As a woman's 40th birthday recedes in the rear-view mirror, she sees a Facebook photo of herself and faces reality: Her makeup routine isn't working for her anymore.
She turns to Jodi Risley, an artist and educator for Make Up For Ever, founded in 1984 in Paris, where women know how to look good at every age.
Risley is no stranger to the midlife makeup crisis.
"On a daily basis, women come in and say, 'My makeup doesn't look as good as it used to,' and they're almost freaking out," Risley said.
Risley's intervention might consist of the following tips and tricks.
• Reconsider your foundation. "A lot of women choose foundation that is too light for their skin." Choose a shade that's slightly deeper, one that matches your decollete, and you'll need less blush, which can look artificial. "Women are afraid they're going to have that dark foundation line around their neck," Risley acknowledges. But modern formulations reduce that risk. "Particularly with our HD Foundation, the technology is a perfectly round amino acid so it moves with the skin and you won't have that line." You might need to switch to a hydrating formula if your skin has become dry. Because of that tendency, Risley recommends colorless fine powder to finish the look — and only if necessary on oily zones — rather than heavier pigmented powder.
• Add pinks and peaches. "Think about youth, and mimic those colors," Risley said, citing Diane Sawyer as an example of how flattering pinks and peaches can be. "A lot of older women wear more browns because they think it's neutral, but brown brings you down." Apply pink/peach blushes to the plumpest part of the cheeks when you smile. Using pinks on lips, with lip liner applied strategically, can also compensate for volume loss. Technique is key. "A common mistake women make when applying lip liner is drawing a continuous line starting and ending at the same corner of the mouth. The result is uneven lips." Instead, apply lip liner starting at outer corner and stopping at the middle of the Cupid's bow. Repeat on the opposite corner and on each half of the lower lips.
• Tend to the brows. "It's the one feature that can give women a 5- to 10-year face-lift," Risley said. "It's that significant." She prefers warm tones. "A lot of women tend toward ashy colors on brows. If you put a caramel color on, instead of taupe, that will warm up your complexion." Well-groomed eyebrows also counteract heavy eyelids, and, like a deeper foundation shade, reduce the need for color elsewhere on the face.
• Drop black mascara. Risley recently trained an ABC makeup artist and suggested moving some female anchors away from black mascara and liner, which can look harsh, to brown-black. "A brown-black mascara still gives you definition, but it's not as dramatic."
• Try "tight-lining" eyes. Instead of lining outside the lash line, line inside the lash line. "As we mature, we lose lashes. This creates the illusion of thick lashes, and it makes the whites of the eyes look brighter. You don't have to worry about a straight line, which can be hard to achieve if the lids are becoming crepe-y." She recommends using a smudgeproof or waterproof eye pencil. "You just lift the lid slightly and put it right inside the lashes." She also likes putting creamy eye shadows on a smudge brush (one that comes to a point) and softly spreading that beneath the lower lash line. "You still get the definition, but it's softer. When you do a straight, solid line, it actually closes the eyes."
Make Up For Ever products are available exclusively at Sephora and Make Up For Ever boutiques in the U.S.Copyright © 2015, CT Now