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12 Essential Makeup Tips for Women over 50

Hi Everyone! If you are new here welcome.  Once a month Jennifer and I do a monthly edit, which normally is fashion-centric.  This month in light of all that is going on we thought we would invite our friend Tania and talk self-care.  Self Care for me means maintaining my appearance with skincare and makeup!  So let’s talk about makeup.  I originally penned this post back in 2016 and I decided it was time to update it with new information and finds. Let’s take a look at 12 Essential Makeup Tips for Women over 50.

Cindy Hattersley in Kut from Cloth Sweater Madewell Jeans and Artemis Slides


I find the older I get the more help I need with makeup application. I have never been one to wear a lot of makeup but I find a “bit” more is needed as I age. Makeup is definitely not my jam so I defer to the experts.


12 Essential Makeup Tips for Women over 50

Lose the Powder

Powder lies in the wrinkles and clings to facial hair

#2 Use a Makeup Primer

It will even out skin tone & keep your makeup fresh longer

I wrote an in depth post on Makeup Primers here

I am still searching for the perfect one for my skin type.  Does anyone have any good suggestions? I know the Laura Mercier is really popular.  I like it but I don’t love it.

#3 Use a tinted moisturizer, BB or CC cream

If you want to read more about what the heck these really do, go here
or for suggestions go here

My current favorite is the Bare Minerals Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.  It is light coverage but if I combine it with the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer(a savvy salesperson alerted me to use it as a concealer for those hard to cover dark spots!) So I use it for that instead of under my eyes.

#4 Use Cream Blush instead of Powder

the best blush for mature skin

My skin is still a tad oily so a combination powder/cream works best for me.  My current favorites are the Ilia and the Shiseido which is sort of a powder creme,

#5 Use a highlighter under the browbone

#6 If you use concealer pat from inner corner of eye to midpoint only
(if you use it under outer corner it will highlight wrinkles)

This is a great tutorial on applying concealer and makeup in general that I found very helpful

#7 Use a peach or neutral eyeshadow over the entire lid

(it will counteract the purple that comes with age).  If you have gray hair a more mauvy tone might be more becoming.

#8 Use a nude or pale pink eyeliner along the inside edge of your lower lid

to add sparkle

#9 Prep your lips

exfoliate & moisturize

I am currently using the two-faced lip primer. I like it but don’t love it.  Any suggestions?
There is a great home remedy for an exfolient here

#10  Use a lip liner

to sharpen the outline of your lips and fill in the entire lip before applying lipstick

In normal times when we are not wearing masks I really like the Buxom Lip Liner.

Filling in the entire lip with lip liner seems to ward off feathering for me. My friend Elizabeth has a remedy that works for her here.

#11 toss the gloss use lipstick

put a dab of gloss in the center of your lip to add a bit of sparkle

You might enjoy my post The best lipsticks and lipcare for Women over 50 here

Since we are still wearing masks, I am only wearing lipstick that doesn’t get smeared all over my face. 

three lippys that last with a mask

My favorite is the Chanel but it is a bit pricey.  The Stila is great but can be drying.  The Revlon is a cost friendly good option.

#12 Leave your brows to a professional 

(Get rid of droopy eyes by slightly arching the brows and extending toward the temples)

My friend Sandra has a great video on eye makeup here

If you have gray hair, you might enjoy my post Makeup Tips and Tricks for Women with Gray Hair.

I hope you enjoyed 12 Essential Makeup Tips for Women over 50.  Please share your favorite products with us. Now pop over and visit Jennifer and Tania for their tips.


























Reader Interactions


  1. Cynthia Koerber says

    Dear Cindy,
    I enjoy your posts a lot, really like your fashion style. I, too, have collected quite a bit of Native American silver jewelry having lived among the Navajos of New Mexico. It’s fun to see you incorporate these in your outfits.I like your collaboration with other bloggers on over 50 fashion. I was wondering though why the size of the texts on all these blogs is small and light, including this comment I am leaving. I am assuming that your target audience are persons 50 and over. It is really hard to read the texts with ease even with glasses/contacts which I wear. Is there a remedy to the size and type of the texts you all use. Thanks for being an inspiration to fashion conscious seniors .

