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Makeup Tips and Tricks for Women over 50–Best Makeup Primers

Last summer  I did a post on 12 Essential Makeup Tips for women over 50.  If you haven’t read it I would strongly recommend it not necessarily for what I had to say but all of the great suggestions and comments from my readers.  You guys rock! When it comes to makeup over 50, some of the rules we lived by in our 20s and 30s no longer apply. Before 50 (well maybe 40) I could pull off being a “makeup slacker”.  Once everything started to go “south” it was time to get more serious. I have followed up on several of your suggestions myself.  Here are my Tips and Tricks for Women Over 50-Makeup Primers.12 Essential Makeup Tips for Women Over 50
Let’s take a look at makeup primers and keep the conversation going. I am not an expert I am only sharing what I have learned.  I will follow up on the others in future posts.
Makeup Primers What do they Do and Why are they  Important to Aging Skin?

They are said to:

  • Fill in fine lines and enlarged pores
  • Conceal uneven skin color
  • Brighten and illuminate skin
  • Camouflage age spots and darkness around the eyes
  • Smooth uneven skin texture
  • Firm skin
  • Help make up last longer and work better

Many of the primers include sunscreen protection.  Many have illuminating qualities.  I personally need all of the light diffusing properties they have to offer. Do they do all that is promised?  I doubt it.  I personally need help with the first three.  I definitely have age spots from too much sun in my younger years.  For some reason, I don’t have the dark circle issue thankfully. I am still on the lookout for a primer that works well for my skin. Here are ones that are highly recommended for women our age. I personally still have basically oily skin, large pores with some areas of drying.  What works for me may not work for you.  I have researched the web and these are SIX that seem to keep appearing in ratings for women over 50.

Best Primers For Mature Skin
Arbonne Makeup Primer-highly recommended by my friend Pam (who looks fabulous)  and many of the experts
Laura Mercier Radiance Primer-highly recommended (There are several versions of this one depending on your skin type)
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer-highly recommended but too gluey for me.  There are multiple versions of this one as well, maybe I should try one of the others.
Chanel Base Lumiere-super highly rated but pricey
Veil Hourglass Primer– on the pricier end as well but recommended by many.
DHC Velvet Skin Coat Primer– One of the most reasonable and highly recommended
Vicki Archer recently blogged about the virtues of the Tom Ford Illuminating Primer here-it is very pricey but if you are willing to pay the $$$ I am guessing it is good.  Vicki usually knows her stuff. Her readers always share a wealth of information as well.
Many of the above can be purchased on Amazon in the travel size if you don’t want to spend the big bucks to try one of the more expensive ones. Here are some of the links I found helpful in researching products.

Have you added a makeup primer to your regime? Or are they just another added unnecessary product?  Do you have a favorite that works well for you? Have you tried any of the above and do you have one that you can’t do without? I am going to address more of the tips below in future posts so gather your information to share!
12 essential makeup tips for women over 50

Reader Interactions


  1. Cindy says

    Hi Debbie! I think we should both try that Julep product. I still line my eyes on the water line as well. I am going to email you!

  2. Anonymous says

    Hi Cindy!
    I too have used the Laura Mercier primer for years, and love it! I do not use foundation, as the sunscreen I use, SkinCeuticals spf 50 is lightly tinted. I also, use a peach-tone eye shadow, but I do still line my eyes with a dark liner. I line under the upper lashes, not above. I am going to try the Julep product. By the way Cindy, this is Debbie Brewer.

  3. Kate says

    Thanks to Cindy, I now use It CC Cream and what a difference with illumination. I had been in a rut not having changed foundation brand for several years.
    I was recently introduced to Julep – When Pencil Met Gel for an eyeliner and again am thrilled with the new product. It is applied to the water line of the upper lid (never lower lid) and for those of us who have wisdom lines, it looks very natural. It enhances the overall appearance. What a change it is compared to the dark line on the upper lid!!

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  5. Gail Storti says

    Thank you for this great post, Cindy. I don't use a primer but after reading about them, I'd like to try one. Just not sure which one. Looking forward to more beauty tips in the future. I love when someone else in my age range, and that I trust does the research for products that work!

  6. Sandra Sallin says

    I also do not use foundation. I discovered Makeover Workshops Primer and use that. I like that you can see my skin but the color is kind of evened out. Because of my recent surgery I do use a dab of foundation on he red surgical scars. But once they're normal looking I won't use anything over them. I also like Bobbie Brown's Tinted moisturizer. I think the real answer is getting the right color for your face in all of these products.

    • Cindy says

      Good point Sandra regarding getting the right color, and I like a little light deflecting in whatever product I use! Your skin looks fabulous by the way!

  7. La Contessa says

    WHAT IS IT COSMETICS?If you and KATIE C are in the KNOW I need to get up to SPEED!
    I ADORE the FACT YOU and I donot use a FOUNDATION!!!!!!
    As you can tell I wrote my comment than went TO READ THE OTHER COMMENTS!!!!!

