MUAs Share Their Fave Products & Tips For Mature Skin
The clock never seems to slow, does it? Getting older is a gift, and we have every reason to celebrate those gorgeous crinkles and shimmering silver strands. Of course, it also goes without saying that aging also comes with a few drawbacks. Our skin quality changes quite a bit, and ultimately that can make it trickier to apply makeup.
“As our skin matures, it loses moisture, elasticity, and firmness,” explains celebrity makeup artist Victoria Stiles. “Without aiding these issues first — and choosing the wrong products — [makeup] can grab on to dry areas of the skin, settle into fine lines, and [create] a crepey appearance.”
We asked Stiles and a few other makeup artists to bestow us with their best beauty wisdom regarding makeup for mature skin. Here are their top tips and fave products to ensure you look glowy and gorgeous.
1. Never Skimp on Skincare
The older we get, the less sebum (oil) our skin produces. This leads to more dryness, flaking, and dullness. To combat the issue — and to help plump up fine lines and create a smoother canvas for your makeup — it’s super important to complete a hydrating skincare routine as part of your makeup prep.
“Beauty starts with your skin’s natural luster. A dehydrated complexion will simply look dehydrated with or without makeup,” notes Geoffrey Rodriguez, celebrity makeup artist. “Hydrated skin will also allow your makeup to wear longer and more securely.”
Start with a hydrating, oil-based cleanser like Tatcha The Camellia Oil 2-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser, $48. Next follow up with a hydrating serum that restores moisture, like The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum, $8, and/or KORRES Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink, $48.
As the last step before your preferred sunscreen, apply a thin layer of moisturizer. Ingredients to look for include glycerin, nut butters, and ceramides. Rodriguez also swears by a rosewater mist, which you can apply pre and post makeup, and throughout the day. His favorite is the Heritage Store Rosewater Refreshing Facial Mist, $8.
Check out this hydrating skin prep and makeup routine by one of our fave MUAs, Hindash:
2. Give Yourself a Good Facial Massage
We love a good treat yourself moment that doubles as excellent makeup prep! That’s what you get when giving yourself a quick facial massage. In addition to feeling good, facial massages can help lift, smooth, and tone your skin.
“The benefits of facial massage should not be overlooked and vastly improve over time when done regularly,” Rodriguez insists. “It is very easy to master and requires just a few minutes per day, so there is no excuse not to learn about facial massage!” He prefers a gentle gua sha method — try the Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool, $28 — though you can use your fingers or other tools, as well.
3. Exfoliate & Hydrate Your Lips
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Our lips tend to get pretty dry as we get older, as well. About once or twice a week, use a gentle exfoliator like our WISHFUL Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub, $39, to buff away flaky bits. Or you can make a DIY version at home with a little sugar and coconut oil mixed together, just be sure to massage very gently onto your lips. You can also use your toothbrush to lightly exfoliate.
Before moving onto your makeup, apply a hydrating balm and allow it to set. Once you’re ready for your lip color, also stick to hydrating products. “A drier or matte lip color can creep into and exaggerate fine lines around the lips,” notes makeup artist Natasha Moor. “Apply a creamy hydrating product, then seal it with a lip oil to keep lips soft and luscious.”
4. Choose a Hydrating Liquid Foundation
Stiles says that a liquid foundation (versus powder) will help keep hydration in the skin throughout the day. At the same time, it glides one more easily, helps plump up fine lines and wrinkles, and is less likely to set into lines or grab onto dry patches.
Some excellent foundation options for mature skin include the Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation, $40, IL MAKIAGE Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation, $45, and NARS Cosmetics Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation, $49.
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5. Always Use a Damp Sponge
How you apply foundation to mature skin matters, too! Every makeup artist we spoke to said that using a damp sponge was the way to go. (Have you noticed the hydration theme yet?)
“When your sponge is damp, it spreads your product onto your skin more smoothly and ensures it doesn’t seep into wrinkles or fine lines,” explains Moor. “As a result, your makeup celebrates your natural skin, and the finish is more flawless and long-lasting.” She adds that while a makeup brush is OK, it tends to glaze the product on top of the skin and doesn’t have the same sort of seamless, smooth blend.
The Huda Beauty Basic B Sponge, $17, is perfect. Simply wet the sponge and gently squeeze out excess water so it’s damp — not sopping wet — then lightly squeeze in a towel or tissue. Apply your foundation on the back of your hand and press the sponge into the foundation and lightly bounce across your face.
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“Then press the product into your skin, as opposed to ‘wiping’ it on. Continue until you have achieved the coverage you desire” Moor says. “In addition to creating a flawless finish, this technique ensures that the product isn’t wasted by being absorbed by a dry sponge or brush.”
She says less is more, and that you can always build a second layer on top in areas where you prefer more coverage.
6. Define Your Brows
Never underestimate the power of a naturally-defined brow! “Brows really do provide structure to the face. I’m always surprised at how much maximizing [them] can enliven and flatter,” says makeup artist Suzy Gerstein. “Start slow, step back, and assess as you can always add more. A too dark brow can be severe, as well, so I like to gradually build.”
Try IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil, $25, and then follow up with Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, $22, to set your brows in place. It can take some practice, so don’t feel like you have to perfect your brows on the first go.
7. Use a Clear Highlighter
Adding highlighter to the high points of your face can create dimension and youthfulness. However, Moor says it’s best to stay away from glittery or sparkly highlighters that tend to emphasize fine lines and wrinkles. Instead, use a moisturizing, clear product.
Moor’s go-to might surprise you. It’s Vaseline! Simply apply a tiny amount using a makeup sponge or your fingertips. “Apply onto the tops of your cheekbones where the light reflects naturally, for a natural overall glow. You’ll look natural and save money, too,” she says.
If you try any of these makeup tips for mature skin, we want to hear how it goes! Drop us a note on in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.