  2. Eileen Chadwick says

    Davines ….Minu shampoo and conditioner…. for color treated hair
    Bobbie Brown …Perfectly Defined ..longlasting eye pencil….very easy
    Mascara ….new way to makeup!!…pinterest..$!!
    Chronic…color illuminate…condtioner…to help faded highlights….order online
    BOOM ….just the BERRY color lips and blush…for everyday!!!!

  3. LA CONTESSA says

    I NOW USE THE NARS per Sandra Sallin eyelid primer…………IT GETS AN A PLUS PLUS FROM ME!
    DO put on and then do something else so it can SET before foundation!
    I find that works best with the eyes too………..let it set for a few minutes.
    THANKS FOR THE UPDATE……………I just bought the OGEE box of blush and highlighter and brown hollow out that cheekbone and I LOVE IT!They also use the pink blush on the eyelid!!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      I will get that Nars primer. Thank god Sandra is keeping us on our toes! I have not found a makeup primer either that I am in love with. Maybe they just aren’t totally necessary?

  4. Nancy says

    I use Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base and it keeps my (minimal) makeup on ALL day. It is very thick in the jar but as it warms up in your fingers and on your face it goes on so smoothly. Worth a try!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Nancy

      It seems like all of Bobbi’s products are good, aren’t they if the color works and they suit your skin type. I am going to check that out!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Didi

      The comments are the best part of these types of posts. I always learn so much from you ladies!

  5. Karen B. says

    Hi Cindy,
    I love hearing about cosmetics someone has had good luck with. It usually avoids my buying a product that doesn’t suit me and sits in the drawer unused. I appreciate the tips and suggestions from you and your friends.

  6. Brian Haugen says

    Oh Cindy!!I loved this post … it’s right in my wheelhouse! What a wonderfully penned read, chocked full of great makeup, skincare and how-to recommendation.
    I have many wonderful ideas, suggestion and tried and true techniques! Where to begin …
    Funny enough, I had so many serendipitous moments while reading … I almost didn’t finish reading your post, it excited me so much!! Lol

  7. Nancy says

    I am 70 and have used Chanel UV Essential 50 SPF as a primer for years. Blends beautifully and isn’t heavy.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Nancy

      Okay I will check it out. I was using the lumiere and liked it as well. And the long lasting lipcolor is the best in my opinion!

  8. Lorna says

    For my daily routine I usually use a BB cream or a light foundation in winter but I always skip it in summer. I’m currently using one from The Body Shop. I don’t usually use concealer unless I’m going somewhere special. I still use powder blush and have never used cream blush. Black eyelines is a must or I feel like I’ve left half of my face behind 🙂 and I generally use some type of nude lipstick. If we’re going somewhere special I do the whole shebang. But we haven’t been anywhere special since last August. Oh, and sunblock is a must here. So that’s part of my daily routine too.
    Thanks for the interesting tips.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Lorna
      I like the body shop products too. They had a cream that I loved! I wish I could get by with less. I barely wore anything for years. Now I am paying for the sundamage!

  9. Patricia Huber says

    You must have done so much research to gather all this information. Thank you! It is such a challenge to adjust makeup to aging skin and it looks like I’m not the only one struggling with this. I need makeup but I also want it to look as natural as possible–not easy at any age but more difficult now. The video from Sandra Sallin was a delight. And she is a painter too! Thank you Cindy!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Pat
      I agree it is so tricky at our age. We want to look natural but there is so much to cover up!!

