Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Few Makup Tips for the "Over 40 Club"

Vogue magazine has a short piece in the August issue on makeup tips for women over 40 - all good. I learned many of the published tips through trial and error - and observation. I'd like to present my own do's and don'ts - some of them ageless. You will see that they overlap the pro's tips, so I don't claim them as original.

But first...How many of the rules below did Katherine Harris break? I have to think there's a pretty face under all that makeup, screaming, "Let me out!" Someone probably told her that more is better for photo ops. At least her hair looked great!

Never use lip liner if you intend to simply outline your lips (this can only work if you use a lip liner that exactly matches your lip color). Once your lipstick wears off, you'll end up looking like the double-lipped booby fish. Fill in most of the lip, and you will still have color when your lipstick wears off. Don't extend your lipstick beyond your natural lip line, and don't even think about getting pillow lips (courtesy of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon). For some scary photos, go to Awful Plastic Surgery.

Make sure your lips are moisturized, not dry, before you apply lipstick (really a good tip for your whole face). Don't use lipstick that's too young (light, frosty pink, for example) or too dark. Very dark lipstick will draw attention to your lips and any imperfections (read wrinkles) that may exist near your mouth. Lipstick that is too light and frosty makes you look like a throwback to another era. If you want to wear a dark color, pick a nice sheer one. It won't add as much drama to your lip area.

Don't apply shimmery eye shadow over wrinkles. Shimmer attracts attention, and the last thing you want to do is attract attention to wrinkles or crepiness. Put that pretty shimmer in a nice smooth area, usually on the lid above your lashes.

As they said in the article, concealer and foundation tend to pool in wrinkles, so blend, blend, blend. In fact, always blend because less is more. Makeup is supposed to make you look good, not made up. Use products that reflect light, like luminizing primers under your foundation or luminizers over or mixed with your foundation. Always remember: blend, blend, and blend some more. Use a makeup sponge or foundation brush. Sheer will always look best where you don't need a lot of coverage.

Don't wear purple or bright blue eye shadow during the day - unless your skin is very dark. In fact, think twice about that dark eye during the day. Watch that mascara too - no spiky lashes, please. A lighter, fresher look is best for the "Over 40 Club."

Think about trying cream blush. It can give a more radiant glow than powder, and it's easy to blend. Dewy is better than dry any day.

If your eyebrows have started to thin, use a very natural looking pencil to fill them in - not create them, just fill them in with short strokes (think, "I'm creating little hairs"). And, remember to whiten your teeth! Nothing screams "aging" more than yellow teeth.

Have fun and experiment, but remember to look at yourself in daylight and artificial light before you leave home. Always remember, if you look good, you will feel good (short of any tragedies in your life - had to add that disclaimer). There has never been a better, younger looking Over 40 Club! We should be lookin' good and having fun!

Feel free to add your own tips in the comments. I'm sure you have good ones to share.


Anonymous said...

Do you have a favorite teeth whitening product? I've tried some that don't seem to do much.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi there,

Yes, I do. Years ago, before you could buy one-size-fits-all trays in drugstores, I had my dentist make me one. Because it's custom fit, it's comfortable, and the 30 minutes of "daytime" wear goes by fast. I use Colgate's Professional Toothwhitening System in the tray, although Rembrandt makes one too (not as good, I think). You can read about its latest incarnation here:

Recently, I purchased the Crest Professional (strength) Whitestrips from my dentist for my mother. They made an amazing difference in the color of her teeth, which at 87 had become quite yellow.

If I didn't have my custom tray, I would probably try one of the drugstore ones first.