Makeup Tips Beauty Pros Swear By For Your 40s & Beyond


beauty for every ageSource: Jeff Spicer/ Getty Images

Experimenting with makeup in our teens was all about trying every trend, rocking every color in the rainbow, painting on every glittery, shimmery, smoky product out there and then probably doubling the application. Either that, or you were a minimalist and then props to you for not having some seriously questionable beauty moments in your yearbook pics.

Then came the twenties and early thirties where we got a clue, some beauty education (thank you YouTube), and we began investing in skincare and makeup that actually works for our needs, skin tone, and features.

When you hit your 40s and 50s though, things tend to change a bit. What used to work in your 20s will undoubtedly change as your face evolves and you’re dealing with thinner lips and lashes, or a few more laugh lines than you used to have. Then again, you earned those and should be proud of them! Flaunt away! But if you do want a tip or two, to tailor your look, we’re here for you — along with a few of our pro makeup artist friends. Behold their sage wisdom for all their tips.

Opt For Water-Based Foundation and Be Strategic With Concealer


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According to makeup artist extraordinaire Patrick Ta (whose clients include Eva Longoria, Shay Mitchell, and Adriana Lima), the most important thing to keep in mind when executing a flawless face in your 40+ years is to start with a clean face. “I recommend lightly exfoliating the skin using the Clarisonic Mia Smart Anti-Aging and Cleansing Skincare Device, $169, which has amazing benefits, like minimizing the appearance of pores, firming skin, and reducing under-eye puffiness. After that, using a water-based foundation — or adding an oil into foundation — should prevent makeup caking and settling into fine lines and wrinkles. You can use a beauty blender or synthetic under-eye brush to wipe away product if you get too heavy-handed and only use concealer where needed, otherwise skip,” he instructs. Another one of Ta’s tips: “Use little-to-no powder other than on high-sheen areas.”

Keep the Highlighter


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Founder and CEO of Jouer Cosmetics, Christina Zilber, would never tell anyone to avoid a trend because of their age, but what she will say is: don’t try to wear them all at once. “If you want to wear lashes, go for it, just keep a softer lip. If you want to try colored eyeliner, go for it, just don’t go crazy with a bold lip or cheek. It’s fun to play with trends and we should all feel free to do what makes us feel most beautiful, but at a certain age, you can’t go too far with glitters and sparkles. A pearl or a shimmer is a little softer and more attractive, yet still on-trend, but glitter is harder to pull off.” Zilber also loves herself a highlighter. “A lot of women complain they can’t wear highlighter because it accentuates their lines, but I can’t go without it as it lifts your cheeks and gives you a healthy glow.” Her rule of thumb for placement: apply closer to the apple of the cheek, instead of on the high points of cheekbones.

We love this makeup look on the stunning Colleen Heidemann painted by the hugely talented Jordan Liberty:


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Keep Eyes Defined, but Soft

“I think obvious drawn-on lines can look hard on some women,” warns Mariah Carey, Jessica Chastain, and Kelly Ripa’s MUA Kristofer Buckle. “So keep the eyes defined, but soft. Now tight lining the upper lash line with black gel liner before mascara is another story and a trick every woman can benefit from… as it adds depth and a pop to the eye,” he adds. Try Kristofer Buckle Graphic Line Gel Eyeliner, $18. “Also, avoid too many warm tones all at once — warm brown eyeshadow, bronze blush, rust lips, etc. Instead, make sure to add a pop of vibrancy so you don’t look muddy and sallow. A hit of pink or coral blush makes the eyes look whiter (and brighter) and the skin thicker and firmer. My go-to is Kristofer Buckle Twinset Blush Duo in Delight, $28.”

