Makeup For Women Over 40 – A Simple Tutorial And Tips

It's time to follow some tips to blur your skin's flaws and give your face a youthful look.

Reviewed by Vaibhavi Gupte, Makeup Artist
Written by Anu Pallavi, BA
Edited by Subhrojyoti Mukherjee, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Joyce Joyson, MA (Mass Communication & Journalism)  • 

Aging is a natural process that you can not skip. However, you can make yourself appear youthful by applying makeup according to your age-related concerns. Makeup for women over 40 can make you look beautiful even after stepping into your 40s. However, to hit the right note, you must be aware of the dramatic changes in your skin as you age year after year. This aging can happen due to the loss of elasticity and collagen. Therefore, apart from practicing a good skincare regimen, you need to exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet. Whether a primer, foundation, blush, eyebrow kit, or more, this article provides you with all the essential information on makeup products that you can use for women over 40. Keep reading!

protip_icon Keep In Mind
  • Foundation Ingredients: Opt for foundations with hydrating and skin-soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and ceramides.
  • Makeup Shades: Choose gold, red, and warm-toned brown shades for warm undertones, silver, icy blue, and pink hues for cool undertones, and rose gold and mauve shades for neutral tones.
  • Setting Powder: Limit powder usage to maintain a youthful glow. If you have oily skin, opt for talc-free setting powders.
  • Eyeliner: If you have textured eyes, it’s better to use a smudge-proof kohl pencil or eyeliner pencil to tightline your eyes and make them appear sharp.
  • Lash Primer: Apply a lash primer before using mascara for even application and to get fuller and longer lashes.

1. Hydrating Primer

A primer does for your skin what lingerie does for your figure – it smoothens, conceals, flatters, and holds things in place, so that everything you put on top of it looks even better. Whether you want to blur out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimize the appearance of age spots, pores, or even out your skin tone, all you need is a good primer. Look for a primer that contains nourishing, hydrating, illuminating, and enhancing ingredients, like glycerin or aloe vera, to help keep your skin looking healthy, radiant, and glowing. Mature skin needs extra moisture and hydration to achieve a healthy-looking complexion.

Expert Tip

Make sure you prep your face before applying any makeup using either a hydrating primer or a balm – anything that soothes your skin. By doing so, you’ll have to use less makeup, and it’ll also blend far more seamlessly on well-hydrated skin.

What We Recommend

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  • Korres Anti-Aging Primer
  • Olay Anti-Wrinkle Firm and Lift 2-in-1 Moisturizer and Anti-Aging Primer

2. Foundation

It’s essential to use the right foundation as we age – it can take years off your face. Never settle for a foundation that settles into your wrinkles and fine lines. When it comes to mature skin, a foundation formula that is suitable for dry complexions and leaves skin even and supple without emphasizing fine lines is your holy grail. Learn to love a good luminous foundation for a lifting effect. If you’re worried about shine, simply powder your T-zone.

Also, did you know that skin grows more pallid as you age? You can add life back into your skin with a slightly warmer tone of foundation (or mix an exact-match shade with the next darkest shade.)

Expert Tip

Blending is key – it’s the main secret to a flawless-looking base because there are no harsh lines that you’re left with. Also, less is more, and we can’t stress upon this one enough.

Use a soft blender brush or a blender sponge to blend the product well into your skin.

What We Recommend

  • La Mer The Treatment Creme Foundation
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector
  • Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Serum Makeup SPF 25
  • Real Technique or Pro art Blender Brushes or Huda Beauty Blender sponges
protip_icon Trivia

Pan-Cake by Max Factor was the first commercially available makeup foundation. It was initially developed for actresses.


3. Concealer

The perfect concealer can have you looking like you had a full 8 hours of quality sleep. What you need to cover those dark circles, spots and blemishes is a creaseless concealer that lasts all day long. Since skin is much drier around the eyes in your 40s, it’s best to choose a concealer with a more liquidy consistency than a heavier stick or even a waterproof formula (these tend to settle and dehydrate your skin.)

Expert Tip

To keep your concealer from grabbing attention to wrinkles or crow’s feet, apply it only on the inner halves of your under-eye area to cover up the darkness.

What We Recommend

  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer
  • Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer + Treatment

4. Blush

Blush is essential for your beauty routine. Want to know why? It instantly adds a brightening, healthy glow in one quick sweep. When it comes to wearing blush – ditch anything that’s too frosty. Peachy/pink shades are perfect for all skin tones and can be worn day or night.

Even if you like to keep your makeup routine to a minimal, skipping blush will wash you out and make you look older. On the other hand, a gentle sweep will add a warm, healthy glow and make a huge difference.

Expert Tip

A common mistake a lot of us make is applying blush too low on the cheeks. Begin applying the product at the height of the apple of your cheek and blend it upwards and back to define and lift your features. Add some highlighter to your cheekbones and the tip of your nose for some definition.

What We Recommend

5. Eyebrow Kit

As we age, our eyebrows tend to get sparse and lose their shape. It’s a fact that fuller, shaped brows give your face a more youthful look while giving it structure. Also, to make your eyes really stand out, you need to pay attention to those brows. A good eyebrow pomade or a pencil is the best thing to fill in gaps and make your sparse eyebrows appear fuller.

Expert Tip

First of all, put your tweezers away and invest in an eyebrow growth serum. Fill in your eyebrows with gentle hair-like strokes to fake naturally dense and balanced brows. Be careful to not overdo it with your eyebrow product and end up with cartoonish brows.

