More Mature Makeup

Published by Donna Coppack on

Do we need to avoid certain sorts of makeup as we age?

This was the question begging me to click in The Telegraph this morning. My first thoughts on this were, why should we have to alter our makeup just because we are ageing. Then I thought for a second longer and realised how, in so many ways, I had changed my own makeup over the last 10 years to account for my changing needs.


I realised that I had;

  • Stopped wearing black eyeliner (too harsh)
  • Let my brows grow more full 
  • Reduced my use of face powder
  • Increased my use of under eye concealer

Here is the original article from The Telegraph and as a quick summary, here is what they tell you to avoid after a certain age.

What to avoid if you are over 30

Too much face powder
Glitter Eyeshadows
Full Coverage Foundation
Strong Blush
Multicoloured eyeshadow
Lip Gloss

What to avoid if you are over 40

Frosted Lipsticks
Liquid Eyeliner
Face Powder (completely)
Powder Eyeshadow

What to avoid if you are over 50

Brow Kohl
Bright Eyeshadow
Powder Foundation
Black Liner
Brown Toned Lipsticks

I obviously have a LOT of opinions on this, as you can imagine.  To start with lets tackle the 30’s, As a lady who is mid thirties herself.  I reckon I know the ground pretty well by now and I agree wholeheartedly with too much face powder being a cardinal sin, I must say that lip gloss has it’s place.  I agree it needs to be toned down (slightly) but I think it can help add a more youthful fuller looking pout and so in my makeup bag it goes.

In the Over 40’s category I have one main point to be made and that is “who the hell is still wearing frosted lipsticks!” I guess darker frosted lipsticks might work (possibly????) but anything pale and frosted is just a crime against makeup and should not be singled out as a faux pas for the over 40’s only.  I disagree on bronzer being put in the naughty corner too, as most of our skin looses pigment as we age and a carefully applied flush of bronzer can really help.  As always, you need to find the right shade for your skin and apply with a delicate hand, but this is a rule across the board. Onto liquid eyeliner, I have to agree here, as I have gotten older I have noticed a slight “crepenening” of my once smooth eyelids which means that liquid pens can drag and leave gaps.  So I have already switched out to gel eyeliners or just a dark shadow used with a liner brush and smudged in.

Here is Kate Moss being 40 and breaking all the rules.  She’s all over the liquid eyeliner, bronzer and shimmer, take that silly Telegraph article.


For the over 50’s I have little personal experience but I imagine bright eyeshadow and black liner would only serve to drain colour from an already slightly diminished facial colour palette.

As a reference here is the ever-lovely Carol Vorderman aged 53.  She is breaking at least one of the rules with a brown toned lipstick, plus she definitely has bronzer applied and her brows filled in, but she looks AMAZING!

Another of my favourites is the much-maligned Nigella Lawson (54).  She has on some serious bad-ass makeup here but she wears it so well.  Again her eyebrows have been filled with more than just a brow gel, her contouring/bronzer is in full effect and she has on a fuller than full coverage foundation (just expertly applied.)  I found this excellent tutorial for this exact look over at the wonderful Pixiwoo girls, see below.

So to sum it all up, I think some beauty products don’t work as well on older skins but application – as always- is key.  when you hit 35+ then stepping away from anything that makes your skin look drier is a definitely a good thing, but bronzer and full on eyes never date.  I say wear what suits you, and if someone who’s taste you trust mentions that your look may becoming a bit stale then go try some new products out, it’s just makeup, and can be washed off in seconds.

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Categories: Makeup


Saffles · October 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Love, love LOVE this post. All of those ladies look rule-breakingly fabulous. I especially loved Nigella's look, so thanks for including the link to the tutorial. Going to give it a go! I hope half of these are wrong – but I really liked how you gave alternatives. So when it said 'no liquid liner' I panicked – what would I be without my cat liner?- but then you pointed out gel is a lot more forgiving- phew! But I love glittery eyeshadow and I'm sure I'll be wearing it til I'm 70! I love those little old ladies in zany outfits and make-up anyway – clearly I'm planning on growing old disgracefully xx

Sarah |

Donna Coppack · October 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I say eyeliner, always and everyday. You would look AMAZING with the Nigella makeup, you have to try it! xx

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