Skin Care & Make-up Tips According to Age

Saturday, 27 February 2010 | Tags: , ,

We all know that aging is inevitable, and one of the most noticeable areas of change is the face. As you age, your skin care needs evolve, and so should your make-up. (No stealing your daughter's glitter gloss!) We find out more about skin care and make-up regimens for different age ranges.

We talked to Estee Lauder’s granddaughter Aerin, who quoted her grandmother’s wise observation: “You only have one face, so take care of it.” Ain’t that the truth!

Then we visited Lori Lucas at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver with three lovely volunteers in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Lori gave us all some tips on how skin care and make-up needs change as you age. Her tips are included below in our full research. 


In your 30s, your body’s estrogen production helps keep your skin soft and supple. You may start to see damage from tanning (and burning) in your early years: freckles, spots, and fine lines.

Skin care tips

Sun protection:

  • Use a broad spectrum SPF on your face, neck and hands, everyday (even in the winter!)

Eye protection:

  • Use an eye cream on a daily basis since the skin around your eye is the most delicate on your face and will show signs of aging first.

  • Also, get a good pair of sunglasses with UVA and UVB lenses. Even better: polarized lenses. (They’re more costly, but they’re worth it.)


  • As you age, your skin starts to dry out. You should definitely be using moisturizer everyday (look for one with SPF and you can cover sun protection too).

  • Depending on how dry your skin is, you may want to start using a night cream to help your skin repair itself as you sleep.


  • If you’re like most women, you may still suffer from acne brought on by monthly hormonal changes. It’s important to keep you skin clean with a good but gentle cleanser, followed by a refreshing toner.

  • If you suffer from more than the occasional breakout, you may have adult acne, which is more common than you think. In this case, see your dermatologist for guidance.

Eat well and hydrate:

  • Everything that you eat or drink can help (or hinder) your skin’s repairing process. Eating a well-rounded diet with lots of fruit and vegetables can bolster your skin health.

  • Drinking lots of water, and avoiding caffeine and sugary drinks, also helps keep your skin hydrated from the inside.

Make-up Tips

Less is more:

  • Emphasize your natural beauty by wearing as little make-up as possible on an everday basis. Avoid heavy cream shadows and blushes — save those for glamming it up for an evening out.

Foundation & concealer:

  • Your foundation should match your skin tone exactly. When you put it on, it should disappear, while at the same time evening out any skin discolouration.

  • Use a concealer only when absolutely necessary. Gently dot it onto the skin and blend by patting. Avoid smearing and streaking.

  • Powder can help set your foundation and eliminate shine, but be careful to keep it light so that it doesn’t cake. Use a fluffy powder brush and tap excess off before brushing it on your skin.


  • For everyday wear, choose natural tones for your eyes. For example, if you’re brunette with brown eyes, choose earth tones, peaches, and muted green or olive shadows and eyeliners, and a soft black or black-brown mascara. Try dark purples or smokey greys for some evening drama. 

  • Avoid glitter, which can make you look older. A little shimmer is ok for an evening colour, but it should be subtle, visible only when the light strikes it a certain way.


  • For everyday wear, think of using lip colour to enhance your natural colour rather than replace it. Barely there glosses or nudes, light peaches or soft plums, rose shades work well.

  • For evening, add glamour by choosing something that a few shades darker than your natural lip tone. For real drama, try something bold like hot red, red-orange, or blood-purple. If you don’t feel comfortable in it, however, stick with a shade you know you can pull off.


In your forties,  your hormone production begins to slow down, and your skin’s collagen production decreases, causing your skin to appear drier and duller. Dryness can also make wrinkles look more pronounced. On the other hand, you may have finally grown out of acne breakouts!

Skin care tips


  • Very important at this stage, keeping your skin well-moisturized will help maintain its suppleness and reduce the visibility of lines and wrinkles.

  • Use a day cream and a night cream regularly, consider something more dense, like a serum. And always use SPF! Look for moisturizers and foundations with SPF built-in.

  • Cleansers and toners with anti-oxident properties provide a little extra age-fighting power.  (As for anti-wrinkle creams, well, we haven’t found any that do what they claim, but we’re still keeping our hopes up. Please share below or send us a product review if you’ve found one!)

  • Don’t forget your lips. Using a lip balm with vitamin E and aloe helps lips stay smooth, and can also keep the outer edges of your lips moisturized, which may help slow down the formation of fine lines around your lips.

