Secrets of the Makeup Facelift

Ditch the botox and take some expert tips on making the most of your makeup.

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Makeup used as a disguise can age you a decade, but cosmetics used as an enhancement can help you drop ten years. According to US beauty guru Bobbi Brown, who’s built a multi-million dollar makeup empire by helping women of all ages – especially those over 40 – look great, “When you take away the natural signs of ageing by artificial means, it looks like you have done something wrong. I much prefer to do it with make-up,” she says. Aged 52, Bobbi practises what she preaches. Here is how you can get a face-lift using a little makeup and ingenuity:

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1. Choose the Right Moisturizer

1. Choose the Right Moisturizer

“I don’t care what moisturizer does for your skin in two weeks or six months – I care what it does the moment you put it on your face,” says Brown. “You can really get a minifacelift with the right layering of creams and oils.” For summer, switch to lighter lotions, and let your moisturizer sink in for five minutes before applying foundation or tinted moisturizer.

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2. Make Friends with Foundation

2. Make Friends with Foundation

Never try to change your skin tone with foundation. It’s very ageing. Choose a shade that matches or is slightly lighter than your skin. To test a new product, apply a stripe near your jawline and blend in with your fingertips. If the foundation “disappears”, it’s the right colour. Use light-textured foundations or tinted moisturizers if you have good skin.

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3. Cozy Up To Concealer

3. Cozy Up To Concealer

Now for the imperfections. To disguise dark circles, use an under-eye concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone.

To “stipple” away pigmentation, scars or redness on the cheeks, apply concealer with a lip brush, then blend with your fingertips. Concealer should never be used on lines or crow’s-feet; it only makes them look more pronounced.

Eyelids are another giveaway of your age because they develop broken veins and can become discoloured, which can be very noticeable when you aren’t wearing eye shadow. If that’s the case with you, concealer is your friend.

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4. Bust Out the Blush

4. Bust Out the Blush

Blush is one of the greatest de-agers in your makeup arsenal. Creams or powder creams are the best options for women over 35 because they are similar to skin texture.

Don’t shade or shape, just pop some on the apples of your cheeks and blend in. A clear rosy pink or slightly peachy shade suits most skin colours. A light dusting of finely milled translucent powder not only makes pores look smaller, it fights shine and holds foundation in place.

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5. Stock Up on Eye Makeup

5. Stock Up on Eye Makeup

If you haven’t given your eye makeup an overhaul in years, now is the time to change.

Unless you have dark brown or black hair, use dark brown mascara rather than black.

Pale or pearlised eye shadow draws attention to any sagging of the eyelids, so opt for soft light brown or taupe colours.

The smoky, messy eye loved by many women should be avoided at all costs.

Fill in thinning brows with small strokes of a brow pencil, and match the colour to your brows, not your hair colour, for a defined but natural look.

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6. Grab the Gloss

6. Grab the Gloss

There’s no need to avoid lip gloss. On the contrary, for everyday or weekend wear, a gloss that’s slightly brighter than your natural lip colour can look very youthful.

For a longer-lasting effect, use a soft lip pencil to outline your lips first, then fill in with a nourishing lipstick or gloss. A natural rose/brown – the little black dress of lip colour – or a natural rosy hue are great choices for day wear. Red and wine shades add drama at night, while gold adds night-time glitter and moisture. Tangerine, fuchsia and pale lipsticks should be avoided. As I said, prevention is better than cure, and your pout is no exception.

Lips dry with age, so conditioning – especially at night – is a must. Smoother lips also stop lipstick running into lines around the mouth.

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