The Ages of Makeup

February 16th, 2022

February 16th, 2022

When it comes to makeup, your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s+ typically require different routines. This is because as we age, the products, formulas, and colours we used in our 20s may not work as well as they once did.  However, that doesn’t mean we can’t wear makeup anymore or must stick to a basic, neutral routine. You can optimise your makeup routine for your age, so you can look younger and more vibrant with each passing year. We spoke to to makeup artist, Saffron Hughes from, who outlines the best makeup routine for your age, including the right colours, techniques to use, and products to opt for.

The 20s makeup routine:

Your 20s are an important decade in the makeup process — you’re experimenting with different techniques, while at the same time figuring out what works best with your complexion. During the teenage years, skin can be oily and acne-prone, and for some people this can extend into their 20s. After the age of 20, the dermis layer produces only 1% less collagen each year. This is a natural part of the ageing process, and skin in our 20s is still extremely supple, less elastic and bright. Due to this, we have the benefit of exploring more with our makeup colours, formulas, and product types.

Dominic Paul Liquid Highlighter

How to do it:

First things first, establish a good skincare routine now. This will set you up for the best skin throughout your life and make for a flawless base to your makeup. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser, keep your skin hydrated by moisturising and drinking plenty of water, and wear sunscreen every day – all year round. Makeup wise, this is your time to shine – quite literally. Embrace the illumination of highlighter, wear bright and bold colours, and opt for sheer coverage so you don’t cover up your youthful, rosy cheeks. With false eyelashes, don’t stack of go for thick eyelashes, as this can age you. Instead, opt for natural and lightweight lashes.


The 30s makeup routine:

Whilst your 30s are typically a time when you are freed from the insecurities you might have experienced in your 20s, it is also a time of our lives where we become consumed with responsibilities. Relationship, families and work often make it harder to have time to commit to a whole makeup routine. Your 30s may be the first time you visibly notice the intrinsic ageing process, as your skin reduces collagen and elastin production.

Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser SPF30

How to do it:

Opt for reputable ‘2 in 1’ products which shorten your beauty routine – for instance, a moisturiser which also contains SPF for sun protection. It can be tempting to put more product on the face when you notice signs of ageing, but stick to lightweight concealers and foundations which won’t crease or settle into fine lines. Whilst you can’t change your skin type, you can change the appearance of it with subtle contouring. Brighten under the eyes by blending a white concealer with your light, skin toned concealer and use contour powder to define and sculpt your face.


The 40s makeup routine:

In our 40s, the skin and makeup products we choose will require a little more care and attention. This is due to hormonal imbalances and changes appearing in the skin, including dryness, fine lines and sagging around the neck and eyelids. Having said this, the beauty industry is so tied to ageing once you hit 40, and I think that is unfair as beauty really has no age. Just because you’ve hit 40 doesn’t mean you have to give up on eyeliner, coloured eyeshadow, and lipstick. You just have to change technique and choose the right products for your new skin type.

D&G Sheerlips

How to do it:

Avoid drying lipstick formulas, which are unflattering and can highlight fine lines. These are usually mattes and nudes. Instead, go for sheer colours with shine, that will accentuate the plumpness of your lips instead. Don’t ditch your eyeliner too but adjust your technique so you are only applying a small wing to the outer third of your lash line, instead of thick black liner throughout which can make your eyes look dark and dull. Finally, pick more flattering colours. Don’t choose bright blues, but rather opt for shimmery pinks and golds on the lid. Keep up your skincare routine to keep hormonal imbalances to the skin at bay.


The 50s makeup routine:

So, then we hit our 50s! Avoid comparing how your appearance looks now, to how it used to be. In our 50s, we may notice our lips lose a little bit of their shape due to the breakdown of collagen and fat pads under the skin. As well as this, our body hair will begin to thin, potentially leading to much sparser and thinner eyebrows. Whilst our skin’s appearance may be duller, our life at 50 certainly is not.

Studio 10 Age Reverse Lip Pencil

How to do it:

Get the plump shape back into your lips by using a lip liner. Top this with a beautiful, tinted balm to add definition, shine and hydration back into the lips. For your eyebrows, invest in a good brow pencil, where you can mimic hair like strokes to fill in any sparse areas. Don’t try to hide your wrinkles with heavy foundation and concealer, but embrace the beauty in them instead! Even out the skin tone with a light concealer only around the inner corners and under eyes to get rid of any dark circles and brighten up the skin. Use a light, hydrating moisturiser as the base of your makeup to add a glow to your complexion.


The 60s+ makeup routine:

You can wear makeup at any age, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! If you are 60+, we want to avoid the appearance of dark spots and prevent skin damage to our vulnerable skin. Mature skin can appear dry, develop an uneven tone, and lose elasticity, so we need to have an understanding of the right makeup products and techniques to use so it sits right and blends evenly into the skin.

Sculpted By Aimee Connolly Cream Luxe Blush

How to do it:

Whilst we should be applying SPF daily throughout our life, it is imperative to apply it every day when you are 60+ to avoid damage to your sensitive skin, as well as dark spots or skin cancers developing. If you do want to apply foundation and concealer, opt for a tone that is warmer than your regular skin tone to avoid looking washed out and opt for weightless, hydrating formulas. Never use powder blush at 60+, but rather go for cream blushes that provide a natural glow. Your hair may also be thinning around your lashes, but that is nothing a little mascara can’t fix – just be sure to delicately remove this.




Enjoyed this? Subscribe to Warpaint here.





Posted In

, , , , ,


, , , , , , , , ,

By Sarah Dann

Comments are closed.