Best makeup for 40 year olds

Get a fresh new look for your makeup routine with the best makeup for 40 year olds. The following are the top rated, long lasting makeup essentials that best suit women in 40’s.

A lot of people think that the best makeup for 40 year olds is no makeup at all, but that’s not true! There’s a lot you can do to make yourself look younger, while still keeping your style intact. The key is to choose colors that work with your skin tone, and then layer them on top of one another in a way that makes sense.

The first step is choosing colors that complement your skin tone. If you’re pale, go for something neutral like peach or light pink; if you’re olive or brownish-toned, try something brown-based or bronze; if you have darker skin and want a subtle look, go for bronzer; if you’re fair but want a bold look, go for reds or purples; if you’re dark and want a natural-looking glow, opt for peaches and golds.

Like merlot wine and fancy cheese, we just get better as we age. A few things that make getting older so beautiful are that you feel more comfortable in your own skin, could care less what people think, and don’t waste your energy on drama.

That being said, our skin changes as we age, so we tweak our skincare routines accordingly to treat these new needs, and the same goes for makeup. While we’re advocates of wearing whatever makeup you feel like at any age, you wouldn’t use the same makeup products that you did in middle school, so why apply your makeup the exact same way once you’re over 40?

The reality is that when we talk about wearing makeup, it’s often in relation to skin that’s plump and tight. While mature skin is still commonly and wrongfully left out of the picture due to dated social constructs that young equals beautiful — it’s far from the truth.

That’s why this article is centered on makeup tips and tricks for women over 40 who want to continue to celebrate their natural beauty.

Best makeup for 40 year olds

Curious about the beauty products other people in their 40s are loving, I tapped 11 everyday women and beauty experts to share what makeup works best for them. Ahead, the cosmetics you should give a try, too. 

Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me! Dewy and Smooth Foundation

A foundation that packs hydration and sun protection is always a welcome addition, according to Dina, 45. “Maybelline’s Fit Me Dewy and Smooth Foundation provides all-over luminous coverage, hydration, and a dewy complexion that makes me feel and look great,” Dina says. The key ingredients at work are humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, that absorb water from the atmosphere of your skin and hold it in place on your skin.1 “Consider them water magnets for our skin,” says Registered Physician Assistant Angie Seelal. “Plus, dimethicone helps to seal the hydration into the skin by acting as an occlusive barrier.”

BB Cream: Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

Monroe, 48, always reaches for Clinique’s Age Defense BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30. She calls this her “all-in-one for a five-minute face,” adding that it primes, brightens, and evens her skin. New York-based makeup artist Mickey Williams, 47, also raved about the product. “I love any cream that combines SPF and tint because it’s the easiest way to get a face on, in a flash,” Williams says.

Highlighter: RMS Beauty Living Luminizer 

Living Luminizer

“I dab this highlighter on my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, lids, and brow bone,” Sherri, 40, says. “It lights up my face.” Mickey Williams agrees that an allover highlighter adds instant luminosity. Her favorite isCharlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter. “It’s sexy, youthful, and I apply it at the very end of my makeup routine, so I can put it just where I need it like my upper cheekbones, forehead, nose, and jawline,” Williams explains. 

Eye Cream: Obagi Clinical Vitamin C Eye Brightener

Lucie, 45, applies eye brightener daily. She says Obagi Clinical’s Vitamin C, blurs dark circles. Seelal explains the product’s adaptogen complex is what allows it to even out skin tone. “It contains a yeast ferment and adaptogen Rhodiola Rosea that hydrates and helps energize the look of tired skin around the eyes,” she says. Additionally, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate provides a stable form of vitamin C, which helps brighten our skin and adds a healthy glow.2

Setting Powder: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder

For Nina, 49, the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder is a daily staple. “The loose, fine-milled powder acts as a magic matting veil and doesn’t get stuck in my fine lines, that I admit, exist,” she says. This powder is infused with hyaluronic acid meant to prevent dryness—and pretty much give you new skin. “Moisture-retaining hyaluronate is specifically suited for dry skin sufferers,” according to Seelal. “Finely milled powder is great for mature skin and will look completely translucent.”

