Diary / Beauty / Oct 11, 2023
6 Modern-Day Makeup Tips for Women Over 50
Written by: Piper Gray
Photography by: Ben Ritter & Jon Paterson
Getting older likely means your skin has changed—and so the products and routines you’ve relied on for years need to be updated as well.
If you’re over 50, almost there, or simply wanting to make changes to accommodate your changing skin, it’s about striking a balance: you need to add more moisture but don’t want to layer on products that are too heavy as they may settle into fine lines.
Fortunately, you won’t need to make sweeping modifications, just simple, easy-to-execute changes that will make a beautiful impact.
Ultimately, in the words of Bobbi herself, we believe that “it’s not about looking younger, it’s about looking better.”
Assess what’s working (and what’s not)
This isn’t news but mature skin is drier than it once was, perhaps even thinner. Blemishes may no longer be a consistent concern, but you probably notice that the texture of your skin has changed, or you have more signs of discoloration.
This is a good time to take an inventory of your current products and routines, even lifestyle, and see what suits your current needs. If you’re been using the same stand-by products for the past couple of decades, then it’s probably time to make some changes. Your skin has changed, so should your products.
Your focus when updating your habits and trying out new products will be about adding moisture back, but before we get to skincare and coverage, are you getting enough sleep? Drinking enough water? How’s your caffeine and alcohol intake?
Skimping on quality slumber and adequate hydration not only affects your energy levels but neglecting these two pillars of health almost immediately shows up in your complexion—in dull-looking skin, under-eye bags, and more.
Those are easy changes to make, and they make a world of difference.
Focus on skincare
As skin matures and thins, you’re probably noticing more fine lines, wrinkles, as well as faded scars, broken capillaries, or under-eye circles.
We’ll get to coverage in a moment but first things first, skincare. If you haven’t been consistent with cleansing and moisturizing, now’s the time. A regular routine that nourishes and plumps your complexion will help with signs of fine lines and evening out your skin tone.
Cleanse regularly, even if you haven’t put on any products or your skin is drier than it once was. A gentle cleanser is the answer, preferably one that’s oil-based, like The Cleansing Stick, which will ensure you’re not stripping extra moisture. If you’ve historically been leery of products with oil because of skin sensitivities, this won’t overwhelm or weigh down your skin, and it nourishes your complexion with vitamin-rich, plant-based oils.
And even though we’re mentioning this last, it is the most crucial part: sunscreen. Do not forget sunscreen. Sun damage will create more problems than it’s worth, and can contribute to uneven skin tone and a rough texture.
Here are some recommendations, from the lightest option to our most heavy-hitting moisturizers.
Light Moisture Cream
Light Moisture Cream is fast-absorbing, bouncy, and a pleasure to wear.
Dry skin types will get the most out of this in hot, humid climates, and those with oily skin can use this as an overnight cream. It’s light enough to be used as a primer, too, and substantial enough for normal, balanced skin types.
The under-eye area tends to show signs of dryness earlier than the rest of your complexion, so it’s important to nourish and protect this delicate area. And this goes for all skin types; you’ll be glad you added Eye Cream to your routine.
Gently pat on a light layer with your ring finger (you can always build) to get the most benefits.
Enhance, don’t mask
It can be tempting to blindly apply more coverage but more isn’t necessarily the answer. The right products that target your primary concerns are.
Too much product will probably settle and draw attention to fine lines or wrinkles so it’s key to be judicious with the amount of coverage you’re applying. You still want to see your skin.
It’s a fine line between sufficiently covering up signs of aging but not overdoing it. You’re not trying to look younger, just better. Enhance what you’ve got; don’t mask it.
We’ll go through some key products to add to your arsenal.
Let’s talk about foundation first as we recommend applying that before concealer.
For light to medium coverage, What The Foundation will be your new favorite. It’s part tinted moisture balm, part traditional foundation that evens out skin tone and adds back in a healthy dollop of hydration. Perfect if you’re dealing with dry skin. We’ve made it easy to find your most flattering shade; just answer a few questions here.
If you’re looking for super light coverage, we recommend our Tinted Face Powder. It’s finely milled so you won’t need to worry about it settling into any fine lines. And even very dry skin types can wear it comfortably without fretting about a cakey appearance. Not sure which option is best for you? Here.
Miracle Balm is perfect for women over 50. On its own, it provides bare coverage and adds back in moisture, luminosity, and color, freshening up your complexion. Bobbi calls it “genius in a pot”—we agree. Find your best shade with this quick quiz.
You may find after applying your foundation of choice that you don’t need extra coverage. But if you haven’t totally addressed your visible skin concerns, then we suggest our Face Pencil. On hydrated skin, it doesn’t drag or catch, and leaves an undetectable finish.
Actually, we suggest two colors of The Face Pencil: one that disappears on your cheek and one that disappears into your forehead (the lighter shade will be best for underneath your eye; darker color should be used for redness or around your nose). It’s helpful to understand both your skin tone and your skin undertone before you select your hues.
