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Being Our True Selves: Adjusting Makeup As We Age

For most of my 30’s and 40’s I was convinced that wearing makeup was akin to putting on a mask; that I wore for others, but never for myself.  I was proud that my no fuss, too busy to care face didn’t require any attention.  And so, in my mental and physical haste, I simply forgot about my makeup drawer and decided that my favorite organic lipstick was all that I needed to express my authenticity. 

When I hit 50, the barometer of where my skin was headed, in a sadly sagging direction; required me to reassess what my skin, and yes, my makeup needs were.  So I embraced a bit of the girly girl I had back in my 20’s, and bought the pre-requisite products that I remembered were my staples back then.  I dabbed on foundation, I played with liner, I swept on shadows; but I soon realized, that no matter how many YouTube tutorials I watched, I could never go back to that familiar and comfortable look; times had changed, I had changed, and it just wasn’t going to work.

Most beauty experts will advise that every decade you should be reevaluating your image and going for a softer look as you age.  It’s very noticeable when someone’s wearing outdated makeup trends, or applying too much makeup to hide wrinkles, under eye circles, or uneven skin tones.  Adding more makeup to aging skin only adds years to your look; and if you’re wearing the same makeup colors and brands that you have for years, chances are, it's time for a new look that will reflect what's best for your skin and lifestyle right now.

This may mean tossing unflattering cosmetics that aren't serving you; or If you’re someone who just dabbles with makeup, adding a few essentials to a nearly empty cosmetic bag.  It may also require learning and experimenting with new makeup applications.  Here are some great fundamentals that I’ve learnt along the way:

~ First rid yourself of primers, powders and heavy foundations that can settle in lines and wrinkles. Instead use a sheer liquid formula with light-diffusing pigments and apply only where needed; over red spots, areas of discoloration or hyper-pigmentation.

~ The same holds true for concealer; apply with a light touch, using a brush, and spot correct only where necessary; sweep outward and downward.

~ When it comes to contouring, it’s a definite trend and not for everyone.  If you’re dying to try, then choose a highlighting stick, no powders, and remember, for an older face, less is more.

~ Switch to a neutral blush and avoid the apples of your cheeks; instead sweep color upwards and back starting from the center of your cheekbone out toward your temples.

~ Toss the sponges and apply and blend with brushes.  Brushes designed for the products you’re using, really makes a difference! 

~ Don’t ignore your brows; it will take years off.  Use a brow shadow or short strokes of a brow pencil, in a color that is slightly lighter than your natural shade, to fill in areas where the color and shape isn’t defined.

~ Apply mascara to your upper lashes and avoid the lower lashes, especially if there’s nothing to grab onto anymore.  If a second coat is needed, apply to the ends rather than reapplying at the roots.

~ To avoid a droopy eye, try a soft shadow color on your lid up to the fold, add your slightly darker shade carefully in the fold and apply darker shades only to the outer lid.  Use a blending brush to soften the edges where the colors meet each other. 

~ Say goodbye to black liquid liner and opt instead for a brown or grey pencil and smudge the line; or apply one of your shadows with a slightly wet slant brush.

~ Avoid too dark of a lip color and stay with brights and glosses.  Anyone over 30 should be using a lip liner, close to their lip color, to redefine the lips and help lipstick stay put.  Instead of applying lipstick directly from the tube, use a lip brush to build color for a softer look.

If the idea of less makeup is just too scary a thought, then it’s definitely time to start a self care regimen that will bring that healthy glow back to your skin.  Every makeup professional knows that taking good care of your skin is always the most important part of any makeup routine.

Aging is inevitable, but aging gracefully and beautifully is more my style.  Do I miss my younger, former looks and non looks; absolutely not!  Now that I’m a decade older, I’m actually once again embracing a no fuss face; which I’ve redefined, as applying less makeup, with more care and mindfulness.  And I look forward every morning to choosing my eye shadows and lipstick color because it’s both restorative and fun!   My motto ~ keep honoring your authentic self, and your beauty will never fade ~ and this holds true at any age!

Today begins your transformation to a more healthier and beautiful you!

Gloria Mills - For The Greater Glow

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