Makeup Tips For Women Over 50

by Alli

Makeup Tips for Women Over 50 includes affiliate links to some of my favorite makeup brands. I earn from qualifying purchases and I only recommend products I use and love. 

I admit it. I’m over 50. Actually, I’m now barely over 60! I know, I know, I don’t look a day over 45. Just kidding.

I’m sure you are asking yourself why I’m sharing makeup tips for women over 50 when I usually share recipes and party tips. Because I’ve learned a few makeup tricks over the years and I thought I’d share them with you. 

Note: I’ve linked some of my favorite makeup products at the bottom of this post. 

I’m also sharing my five-minute all-natural no-makeup look down below. Keep reading! It’s the second bonus tip! 

What Do I Know About MakeUp And Skincare?

Way, way back in the day, I dabbled at selling Avon (for about 2 weeks, if I recall correctly) and I was a Mary Kay consultant for a couple of years. That was all before I realized I am not a salesman. Saleswoman? Salesperson? 

My daughter is a for-real makeup artist. She was taught by some of the top makeup artists to the stars and other prominent instructors in the field. Yes, she’s even done a couple of runway shows. So that makes me an expert by association, doesn’t it?

Most of what I know about makeup and skincare is by trial, error, and a whole lot of research (including talking to my daughter!) You can find her makeup tips on her Youtube channel

Makeup Tips For Women Over 50

Is it just me or have you noticed that most magazines (besides AARP, sigh) always have articles about what to wear when you’re 20, 30, and 40? They also have makeup tips for when you are in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. I mean, really?  

Do they think that the over 40 crowd just crawls in a hole somewhere and curls up and dies? Do they not know that it’s the baby boomers that usually have the money to spend on cosmetics and that we need it the most?

You may be sitting there thinking, “I’m not anywhere near 50!” It’s never too early to learn how to take proper care of our skin. Just yesterday I was 39 and holding!

Wearing makeup to make ourselves look Au naturel seems to be an oxymoron. I do try to look natural, just not as natural as I really am.

8 Makeup Tips For Women Over 50

I never wore foundation until I was in my mid 30’s because I didn’t need it. My complexion was as smooth as a baby’s behind. Now? Not so much.  

I sure wish I had been using sunscreen back in the ’70s instead of iodine and baby oil. And I rue the day I ever touched my tush to the icy cold glass-covered light bulbs of a tanning bed, much less eventually buying (and later selling) my own. What was I thinking? Southerners really like their tan! Free Tip: Fake Bake. It rocks!

But regrets will get us nowhere fast. So let’s move on to my top 8 makeup tips. I had 5, but then I kept thinking of more. So I stopped at 8 and then added two important bonus tips. 

The idea is to not look like a clown but to look refreshed. An old barn certainly needs a new coat of paint every once in a while. Just kidding. 

1.  Adopt a skincare routine and stick with it.

A skincare routine is important, especially as we age. Of course, it’s always best to begin a skincare routine when you’re young and thinking you’ll never get old and you’ll always have a beautiful, blemish-free complexion. 

I thought that too and I don’t have many wrinkles (just those pesky parentheses around my mouth). I contribute it to always having a good skincare routine. 

The older I get, the drier my skin gets so moisturizer is my best bud. I’m also trying out different anti-aging face serums, but that’s a whole different story.

The one thing I drilled into my daughters when they became teens was to never go to bed with makeup on. Never. Ever. Our skin needs to breathe. Clean that face every night and moisturize the daylights out of it. What do I use? Not soap! Regular soap has never touched this face. 

Over the years, I’ve tried all types of skincare products. When my daughter was a manager for Lancome, I used Lancome because I could. For free. And free is always best.  

Alas, she changed her line of work and I eventually stopped using their skincare products (because I had to pay full price – LOL) but I have to say, they are great.

I now use Mary Kay Timewise Repair. My Mary Kay consultant attends my church and I buy the skincare products from her. The set seems a little pricey, but it lasts a long, long time. 