  10. Vicky says

    I am crazy for Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, especially a new fave matte called Walk of No Shame. The texture is perfect and it’s long lasting, as is the lip liner. I also just tried the duo eyeliner and give it a big thumbs up. Soft to apply, so gentle on my ‘mature’ lids. January treats!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Vicki
      I definitely need to give the CT a try once we can go out again! Thanks for weighing in,

  11. Sandra Sallin says

    Always love your blogs. Thanks for suggesting people watch my video. You always have so many goodies to look into. So hats off to you Cindy!!! Keep it up.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Sandra! Your videos are the best, and you know I am not a very good video person!! You are my guru when it comes to makeup

  12. Mary from Life at Bella Terra says

    Cindy, I am clearly doing EVERYTHING wrong! Such a great post, but reading the comments has been equally fun. I think, after COVID, you need to coordinate a weekend with all these women. What fun would that be to talk about everything from makeup to home decor. Count me in! Love all the tips about Chapstick and I am now following Catherine Urbanski (unaware of her until today!). Reading your post is such a great way to spend a Tuesday morning! P.S. FYI: I use Thrive mascara and have received compliments about the length of my eyelashes (which never happens).

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Mary

      Okay I am ordering Thrive! I have been through a million mascaras! Would love to get together with all of you ladies! If my home hasn’t sold when covid is over you are on!

  13. Charlotte says

    My favorite primer is not called a primer but it works great – Olay Regenerist Serum. I get the fragrance-free kind. My favorite blush and highlighter are the Boomsticks.y

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Charlotte I am so glad you brought that up. I used it for years but they changed the formula about a year ago and I don’t like it nearly as well. Did you notice or is it just me?

  14. Marilyn F G says

    I am very far from being a makeup expert, but I do have a lip care tip. I’ll begin by noting I am in my mid 70s and have done the following since my 30s. Aquafor is my favorite product to use for lip care. I live in the northeast, so cold, dry winters have always been part of my life. It can be purchased in large tubs, small and medium tubes and purse friendly sizes. I always use it at night and during this past year when looking fabulous was not very important it was my go-to rather than lipsticks. My lips always appear smooth, never flaky or cracked. I do enjoy all of your posts and have taken many of your tips in decor, clothing and makeup. Thanks and keep them coming.

  15. Susan says

    Having tried virtually every lip moisturizer and exfoliation treatment around, I swear by simple Blistex followed by Dollar Store buff-puffs. After I line my lips, I outline the skin around the lips with Nikol Invisible lip liner. Keeps things in place.

  16. Peggy Stephens says

    Thank you for the makeup tips, but what I really want to know if where you got that yummy looking sweater!
    I am looking for one just like it to get me through these cold months before spring.

  17. Gray says

    Love this post Cindy!
    Here is my 2¢ on your comments!
    Makeup Primer – DHC’s Velvet Skin Coat!!
    Tinted Moisterizer – Dermalogica’s Sheer Tint!
    For LIps – before bed, (or daily if no lipstick) PCA’s Hyalauronic Acid Lip Booster!

  18. Ann Miller says

    I discovered Look Fabulous Forever, a UK makeup brand created by a woman over 60 specifically for older women. Her face and eye primers are the best. And her lip primer, which you apply outside the lips instead of on them, works perfectly to prevent bleeding into lip lines. She deliberately uses older models and offers great tutorials on applications. No, i don’t work for LFF or sell their products. I’m just very happy with how well they work. And, yes, they have speedy shipping to the US.

  19. Cindy says

    Good morning, I use Arbonne make up primer. It glides on so silky, makes my skin feel so smooth. I also use the Arbonne finishing spray. I would also like to say Arbonne does not test on animals.

  20. Cindy says

    Good point Sandra. I still have not found a mascara that I would give 50 cents for. I may go back to Old Maybelline. I like a little highlight on the browbone..I need anything that will detract from the wrinkles!!

  21. Sandra Sallin says

    Mascara? I think the latest freshest one is the best. I change every 3 months. Sometimes expensive sometimes drugstore. Removal? Bioderma Micellaire or Clinique eye makeup remover. Isn't highlight on the brow bone kinda old school? Too obvious.

