Image: Universal Pictures
Makeup can be a bit confounding to us regular folks. Sure, we can muster some mascara and blush on most days. But anything beyond that? You may as well ask us to do quantum physics while knitting a blanket. It's just gotten so extra! Remember the days of blush and tinted moisturizer, with red lips if you were going out after work? it feels like the average makeup routine has gone from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. There are lotions and potions and primers and highlighters. And you'll think, do I really need all of that?! But once you hit a certain age, it certainly does help. Us women over 30 may not need to latest eye shadow palettes, but a good concealer is our best friend. These makeup tips will take your makeup game from rec league to competition level.
Makeup tips for women over 30 are will benefit us in a few ways. They're going to be fairly easy and quick, since no one has time to add to their regular routine. A lot of them you can do with makeup you already have in your arsenal (although you may have to add a few key items). And most importantly, they're going to help us look fresher, younger, and like we know what we're doing! Obviously, plenty of you probably DO know what you're doing. But it can't hurt to rotate a few of these tips into your routine to maximize your talents, right? And no one is saying we all want to look like we're 23 again (although that would be lovely). Aging is a beautiful thing, and you should embrace every fine line and gray hair. But those giant bags under our eyes can GTFO.
Now, we typically just slather on some moisturizer and do a light layer of foundation. DAS IT. Which means we've been skipping a crucial step. Primers will help smooth your skin and create a base for your makeup. But there are quite a few on the market, depending on your specific needs. If you are looking to fill fine lines and pores, look for a primer with a thicker, putty-like consistency. If it's glowing, dewy skin you're after, look for a primer with light-reflecting particles, which will brighten your skin under your makeup. No matter what your needs, there's a primer that fits them.
Your moisturizer should have sun protection in it, or you should be using a separate sunscreen on your face at all times. Yes, at all times! Rain or shine, cloudy or sunny. It doesn't matter. If you haven't been using something with SPF up until now, it's not too late to start. The sun's rays are incredibly damaging to skin, and can cause wrinkles, discoloration, and dark spots on your face. A good skin care routine can help reverse some of the damage, but being proactive and preventing further damage is crucial as we age. Look for a formula that suits your skin, like oil-free if you have oily skin.
This is where things get a little complicated. Maybe you have dark bags, some dark spots in areas, redness in other areas, and generally dull or discolored skin. We would LOVE to tell you that there's a magic makeup that will fix alllllllll of that at once, but alas, that is not the case. There are different color-correcting concealers to address your issues, though! If you have intense redness in areas, you'll want a green concealer. Dark spots? Depending on your skin tone, peach, red, orange, or pink tones will help. For all-over mild redness, yellow bases work on most skin tones.
Powder can definitely be easier and quicker to swipe on when you've got limited time to get ready. But if fine lines are an issue for you, it might be time to transition from powder makeup to liquids or creams. This goes for highlighters, bronzers, and blushes too! Powder tends to settle into fine lines, which can make them look bigger and deeper. It's still a good idea to use a light finishing powder to minimize shine and set your face, but for coverage, look for a liquid or cream foundation, and test out a few cream blushes or blush sticks.
You probably learned the same technique for applying blush that we all did: smile and apply directly to the apples of your cheeks. That may have worked when we were younger and our faces still had some volume, but we lose volume as we age. One of the best makeup tips for the over 30 set is to move where you apply your blush. Instead of putting it on the apples of your cheeks, you want to sweep higher into your cheekbones to make them stand out. This will also help "lift" your other features. Blush should accentuate your cheekbones, not your actual cheeks.
You don't need to do that whole marking of your face thing to use highlighter on a daily basis. It might be nice for special occasions or pictures, but on a day-to-day basis, that's a lot of work! One place you SHOULD be using highlighter, however, is your cheekbones. Adding just a touch of highlighter to the cheekbone can really make them pop. If you want to use highlighter in other places, try above your frown lines and under your brow bones. This will help make your frown lines appear softer, and highlighter on your brow bones will lift your eyes.
