Aging Skin Makeup Solutions

Change up your palette and erase years from your face.

From the WebMD Archives

There is no age limit on beauty. Every season of life, however, brings challenges and changes. One of those opportunities is to revisit and reinvent your look.

When it comes to makeup, don't settle for what worked for you decades ago. Open yourself up to a new approach that fits who you are now.

Hiding Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Some women mistakenly draw attention to the fine lines and wrinkles around their eyes by overdoing the area with makeup. Wrinkles become more noticeable as the makeup settles and cakes into lines.

Prevention begins with a moisturizer. Celebrity hairstylist Billy Lowe, beauty expert for television shows such as Extreme Makeover and TLC's 10 Years Younger, says, "After you wash your face in the morning, apply moisturizer while the skin is damp. That will plump it up and even it out, helping makeup glide on."

Don't forget to moisturize around your eyes. "Start with a silicone-based eye serum that will gel to the concealer and prevent it from slipping," Lowe says. "Packing on the makeup to cover lines or dark circles will bring out the creases." Avoid using heavy concealers that will look cakey around the eyes.

Makeup instructor Bridget Winton says to learn the bone structure and features of your face. "Focus on your bone structure to lift the face," she says. "Give yourself a youthful look by using lighter and darker shades to make hard lines soft and soft lines hard."

For example, work with a foundation that is one or two shades darker than your foundation to “lift” a sagging chin. Cover the darker area with a translucent powder.

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How to Brighten Aging Skin

If your skin looks dull, use warm colors to brighten up. Experts suggest using a foundation that is a half-shade lighter than your skin tone.

To dim dark circles under your eyes, apply foundation that's a shade lighter than your foundation to the area. Top it with a concealer and then add a loose powder to set the makeup and hide the color difference.

Illuminators and bronzers can also add a sun-kissed glow. But don't overdo it; a bad fake tan can make you look older. Get a more natural glow by blending the bronzer into your moisturizer or foundation and then applying it evenly to your face. A loose powder just one or two shades darker than your skin tone can also add warmth.

Spritzers and moisturizing sprays help set makeup and give skin a dewy look, Winton says.

Apply moisturizer and sunscreens as a base each morning, and reapply sunscreen throughout the day. You Wash it all off every night and try a heavier, nighttime moisturizer.

"You know the saying, 'an ounce of prevention,'" Lowe says. "Take care of your skin at any age."

Soften Your Colors

Ruby red may have been your signature lip color since your 20s. But as you mellow with age, so should your color palette. "You don't want bright, vibrant colors that call attention to the eyes, lips, or cheeks because they will draw attention to damage and not blend with the skin," Winton says. "You can still stay with the harmony of your hair and eye color, just do it with softer colors."

"I'm a sucker for soft tones. I use them on everyone," Lowe says. "I like neutrals and pastels and find they complement aging skin well."

Black mascaras and eyeliners are appropriate around the eyes. If your hair is gray, you might try a softer mascara color, such as brown or gray.

Eyelashes also tend to lose their volume and thickness over time. A volumizing, defining mascara will plump them up. To make them even fuller, "apply a very fine layer of translucent powder to the lashes in between two coats of mascara," makeup artist Jemma Kidd says. You might consider having your lashes and brows tinted with semi-permanent color as a longer-lasting alternative, but never do that yourself.

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Plump Lips

Your lips can thin with age. But there are ways to make them look full again.

Choosing the right color for thinning lips matters. Again, avoid strong colors like red. Those can make lips appear even thinner. Peach and beige colors, lip glosses, and tawny liners make them appear fuller and more defined.

Liners can help complete the illusion of fuller lips. Draw just on the outside of the lips and fill in with color, but don't to make them too rigid. "Most people use the pencil to outline the lips first," Lowe says. "This creates too much definition in the lining of the lip. Instead, use color first and then line the lip. It gives it a softer line that is still defined."

If you have feathery lines around your lips, use matte lipsticks and lip liners to keep lipstick from bleeding into them. Kidd recommends mixing a good lip balm with your favorite lip color for a glossier, more subtle look.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on November 09, 2012

Sources

SOURCES:

Billy Lowe, owner, Billy Lowe Hair Studio, West Hollywood, Calif.

Bridget Winton, makeup instructor, The Bellus Academy of Beauty & Spa, San Diego.

Jemma Kidd, makeup artist; former model; founder, Jemma Kidd Makeup School, London.

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