  22. Judy says

    Hi Cindy, I just found your wonderful blog. I second the comment on Dominique Sachse's videos. She's a beautiful lady and I love all her videos. I'm adding a link to her YouTube page (hope the link works if not just google her name)

    I plan to spend the afternoon checking out your blog! I've been blogging about 9 years but the last 2-3 I have not blogged as much. I'm doing more on Instagram instead.

    Have a great weekend!

  23. Cindy says

    Hey Pam!!

    You look absoutely fabulous so I am going to try it! I have not found one that I have been very happy with! It was so great to see you. I did a post on Monticello today. I wish I had taken more pictures! My reunion pics were terrible!!

  24. P. Whitcomb says

    Hey, Cindy. So good to see you in Monticello. Thanks for this most informative post. Each year brings more challenges to look 'presentable' without looking harsh, made up, or OLD! You always look great! 🙂 You asked for suggestions for Makeup primers. I use Arbonne's makeup primer and like it really well.

  25. Cindy says

    Thanks for weighing in Deborah! I am looking up your mascara suggestion. The one my daughter recommended takes a blow torch to remove!!

  26. Debra Phillips says

    oh how fun is this?! feel like i just joined a slumber party with gal pals!!!
    here's my contributions;
    -if you or a friends is going to mexico, get their retina a, the highest number available & my dermatologist confirmed & gave a thumbs up
    -i like armani's maestro eraser for dark circles under eye
    -want incredible eyelashes? try chantecaille faux fils longest lash mascara. worth every penny
    that's it! i'll keep checking back to see more tips

  27. Burlap Luxe says

    I wear brow to inhance fullness, only a moisturizer, then a loose mineral powder, a creamery powder blush sometimes. Eyeliner cream smudged, no eye shadow ever, and mascara.
    I am looking into buying BOOM! I love her look long grey hair and all, yet she cut it all off in a short bob.

    Love all the over 50 inspiration my dear.


  28. Catherine Urbanski says

    OK. I'm back. Yeah. I use Bare Minerals "Well Rested" as a concealer. I know. It IS a mineral powder but I use it in the inside corners of my eyes..underneath I use the elf cream concealer in the yellow color and pat it gently. I use Mally's Brow Express 24/7 to do my brows and make sure my lashes are lush. Basically it comes down to this: Do what makes you feel comfy and whatever rocks your boat! :

    • Cindy says

      Absolutely! It sure helps getting everyone's suggestions! I absolutely adore your blog Catherine! Whatever you are doing looks fabulous!!

  29. Catherine Urbanski says

    Yup! La Contessa is correct. Chapstick is: The best blur on the face of the earth. It fills in little wrinkles in the corner of your eyes as well as above your lip. You have to remember to use ORIGINAL Chapstick–the peach colored one in the black tube and none of the fancy ones like vanilla or that garbage. As far as powder goes–I do believe that the only women using powder are those with oily skin. For anyone else it would dry your face out. I ditched powder after I lost my virginity because that's when my skin cleared up.
    I don't follow any hard and fast rules. I don't wear foundation or bb or cc or dd or efghijklmnop on my face during the summer. I wear foundation in winter and just a little bit. My choices run the gamut from Givenchy to the six-buck elf.
    Blush. I'm hooked on NARS multiples in Riviera. Oh. Wait. My Frenchman is calling me. It's time for aperitifs. I'll be back later to give the rest of my comment!

  30. La Contessa says

    Don't know what happened there……………..sending this POST on to ATYPICAL60 SHE WILL ADD!!!!!!!!

  31. designchic says

    What a wonderful post, Cindy and love all of the tips! Need to try the Stila lipstick and have never used a primer, but may need to add that to my list! Happy weekend!