Cream Blush: Nars The Multiple in Orgasm

“We tend to gravitate towards colors like Orgasm because it has a golden hue,” Williams says. “Anything that has a warm shimmer will always make us feel glowy and more youthful.” This formula is silky and weightless—and infused with monoi and tamanu oils that blend effortlessly for a second-skin finish. Julia, a 47-year-old consumer of the multi-purpose cream stick, agrees. “It gives me a flushed glow that makes me feel sexy. I will also dab some on my lips and lids, too.” Williams says it’s best to apply the blush on the apples of your cheeks and swipe back to the hairline. Then, use a buffing brush to blend the color into the skin. 

Eyeshadow: Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise

“Shimmer—not my teenager’s chunky glitter makeup—gives my eyes a bit of spark,” says Eva, 49. She’s right. It’s not that young, cool, glittery look you see on Hunter Schafer in HBO’s Euphoria. It’s more subtle, and when it catches the light, it just looks fresh. “For mature skin, always look for warmer shades with champagne tones, rather than slick silvers or grays,” says Williams. “If your eyes are crepey, avoid the corners and lay the shimmer on your lid with a brush. The softer the eyeshadow, the easier it will be to blend, so look for really cushiony options.”

Lip Plumper: BeautyBio Plumping Lip Serum

Liz, 42, is always gushing about how BeautyBio’s Lip Serum provides “injectable-like results.” Ingredients include collagen, hyaluronic acid, and sunflower seed oil, which work to plump fine lines and wrinkles, according to Seelal.”These ingredients can penetrate deep into the layers of skin on your lips to assist your cells with rejuvenation and restoration,” Seelal says. “Continued use intensifies the results, and in time, fine lines and feathering are less noticeable. Your lips will feel more hydrated and healthy.”

Neutral Lip Liner: Trish McEvoy Long-Wear Lip Liner

Melissa, 41, isn’t ready to try lip fillers yet, so she uses Trish McEvoy’s Long-Wear Lip Liner to create the illusion of fuller lips. “If I line my lips just outside the natural edge, I see a boost of volume,” Williams notes. She recommends first applying a lip balm that has a cushiony feel to it—not something that absorbs completely but rather fills in the fine lines to make your lips appear smooth but transparent. “Then, use a neutral liner to line the top lip following the outer edge. Follow on the bottom and make sure to only line the areas that you want to appear defined. Once the liner is applied over balm, gently press your lips together to move the liner inward and blur any sharp edges.” The result? Natural-looking, fuller lips. 

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Claire, 40, relies on various shades of Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. In her late 20s, a makeup artist at a Bloomingdale’s counter explained that pressing a liner in between each lash along the lash line creates a lush and full look before mascara.”Getting into the lash line with liner will do wonders at waking up eyes. It also gives the illusion of thicker lashes,” Williams says.

Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing Mascara

Kate, 48, reaches for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Volumizing Mascara when her eyes need a pick-me-up. “I love this mascara because it coats my lashes in a deep, inky pigment,” she says. “But it also seems to perk up droopy lids and my sometimes tired-looking eyes.” Willams agrees a rich, black mascara can work miracles on tired eyes. “Since our eyelashes get lighter and more sparse as we age, a volumizing or lengthening mascara can make eyes appear more open,” she says.

And with that, here is a detailed helpful makeup tips, tricks, and techniques for women over 40. Discover them for yourself, below.

Apply Blush to The Apples of Your Cheeks

“Work against gravity by applying your blush on the upper part of your cheekbones in a slightly upward sweep,” explains Jahns. “And our skin tone can change over time, so we also need to be very aware of whether warm or cool undertone colors will work best for us.”

Don’t Forget About Your Eyebrows

“The good news is that as we mature, we most likely don’t have to pluck our eyebrows as much. But we should also begin to fill in sparse hairs—especially the ‘tails.’ I notice most women don’t know to fill in the tails of their eyebrows completely,” says Jahns. The Sisley-Paris Phyto-Sourcils Design ($66) has an easy applicator with a brush on the other end to fluff your brows out.

