Do you think you’ll change the way you wear makeup as you get older?

I imagine that I will… but the more dramatic changes will likely happen in a post-blogging kind of world, since much of what I wear is very much dictated by what releases are coming out! My guess is at some point I’ll wear lighter makeup more often, as I presently wear a ton of makeup every day!

— Christine


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Grace Avatar

I am 30 and so far I have stopped wearing face powder all over and I like cushion foundations and lighter formulas that won’t settle into lines. As far as colors go I’m just as likely to do a bold look and now that I can afford more makeup I have lots of options!

Seraphine Avatar

Definitely. My makeup has changed over the years. What I wore in the 1990s when I was in my 30s is very different from what I wear now. My face has aged over the years, and although I still wear a full face of makeup, I’ve had to change the way I wear it. The interesting thing is that because of these changes, I’ve learned to be more experimental with different products and shades than ever before. I do prefer my younger face, of course, but I’m enjoying makeup even more nowadays!

Z. Avatar

I think I’ll probably end up wearing less. Right now I’m in my mid twenties and still suffer from very oily skin and acne so I tend to wear a full coverage base, and a lot of makeup on top of that so that it all balances out. If my skin ever clears up and normalizes I can see myself wearing less.

Mariella Avatar

Probably not. I’m already way past the age where “they” say I shouldn’t be wearing shimmery or frosted eye shadows but I’ve ignored them for 15 years and don’t plan on changing. I have found what work for me and, beyond trying a few eyeshadows that are a bit out of my comfort zone (MAC’s Oh My Mocha is next on my “to buy” list), I don’t plan on changing. I’ll be that 85 year old woman in “the home” who turns up at breakfast with eyeshadow, blush and lipstick already in place for the day!

Ginny Avatar

I imagine I’ll tone down my color palette. Quit the bright eyeshadows and maybe bright blush too. But hopefully I keep bright lipstick!

SabCha Avatar

I find that my dryer, middle-aged skin does not work well with many of the more Instagram-popular makeup techniques like baking and heavy application of foundation and concealer. I find these tend to exaggerate fine lines that I am trying to downplay. I tend to go lighter on the base products now.

Pearl Avatar

Yes – it is already happening. I’ve stopped using concealer as a highlighter base (the ill-advised triangle under the eyes – meant for much a much younger person or at least younger skin, I think) and I don’t wear mascara on the bottom lashes anymore. I imagine my dimensioned eye will become much less so, and my love of shimmer on the lid may be toned down to satins or sheens. I only wear satins or creme formulas on the lips now as opposed to a few years ago where I wore whatever ‘went with the look’. And I’ll probably start using cream cheek products (as a base?) at some point to help balance out the powderiness as I may gravitate to more satin or matte finishes..

Carol Avatar

It’s already happened for me. I have rarely worn makeup during my life up to this point. I still don’t wear it everyday but now I’m much more prone to. I find myself putting on makeup just to run errands which never happened in the past. This is due in part to losing the bloom of youth as it were. The other major attribute is this website. Due to the content and ratings on here, I can finally select products that actually work for me and look good on my skin. I treasure Christine’s comments and that of the other readers. It’s amazing what using colors that look good on your skin and that actually perform can do for your face. Doing makeup now actually makes me happy.

On a specific note, I look for nondrying formulas of almost everything. I also limit metallic eyeshadow because when I use it all I see are highlighted wrinkles… Lots and lots of highlighted wrinkles. I don’t use iluminizing products for the same reason. I do use subtle highlighter on occasion.

AB Avatar

As I’ve gotten older (am in my 50’s): I actually wear more products (e.g., primers, highlighters) and colors than I used to, but it looks more subtle. E.g., I don’t wear one strong blue eyeshadow I did in say my 20’s, but on any given day I might have three colors on at once like a light neutral, medium neutral and plum.

Also, I worry much less about what other people think and a lot more about what I like. This means sometimes I wear a shimmery purple liner or bold red lip just because I like it, and I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to do a decade ago.

