1. FLAWED FOUNDATION
Foundation is designed to even out skin tone and conceal imperfections, but thanks to the ageing process you may find the base that worked wonders in your 20s has the opposite effect in your 30s. As wrinkles appear foundation settles in the creases, resulting in an unsightly caked effect. So which foundation should you use? Opt for a liquid foundation that won’t accentuate wrinkles and always apply with a foundation brush as this creates a dewy finish. Also try a buffing brush for an airbrushed look. Merle Norman expert Bela Rathi says, “If you’re looking for more coverage, let the first layer set before you apply the second.” For coverage with a luminous and youthful glow we recommend a light-reflecting anti-ageing foundation like Lancôme’s Teint Visionnaire (Dh240 at Bloomingdale’s) or Dermalogica’s Cover Tint (Dh189). Apply a small amount and blend in from the centre of the face outwards for a natural finish.
2. POOR LIP SERVICE
As you get older your lips start to lose definition and plumpness, and when you apply lipstick it tends to bleed into the lines around your mouth. Opt for a lipstick sealer like Make Up For Ever’s Lip Line Perfector (Dh80) to avoid any feathering. While the deep shades of the Nineties are back, they’ve been updated with some added vibrancy. If you want to rock the look, choose a lively colour that enhances your lips and keeps them hydrated. We love Dolce & Gabbana’s Lip Passion Duo (Dh170 at Paris Gallery) and Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique (Dh180 at Harvey Nichols). However, steer clear of darker liners and matte-texture lipsticks that will dry your lips and emphasise wrinkles. If you’re in the mood for nude, make-up artist Michelle Waldron suggests opting for one shade lighter than your natural lip tone. “Anything lighter will leave you looking washed out,” she says.
3. CLUELESS CONCEALING
The area of delicate skin around the eyes is one of the first places to show the signs of ageing. Blood vessels create dark circles, which become more prominent with age. The trusty highlighter that did the trick in your 20s and 30s probably won’t be sufficient in your 40s. Instead opt for a liquid concealer to mix with your highlighter pen to brighten and hydrate the area. Try blending Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Eye Brightener (Dh132) with Burberry’s Sheer Concealer (Dh172 at Harvey Nichols) for a flawless finish.
4. POWDER CRIMES
As you age, your skin tends to be drier. Powder products only add to the drying effect, enhancing imperfections. Instead choose creamy products for a youthful glow. Jane Iredale expert Lindi Higginbotham says, “Use a cream-based blush sparingly on the fleshy part of the skin. Piling on rouge will make you look older. Focus more on highlighting and contouring the face to camouflage the loss of tone or saggy skin.” We suggest trying Make Up For Ever’s HD Blush (Dh140).
5. CROSSING THE LINE
From cat eyes to graphic shapes, you can take a risk with your liner in your younger years, but after 30 keep cotton buds at hand as less is more. But if you still want to try the graphic trend there are modifications you can make that will give you an age-appropriate look. Make Up For Ever’s regional education manager Sam Boutros says, “Draw your eyeliner upwards towards the edges and avoid holding your eyelid taut, because the shape will appear different when you let go. It’s ideal to blend the edges for a softer look.” We suggest you try to perfect the ‘kitten flick’, which is a shorter version of the traditional cat eye. Try using pencil or gel liners as they blend well and don’t leave the sort of inconsistencies that liquid liners do. Go for a brown shade like Topshop’s Waterproof Liner in Burnished (Dh40). The waterproof formula also means it’s smudge-proof. Bonus!
6. LAYING IT ON THICK
There are no hard and fast rules about eyeshadow except keep it simple. Don’t cake on the shadow – especially dark shades – because you run the risk of ending up with raccoon eyes. Michelle says, “Opt for something with light-reflecting properties. Avoid glittery eye shadows as they sit in fine lines and accentuate wrinkles. Go for shadows with a metallic sheen or lighter shades to brighten your eyes instead.” If you really can’t do without a smoky eye, try lighter shades. We love Burberry Beauty’s Complete Eye Palette in Pale Nude (Dh240 at Harvey Nichols).
7. GETTING STUCK IN A RUT
Are you still working the Nineties nude-lip-dark-liner combo? Stop! These looks will add to your years. If you’re stuck in a beauty rut head to Bobbi Brown where make-up artists are on hand to offer advice on updating your look. If you’re a DIY kind of woman, look to the stars for inspiration. Jane Iredale’s Lindi says, “Celebs have a team of people updating their looks, so they are perfect to follow when you’re looking to make a change.” That said, choose your muse wisely. While we admire Lady Gaga’s graphic eyes, we’re not sure they’d be appropriate for the office.
8. BOTCHING YOUR BROWS
Have you gone overboard on the brows and drawn on a bushy catastrophe or over-plucked them to pencil-thin lines? Correct your crime by heading to a professional for your perfect brow shape. Alternatively, get the job done at home by investing in a brow stencil. For a natural look fill in your brows with light strokes in a shade a little lighter than your own. We love Merle Norman’s Natural Brow Powder (Dh72) and Lancôme’s Midnight Roses Brow Shaper (Dh125 at Harvey Nichols) to define and keep them looking great all day. “For an instant brow lift, apply a highlighter cream shadow on the brow bone,” says Sam. Try Benefit’s High Brow Glow pencil (Dh96 at Sephora).