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Makeup Over 40: The Do’s and Don’ts For a Youthful Look

Makeup Over 40: The Do’s and Don’ts For a Youthful Look

Makeup for women over 50
By Reagan Kelly and Wyndi Kappes

As we age, understanding the nuances of application, color choices and skincare becomes increasingly important to achieving a flattering and age-defying look; because who said makeup for women over 40 has to be boring? We spoke with several Atlanta-based makeup and cosmetics experts to delve deeper into the makeup dos and don’ts when it comes to putting your best face forward.

Foundation of Youth: Avoiding Common Foundation Mistakes

The cornerstone of a youthful, fresh-faced look lies in a good foundation. Set the stage by adhering to the following guidelines.

Amanda Krause. Makeup by Alyson Hoag.
Amanda Krause.
Makeup by Alyson Hoag.


Prioritize Skincare First. A clean, exfoliated and hydrated base makes all the difference. “If you aren’t properly hydrated, your skin will suck the moisture out of the foundation you’re wearing, and it will appear cakey and uneven,” says Alyson Hoag, CEO and founder of Authentic Beauty and Genuist Beauty. Hoag recommends applying a moisturizer or serum like her BioHydra Serum, before your foundation to ensure a smooth and even application that lends longevity to your look. Merit’s Glow Serum or LaRoche Posay’s Cicaplast are also great options for this.

Choose the Right Formula. “My favorite foundation formulas for women over 40 are always liquids and creams,” explains Emmy-Award-winning makeup artist Nyssa Green of The Green Room Agency. Opt for lightweight, hydrating formulas that won’t settle into fine lines like Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation.

Alyson Hoag
Alyson Hoag, Authentic Beauty and Genuist Beauty

Prioritize Your Perfect Match. Matching your foundation to the correct undertones can make your complexion appear brighter and more natural while diminishing the look of fine lines. “You should be able to walk out into natural light and not really notice that you are wearing foundation at all,” notes Hoag. Boyd recommends Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Foundation, which comes in 43 different shades that prioritize undertones from warm to neutral and cool.

Foundation products


Overdo It. Less is more. Avoid heavy, full-coverage foundations, which can look cakey and settle into wrinkles, making them more visible.

Use Matte Formulas. Matte foundations emphasize dryness and make aged skin appear dull and flat. Instead, consider foundations with a satin or dewy finish to add radiance and bounce to the skin.

Eyes Wide Open: Makeup Tips for Brighter, More Youthful Eyes

Looking to create brighter, well-rested eyes? Follow these do’s and don’ts.

Meredith Boyd, Meredith Boyd Cosmetics
Meredith Boyd, Meredith Boyd Cosmetics


Prime and Prep. Just like a good foundation, stunning eyes start with a good pre-shadow routine. Meredith Boyd of Meredith Boyd Cosmetics recommends you make finding a dual-threat primer and hydrating eye cream like Kopari Niacinamide & Caffeine Eye Bright Cream, your number one priority. This stellar combo mitigates oiliness and locks your makeup in place to keep eyeshadow from settling into fine lines. Eye masks like Dieux Skim and Wander Beauty can also do wonders for depuffing and brightening.

Tammie Davis. Makeup by Meredith Boyd.
Tammie Davis.
Makeup by Meredith Boyd.

Bump Up The Brightness. As lifting and brightening is now the key, avoid thick under-eye liner and ditch the lower lash mascara. Instead, try tightlining.“Tightlining helps to define the eyes by applying liner along the upper waterline and filling in any gaps,” says Mimi Johnson, CEO of local vegan and cruelty-free makeup line, The Glamatory. When it comes to tightlining you want something that goes on smooth. Consider a gel liner from Hourglass. Another great trick for brightening is the “Strategic Shimmer,” where you apply highlighter like Armani’s Fluid Sheer Glow Enhancer or Laura Mercier’s Caviar eyeshadow stick on the inner corners of the eyes and the high point of the brow bone.

Up Your Eyebrow Game. Never forget the importance of eyebrow grooming and shaping, as well-defined eyebrows can frame the face and lift the eyes. As we age, eyebrows may become sparser. Use a soft eyebrow pencil like Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz or the Authentic Beauty Precision Brow Pencil to fill them in gently, focusing on areas where hair is thinning. Avoid harsh lines and unnatural shapes, as they can age your look.


Get Color Crazy. Using neutral colors, like mauves and soft brown tones deliver a more youthful appearance, as opposed to bright shadows. Whichever color you pick stick with satin finishes and lightweight formulas to minimize the appearance of imperfections and maintain hydrated eyes.

