Five Must-Have Makeup Tips for Mature Skin

Mature skin is one of the most challenging skin types out there. It starts with decreasing consistency, creating areas of fragility, uneven colorations and of course, the pronouncement of wrinkles. Whereas dry young skin can be handled via heavy moisturizing and oily skin types controlled by heavy handed, drying ingredients (we’re looking at you, Benzoyl Peroxide) these ingredients can backfire on mature skin. Pimples and wrinkles? Um, no. Patchy, dull spots? No thank you.

It has taken some time, but ladies dealing with mature skin issues have made their needs known. And the beauty industry has followed suit (hallelujah!). But like all beauty routines, it’s not enough to just grab a “one size fits all” product. Understanding your mature skin anatomy and its unique challenges will allow you to follow a regiment that will not only have you looking better, but improve your skin from the inside out.

So let’s be wiser about looking older. Our 40 plus beauty editors have broken down the five biggest challenges that women face with mature skin, and are ready to show you how to create a routine you’ll love…


We’ll start with the number one, namely how to do coverage and not look cakey or crinkly. That all starts with the pre-prep and follows into choosing products that are truly made for the mature skin.

Like all great works of art, you need to start with a good canvas. Proper moisturizing with the right amount of anti-aging agents will prime your skin from the get-go and reduce the prospects of your makeup settling into fine lines and wrinkles.

Get a clean slate with Pacifica’s Vegan Creamy Gel Cleanser ($15) made with vegan collagen and flower milk. This gentle but effective face wash is sulfate-free and helps balance your skin in prep for your morning routine. Our Editors fell in love with the fantastic floral scent and how it made their skin feel clean, but not tight (as some washes can do).

Rich in anti-oxidants and botanical extracts, Tarte’s Shape Tape Moisturizer ($35) is a pre-makeup moisturizer that absorbs quickly into the skin and delivers all day hydration. Like most quality products, consistent use will yield even greater results over time. How good? 100% of testers who used it for 2 weeks said they saw and felt remarkable improvement in their overall skin tone.

With all this going on, you don’t want to skip a good primer. Philosophy’s Line-Correcting Primer ($38) uses a combination of indian gentian extract, sodium hyaluronate and Vitamin C to nourish your skin, the primer portion fills in and blurs wrinkles away making it an ideal canvas for your concealer and foundation.

Now when it comes to mature skin, the eye area can be a real battle zone. Dark circles, fragile skin and lots of tiny crinkles for your makeup to get lost in. Bring in the big gun with Shape Tape Ultra Creamy Concealer ($27). The newest edition to Tarte’s Shape Tape family is an advanced version of the #1 Best Selling concealer and made for mature skin. With 35 shades to choose from, finding your perfect match is no problem. It covers incredibly well and stays crease-proof for a whopping 12 hours of wear. We’ve been singing its praises since it first arrived. Check out our full article on this amazing product to find out why you need this one in your forever makeup bag.

Finally, when two tried-and-true brands come together in the form of CoverGirl + Olay Instant Wrinkle-Defying Foundation ($14.99), it’s no wonder it has such a huge following, making it the #1 anti-aging foundation with sunscreen on the market. While the 13 shade offerings is, in our opinion, a bit limiting, the low cost price point and smooth blending of fine lines puts it high on our list.


Vitamin E deficiencies, excess estrogen levels, hereditary predisposition, sun exposure and stress. If you’re looking for the culprits to your age spots, rosacea or sallow skin spots, there you have them. However you happened upon them, if this is a challenge you’re dealing with now, there are some great solutions to help reduce the look of them, without having to get too heavy handed.

Particularly when dealing with hyper pigmentation, it’s not enough to just cover up. You need to go under the skin to fight the source. Caudalie, VinoPerfect Brightening Moisturizer with Niacinamide ($59) is your huckleberry here…or rather your grape in shining armor. This oil free gel moisturizer contains Viniferine, which comes from grapevine sap and is 62 times more effective than Vitamin C in brightening the skin. Add to that real mother of pearl crushed in to blur any fine lines, and you’ve got one potent cocktail to keep your pigmentation in line.

If you’re battling the full monty of red, sallow and dark, one color corrector is not going to do it for you. That’s why the NYX, Professional Color Correcting Makeup Palette ($11.99) gives you six. Each shade is blendable to handle whatever your face palette needs to conceal.

Lightweight going on but with 16 hours of wear, the multi-action NARS, The Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30) uses light diffusing technology to obscure imperfections and discolorations. How’s that work? Mineral Tone balancing powder in the concealer works to optically correct, not mask, imperfections.

Last but certainly not least. With count ’em 50 shades from porcelain to expresso, this foundation is full coverage. Tarte’s Face Tape Foundation ($39) has a natural matte finish and smooths over everything from redness to age spots to blemishes. Its 12 hour wear time is transfer proof, waterproof and sweatproof so you are assured your spot coverage will last all day.


Aside from the hyper pigmentation that mature skin can fall victim to, we also get the double-whammy of our skin appearing pale and more translucent. This is because our outer skin layers don’t reproduce as quickly as they did in our youth and therefore our pigment-containing cells become thinner and decrease. So whatever color you do put back onto your face can look artificial at best and at worst, jarring. So no more rosy cheeks? Absolutely not! You just need to switch up your products towards those that will give you back some color without looking like you’re revisiting the 80s in a bad way.

