How to Cover Wrinkles and Reduce Fine Lines: Best Makeup Tips for Aging Skin and Older Women
We can't all have the luxury of personal stylists and makeup artists to keep us looking amazing as we go about our everyday lives. Nor can we rely on Photoshop anti-aging techniques in real life.
Do you have skin that is only just beginning to show signs of fine lines, perhaps around the mouth or the corners of the eyes? How can you keep aging skin looking its best at all times?
Moisturizing Is Key
The best makeup artists and the most experienced dermatologists will advise that moisturizing is key. I really do believe that it is the most important step in a good skincare routine, so invest in the best quality daily moisturizing lotion that you can — and that doesn't mean that more expensive equals better. You need to find a balance.
Ingredients to Avoid
- Mineral Oil: Depending on how dry your skin gets, particularly in winter, you will likely go through quite a lot of it. So, go for what your budget will allow, but look at the ingredients, particularly if your skin is sensitive. It is best to stay away from mineral oil in your moisturizers and body lotions (the stuff that is in Bio Oil, the supposed 'miracle' treatment oil that is meant to simply erase scars and unwanted pigmentation on the skin). This oil doesn't work for most people, and the people who do find that they see a difference are no doubt noticing a reduction in the scarring simply through time (they do eventually fade on their own). The fading is also, perhaps, due to the massaging that is required to rub the oil into the skin. That is most likely the extent of the 'miracle' benefits of this product. So save your money, ladies. You can always just massage your lotion into the scarred area. Just keep it moisturized and supple and the healing and fading will happen with time. Just be patient.
- Parabens: I also think it's very advisable to avoid parabens in your moisturizer. So, make sure you don't see any parabens listed on the ingredient label. Sure, there are quite a few studies claiming that there is no need to worry about the addition of parabens in skincare products, but why take the risk if there's a myriad of skin care lines out there that do not contain parabens. I am seeing fewer companies using parabens in their skincare nowadays, which is great! Not everyone wants to go completely natural or even organic, but the majority of the population would prefer to know that there are no nasty and dangerous ingredients in the skincare products that they use everyday. Who knows what we will find out years down the track about the safety of the creams, lotions, and potions we are slathering all over our faces and bodies each day?
That's why it's a good idea to stop using low quality moisturizers and day creams, and invest in something that will treat your delicate facial skin properly and give it radiance, hydration, and plumpness.
Embrace Your Skin
There is no 'miracle anti-wrinkle cream' out there, so stop looking, folks. It just doesn't exist. Short of getting botox or a face lift, we have to settle with what we've been blessed with, and for many people, that is early fine lines and premature aging. Just try to think of your small lines as laugh lines or smile lines. I know it's not what you want to think when they're staring right back at you in the mirror each morning, but trust me, other people are not half as interested in their existence as you are. What may appear to be extremely prominent eye lining to you probably doesn't even register on someone else's mind when they look at you!
It's true! We often forget because we look at our own faces so closely in the mirror that what we see isn't as obvious to onlookers. When was the last time someone you were chatting with was as close a distance to your face as you are when you inspect your skin in the mirror? Exactly! They just don't see what you see. So remember that.
Do I Need A Night Cream and Day Cream?
Now that you've got a good moisturizer sorted out, it's up to you whether you choose to use the same moisturizing lotion morning and night, or whether you decide you need a heavier night cream to treat your skin overnight, and a lighter day cream that will provide a nice plump, yet soft, base for your makeup.
There are many options out there. Olay Complete is a very trusted option if you don't want to splurge on more expensive skincare brands such as La Roche Intense Rehydration or Lancome Skin Recharge. Nivea is also a very affordable option and they have just brought out their Nivea Q10 Plus Day and Night creams. They even have a tinted day cream, which is only very slightly tinted so it works on all skin tones. Tinted creams are very good if you have dry skin, don't like to wear a lot of makeup, or if you're in a hurry.
Is Eye Cream the Holy Grail?
Everyone's heard of at least one person raving about the benefits of using an eye cream. A lot of people find that as they get older, the area around their eyes and below their eyebrows becomes drier than it used to be.
For many people, their moisturizer is hydrating enough to serve double duty to moisturize their eye area as well. However, people of any age (but especially people over 50) may find that their eye area is more prone to being dry. It may be worse at certain times during the year. The skin may also become aggravated when one switches to a new cleanser or a lighter lotion. You must also remember that as people age, the skin around their eyes becomes more delicate and much thinner, which means that there is a greater need to protect and refresh the lid, the eye crease, and the often-referred-to crow's feet area.
So Is It Really Worth Investing in an Eye Cream?
That's really up to the individual. If you still have oily skin, then it may not be essential to provide extra hydration to the eye area. But, if you have dry or normal skin and you feel as if your eyes are often tight, flaky, or dry, an eye cream could really be the saving grace in your skincare routine.