What We Recommend

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil
  • A.C Great Brows All-in-One Brow Kit
  • Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper

6. Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, And Mascara

The right eye makeup techniques can make you look younger and take off years from your face. If you always look tired no matter how much sleep you get, use a double-duty concealer – choose a shade with yellow undertones to conceal dark circles and highlight the area. When it comes to eyeshadow hues, go for warm, matte tones – mocha bases and peachy oranges will create the illusion of being well-rested. A good gel eyeliner, with a line that’s drawn as close to your lashes as possible, helps create the illusion of a thicker, darker lash line. Finally, curling your lashes and applying mascara will create definition and add depth to your eyes.

Expert Tip

Stay away from shimmery eyeshadows and cool-toned browns and greys as these hues will make your eyes look tired.

What We Recommend

  • Viseart Eyeshadow Palette 01: Neutral Matte
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
  • Jane Iredale Purelash Lengthening Mascara

7. Lipstick

Lipstick is the best way to finish off just about any look. One swipe of color can add so much life to your face and make you look polished. As we age, we tend to get lines around the mouth area, and you need to adopt a different lipstick application technique.

Here’s how you can apply lipstick with perfection in your 40s:

  1. Exfoliate your lips well to get rid of all the dead skin, so you’re left with smooth lips.
  2. Hydrate your lips using a moisturizing lip balm and let the formula absorb into your lips. Wait it out and wipe away any excess lip balm using a towel or a wipe.
  3. You can add a tiny dab of concealer on your lips if they’re pigmented.
  4. Use a lip liner pencil that matches your chosen color to lightly fill the mouth shape to prevent your lipstick from bleeding.
  5. Apply your lipstick straight from its bullet in a single application.

Expert Tip

Don’t be afraid to try bold colors. Just because you’ve entered your 40s doesn’t mean you will need to stick to neutral shades. There’s a shade for everyone, and it all depends on your personal preferences.

What We Recommend

  • Bobbi Brown Lip Color Lipstick
  • Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick
  • Clinique Long Last Lipstick

Tutorial: The Natural, Everyday Look

Now that you know what products you’ll need and how you can make the most of them, here’s a simple tutorial for an everyday look that you can pull off to enhance your best features.

1. Prep Your Skin

Moisturize your skin well with a hydrating, lightweight moisturizer. The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a wonderful option for a hydrating, non-greasy product.

Add SPF to your routine for healthy skin and prime your face.

2. Apply Foundation

Image: YouTube @ehowbeauty

Use a brush or a beauty blender to apply your foundation formula. Blend it well until you don’t see any harsh lines or streaks for a flawless finish.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Choose your foundation depending on your undertone, skin type, and desired coverage. Note that the foundation shade should be the closest match to your natural skin tone.

3. Time To Conceal

Image: YouTube @ehowbeauty

Use a luminizing concealer to cover dark circles. Focus on the inner corners since there’s more darkness in this area. Gently blend it with a blending sponge in the same motion you apply your eye cream – from the outer corner, working inward.

4. Do Your Eyeshadow

Image: YouTube @ehowbeauty

Choose a neutral eyeshadow palette and apply the hues using a flat eyeshadow brush. Pull the color towards the outer corner of the eye to lift it. Also, add a transition color to the crease line to give more definition to your eyes.

5. Add Some Color

Image: YouTube @ehowbeauty

Use a peachy or pink-toned cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend it out well for a soft, dewy effect.

6. Apply Lip Gloss

Image: YouTube @ehowbeauty

Apply a soft, sheer lip gloss to finish the look.

Beth Winegarner, a blogger, tried to learn makeup from an early age, and now in her 40s, she prefers minimal makeup. She says, “These days, my makeup routine — when I bother — is still pretty minimalist, aimed at evening out my red nose and cheeks, hiding the effects of sleep deprivation and playing up my eyes, which are my favorite feature (i).”

Infographic: Key Points To Know About Makeup Products For Women Over 40

With age, makeup products and applications change too. So, if you are over 40 and need help with how to up your makeup game, we are here to help. Check out the infographic below for all the details so you look flawless as ever.

key points to know about makeup products for women over 40 (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

When you’re over 40, you may want to consider a makeup look that is sophisticated, elegant, and timeless. Your skin undergoes tremendous changes with age, and this is why your makeup products and techniques should transform too. Therefore, buy products suitable for mature skin and match your skin type and tone. Choose products that have rejuvenating, nourishing, plumping, and firming properties to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. Also, follow a healthy lifestyle to maintain your overall skin health and keep it flawless no matter the age. So, follow the tips and tricks mentioned in this article on makeup for women over 40 and get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should women over 40 wear liquid or powder foundation?

It depends on the skin type. If you have oily skin, opt for powder foundation. You can also use a non-oil-based liquid foundation. For dry skin, use a hydrating powder, stick, or liquid foundation. Combination skin types can try a mix of both.

Should you wear less makeup as you get older?

As you age, you need to be careful with how you apply makeup. Instead of piling on product after product, only use the essentials. Opt for sheer formulations and pick products that are light on your skin. Use colors that bring warmth and color to your skin tone.

What is the makeup trend for 2024 for women over 40?

Brown lipsticks, dewy skin, smokey eyes, and glitter eyes are some of the popular trends for women over 40.

Should older women use powder or cream eyeshadow?

Creamy eyeshadow works well on mature skin when compared to powdered formulas as they tend to emphasize signs of aging and can easily fill in fine lines and wrinkles, giving an uneven look. While on the other hand creamy eyeshadow helps to create a smooth texture and makes skin look hydrated and does not accentuate aging signs.

Key Takeaways

  • Start with a good moisturizer to treat dull and dry skin.
  • Use a primer to smooth out the wrinkles to achieve a smooth make-up finish.
  • Use a little blush to give a more youthful yet natural look.
  • Emphasize your eyelashes and make them appear voluminous by applying mascara.


Learn how to embrace the beauty of aging with this tutorial on natural makeup for women over 40. Check out the video to age positively and look your best!

Personal Experience: Source

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