We’ve had it up to here with weird TikTok beauty trends. Tie-dyed eye makeup? Wolf haircuts? Faux freckles? They get plenty of social media attention, but most make no sense for our mature faces, bodies, hair and lives. But who can resist looking?! Browsing beauty trends is one of our favorite online “sports.” Here are 10 trends that tick all the boxes for flattery and more at 50-plus. One or more will be right for you. Take your pick!
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PHOTO BY: Target (3)
1. Skin tints
Buh-bye confusing BB and CC creams. No more trying to figure out which one is for you. A new category of tinted drugstore makeup dials down the coverage and turns up the dewy texture and glow better than ever. Think sheer no-makeup makeup is just for younger women? If you’re tempted to ditch the full-coverage, hide-everything idea and embrace the blurring, nourishing and plumping strategy behind formulas like CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation ($13, target.com), Neutrogena Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 ($13, target.com) and Wet n Wild Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator ($5, target.com), just go for it. Think of these tints as the makeup equivalent of athleisure clothes and smoothies. They’re fast to throw on, nourishing (thanks to hydrating ingredients and antioxidants) and make you feel and look healthy.
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PHOTO BY: Target (2); Ulta Beauty
2. Scalp care
Remember the good old days when flakes on black sweaters sent us running for the dandruff shampoo? It was an occasional thing. Not anymore. Scalp-pampering serums, scrubs, shampoos and conditioners have taken over drugstores. Is it hype? Yes and no. Any hair pro will encourage you to include a circulation-boosting scalp massage when shampooing, avoid tight ponytails and hair styles that stress hair at the roots, and skip high blow-dryer heat settings. They also say to not overdo dry shampoo, since buildup can also lead to an irritated itchy scalp, flakes … even slowed growth or breakage. But we’re guilty as charged! The scalp-care trend was inevitable, but a good idea. Adding even one product like Herbal Essences bio:renew Eucalyptus + Potent Aloe Scalp Balance Shampoo ($6, target.com), L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Conditioner ($8, ulta.com) and Yes to Tea Tree Gentle & Soothing Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub ($8, target.com) once a week instead of your usual routine can remove excess oil and buildup, hydrate and soothe at the very root of the problem.
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PHOTO BY: Target (3)
3. Improved daily sun care
Like it or not, wearing an SPF 30+ every day is part of our now and forever plan. A new wave of daily hybrids makes doing that even in winter months so much more reassuring. The big complaint from women age 50-plus about daily moisturizer with sunscreen has been their incompatibility with makeup, the lack of a high enough SPF and the greasy, filmy and gummy residue. We’re always wondering, too, whether combo products give us enough skin-boosting benefits as a sunscreen-less cream does. Stop wondering. These have all you need: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer SPF 30 ($25, target.com) with niacinamide and peptides; No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day Cream Sunscreen SPF 30 ($7, target.com) with retinol, peptides and shea butter; and RoC Multi Correxion Hydrate + Plump Daily Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid SPF 30 ($25, target.com).
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PHOTO BY: Ulta Beauty; Walgreens; Ulta Beauty
4. Tell-it-like-it-is skin care
Drugstore and luxury brands alike are emphasizing proven ingredients right on the front label in bold letters. No more putting on your reading glasses to scour the back-of-jar ingredient list or tricky names to decipher. This is a smart move, especially since women 50-plus no longer respond to the word “antiaging.” (For those brands/sites that still haven’t gotten the message: Please stop using that term!) Being able to spot the most-wanted ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and peptides quickly in products — like Olay Regenerist Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Face Moisturizer ($39, ulta.com), CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ($19, walgreens.com) and Josie Maran Argan Pro-Retinol Eye Concentrate ($42, ulta.com) — is a trend we’re behind. Let’s hope every company gets on board.
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PHOTO BY: Sephora; Target; Henry Rose
5. Pure perfumes
The term “clean” fragrance used to indicate one that was subtle or citrus. But for women who want more info about anything they apply to their skin, there’s a new meaning. Vegan and cruelty-free fragrances, those with naturally derived ingredients and those in sustainably sourced recyclable bottles and packaging are a fast-growing “clean fragrance” trend. No judgments here, but know that many scents include animal-derived ingredients like musk, honey, ambergris or civet. If you’re getting greener or going vegan, try The 7 Virtues Vanilla Woods Eau de Parfum ($85, sephora.com), a spicy smoky pear, caramel, rose, vanilla mix; Jasmine Rose by Good Chemistry Women’s Eau de Perfume ($25, target.com), a modern floral; and Queens & Monsters by Henry Rose ($120, henryrose.com) with violet leaf, neroli, freesia, jasmine, vanilla, cocoa musk and sandalwood by founder Michelle Pfeiffer. Feel as good as you smell.