Luminizing Primer is Your Friend, as Are Facials


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Makeup artist to stars like Viola Davis and Kerry Washington, Autumn Moultrie, knows how to flatter at every age. Her trick for doing just that on the 40-60+ set? Focus on your skin, first and foremost. “A facial visit once a month is necessary,” she explains. “Invest in an effective concealer and/or highlighting pen to wake up the face by concealing dark circles and any blemishes or redness. A luminizing primer all over makes a big difference as well since it diffuses light, giving your face a veritable filter! Who doesn’t want that? After using those two items, you will need to use much less foundation, making your skin look touchable.” Also, if your eyes water (which they can have a tendency to do as you age — so much fun!), Moultrie likes to rely on waterproof mascara and waterproof liner. “Just be sure to go over the waterproof liner with shadow and a detail brush, or the waterproof liner will look too harsh.”

More is More With Mascara

Celebrity MUA and founder of Ramy Cosmetics, Ramy Gafni, has painted the faces of A-listers like Candice Swanepoel and Taylor Swift, but when it comes to applying makeup in your later years, he says to think strategically. “Everything you apply to your face should lift your features. Apply eyeliner and mascara to the upper lash line only and add an extra coat of mascara to outer lashes for every decade over thirty. One extra coat of mascara at forty, two extra coats at fifty, etc. Also, fill in your eyebrows. A fuller, denser brow is more youthful and by fully framing your eyes, your whole face appears younger,” he adds.

Try the Ramy Perfect Brow Wand, $28, which comes with a cream highlighter at one end, which is ideal for placing just underneath the brow on the brow bone to lift the brows. Check out some of our other fave brow products here.

Choose Quality Brushes 

guide to makeup brushes

We’ve all been guilty of giving into a beauty tool bargain, but one of the best ways to set yourself up for makeup success is to get yourself a few nice makeup brushes, according to Tamah Krinsky, who works with Hailey Bieber, Sophie Turner, and Julianna Margulies. “They can be pricy, but if you take care of them you will have them forever. Having good tools makes a huge difference and makes applying your makeup so much easier,” she says.

Check out our ultimate guide to makeup brushes here.

Choose Colors Carefully and Don’t Underestimate the Power of Lip Liner


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Celeb makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury is known for her “glam Hollywood” style, airbrushed skin, and natural, yet irresistible lip applications. Her signature techniques have also earned her a cool 2.9 million followers on the ‘gram. #NBD Tilbury’s must-haves for star-worthy lips? Lip liner and matte lipstick.

“Lips start to thin as you get older, so one of my favorite products for more mature skin is my Lip Cheat Lip Liner, $22. A quick and easy way to reshape and resize the look of your lips is to apply the liner on the outer edge of the lips and for a natural look, choose a lip liner and lipstick that mimics the shade of your lips. I adore my Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk for a fuller-looking pout. When you apply, look into the mirror and smile, tightening the skin on the lips to see exactly where to apply the pencil. Starting on the outer corners, trace the liner just outside the natural lip line. This will help cheat a fuller pout, create symmetry, and help to stop the lipstick from bleeding. In addition, as you get older, lips naturally lose their fullness and darker shades can make lips look even smaller. Therefore, don’t go too dark with your lipstick as this can wash you out. Choose a tawny rose for a natural, just-bitten look. My iconic suits-all Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk, $34, is the perfect nude-pink shade that shapes the lips of your dreams, at every age.”

Develop an Artist-Approved Signature Look


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Celeb makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, (who works with Chelsea Handler, Christina Applegate, and Judith Light), says the #1 anti-aging beauty tip is: moisturize until you can’t moisturize anymore. That’s followed closely by perfect a signature makeup routine. “Really search for an amazing makeup artist in your town and pay them for a consultation,” she says. “I help actresses all the time for their everyday look. We go makeup shopping together, then I show them how to apply it in their everyday life. It takes a while to learn the right places to put makeup on your unique face and then you need to practice.”

Moral of the story: Age is just a number and you shouldn’t feel limited to what you can do with makeup. These tips are the perfect way to take your makeup style to the next level to compliment your look and make you feel confident with every decade.