Celebrity Makeup Artists Swear By This Eyeshadow Trick To Lift & Brighten The Eyes

Behold — the industry’s best-kept tips for mature skin.

olivia munn over 40 makeup

If you pay attention to beauty marketing enough, women in their 40s are often targeted with phrases like bare-faced beauty and embrace your age. Which, while an improvement over the “anti-aging” and youth fetishizing nonsense that came before it, still doesn’t sit quite right with those of us in our fourth decade. Just because we’re not trying to look like an extra on Euphoria, doesn’t mean we’re expected to go gently into the makeup-free night.

Makeup as a whole is fun, joyous, and an expression of self — so when advice for those in their 40s is to either abstain or tone it down, it’s yet another instance of pushing women of a certain age out of sight and away from the cultural conversation. We want to participate, but we also understand the realities of aging and that adjustments need to be made in order for us to successfully create the looks we love or aspire to wear. And some of us are just looking for some extra help in the complexion department to deal with the all too common issues that crop up as we age.

To help you learn how to update your routine, TZR turned to some of the industry’s leading makeup artists for their tips and tricks on makeup in your 40s and beyond. Read on to learn everything from a genius concealer hack to what Botox lovers should know about their regularly scheduled injections.

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Skin Prep

Before you can get to the good stuff, you’ve got to take care of what will make or break your makeup look at any age: your skin. While everyone deals with their own unique challenges, according to Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder of PFRANKMD, those in their 40s have some specific concerns, including a general decrease in overall hydration, broken capillaries, larger pores, and an increase in fine lines and wrinkles.

Gravity is also going to start making its presence known, something that Botox users want to be particularly aware of, he says. “As we get older, eyelids may get a little heavier, requiring a lighter dose of Botox on your forehead,” he explains. “Overdoing neuromodulators and not allowing some motion in your forehead can cause heavy lids that might make eye makeup like eyeshadow difficult on the upper lids. As you age, you might need less Botox in certain areas and may introduce Botox in new areas, like the neck. Putting a little paint on every wall allows for a more uniform and natural aesthetic. The goal is to restore, not change your face.”

You’ll also need to be more thoughtful with your skin care. “As we age, we need to understand how our skin care affects the makeup we use on top of it,” says Daniel Martin, makeup artist and global director of artistry and education for Tatcha, whose clients include Elisabeth Moss, Meghan Markle, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Gemma Chan. “Use your retinoids and heavier acids for evening while you sleep and protective and hydrating products for the day.” He also stresses the importance of exfoliation to ensure a smooth makeup application. “I use the Tatcha Texture Tonic as a gentle exfoliation before I start layering on the skin care. This fruit AHA-based tonic helps calm, brighten, and lift off dirt and debris from the skin so my essence and moisturizer penetrates deeper. By doing this ritual, my foundation, concealers, etc. don’t just sit on the surface of the skin.”

SPF, obviously should be in your daily line-up, along with an antioxidant serum to protect against free radical damage, plus a quality moisturizer and an eye cream or treatment to smooth fine lines and de-puff — which will make for a more even undereye concealer application.


Like every other aspect of your makeup routine in your 40s, foundation and concealer are going to rely on technique — no more haphazardly slapping on a coat of the formula you’ve been wearing since college and calling it a day. While your first thought might be of those emerging wrinkles and fine lines, according to celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles, whose clients include Gabrielle Union and Elizabeth Banks, you should be using a lighter touch. “It’s really about a thinner application — you can’t just pile it on or it will look theatrical,” she says. Grab a dense foundation brush and use it to push the makeup into the skin for seamless application.

If a full face of foundation seems like more effort than your low-maintenance self is willing to put in, you can take a page out of creative director and co-founder of Westman Atelier, Gucci Westman’s playbook: The celebrity makeup artist (whose clients include Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, and Julianne Moore) likes to use a fine-tipped brush to apply foundation only where it’s needed over issues like dark spots, broken capillaries, and large pores.

You’ll also need to update your formulas to creams (no powders!) because, as founder and creative director of RMS Beauty, Rose-Marie Swift — whose clients include Gisele Bündchen, Miranda Kerr, Zoë Saldana, and Tilda Swinton — explains, “Continued use of powder can overly age us in two ways: In the long term it can cause actual premature aging due to its dehydrating ingredients, while in the short term it creates the visual appearance of aging by exaggerating areas of the skin that aren’t as smooth as they once were.” Her secret weapon for a glowy, radiant skin finish is to dampen skin with clean water then add a few drops of RMS Beauty Oil, letting it absorb and then following up with a sheer application of the RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up Cream Foundation.


Thankfully the days of overly contoured faces have been left on Instagram where they belong, but if for some reason you’re still clinging to your emotional support contour palette, it’s time to let go. Because the structure of your face is changing due to collagen and fat loss, you’re going to notice that there will be some hollowness in your cheeks, but according to Stiles, a heavy contour is not the answer here — it’s the equivalent of using a magic marker to draw on thinning eyebrows. Instead, she recommends a combo of bronzer and blush. “You want to lift everything gently, so a little bronzer on the cheek and then pop a bit of blush on top of that to add a little life to your skin and a little color.”

