An Anti-Ageing Make-Up Masterclass, By Mary Greenwell

An Anti-Ageing Make-Up Masterclass, By Mary Greenwell

Worried your make-up is ageing you? Here, make-up legend Mary Greenwell – firm favourite of Cate Blanchett and Uma Thurman, as well as once being Princess Diana’s go-to make-up artist – offers her preferred products and top tips for getting the most out of mature skin...

First Thing’s First, Change Your Approach To Skincare 

Look to products that really feed the skin. As you age, it’s the one area of your routine that needs different formulas and textures – especially the richer variety. Always use a generous amount (personally, I think the more the better) and massage it in with your hands, twice a day for the best effect. When it comes to applying it round your eyes, gently tap it in, never ever pull as it will encourage wrinkles. And remember, the face loves to be touched so don’t be frightened to really get in there, it will energise your whole complexion.

Opt For Foundations With Thinner Formulas 

Personally, I would recommend staying clear of matte foundations. Our oil glands stop working as we age, and matte textures take away any dewiness we have on the surface of our skin. Instead, seek out thinner formulations that even out skin tone just enough. I swear by Chanel’s Eau De Tint which gives minimal coverage, but enough to look refined and glossy. You’ll find you only need to apply your foundation down the centre of the face and around the eyes. This really should be enough, especially if you’re using a primer underneath which will have already done a lot of the work for you – think adding glow, dewiness and refining uneven texture. I advise most people use the same branding for both their primer and foundation as they work better together in unison, meaning less piling and flaking.

Try Using Your Fingers For Softer Application

I’m not saying brushes are never necessary – they are when seeking definition – but day-to-day I find fingers are best regardless of the product. They warm products up, which encourages formulas to sink in more, but they also allow you to have full control over how much product you use. The only time I’d recommend a brush is with your concealer, as it allows you to build up product slowly, without overapplying in one blobby mess.

Remember The Importance Of Concealer

If you’re using a sheer foundation as suggested above, a slightly denser concealer is key. I recommend investing in one that’s a tone paler than your complexion, as this will phase out darker patches and any redness. Use a patting motion when you apply concealer and always look to creamy formulations for blendability. I absolutely swear by Laura Mercier’s Ultra-Longwear Concealer for its creamy texture which blends and soaks into fine lines seamlessly, without looking too obvious.

Know That You Can Still Wear Colour, It Just Has To Be Subtle

It’s absolutely not the case that you’re too old for colour, it’s about how you apply it. Put simply, the heavier you go with eye make-up, the more tired you’ll look, so it’s about placement and looking to tones that brighten and widen the eye area. Sharp, felt tip-like lines are ageing, so I’m a big fan of soft eye kohls that you can smudge into the lash line – just keep it on top, rather than on your bottom eye line. As for coloured palettes, Tom Ford do some of the best with multiple colours, allowing you to dip into two or three hues at once.  I recommend starting with lighter tones underneath your brow bone, then sweeping slightly darker shades across the lids, using your fingers to smudge and thin out any density of pigment. In terms of colour, rich neutrals, browns, aubergines and navy colours are a great alternative to black, which can be quite ageing on the lids. Seek out powdery textures for the eyes – these add softness and you can be safe in the knowledge it’ll stay put, too.

Don’t Underestimate A Good Lip Liner

There are a lot of mixed opinions on lip liner, but the truth is they become an essential item as we get older. Not only do they plump up the appearance of the lips, they help prevent lipstick from travelling around into any small creases by the mouth.

Apply Your Lipstick Straight From The Bullet

Don’t bother with brushes here, apply it direct to the lips, you can then blot it or use your finger to diffuse the pigment should you need to. The bigger the mouth, the more colours you can get away with; if you’ve got slightly smaller lips, seek out tones similar to your skin. My biggest tip? Just make sure they’re roughly five tones darker than your natural complexion, so you don’t end up looking flat and one dimensional. I swear by both MAC’s Lipstick in Crème In Your Coffee and 111 Skin’s Lip Mask Duo Plumping Pen too for extra hydration.

Put The Contour Palettes Away 

Honestly, no one expects you to look like the most chiselled version of yourself, it’s really not a good look as we age, in fact, it’s incredibly ageing. Try brightening your structure with blusher instead. Not only is this a current trend at the moment, it’s one of the easiest ways to bring warmth and radiance to the skin. Buff it on directly to just the apples of the cheeks and very slightly underneath the eyes – this is the most flattering and elegant placement. As for your bronzer, take it from the temple up and really swirl it in for extra sculpting. Powder formulations are your point of call for both blush and bronzer as they’re so finely milled that they soften down your overall look.

Ditch Heavy Brow Make-Up 

As you age, brows can start to thin and hairs can go a bit wayward and stand up all over the place, so you need to pay close attention to them. If you have a few sparse gaps, try filling them in with a powder, and if structure is your bugbear, look to pencils – nothing is better for faking a sculpted arch. As for tone and texture, try using ashy-brown tones as you mature, these are much more flattering. A brow gel is a real staple for holding hairs in position all day long. Finally, when using a pencil, apply it lightly in feathery motions, drawing it straight on will just look blocky and flat.

Keep Powder On Standby For Shine

Your forehead and bridge of the nose are the only areas that ever need powder. Think of where shine hits, and that’s the place to apply it. The only other tip is to use a smattering underneath the eyes post-makeup application. Not only will this lift the eyes, it will keep everything intact with minimal slip and smudging.

Mascara Really Is Your Best Friend

As we age, it’s all about opening up the eyes as much as we can, and for that there’s no better tool than mascara. Brown can definitely look softer, but nothing beats an inky-black formula that adds extra definition. It’s important to take your wand right into the roots of your lashes, otherwise they won’t look full and long. If you find mascara residue is sitting on your lids, just remove it gently with a wet cotton bud.

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