2.  Primer rules!

When I’m making a personal appearance complete with my bodyguard – wait a minute – for a moment there I thought I was a real celebrity talking about my makeup routine.

What I meant to say: When I go out in public, I always use a dab of primer AFTER applying my daytime moisturizer and that stuff that makes the parenthesis around my mouth look less noticeable. I’ll think of what it’s called in a bit and I’ll come back and insert it. Or not. 

My favorite primer (actually I have two): Smashbox Photo Finish and Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel. The Monistat is not really a primer, but it works just like one. Try it. I double-dog dare you!

3.  Concealer is your friend.

I’m not talking about the concealer of the ’70s that looks like one thick streak of Morticia-applied ultra-white lines under each eye.

Here’s a two-for-one: Blend, blend, blend. There’s a sponge for that. I’ve linked my favorite makeup sponge at the end of this article. 

squiggly lines of concealer and a large streak of concealer on a white background

Make sure it’s a creamy concealer. I use two. That’s right. One under my foundation and one on top.  (My daughter says I shouldn’t put concealer under my foundation, but it works for me.)

My favorite concealer is at your nearest drugstore, Target, or Walmart. Makeup doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to be effective.

I use Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser. You can purchase this concealer at Walmart, Target, or your favorite drug store. 

I use a medium shade to go under my eyes and to line my parenthesis (to reflect the light away from problem areas) before applying foundation and I use a lighter concealer under the eyes after I apply my foundation, eye shadow, liner, and mascara.

The trick is to make a triangle under the eye area so that it doesn’t look like half-moons. And blend, blend, blend by lightly patting the concealer with a damp makeup sponge. Never tug the undereye area. It’s delicate. 

4.  Matte (rhymes with and means flat) eye shadow loves you back.

If our eyelids are starting to show our age, the last thing we want to do is scream, “Look how old  my eyelids really are.” And that is exactly what sparkly eye shadow will do.

makeup tips for age 50 and up - including eye shadow and brushed on a white case

A little shine is fine when you’re all glammed up for that big night out on the town, but over-the-top sparkly should be left to girls, unicorns, and art projects. I use drug store brands and big-name brands and  I can’t tell a whole lot of difference.

Lately, I’ve been wearing cream eye shadow and I really like it. It doesn’t settle in the creases of my eyes. Remember, a little eye shadow goes a long way. I also stick to neutral colors. And again, gently blend. 

I also adore cream blush. 

My Favorite Mascara 

In the mascara department, I have the length, it’s the volume I need. I need to fatten those lashes up! So I use Hypnose Drama Instant Volume by Lancome. It comes in waterproof, too.

Or, I sometimes use Loreal Paris Voluminous Mascara. They are both owned by the same company. And I can’t tell too much difference between the two mascaras. Of course,  the Loreal (their drugstore brand) is much cheaper.

Helpful Hint: I don’t use mascara on my bottom lashes and I don’t use eyeliner at all. If you do use eyeliner, make sure you only line the top lashes and not the bottom. Eyeliner around the bottom rim of your eye just makes you look older or like an old raccoon. 

In Makeup tips for women over 50 this is A woman applying mascara with only one eye and mascara wand showing in photo

5.  Don’t over-tweeze those eyebrows.

I once worked with an older lady who shaved her eyebrows and drew new, much higher arches. She always looked surprised and made me think of McDonald’s. If in doubt, seek help. See a professional.

Anastasia is my favorite brand when it comes to eyebrow care.

6.  Find the right foundation and the correct shade for your skin type.

And again, blend, blend, blend, especially around the jaw area. I use a foundation to even out my complexion and to offer a little coverage. 

Don’t overdo it when it comes to foundation. BB Creams are like a tinted moisturizer on steroids and is perfect if you just need light coverage. Personally, I need a bit more coverage.

I’m always trying something new, but at this moment I’m using  It Cosmetics CC+ Cream With SPF 50+.

I always use a foundation brush or beauty blender and I never, ever use face powder. It’s just too drying for my skin type. And drying is aging.

After applying everything, I sometimes use a makeup finishing spray by Mary Kay. Just make sure you close your eyes before applying a finishing spray.  Trust me on that one.

