A common mistake we make when it comes to makeup is assuming what works for us at one stage of our lives will continue to work — and that no modifications are necessary. If you look stunning with tweezed brows and can throw on eyeshadow haphazardly and head out the door at age 20, you might wonder why these same makeup and grooming tricks aren’t doing you justice at 40 and beyond.

The answer is simple: our makeup needs, like our haircare needs, change as we get older. You may be taking a vitamin for hair health and growth now, or using gentler shampoos and conditioners because your strands feel a bit on the dry side. The same rule applies to makeup. You may find that you feel more awake with just a little more color here and a little less there. Start with these seven makeup trips for mature women that are nearly fool-proof:


Here’s what you need to know to get out the door in a flash, looking and feeling your best. 

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Apply Primer

When you apply foundation and concealer directly on top of moisturized skin you run the risk of your makeup sliding around and streaking. Creating a barrier in between your makeup and skin is important, as it allows makeup to glide on more effortlessly and helps set it, as well. Choose a primer that’s right for your skin type — one with more moisture if your skin tends to be dry, for example. And don’t forget to apply primer to your eyelids, as well. This area becomes oily faster and a layer of primer can help prevent shadow from melting in the middle of the day. 




If you’ve always associated foundation with heavy, cakey makeup, remember: foundation doesn’t have to be that way — and you don’t need a full face of makeup for it to have a big impact. After applying primer, you can simply add a little foundation here and there — a few dots on the forehead, maybe around the nose where skin can get red — and blend it well with a sponge or your fingers. Your skin tone will appear more clear and even. 



Focus On Eyebrows 

With age, eyebrows sometimes get thinner and more sparse. But because eyebrows play such a big role in framing the face it’s worth spending the bulk of your time (or a good chunk of it) with a quality eye pencil or pen and adding small strokes where you lack brow hair to create fuller-looking brows. You can also experiment with brushing your brows upward and keeping them in place with a brow gel. 



Apply Primer To Eyelids

Don’t forget to apply primer to your eyelids, as well. This area becomes oily faster and a layer of primer can help prevent shadow from melting in the middle of the day or sliding around and smudging. Some brands make pretty great eyelid primers that are designed specifically for this area of the face, but you can also use a face primer. 




A layer or two of volumizing mascara helps open the eyes and make you look more refreshed and awake. Curl your lashes first and then apply mascara while looking straight down into a mirror, a technique that will help give you the most flawless finish.




Apply concealer AFTER foundation, not before — doing so helps you actually use less makeup because your foundation may do the heavy lifting of evening out your skin tone. Apply a concealer that’s one or two shades lighter than your skin and blend it using a damp makeup sponge or your fingers. 

Smoky Eye Shadow 

Have you fallen into the trap of believing smoky eye shadow looks are for only the very young? Sticking to neutrals isn’t a bad thing, but if you’ve become bored with your eye makeup look, don’t be scared to shake things up. Concentrating darker colors on your top lid and lash line and keeping your lower eyelid more bare is one way to help the face look lifted (eyeliner under the eye can sometimes drag the face down, even if it gives off a cool, glam look). Experiment with winged eyeliner as well and extend the line slightly out and upward at the outer corner of your eye to create drama and lift.