Want winged eyeliner? Sculpted cheeks? Microbladed brows? Women age 50-plus are turning to YouTube and TikTok makeup tutorials to update their looks. But beware: Trendy videos ignore realities like hooded, saggy eyelids, brown spots and wrinkles. Confused about what to do and what not to do? Here are tips from makeup artists Sandy Linter (who works with glamazons Christie Brinkley and Elizabeth Hurley) and Nick Lujan, director of artistry and education for Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, and, of course, beauty-editor me. Do your face a favor and stop:
1. Getting dramatic microbladed brows
It’s all about brows, right? Microblading, a semipermanent form of tattooed makeup, creates Instagram-worthy brows in two hours. However, you’re at the mercy of the technician’s skill, taste and experience. Many inked brows are too dark, too thick or severely arched, so they look cartoonish or theatrical on mature faces. “Harsh dark brows are aging so aim for a natural look and color,” says Linter. “Sometimes the operator goes too dark claiming the brows will last longer, but when new brows fade (and they will) a DIY daily touch-up with brow makeup is simple because the shape remains as a guide.” Check before-and-after photos of clients over 50 and ask for the intended brow shape and color to be penciled on for a look-see before agreeing to go to ink.
2. Choosing the wrong foundation color
Despite extended shade ranges many older women still end up with face makeup that’s too pink or somehow “off” in color. Online shade quizzes, swatches and undertone guides only add to the confusion since mature faces are often multiple hues from age and sun damage. There are two foolproof tricks to help you get a flattering match for your skin. First, go one shade warmer or deeper than you’d normally choose. (Shade names with the actual words warm, golden, caramel or honey are a tip-off.) This will immediately counteract any natural redness in your skin (from rosacea to broken capillaries) and add a healthier look to pallid, ashy, stressed or sun-damaged skin. If your body is darker than your face (even slightly!), match that new warm foundation to your upper chest — not your jawline — for a seamless, uniform shade that works with bare necklines.