Also my skills have improved: I wear more shimmers better now. My eyeshadow techniques are more effective. I can mix glosses or lipsticks to get what makes me look best. I know what colors work best on me. I know how to mix blushes. Etc.

What hasn’t changed is that I still use liquid foundation that’s medium to sheer coverage; dark brown non-waterproof mascara only; eyebrow pencils; even though my skin’s improvement a lot I need a good concealer almost every day.

MichelleChefNYC Avatar

I have definitely changed the way I do my makeup. Aside from the obvious changes you make due to developments in formula and trends, as I’ve gotten older I have definitely lightened up on my base makeup. I prefer a light to light medium coverage with spot concealing. I also no longer powder my whole face, preferring to keep things light and luminous in areas where I don’t need any oil control. I have definitely changed the way I do my brows. I also notice that as I’ve gotten into my mid 30’s I have moved away from wearing as many colors on my eyes. I much prefer to wear a bright color on my lips than on my eyes, and I find most of my colorful eye shadow palettes sit untouched for most of the year. I never expected that to change so much. I still love a dramatic look, just something more neutral.

Caroline Avatar

At 54, I already have! Out go coloured mascaras and heavy eye makeup, in comes concealer (especially under the eyes), bright cheerful lipsticks with dark mascara and liner on the upper lids only (it looks better that way). My eye makeup is now more soft and neutral, and a pop of cheek colour stops me from looking too deathly pale. I draw my sparse eyebrows in using eyeshadow instead of a harsh pencil (my eyebrows are very strange, they curl upwards – yes, upwards – so I resemble an owl ). Do any other mature ladies have peculiar eyebrows, I wonder?

Priscilla Avatar

Great question! I’m already there. My makeup used to be pretty natural looking, but as I’ve aged, I’ve amped up the color in a flattering way. I don’t want to looked washed out, so bronzer, blush and subtle highlight is important as well as a completed eye look that is tailored to my aging eyelids. I’m careful to use good quality mattes from the crease and up and a beautiful shimmer or two on my lid. Tightlining is essential so my eyes don’t disappear and to top it all off, my brow game is a must to frame my face! (Considering microblading)

I’m finding that lighter mid toned lip colors in a creamy or glossy formula best suit me as my lips get thinner. Never leave home without it!!

My skincare is a priority, so my foundation is light to medium coverage in a more luminous formula.

Sarah Avatar

Nope. Saw a lady today while I was working. Her makeup was impeccable; she had sharp, precise winged liner and wore a beautiful lilac highlight on the high points of her cheeks. Long lashes, perfect contour, she looked incredible. She had to be in her 60’s.

Getting older doesn’t mean one has to automatically wear less makeup. I was beginning to worry that maybe I should “lighten up” and stop leaving the house with a full beat but you know what? Makeup doesn’t have a set age limit. This woman I saw today looked like a literal queen. I personally enjoy a full face and I’ve been inspired to enjoy it for as long as I want!

Nancy T Avatar

That’s an interesting question, because I already am technically AARP approved! I still wear some very involved, colorful, even heavier makeup looks at 59 y.o., so I just cannot say when I will dial it down to a “less is more” age appropriate look? Except I don’t look my age, or so I’m constantly told. Someday, I know it will catch up to me, and then I will scale back with eye makeup, will skip highlighting and contouring, and focus more on a colorful or alive looking lip, blushed cheeks, mascara, brows filled in, and subtle eyeshadow. Or…, perhaps, I’ll just go all Maye Musk about it!