Eye products

Cake on The Concealer. Lightning dark circles is important, but avoid using excess product as it can add years to your face. Ditch heavy concealers in favor of undereye color correctors like HUDA Beauty’s #Fauxfilter for a lighter product that neutralizes dark tones without looking heavy.

Cheeky Glow: Enhancing Your Natural Flush

Blush has the power to add life to your skin while creating natural dimension, shape and contrast. See how to perfect your blush game below.


Nyssa Green, Green Room Agency
Nyssa Green, Green Room Agency

Aim for Apples Up. As we age, parts of our skin and face tend to sag a little. Hoag suggests that those looking for a lift “find the highpoint of the cheekbone and blend up toward your temples. Make sure you blend completely to avoid a cakey finish.” When it comes to blending, Green recommends using a damp beauty blender to “bounce” product onto the skin. Prefer to use a brush? Check out the Merit Brush No. 1 Tapered Blending Brush.

Balance Warm and Cool. “A little goes a long way,” notes Boyd. Avoid applying too much bronzer and contour, remember contour sculpts (cool toned hues chisel features) and bronzer (warm bronzy hues) has reflective properties to pop the overall look. For highlighting, Boyd loves the YSL Touche Eclat All-Over Brightening Pen. “It’s like a magic wand to instantly conceals, brightens and perfects your complexion with a natural luminous finish. Zero glitter or shimmer, it’s all you,” she adds.

Use Natural Tones. Using dark or non-complementary hues on your cheeks tends to age you beyond your years. Instead, Boyd encourages clients to look for mauves or neutral pink shades that will bring out their natural skin tone. Boyd and Green both advocate for cream and liquid blushes.

Pastor Taffi Dollar. Makeup by Nyssa Green.
Pastor Taffi Dollar.
Makeup by Nyssa Green.

Boyd loves Makeup by Mario’s ‘Barely Blushing’ balm for a natural shade. Cream blushes from Rare Beauty or Merit Beauty also prove easy to blend.


Cheek products

Go below the Nose. Focus your product a little higher up than you’re u

sed to. If you are applying bronzer or contour anywhere below the nostrils, it’s way too low, notes Boyd.

Over Powder. Layers of powder, whether through blush, bronzer or highlight, are apt to settle in fine lines and wrinkles and age your skin. Opt for cream or liquid products instead.

Lip Service: Achieving Fuller, More Defined Lips

While we all know the fundamentals of staying hydrated to help you achieve fuller and softer lips, the right products and techniques have the ability to completely elevate your look. Check them out below.

Hannah Wright. Makeup byMeredith Boyd.
Hannah Wright.
Makeup by Meredith Boyd.


Prime Your Pout. Lip Primers are the key to getting that polished longevity you are craving. Prepare for lipstick or gloss by sealing the edges of your lips with a primer. This will prevent fading, feathering and ensure your final look has a clean, crisp lip line. Boyd’s favorite lip primer is Guerlain KissKiss Liplift Smoothing Lipstick Primer. The smoothing formula defines and plumps the lips. Plus, the brand’s new formula includes microbeads that expand as soon as they contact the natural moisture of your lips, adding volume and contour.

Use Lip Liner. If done correctly, lip liner can be a subtle optical illusion that shapes your lips. To get the fullest lip look without looking overdrawn, Green recommends applying lip color first, then lining the lips on the lip line. Add gloss on the bottom lip and press together for the ultimate ‘full’ look. Boyd’s secret for a smooth line that doesn’t skip? Smile as you apply. Between colors? Boyd suggest a combo of two lipliners. Use a cool-toned brown like Rosewood by Meredith Boyd Cosmetics under the middle of your bottom lip and on top of your cupid’s bow and then swipe on a liner closer to your lipstick shade like Moonlit Mauve on top and bottom.

Use Neutral Shades. Softer tones help make the skin appear more naturally bronzed. Avoid purples and dark tones and consider revisiting your favorite red. Have cool undertones? Opt for a blue-red. Warmer undertones are often better suited to an orangey-red. Pat McGrath Labs Satin Allure Lipstick is beloved by Boyd for it’s clean and hydrating texture. If you are looking for a budget pick to add to your lipstick repertoire, Boyd points to L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Luminous Hydrating Lipstick.

Mimi Johnson, MimiJ
Mimi Johnson, Mimi J

Lip products


Look for Matte Lipsticks. Opt for lip balms or creamy textured formulas that hydrate the lips and minimize dryness.

Be Afraid to Try Lip Plumper. Plumping the lips also helps reduce lines for a fuller, more rejuvenated pout. Try the Liptoxyl lip plumper for a smoother, more youthful looking pout.,,,

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