My Top 8 Makeup Tips

I admit it. I’m over 50.  Actually, I admitted it a while back when I wrote about The Nifty Fifties.  I know, I know, I don’t look a day over 40.  Just kidding.  And I’m sure you are asking yourself why I’m sharing my top 8 makeup tips while sitting there thinking that I don’t know a thing about makeup.

Back – way, 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 year or two.  That’s before I realized I was not a salesman.  And 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?

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


Makeup Tips

I didn’t even wear 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 that 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.  The idea is to not look like a clown but to look refreshed because an old barn certainly needs a new coat of paint every once in a while. Just kidding.  And, I promise, it takes me about 5 minutes to complete my everyday makeup routine.

1.  Adopt a skin care regimen and stick with it.

My skin tends to be drier the older I get and 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 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!

Over the years, I’ve tried all types of skin care 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 skin care products (because I had to pay full price)  but I have to say, they are great.

I now use Mary Kay Timewise Repair.  We have a few Mary Kay consultants that attend our church and I buy from one of them (because she was the first to approach me).  The set is a little pricey, but it lasts a long, long time.  Really.  And for Pastor’s Appreciation Day back in October, my Mary Kay representative blessed me with the entire set.  How did she know I was about to run out?  I’m not being compensated for this post at all.  Also, I never wear makeup when I’m just hanging out at home.  Just ask my FedEx and UPS men.  Remember, the face needs a breather.  My daughter uses makeup remover wipes.

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 fave primer (actually I have two):  Smashbox Photo Finish and Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel.  I know.  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 70’s 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.  And 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.  You heard me.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to be effective.  I use Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser.  I use a medium to go under my eyes and to line my parenthesis (to reflect the light away from problem areas) before 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.

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

If our eye lids are starting to show some wear and tear, the last thing we want to do is scream,”Look how old  my eye lids really are.”  And that is exactly what sparkly eye shadow does.  Now, 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.  I can’t tell a whole lot of difference.

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 by Lancome or Loreal Volume.  They are both owned by the same company.  And I can’t tell much difference except the Loreal (their drugstore brand) is much cheaper.

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 foundation to even out my complexion and offer a little camouflage.  Don’t overdo the stuff. 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 Lancome Renergie Lift. I always use a foundation brush and I never, ever use face powder.  It’s just too drying for my skin type.  And drying is aging. After applying everything, I use a makeup finishing spray by Mary Kay.  I’m in love.  Just make sure you close your eyes before spraying.  Trust me on that one.

Blush should be applied with a light hand and blended, as well.  We want and need color!  Just make it look natural.  Most of the time I just use a good bronzer.  Keep in mind that over applying bronzer can make your face look orange and dirty.  Again, being light handed is the key.

7.  Line those lips.

Just please use 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 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.  Anything for the greater good!  Hint:  Keep it on your lips and don’t get any on your face.  Trust me on that one, too.  I like lip stains because they look more natural.  Some are too drying, so I step away from anything that drys me out.

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 eye shadow from high school.

Two freebie tips:  Sleep and hydrate – Get enough z’s and drink plenty of water!

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three makeup products, what would they be?  Of course, if I was stranded on an island, makeup would be nowhere near my top 10 things to think about.  Let me rephrase that.  If you were stranded in Paris (be still my heart) and you forgot to pack your makeup bag, what three makeup products could you not do without?  Moisturizer, mascara and lip balm would be my top three picks.



Do you wear makeup?  What’s your favorite makeup tip?  Come on, share with us!


About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. 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!
    Patty recently posted…Nothing’s to small for HimMy Profile

  2. Alli,
    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.
    Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction recently posted…Man Food Linky Party #GetHimFed Fridays 23My Profile

  3. Thank you for the tips 🙂 I need to do better with makeup! 🙂
    becka recently posted…7 Saint Patrick’s Day Rainbow Skill Building Activities for KidsMy Profile

  4. 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!
    Samantha recently posted…Easy Styles For Long HairMy Profile

  5. Great tips you have here! 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!
    Jess recently posted…Link Up #26My Profile

  6. 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.
    Stephanie recently posted…Body shaming is real, but so are youMy Profile

  7. 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.
    Shirley Wood recently posted…DIY Bookmarks and Repurposing Old BooksMy Profile

  8. 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)!!

  9. 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 ;).

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

  11. Great tips! I wear makeup every day. Usually just mineral foundation. If I’m going out, I do my eyes as well.
    Cari recently posted…Mineral Veil Face Powder Recipe DIYMy Profile

  12. 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
    Vashti Quiroz-Vega recently posted…The Train Ride From Hell – PART 1My Profile

  13. Ali, Thanks for the awesome tips! I always need help in the make-up department 🙂 PInned.
    Meegan recently posted…The Monday Blues For Paint PaletteMy Profile

  14. 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. ; )

  15. Stranded anywhere – I need mascara, concealer and lip gloss 🙂 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
    Kristen from The Road to Domestication recently posted…Made-to-Order LampshadeMy Profile

  16. 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.
    Robin recently posted…Un-Resist: My 2014 “Un-Word”My Profile

    • 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.

  17. 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!! 🙂
    Michelle recently posted…Simple Marinara SauceMy Profile

    • 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.

  18. 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!
    zan recently posted…Printable Preschool Winter Package with Sample ActivitiesMy Profile

    • 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!

  19. 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. 🙂

    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. 😀 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!
    Joy @ Yesterfood recently posted…Old Fashioned Lemon CupcakesMy Profile

    • 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. 🙂

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