First things first, we need to wake up that tired looking skin. Tarte, Wink of H2O Vegan Collagen Eye Cream ($35) is a water-based formula that contains caffeine and peptides to reduce puffiness and dark circles while firming up the skin. The overall effect will have your skin primed and ready to receive.

Non-comedogenic but with plenty of Vitamin B3 and anti-oxidants, the L’Oreal Paris, Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation ($11.99) foundation feels light but gives great coverage. With 30 shades gives a multi-toned effect that mimics younger skin’s depth of color variations to keep you covered but not looking one-note.

Did you think we skipped the concealer? Nope, we just found you a really great deal. We love a great duo and this combo from Tarte is a real power couple. The Tarte, Shape Tape Star Duo ($40) includes the award winning Shape Tape Concealer to cover over your skin discolorations and create the first layer of color for your foundation to build on. Then the Shape Tape Glow Wand (applied on top of your foundation) will create a natural looking highlight to brighten your cheekbones and anywhere else on your face that could use a little extra zing.

So we wouldn’t be calling this “Get your color back” if we didn’t set you up with the perfect blush for your mature skin, namely a cream blush. Powders can be a mixed bag with older skin and often undo all your good makeup work by instantly settling into all those fine lines. Laura Mercier, Cream Blush ($28.49) goes on light so it’s easy to build a level of rosy flush you’re happy with. It also lasts a good 12 hours so you won’t need to reapply as with some other cream blushes.

The final touch to give your skin an overal dewy and emollient (not shiny) look, give a good spritz of Shu Uemura, Skin Perfector Makeup Refresher Mist ($23.25). This mist contains botanical oils and Depsea water – an unpolluted and bacteria free water drawn from 200 meters beneath the sea of Japan that has masterfully matured over the years, just like us!


Almost every product we’ve chosen has a great shelf life, but when your day turns into a marathon your makeup can start to show its age. Plenty of 24 hour products are out there but few are made to handle mature skin. For serious lasting you have to get very serious about your makeup routine.

If you’re looking for your look to last, start with some serious hydration. This nourishing BeautyBio, The Quench ($125) cream contains Quadralipid lactic acid which simply put helps restore your skin’s four key lipids (aka good skin fats). A little dab will do you with this cream, so while the price tag may seem daunting, a jar will last you a good long time. This cream beat out La Mer in several head to head beauty reviews. Yeah, it’s that good.

Primers are key for makeup longevity, and this Tarte, Base Tape Hydrating Primer ($30) will keep you hydrated (coconut, jojoba and grapeseed will see to that) and your makeup in place all day long. As in 16 hours long.

No you’re not seeing double, we’re recommending our good friend Shape Tape Ultra Creamy Concealer ($27) once again. Why? We’ll give you 24 hours of staying power and 12 hours of crease-proof (that’s if you don’t add a primer).

What has 16 hours of wear, full coverage and still manages to feel lightweight on your skin? Why NARS, All Day Luiminous Weightless Foundation ($49) of course. Comes in 20 shades to choose from and the staying power you need.

Finally, when you absolutely positively need to keep your look on lock down, this transfer-proof spray mist will keep your makeup from melting, cracking, fading or settling for 16 hours. Tarte, Vegan Stay Spray Setting Spray ($25) goes on light but boy does it wear like iron. Oh and it also creates a barrier making any makeup on your face waterproof and sweatproof. Magic in a bottle.


Hooded eyes, crows feet and redded lids. Oh the joy. The area around the eyes can be treacherous even for the young but can become a real land mine for mature skin. In fact, most beauty professionals will tell you that when it comes to looking old, the eyes can be worse than your lips or even your neck. So how to fix this quandary of delicate yet sagging skin? Here’s the plan…

Multi-action eye gel with its own steel rollerball massaging applicator, what’s not to love? The Bliss, Eye Do All Things Brightening Eye Gel ($22) is perfect for eliminating those potentially puffy eyes while the rollerball increases circulation to tone down those dark circles. A great start.

While a lot of attention goes towards the under eye area, we tend to forget that the area around the browbone and crows feet also get saggy with age. This firming Kate Somerville, +Retinol Firming Eye Cream ($88) is made to tackle that area head on (literally). Firmingly potent with Retinol but safe for use around the upper eye area (just not on the eyelids themselves, please) you’ll see lasting firming results. Oh and it’s safe for daytime use, provided you use sunscreen if you are going eyeshadow free while you are out and about.

Like a 12 hour lasting foundation primer, but for your eyes. This little tub of Tarte, Lid Lock Clay Eye Base ($14) goes on brush free and smooths into all those crepe-y crevasses to give your eyeshadow a smooth surface from which to shine.

And of course what better to put on those lovely lids but Tarte, Lid Laugh Love Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Wardrobe ($39). Powered by Tarte’s famous Amazonian Clay, this 16 color eyeshadow set will go on like silk and wear for hours without creasing or caking.


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