  32. Cindy says

    La Contessa says: (I am copying and pasting what she sent)
    OMG SHE NEEDS THE CHAPSTICK!!!!!!!!!WHAT A HOOT that first photo is.
    I need to go back and read what I said but I had TWO good tips for the bleeding lips……..CHAP STICK around the outer lips and or Lise Watier product called MAGNIFIX LIPS.BOTH work REALLY well for me.Of course the Chap Stick is way cheaper!!!!!!
    I use LA ROCHE-POSAY 50 plus ANTHELIOS XL.I get in EUROPE!!!!!!It is cheaper in the TRAIN STATIONS pharmacy's!Between me and my girlfriend whoever goes first we load up……..One tube lasts for a long time.So you have sun protection plus a base.I do not use a primer.NOW, one of my READERS sent me a MAC base for the eyelids that I absolutely ADORE calledPRO LONGWEAR PAINT POT.I use the color PAINTERLY.LOVE THIS STUFF your eye make up stays on ALL DAY LONG!LIPS……….I just bought the NEW LINDA RODIN lip color the dark BERRY one……don't recall the name but it TOO stays on ALL DAY!LOVE, plus her packaging is nice and it is a smaller lipstick then the norm which is nice too.I LIKE TO FINISH MY LIPSTICK instead of having them HANG out for years!Yesterday , I bought URBAN DECAY lipstick as I liked the AD in HARPER's BAZAAR……….cheap $16.00 for a tube and SO far SO GOOD I LIKE THAT TOO!

  33. Anonymous says

    I've had great success with Monistat Anti Chafing Powder Gel as a primer! I turn 52 next month and once I started menopause I found I could not keep foundation on my face. I mix this on the back of my hand in a half and half ratio with Chanel Lumiere Foundation (recommended by several beauty bloggers for best for mature skin), and then apply with a sponge. I follow with a light brushing of Bare Minerals Hydrating mineral veil. I've been very happy with the results, makeup stays on all day and doesn't dry out my already dry skin.

    • Cindy says

      I have been thinking about trying the Bare Minerals Veil again. I have the same problem with foundation wanting to disappear…even though I still have combination skin on my face! Great suggestions!

  34. beyondbeige says

    Good post. Love to hear what other gals are doing to stay natural looking in our dotage. lol My skin has changed so much after the big M word. Sigh. I find I break out easily with any liquid foundation. I am using Jane Iredale mineral makeup. It covers well and doesn't leave my face a greasy mess. I am desperate for a good concealer for my dark circles. The ones I have tried are to thick and just show every crease. Anyone who has had good luck with a concealer can you give us a shout out?

    • Cindy says

      I have all of the same problems you have referred to sadly! A shout out to anyone that can recommend a good concealer as well!!

  35. JenT says

    What an awesome post. Thanks so much. Very helpful. Pushing 70 and need all the help i can get! My next question is how to go gray after coloring my hair for the last 20 years? I love these models with the gorgeous natural hair.

    • Denise says

      Turning 70 in few weeks and had blonde highlights in light brown hair since a teen! Hardly NO grays till Covid!
      Missed regular hair appts last year, and all of sudden, I’m COVERED in gray hair! Can’t decide if I like it or not. I enjoyed this Instagram site about women of ALL ages going gray. You might be interested.

  36. Karen says

    I love, love, love these posts. I am a strawberry blonde and because of sun bathing in Southern California at a time when the trend (stupid as it was) was to slather our skin in baby oil or cocoa butter. Wrinkles won! At 60+ I'm still trying a variety of products to find the ones that don't hang in wrinkles. I've been using Clinique "even better" make up and am happy with it. I apply it with a foundation brush and then finish with a makeup sponge. My daughter-in-law says the best eye shadow is MAC so I use that. I'm still shopping concealer's. I plan on visiting the links in this post.
    I accept that I am no longer young and embrace the idea of just looking as good as I can where makeup is concerned. 🙂

    • Cindy says

      Oh boy…sounds familiar…baby oil and cocoa butter, if only we knew what we know now!!
      I am going to check out the mac eye shadow. I do not have one that I am happy with! Love all these suggestions!!

