Makeup Bag Must-Haves In Your 60s

Strictly from an appearance standpoint, “the only thing that gets better as you get older is your jewelry,” jokes dermatologist Pat Wexler. “So I tell my patients who are in their sixties that the less makeup you use and the lighter you apply it, the better you will look. Your goal is really to freshen up your face but not overemphasize anything.” Most makeup experts agree, saying the prettiest palette at this point is one that brightens and adds dewiness. 

By Genevieve Monsma
Photograph: Todd Huffman

1. Primer (s) Applying a primer that moisturizes as well as minimizes fine lines and pores will improve your skin instantly (just as it would for anyone in her forties or fifties). However, now is the time to look for formulas that also have luminescence, says Roncal. Try Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer Glow (shown at right; $35; mallybeauty.com). In addition, tap on an eyeshadow primer—whether you wear shadow or not. Most lids at this stage are on the red side, and a primer cancels out uneven color. Try Laura Mercier Eye Canvas ($26; lauramercier.com), which comes in five shades.

2. Lifting Foundation
You want a product that hydrates but also boasts skin-tightening and collagen-boosting ingredients. One multitasker we like: Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Foundation SPF 25 (shown above right in No. 2 Sand; $56; bobbibrown.com). As for concealer, lots of makeup artists said they hesitate to use it at this stage. “I worry about creasing and caking, especially under the eyes,” explains Ahnert. For areas that do need a little more coverage, many pros say they will just apply an extra layer of foundation—or use a concealer-highlighter hybrid, as suggested in the 50s Concealer section.

3. Easy-Does-It-Eye-Makeup

Now is the time for an eye look that’s simple and imprecise. Forget contouring or a liquid liner—and you don’t need a palette of eyeshadows. One color all over the eye in a light matte powder will brighten the eye and minimize lid creasing, says Ahnert. Then, if you want to up the drama a little, just smudge a medium shade along your lash line. A duo that will flatter most skin tones: BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 in Perfect Storm ($20; bareminerals.com). Or go with a thick-tipped pencil (sometimes called a chubby stick), which will draw a thicker, more forgiving line. A couple of chubby sticks to try: NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil (shown above in Skorpios, Holly-woodland and Goddess; $24 each; narscosmetics.com).

4. Eyelash Curler
Your lashes are losing their natural upswing, so be sure to crimp them with a curler before applying mascara. A good choice: Sonia Kashuk Dramatic Definition Travel Eyelash Curler (shown at left; $10; target.com), which folds up so you can toss it in your bag for recurling later on.

5. Waterproof Mascara
In all likelihood, you’re using an eye cream (or at least a heavier moisturizer than you have in years past). This habit is good for the skin but not so great for your mascara, since the oils in your cream act like makeup remover. So if you already have a favorite formula and don’t want to switch—we’re addicted to Lancôme’s new Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara ($25; lancome-usa.com)—then you’ll benefit from topping it off with a waterproofing product like Anastasia Lash Genius (shown at left; $21; anastasia.net), which is due in stores next month. Ahnert also says to skip mascara on your lower lashes, as your eye cream will pull it down to your under-eye, leaving you looking raccoon-like.

6. Brow Gel

Even if you had brows like Brooke Shields’s in your twenties, you’ll probably notice some pretty significant thinning by your midsixties, says Weler. And brow pencil and powder, much like your mascara (per the discussion above), can disappear when paired with heavy eye creams, so choose a formula that’s water resistant, such as Dalton Waterproof Brow Fix Gel (shown above left in Auburn; $28; qvc.com), which comes in five shades, including gray.

7. Creamy, Bright Cheek Color
Dewiness is your goal, says Kashuk, so go for a creamy blush in some shade of rose or melon. “You want the color to freshen you up without being too-too bright,” says Roncal. “The shade should be softer now than it was in your forties and fifties.” Dab it on the tops of your cheekbones and pat until the color settles into a natural-looking flush. One that offers plenty of moisture and comes in easy-to-wear hues: CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Blush (shown at left in No. 220; $11; drugstores).

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