• Kate Franklin

Mature Age Makeup - The Do's & Don'ts


It's very easy as a makeup artist to fall into a pattern of applying the same makeup and using the same product on all clients. This however is a bad pattern to get into, as it is very important to realise that not all skin types are the same and not all products are going to perform the same and to their best ability when put on different skin. A professional makeup artist should be able to cater to all skin types (dry, oily, combination, mature etc.) and all skin tones.

In this post I'm going to focus on the "do's and don'ts" of mature age skin. Often working on mature skin can be especially challenging as it has different traits and needs from other skin types. Applying products such as skincare, foundation and powders without fully taking age into account, will result in an mediocre application, and could leave the client feeling unhappy and not confident in their appearance. The focus should be on applying a flawless finish rather than creating a dramatic end result.

I have attached some photos of a client named Estell who I made up on the weekend. Estell was marrying the man she has been with for the last 30 years, and wanted a little pizazz for the day. It was only the second time she had ever had her makeup done and wanted something natural as she doesn't normally wear makeup. She was very very happy with the end result.

Skincare:

Do's - Mature skin is often (but not always) dryer and more textured. choosing the right skincare to apply is extremely important as it will prep the skin for a flawless makeup application. I aways talk to my client about their skin, getting a full understanding of its condition and the kind of products they are currently using. The area under the eye and the eyelid itself can often be more delicate and thin, so a good eye cream is always good to help plump up these areas.

Don'ts - In saying that most mature age skin is often dryer, I would never assume that because the skin is mature that it is automatically dry. I have applied makeup to older woman who have had normal, combination and oily skin. Hormones change as you get older as well, and although someone could have dry skin, they could also be prone to perspiring more. Getting a full understanding of their skin, also better prepares me for choosing the foundation and other makeup products I will later use.

Foundation & Concealers:

Do's - Now that I have a full understanding of the way my clients skin acts I can go on to foundation and concealer. Mature age skin often has pigmentation, sun spots and a more uneven and bumpier texture. The skin may also have fine lines and some wrinkles to take into account. I always like to go with a lightweight foundation that I can smooth and work into the skin, I feel this gives a more natural appearance while still providing enough coverage and is less likely to sit on top on fine lines and looking mask like. I use appropriate colour correcting and concealing where necessary but a again, stick to using light weight cream products. There are occasion that I do apply powder, but this is with a very light hand, and generally to the t-zone area.

Don'ts - I steer clear of using heavy and matte foundations or powders when making up mature age skin. These kinds of products will end up settling into fine lines, increasing the look of wrinkles and often making the skin look older than it is. Using cream or liquid light weight products will help maintain the skin looking younger and fresh.

Blush & Bronzers:

Do's - I like to stick to cream products again when applying blush and bronzer, they apply smoothly and tend to look more homogenous with the foundation and skin. I like working with warm colours with a satin finish that will compliment the skin tone and give a natural glow. Mature skin can often look dull and sometimes a bit washed out so adding blush is an important step to me. When I apply bronzer, I use a liquid bronzer and apply it mainly to bring some warmth into the face.

Don'ts - Again I try to avoid using powder products that will settle in fine lines and wrinkles. I also steer clear of bright gaudy colours as I like to take a more natural approach and using bright coloured blush will look out of place. when applying the bronzer I don't use it as a contour as this can make the face look hollow, gaunt, and older. I use the bronzer over the cheek bones (not under) and around the forehead to warm the face up.

Eye Makeup:

Do's - Often the skin on the eyelid can become quite loose and hooded. Its important to remember when choosing the right shades that dark colours will make things recede and shrink and lighter colours will make things stand out and pull forward. I like to use a lighter satin finish shadow on the lid to brighten the eye, and then define the crease with a matte colour a couple of shades darker. I always go for natural colours that compliment the skin tone I'm working with. I like to use brown eyeliners when defining the eye and blend with a smudger brush for a softer finish.

Don'ts - I stay away from using super shimmery shadows on the lid, as this often shows up any un-even texture or any folds in the skin. I don't like using super dark liners or shadows as this often looks quite harsh, making the eyes look smaller and more closed.

Eyebrows & Lashes

Do's - Eyebrows and lashes tend to fade and thin with age. Often eyebrows will look quite sparse and patchy and at other times they can be quite long and unruly. When it comes to eyebrows I like to match with hair colour or go one shade lighter. I like the eyebrows to look super natural, so I follow the natural shape and draw on little hairs following the direction of the existing hairs. If a client has warmth coming through in their hair or has grey hair, then its important to match those tones with the eyebrows. Its always handy to have a good clear eyebrow gel for those unruly brow hair that need some taming.

Again lashes seem to become more sparse and short as we get older and a simple coat of mascara can lift the eye and change the whole look of ones face. I like to apply a thin layer of mascara, making sure to brush any clumps away with a spare brush. Black is great for definition but its always good to carry brown or ashier shades depending on hair tone.

Don'ts - When striving for a natural makeup application, its important to stay away from harsh lines and solid blocks of colour. Harshly drawn on brows on any aged client is a no-no for me but especially with mature age clients. I would definitely stay away from overfilled, blocky "instabrows" and always lean towards a more natural look.

When applying mascara, I don't always apply onto the lower lashes. I always look to see what the hair growth is like on the lower lash line and if they are very short and super sparse I think its best to leave them with nothing. It can often look heavier and if the client isn't use to seeing long lashes on the bottom, it can leave them feeling less confident and unhappy with the look. I don't apply a supper thick coat to the upper lashes, just enough to lengthen and define, and I always make sure I have a spare brush to smooth out any lump that may cling to lashes. Lips:

Do's - Often as we age, the area of skin around the lips can become uneven in texture causing lipsticks to bleed and feather. I like to apply lip primer (by MAC) to prevent this from happening and to increase the longevity of the lipstick itself. I like to apply moisturising lipstick in a neautral or soft pinky tone, one that compliments the skin. I will often apply a lip liner to help even out the lip shape. If the lips are particularly thin, I like to use a lip liner to faintly overdraw the lip line, creating a slightly fuller lip.

Don'ts - I steer clear of dark, bright and matte lipsticks. These colours and textures will often settle into the lines of the lips and end up looking uneven and dry, as they wear the colour can often look inconsistent too. On the flip side, using super glossy and high sheen lip products are going to end up looking very unnatural and overdone. I don't like overdrawing the lips too much either, as this can look very fake and again unnatural. Its best to be light-handed with lip liners to ensure and even natural look.

After taking all these tips into consideration, it's important to experiment and always have fun with your makeup. Practice makes perfect and mistakes are a natural part of the process. Rules are made to be broken and people like to express themselves in different ways. At the end of the day, you should be having fun and feeling confident in the way you look.

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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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