Treat Your Eyelid Area As You Always Have

“Our eyelid area changes, but we can open up our eyes by using lighter, nude shade on the lid and under the arch of the brow. Put a medium to dark tone high enough so that these shadows can be seen above ‘hooded’ eye areas. It also helps to make a backward seven shape at the outer area of the eye to lift the eye. I especially love Laura Geller’s Baked Highlighter Duo ($45)—I use shades French Vanilla and Portofino,” she notes.

Avoid a Drying Lipstick Formula

“I think we’re all influenced by advertising and trends to some extent. Not choosing bright enough lipstick colors with luminosity can be a mistake—the color and shine will flatter your lips and keep them hydrated,” says Jahns. “Matte lipsticks and the nude lip look can age anyone.” For a pop of color with just the right amount of shine try the Dior Addict Stellar Shine Lipstick ($38) in the shade 673 Diorcharm – pink coral.

Don’t Give Up on Eyeliner

“Many give up on eyeliner because it’s far more difficult to apply when you can’t see as well as you used to. But eyeliner gives wonderful definition to the eyes,” says Jahns, who recommends using an eyeliner that has a smudging tool (or use a Q-tip to smudge the line) to give a softer look— that way, you can get away with a line that isn’t as perfect. “Another option is to rub an angled eyebrow brush over an eyeliner pencil and use the brush to apply the liner. The brush makes application far easier and the result is a pretty, soft look. I usually recommend a darker brown on the top lid and a lighter brown applied only to the outer third of the bottom lashline.”

Use a Soft Buffer Brush for Foundation

The application process is just as important as the products themselves. Jahns suggests using a soft buffer brush – like this one from It Brushes for Ulta – to apply your foundation to allow it to smooth out your skin instead of settling into fine lines. “Lipstick ‘feathering’ or ‘bleeding’ can also be a challenge due to small wrinkles around the mouth area. Before putting on lipstick, I recommend using foundation or concealer (with the lips stretched wide when applying) around the mouth area to provide a barrier. Using a lip liner and applying a very light application of powder can also be helpful,” she says. 

Use Small, Circular Motions to Apply Eye Shadow Evenly

“Opening up the eye with a soft vanilla shade on the lid and bringing the medium- and dark-toned shadows higher above the crease makes a world of difference. I love Clinique’s All About Shadow Quad in Teddy Bear ($30). Use a small circular motion with your eye shadow brush to ensure the shadow is on the eyelid skin evenly. A windshield wiper motion can sometimes miss areas of the lid where there is some crepeiness.”

“I think most of us are loath to invest in eye shadow palettes where we don’t use half or a third of the colors, but It Cosmetics makes several that are all great,” says Jahns.

Invest in Cream and Liquid Products

“I definitely recommend cream or liquid foundations and cream blush. Powder can settle in fine lines and emphasize those lines and any crepeiness we may have in our eye areas. It can also look splotchy and uneven,” says Jahns. “For most women, the skin tends to get drier as we mature, so using cream products with more moisture is a plus. They’re also pretty mistake-proof. It’s easy to start with a small dab and gradually build to a soft, light color that is flattering.” Lilah B.’s Divine Duo™ Lip & Cheek is a highly pigmented formula that is cream-based. The best part? It can be used on lips, cheeks, and eyes.

Consider Different Formulas

Though any product is fair game to use at any age, certain formulas do complement your skin better as it ages. “Clinique makes some excellent skincare and makeup products that are fragrance-free and allergy-tested,” says Jahns. The Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer by Clinique is a lightweight formula that still provides full coverage. “Often as we get older, we become more sensitive to product ingredients. Mascaras, eyeliners, and eye shadows can pose problems for more sensitive eyes.”

Reduce Redness With Foundation and Concealer

“For women who need greater coverage due to redness or discoloration, I recommend Clinique’s Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, which is a combination foundation and concealer formula, and its Redness Solutions Makeup SPF 15 with Probiotic Technology. I also like to add some of its new Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup to give a dewier finish to the skin.”

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