Have a good makeup light and a good makeup mirror. You’ve got to be able to see what you’re doing. A magnifying mirror on your dressing table can help.
Keep to the natural-looking foundation and don’t use too much of it. Too dark a color can be aging, too drab a color is sallow-making, an orange tone will turn more orange.
No heavy foundations on the skin; too heavy a texture accents lines. Find one that’s sheer enough to let your skin show through and make sure it contains moisturizers to protect you from dryness.
Don’t test foundation makeup on your hand and expect it to be right for your face. Test it on your neck instead, or a spot right at the jaw-line. This way. you can see exactly how it will look. Stick to the beige family of colors, stay clear of the peaches and roses.
From 40 on, some brows may grow longer, get stiff and curly so they won’t stay in line. Obstreperous eyebrows should be plucked, to keep a neater line. Try brushing your eyebrows up instead of out.
There’s also the matter of other facial hair – the down on upper lip and chin might start to become distressingly noticeable (and nothing looks more old-womanish than little clumps of whiskers). Hair removal now is perfectly safe and practically painless, helps you keep a smoother, younger face. There are also good bleaches to help make facial hair less obvious.
Where you’re crepey, don’t be frosty – all experts agree that pearlized, frosted makeup accents lines in the face by highlighting the skin between the lines. This applies to eyeshadow used on lids and in the crease-area above lids where tiny lines may lurk. It also applies to blushers if you put them over laugh-lines, and to lipstick if your mouth is less than smooth. Better to use unfrosted eyeshadow and blusher, cream-based lipstick and gloss.
Stay with smoky, softer colors of eyeshadow. Avoid bright colors – they also accentuate crepey lines. And don’t use a powder eyeshadow with too heavy a texture – it cakes and accents lines, the texture is just as important as color – all your makeup should be of a fine texture.
Don’t wear white shadow-concealers under the eyes – get a concealer that’s skin-toned one shade lighter than your foundation color. This is easier to blend.
The same idea for highlighter under the brow – don’t use white, have it in a pale skin-tone instead. This could have some frost in it since this area of the skin usually stays taut much longer than the skin nearer the eyes.
Be wary of bright-colored mascara – this usually takes smooth young eyes to carry it off. Better have brown or black and you can use a lot of it; just be sure to get it on evenly, without clumps.
Don’t wear heavy black eyeliner all around the eyes, it makes too definite an outline, and “limits” the eyes. A soft, smudgy line is better now, gives a softer, prettier look.
Don’t give yourself a dated look by sticking to the same makeup you wore when you were 25. By now you know your style, but adapt it to what’s current – the same way you’d adapt your hair and clothes.
Don’t wear too-long or too pointed nails – they just might look like claws. Shorter nails look newer and younger, won’t break as readily. If your hands are heavily veined or have brown spots, your nail polish shouldn’t be too dark. Protein bases and nail conditioners promote nail health. If your nails are getting those longitudinal ridges, keep them covered with opaque polish. And lemon juice mixed with sea salt will help bleach the brown spots.
Avoid bouffant, overly teased hair. That’s out. And don’t wear your hair hanging too much in your face. Get a good haircut that keeps its shape, wear it in a way that lifts up a bit at the temples. This acts as an optical-illusion face-lift, draws the eyes up from the sides of the face.
The absolute worst is to try to cover grey hair with black dye. The WORST. Stay away from solid black, or solid platinum. It’s too harsh.
If you draw your hair back at the temples, try to make the slant of the hair follow the slant of the cheekbones. This accents the bones and gives continuity to your profile.
Know that 40 is beautiful – only now it just takes a little longer. Lucky for all of us, there are so many effective products that come in jars, to help us keep our looks.
If you use artificial eyelashes, they should be very subtle and individually applied, should blend with your lashes. Try using an eyelash curler on your lashes. then add dark mascara to open up the eye.
No hard, definite eyebrows – learn to use powdery eyebrow products in soft colors. Apply them with a small brush, using feathery strokes. The idea is to make a gentle frame for the eyes – dark lines will distract from the eyes and look false.
Avoid deep magenta tones in lipstick, the dark bluish-reds are aging. Stay with warmer colors – warm pinks instead of cool pinks.
Have a facial or a mask every week – this can be done at home. In Europe, many beautiful women are over 40, and they use masks much more than Americans. A mask will smooth your face so that makeup looks better.
Use eye drops, first thing – before any other makeup. This clears and soothes the eyes, makes them brighter.
Use moisturizers in all possible forms. If you put a saucepan on the stove to boil, the steam – which is moisture – escapes into the air. Putting a lid on it keeps the steam in.
Don’t powder your cheekbones – leave them free of powder so they have more of a gloss. This helps highlight the cheekbones.
The most important part of eye makeup is the crease-shadow above the eyelid. But some eyes, especially older ones, can be slightly sunken anyway, so for them, this shadow should not be dark. Instead, use a paler beige shadow (always matte-finish) in the crease to counteract sunkenness.
Flaunt bones if you have them, create bones if you don’t. Facial bones can be emphasized with contouring shadow, paler highlights. Blue eyeshadow for blue eyes is a cliche, better to use grey, brown, smoky green, or teal. A bright blue kills the blue of the eye, makes it look grey.
Stock up on the proper makeup tools. Have a supply of little sponges and brushes to do a more expert job. Eyeshadow can be blended with a long-handled brush so you can see what you’re doing.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, new colors. You might find a color or an idea that’s exactly right for you. Remember that blending must be done skillfully; whatever shade of eyeshadow or blusher, it must be softened into the rest of your makeup.
The neck is a crucial area for women over 40. Cover your neck with a scarf when you’re in the sun, to keep it from getting over-exposed. Never use soap and water on the neck, use a creamy cleanser.
Don’t sleep directly on your face, this presses in wrinkles. If you are really wrinkle-conscious train yourself to sleep on your back.
Don’t peel off false eyelashes, this peels away skin and destroys some of your real lashes. Soak the false ones off with cotton wool dipped in warm water. This dissolves the glue.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your hair, but subtlety is the key. The colors you try should not be flat or muddy. Make them warm colors that glow or richer earth tones that give a lift.
The hair length should not be any longer than just to the shoulder. Beyond that, it draws down the entire face, makes the neck heavy.
After 40, long hair that just hangs there is not right for most women. Also, avoid the tight, complicated hairsets that give a rigid, hard look reminiscent of the grandmother’s image.
If you’re grey-haired, don’t have a blue or lavender rinse with scalp to match. Many of the world’s most super ladies have grey hair, but it needs the right kind of rinses or highlights.
Stay away from the old fashioned pastel blonds – all old-fashioned pastel blonds. Blonds shaded into several tones, that’s much more current, more natural, and doesn’t need retouching as soon.
If you want to keep your hair grey watch out for any yellowish tinge. It is easy to take out the yellow and give the hair other highlights to make it more exciting.
If your hair is in bad condition or poorly cut, it won’t look right no matter what. You can’t cover these things up with a hairstyle – it’s like trying to build a house with wet timber. Get yourself a good cut and, while you’re at it, have some conditioning treatments from an expert.
When you’re on a summer holiday at the beach don’t try to recreate your city hairstyle – particularly after letting your hair go natural on a beach. Keep your hair protected and covered with a scarf, rinse it at the end of the day, pull it back, and leave it simple-looking. Look like you’re on an island.