Clean and Peel

  • Because your skin’s repair processes are beginning to slow, you may want to help them along with a weekly gentle peel, which helps quicken cell turnover and freshen dull skin.

  • Exfoliating products are also good to use, once per week maximum.

  • Beware of any products that end up drying out your skin.

Nourish and Calm

  • Diet continues to be an important factor for nourishing your skin. Be sure to eat a balanced helping of fruits, vegetables, protein, and all of the other vitamins and nutrients recommended by Canada’s Food Guide.

  • Reducing stress in your life can also help keep your skin looking smoother. They don’t call they “worry lines” for nothing!

Make-up Tips

Foundation for foundation:

  • Be sure your skin is well-moisturized before applying foundation. You may consider trying a pre-base product.

  • Keep foundation light-handed. If you apply too much, it can become caked in lines and wrinkles, or cause dry spots to look flakey.

  • It’s so important to find the right shade. Too light or too dark and it will just accentuate lines and wrinkles by highlighting them in a different colour than your natural skin tone.

  • After you’ve applied foundation, try a specialized under eye concealer to address any dark circles under your eyes. Make sure you use a product that is eye-specific, since the skin under the eyes is super delicate. Anything too heavy, like a regular concealer stick, will tug at the skin as you apply it (bad!), or will cake up in the fine lines at the corners of your eyes.

  • Consider dropping face powder out of your regular make-up routine since your skin will be starting to become more dry naturally with aging. Using powder when you don’t need it can cause it to cake into creases and lines, thus accentuating areas you’d rather camouflage.

  • Glow (not glitter) is your best friend. Use a light powder to highlight above your brows to give you an instant eye lift.


  • Because your lips may be starting to pale due to reduced blood circulation from general aging, look for lipsticks and glosses with a little colour, still close to your natural lip skin tone, but one or two shades darker will help them pop.

Eyes and cheeks:

  • When in doubt, neutrals go a long way. Anything too bright or glittery will look dated or inappropriate for your age. 

  • Choose warm, earthy tones and blend them well so that there are no sharp lines where your make-up stops and your skin tone or foundation starts.

  • If you haven’t been using an eyelash curler, now is a good time to start. It’s great for adding some lash oomph without a lot of mascara.

  • Make-up experts (like Lori from Holt Renfrew, who gave our on-camera demonstration) recommends not applying mascara to the lower lashes at this stage, since they can highlight crow’s feet.

FIFTIES and beyond…

It’s all about moisturizing from here on in. You may notice your skin becoming more sensitive to environmental extremes. Because estrogen production continues to decrease, your skin’s repair systems slow and your accumulated sun damage (age spots, freckles) become more pronounced, as do wrinkles and fine lines.

Skin care tips

Deep moisture and cleansing:

  • Hydrate as much as possible, day, night, and in-between.

  • Collagen-boosting creams may help replenish skin’s firmness. 

  • Cleanse deeply to remove impurities, and then refresh with a mild toner.

  • Avoid alcohol-based products, which will dry out your skin further.

  • Eye creams or serums should be part of your daily regimen.

  • Use sunscreen every day.

Make-up tips


  • Use a moisturizing foundation with firming ingredients to help smooth out lines.

  • A shade with yellow undertones can help balance out discolourations and can provide more natural-looking coverage than foundations with pink undertones.

  • Stay away from powder, which cakes into the lines of the skin.


  • If your eyelashes are thinning, use your eyeliner to fill in between lashes and blend it up into your shadow with a thin brush.

  • Similarly, if your eyebrows are thinning, use a matching eyeliner or brow pencil to fill in your brows with light strokes. Blend in carefully so that you don’t see any distinct pencil lines.

  • Less is more when it comes to eyeshadow. Use matte shades and neutral tones. Avoid bright or dark colours, which will only accentuate lines around your eyes.


  • You can stick with neutrals for lip colour, or add some brighter pinks and oranges to your palette for some freshness.

  • Be aware of lip liner that migrates into the lines around your mouth. Waterproof lip liner is a good alternative, but may cause your lips to dry out (as do long-lasting lipsticks) so be sure to keep lip balm handy for moisture protection.

Add a youthful glow:

  • Consider trying a highlight powder above the brow and along the tops of the cheeks to add some glow. Be careful to blend it well.
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