available these days.
There is no question that make up has become much more sophisticated and so many really amazing products have hit the market, its really exciting. But not every trend and product is ideal for the mature woman.
As we age, our skin tone, elasticity, texture and coloring change, as do current make up trends. It can be tricky as we hit middle age. Do we stick with our “signature” look from high school? Do we follow trends? How can we find just the right strategies to keep ourselves looking like ourselves only just a touch better?
There are several trends popular today that look amazing on young women but…not so much on women of a certain age, if you know what I mean. Updating our look without looking like a clown or like we are trying to look young is a delicate balance.
With every “rule” there are people out there who can actually rock a given look, regardless of their age. So be sure to spend a little time experimenting. Move a little out of your comfort zone and see if you like it. I often try new techniques to see how they look; I figure I can always wash it off if it looks bad. I wear it a bit to see what others think and ultimately how I like it in different lights. Some are winners, while others are losers. I am not one to provide hard and fast rules, just things to consider as you evaluate and update your look and try new things.
Strong Eye Brows: Most of us remember Brooke Shields’ starting the “strong eyebrow” trend back in the ‘80’s. After so many years of super thin brows, thicker brows looked fresh and we learned how beautifully shaped eyebrows can be.
Fast forward to 2019; young girls are once again focusing on their eyebrows and there are a huge number of products on the market including eyebrow pomades, powders, pencils, markers, gels, and hair regrowth serums. We can now get our brows micro-bladed too, all of which are god-sends for those of us in need of help in the eyebrow department.
Untamed brows, brows that are too dark, or are incorrectly shaped can make us look older, however. Avoid creating harsh lines, using dark colors or colors that don’t go with your natural coloring. When in doubt, clear gel can hold brows in place; sometimes that is all that is needed.
Sparse brows can be filled with the new micro sized pencils, topical products go a long way to stimulating new growth, or if want something more permanent, go for microblading. A trip to a brow specialist or make up artist to learn more about new products and how to best flatter your face as it changes is key.
Contour and highlight: Today’s makeup is all about contour and highlight. As someone prone to oily skin, I’ve shied away from shiny highlights, and as I tend to be more “gaunt” I have been veering away from contouring as well. Highlighting and contouring can make us look amazing or like a crazy skeleton, so this is an area I’m advising one approach with care. If your face is on the fuller side, and you’d like to add some dimension, clearly contouring is the way to go, put placement is key. I’ve found that using the smile technique that worked so well when I was younger causes my placement to be lower than it should be, causing my face to look tired. Highlighter can look stunning, but it can also highlight skin texture, or make our skin appear oily.
As our face shapes change, it is again time for experimentation, considering moving the placement higher, perhaps a lighter more blended contour or using a soft application of bronzer with a slight accent rather than creating stronger lines.
Strongly lined eyes: our eyes are the window to our soul, and are our most beautiful asset. It’s only natural we want to highlight one of our most beautiful features. As we age, however, our eye shape changes slightly, (I have an eye that droops a little now which is hard to work with) the skin texture changes as well. I’ve also found that eye liner pencils seem to be more challenging to work with and have toned down my eye looks quite a bit. A few common mistakes are: lining all the way around the eye with black liner makes eyes look smaller, try lining the outer third of the eye and blend the color to soften it, using black liner can be too harsh as our skin color lightens with age, try a grey, plum, or brown.
Not blending: From avoiding the dreaded “mask” “racing streaks” cheeks or “raccoon eyes”, (not to be confused with panda eyes caused by mascara under the eye) one simple technique fixes all of these common problems: blending. I’m not sure how much blending was covered in make up circles back in our day, but it is that one secret step that transforms make up application from tragic to amazing. A damp makeup sponge can soften the edges of a “mask” a soft fluffy brush dipped lightly in loose powder can soften “racing stripes” and a clean, soft eyeshadow brush can buff away harsh edges to elevate your eye look, and a soft pencil brush can soften all but liquid eye liners to give a defined but not harsh look.
Hair color and makeup shades no longer suit skin tone: One aspect of aging is the fact that our skin color changes ever so slightly for some, and quite dramatically for others as our hair begins to grey. Whether we color our hair or allow it to go grey, adjusting our makeup colors is another secret that keeps us looking amazing. I’ve also found that going with a lighter foundation helps prevent a heavy mask like look.
Makeup and hair style out of date: There was a time that women identified a signature hairstyle and makeup look that she wore from early adulthood on. Aside from the classic bob, there are few styles that have withheld the test of time.
Every once in a while we need a little update. I knew a young woman who loved the Gibson Girl bun, and it did suit her. But it looked odd when she started turning up in more contemporary clothing like the time she wore Versace chain leggings and a leather jacket. I often see women wearing 1960’s style, heavily coiffed hair styles with contemporary clothing. When our hair and makeup doesn’t match our clothing, one’s whole look can be thrown off.
In any event, experimentation is key. When I have the opportunity to work with a makeup artist, I always ask lots of questions, and occasionally ask them to do something different than what I would normally do for myself. It’s a great way to learn new techniques.
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