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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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The Experts

Trish McEvoy, Entrepreneur and Makeup Artist

Pat McGrath, Entrepreneur and Makeup Artist

Kindra Mann, Makeup Artist for IT Cosmetics

Jenny Smith, Global Makeup Artist for NARS Cosmetics

Amanda Bell
Global Educator and Makeup Artist for Pixi Beauty


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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

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Gel Liners

Trish McEvoy "Intense" Gel Eyeliner Pencil
Buy Now $29

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner
Buy Now $27

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon
Buy Now $25

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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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BB Cream

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
Buy Now $30

YSL "Top Secrets" BB Cream Skintone Perfector
Buy Now $52

Dior "HydraLife" BB Creme Broad Spectrum
Buy Now $60

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BB Cream

Trish McEvoy Beauty Balm Instant Solutions
Buy Now $86

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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

NARS Skin Double Refining Exfoliator
Buy Now $34

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

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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

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CC Cream

IT Your Skin But Better CC Cream
Buy Now $61

AMOREPACIFIC "Color Control" Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum
Buy Now $60

By Terry Cellularose CC Cream
Buy Now $87

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Use cream blush over powder.

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

stila Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Palette
Buy Now $39

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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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Nude Lipliner

Trish McEvoy Long-Wear Lip Liner
Buy Now $29 each

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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

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Under Eye Brightners

Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift
Buy Now $45

Benefit Eye Brightening Stick
Buy Now $20

Charlotte Tillbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand
Buy Now$45

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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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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
Buy Now$35

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Buy Now$22

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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 highpoints 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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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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Shadow Palette

"Kevyn Aucoin's The Essential Eye Shadow Palette in #1 is perfect for everyday use and the slight sheen in the colors is universally flattering." —Kindra Mann

Kevyn Aucoin Essential Eyeshadow Set
Buy Now $58

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Use primers with hyaluronic acid and collagen to boost moisture.

"Lancome's Hydro Glow Primer has illuminating properties that give the skin a fresh look. Murad's Invisiblur Perfecting Shield fills in fine lines and wrinkles. It blends advanced anti-aging treatment with SPF." —Kindra Mann

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield
Buy Now $65

Lancôme "La Base Pro - Hydra Glow" Illuminating Primer
Buy Now $40

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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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Concealers

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
Buy Now $30

IT Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream
Buy Now $32

The Broad Hosts West Coast Debut Of 'Soul Of A Nation: Art In the Age Of Black Power 1963-1983'
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Get Involved with Oil Based Formulations

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

Simple dab on the high points of the face (top of the nose, cheekbones, cupids bow, brow bone etc.) 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

Buy Now $18

Honest Beauty Co Magic Beauty Balm Stick

Buy Now $14.99

Jillian Dempsey Dew Lid Tint

Buy Now $28

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