Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


5 Make Up Tips For Older Women: BUSTED!

Why These Rules for Women Over 50 Are Ridiculous

make up tips for women over 50

I hate make up rules. Always have and always will.

For every make up artist practicing the craft there is an opinion as to how one should apply make up.

Let me break it down very simply: there are no rules. That's it. 

Granted, some products work better for different people, but that is a matter of personal preference - not a rule. I have always said if you want to wear pool-cue blue eyeshadow and coral lipstick then have at it - who am I, as a make up artist, to dictate how my client wants to reveal herself?

Everyday my email is jammed with some sort of "rules" list on how women should wear make up and often I just get annoyed at the lack of creativity, inspiration and overall talent of the so-called experts writing these "rules."

But today I saw a list that just got my ire up - "5 Make Up Tips For Older Women"

Last week I met a senior woman (in her late 70s) who told me so many make up artists told her she needed to stop wearing eyeshadow.  It is/was one of her favourite products to use but she had been told that the rule for older women was to not wear eyeshadow at all because, wait for this, it would make her look old. This is woman who is in her late 70s remember. What did this make up artist think removing eyeshadow would do? Make the client look 30 again?

So instead of teaching the client how to wear eyeshadow based on colours, skin texture and over all style the advice was simply to abandon the product.

I showed the very lovely senior woman how she can use eyeshadow to create a beautiful effect and she was so delighted to have learned how she can continue to use her favourite product.

So here is my response to the "rules" list: "5 Make Up Tips For Older Women"

1.  Use cream-based, not powder-based cosmetics on your face.  Powder adds texture to skin that already has developed texture.

Untrue - while cheap talc based powders will absorb light and thus increase the visibility of skin texture irregularities this is true for a woman of any age.  Powder products can be very efficient, simple and, indeed, beautiful to use.  The trick is to seek out talc free formulas - formulas based in titanium dioxide are great - which will reflect light from the skin and create a smooth and even appearance on the skin.

2.  A good rule of thumb for lipstick is to find a tone that matches the inner lip or gums.

Untrue - lipstick should be coordinated with the outfit.  So if you are wearing beige clothes a soft neutral lip is great.  If you are wearing a bold colour amp up the look with a bright and vibrant lipstick.

3. Women older than 50 tend to lose definition in their eyebrows.  Just go with that.  Don’t recreate the brows you had in your 20s.

Untrue - ok maybe don't recreate an eyebrow from 30 years ago - but who would do that anyway? Styles change. And a very easy way to create shape and definition is to apply a very small amount of brown mascara to the eyebrow, being careful to only colour the hair and not the skin, which which will create a beautiful natural looking brow.

4. This is a hard one, but do not wear any eye shadow at all (and especially no contour eye shadow in the crease because it gives the appearance of deepening the crease).  A little bit of mascara is OK.

Untrue - eyeshadow can make eyes look open and bright and very alert. Of course the colours should be ones which enhance the over all look and a simple trick for the crease is to focus the colour to the outer edge of the eyes and blend a soft eyeliner into the crease. This will create the illusion of a very alert and open eye and make the colour of the iris pop. Also lots of mascara applied to the outer corner of the lashes will create the illusion of "lift."

5. Tinted moisturizers don’t work. If you’re going to use a foundation to even out skin tone, find one that gives coverage but doesn’t add texture. Be willing to spend money on a foundation and take your time to experiment and find the exact right shade.  Matching your skin tone exactly is critical.

Partially true - yes matching skin tone is very very important but tinted moisturizers when formulated without, waxes, mineral oil, and alcohol can indeed provide medium coverage that lasts for hours and hours.  Again, this is about finding a well-made formula rather than dismissing the entire category of products.  Tinted moisturizers are great because they can be easily applied with the fingers and do not require careful blending to look natural.

Image Source: Wiki, wiki, flickr