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PHOTO BY: Ulta Beauty; Target (2)
6. Refillable and responsible products
Living a more sustainable life beautywise isn’t just about clean formulas or ingredients. We buy and throw away too much stuff. Unfortunately, plastic doesn’t disappear in a landfill or ocean. Some brands are tackling consumer overconsumption by paring down their packaging, while others are creating recyclable or biodegradable packaging and refillable containers for everything from eye lipstick to deodorant. It’s gaining traction, and we can expect more to come. For now, check out Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Eco Pads ($9, ulta.com) — washable, reusable makeup removal pads; Secret Refillable Invisible Solid Antiperspirant & Deodorant Lavender Scent ($10, target.com), which allows you to refill the same or an alternate scent; and Dove 0% Aluminum Cucumber & Green Tea Refillable Deodorant Stainless Steel Case + 1 Refill ($18, target.com), with fragrance-free pod refills also available.
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PHOTO BY: Sephora; Ulta Beauty; Target
7. Rich, retinol-free overnight creams
It figures that beauty marketers would want to make the most of midnight-to-dawn hours. They know not all of us find retinol the answer to our mature skin dreams — especially those with sensitive skin. A wave of alternative rich but nongreasy night creams — such as IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream ($54, sephora.com) with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Pressed Serum ($20, target.com) with hyaluronic acid, and Burt’s Bees Truly Glowing Night Cream ($18, ulta.com) with essential plant oils — take their overnight work seriously to hydrate dry skin for a smoother, dewier finish and more even texture without irritation. And all leave your pillowcases pristine and grease-free, too.
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PHOTO BY: Target (2); Walgreens
8. Elevated baths and showers
After all the stress and anxiety of 2020 and 2021 it figures we’d want to turn our bathing and cleansing into a spa experience. A new category of upgraded shower gels, soaks and washes, and body lotions with an aromatherapy twist is just right for mature skin and sensibilities. And yes, you’re not imagining it: Calming lavender in products — like Dove Nourishing Secrets Relaxing Ritual Bath Salts in Lavender & Chamomile ($6, target.com), Vitabath Lavender Chamomile Body Wash ($9, walgreens.com) and Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming Lavender Body Wash ($7, target.com) — is another trend within a trend. It's cheaper than a vacation but makes you feel just as renewed — no matter what’s going on. Just say aaah!
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PHOTO BY: Target (3)
9. Fake lashes and press-on nails
Have you noticed that everyone everywhere you go has long, colorful nails and lashes like Bambi? Forget time-consuming DIY manicures, pricey eyelash extensions and slower-than-molasses eyelash growth serums. We can now plunk on a pair of statement nails and Zoom-worthy lashes in minutes. Before you say no, give one or the other a whirl. With holidays fast approaching, add-ons — like Kiss imPress Press-On Manicure Couture Collection in Quartz ($11, target.com), a kit of 30 fake nails including 12 jeweled accent nails; or Lilly Lashes Luxury Synthetic False Lashes in Posh ($18, target.com), which are vegan and reusable enough times to make you a believer — may be all you need to get in a festive mood. And to make the latter easier than ever try a new glue-liner pen like Kiss Lash Couture Strip Lash Adhesive False Eyelash Glue in Clear Latex-Free ($6, target.com) so there are no messy tubes to deal with and the liner secures lashes in seconds.
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PHOTO BY: Steve Granitz/WireImage; Samir Hussein/WireImage; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
10. Wolf cuts and mullets
It had to happen. Throwback hair trends are here. But are they for us? Well, maybe — with a big “if.” Wolf cuts and mullets are layered cuts with a 1970s rockstar look. They do overlap, since both have a bi-level look with volume, long layers and bangs on top, with a longer bottom layer. The wolf is a longer version extending to the shoulders. They’re a twist on the layered shag. (Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish show these cuts at their best; Rod Stewart ... not so much.) For those women who have been rocking shaggy bobs and lobs but want a this-minute style, these layered looks have plenty of attitude. Just avoid extreme differences between top layers and any shag with short layers around the face.
Lois Joy Johnson is a beauty and style editor who focuses on women 50 and older. She was the beauty and style editor at Ladies’ Home Journal and a founding editor of More magazine. She has written three books: The Makeup Wakeup, The Wardrobe Wakeup and The Woman's Wakeup.