How to give your makeup a midlife jolt

A makeup intervention may be in order.

As a woman’s 40th birthday recedes in the rear-view mirror, she sees a Facebook photo of herself and faces reality: Her makeup routine isn’t working for her anymore.

She turns to Jodi Risley, an artist and educator for Make Up For Ever, founded in 1984 in Paris, where women know how to look good at every age.

Risley’s intervention might consist of the following tips and tricks.

Reconsider your foundation. “A lot of women choose foundation that is too light for their skin.” Choose a shade that’s slightly deeper, one that matches your decollete, and you’ll need less blush, which can look artificial. “Women are afraid they’re going to have that dark foundation line around their neck,” Risley acknowledges. You might need to switch to a hydrating formula if your skin has become dry. Because of that tendency, Risley recommends colorless fine powder to finish the look, rather than heavier pigmented powder.

Add pinks and peaches. “Think about youth, and mimic those colors,” Risley said, citing Diane Sawyer as an example of how flattering pinks and peaches can be. “A lot of older women wear more browns because they think it’s neutral, but brown brings you down.” Apply pink/peach blushes to the plumpest part of the cheeks when you smile. Using pinks on lips, with lip liner applied strategically, can also compensate for volume loss.

Tend to the brows. “It’s the one feature that can give women a 5- to 10-year face-lift,” Risley said. “It’s that significant.” She prefers warm tones. “A lot of women tend toward ashy colors on brows. If you put a caramel color on, instead of taupe, that will warm up your complexion.”

Try “tight-lining” eyes. Instead of lining outside the lash line, line inside the lash line. “As we mature, we lose lashes. This creates the illusion of thick lashes, and it makes the whites of the eyes look brighter. You don’t have to worry about a straight line, which can be hard to achieve if the lids are becoming crepe-y.” She recommends using a smudgeproof or waterproof eye pencil. “You just lift the lid slightly and put it right inside the lashes.”


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