Eye makeup for older women is a way to hold onto youth and look glowy all the time.

Gone are the days of piling on makeup to look more mature and get served in a bar. Once you cross 50, makeup is the most useful weapon in your arsenal of ways to defy ageing.

A few wrinkles here and there is something to embrace and celebrate. But our faces can betray us when we wear makeup by unintentionally emphasizing lines and pigmentation issues instead of hiding them.

All of the usual techniques that we learned in our 20s when our skin was plump and full of life, are suddenly useless when you’ve got new problems to cover.

Because no one likes looking frumpy, especially when you still feel young at heart. 

1. Remember that less is more.

As our skin ages, more fine lines, discoloration, and dark spots appear. While it’s tempting to reach for a full coverage foundation to disguise signs of aging, these heavy products can appear cakey on older skin.

A dip in hormone levels also leaves skin with more dry patches which heavy makeup can cling to. Instead, it’s best to go for a more natural look using lightweight concealers, BB creams, or tinted moisturizers to cover imperfections without overdoing your look.

2. Smooth application needs exfoliation.

Good makeup starts with great skincare.

Exfoliating dry patches and wrinkles smooth out skin and gives it a bouncy, youthful-looking glow. It also makes for a much more even base for makeup, meaning your makeup will glide on smoothly and last for hours.

Since physical exfoliators can tug at thinning skin and deepen wrinkles, a chemical exfoliant is the perfect way to push out dead skin cells without irritating the skin. Exfoliate once or twice a week, and moisturize afterwards to keep skin hydrated. 

3. Always wear SPF to protect your skin.

Protecting your skin from sun damage is by far one of the best things you can do to minimize signs of aging.

Since so many anti-ageing products contain retinol and other ingredients that make skin extra sensitive to the sun, layering a strong SPF under your makeup will prevent harmful UV ray damage.

Look for at least SPF 30 in all of your daytime products. You can even load up and not take any risks by having SPF in your moisturizer, primer, and foundation.

4. Use primer to keep skin looking smooth under makeup.

Primer is the easiest trick in the game to make skin look flawlessly smooth. It’s designed to fill pores and lines, and provide a base for seamless makeup application. It also prevents makeup from slipping and sliding throughout the day.

Apply a pea-sized amount of primer over moisturized skin before you put on your makeup. 

5. Brighten under your eyes.

The eyes never lie, so they’re often the first thing to let us down when we’re trying to look younger. The skin under the eyes is thin and most prone to wrinkles and dark circles, so a light touch of concealer can do wonders here.

In the interest of not looking cakey, don’t load foundation or tinted moisturizer over your concealer. Concealers tend to be more full coverage and can handle those under-eye bags by themselves.

It might also help to go for a concealer in a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone to really brighten up the eyes. 

6. Use a flat brush to blend makeup.

Conventional makeup tactics usually involve a full coverage, all-over spread of foundation, but this doesn’t always work on mature skin.

The centre of the face is the most vascular and most in need of coverage thanks to nasolabial folds and cheek wrinkles. Therefore, it can be helpful to apply light dots of cream foundations or tinted moisturizers to these areas, and buff it out with a fluffy, flat brush to avoid harsh lines. 

7. Ditch the face powder.

Glowy, dewy makeup is all the rage these days, which is great for older ladies. But powders can cling to dry skin and wrinkles, emphasizing them instead of disguising them. Ditching setting powder and opting for cream contours, blushes, and highlighters make your makeup look more natural and skin-like.

Dab a cream brush on the apples of your cheeks, and buff it out with your index and middle fingers or with a brush. These blush sticks can also double as lipsticks to really tie your makeup look together. 

8. Add bronze to your face.

Bronzer can really warm up dull skin tones and add a youthful glow to the face.

Apply a light amount to the high points of the face to emphasize cheekbones, and blend well to give your skin a natural lift.

9. Add a little shine.

Many people shy away from highlighter for fear of looking oily or cartoonish but, like contour, it can give you a natural, youthful-looking sheen.

If you’ve gone for a cream blush and cream contour, you may want to go easy on highlighter because these products will already add a dewy effect. But if you want a bit more of a glow, focus your highlighter on the places where light naturally touch your face: the brow bone, cheekbones, and bridge of your nose. 

10. Prime your eyelids.

Just like face primer, eyeshadow primer can fill wrinkles and lines that eyeshadows may seep into.

Because our eyelids tend to get oily, using a primer ensures eyeshadow stays put and lasts all day.

11. Lighten up your face.

Leave smokey eyes and thick eyeliner to the youths and go for a more timeless look with lighter colors.

Gray and purple tones can emphasize dark circles and prominent veins, especially as dust particles begin to fall from the lids throughout the day. Opt for neutral tones like peach, mauve, or brown depending on your skin tone.

Fill your brows if they’re sparse, but don’t overdo the caterpillar brow look by using light strokes with your eyebrow pencil. 

12. Define the lash line.

Makeup is all smoke and mirrors. The best way to distract from wrinkles and fine lines is to emphasize and brighten up your eyes.

Press your liner between each lash along the lash line to make your lashes look thick and full before you even add mascara. Add a light sweep of eyeliner across the waterline.

It may also be time to ditch your reliable eyeliner pencil. These can tug the skin around the eyes and leave your liner looking jagged and messy. Liquid eyeliner makes for a more seamless application.

If you don’t know your way around a liquid liner, don’t fear. Smudging a thin line of brown liner or dark eyeshadow can subtly darken the lash line. 

13. Pucker up with a great lipstick.

Lipsticks are a great way to add color and brightness to your look.

Prep your lips by scrubbing off dead skin cells and using a moisturizing balm. You also may want to line your lips before applying your lipstick to define your shape and prevent color from settling into the lines around your mouth.

Go for lipsticks that have a moisturizing formula to prevent the color from clinging to chapped patches or lines.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to play around with colors. Since your makeup look is neutral, lips make for a great pop of color. Try out a bold red or a pop of pink.

14. Lock in your look with setting sprays.

As your skin changes, you may find your makeup fading faster, settling into lines, or just shifting throughout the day.

Since we’re ditching setting powder, a hydrating setting spray can lock in moisture, protect your makeup and leave you feeling refreshed.