But, of course, we also have a quiz to help you find your optimal shades.
Add back in warmth
You’re sufficiently moisturized, and you’ve evened out your skin tone. Next, we’re going to boost your natural glow.
Don’t be afraid of color or shimmer—those aren’t just reserved for younger women. The key is to use a little product, and look for moisturizing options that won’t settle into fine lines. (We have plenty of recommendations on that front.)
Bronzer and Blush
Bronzer will add sun-kissed radiance to your complexion, a back-from-vacation warmth all year round. It’s an utterly natural look, one that everyone—no matter their skin type, concerns, or age—can embrace.
Our Gel Bronzer can also be used on its own, even mixed with your moisturizer if you’re skipping coverage products, or atop What The Foundation. Simply apply it with a brush or with your fingertips.
Prefer a powder? Enter The Bronzer. Use it on parts of your face where the sun would hit your skin, or depending on your coloring, some hues are beautiful as a blush.
Feel free to forgo bronzer and go straight ahead to blush. If you’re unsure where to start, a pinky color is flattering on just about everyone. Dust on a bit of The Best Blush for a straightforward warmth with beautiful payoff, or for extra luminosity and moisture, there are a few options as well.
As we’ve said, Miracle Balm works wonders for your complexion. It’s easy to use, completely versatile, and skin-perfecting.
Our Lip and Cheek Stick offers a multipurpose pop of color. It glides on effortlessly, and nicely builds your color of choice.
Shimmer Face Oil is instant illumination—never overpowering, never juvenile-looking. It’s a classic addition to a simple makeup look and perks up even the most tired-looking skin.
You may have noticed that your natural lip color may have begun to fade, so even if lipstick has never really been your thing, consider adding in a neutral or a color that’s not bold—just to start.
But also, don’t be scared of a vibrant red or pink. Bright colors are for all ages. Look for a creamy formula that’s buildable and moisturizing. (The more matte the product, the drier it tends to be—which means it’s more likely to reveal fine lines.)
These aren’t meant to be hard and fast rules, just guidelines to help you figure out what makes you feel most comfortable and confident. Let the experimentation begin.
The Lip Pencil lines lips for precision and polish, or you can use it for all-over color. It’s matte but moisturizing, so it doesn’t drag or catch, and there’s no issue with the product settling in.
The colors are all nude-inspired—meaning we took our cues from the colors of your lips. This is the place to start to bring back your natural color.
Our modern take on a traditional lipstick, The Lip Tint offers the most color payoff out of our options.
It glides on easily, no mirror required (it’s that low-maintenance), and its moisturizing formula means you won’t be worried about the color settling into fine lines.
Stay sheer with one coat, apply up to three—give or take—for the most pigment.
Similar to The Lip Tint with its nourishing properties, our Lip and Cheek Stick offers a more subtle color payoff with less shine—a perfect, lightweight option for everyday or for amateurs who are skeptical about lip color.
The beauty of Cool Gloss is in its name: it’s glossy and sheer, goes on smooth, feels good, and is never sticky or tacky. This is for those who want to embrace a more high-shine moment.
For extra color payoff, layer on top of lipstick.
Fill and define
Your brows deserve some attention, and when they’re full (even if you’re faking it), this gives your face another focal point.
Trimming and tweezing stray hairs are essential to a tidy, defined brow. As we age, hair thins, so you may not have as much to work with as you once did but this step should still be part of your routine.
From there, apply The Brow Pencil in soft, quick strokes upward to fill in bare patches, and extend brows.
We recommend topping with a swipe of The Brow Gel in the same color to finalize filling in any sparse areas.
Best eye makeup for mature women
Signs of aging tend to show up in the delicate under-eye area first, and you may be worried about makeup settling into creases or laugh lines.
You may be tempted to avoid applying makeup in the eye area altogether, but that’s not the answer.
Giving your eyes dimension and color keeps you looking alert and lively. It just takes some small modifications to avoid that dreaded cakiness or signs of settling.
Moisturized, nourished skin will withstand evidence of exhaustion and act as a smooth canvas for your coverage and embellishment. That’s the first thing—which we’ve already discussed, but it bears repeating because that is the most crucial component to natural-looking eye makeup for mature women.
No matter if your eyes are hooded or deep set, choose a neutral color. Bobbi recommends looking for a cool tone.
Up the sparkle with a swipe of Sparkle Wash—on its own or atop a corresponding hue.
Lastly, no look is ever complete without a coat or two of mascara. Ours is inky, conditioning, and volumizing. No one, no matter their age, wants clumps so before you bring the wand to your eyes, simply wipe it against the opening of the barrel to make sure you’re removing extra product.
The Bottom Line
Aging is cause for celebration, and facing mature skin—and the changes it brings—is something we will all have to do at one point or another.
With a few simple adjustments, you can present your best face to the world, without trepidation or fear.