    • Cindy says

      I will email it to you Elizabeth…you can give it a try. I will cover the cc creams in a future post as well!

    • La Contessa says

      IT's what I wear but mine is a FRENCH COMPANY!I'll get you the name……………price is about the same too!Probably the same STUFF!

  8. La Contessa says

    About 4 years ago the LAURA M. was recommended to me from a friend who lives in ITALY.She is an AMERICAN and goes back and fourth!AT the time I wore a foundation and I found it to work WELL.I have since gone QUASSY NUDO in the foundation department as I use a FRENCH cream with a built in 50 sunscreen.I have not seen it HERE in the STATES YET!I usually BUY it when I go to Europe average every 3 years in the PHARMACY in the train station!It's cheaper there!!!!!!!SO< bottom line it's TOO much with my PALE look now……………I do use a primer for the eyes that works GREAT BY MAC………….don't ask me the name!It is in a pot also there is one in a black tube both GREAT!
    After re-reading this I think I have been using my NUDO SUNSCREEN much LONGER…………maybe it's time to start AGAIN!

  9. Holly Boyle says

    On Vicki Archer's recommendation and now confirmed by your post, I am using Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. Started with the travel size from Amazon to just try and now I am hooked. I have a renewed glow that has faded over the years. Just a soft brightening of my complexion. I am so looking forward to future posts, especially cream vs powder blush.

    • Cindy says

      Thanks so much Holly! I am going to give that one a try! I used her tinted moisturizer for years before I started using the It CC cream.

  10. Kathysue says

    I forgot to add nothing takes the place of healthy, clean skin. I have used the Korean skincare method for almost a year now and boy what a difference in my skin. I am sold on their method and most of the products I have purchased. I will do a post as well in the near future. I love skincare and makeup!!!

  11. Kathysue says

    Cindy I have worn the Laura Mercier radiance primer for years. During the day if I am going out, I use it and no foundation, if I am going out for an evening event I will use a foundations over that. I highly recommend it. It gives the prettiest glow and finish to my skin. I have used it on friends when I do their makeup for special events and they are sold on the product. I have found with age, I don't have the glow I use to have and this helps give it back to me!!
    I have always gone for a more natural look and less is more when it comes to makeup or design for me personally.

    • Cindy says

      I agree Kathy less is more or at least we want it to look like less!! I find it takes much more work to create the appearance of less than it used to! I love anything with light deflecting particles! Thanks for weighing in.

  12. Taste of France says

    I agree with Anonymous that less is more. Most of my French friends use makeup, but they don't look made up. They have a light hand.
    I remember talking with my mom about this. She wanted to use makeup, but as I pointed out to her, she couldn't really see clearly to know that it was applied well, and on top of that, creams + creases = makeup that makes wrinkles look worse, not better. Less is more.

  13. Anonymous says

    When it comes to make up, after certain age, I find that less is definitely more. On my rountine, I shave my face entirely (minus brows) for once or twice a week, this gets rid of dead skin and the "after menopause" peach fuss and really improves the overall skin texture (every asian women does it from their 20s to their 70s). For my lips I scrub them with brown sugar during shower. I invest in good mosturizers and eye creams (I use La Mer and SKII). NO more foundations nor primers. I start with a tinted moisturizer, or BB cream, apply NARS highlighter on cheek bones and brown bone, a NARS bronzer on cheeks, chin and forehead, finish with NARS torrid blush. I pay special attention to my tired looking eyes, eyelash curler is a must for older women… I use MAC caramel palette eyeshadow, light brown eye liner or upper lids ONLY, and take my time applying mascara (pretty eyelashes can make you look 10 years younger !!!). For my lips, no lip gloss nor lipstick depositing on lip lines, I draw my lips with lip liner and bring the liner inwards for about 2/3s of the lip, and apply AQUAFOR lip repair all over, rub the lips together and slightly dab the excess with a tissue. The lip liner has a waxy consistency that won't bleed neither deposit on the lines, lasts longer too

    • Cindy says

      I do not use a foundation either. I am currently a huge fan of the It CC cream. I am going to give the Aquafor a shot. I currently use a primer, then lip liner all over, then Stihla long lasting lipstick. I would love to simplify the routine! Thanks for all the great suggestions!!

  14. Katie Clooney says

    I have about 12 primers in my drawer. I am such a makeup junkie. I found Chanel not to live up to its hype. Right now I am using It Cosmetics CC Cream that has a primer in it. I am so impressed with this product and the concealer. Have a great week, Cindy.

    • Nancy says

      I was just about to comment about IT…I love all their stuff. ok, except their hero mascara and that's only bc the brush is weird. Their primer works but my crazy 40 something skin cant take it so i just use their all in one liquid foundation plus sunscreen…can't remember the name of it right now but i wouldn't be without it. love these posts!

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