If we’ve learned one thing from the latest trends in beauty, it’s that self-expression is everything. Whether it’s rocking a graphic cat eye, trying a makeup look that you’ve never dared to before, or wearing that siren red lip you thought only Selena Gomez could pull off, owning your look (no matter what age you are) is exactly what you were born to do.
For decades, we’ve seen beauty companies either ignore people beyond their teens and 20s altogether, or place age groups into beauty categories that seem to isolate them from one another. In a nutshell, there’s no reason someone in their 40s can’t rock a shimmery lid or smoky eye just like someone in their 20s and 30s can (after all, you did it first!). And it doesn’t mean you have to give up on the dark liner and bright lip either—those are all outdated assumptions. It’s actually all about tweaking your technique to make it work for you. We talked to makeup artist Lindsay Kastuk for some essential makeup tips for people in their 40s.
About the Expert:
Lindsay Kastuk is an NYC-based makeup artist.
1. Skin Prep Is Your Friend
As our skin matures, it craves more and more moisture. Keeping your skin hydrated is an important skincare step that helps prevent fine lines and uneven texture, and prevents your makeup from settling into them. “Hydration plumps your skin and helps make the appearance of fine lines diminish,” says Kastuk. Before you apply any eye makeup, give your lids some much-needed TLC. “Use a lightweight eye cream or a very small amount of a thicker eye cream. You want the product to actually absorb, not sit on top of your skin,” Kastuk adds. Try a lightweight cream like FIRST AID BEAUTY Hydrating Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid or something a little heavier (but not greasier) like MURAD Renewing Eye Cream. And, as always, don’t skimp on the SPF around your eye area (it’s a must!).
2. Prime Your Lids
Think of primer like a pair of Spanx under a tight dress—no one knows you’re wearing it, but it helps smooth everything out flawlessly. Before you apply your eyeshadow, dab a hydrating eye primer onto your upper lids with your ring finger to help hold your shadow in place while preventing any flaking, creasing, and harsh lines that mature skin can be prone to. We’re fans of THRIVE CAUSEMETICS Eye Lift 360° Waterproof Primer. It’s specifically formulated to prevent creasing and delivers anti-aging benefits to help boost collagen and elastin.
3. Use Under-Eye Concealer
But not just any under-eye concealer will do: Make sure you reach for creamy, moisture-packed formulas. When the skin below your eyes is loaded up with moisture, your under-eye concealer will blend in much easier and have less of a chance of enhancing any flakiness, dark circles, and uneven texture. “I love hydrating concealers and creamier concealers that reflect the light. You can use less of these, which means less product to settle into fine lines,” says Kastuk. Try IT COSMETICS Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer. It’s super creamy, waterproof, and made with hydrating hyaluronic acid, collagen, and peptides.
4. Spruce Up Your Brows
It’s not uncommon for our eyebrows to thin out over time. The key here is to fluff them up so that they look naturally full. “Thin brow pencils or markers are your best friend! Drawing very hair-like lines to mimic eyebrow hairs is the best way to go. Avoid the block brow by using a marker or thin brown pencil, and they will look the most natural,” says Kastuk. ITEM BEAUTY Brow Chow’s dual-ended design comes with a fine tip pencil (perfect for hair-like strokes) and a comb designed for blending and fluffing.
5. Swipe Shimmer and Matte Shadows
Should you avoid those shimmery shadows you love? “I always say no, don’t stop avoiding these things UNLESS you want to! This came to be because metallic and shimmer can and will often increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re fine with that, then wear the shadow! Makeup is about self expression and what makes you feel beautiful,” Kastuk says. Love that message. Here’s a tip: When applying shimmery shadows, avoid areas that are more textured than others. If your lids are more textured in the center, blend a matte eyeshadow onto the center of your lid and add a bronzy shimmer into the inner and outer corners.
6. Don’t Ditch the Eyeliner
Whether it’s a colorful cat eye or subtle smoky lines, lining your lids is a step you’ll never regret. For a subtle smudged look, switch up your tools and technique. “I love using a gel liner and a small angled brush. You can just press the liner into the lash line and then smudge with another clean brush or even gently with your finger. You can do the same technique on the top and bottom lids if you’d like. Also, if your lids tend to get a bit oily, just use the same brush and set it with some matching eyeshadow,” Kastuk recommends. Looking for a good angled brush? ESTATE COSMETICS EEl03 Eye Liner Brush is an Ipster fave.
7. Highlight Your Inner Corners
This tried-and-true trick brightens up eyes at any age (and helps make you look well-rested and wide awake). Just dab your ring finger in a shimmery highlighter (like WANDER BEAUTY Wanderess Glow Highlighter in After Hours) and press it into the inner corners of each eye for instantly bright eyes.
8. Love Your Lashes
When it comes to eyelashes, the keyword is “lift.” Because the skin around our eyes loses collagen over time, our eyes tend to droop downward or become more hooded. When wearing false lashes, Kastuk recommends focusing on creating the illusion of lifting your eyes upwards. “Make sure the band of your lash is not too long for your eye. The lash band should not extend the corner of your eye, or else it can look droopy and bring down the look of your eyes. If you are comfortable, use individual clusters and just place a few on the outer corners. This will bring your eyes up and out creating a subtle appearance of a lift,” she adds. Not in the mood for false eyelashes? Create a lifted look with mascara by focusing your mascara application on the outer ends of your lashes.
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