Makeup for Mature Faces: Don’t Cover. Find the New Contours.

Can makeup solve mature skin concerns? It can certainly help—but it can also hinder how women present themselves to the world. While it can be tempting to use cosmetics as a crutch to cover age-related imperfections that surface as we age—such as pigmentation changes and accumulated UV exposure—the truth is that heavy foundations and concealers can have a less-than-flattering effect. 

I see a lot of these concerns among patients in my practice, who find that gravity changes the canvas of the face—the contours they’re used to working with as they apply the products they’re used to. For example, excess skin across the eyelid can challenge even the most adept makeup artist to apply upper eyelid makeup. 

To bring some clarity to cosmetic approaches for skin that’s been there, I turned to renowned makeup artist Sammy Mourabit for his pro tips:

  1. Understand. A mature face has been exposed to the elements—sun, wind, pollution, water, ozone…the list goes on—for a longer time. Those types of factors can impact skin’s essential type. So understanding it first can help you enhance the precise type of skin you have in an individual, more effective, way.
  2. Adjust. Once you understand the skin you’re working with, you can make changes to your product lineup to focus on the features you want to play up or down with the right products versus those that simply cover and suffocate your skin.
  3. Target. Less is more—highlight only what you understand. And when in doubt, look at your diet. Proper balance and hydration is the secret weapon of mature skin.

Cosmetic procedures can augment cosmetic products, level setting that canvas to rediscover focal features. For instance, fat grafting has given patients back the apples of their cheeks, easing blush application, and an upper eyelid lift can solve the extra-skin dilemma for eye makeup. One patient rediscovered contour makeup following a facelift—a welcome reemergence in her beauty routine in lieu of the scarves and turtlenecks she had been hiding in.