10 Best Makeup Must-Haves for Women Over 50


Beauty editor Lois Joy Johnson on the 10 products none of us should go without

Here’s what happens when you reach 50: the face you’ve known and loved has moved on but your makeup hasn’t. Every day is hit or miss. Tricks that worked in your twenties, thirties, and early forties are letting you down. When people start telling you that you look better without makeup it’s time to get serious and rethink the entire thing from scratch. There are certain products none of us should be without. Here are the top 10 that make aging just another gorgeous adventure.

1. EYE PRIMER: Prevents liners and shadows from getting mushy and smearing or disappearing within hours of application. TRY: Laura Mercier Eye Basics ($24 sephora.com)

2. A TINTED MOISTURIZER: Moisture plus light color gives thin, spotted sun-damaged skin an even look and a fresh glow. TRY: Bobbi Brown Extra Tinted Balm ($50 bobbibrowncosmetics.com)

3. AN OPAQUE TRANSFER-RESISTANT CONCEALER: Full-stop coverage for brown spots on face, chest and backs of hands. Needs no retouching too. TRY: Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Concealer ($21 dermablend.com)

4. A FOUNDATION BRUSH: This tool makes the difference for skin that’s lost a taut firm feeling. Go back and forth over the skin using a patting beating motion. TRY: Lancôme Foundation Brush #2 ($33.50 lancome-usa.com)

5. A CONCEALER BRUSH: For covering brown spots, broken capillaries and blemishes or applying concealer in the eye area. You need accuracy that fingers can’t deliver. TRY: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush ($26 lauramercier.com)

6. HIGH PIGMENT BLACK PENCIL LINER: A concentrated black pencil firms up eye shape and brings out eye color in an amazing way. Don’t be afraid of it. Apply along the top lash line and in the lower waterline for everyday emphasis. TRY: Lancôme Le Crayon Kohl in Black Ebony ($24.50 lancome-usa.com)

7. A DO-IT-ALL EYE COMPACT: For fast lining, contouring and shaping a multi-color neutral compact kit works well and travels easily in your bag. TRY:  Dior 5-Colour Eye Shadow Palette ($58 neimanmarcus.com)

8. TAUPE/ BLONDE BROW PENCIL: This shade works for almost everyone. It helps extend and fill in brows that have lost their line and shape. TRY: Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Taupe or Blonde ($22 anastasia.net)

9. TINTED BROW GROOMER GEL: A styler that controls wiry, curly, coarse or difficult brows. The brunette shade blends in grays on dark brows too. TRY: Lancôme Modele Sourcils Brow Groomer in Taupe or Brunet ($22 lancome-usa.com)

10. A NATURAL- TONED LIP PENCIL: Corrects asymmetries as lips lose definition and flatten. Use it to round the bow for a subtle enhancement of thin lips TRY: Bobbi Brown Lip Liner ($22 bobbibrowncosmetics.com)

Editor’s Note: Style expert Lois Joy Johnson is coauthor, with makeup artist Sandy Linter, of The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look At Any Age. A founding editor of More magazine, she has spent decades working women who changed the face of beauty, including Christie Brinkley, Lauren Hutton, Isabella Rossellini, and Diane Keaton. Lois has been a frequent contributor on The Today Show, The Early Show, Extra, and CNN.

5 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Bella Mia says:

    At 50 my under eye circles are killing me. I look like I’ve been in a prize-fight.  My problem is with under eye concealer and mascara that then flakes onto the concealer, then I have a mess.  My skin is also much less luminous at 50.  Ive heard that more green vegetables will improve the color of my complexion.

    • avatar sandylinter@yahoo.com says:

      Your mascara is also killing you. I can’t stand mascara that flakes. Avoid lash thickening mascara. The thickener will tend to flake from older eyelashes. Like yours and mine. Use definicils, Lancome, or any brand of your choice. Apply the thinnest amt. of mascara. Your lashes are dry and possibly brittle and can’t take the weight of heavy mascara.

      Use a light touch when applying the under eye concealer, too. You will be helped by a clear apricot or pink blush. It will draw the eye away from your under eye area. Please use a soft white pencil, inner corners of your eye. It will brighten up your eye area. Lancome has come out with tient miracle pens, in shades 1-4. Choose a shade and use it surrounding your eye area, for brightness. his is a soft, natural brightness, that you can’t detect as makeup. It should not be seen.

  2. avatar elaine s says:

    I already use eye primer and I just ordered the Le Crayon Kohl pencil and can’t wait to try it, using the technique you described in your previous article.  Yours are the bet tips I have come across for women over 50 or so…  Thanks!

  3. avatar Anne Whitacre says:

    more dark green vegetables, and LOTS of water may help with getting your luminosity back — I’m 57 and notice that bad eating habits show up more quickly on my skin than they used to… and stick around longer.  one of these days I’m just going to give up eating anything but kale and sallmon.

  4. avatar Tear says:

    Here are my over 50 tips: I use Vitamin C facial serum Avalon Organics, under my make up, every morning. At night I use Olay Pro X advanced cleaning system with the exfoliate system, every other night. I always use Reviva Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester, & DMAE cream! It made quite a difference with my completion!

    Vitacost.com sells the Avalon Organics & Reviva cream! I swear by them.