Secrets from a makeup artist: The best makeup for mature skin

Guest post by Tania D. Russell

Here’s more from our series of posts from Tania of Makeup To Go — a makeup artist for the entertainment industries, and friend of the Empire. These posts are all about makeup: the basics, advice, and products. I, for one, am super excited, because I know NOTHING about makeup. So think of these as “Megan simple makeup” posts for folks like, well, me.
-Megan, Offbeat Home editor

© R. Radstone Makeup / Hair – Tania D. Russell
© R. Radstone
Makeup / Hair – Tania D. Russell

As a makeup artist, I have worked on nearly every type of face there is, including mature talent from middle age to quite elderly. Working on mature clientele — or working on yourself if your skin is starting to show signs of “maturity” — is just a matter of knowing how products work on the skin, and what products to use, and when.

Generally speaking when you are talking about mature skin the main issues are a loss of elasticity and moisture. This is how we develop lines, under-eye circles, and the overall appearance of sagging skin. Another concern may also be uneven skin tone and texture. For successful makeup for mature skin, there are two equally important components: Selection of proper cosmetic products — which we will get to in a minute — and prepping the skin thoroughly with proper skincare.

Mature skincare

1. Perricone, MD’s Advanced Face Firming Activator
I was introduced to this product by a client who would not let me do her makeup without using it and I have had it in my kit ever since. What I like about this serum versus other firming products I have tried is how fast-acting it is while still being gentle. If you purchase this for yourself, most users see an overall improvement in the texture and tone of their skin continued use. Yes, it is pricey, but it has proven to me to be a worthwhile investment.


2. Kinerase’s Intensive Eye Cream

I was first introduced to the Kinerase line in 2005, and their eye creams quickly became my favorites for mature and/or extra dry skin. I first tried the Intensive Eye Cream, which is a heavy moisturizing cream — fantastic for night-time use, when it can really help the skin repair itself. Again, pricey but a worthwhile investment.

La Prarie Anti Aging Day Cream SPF 30

3. La Prarie’s Anti Aging Day Cream SPF 30

It is really important for mature skin to wear sunscreen, to help lesson the appearance of age spots and assorted un-even skin issues. This luxurious cream also contains ingredients to boost collagen production. It is the loss of collagen that causes skin to age, hence maintaining collagen levels helps all of the issues of dryness, loss of elasticity, and dullness associated with mature skin.

OKAY okay! I know I just recommended three skin care products, and two of them were over $100. I am a believer in good skincare. There are, however, less expensive alternatives that also work well…

Olay Total Effects Daily Moisturizer

4. Olay’s Total Effects Daily Moisturizer

As a line, Olay has become quite well known for their anti-aging skincare. This product in particular stays very popular and highly-rated and for good reason. This all-in-one product hydrates, exfoliates, refines pores, and contains antioxidants to nourish the skin.

ROC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Daily Moisturizer With Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF30

5. ROC Skin Care

The entire ROC line is an anti-aging line. Started by a french pharmacist in the 1950’s, ROC has become famous for their use of Retinol in their products. Of the extensive product line, I have used their Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Daily Moisturizer with SPF30, the Multi Correxion Lift Anti-gravity Serum, and the Multi Correxion Skin Renewing Serum with good results.


With mature skin makeup, it is important to remember that product has both weight and texture. Therefore less is more. Likewise, too much powder, and, in particular, too much shimmer and/or glitter can settle into lines and accentuate things you, or your client, likely do not want to accentuate.

face atelier ultra foundation

1. Face Atelier’s Ultra Foundation

In my opinion, silicone-based foundations do wonderful things on mature skin. Since silicone cannot settle or be absorbed into skin, it lays on top minimizing pores and fine lines. My favorite of the silicone foundations is the Ultra Foundation. The color selection is superb (there are shades for everyone from the fairest to the deepest complexions), the foundation is light in texture, but fully-pigmented — so you need very little for complete coverage. And then it sets without the need for powder, and, once it sets, it lasts pretty much all day. This is a fabulous product.

Pro Tip: Ultra Foundation Pro is the same foundation in a bottle better suited for a makeup artists’ kit. Ultra Foundation photographs beautifully, and it is the foundation of choice for many top makeup artists. I used it in the very first image.

Illuminare All Day Eye Color

2. Illuminare’s All Day Eye Color

On mature skin, I like to use cream products as much as possible. I find it does not settle as much into any creases, and it adds a more luminous glow to the skin. These Illuminare eyeshadows are weightless, go on smoothly and do not crease. They come in an array of great neutrals in a semi-matte finish to create a variety of daytime and nighttime looks. I also like to use the darker colors as eyeliners.

Youngblood Luminous Creme Blush

3. Youngblood Cosmetics’s Luminous Creme Blush

Cream blushes are the way to go on mature skin, in my opinion. You can layer a powder blush over your cream if you desire but, again, you want to add luminosity to the skin for a more youthful appearance. Also the cheeks tend to be an area where you can add a bit of sheen/shimmer without it being un-intentionally aging. These Youngblood cream blushes are oil-free, lightweight, and long-lasting in a sheer, buildable color formulation.

Pro Tip: Pink Cashmere is a go-to color in my kit.

nars velvet lip pencil dolce vida

4. Nars’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Sonia Kashuk’s Velvety Matte Lip Crayon

Lips can be a bit tricky, because, if there are any lines around the lips, color can seep into those lines. I find the best way to avoid this is to give lip color an anchor to hold onto. Lip crayons can be worn on their own as a nice, matte lip color, that will not move, or they make a great base for lip glosses and lipsticks. Nars’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are extraordinary. They feel like silk, they last forever, the colors are glorious, I could go on. Pictured is Dolce Vita, which is one of my favorite colors to use as a base for other lip colors.

IF however, $24 a pencil is not quite doing it for you Sonia Kashuk’s Velvety Matte Lip Crayons are a very good knockoff of homage to the Nars pencils. The Sonia Kashuk pencils do not have quite the array of colors, nor do they feel as soft on the lips, but they are quite comfortable to wear, and the colors they do have are quite nice.

YSL Beauté Touche Éclat

5. YSL Beauté Touche Éclat

I had to put this wonder product in its own category. Not quite a concealer, not quite an illuminator, Touche Éclat is all of that and more. Used in the under-eye area it is a sweep of light that diffuses dark circles and fine lines for a bright, “wide awake” appearance. My makeup life changed when I was introduced to this miracle product.

Pro Tip: I rarely wear makeup myself (I know, right?) but I do use this on myself when I go out at night and it brightens my entire appearance.

Another Pro Tip: It is also great for any smile lines/creasing around the mouth.

And that’s all of my pro tips for makeup for mature skin. Who else has tips for the makeup challenged, or makeup-loving Homies with mature skin?

Comments on Secrets from a makeup artist: The best makeup for mature skin

  1. I would love to find out what your routines and tips are for blokes, particularly Jim Parsons mentioned in your bio.

    I’m not a bloke or any good with makeup but I find it fascinating. I need to get the courage to try the touche éclat but being so fair (red hair, blue eyes, freckles) I’m convinced it’ll look ashy and weird on my purple circles

  2. So my partner (who is 37) has been having a problem where she was looking for something to help with under eye circles, but she does NOT want to reduce her wrinkles. She (like me!) considers her faint lines to be a beautiful feature and something she wears with pride. She also doesn’t wear much foundation because she has freckles that she’s very fond of that foundation tends to cover up. Any suggestions for leaving the wrinkles and freckles alone but making her look a bit better rested? (Other than, of course, sleeping better.)

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