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Makeup Challenges For Women Over the Age of 50+

makeup challenges we face after 50

Makeup Challenges For Women Over the Age of 50+

Many of you have asked some great questions over the past months specifically related to the makeup issues and challenges that those of us with mature skin who are over 50, 60 70, and beyond deal with on a regular basis. And, since I imagine that more than one of you just might have some of these same questions, I thought it could be helpful to go over them and provide what I hope will be some helpful information.

Now, let’s dive into your questions.

I’m going to demonstrate some of the techniques I’m talking about in this video. So for that reason, I’ve only put makeup on just one of my eyes and only have face primer and foundation on the rest of my face.

Question #1

The first question is from Becky who says she has very small eyes and wants to know how to make them look bigger. To make our eyes look bigger, there are six things we can do. Number 1, fill in our brows. This helps the whole eye area appear more lifted and larger. The second thing we can do is to put a light-colored eye shadow on our eyelid. Third, we need to put a mid-tone color in our crease and bring this color slightly above the crease. This extends the eye area up and makes the eyes look bigger. Fourth, never let the eye shadow go lower than the line you create when you put your pencil by the side of your nose and up along the outer side of your eye. Keeping the eye shadow above this line lifts the eyes and makes them look bigger. Fifth, curl your eyelashes, and sixth, apply mascara to both the top and bottom lashes. This expands the look of the whole area which makes it look larger.

Question #2

Our second question is from Vicky. She says “I have blue eyes. What is the best eye shadow color for me to wear?” The color that will make our eyes stand out the most is the color on the color wheel that is opposite from our eye color. This is called a complementary color. For blue eyes, warm shades of neutral beiges and browns are beautiful as well as terra-cotta shades and colors with a hint of orange. Golds and deeper browns are great for the evening.

Green eyes look spectacular with lilac, plum,  purple, pink, burgundy, wine, and copper colors. Now. if you have hazel eyes, great eyeshadow colors are warm bronzes and browns, and golds. If you want to bring out the greens and golds, try bronze, eggplant, periwinkle, light purple, and pale pink.  Since brown eyes contain shades of orange and red, midnight or navy blue, green, and gold can work to really highlight brown eyes. For grey eyes, shades of blue, green, or brown can be gorgeous. And if you have very dark brown or black eyes, try bold shades like violet, cobalt, navy blue, and silver or green.

Question #3

Now let’s move on to question #3: Jean asks: “My eyebrows are very sparse. In fact, some areas of my brows have very few hairs. What do I do?” First, it’s important to know which types of eyebrow products will work best for this situation. Although powder eyebrow products are probably the easiest to use, powder shadow doesn’t adhere well to bare skin. So, either an eyebrow pencil or pomade will work the best for your brows.

You’ll also want to use two different shades of an eyebrow pencil—one that matches your brow hair and one that is a little lighter. First, apply the lighter color on the whole brow area. Then use the darker pencil to go over just the area with no hair. This will ensure that the two areas of the brow—the area with hair and the area without hair—will match.  Then, since pencil on bare skin can sometimes look shiny, apply a little matching eyebrow powder (or powder eyeshadow) to the area where you applied the darker pencil.

Question #4

Our next question is from Annette who asks: “I wear liquid foundation. Should I use cream or powder bronzer and blush?” I’m a proponent of cream blush and bronzer for several reasons. First of all, it blends easily and seamlessly into liquid or cream foundation (which most of us wear) and it adds a lovely look of moisture to the skin. And, since many of us have dry skin, this is important.

However, you certainly can use a powder blush or bronzer. But, here’s a rule of thumb you need to be aware of: always match textures of makeup products. The reason for this is that if you apply the powder directly over a cream, it will catch and tug and not glide on smoothly. This can cause the powder product to look splotchy. You always want to apply powder on top of powders and creams on top of creams.

Question #5

And while we’re talking about bronzer and blush, let’s look at a question from Joyce.  She says “My blush always disappears after a short time. How do I make it last longer?”  There’s a one-word solution for this problem with blush: layering. So, if you’re wearing a cream or liquid foundation, first apply a cream blush. Then, apply a very light coat of powder over the cream blush and really push it into the skin with a brush or powder puff. Then, top it off with a powder blush.

Question #6

Now let’s move onto our next question: Phyllis says: “My nose is fairly wide. How do I make it look smaller?” To make our nose look smaller, we want to use a light bronzer powder down the side of the nose and a light color down the center of the nose. Using the darker color along the sides will make the sides of the nose recede a bit and therefore the entire nose will look smaller. Putting a lighter color down the center of the nose will draw attention to the thin streak of light color which also helps the nose to look smaller.

Question #7

And our final question comes from Gail who asks: “I’m going to my daughter’s wedding this fall. Is there anything I should do differently with my makeup? The answer is yes.  Since photos will be taken, two things are important to avoid flashback in the photos.  Don’t wear a foundation with SPF in it—or SPF—and don’t use white, colorless powder. Also, keep in mind the time of day of the wedding. You can wear slightly more makeup if it’s an evening wedding. The earlier in the day the wedding is, the lighter you’ll want your makeup application to be.

All of this is based on the amount of light that will be available when photos are taken.  And, you’ll definitely want to sweat-proof your makeup. I did an earlier video on how to sweat-proof your makeup, so if you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to that video (Click Here.)

Do you have any questions about makeup application? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this page. 


Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 50+ get their glow back.  In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty and recently launched her “Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise” YouTube channel for women 50+.  Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness. 

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September 2, 2020


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  1. Joanljarvis@gmail.com says:

    Great tips. Thank you!

  2. Gwen Immordino says:

    Finally some great make-up tips for us more “experienced” women. I am in my early 60’s and the way I used make-up years ago just doesn’t do the trick with my skin the way it used to. Thank you very much!

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