We live in an era where age is truly just a number, and the year on a woman’s birth certificate doesn’t necessarily have to correlate to her appearance. But how does she do it? It isn’t always medical science that makes her skin look so flawless; sometimes it’s just as simple as good skin maintenance and makeup application techniques. Some experts offer tips to help women of the baby-boom generation look fresh, youthful and up-to-date.
Keep It Clean
Like any artist working on a masterpiece, creating a perfect picture requires a clean surface.
“Makeup is a part of a look for a mature woman, but skin care is the primary regimen that a woman has to maintain in order for the makeup to wear well,” said Hollywood makeup artist Kelcey Fry, who has worked on the Diane Keaton movies “The Family Stone,” “Because I Said So” and “Something’s Gotta Give."
Makeup is a part of a look for a mature woman, but skin care is the primary regimen that a woman has to maintain in order for the makeup to wear well.
— Hollywood makeup artist Kelcey Fry
For starters, Fry says, exfoliate three times a week -- preferably at night, to avoid too much redness during the day -- “because, as we get older, we produce less collagen, and we don’t exfoliate as we did when we were younger. As we mature, we need to help manipulate that.”
Fry also stresses washing your face with a warm, clean washcloth each morning, which wipes away bacteria that has built up overnight. Take your time with this, says makeup artist Marcella Cardinal, who has worked on TV shows including “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Facial cleansing, both in the morning and at night, is not something that should be taken lightly -- in fact, Cardinal recommends washing your face twice at night just to make sure.
“There have been studies that women spend an average of 20 seconds washing their face -- this isn't enough time to remove all the makeup, SPF, sweat, et cetera,” Cardinal said. “By not effectively removing everything, they're affecting the penetration of products and reducing their effectiveness. It's also accumulating irritants and dirt, not allowing the skin to breathe.”
Cardinal says to spend around 20 seconds on the first cleanse, promptly following with a 30-second cleanse. She stresses to “pay attention to the hair line, around the nose, by the ears and the neck-chest [area]. Massage the cleanser into all these areas.”
The trick to applying makeup on more mature women is to make it look as light as possible, because it’s so easy for delicate skin to look weighted down. However, this can be a problem for those in their 60's and older, because our skin gets drier as we age.
That's why a good moisturizer with SPF is key to setting the scene when starting your makeup application, says film and TV makeup artist Kierra Scheffer, adding that this isn’t the time to go for an oil-free moisturizer. She also suggests using a primer after the moisturizer -- including around the eye area -- because this will make it easier for makeup to stay put, rather than settling into lines.
As far as foundation, Fry suggests opting for tinted moisturizers, followed by light mineral makeup. If this doesn't provide enough coverage, Scheffer recommends a “hydrating formula of foundation,” followed by concealers and a cream blush on the cheekbones because “that’s going to make it look fresher and dewier and more like real skin, so it’s not going to settle.”
Like on other body parts, working on the eyes is all about defying gravity, says Scheffer. “The eye area is all about drawing attention up, focusing on the top eyeliner and not using anything that’s going to be too bright or too dramatic or harsh,” she said. “As we get older, our eyes get lighter; our hair turns gray. Using dark or bright colors like we used to overwhelms the face [and] using anything with too much shimmer will magnify the wrinkles on the lid.”
A similar problem exists in the lip area, Scheffer says, because our lips thin as we age. “Stay away from really dark colors; those make the lips look smaller,” she says. “Also, avoid something that’s really matte. But then again, nothing too glossy or shiny, because that will bleed.”
Whitney Friedlander is an online and print journalist whose work has appeared in "Los Angeles Times," "LA Weekly," and "Los Angeles" magazine. She writes about fashion, home & garden, lifestyle, celebrities and more. She received her bachelor's in journalism from University of Missouri in 2002.