Update Your Makeup

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

If you have not changed your cosmetics routine within the past 10 years, you are probably due. Skin changes over time and if your skincare and makeup routine don’t change with it, you will likely look dated.

Beautiful makeup starts with healthy skin. Harsh cleaners can exacerbate dryness. That is why Marcela Tobar recommends mild cleansers, exfoliators and the proper moisturizers. She works at Syracuse Plastic Surgery as a licensed esthetician and offers skincare consultations. She also operates MT Makeup in Clay, offering makeup for photo shoots, prom, bridal parties, fashion events, and film and television shoots.

“It’s essential to focus on skincare,” Tobar said. “Once you start with an exfoliated and hydrated canvas, it’s easier for makeup to be applied and look more natural.”

Whenever cleaning or applying products, use upward strokes.

Without properly preparing the skin, makeup settles into fine lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure contributed to this damage, as well as to the age spots you may see in the mirror.

It’s never too late to prevent future damage. Tobar said that it’s vital to consistently wear products containing sunscreen.

“Even in the winter, it’s imperative to wear SPF because of the hyperpigmentation that comes out as we get older,” Tobar said.

Begin with a moisturizer containing sunscreen and touch up with a powder containing sunscreen throughout the day. Shade your face with a large-brimmed hat and large sunglasses.

Skin care professionals can also recommend chemical peels and facials to improve skin texture, which can improve makeup application.

Tobar favors sheer foundation for older skin rather than foundation that’s heavy, which tends to settle into lines.

“We want to focus on hydrating the skin so it’s plumper,” Tobar added.

She said that with properly hydrated skin, women do not need makeup primer.

Tobar said that women should have their brows professionally shaped and use a color gel or powder, not a harsh pencil.

Many women express concern about dark circles under their eyes. Tobar uses concealer containing a little color corrector to even out the tone, applied lightly with a finger.

“Definitely have a little pop of color for the eyes,” Tobar said. “People can get away with any color, but the technique is blending that eyeshadow to the point where it looks like it’s part of the skin. There’s no wrong color. Blend the eyeshadow so it’s not so ‘Here I am.’”

For women 55-plus, Tobar uses matte eyeshadow so it’s not too sheer or just a little shadow with shimmer. She uses soft eyeliner tapered to the eyelashes, avoiding encircling the entire eye. That strategy actually makes eyes appear smaller. Adding a touch of mascara without clumps finishes the eyes makeup.

“As women get older, they feel they need to go crazy with the eye makeup,” Tobar said. “You have to focus more on the skin, making it look youthful versus harsh makeup. Apply just enough to enhance.”

She applies cream blush starting with the apple of the cheekbones and blending up towards the hairline.

Like the rest of the face, lips need exfoliation before makeup application. Then, Tobar applies lip primer so the lipstick stays put. As for lip color, Tobar said that it should coordinate with the clothing and the occasion. A darker or bolder color is more appropriate to a formal evening event, for example. Lip liner can help people who want to enhance the shape of their lips.

Katie Lane, owner of Image Solutions Salon in East Syracuse, offered a few tips for makeup issues that a lot of older women encounter.

“With hooded eyes, you often have to create a crease above where the natural crease is,” she said. “When the eye is open, any eyeshadow you put on disappears.”

Many light-skinned women feel their skin tone fades as they grow older. Lane said that a cream blush and bronzers can add color. Blending is key for these products, as well as placement. Bronzers should go where the face would naturally appear sun kissed after exposure: the brow, a bit on the nose and the chin.

As skin tone changes — or if one has always had skin tone difficult to match — it’s hard to know what foundation to pick.

“That’s why l like mineral loose powder,” Lane said. “You don’t want to look like a porcelain doll. You also don’t want a color that’s not your skin tone.  You may want to go with tone corrector. It’s a little more sheer and lets your skin breathe. Full coverage can look dry and cakey. It can sink into dry lines.”

She uses concealer to touch up age spots.

Thinning eyebrows plague a lot of women over 55. Lane advises sticking with brow products matching the hair’s natural color. For gray or white eyebrows, look for gray or taupe color.

Unsure of what to do with your skincare and makeup regimen? Many makeup experts offer a free consultation so you can figure out what steps to take next.