Because you are essentially losing those fat pads that create the so-called apples of your cheeks, you’ll need to cheat that effect by placing your blush higher on the cheekbones, says Westman. “You want to bring the color up so you’re lifting and opening up the face.” She prefers cream-based blushes because the texture blends into the skin for what she calls a naturally effervescent flush. Swift says when she applies blush, she uses the base of the nostrils as a guide. “Never apply color below the nostrils, as that will tend to pull the face down, which is not flattering at any age. Applying it higher lifts the face upwards,” she notes.

As for bronzer, Westman says her go-to application method works for every age. “I like to sweep my bronzer horizontally across my cheekbones, forehead, temples, nose, and eyelids. Start light and then build.”


The undereye area can become quite the conundrum for those in their 40s, as you’re dealing with an array of issues that range from puffiness, hollowness, and dark circles, and a lighter skin tone (a condition Dr. Frank says may be caused by pigmentation from sun damage) — all at the same time. Which means in order to truly cancel all those out, you’ll need a multi-pronged approach. “As you get older, some people (myself included) get a lightness under their eyes — even if you have dark circles,” says Stiles. “You lose volume, but you can also get weird fat pads in some places. So you’re battling foreground and shadows. If you just put one color over the whole thing, whatever is puffy is going to look too forward and whatever is recessed is going to look too dark.”

Her solution involves a contour stick and a correcting palette. Start by applying your foundation, then grab a contour stick (something with a nice amount of olive tones in it) and use it to warm up the undereye area. Next, take a fine brush and use a peachy or yellow correcting shade and blend it into the dark spaces to cancel out those shadows. If you still feel you need a concealer, grab a slightly luminous cream option and, as Westman advises, apply near the inner corners of your eyes and upwards at the outer corners of the eye to naturally lift the eye area.

As for eye makeup, Westman says your goal should be to avoid harsh lines and focus on brightening the eye area. “One of my favorite ways to open up the eyes is with a little eyeshadow lift trick,” she says. “Use a soft, pale eyeshadow as a highlight at the outer corner of your eyes, then apply a darker shade above it, sweeping up and out, in almost a winged shape. The upward strokes and shape help the eye to look instantly lifted.” She notes that any eyeshadow base color should be applied just high enough on the lid that it can be seen when your eye is open, and that you should be using very fine layers of shadow and blending well. And don’t forget the eye primer! Stiles is a fan of Heir Atelier’s genius formula, which she says she wears everywhere, including under the eyes and over pimples because it makes sure her makeup doesn’t budge.

Stiles also notes that liners may prove challenging, particularly liquid ones at this age, due to shrinking lid space and increasingly hooded eyes. You might find a cat-eye no longer looks as dramatic as it once did. As an alternative, she recommends playing with bold and bright liners in the waterline for that same statement effect. Just be sure to balance it out by curling your lashes and coating them with a healthy dose of mascara on the top to lift and balance the eye area — otherwise it can drag the top half of the face down and close up the eye.


You can expect to see a less crisp lip line in your 40s, as tiny lines and wrinkles blur the borders and can cause feathering of any lip colors you apply. You will also see a loss in volume and your pigment begins to fade around the edges. The solution, according to our experts, comes in the form of the oft overlooked lip liner. “Lip pencils are great because they ‘fill in’ and help shape the lip line much easier than applying from the lipstick tube,” says Martin. “More moisturizing lipstick formulas tend to bleed over time, so a way to prevent the fading is to try lining the lip with a lip liner AFTER application. The opacity of the pencil locks in the finish of the lipsticks and you have better control of the color retention around the lips.”

Or you can follow Stiles’ lead and use lip liner as your lipstick. To avoid that chalky sensation, first apply a beeswax-based balm — unlike petroleum-based balms which can be too emollient and break down the liner, a beeswax balm will help it glide on the lips and still feel pliant. Then take your liner of choice and simply follow your lips natural border and shade inwards. You can choose bold, fun colors, but if you like nudes, Stiles says to skip the existing ones on the market and try an unconventional hack from a makeup legend instead. “I find that neutral liners can be a bit too orange, so I read a trick from years ago that Way Bandy did in the ‘70s where he used an auburn brow pencil as a lip liner,” she says. “And I am not kidding when I say it is the greatest trick in the world — it is more like your natural lip color than those pinky nudes or nude lip liner.”

If you’re a ride-or-die lipstick lover, Westman advises using a brush with a tiny bit of foundation around the perimeter of the lips to create a barrier. As far as color goes, there’s truly no shades off limits — the old “rules” of sticking to pinks and neutrals past a certain age has thankfully gone the same way as anti-aging messaging. “Bold colors can brighten your entire face,” says Westman. “It really comes down to how you apply the color and balance the rest of your makeup with it. When you want to do a bold lip, keep the rest of your makeup clean and fresh — just foundation where you need it, a little highlight where you want the light to catch, and a bit of definition to your eyes. Same goes for a more sultry, smoky eye look.” That said, there is one type of lip color that Martin says is still probably best to avoid. “Metallic finishes aren’t very flattering on thinner lips and can look dated in photographs,” he explains.

Luckily, with more advanced formulations in color cosmetics and an increasing array of experts and advice available at your fingertips, experimenting and enjoying makeup’s transformative power is no longer just for those in the under-40 set. You can create the perfect complexion canvas and leave it at that, or paint a technicolor masterpiece that’s an expression of our moods or personal style. As Martin so beautifully puts it, “Makeup now is about what makes you happy. Find what you love, learn the technique, and your confidence in execution is what makes the makeup you do that much more beautiful and enjoyable.”