Add a Little Blush – My favorite makeup tip for women over 50

Blush should be applied with a light hand and blended, as well. As my daughter tells me often, “Mom, you need color on those cheeks!” Yes, we want and need color! Just use enough to look like a natural blush.

Blush Makeup Tips for Women Over 50 - Large blush brush with blush particles fanning out on white background

During the summer, I use a good bronzer to get that sunkissed look. Keep in mind that over-applying bronzer can make your face look dirty. Again, being light-handed is the key.

7.  Line those lips. Just Don’t Go Overboard!

Just please use a light hand and a nude color or the same color as your lipstick. Nothing ages a mature woman as much as wearing a dark lip liner and pale lipstick.

Our lips tend to thin as we age, so I use a lip plumper – not all the time, just for special occasions.

I’m too chicken to get collagen injections and most of the ones I’ve seen just don’t look natural or very well done. That’s just my opinion. 

I like Lip Injection by Too Faced. It glides on and I must warn you that it tingles like crazy and some people can’t stand it. It doesn’t bother me. I only use it on special occasions. 

Helpful Hint: Keep it on your lips and don’t get any on your face. Trust me on that one, too.

When it comes to lipstick, I have several brands that I love. It’s important to find a good color that flatters you. I can’t wear bright red or peach. I stick to lipsticks in the pink/plum family. 

Makeup tips for women over 50 - a hand holding two tubes of pink lipstick

Find a tone of lipstick that matches your inner lip or gums and you’re good to go. Remember, these are tips for age 50 and up, but they can apply to younger women as well. 

8.  When in doubt, toss it out.

Sadly, or gladly, makeup doesn’t last forever. If it did, I would still have that ice-blue sparkly eyeshadow from high school.

Bonus Makeup Tips For Women Over 50

Good skin care begins on the inside!  When it comes to skincare, it’s so important to get enough sleep and to stay hydrated – Get enough z’s and drink plenty of water! 

Wear sunscreen, exercise, and try to eat right 80% of the time. 

Another Bonus Tip! Boomstick Trio By Cindy Joseph

Several months ago I saw a Facebook ad for Boom! by Cindy Joseph. I was intrigued so I purchased the Boomstick Trio. They are very pro-age and believe that less is more. I totally agree. 

I am not affiliated with Boom! at all but I really like the Boomstick Trio, especially when I need to make a grocery store run. It’s perfect for everyday wear. Just keep in mind, Boom does not cover. It enhances. 

The Boomstick Trio comes in a cute little bag that you can tuck in your purse. I’m in love with the color stick.

You can use this trio as your blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, highlighter, and moisturizer. These all-natural products can also be used as a cuticle cream, body cream, and more.

Note: The Boomstick Trio is perfect for everyday wear and I love, love, love this trio during the summer when I don’t want to wear makeup at all.

Would I use just this product if I was attending a wedding or special event? No. Remember, it enhances but doesn’t cover. 

Products I Love – Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

Just click the pics below to shop from this page. 


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This article, Makeup Tips for Women Over 50, was written in February 2014 and updated in February 2021. 


Patty February 24, 2014 - 8:20 am

I do wear make up, otherwise my kids would be asking me all day if I’m sick! Ha! I’ve got some lovely dark circles under my eyes from years of allergy issues, so concealer is a MUST for this 40-something mama! If I was away from home and forgot my make up bag, my top three must haves would be foundation, concealer, and eyeliner…wait, I’d need four things; mascara is a must as well! I know, I’m high maintenance!

Alli February 24, 2014 - 9:19 am

Me, too! πŸ™‚ I’m a little high maintenance.

Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction February 24, 2014 - 9:34 am

I don’t use very much makeup because it kind of irritates my skin and I really can’t be bothered. I use blush (when I’m going out to the store or just away from the house) beause it draws attention away from my under eye circles and an eyelash curler (when going to work or to visit friends and family). Mascara irritates my eyes so much I can’t stand it. I’m going to start a skin care regimen because I have too. I’m starting with my eyes.
Thanks for the tips and you certainly look 40, not 50.