But conceal correctly! Listen, we're not in our 20's anymore. We can't just be slathering concealer under our eyes all willy-nilly. It will look heavy, it'll crease in the lines, and it ends up aging us more than it fixes the underlying issues. Ditch that heavy under-eye concealer, and opt for a lighter formula. And us that lighter formula sparingly! You don't need to do the whole triangle thing under your entire eye. Start with a few small dots directly under your eye and blend in with your finger or a brush. Remember, layering up is easy. If you need a little more, you can add a little more.
You can really age yourself by applying your foundation and concealer improperly. Thick, uneven coverage can look cakey, and then there's that whole "settling into wrinkles" thing. So one of the best makeup tips for the over 30 crowd is to get a makeup sponge or beauty blender and learn how to use it. You want to start with a dampened sponge, then use it to tap your foundation or concealer where you need the most coverage. From there, use the sponge to buff out your makeup around the rest of your face. It takes some practice, but it can mean the difference between looking your age or looking 10 years older.
As we age, our hair thins. Like ... everywhere. Well, not everywhere, since most of us have a chin hair or two that don't seem to be in any hurry to stop growing. But when it comes to brows and lashes, they start to thin out! If you've been using a volumizing mascara, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Heavy mascara tends to weigh our lashes down, and when you don't have the natural lash volume you did as a fresh-faced 20something, it can close off your eyes. Opt for a lengthening formula instead, which are lighter and less heavy. And focus on the middle of your lashes, which helps create a more wide-eyed effect.
We know what you're thinking - ANOTHER product to buy?! WE KNOW, WE KNOW. And the answer to that is yes and/or no. See, if you're the kinda gal who typically skips eye shadow, then you won't have much of a need for an eyelid primer. Although, well-placed shadow can add quite a bit of definition to your eyes (which we'll cover in a bit). But if you use eye shadow pretty regularly, then you're going to want to get a good eyelid primer. See, our faces and necks aren't the only thing that start to wrinkle and sag as we get older. Your eyelids can start to droop and develop wrinkles and creases too, and eye shadow gets stuck in these delightful little crevices. Needless to say, it isn't a good look. Prime your eye lids before putting on shadow or eyeliner to keep them looking smooth.
Makeup tips for women over 30 are all about getting our face back to the glory days. And bright, big eyes are as good as it got, right? Eyeliner is one of those things that can be tricky to master, and is easy to overdo. Avoid dark liner along the waterline, as this can make your eyes appear smaller. Champagne, bronze, or even brown are all good options for the lower eye! Also, learn the art of the upper lid liner. A good liquid or pen liner can make this so much easier. The line should be thin, in your lash line, and curve upwards ever so slightly at the outer edge of your eye. This slight cat-eye method will give the illusion of lifted eyes, rather than droopy eyes.
If you're one of those people who was blessed with good brows or didn't completely destroy them during that whole "Gwen Stefani thin brow" phase, then we hate you a little. But even if you have good brows, chances are you're going to have to start doing more then plucking stray hairs every once in a while. Just like our lashes, our brows will begin to thin with age. And few things age you more than patchy, sparse eyebrows. So invest in a few brow products, like a good brow brush, powder or pomade, and a clear brow gel. The color you choose should be at least a shade lighter than your hair color. And try to avoid using those crayon-type pencils, unless you like the look of drawn-on Sharpie brows. Fiber gels are also great at adding fullness to sparse brows.
Listen, you don't have to go super dramatic with your eye shadow. In fact, as we get older, it's probably a good idea to tone down our shadow for everyday wear. Dramatic at night or for special occasions is still awesome, but neutrals that can go from day to night are where it's at. Avoid bright, shimmery colors, and opt for muted peaches, tans, and champagnes. Definitely look for shadows that have a little bit of sparkle - strategic placement can really make your eyes pop. Use a slightly darker shadow in the crease to give your eyes more depth, and use the lighter, shimmery colors along your brow bone and waterline to make your eyes look brighter and more youthful.
