The 10 Biggest Makeup Mistakes made by Women 50 and Up

It sounds very negative to write about the 10 biggest makeup mistakes women 50+ make, as opposed to writing about the best makeup tips! But for me, the key to the best makeup at any age is following the Less is More rule …  especially once we are over the magical big 50.

So, in the interests of hopefully saving some girls the heartache of realising they are not looking their best, here are a few tips for changing all that, and abandoning makeup that actually makes you look older than you are!

I. Wearing too much foundation … BIG mistake!

It clogs your skin and settles in the lines and creases. Buy anything creamy that will help with dryness (if you are dry), and try foundations that use light-diffusing pigments, such as Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation

If your skin is very dry, make sure you exfoliate 2 – 3 times a week. I love the Natural Facial Exfoliator with Manuka Honey & Walnut for Dull or Dry Skinand I also love the Dead Sea Salt Scrub By Derma-nu . While you’re exfoliating your face, why not exfoliate your body as well with Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Essential Oil!

Find yourself a great moisturiser. I have found we of a certain age, are sometimes better using a night cream as a day cream … they are stronger. I really like NIVEA Q10 plus Anti-Wrinkle Night Care and use it a lot. Or you can try Eminence Organic Skincare. Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream which is not cheap but does a great job if you’re skin is tired.

Also, buy a water spray for your face … I recommend the NuSkin NaPCA Moisture Mist Nu skin … I have actually seen it plump up dried apricots so imagine what it does for your skin! Spray it oover your maekup during the day to refresh your face.

II. Wearing too much concealer under your eyes

If it’s thick and heavy it accentuates the crêpe look. The skin under your eyes is fine and delicate so use a concealer with some illuminating particles; my personal favourite is always going to be YSL Touche Eclat Concealer Radiant Touch but It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye is pretty good as well.

III. Wearing a Lip colour that’s too dark

Dark colours create an illusion of small so dark colour on your lips makes your mouth look pinched. Steer clear of burgundies, wines, or browns, and in some cases, even red. Use bright colours; peaches, pinks, and even neutrals. Use a lip pencil the same colour as your lipstick, or try ILLUSION Lip enhancer kit pencil … neutral and fabulous just with a touch of gloss. The Less is More look in your makeup … again!

Rule of thumb … accentuate your eyes or your mouth … not both!

IV. Finishing with powder

It often becomes clogged in lines and wrinkles! If you cannot live without powder, use one that is sheer and translucent, or just blot your face with tissues or special blotting tissues! Aesthetica Translucent Loose Setting Powder is an excellent product. It even has its own puff … it creates a good look for your makeup.

V. Using Black eyeliner

It’s too harsh and magnifies the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, bags and dark under-eye. Use something more gentle such as grey or a blue and make sure it’s a Kohl pencil rather than an actual liquid liner.

  • choose an eyeliner style that works with your age – no cats-eyes styles
  • choose a colour that fits your complexion
  • choose a type of eyeliner (gel, liquid, pencil) that you’re comfortable using

Laura Mercier has two fabulous colours for blending as eyeliner; Black Violet and Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil Black Navy

VI. Using lip liner badly

If you cannot use lip liner properly, use a neutral colour. Again, one of the best is Model Co Illusion Lip Liner Nude Mini Travel Size  from Model Co … brilliant!

Never try and create a larger looking lip by using a lip liner outside your natural lip. If your lips are really too small, have some injectables … they do work and if you choose the right product and the right technician, your plumped pout will last up to 15 years and will not be embarrassing! Do NOT go to a cowboy who will give a Trout Pout

VII. Mascara and eyeliner on your lower lids and lashes

No no no … the mascara looks like little spider legs and the liner is just too harsh … if you must have a line on your lower lids, start it at the outside corner and let it run to the quarter-way mark; a suggestion rather than a statement. This can be a BIG makeup mistake …

VIII. Skip the blush

The older you get, the more colour you lose. Use blush and change the colour every year, because your colour changes every year. Not wearing blush, even if it’s a bronzer just on your cheeks, is very aging. You need to create the blush of youth! Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzing Powder is wonderful and it lasts for ages. Revlon Photo Ready Cream Blush is good if you can wear cream blusher! As is Too Faced Candlelight Glow … your makeup isn’t finished until you’re wearing blush.

IX. Using lipstick without a lipstick brush

If you use lipstick straight from the tube, it tends to clog and seep. Using a brush spreads the lipstick smoothly and evenly and avoids it sinking into the cracks! My ultimate fave lipstick is Chantecaille Lip Chic Lipstick

X. Eyebrow pencil that’s too dark

Nix the black and the dark brown. A  blonde, (Maybelline Total Temptation Eyebrow Definerand there are many different shades, works for almost everyone, unless you have very dark skin and hair. Even then, don’t use black! It’s too harsh … nobody has black eyebrows … they are always that fraction lighter than your hair.  Not using black helps you to achieve a great makeup look.

Are you guilty of these heinous crimes against aging-younger?! I would love to know what makeup you use and what you use that really brightens the way you feel. Tell us your makeup secret tips and tricks!


  1. says

    I am guilty black eyebrows and black eyeliner. I’m addicted. I love that bold look of having black eyebrows but, maybe someday I’ll change LOL! Great tips though 😊

    • Penelope Whiteley says

      But you can get away with it Tracy because your face is young! Try something different knowing you can return to your preference …

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