Alli February 24, 2014 - 10:07 am

Thanks, Annamaria! Skin care is so important. Wish I had started much earlier than I did.

becka February 24, 2014 - 10:41 am

Thank you for the tips πŸ™‚ I need to do better with makeup! πŸ™‚

Alli February 24, 2014 - 11:14 am

You’re welcome. You are probably one of those girls that doesn’t need any!

Samantha February 24, 2014 - 11:26 am

Even at 27 concealer is a must! Have you tried The Balm concealer? It is my go to, its pricey but it covers up “my new born has kept me up for 3 days” circles!

Alli February 24, 2014 - 5:49 pm

No, I haven’t, but I will. Thanks for the tip! I’m always on the lookout for new products.

Jess February 24, 2014 - 11:49 am

Great tips you have here! πŸ™‚

Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

Alli February 24, 2014 - 12:46 pm

Thanks for hosting!

Stephanie February 24, 2014 - 11:49 am

I cannot live without a good moisturizer with SPF, foundation, and hydrating lip balm (NOT Chapstick or Carmex or the like). I actually use a lip balm from Lovelace Health Insurance – their reps use to give them out for free – and I may cry when it runs out. I’ve never found anything as good as it.

Huge fan of Mary Kay products here as well, and yep, I use to sell it too but I am sooooo not a salesperson! Now I just buy from my awesome consultant. It is actually cheaper than a lot of the stuff you can buy at Target/Wal-Mart/etc. and seems to work much better.

Alli February 24, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Glad I’m not alone in the not-a-salesperson department. My MK consultant is so nice and is always giving me discounts!

Shirley Wood February 24, 2014 - 12:33 pm

It’s a little tough to believe I’m over 50, halfway over it! I’ve really never been brand loyal to any make-up company. Being an extreme couponer, I get name brand products for nearly free. Concealer is my friend too and a good brand is important! My must have’s are eye shadow, eyeliner and blush. I have never been able to ward of clogged pores when using foundation. I no longer even purchase foundation. One thing that I learned a long time ago and still implement today is a good moisturizer, daily. I have tried quite a few but my current favorite is the Avon Anew Gold. It feels so smooth and absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel thick on my skin.

Alli February 24, 2014 - 12:44 pm

I know, Shirley! I’ll be 55 in August! But age is just a number, right? I’m with you, I moisturize every morning and every evening.

Ashley February 24, 2014 - 12:56 pm

My 3 faves: MK 3n1 cleanser (combo/oily), lash love mascara in I<3 black, and my new fave is retro red lipstick in the hello sunshine line (just a hint of red and non drying)!!

Anna @ Northern Homestead February 24, 2014 - 3:01 pm

My skin care is a two step process, wash your face with water and dry it with a towel. Once I turn 50 (not even 5 years from now) you can ask me if I’m regretting it ;).

Mica February 24, 2014 - 3:19 pm

Love your tips! You must have an awesome Mary Kay consultant! She’s so blessed to have you as a loyal customer!

Alli February 25, 2014 - 10:20 am

You made my day with this reply! I actually laughed out loud. I do have an awesome Mary Kay consultant. She’s the best!!

Cari February 24, 2014 - 3:23 pm

Great tips! I wear makeup every day. Usually just mineral foundation. If I’m going out, I do my eyes as well.

Alli February 24, 2014 - 5:54 pm

My daughters laugh at me because I don’t leave the house without some makeup on.

Vashti Quiroz-Vega February 24, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Hi Alli! Great tips! I especially agree with #5. I have seen horrendous tweezing jobs. A bad tweeze can distort your whole face. Get professional help until you learn how to do it yourself.

~ Vashti

Meegan February 24, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Ali, Thanks for the awesome tips! I always need help in the make-up department πŸ™‚ PInned.

