I’m not a makeup artist, but I am a beauty editor who has worked side by side behind the scenes at photo shoots with famous names like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Charlotte Tilbury way before “celebrity makeup artist” was a coined phrase. I’ve done thousands of makeup makeovers on everyday women over 50 and watched pros transform bare-faced celebs and supermodels to glamazons. It’s been a four decades-long master class that keeps evolving as new products and makeup change along with our approach to cosmetics. Here are the tips you need to know now:
1. Always prep your skin
There’s a reason why makeup artists take time to pamper complexions before jumping into makeup. That’s because even the best cosmetics perfectly applied can’t disguise a parched, lined, sleepless face or hide the puffiness from a few cocktails or a bag of chips the night before without a little help. One of the most effective preps is to amp up your application of serum and moisturizer with a relaxing but circulation-boosting facial massage using your fingertips, a jade roller or gua sha stone like the RoselynBoutique Jade Face Roller Gua Sha Facial Tools ($9, amazon.com). A well-lubricated surface is key to ensuring both glide across the skin. Work from the base of the neck upwards in gentle strokes, then from the center of the face outwards across the cheeks and along the jawline. Use your fingertips to massage your forehead in small circular movements from the center outwards. Use light pressure. Try chilling the roller or stone in the freezer for a few minutes or keep one on call in the fridge since cooling will help deflate puffiness and under-eye bags. Another option: Apply a line-plumping facial mask like the Burt’s Bees Hydrating Single Use Face Mask with Watermelon ($3, cvs.com) or Dr. Jart+ Cryo Rubber Face Mask with Moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid ($15, sephora.com) — hilarious packaging but it’s effective so don’t say no — and/or an eye mask like the Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks ($26 for 6 pairs, dermstore.com) that is infused with peeper-freshening aloe and peptides that you can wear while you have your morning coffee or green tea. The benefits of all include a rosy glow, relaxing mood and a smoother base so makeup doesn’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Use a primer
Do you apply skin care, makeup and then cross your fingers and hope that a hot flash, humid weather or steamy indoor heating won’t cause a meltdown? Do you wear a true foundation, blush and bronzer for dinner out but worry your makeup will cake or look fake before the evening is over? Adding a makeup primer to your routine solves all. Skip matte or oil-free primers designed for younger, oil-prone skin and jump on those that emphasize hydration and radiance like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Blurring Face Primer in Rosy/Rose ($16, cvs.com). You can even save steps with hybrids that bridge the skin care/makeup gap like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Primer + Serum ($22, target.com) — this only looks beige-y but goes on sheer and slightly shimmery — and Too Faced Plump & Prime Luxury Face Plumping Primer Serum ($45, ulta.com) packed with hyaluronic acid and glycerin to tackle crepe-y skin and serious dryness.