kjh Avatar

I may be the oldest current regular reader, so there have been many decades of trends to incorporate or ignore. Some things remain the same; concealer is mandatory. My skin tone has changed and my hair has drabbed down, but most people consider me still a (natural) blond. Earlier, did not wear face coverage, as nothing was light enough. in texture…no TM, etc. Skin was a challenge, as the efficient products and knowledge were also not a reality. Technique has also been vastly refined. The tone change has left warm pinks and corals behind. (clash-clashy!), so am not going in a ‘softer’ direction. Hey, still matchy-matchy on blush and lipstick, whether it’s brick, orange, red, brown, mauve. Eyes: not exactly less less color, but less multicolor. It’s 3-4 shades of green or neutral with purple, rather than green, purple, blue, and yellow tropical forest. Refined shimmer is fine (diffuses the eye texture) but true frost looks pretty dreadful, both lids and lips. Actually love the less noticeable places for color, like offbeat highlighters and colored mascara: they are pips and not pops! My personality is pretty upfront, and that allows me to pull off darks and brights across the board, in moderation, but especially in lips and blush. Not sure which staff at the nursing home will try to steal my Nars brown reds. Good luck, because they will be in the lock drawer, and I sleep with one eye (or two dogs) open.

Alison Avatar

What you describe is pretty much my program right now. I don’t do dark smoky eyes, because they make me look tired. In part due to aging, but also genetically, I have more pigmented skin in the entire eye area and it is not flattering. And now there are a host of color correcting and neutralizing products that can help. The paler base creates a paler start point for shadow application and all my looks are pastel or brightening. I use a lot of cool pinks, mauves, lavender, and every shade of green from pale lemon to true green to teal. The only eye shadow I’ve ever hit pan on is a Lancome 5-color palette with neutral beige, which as I also dust over the corrector before adding color. Concealer is also a must as is eyebrow definition. And a stronger brow dictates liner and mascara. I’ve been an eyeliner girl since my teens and that is never going away. Black, purple, green, blue, wine– and the mascaras. Have never really worn base. Spend it on a natural skin care and touch up a few areas. Being fair, I can wear a wide range of blushes— and I am not apt at this point to wear really dark lip shades. For nails, I gave away a lot of my stash, kept the Chanels and a few other brands I love. No longer wear glitter because of the removal. I take a biotin supplement, use 9-free nail products and have long manicured nails which I do myself. I wear a lot of nudes, magentas, silvers, blues, purples and greens. I just saw a film about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (who is a lot older than I am) which included scenes of her working out. The soundtrack played a famous aria from the Magic Flute which really voices women prevailing and overcoming all obstacles. Eating right, moving your body, taking care of yourself, expressing your truth and your beauty are all part of it.

P.a. Avatar

Depends on what my life will be like in the future- but in general, I love loud colors and being as self-indulgent as possible and I want to feel free to not wear makeup for months or even years. I’m still in my 20s, so barring any dramatic changes, I’ll probably have the same preferences I’ve had for the past 7 or 8 years.

CeeBee Avatar

I thought that at the age of 39 I would have more wrinkles and less acne, but no. My eyelids have started doing a weird thing where my shadows crease just in the inner fold no matter what primer I use (even without primer, hmph!) so that’s a bit annoying and I would like to figure out how to deal with that, but I don’t think it’s necessarily an age thing.

As for colour and product application, I think that will evolve over time… but it’s not like I’m going to turn 40 and stop wearing purple glitter liner 😉

Donna Avatar

I am already up in years. I will be sixty in a few months. I had professional pictures taken of me and my hubby five years ago and was surprised at how I looked. Gone are the days when I can just throw on some mascara, some eye pencil, face powder and lipstick!
So it seems that I am going in the opposite direction. I wear a full face on with emphasis on the eyes. Shadow is a must, bring on the color! Enjoy it all.

Deborah Avatar

I certainly have but I’ve never been one to wear bright colors. I have toned down my blush and no longer put mascara on my bottom lashes. I got that tip from a makeup artist – and she was right! This is only as I have gotten older. I’m a mascara lady and always have been but this tip really has helped my appearance.
I will always love and wear makeup as long as I am able to anyway : )

Deborah S. Avatar

I am 64 and haven’t changed how and what I wear very much at all. I might even be a little more adventurous than I was when I was younger. I feel that age has really liberated me in terms of what makeup I wear and what shades I choose to wear, shimmer, highlighter, etc. I do have days where I lament the changes that have occurred in my skin and face shape and wish that I had the perfect canvas I use to have when I was younger and didn’t appreciate enough at the time. There are so many cool products, colors and techniques that weren’t available when I was young enough to have great skin. My unsolicited advice for any young person today would be to spend half as much as you currently do on colored products and twice as much on skin care as you do now. Stay out of the sun and use sunscreen religiously!!

