I reckon when you’re on a roll, keep going. My posts on makeup continue to be the most viewed. Guess there isn’t much out there on makeup for old goats like me. True to say most of the blogs and YouTube makeup tutorials are by pretty young things for pretty young things. So I was emailed by a women in the United States who asked if I’d talk about makeup for the “older woman”. I’m not sure if she asked this because she thinks I’m incredibly old but heck, I’ll give it a go! And what is “mature” or “older” these days? Anything over 35 years? Over 40 years? 45? 50?

I do think that as one “matures”, one should get better at this makeup business (this is how my mother would have said it). Just because you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s is no excuse for looking old and frumpy. Or dressing in one of those skirts and matching blouse ensembles that have a pattern on them that looks like a living room couch – accompanied by a white handbag and matching white shoes. I’m sure you’ve seen older women wear this sort of dreadful attire.

In her 80s, my mother was still wearing shoes with fairly high heels; she always had her hair coloured; and her nails were painted pink. You need to look “well-maintained” for your age, not mutton dressed up as lamb as we’d say in Oz. I also think there are some “golden rules” for the mature woman when it comes to makeup and here are mine:

  • less is more – don’t cake it on;
  • blue eyeshadow is probably best left to the pretty young things or the 1960s;
  • frosted eyeshadows are best left to the pretty young things. As we age, the eyelids get crepey, so frosted shadows will just highlight the crepey lines;
  • glitter or shimmer eyeshadows will probably draw the eye to the crow’s feet and other wrinkles you don’t want to highlight;
  • lip liner that can be seen as a solid outline is best left to Pamela Anderson and the 1990s;
  • don’t wear a thick stripe of eyeliner or try to look like you have cat’s eyes;
  • don’t line the under eye area too much, especially with black liquid eyeliner – it looks ageing. Go with a soft kohl pencil instead and one you can smudge;
  • don’t use eyebrow pencils as they are too harsh, just use some brown eyeshadow;
  • invest in one of those illuminating, light-reflecting foundations;
  • always wear mascara but not on your bottom lashes (unless you want to look like a tarantula);
  • stay away from dark lipstick because as you age, your lips get thinner;
  • don’t use too much blush (you’re not a circus clown) and cream blushes are probably more flattering. Peaches and corals are a good choice, as well as bronzes;
  • keep it natural. Use neutral and earthy colours. You want to enhance what you have, not cover or cake it up.

There are some tricks too that the older woman can use to good effect. These are mine:

  • having said don’t use shimmery eyeshadow, you should have a light-coloured one and you’ll use this on the inner corner of the eye because it opens up the eye.
  • use a fluffy brush if you want to set your makeup with powder. Don’t use those sponge applicator things and try not to touch up during the day. If you have to, bring out that fluffy brush again. Heavy powder is your enemy.
  • the 3Bs – blend, blend, blend. Whatever you’re putting on your face, BLEND.
  • use a sunscreen, every single day. RELIGIOUSLY.

Using my own rules, I’ve put this together for you in a FOTD (aka face of the day). The products I’ve used are:

  • Natio Mineral Eyeshadow Trio in Soft Day. This eyeshadow trio I brought across with me from Oz. This is a great combination of colours for the everyday look and are very natural, earthy colours.
  • I used the two lightest (frosted) shades from the Za Dramatic Eye Colour palette in Gold at the inner corner of the eyes to brighten.
  • MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul. This is a universally flattering colour – a peachy, dirty red is the best way I can describe it. There’s a subtle golden shimmer to it that brightens the cheek area. I also often use Chanel In Love blush – a gorgeous peachy coral with a touch of gold.
  • Natio Mineral Pressed Powder bronzer in Sunswept over face. Natio is a reasonably priced Australian brand that I’ve dabbled with for years. The bronzer is HUGE and I brought it with me from Oz. I use it quite a bit and have hardly made a dent in it. It has a subtle shimmer that won’t make you look like a disco ball.
  • Revlon PhotoReady foundation in Vanilla. This colour is very good for pale faces like me. I also often use mineral powder foundations, which I’ve talked about here. Revlon’s PhotoReady foundation is probably the best I’ve used in a long time. It’s not as heavy-feeling as the Colorstay range and has amazing coverage. There is a shine to this foundation that is flattering for the older woman. I don’t mean oily shine, just a healthy glow.
  • MAC Teddy eye kohl pencil. I think Teddy is very underrated in the MAC arsenal. It’s a softly gliding, dark bronze brown colour (read: NOT a boring brown). It has gold flecks to it or a subtle golden shimmer – not sure which. But it’s a very wearable, flattering eye kohl. You can soften the look by smudging the pencil line.
  • Revlon Super Lustrous lip gloss in Pink Pop. I think a subtle gloss on older lips is far better than some dark, garish lipstick. Pinks look flattering on an older woman; oranges do not, so steer clear of any orangey colours. I’ve always liked and used the Super Lustrous range from Revlon. The glosses have great staying power and give a hint of colour. They are not so sticky that you’ll get your hair stuck to your lips when the wind blows. Another great Revlon Super Lustrous colour is Glossy Rose – again it’s a flattering colour for the older woman but…I’ve heard it’s been discontinued. Hope not!
  • Australis Pressed Powder in Natural – just a light dusting with a fluffy brush. Then I spritz the face with water to “set” everything. Australis is another reasonably priced range from Australia with some great products.

Mmmm….there’s a shadow across my cheeks. It’s not a large chunk of blush or bronzer!

Natio Mineral Pressed Bronzer in Sunswept. I use this quite a bit and I’ve barely made a dent in it.

L-R. Australis Pressed Powder in Natural; Za Dramatic Eye Colour palette in Gold; Natio Mineral Eyeshadow Trio in Soft Day; Revlon PhotoReady foundation in Vanilla; Mac Mineralise blush in Warm Soul; Mac Teddy eye kohl pencil & Revlon Super Lustrous lip gloss in Pink Pop (in middle).