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Beauty Gurus Share Their Makeup Secrets for Older Women​

Trish McEvoy, Pat McGrath, and other industry titans share makeup tips and product recommendations for ladies of a certain age.

makeup tips for older women
Designed by Michael Stillwell

According to beauty industry legend Trish McEvoy, "what time takes away, we can bring back with makeup." That is, of course, if you actually know what you're doing. Here, McEvoy, Pat McGrath, and a handful of top makeup artists share their insider secrets—and preferred products—for youthful-looking skin.

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Define the lash line.

"I recommend using my 'invisible lining' technique. Pressing the liner in between each lash along the lash line adds definition, bringing the look of lush and full lashes even before mascara." —Trish McEvoy, makeup artist

makeup for older women
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Gel Liners

Trish McEvoy "Intense" Gel Eyeliner Pencil

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

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Brighten and even out the skin.

"Apply a BB cream. If you don't have the time to totally prep your skin, BB is an all-in-one skin perfecter. Not only does it prime, brighten, and even out the skin, it protects from daily UV exposure. An even skin tone projects a more youthful look." —Trish McEvoy

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Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer
bareMinerals sephora.com
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Beauty Balm Instant Solutions BB Cream SPF 35
Trish McEvoy nordstrom.com
young woman with salt peeling mask
Brigitte SporrerGetty Images
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Exfoliating is the key to smooth application.

"Many women avoid exfoliating and end up looking like they’re wearing heavy makeup, because even the lightest application grabs onto dry patches (aka dead skin). " —Jenny Smith, makeup artist

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Daily Microfoliant
Dermalogica dermstore.com


pat mcgrath mattetrance
Courtesy of Pat McGrath Labs
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Apply concealer before lipstick.

"Scrub the lips, then apply concealer that’s the same color as your skin all over the lip with a foundation brush. Add a balm on top to set, which provides extra hydration. Outline with a liner, fill them in, and use a lip brush or your finger to apply the color." — Pat McGrath, makeup artist

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Lock-It Concealer Crème
KVD Vegan Beauty sephora.com
leslie mann
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Don't be afraid of sheen.

"I like to add a little bit of a sheen on more mature skin by using a BB cream or CC cream. It helps to keep your complexion looking youthful." — Kindra Mann, makeup artist

cc creams
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CC Cream

IT Your Skin But Better CC Cream
SHOP NOW $39.50

AMOREPACIFIC "Color Control" Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum

By Terry Cellularose CC Cream

blusher on cheek
Jonathan StoreyGetty Images
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Use cream blush instead of powder.

"Cream blushes add a glow to the skin. They're easy to use and can double on the lips as well. " — Kindra Mann

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rms beauty sephora.com
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Define the lips.

"Using a natural looking lip liner brings back the look of natural fullness of the lip." —Trish McEvoy

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Long-Wear Lip Liner
Trish McEvoy nordstrom.com
makeup for older women
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Brighten the under eye.

"One of the first areas to show signs of aging are the eyes. Begin by brightening the upper and under eye using the ‘Triangle of Light’ technique: create an upside-down triangle under each eye, gently pressing product into the skin. It makes the area look dramatically lifted." —Trish McEvoy

makeup for older women
CourtesyGetty Images
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Under Eye Brightners

Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift

Benefit Eye Brightening Stick

Charlotte Tillbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand

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There's an "order of operations" when it comes to makeup application.

"Skincare products should be applied before SPF." —Jenny Smith

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Glowscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40
Supergoop! nordstrom.com
matterence pat mcgrath
Courtesy of Pat McGrath Labs
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Choose a lip color that moisturizes.

"For older women, it’s important to choose a formula that’s more hydrating to ensure smooth, even coverage.—Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath Labs LUST: MatteTrance
Buy Now $38

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Prime your lids.

"Lid primer evens out the upper eye lid creating a bright-eyed look that lasts all day." —Trish McEvoy

Trish McEvoy Eyeshadow Primer

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

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Add color to the face.

"Bronzer and blush bring back that radiant and youthful glow. Apply bronzer using a fluffy brush to the high points of the face. A touch of blush on the apple of the cheek worked downward imitates the look of a brisk walk." — Trish McEvoy

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Bronzer Powder
NARS sephora.com
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Avoid sparkly shadows—opt for shimmer instead.

"For the eyes I always hear my older clients say they want to stay clear of anything with a shimmer or sparkle in it. While I agree with the sparkle part, a little bit of shimmer can be nice on the lid. Just avoid the brow bone area." —Kindra Mann

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Emphasize Eyeshadow Design Palette
Kevyn Aucoin sephora.com


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Use primers with hyaluronic acid and collagen to boost moisture.
Murad nordstrom.com

"Murad's Invisiblur Perfecting Shield fills in fine lines and wrinkles. It blends advanced anti-aging treatment with SPF." —Kindra Mann

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Ditch heavy foundation in favor of a good concealer.

"If you have discoloration or broken capillaries, the right type of concealer coverage, just where needed, will help not only in lasting throughout the day but also will prevent you from having to apply a heavy foundation all over." —Kindra Mann

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Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

IT Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream

The Broad Hosts West Coast Debut Of 'Soul Of A Nation: Art In the Age Of Black Power 1963-1983'
Leon BennettGetty Images
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Get involved with oil based formulations

Makeup artist and global educator for Pixi Beauty, Amanda Bells suggest swapping to a solid oil-based product as a highlighter. “One of the most flattering and youthful looks can be switching from matte and predominantly water based formulations and instead using oil-based ones. The subtle light reflectivity creates a diffused glow which is youth enhancing. And oils in multi-purpose solid moisturizing balms always deliver natural radiance that looks like it comes from within.”

Simply dab on the top of the nose, cheekbones, cupids bow, and brow bone for a subtle dewiness that screams "youth."

Oil-based highlighter sticks are great for creating radiance and youth in older skin. 
Michael Stillwell
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Oil-Based Solid Balms

Pixi Beauty On-the-Glow Multi-Use Moisture Stick


Honest Beauty Co Magic Beauty Balm Stick


Jillian Dempsey Dew Lid Tint


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