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Over 40? These Makeup Tips Are for You

January 1 | 3 minute read

Memo Over 40 Makeup Tips Hero 16x9

Words by Christie Sinclair

Originally published on | December 3

From your forties, you may notice your favourite metallic shadow or the foundation you’ve been using since your twenties just… doesn’t look as flattering as it used to. 

We firmly believe makeup should make you look and feel your best, and there are some simple tricks to know if you’re inadvertently emphasising things you’d rather not, explains Rae Morris.

One of Australia’s (if not the world’s) most prolific professional makeup artists, Morris’ work with international brands, major magazines and countless celebrities has earned her the title of Australian Makeup Artist of the Year – four times. So, you could say this beauty legend knows a thing or two about bringing out your best features.

“I’m often asked how not to enhance lines and how to look younger, but I'm really trying to change that narrative and instead ask people to consider how they can look healthier,” explains Morris. “Makeup is an art form, and there are no rules – if you want to paint a Ziggy Stardust glitter lightning bolt on your face and head to the shops, I'll be right behind you cheering you on – but there is advice if you want to know how to do something better.”

Memo Over 40 Makeup Tips 3x4 Rae

Rae Morris

“If you want to paint a Ziggy Stardust glitter lightning bolt on your face and head to the shops, I'll be right behind you cheering you on.”

Rae Morris

If you’re feeling overwhelmed...

"Forget the trends,” shares Morris. “Sometimes looking at people on social media complicates it because they might be half your age or the amount of makeup they wear is different to you.”

Instead, she recommends finding an actress that is a similar age to you, with a similar hair and skin tone, and using them as inspiration: “I always look to the Cannes Film Festival and the Oscars, because the makeup tends to be really classic and timeless,” she adds.

It’s all in the application

“Wear as much makeup as you like!” says Morris – but bear in mind that “sometimes the makeup looks we loved when we were really young, or the techniques we used, have the reverse effect as we get older.”

For example, you can still use that full-coverage foundation you’re dedicated to – just apply less of it to the skin, explains Morris. If you really love glitter (who doesn't?) keep it away from areas where there are fine lines, like the outer corner or under-eyes. Instead, "Try applying it to the inner corner of your eyes, centre of your eyelids, or down the bridge of your nose.”

“If your makeup does start to settle into lines throughout the day, get a little brush or a sponge and push it back out.”

Rae Morris

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Approach illuminating foundations with caution

In our forties, skin can become dryer, as well as losing some of its elasticity – so it’s common to find that certain foundation formulas enhance or settle into fine lines, giving a caky appearance.

As it turns out, bases with a shimmery, glittery or sparkly quality are the most frequent offenders. So, what’s the alternative? “You can get foundations that give a beautiful healthy dewiness, but make sure the shimmer isn’t glittery or sparkly. Go for something more hydrating – I personally love the new Shiseido one.”

Surprise! Hydration is really important

Makeup always clinging to creases? Megadose on moisturising skincare, reveals Morris: “Try to let your skincare sit for a couple of minutes; you can blot off the excess and then apply makeup.”

(Editor’s note: we love Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base and La Mer’s Crème de la Mer to prep and hydrate.)

If keeping your skin hydrated is a battle, sheet masks and hydrating mists are Morris’ secret weapon before you go in with makeup.

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Memo Over 40 Makeup Tips 3x4 1a

Remember, makeup needs maintenance

While a beautiful, hydrated base looks effortless, it does require maintenance. “Dewy foundation does have movement and will crease, but it will look better than a base that’s heavily powdered,” explains Morris. The key is not to be afraid of looking too shiny. “That's why I designed my own invisible mattifier; your foundation will stay put without it getting into fine lines and your skin doesn’t look powdered.”

A small brush (editor’s note: try this) is useful to keep on hand if you need a refresh: “If your makeup does start to settle into lines throughout the day, get a little brush or a sponge and push it back out,” says Morris.

Cream shadows are life-changing

“When you have fine lines or what I call a ‘mobile eyelid’ where the skin moves a lot – which happens as we get older – cream eyeshadows will change your life,” explains Morris. “I rave about Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes; I love them so much because you don’t get any fallout, and they’re much easier to blend on a more mature eye.”

Photography by Rochelle Spotswood
Hair and makeup by Rae Morris
Models: Baby Bee and Yvette Done

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