Learning makeup as a teenager
When I was a teenager, my Dad brought home eye shadow, blush, foundation, lipstick, and nail polish from his female colleagues. They had retired these items for the new seasons it colors. Mom did not like makeup, but my parents compromised that we girls were allowed to wear makeup on Sundays. My Dad argued that when teenagers get it wrong, nobody cares, but it would hurt us later in life when we get it wrong due to lack of experience with makeup. He also argued that it is important to learn to stay on top of changing trends in makeup and to adjust the makeup for the occasion. This guy was so right!Makeup is the finishing touch to any outfit. Click To Tweet
Makeup for work over 40
At work, you have to wear makeup to look professional in a very subtle way. It has to be there, but it should be barely visible.
Makeup as finishing touch in midlife
The same applies to us women over 40, 50 and beyond. Too heavy makeup makes us look like trying too hard. It will look like a painted Old Lady. Here I share what I learned over time what works and how to adjust it.
- Avoid to do your makeup the way you did it in high school. For instance, no eyeliner on the inner lower lid, or no darker or even blue lip liner. These trends are way past their prime!
- I draw a thin line in brown eyeliner under the lid of my lower lashes from the outside toward the nose. I stop behind the iris, i.e. I do not complete a full line. I draw a thin line also in the upper lashes, but full way. Boths serves to create the illusion of a fuller lash line. I use brown as it is not so harsh than black with the fine lines, but it does the trick to look like more full lashes as well. When going out I use purple on the outside and green below the iris to create interest. Note this is not a look for work and/or when you strive to look natural, i.e. for the barely there.
- I curl the upper lashes and add mascara. The curling and mascara open the eyes, which looks like paying attention, being agile, awake, and open minded. These attributes are all enhancing your professional appearance at work. These are attributes you want to be associated with over 40, right?
- I put primer on, concealer when needed (cream sticks work better for me than the liquid ones), a mix of foundation and day cream with SF 30. Note that even in winter, you need a high SF in cold climate as the sunlight reflects on the snow. The snow acts like a mirror. Recall our older sisters or even some of us used mirrors or aluminium mattresses to tan in the late 60s and early 70s. It is the same principle as with the snow.
- When you live in a climate region that causes high differences in your skin color between winter and summer go for two foundations, one for winter, one for summer. Blend them to match your skin color in the in-between seasons. When applying foundation blend out towards your neck. Make sure you avoid that the foundation will rub off on your scarf, collar, etc. Avoid the demarcation line that we had in high school. 😉
- I prefer cream blush as it is easier to distribute on dry skin and it does not accumulate in wrinkles. However, in Alaska, my favorite brand is hard to get (read more here). Thus, I often use powder blush and mix it with cream which causes a great mess when producing it. Therefore, I don’t recommend it.
- Have a look at yourself when you had an exciting event or preformed exercise that made your cheeks go red. That area is the area that you want to blush. However, use a blush in a lighter color than the color caused by exercise. No Nike triangle, and no supersized polka dots please!
- Make sure that your eyebrows are groomed every day. It is less work to tweeze strays when you see them than to get your brows back into shape.
- Add strikes with a brow pencil where needed. I like to add brow gel for dance performances and going out to have a bold natural look. Brooks Shield, anyone?
- Eye shadow should just be barely there. I try to apply it very thin and than smooth it out with my finger tips. Unfortunately, the shadow does not stay long and has to be reapplied after a couple of hours when you strive for the look “does or doesn’t she wear eye shadow?” When you apply too much powder eye shadow it will accumulate in fine lines. You don’t want to draw attention to them, right?
- I prefer to stain my lips and use a staining lip balm every hour or so. Doing so is needed as the air in the Interior of Alaska is so dry that lipstick even with a high moisture primer would dry my lips out and my lips would look flaky.
- To look the most natural go for a color that is close to the color of your gums.
- Tip: Have a look at the makeup of the female CEOs for the perfect “does or doesn’t she wear makeup look.”
- For work and over 40 the goal is to look polished, awake, young/up-to-date, in control and natural. Avoid anything that looks fake. You may like it or not, we not only compete with the males of our age, but also with the next generation in the work world.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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