Remember how we talked about eyes aging you? And the need for proper primer and concealer use? Well, the same applies to eye shadow. See, while the bold glittery and high-shine shadows may have played well in our 20's, we now have more creases and wrinkles that they can settle into, and it can be a mess. YAY! But rather than give up your eye shadow game, just change the rules a bit. Stick with matte eye shadows (over your primer, natch), and save the glimmer and shine for strategic placement. Use a matte shadow along your waterline, in your crease, and along your brow bone, but follow up with a few dabs of the same shade with more shine. You can dab a bit in your brow bone and right in the center of your eyelid for maximum effect.
Truth time: our makeup tips for lips would usually include chapstick and maybe the occasional scrub to keep them soft. But we're trying to do better! So here's some better makeup tips for the over 30 crowd. We're going to use the word wrinkles again (it's kind of rude how many times we've mentioned them, we know). Those fine lines around your lips? Those suck. They come with aging, and they suck! They can also cause your lipstick to feather or bleed. But luckily, our makeup tips include a couple of easy fixes. You could use primer around your lips (same one you use on your eyelids) to fill in the little lines. Then use a lip liner that's the same shade as the lipstick your using, and line your lips BEFORE you apply lipstick. This creates a little waxy barrier around your lip line that will keep your lipstick from feathering.
Listen, we LOVE a bold lip. Love it! But, a bold lip does not love us. See, we were not blessed with big, full lips that can carry a bold color. In fact, our tiny lips have only gotten smaller as we've gotten older. You too? The worst. As we get older, it may be time to switch out our bold colors for a more neutral lip. But don't fret! There are still so many options. You can find so many beautiful neutral shades now, from pinkish nudes to a light berry or coral, depending on your skin tone. The idea is to highlight and enhance your natural lip color and shape, not overpower it with a dark matte lipstick.
Remember the days when we could just wash our face at night and be done with it? HAHAHAHA imagine that now. Just washing! So novel! Chances are, you probably have a few potions and lotions that you use pretty regularly. There really is no magic one-size-fits-all fix here. Skin care is very subjective, since all of our skin has different issues and needs! But you want to make sure you are, at the very least, doing a few key things every night. Get a good cleanser, and wash your face every single night. You need a good nighttime moisturizer. And you need a good daily moisturizer. The key to keeping your skin looking its best is keeping it clean, and keeping it moisturized.
There are a lot of reasons it looks like we're carrying around a full set of luggage under our eyes. Lifestyle, lack of sleep, and genetics can contribute to our under eye area looking less than fresh. And while a good concealer can do a lot of good, once we hit 30, we're probably going to need some extra help. Look for a nightly under eye cream that addresses your specific needs (fine lines, dark circles, dull skin, puffy bags) and use it every night. It's going to take some time for the effects to be noticeable, so don't lose hope! In the morning, add an under eye treatment to your routine (after moisturizer but before primer). Look for one that can help minimize puffiness and brighten your eyes.
This is one of those makeup tips that we wish we didn't have to share, but listen. Ain't no shame in our hair removal game! Those pesky chin hairs are one thing. But the entire face-full of peach fuzz is quite another. Hormones and aging mean that a lot of us now have the ability to grow a little beard. Isn't that nice?! SO NICE. You don't have to keep it, though. The thing is, makeup can stick to your peach fuzz and make it even more noticeable. Get you to an esthetician and have that hair removed. You can wax, thread, or shave, it's really your personal preference and what works best for you. But it's definitely something you might want to start doing after you hit 30.
This is one of those makeup tips that's twofold. You want a good face mist to use throughout the day, and you want to keep yourself hydrated for the benefit of your skin. Face misters can be used over makeup, and are great for keeping your face looking fresh and your makeup from drying out. You should keep one in your purse at all times, and give yourself a little spritz when necessary. Additionally, you need to up your water intake ... by a lot. Drinking plenty of water is truly one of the best skin care tips ever, and it's also one of the easiest! You should be drinking about two liters of water a day, and no, coffee and wine and soft drinks don't count.