  37. Katie Clooney says

    Hi Cindy… great post. I've heard a million times to stay away from powder and yet I can't give up my Jane Iredale powder foundation. It covers everything! My girls, who are my biggest critics think it looks great and I do get compliments on my skin. It's hard to get an old dog new tricks. Now I'm going over to youtube to check out the video. Have a great week.

    • Cindy says

      Katie I hear so many that love the Jane Iredale line. I tried a product or two several years ago. I must revisit them! All I can say is if it looks good and works don't stop using it! You don't have as many wrinkles as I!!

  38. Mumbai says

    #2….Lisse minute from clarins. I mix it with the foundation 1:2..looks very natural.
    I also like the eyebrow gel from Lancome which comes in very natural colours.

  39. Anonymous says

    DHC Skincare, which is a Japanese line that's been around forever, has a primer called Velvet Skincoat that feels wonderful and works very well. ( Also, their Deep Cleansing Oil works beautifully to remove makeup, even from oily skin. (I'm 40 and still having breakouts. I tell myself they make me look younger.) DHC also offers 4 free samples every time you order so its a nice opportunity to try different things.


    • Cindy says

      Wendy thank you for the suggestions. I am 60+ and I still have an occasional break out. I kept telling myself when I was a big girl I wouldn't have anymore pimples! I will look into that primer and I have been looking for a good makeup remover. The mascara that my daughter has me using is like concrete!

    • KimB says

      I like some DHC products but found that the primer rolled off my face as I applied my foundation on top of it, and kept rolling off throughout the day. It reminded me of the eraser shreds that you get when you erase pencil marks on a paper. So proceed with caution! And by the way, my skin is much worse at age 50 than it ever was when I was a teenager.

  40. Denise Runions says

    I don't know what a lot of the things are that you mentioned. But I find that a foundation that corrects the redness in my skin (I have psoriasis) is very helpful. I also use a charcoal eyeliner, charcoal mascara and a natural-to-berry colored lipstick. I suspect it's not working too well, though, as most of the men on the dating site I'm on say I'm too ugly to be looking for someone to love me. So maybe I should be rethinking my beauty routine.

    • Cindy says

      Hi Denise I love the idea of a charcoal mascara. What brand do you like? I think you should tell those men a thing or two!!

    • KimB says

      Denise, it made me so sad to read this. Do not listen to those men. If you question your routine, check out the makeup counters in department stores. In the Macy's near me, a couple of the counters are staffed by mature women who have been so helpful to me. Anyway, keep your chin up and forget those men. They aren't worth 10 seconds of your time.

  41. Teacats says

    I can strongly recommend Dominique Sachse's channel on YouTube …. a gorgeous woman who is a broadcaster in Houston! Her channel has LOTS of videos on all types of makeup/fashion/health tips and ideas for women …. as for eyebrows — look at her videos — including her newest ones (three of them) as she gets her eyebrows "microbladed" which is a new form of tattooing! It takes three sessions at a salon in Houston — and she shows you it all ….

    • Mary from life at Bella Terra says

      Teacats, I am fair haired and a year ago had a professional (make sure you use someone who is certified) do my eyebrows~microblading. It is, hands down, the best thing I have ever done. My eyebrows don’t wash off in the pool or after a shower. They look great and last for up to 2 years. I just had a touch up done and I am so happy NOT to have to do anything with my eyebrows ever again. But the important point is to get someone who does it well. Many people advertise they do it, but make sure you do the research. It is amazing how the eyebrows can define your face. Mine were practically non-existent because of my light hair. Just an FYI.

      • Cindy Hattersley says

        Mary thank you so much for weighing in on the eyebrows! I am in no help in that department because I still have full eyebrows.

  42. Marsha Splenderosa says

    I am a total devotee of NARS products, from skin care to makeup. Their eyeshadow base is the best, the absolute BEST! Yep, it's difficult when we get to a certain point, dammit.
    But, I see women who still wear their hair and makeup exactly like they did in college. Yuck !!

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