Sylvia Avatar

My style has already changed quite a bit and I’m only 48. That age used to sound old to me, but now that I’m here, it’s not old at all!

I’ve also thought about this question rather recently. I’ve no idea what I’ll do about my foundation. I’ve got rosacea and while it is well controlled, I am not a fan of the permanent red blotches and general unevenness and choose to cover it most of the time. I’m not sure how that will play out as I get older, but one thing is for sure – I will do what makes me happy and makes me smile inside and out! I am just so over what other people think about everything from how I choose to do my hair to what color lipstick I want to wear. I’m the one wearing it and if I’m wearing it, it makes me happy – and that’s all that matters. 🙂

Susan Nevling Avatar

I am older now, 68, and I have stopped using non- matte shadows in the crease due to some crepeing in that area. I’m genetically lucky to have very very few wrinkles but rosacea has caused tiny broken vessels on my face. I had them lazered but it hurt, was expensive, and they came back. New color correcting and concealer products allow me to wear less opaque makeup but I can’t used light coverage or no makeup.

Nikki Avatar

I can’t say for sure, not having a crystal ball or a time machine. However, I’m inclined to think (or at least hope) not, since I’ve always favored bright colors and been particular about picking makeup colors that go with my outfits. And I do mean always-I took dance lessons from 1st grade through my senior year of high school, and for all 12 years I was known to drag my mom across town to find just the right shades of eyeshadow and lipstick to go with my costumes.

Silvia Avatar

I think I get more daring as I get older I’m 54 my birthday is coming up April 27. Yikes! I’m pretty pale so I do wear on the natural makeup side and blend so much I’m not sure even how much the colors actually do show off especially blush I’m afraid of looking like a clown so I do go light I have to. For especial occasions I crank it up a bit apply just a bit more color here and there but I’ll wear whatever i like. I am beginning to get my wrinkles but so far have great skin a bit always on the dry side/combo. I don’t wear color corrector those kits I see none look like a matching promise probably would make things worst also don’t wear concealer except under my eyes on those days of allergy or bad sleep but hardly. I have no clue what baking is on my face but love the smell of brownies in the oven. I haven’t and am not willing to try those spray mists to set makeup which seem to give organs to the youtubers I’ve seen, to me, is too much of a process and hassle I think each they they invent more and more stuff to sell us ‘beautiful’, I hardly wear mascara on bottoms of my eyes I think maybe twice I have done that..Tightlining I think I know what that is placing eyeliner as close to eye as possible I have done that and for droopy aging eyes I think it does help. I like wearing the lightest foundation I can get my hands on Maybelline Fit Me! Dewey and Loreal even Cover Girl have been great.
Tried face primers but don’t like them and didn’t notice much improvement if any (plus it broke me out with melea) instead, I been loving Cera Vé under my foundation it moisturizes wonderfully and makes my foundation go on so smooth! I do wear primer under eyeshadow when I remember. Although I prefer to keep it light and natural I do have tons of makeup. Lol! I have pencil eyeliners in each and every color of the rainbow but often forget to use them. Have never tried the other type of eyeliners wish I would have but pencils works great for me. Lately I have made bronzers my best friend along with blush. This pale face needs blush! I apply bronzer very lightly with a big fluffy loose brush it makes me look lot more healthy. Mascara oh! Yeah! Is a must! I do love highliter and have tons my latest passion besides lipsticks. Lipsticks were the first, then eyeshadows and tons of blush I been collecting them in every beautiful shade. I will wear glitter on my eyes sometimes and love it! Why slow down due to the years I don’t feel slow like a turtle yet and love colors in clothes and nature and on myself. I love gardening. I was a marathon runner for ten years and miss it so much! I stopped because everyone (non runner) keeps telling me I will ruin my knees but I have no issues with my knees at all. I still go for long walks with my dogs and run a bit but not as much compared to the training required before. I did have two major falls while training thank God not in an actual marathon! Lol! Let’s just say I’m lucky to have not lost all my teeth in that Santa Monica Beach asphalt! I got scared of the falls so hard on that pavement bleeding knees down to my Sauconys and all. But the fun I had was immense and tons of fun friends I met and have kept in touch with a good few. Oh! In my family they all say I’m the crazy one I’m very friendly and bubbly and just energetic but not crazy. I’m also a good loyal friend and never like to put anyone down or go around giving lectures (unless is with my two kids of course ha ha) and just have a good time in life. By the way, this Sunday is the LA marathon and wish so much I was running it but also it takes a lot of discilplune the training especially the long runs in the weekends but so beautiful in that beach is all worth it.