If you already use a night cream, you can apply an eye cream before you go to bed as you are using the night cream. It is also a good idea to refresh your eyes after you cleanse in the morning by applying the eye cream where you would normally swipe your daily moisturizer/day cream. So in effect, the eye cream would replace your moisturizer, but only in the eye area and above the eyes. If you choose, you can also put it in the under eye area to refresh the delicate skin underneath the eye.
So, it is something to think about when you consider that the skin around the eyes ages faster than the rest of the skin on the face. Some would argue that the skin on the neck is also more susceptible to aging, but the eyes are more visible.
What About a Neck Cream?
Neck gels have become fairly popular for people looking to fight the aging skin battle. Truth is, there are no true miracle products and very few which have the ability to produce amazing results. You can search all you like, but the best thing is to save your money on all the gels and creams touting wrinkle reduction. This is why products will say "may reduce" and "the appearance of" rather than promising to actually get rid of your wrinkles! The claims seem believable, but few can offer more than a plumping result, which is actually what may cause the skin to appear as if lines and wrinkles are being reduced. But, essentially, what is happening is the skin is merely being well treated and nourished, so it plumps up, which makes the lines look less obvious.
Don't waste your cash on products claiming results they obviously don't have the ability to offer. Only cosmetic surgery, botox, or fillers can do that, and if you're against that or don't want to fork out extraordinary amounts for those types of plastic surgery procedures, then you're going to have to learn to love the skin you're in now and work with what you've got. Trust me, the better you treat your skin, the more healthy and radiant it will look.
To Prime or Not to Prime?
Now your skin is hydrated and if you have incorporated that good quality moisturizer into your regimen every day, then you should have a healthy surface to work with.
The next step is optional. Not everyone uses or swears by a primer (also called a face primer or skin primer). A lot of makeup artists use it on clients and many non-professionals also use a primer to prep their skin before applying makeup. Anyone who uses mineral makeup will know that many of the mineral makeup starter kits (such as Bare Minerals) come with a sample size skin primer called Prime Time, which you apply on your already moisturized face to prepare skin before the minerals are buffed in.
There are many claimed benefits of using a primer before putting on your face makeup, but the most obvious and beneficial reasons for using a primer include filling up your pores (if you happen to have large pores, a primer is very helpful, especially around the nose area for many people) and smoothing out your skin. The smoothing out is not always over-the-top dramatic, but it does provide a base which allows the makeup to glide on more smoothly.
You don't have to use your primer everyday, but if you have a special event to attend where you will be under lights or taking photographs, then it's a fabulous product/step to include in your makeup application process. Primer helps even if you have a long day at work or are out anywhere where you may not have time for touching up your makeup. It helps keep your makeup feeling fresh for longer and prevents makeup from sliding off your face or fading. That makes it an excellent option for summer, particularly if you happen to live in a humid or very hot climate.
Some primers even have nourishing effects on your skin. So, those type of primers can even be counted as a step in your skin care routine! Also, look out for primers specifically designed for sensitive skin if you are prone to breakouts or redness. Not all primers are equal. Again, quality products will generally provide you with a better result, not necessarily more expensive brands.. Remember to check the ingredient list! This is incredibly important in ensuring you are getting value for your money and that you won't be disappointed when you get a skin reaction.
For instance, I am allergic to salicylic acid — an ingredient found in quite a lot of cleansers and even some shampoos. I have been caught out a few times when I have purchased Redken shampoo and conditioner! Some of the Redken shampoo line contains salicylic acid. It's really interesting how many differences there are with ingredients, even in shampoo. I have even bought a handwash which contained salicylic acid in it before. This is why it's important to read the list of ingredients before you buy. Even if you're not allergic or sensitive to a particular ingredient or chemical, it could end up being a certain combination of ingredients that causes a reaction on your skin.
Concealing Is Believing
Now, we all know the magic of a good concealer, but the truth is, as we age we need a different type of concealer.
Don't go for anything that has light-reflecting properties or anything that is at all shimmery (even for underneath your eyes) as this will only highlight and draw attention to the things you want to hide.
Aim for a matte concealer. This is often the most flattering type for middle-aged to older skin. Teens can get away with illuminating their under-eye area and highlighting with frosty eye shadows, but more mature women need something that will cover without putting the focus on those fine lines on the face and eye area.
And remember, with concealer, less is more. Some of the high-end brand concealers may often be overpriced, but that because they are so pigmented that the tubes will last for a very long time. So, it's often a great item to pay that little bit extra for because you will find yourself only needing a tiny amount.
If you are someone who has enlarged pores (some people find as they age the pores around their nose become larger), a good matte concealer will tone down the appearance of the oversized pores. Instead of sinking into them, a good concealer will glide over the top of the area with enlarged pores and create a smooth finish.
