Recently I met with a lovely lady in her seventies seeking advice and help with her make-up for an upcoming wedding.
On the advice of family and friends, Carol wanted to enhance her eyes and find a suitable lipstick shade. With a colour scheme in mind we set about finding the perfect solution.
Now, I’m fortunate enough to have worked on the faces of all ages, yet with the more mature client often comes a degree of concern, some deliberation regarding ‘change’ and scepticism towards the unknown.
With this in mind, I got thinking about some of the key points I usually advise older clients where their makeup is concerned and the types of product and application methods best suited to them.
Now, everyone is different and therefore not all of the mentioned tips will necessarily apply to any one individual, but hopefully there will be something for everyone to take away from this, young and old…
So, where to begin?
Well first and foremost has to be the ongoing care of the skin itself…
Hydration hydration hydration! Regardless of your skin type, young or old, oily or dry, the need to keep your skin clean and hydrated is a must.
Let’s be clear, a dehydrated skin is not necessarily a dry skin, in the same way that someone who may describe their skin as being oily is not necessarily hydrated. All skin types require some level of moisturisation, especially after cleansing or removal of makeup products.
Ensuring that skin is looked after properly is the first step in making sure that anything that goes on top (makeup) is optimised.
So, what are the key steps where skincare is concerned?
Cleansing will clear the skin of dirt and pollutants, excess oils and impurities. Toning will protect cleaned skin from dirt re-entering, as well as smooth and refine its texture. Moisturising will feed the skin with nutrients and of course hydrate, as well as leave the skin feeling comforted.
- Prep and prime
With so many different primer products available on the market it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to choosing one.
As a general rule of thumb, when choosing a primer suited to an older skin, I advise upon primers that help to energise or brighten the complexion, whilst smoothing also.
The ones to look out for are those that come in pink or lilac shades, helping to reduce sallowness, and lift dull, tired looking complexions.
Options to consider can be found in both ‘skincare’ and ‘make-up’ categories, yet the purpose of both remain the same, that being to brighten or correct the skins tone, smooth and refine fine lines and ready the face for further makeup application.
A few favourites of mine include ‘Vitamin C Skin Reviver’ by The Bodyshop, which helps keep skin hydrated and comes out as a pearly orange colour with a subtle tint of pink. The texture is unbelievably soft, melting away into skin leaving an extremely silky veil that instantly provides glow and radiance.
Another to consider is ‘one step correct’ by Stilla, which combines three colours in one pump, green to help combat redness, lilac sallowness and peach to brighten/diminish dark spots and shadows. I love this product because almost anyone can use it to help neutralise a host of skin complaints whilst also gaining a smooth base ready for foundation.
CC creams can also be applied as very effective primers and offer more in the way of coverage where pigmentation or discolouration is concerned.
I favour those that are peachy coloured, finding these to be effective at knocking back dark shadows as well as neutralising areas of the skin damaged by the sun. The result provides a more evenly coloured base on which to apply a foundation suited to the individuals natural skin colour.
Now when I say ‘natural’ skin colour, a good point of reference is the skin of the neck and along the side of the jawline towards the ear. Although I’d always recommend selecting a shade of foundation based on the closest match to this area of the face, it is useful in cases where a complexion may be affected by the sun, or varied in tone, to consider the bigger picture and take into account the colour of the individuals arms, shoulders and chest.
If a fair amount of redness is evident across the face and is followed through the body in the form of freckles and a tan, then it makes sense to play on the warmth of the complexion and go with a bronzed look. It would look silly otherwise to neutralise this, leaving the face looking pale in comparison to the rest of the body.
If the face alone appears different in colour, then after priming accordingly so to neutralise and even this out, a shade of foundation that best matches the jaw/neck can be applied.
In all instances, fine layers of product should gradually be built up with higher levels of cover only applied to those areas in need of it.
With Carol as is often the case in older Caucasian women, her complexion had seen its fair share of the sun. Following priming, foundation was applied in a shade to match with pink undertones. This helped to further diffuse the red areas and bring together a more even complexion that tied through with the rest of her body.
Foundations that are matt in finish or powdery in texture are the types of product I tend to find excentuate wrinkles and give skin a flat, dry appearance. Although they may offer high coverage, the end result is not necessarily the most flattering. Choosing foundations that are described as ‘illuminating’, ‘fresh’, ‘smoothing’ and ‘glowing’, as apposed to those that are ‘matt’, ‘velvet’ or ‘powder’, usually work favourably.
For Carol, a dewy light to medium weight foundation was chosen and applied sparingly, starting from the centre of the face and worked outwards.
A now perfected base was ready to receive the next steps!…
In my next installment I will continue to explore the topic of mature makeup, turning focus towards concealer, eye makeup and the lips.