By celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert Cynde Watson
Aging gracefully is easier said than done. When we reach 40 and beyond, we suddenly don’t see the skin, eyes, lips or teeth that we are used to seeing. We lose hair where we need it and find it popping up where we don’t want it. It can be shocking.
The key to looking your most beautiful after 40 is taking care of yourself from the inside out. It’s not about looking like you’re in your ‘20s; it’s about prevention and maintenance. Embrace your age, define your signature look, and incorporate my solutions to the most popular beauty and makeup concerns to begin the journey to prevent and reverse the signs of aging.
Your Biggest Beauty Mistakes and Concerns
#1 Beauty Concern for Women Over 40 - Change in skin texture: sagging and wrinkles; dull and discolored skin; unwanted face and body hair; darker, stained teeth
#1 Beauty Mistake Made by Women Over 40 - Not embracing your age. Trying to be forever young to fit into what society defines “hot, sexy and beautiful.”
#1 Makeup Concern for Women Over 40 - Selecting the perfect foundation for your skin tone and finding the right long-wear formula.
#1 Makeup Mistake Made by Women Over 40 - Wearing too much makeup, which can settle into fine lines and wrinkles. When we start to age, our skin dulls so it can balance with our graying hair, so women wear too much makeup trying to bring that color back. Over-40 women should keep makeup simple, sheer and luminous. Concentrate on one feature and play it up!
Anti-Aging Skincare Recommendations
Sun Protection Cream
Sun protection is a non-negotiable part of your skincare routine, especially for anti-aging benefits. It’s the first step in preventing the aging process. Select a broad-spectrum anti-aging sunscreen for your face and body. It should block incoming UVA/UVB rays. You should also look for a cream that combines sun-protecting properties with antioxidants to also help prevent premature aging.
Primer (With Peptides)
The easiest way to take 5-10 years off maturating skin without surgery or a dermatological procedure is to use a makeup primer with peptides (peptides are known as a safe, affordable and painless Botox alternative). Aging skin benefits greatly from primers because the primer fills in the fine lines and wrinkles, which in turn fills in the area and plumps the skin, leaving fewer wrinkles and crevices, resulting in an even canvas to apply long-lasting makeup.
This injectable is a great way to relax the frown lines, which can make us look angry. An experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon will also know how to raise the eyebrows and get rid of crow’s feet.
As we age, we tend to lose volume in our faces; just as a balloon is taut the day of a party, in the days afterward, it loses volume. Generally, the loss of volume becomes more noticeable in one's 40s as nasolabial folds look more pronounced, and the chin area starts to develop "marionette lines," starting from the outer corners of the mouth. The lips also become thinner; loss of volume in the upper lip line causes lipstick to bleed. With the cheeks appearing less lifted, the mid-face appears flatter. This is where injectable fillers can be quite helpful. Some fillers are made of calcium hydroxylapatite (a substance found in bone), which is better for deeper lines. Others are made of hyaluronic acid, which mimics a substance found in the connective tissue of the skin. Those made of hyaluronic acid are excellent for more superficial filling including the upper lip lines and the body of the lip, which should ALWAYS be naturally contoured. When done by an experienced doctor, all of these fillers should provide natural results.
Maturing Complexion and Makeup
Select a foundation that provides long-lasting luminous coverage, sun protection, and that is formulated with anti-aging/firming ingredients. The result will be the appearance of smooth, younger looking skin.
Makeup Finishing Spray
After applying your foundation or complete makeup, it’s important to seal your makeup with an anti-aging makeup finishing spray. It’s a setting spray that keeps your makeup surface dewy and glowing for hours, and it’s a great complement to any anti-aging routine. A blend of moisturizers, along with a unique heat-control technology keeps makeup from drying out or settling into fine lines and pores. The final look is luminous and very natural.
Maturing Eyes and Lashes
Loose Lash Extension Fibers (Like False Eyelashes in a Bottle)
As you age, eyes begin to appear droopy, tired and puffy with visible fine lines (crow’s feet). Eyelashes start to lose color, length and fullness. An easy way for women over 40 to give their eyes definition and a lift is by using a lengthening/volumizing mascara with lash extension fibers to give the eyes an extra boost. Fibers give you the appearance of the longest lashes possible without actually applying false eyelashes or enduring the cost of lash extensions. It’s easy to remove with your regular eye makeup remover. Just apply in between coats of mascara. Should a few fibers fall onto the skin, just brush away lightly with a powder brush or cotton swab. The fibers are not wet, so they will not stick to or ruin your makeup.
Unwanted Hair Concerns
At-Home Long-term Hair Removal System With LHE (Light & Heat Energy) Technology
Facial hair, along with hair popping up all over the body, is a huge concern for women over 40. Why waste money on laser treatments and time waxing, tweezing and shaving when you can treat your facial and body hair at home? LHE Technology (Light & Heat Energy) is a safe and effective non-invasive, non-abrasive treatment. It’s used for a wide variety of applications: psoriasis care; acne clearance; skin tightening; skin rejuvenation; wrinkle reduction; collagen renewal; vascular and pigmented lesion treatments; and hair removal. Unlike laser treatments, women with very fair skin and very dark skin can use this treatment successfully.
When you are over 40, the natural process of aging takes its toll on your teeth and mouth. We live very busy lives and can’t always get to the dentist for whitening or even do it at home. Between dentist visits, to get the appearance of a whiter brighter smile, try wearing a red or berry lip color or gloss with blue undertones. Shades like wine, classic and cherry red can make your smile look dazzling white. Choose a glossy/semi-gloss formula rather than a matte. The sheen from the gloss will reflect off your teeth making them appear whiter and brighter.
Oral Health and Professional Whitening Procedures
Cosmetic procedures and whitening products have little to no effect on your oral health. Brushing, flossing daily and visiting your dentist every 6 months are needed to ensure a healthy mouth.
The reality is teeth naturally get darker as we age; yet, lifestyle and diet contribute to the staining and discoloring of your teeth. Avoiding or limiting intake of coffee, tea, colored foods and especially smoking can help retard the process. Brushing after eating or drinking will help minimize staining. If you have tried this and are still experiencing discoloration, try a professional whitening procedure. Professional whitening is safe, effective and very fast, but must only be performed by a dental professional.