Redness: If you're looking instead for something that will reduce or cover redness, a green toned concealer that you use before you apply your regular skin tone shade of concealer is a god-send! It seems strange, but green shades tone down the color red, so it's a very useful trick for those who suffer from redness around the bottom of the nose and the chin. Don't use it for eye redness though.
Blue Veins: A yellow-based concealer like Benefit Lemon Aid yellow concealer is a much better option to cover the blue veining that some people notice on their eyelids. Benefit Lemon Aid really wakes your eyes up and makes them look fresh.
Brown Spots: A yellow concealer will also work well under your foundation to tone down the look of brown spots. Color-correction makeup really is your best friend. A lot of companies make special palettes designed with a variety of shades and colours for color correction.
How to Apply: Remember to use a light touch. Going overboard with colour correction is not a good look, and what was intended to look natural will end up looking silly. So, remember to use a light hand and work it in well with a brush or your fingers and always cover with your regular concealer afterwards. Finish with a powder to set the liquid or cream concealer.
Product Recommendation: Color correctors are great staples to have in your makeup kit on those days when you need more color correction or for a night out when you want your face to look flawless. I must say, they really work magic. There are higher-end brands out there that make green based concealers, but Physicians Formula make a duo (one end has a green concealer and the other end of the wand/tube contains regular skin tone concealer), which is very handy to keep in your makeup bag. No need to go out and buy a separate green concealer! Physicians Formula is a very affordable drugstore brand, but they do have some excellent products. You don't always need to spend the big bucks to get a quality product.
The Right Foundation
As we age, our skin needs really do change. The foundation that you may have relied on for years might not be right for your skin anymore.
Sometimes when we get an old favorite we tend to stick with it, but sometimes you will need to switch to a foundation suited for dry skin or one that is completely matte to ensure that it doesn't draw attention to your fine lines and any areas of your face that aren't as smooth as they used to be.
Finding the Right Shade
Of course, your correct foundation shade will probably change a few times throughout your life, and throughout the seasons as well. It's often a good idea to get color matched at your favourite makeup counter as you get a little more color during the summer months. You may need to go up a shade in either your liquid foundation or your powder. Your concealer shade will most likely stay the same though (unless you have gotten completely tanned or used a full-body fake tan including your face) because as you know, with concealer, you need to choose a shade or two lighter than your true skin tone. For example, if you have light skin, it's usually a good idea to go for an ivory concealer shade. If you're not sure what shade you are in either concealer or foundation, it is extremely helpful to ask the makeup artist at a store or at a make-up counter to make sure you find your correct shade. Don't forget, it will most likely not always stay the same, so re-check and update if need be!
Finding the Right Properties
For mature skin, it's good to choose something hydrating as it's helpful to keep lined areas plumped, even if you are using a good moisturizer or a primer underneath. You don't want your foundation to sink into those dry wrinkles; you want it to glide over them and float on top to provide a sheer yet covered canvas. You can use a color correcting foundation if you wish, but it's not really necessary if you use a color-correcting concealer beforehand. Make Up For Ever makes a few very good color-correcting foundations, but it helps only if you need to even out extremely red skin on large areas of your face. If you only have a few very small areas of redness (around eyes and side of nose), then it's often easier to just conceal them before you add your powder or foundation in your natural shade.
Product Recommendations: Covergirl and Olay have teamed up to make an amazing duo-type foundation that's great for dry skin because it has the extra moisture, which makes the foundation glide on effortlessly. L'Oreal also has some great foundations designed specifically for older skin that are also very affordable. Lancome and Clinique have the higher-end options if you can afford to splurge.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! I can't say it enough. Even if you think your skin is oily, moisturizing is what balances out your natural oils and rehydrates at the same time. It's incredibly important, so don't overlook this step.
- If you like to use eyeshadow, use powder or mineral eyeshadows instead of cream shadows. Liquid or cream products tend to pool in wrinkles and make them stand out more.
- If you use a liquid foundation, apply a foundation powder or setting powder on top. Powders reflect light so they tend to take the focus away from the deeper lines.
- Using color-correcting concealers can help to minimize areas of redness (around the nose, eyes, or chin) and help to brighten up eyes as well as cover small veins on the eyelids. Make sure you completely cover the colors with your regular skin-tone shade of concealer so it looks natural.
- Protect the eye area. It becomes even more sensitive and thinner as one ages. Even if the skin around your eyes isn't quite dry enough to warrant using a separate eye cream, ensure you have a rich, good quality moisturizer or day cream to keep your eye area hydrated and supple.
- Don't forget the SPF. It's never too late to keep the sun's dangerous rays from harming your skin and causing any extra damage to your skin texture and facial lines. There are so many great moisturizers with high SPF levels these days that there's no excuse to skip the suncream.
- Drink lots of water! Hydration from the inside is important for younger-looking skin.