And for most of us, our skin is the most visible sign of aging.
Aging is a natural occurrence and part of growing older gracefully lies in our willingness to accept and adapt to change. Still, many of us will take steps to alter our appearances. Whether it’s plastic surgery or a chemical peel, there are thousands of procedures and products, and many of them play on our desire to hold on to our youth. While we must rely on professionals for some of these options, altering our lifestyle is entirely up to the individual. We can modify our diet, reduce the stress in our lives, and increase the amount of exercise we get. The grace with which some of us age has to do with more subtle differences -- the laughter in our lives, a positive attitude, an enjoyable hobby, or stimulating work. Taking better care of our bodies as we grow older amounts to an investment in ourselves. Though I’ve been asked to write specifically about anti-aging make-up and as much as I believe that the right make-up can help women look more youthful, I truly believe it is difficult to keep a youthful appearance without balance in our lives and the lifestyle changes I’ve mentioned. Then follow up with some of the following make-up suggestions for aging skin, and you will notice a more youthful appearance in no time!
The Basis of a Flawless Look
As we aged, some of us stopped wearing foundation because we thought it would collect in our laugh lines and emphasize our imperfections. Things have changed! Cosmetic companies have re-formulated their products with women over 40 in mind.
Whether you choose a liquid or mineral formula, foundation is truly the key to a flawless appearance for the face. Now today’s formulations offer a more natural look. If you have stayed away from foundations, reconsider adding one to your makeup application. Anti-aging ingredients such as peptides, sodium hyaluronate, vitamins, and antioxidants have been infused into foundations to help our aging skin. There are biological explanations for why our skin continues to change after the age of 40. But there’s good news too. For every challenge we face, foundations now include natural ingredients to help us combat the problem.
While many ingredients claim to fight the effects of aging, some ingredients are more beneficial than others. Check labels to find products that carry two or more of the following ingredients:
- Soy – the most well known can reduce the severity of hot flashes in menopausal women by acting as a fill-in for estrogen.
- Vitamin E – this antioxidant protects the body’s tissues against harmful effects of free radicals.
- Vitamin C – used on the skin, it works to help heal inflammation and fight off the damage caused by free radicals. It also encourages the production of collagen to give back its’ elasticity and healthy glow. There are many vitamin C’s to choose from. The most easily absorbed into the skin is vitamin C Ester.
- Peptides – these proteins send a signal within the skin structure to make collagen, which results in firmer and thicker skin.
- Co-enzyme Q10 – this activates the skin’s defense mechanisms, boosting its immunity and protecting against free radicals.
- Alpha lipoic acid – this reduces skin inflammation and increases cell metabolism, improving the skin’s ability to heal. It also increases the positive effects of vitamin C and E in the body.
At menopause, estrogen levels drop sharply and women start to see significant changes in their skin. Fortunately, there are many scientifically tested ingredients that can both reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and help restore the skin’s luster and softness, giving a more youthful look and feel.
Research shows that the skin loses 30 percent of its collagen in the initial five years after the onset of menopause. With less collagen, the skin becomes fragile, thin, and the texture changes. The thickness of the skin declines about 1 percent per year and the cell turnover rate slows, leaving more dead skin cells on the surface.
There is also a decline in the amount of testosterone a woman produces. This hormone helps to regulate the production of sebum helping to keep the skin’s outer layer protected. Less testosterone and less sebum means we need more protection.
Finding the palette that enhances changing skin tones and hair color is a challenge in itself. As much as we are physically changing, we may need to alter our make-up and skin care regimes as well. Techniques that worked well in previous years may be outdated. Knowing when and how to make change is what ageless beauty is all about.
Take care of your skin by nourishing it with the best products and treatments you can afford.
Soften your colors, avoid hard-edged lines and obvious contouring for daytime wear and intensify for nighttime wear.
Also, perhaps it’s time for a shorter hairstyle. Add a soft fringe of bangs to hide forehead furrows, receding hairlines, and thinning brow. Try a few highlights in your hair to brighten and lighten the face. Bring your hair and skin tone into balance so they compliment each other. Your best hair color is probably your natural color, enhanced. You can enhance by going a shade darker, lighter, or adding highlights.
Keep those brows shaped! A well-groomed brow can take years off your face.
Chestnut Hair / Olive Skin
Neutral colors are perfect for your skin.
Light Hair / Fair Skin
Brighten your skin with color. Neutral tones will fade on this skin.
Black Hair / Sallow Skin
Add subtle drama. Cool, clear colors are your best choice.
Red Hair / Pale Skin
Soft warm pastels work best with your undertone.
Salt and Pepper Hair / Dark Skin
You need bolder colors with emphasis, don’t be shy!
Gray Hair / Pale Skin
Pastels in cool undertones are the colors you require.
You’ve heard the saying less is more. How true! Give your eyes a lift of color and light. Avoid shades that are too dark or too obvious. Find the natural lid crease, and use a dark shadow where the separation between your brow bone and lid used to be. When you relax your eye, the shadow will disappear and blend into the fold.
- Apply eye shadow in the crease and blend upward. Do not extend below the upward sweep of eyeliner.
- Draw a line under the lower lash line that sweeps upward, without meeting the top line.
- Apply several layers of mascara to the outside of the eye where the line turns upward.
Deep Set Eyes
- Ignore the natural crease and place a darker eye shadow just above it.
- Apply a lighter color of eye shadow from the crease down to the lash line, covering the entire lid.
- Add a highlight under the brow bone.
- Line the eyes at the base of the lash line to add more fullness to the lashes.
A full, rounded shape is more youthful. Flat, thin lips look harsh.
Tip: Look into a mirror and draw an imaginary line from the inside of the iris straight down to the lip line. Anything extending beyond this point should not be colored.
1. To lift droopy lips, extend the lower lip and bring the line slightly upward, taking it slightly above the upper lip corner.
2. Extend the upper lip to meet the line.
3. Powder the pencil outline to soften and set, then fill with lipstick.
- Apply a silicone primer above the lip line to soften lines and plump up the lips.
- Apply a lip base to the lip line and the entire lips.
- Line lips with a lip pencil.
- Apply a rich, moisturizing lipstick.
Keeping up with the changes that come with our middle-aged years and beyond takes self-discipline and determination. With the innovative ingredients made available to us in cosmetics and just the right color palette, it is easy to enhance our beauty at any age. Let's face it; the best is yet to come!
Mary Van owner and founder of Mineralogie, a leading mineral makeup company, has been a makeup artist for over 20 years. She has worked freelance, along with owning her own Spa, but now concentrates solely on her cosmetic line. She attributes her success to creating products that work, and are on the cutting edge. Working with celebrities such as Jessica Simpson and LeAnn Rimes, keeps her always-creating new products as trends keep changing. For further information go to www.mineralogie.biz.