Wild Dove Avatar

Sometimes I wear less, sometimes I wear more.
I’ve gone lighter in colors for brow gels.
More basic colors in lipsticks, eyeshadows, nail colors.
I could probably throw out 95-99% of my makeup collection and still have what I need.
Have gone more neutral and less yellow in foundations and tinted moisturizers.
More moisturizer and luminosity.
More masking and other skincare. Higher end skincare. More Vitamin C, serums, Ceramides.
Gave up eyeliner as the hand was less steady.
Rarely wear mascara, just for special occasions.
Love the boho looks and pinky nudes and bronzes as they are so easy and natural.
Updated my fragrances as so many of the vintage felt “dated”.

Louise Avatar

I already have! I have not been wearing makeup regularly for very long but in the four or so years that I have, my style has already changed. I used to wear pencil liner exclusively – now I tend to wear liquid liner! I also had the Urban Decay Full Spectrum palette which I really loved because I was very much into bright colours, but now I normally stick to neutral eye looks outside of special occasions. I also used to wear KvD’s Echo, which is a really deep blue, but I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that now!

Alecto Avatar

I think “yes,” but in a very specific way: I’m still working on getting my skin to be as close to perfect as I can, and I do eventually think I’ll get there. When I do, I fully intend to drop foundation entirely, or to switch to a dewier, light-to very-light-coverage skin tint with SPF (entirely for the sake of the SPF). Having said that, I don’t intend to change any of my habits regarding strong, unusual colors in eye shadow, lipstick, etc., I just want to continue them over a more natural base. It’s possible that some day I’ll decide I’m just not into makeup anymore; I can actually see that happening.

Alecto Avatar

I should add for clarification that I’m 50 (but I’m told I don’t look it), so I guess I’m technically within that age range where women are expected to be fading into the background. Though … realistically, in current culture, I believe things have changed to a point where people are realizing that women my age (and older) are just getting started, so expectations are in flux — I know a lady 11 years older than me who just started riding motorcycles for the first time in her life. Anyway, the only changes I see making are those that involve less effort, simplification, streamlining … but the “attitude” will remain.

Anna Avatar

I am in my 30-s and I see my skin is not amazing. I can see myself using cream eyeshadow rather than powder, quitting highlighter, investing more in base products. I am a huge fan of Armani Crema Nuda.

Eileen Avatar

I’m in my mid-seventies and can guarantee you that if you want to look modern, fresh, and relevant, your makeup will need to be updated and adjusted as you age. Hair, skin, and eye color fade, some people become more sallow while other people become more ruddy, the face loses volume which alters the shape, lips thin, eyelids droop, etc. You will look much more vibrant by keeping up with the times so go ahead and try out the latest looks if they interest you but be realistic and discriminating when it comes to what you actually adopt.

Travie Avatar

I’m sure as I get older it will change some but not by very much. I love bold , bright colors but I find myself going for more subtle eyeshadow colors. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I would wear electric blue, bright pink, and fuchsia. Even oranges or reds. But at 48 in wearing more neutrals than ever before. Ultimately, I feel like color shouldn’t be limited to a certain age. For me makeup is a form of self expression and I will not allow contrary attitudes to dilute my personal vision!!!

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