Is it just me or does it feel like your features are doing a long, slow vanishing act? My lips are less plump, my eyelashes and eyebrows are getting thinner each year (OK, each month! LOL) and my once wide-eyes seem smaller and smaller each time I look in the mirror.
What’s a gal to do? Well, number one is to put on a smile and remember what’s important in life. And number two is to channel your inner Houdini and do a few makeup tricks of your own to make the most of what you’ve got.
1. Minimize Droopy Eyelids with the Right Eyeshadow
It’s no secret that as we get older, body parts go south (thanks for nothing gravity!) and your eyelids are no exception. As they sag and droop, your eyes start to look smaller and smaller. An easy and effective way to camouflage this is with some strategically placed eyeshadow.
- Light colors make things to stand out, or come forward, and darker colors cause things to recede. Make your lower lid more noticeable with an eyeshadow in a light neutral color like Bone by Bobbi Brown is a good way to go.
- Next, brush a darker neutral color slightly above the crease on the part that is the droopiest or puffiest. The easiest way to do this is with your eyes open and looking straight on at the mirror. Taupes or light and neutral browns are a good choice of color for doing this. I’ve tried several different colors over the years but the best one I’ve found for this is Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in the horribly misnamed shade, Grey. Despite it’s moniker, this is actually a very neutral taupe color that works on pretty much everyone and creates a shadow over the droop that makes it disappear into the background. Gently blend up and out.
2. Line Your Eyes the Right Way
- Loss of firmness in our skin as we get older makes it hard to apply eyeliner. Pencils tend to get caught making the clean line look a little jagged and broken up. A better way to use the right kind of liner and dab, or gently push, it into your lash line. I like to use a super soft pencil like this one from Bobbi Brown or a gel liner with a brush. You can also use a liquid liner if you have a steady hand. And if you really want to use your regular pencil liner go for it but make sure to keep it sharp – you’ll get better results.
- Make the line a little thicker on the outer corner helps open things up and after you’ve applied your liner, smudge it with a cotton swap for a more natural look.
- There is an ongoing debate about whether lining your lower lashes will make your eyes look smaller. If you do line them, keep the line very thin or just line the outer corner.
- After mascara has been applied and is dry, line the upper waterline for more drama and definition.
- Use a white or light pencil – Rimmel makes a good one – to line your lower waterline to make your eyes look bigger.
- Be leery of black eyeliner after 40, it can look really harsh on our complexions. Navy or brown are much more flattering.
3. Use This Trick With Mascara to Make Your Eyelashes Look Longer and Fuller
Here’s a neat trick that I recently learned. Instead of just putting mascara on my thinning eyelashes and hoping for the best, I start by applying Tightline Mascara Primer. It comes with an itty bitty brush that lifts and separates my lashes – kind of a like a bra for your eyelashes.
Then, to give them some volume, I apply a voluminizing mascara. An excellent one is Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes mascara in Black Vinyl.
4. Add A Highlight in the Corners
A little highlighter in the inner corner of the eyes will really open your peepers up. Dab a little on starting at the top inner corners of your eye (upper and lower) close to the edge of your nose and blend with your index finger. YSL Touche Eclat Concealer (which isn’t really a concealer but a highlighter) is a cult favorite for this.
5. Define Your Eyebrows
Remember when we were younger and used to bemoan our thick eyebrows? Now that I’m in my 50s I would give my eye teeth to have them back. But, since I can’t turn back the clock, I do the next best thing and fill in the sparse spots with a pencil or gel liner. There are several great options out there for this but two that I like for a natural, non-painted look are Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel and Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows Sculpting Gel. For more great tips on how to deal with disappearing eyebrows, check out this post.
Over to you. What tips do you have for opening up your eyes after 40?
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