Life Style

Makeup For Mature Skin: A Step-by-Step Tutorial From a Red Carpet Pro

Close up of a woman with mature skin wearing glowy makeup

Of all the makeup tips you’ve tried or read about for mature skin, there are a key few to take note of for the next time you have a special occasion or are looking to freshen up your routine. We’ve sought out one of the most beloved pros in the industry, celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn, to get all the details on what makeup and application work best for mature skin types. Keep reading for our complete guide on applying everything from foundation to mascara when you have mature skin, with loads of valuable tips from the makeup master himself.

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Prepare for and Apply Foundation

Close up of a woman applying foundation

Quinn emphasizes that the most important tip for applying foundation to mature skin is the prep step right before foundation. “The skin needs to be hydrated before any foundation is applied. Massage in your face and eye creams, use a roller for added penetration, and follow up with a brightening primer,” he says. Adding glow and luster to the skin is imperative before moving on to the foundation.

For foundation application, Quinn says it’s all about the blending: “I’ll use a damp BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge ($20) to help blend cream and liquid foundations into the skin, building the coverage as I go—the key is to blur and brighten the skin simultaneously.” (The right foundation brush will work, too.) As far as finishes are concerned, Quinn prefers to use radiant and luminous formulations on mature skin versus matte.

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Apply Eyeshadow and Eyeliner

Woman with mature skin applying eyeshadow

“I find that cream eyeshadows work brilliantly to brighten the eye area while being sheer and natural,” says Quinn, who suggests blending cream shadow with your fingers for a quick, easy application. “After shadow, I prefer to apply eyeliner and then blur the edges with a matching shadow to create a soft focus around the lash line.” For cream eyeshadows, Quinn prefers to use Ilia’s Liquid Eye Shadow Tints ($28) for their vibrant pigments and ease of application.

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Warm Up the Complexion With Bronzer

Woman with mature skin applying bronzer

Quinn says adding warmth to the complexion is imperative, which is why bronzer is a staple in his pro kit. “For mature skin types, cream and gel bronzers work best to add a warmth and contour to the skin that looks effortless and natural.”

Bronzer is universally flattering—there is a shade for everyone—and there’s no reason to avoid using it. Applying to the hollows of cheeks and blending along the jawline and forehead is a great way to incorporate bronzer into your daily routine. Afraid you might apply too much? Start slowly and blend as you go until you achieve your desired level of color and contour.

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Lightly Build Your Blush

Woman with mature skin applying blush

Once the bronzer has been applied, Quinn prefers to go in lightly with blush and build as he goes. “After applying bronzer, I’ll apply cream blush to the apples of the cheeks by lightly tapping my fingers on the skin. [Then I take] the blush across the center of the face across the bridge of the nose, very faintly, to add a blurred sunkissed look that’s refreshing.” Both cream and liquid textures are malleable and last throughout the day, making them an excellent choice for mature skin types. Saie Beauty’s Dew Blush Liquid Cheek Flush ($24) is a top recommendation for a blush that applies easily and stays put.

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Conceal and Color Correct

Woman with mature skin applying under eye concealer

When it comes to concealer, Quinn emphasizes the importance of knowing when to color correct and when to conceal. “The inner corners of the eyes naturally have shadows or bruising, so I’ll blend color corrector in those areas and follow up with a full-coverage concealer on top of where I’ve placed the corrector.”

Less is more when it comes to mature skin types and the eye area; Quinn suggests softly blending concealer around the eye versus using thick formulas that tend to crease throughout the day or appear caked on. For a hydrating concealer, check out Tarte’s Shape Tape Ultra Creamy Concealer ($30).

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Fill In the Brows

Woman with mature skin filling in her eyebrow

When working with eyebrows, Quinn states that natural, precise-looking brows are ideal for mature skin types. “I find that using a brow pencil is the most efficient and realistic product to achieve natural eyebrows,” he says; he prefers Precisely My Brow Pencil ($25) by Benefit Cosmetics for the ends of the eyebrows and the brand’s Goof Proof Waterproof Easy Shape and Fill Brow Pencil ($25) for the body of the brows and arch.

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Layer on Your Mascara

Woman applying mascara

Mascara needs to be applied in layers to ensure both length and volume are achieved. Quinn has a tried-and-true method cultivated from decades of doing red carpet makeup: “I love to layer mascara; I’ll start with brown and add two coats, and then finish with a layer of black to add the illusion of fullness and depth.”

The two mascaras Quinn can’t live without? Lancome’s Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara ($27) and Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Push-Up Lashes Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara in Berry Brown ($29).

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Define the Lips

Woman with mature skin applying lipstick

When defining the lips, using a neutral lip liner that matches the tone of your natural lips is ideal for overdrawing and correcting the shape slightly. Quinn will then apply lipstick. “You can use any lipstick tone you want as long as it flatters your complexion and mood. The most important thing is that it’s in harmony with the rest of your chosen color palette,” he says. If your lips are chapped or dry, Quinn recommends Halo 42’s Pout it Out Lip Rejuvenation Mask ($42) for intensive treatment.

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Last Look

Final look of a woman with mature skin in makeup

Get in your last looks and ensure everything is as you want it to be; Quinn uses a technique at the very end of makeup application for mature skin that is foolproof. “After all the makeup is applied, I like to take a bit of face oil, warm it in my palms, and then cup my hands and gently press them on the face to finish and set. This adds a delicate touch of radiance and glow.” Darphin’s Vetiver Aromatic Care Face Oil ($80) is ideal for a glow boost.


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