Makeup Solutions for Aging Skin

When we hit 40, our makeup artillery (base, concealer, and powder) turns against us. It settles into pores, creeps into crow’s-feet, and leaves skin looking dull. Here’s how to keep skin looking fresh.
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Shed What’s Dead

Once your skin turns 40, its natural exfoliation process slows down, dead cells collect on the surface, and the texture starts to become uneven — a problem that’s accentuated by foundation and powder. So be sure to slough off that flaky layer at least once a week with a gentle scrub like Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Cream ($75). Tip: Gently massaging your face with a wet, warm washcloth before applying makeup also helps wipe away loose cells.

Plump, Plump It Up

Thanks to hormonal changes, over-40 skin is typically dry and thirsty. So when you put on makeup, the parched parts slurp it up, leaving your complexion looking blotchy. Of course you need moisturizer. But to amplify its effects, try to fit in a hydrating mask once a week. We like Shu Uemura Deep Sea Moisture Replenishing Mask ($55).

Be a Glow-Getter

"To avoid that washed-out look, I try to warm up the face with a tinted moisturizer one shade darker than the natural skin tone," says Tina Turnbow, a makeup artist in New York City. "It creates a glow, but is sheer enough that it won’t leave a line along your jaw." Try: Jouer Moisture Tint SPF 20 ($38).
Photo: Lisa Shin

Retire Your Powder Blush

If you haven’t already, go for a creamy cheek color. "The moist formulation makes your skin look naturally lit from within, whereas a powder formula often streaks on dry skin," says Patty Bunch, a makeup artist in Los Angeles. "Put the color on the apple of your cheek, and blend," she advises. One blush that works well for all skin types: Tarte Cheek Stain ($28).

Turn On the Spotlight

"Dabbing a bit of nude shimmer cream on top of your cheekbones gives your complexion a little luminescence — something mature skin tends to lack," Bunch says. Try NARS Multiple Duo in Copacabana and St. Barts ($45).

Blot It!

Rather than layering on powder throughout the day (which makes aging skin look like a mask by mid-afternoon), erase breakthrough shine on your nose or forehead with an oil-absorbing sheet. (Yes, those tissues you used on pizza in the high school cafeteria.) We like Alison Raffaele Oil-Blotting Tissues ($9 for 100 sheets).

Mist Opportunity

If despite all these efforts your makeup still cakes up during the day, lightly spritz your face with a moisturizing spray such as Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist ($21) then use your fingers to smooth out any dry patches.

Originally published in MORE magazine, December 2008/January 2009.

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