Maurissa Mattson February 24, 2014 - 7:07 pm

Hi Alli! Just came across your blog through the SITS page. Your post caught my eye. Great tips! I’m 35 and my skin just isn’t what is was a few years ago. A routine definitely helps… oh, and a lot of concealer. ; )

Alli February 25, 2014 - 7:25 am

Concealer is my BFF! It lightens. It brightens. It camouflages. πŸ™‚

Kristen from The Road to Domestication February 24, 2014 - 8:25 pm

Stranded anywhere – I need mascara, concealer and lip gloss πŸ™‚ And I don’t really have any makeup tips. When I was learning how to put makeup on, I would always study pictures of myself. If I didn’t like how I looked I would make sure I adjusted it until I was comfortable with it…I guess that’s a tip LOL

Robin February 25, 2014 - 10:09 am

Totally echo your sentiment about wishing I had better discipline around wearing SPF in my younger years, so for anyone who doesn’t yet do that – regardless of your age, please start now. Sun damage can result in “stuff” that can’t be covered up or made pretty by makeup … a harsh truth.

I have a definite redness in my skin and have found “Redness Relief” by IT Cosmetics to be a wonderful cosmetic break thru. Its sort of a combined primer / concealer but only works on redness not things like dark under eye circles. It comes with an application brush and the teeniest amount covers large areas, don’t apply too heavily. When I use that I don’t even put a foundation over it, just maybe a powder bronzer or blush (I cover up the wrong color red / blush in my checks to apply the right flattering shade of blush!). Anyway, since less makeup on me looks better these days than more, I add mascara and something on the lips and my look is done, day into night.

Alli February 25, 2014 - 10:15 am

I will have to try the “Redness Relief.” Back when I was young, I didn’t even know what SPF was! Thanks for your tips! Especially that sun damage can result in stuff that can’t be covered up.

Michelle February 25, 2014 - 12:39 pm

Oh, how beautiful I’d look after a trip to the tanning bed in my youthful days. Now I am paying for it, specifically with Melasma! I hope that some younger readers heed your advice.

Concealer has never been my friend. Probably because I’ve never known how to correctly apply it. I am going to try the brand you recommend and blend, blend, blend. Also, going to try Anastasia and Lip Injection by Too Faced.

Thanks so much for your tips, Alli!! πŸ™‚

Alli February 25, 2014 - 3:40 pm

The reason I like the concealer I mentioned in the blog is because it has a built in sponge applicator and it’s not thick and harsh looking.

Wish I had stopped the tanning bed insanity back when my mom was trying to warn me.

zan February 26, 2014 - 5:18 pm

You have such great knowledge about stuff, Alli. I agree with the sleep and water idea. Around here, with two little kiddos, sleep is a necessity. Love concealer, after all, the name says it all!

Alli February 26, 2014 - 9:26 pm

I remember the kiddo stage very well. And now when the grands sleep over, I try to tiptoe toward the coffee maker before they awaken. It never works. I love my concealer, too!

Joy @ Yesterfood February 27, 2014 - 7:10 am

Alli, I read this word for word. Such good info- thank you! I agree, the over 40 crowd, well, we just don’t exist, or are casually tossed into “40 and above” (read, “that group that doesn’t matter”, lol!). Yes, we do have a few bucks, and yes, we will spend them. Especially for products that work well, so I am very appreciative of your reviews and recommendations.

I am having my daughters change careers RIGHT NOW. I need a makeup artist in the family, too. Or, you could just keep writing these excellent articles. πŸ™‚

I have not been able to find a lip stain that does much of anything other than wear right off pretty immediately without a trace. Their definition of “stain” seems to be very different from mine. πŸ˜€ Do you have specific recommendations in that area or decent wear lip color in general?

Thanks again, and I hope you’re having a great week!

Alli February 27, 2014 - 7:42 am

Thanks, Joy! You are too sweet! Revlon has a Just Kissable Lip Stain that seems to stay on pretty good. My problem is that I’m constantly rubbing my lips together or biting my lower lip while working, so I have to apply lip stain/balm pretty often.

Unfortunately, my daughter rarely has time to help me with my makeup. I do pin her down on very special occasions. πŸ™‚


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