Aging Well
Beauty & Style

10 Common Beauty Blunders All Women Make (Plus Makeup Tips for Older Women)

The right beauty advice can make any woman, young or old, feel like a million bucks. When talking about makeup tips for older women, there’s plenty of beauty advice about what you should do, but knowing what not to do is just as important. Here are a few of the most common makeup mistakes and beauty blunders women often make, plus tips on how to do it right.

Mistake #1: Using Dirty Brushes

It might be a little time-consuming, but one of the best makeup tips for older women is to regularly clean makeup brushes and tools. Not only will this improve your makeup application (gunky bristles hardly work as well as clean ones), but it will also reduce your chances of experiencing skin irritations and breakouts. Over time, makeup brushes can harbor old makeup residue, oil, and even dead skin cells, creating a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can then be transferred on to your face.

Makeup tips for older women are only as good as the tools you use to apply them. So the best beauty advice for your brushes (and your skin) is to clean them at least every two weeks—more frequently if you use them on a daily basis. If your brush isn’t soft anymore, or if you can see any reside with your naked eye, then it’s time to give them a good clean. If they’re in pretty good shape, a couple drops of olive oil followed by a good wash with unscented soap or dish detergent mixed with warm water should do the trick; otherwise you can easily find brush cleaners at the cosmetic counter.

Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Light When Putting on Makeup

Have you ever put on what you think is a perfect face, only to step out and realize it hardly looked as good as you thought? It might be because you weren’t using the right lighting when applying your makeup. Sometimes the best makeup tips for older women are as simple as finding the right lighting. Natural sunlight will give you the best results, but just make sure that it isn’t only hitting one side of your face and creating a shadow; that might give you an uneven finish.

If natural light isn’t an option, it might be worth investing in a lighted makeup mirror, because the illumination mimics sunlight. Plus, the light is positioned in front of you instead of overhead or behind you, which can cause unwanted shadows. It’s also good beauty advice to take into account where you’re going. Makeup tips for older women at work are going to be different than those for a dimly-lit date night, so when applying your makeup, keep your destination in mind so that you have a better idea of what you’ll look like when you get there.

Mistake #3: Testing Foundation on Your Hand

Makeup tips for older women usually include something about wearing the right shade of face makeup. So when trying to find a new foundation or concealer, a lot of women will test the shade by applying it on the back of their hand. However, this technique doesn’t really work as well as you think it does. The complexion of the skin on your hands isn’t necessarily the same as the skin on your face, because the backs of your hands aren’t exposed to as much sun. If you rely on this method, you’ll likely end up with a shade of foundation that’s a little too light for your skin tone.

Here’s a valuable piece of beauty advice to help you get a more accurate match: test the foundation on your jawline instead. And before purchasing the product, see what it looks like in natural sunlight. (See the point above about lighting and makeup application.)

Mistake #4: Wearing Too Much Bronzer

Using bronzer can be included in makeup tips for older women, because it can help to get glowing skin without spending time in the sun. However, the mistake that some women make is using it on their whole face to try and make their skin look sun-kissed, but doing so will leave a very artificial finish, because you’ll notice the different in skin tone on your neck and along your hairline.

Bronzer can still help you get glowing skin, but you only need to apply it lightly on your cheekbones, bridge of the nose, chin, and forehead in order to mimic a sun-kissed tan.

Mistake #5: Wearing Too Much Foundation

One of the most common makeup tips for older women is to ease up on the foundation, especially liquid formulas, which can settle into fine lines and make them look even more pronounced. Unless you have a lot of discoloration or numerous blemishes, you can probably get away with only wearing foundation on the T-zone. If you’ve got a good anti-aging skin care routine, why not flaunt your natural, healthy skin instead of hiding it behind a mask of makeup? Also, make sure to apply a primer before your foundation, which will help to fill in any fine lines and soft wrinkles.

Mistake #6: Using Expired Cosmetics

Believe it or not, makeup expires and if you use it beyond its recommend shelf life, you could be inviting a host of bacteria onto your face. It’s always good beauty advice to keep your stash of makeup and anti-aging skin care products up to date — click here to see some guidelines about when to throw out certain products.

Mistake #7: Curling Lashes After Applying Mascara

Curling lashes is often included in makeup tips for older women because it can help to open up the eye area for a younger-looking effect. If you’re going to follow this beauty advice, just make sure you don’t use your eyelash curler after you’ve applied mascara. The tool will stick to your lashes and can actually pull them out. While on the topic, a few other mascara-related makeup tips for older include only applying it on the top lashes, resisting the urge to pump the wand in the bottle (it dries out the product), and swapping black mascara for a brown shade if you have a lighter skin tone.

Mistake #8: Over-Grooming Eyebrows

This one doesn’t necessarily have to do with makeup tips for older women, but it still has to do with beauty advice. Eyebrows naturally thin out with age, so the last thing you want to do is add to that process. So avoid the urge to thin them out by plucking, waxing, or threading them incessantly. In fact, fuller brows are on-trend right now, which is why makeup tips for older women now often include using a brow powder (one shade lighter than your natural brow color) to fill in thinning brows, which will give them a fuller, more youthful look.

Mistake #9: Mixing Too Many Colors

There’s nothing wrong with adding a pop of color on your face, as long as it’s only one pop of color. Combining a heavily pigmented eye shadow with a bright lip shade can wind up looking clownish, especially if they’re from two different color pallets. Good beauty advice to keep in mind is that the trick to wearing color is to focus on one thing—if you’re going to wear a bold lip color for instance, then keep the rest of the face muted.

Mistake #10: Wearing Too Much Blush

The point of blush is to add a natural flush to your cheeks, not paint them pink. Going back to that previously mentioned point about proper lighting; you may find it useful to apply your bluish in sunlight, where you’ll get a better idea of what it looks like in natural lighting. Keep in mind that you really don’t need a lot for it to show.

With the right makeup tips for older women, you can apply blush like a pro. Let’s start with pink shades, which work well for giving a naturally rosy effect. Smile naturally and then, using a dense brush with a flat head, swirl the blush on the apples of your cheeks. The color should be concentrated mostly on the apples, stopping about one finger’s width from the corner of your mouth. Warm peach and coral blushes, on the other hand, are more like your natural skin tone, which makes them useful for sculpting. Move your lips to the side (like a side smirk) to help make your cheekbones stand out. Use an angled brush to sweep the blush along your cheekbones, starting near the top of the ear and stopping before the apples of your cheeks. It’s also good beauty advice that if you have very oily skin, to opt for cream blushes instead.

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