I’m a makeup addict, everyone that knows me knows that. My mum always says that whenever I enter a drugstore, beauty department or duty free I’m like a child in a toy store. And it’s absolutely true. My love for makeup started when I was in highschool. I used to play with eye liner and bright coloured eyeshadows. Oh the 90s… Since then my makeup routine has changed a lot. Now I can do my makeup in five minutes, I know what suits me and, inevitably, I have adapted the products I use and the way I apply them to my age. Because years pass, people, and my face shows that. I have this little ritual every morning: I spend ten minutes doing my makeup. It sets my mood for the day, it relaxes me and while I’m blending, tapping and blending a little bit more, I have time to think about what I have to do at the office, I go over the grocery list and sometimes, if I’m lucky, I even stop thinking. It’s my meditation time.
The biggest change in my makeup routine is that now I focus on my complexion. As I mentioned before, I used to spend a fair amount of time on doing the fiercest eye liner or blending colouful, intricate eyeshadow designs and I couldn’t care less about foundation. In fact I used to avoid it because it made me feel greasy and uncomfortable. But now that my 40s are close, I mainly work on my foundation. While lines don’t bother me that much, ugly pores, overall grey/green-ish tone, (lack of) glow and (lots of) redness do. Oh and dry patches are (sadly) my jam as well.
So I prep my skin with my face cream (plus three drops of Clarins Booster Repair every three to five days) and try to use moisturising yet light foundations and creamy formulas that look like skin. Last month I discovered the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Cushion Foundation (I use shade 30 – Almond) and it has become my favourite makeup product ever. It has a light coverage but that’s precisely why I love it. You can build up or just apply a sheer layer that will make your skin glowy and juicy. It blends beautifully and does just what I want: my skin is my skin, but better. Then I apply a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of Clarins Instant Concealer (02) under my eyes and around my usually red nose. A little goes a long way so with just a teeny bit and your finger (tap, tap, tap!), you will do wonders. And since my skin doesn’t see the sun for months (the joys of Northern European weather!) I rely on Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze and Glow to look healthier and avoid the Morticia Addams look. A look that, by the way, I loved when I was 16 and I had cheekbones. I always try to apply the bronzer lightly and add a tad of the highlighter in inner corner of my eyes to make them look a little bit bigger under my glasses.
Finally I add a touch of blush because everyone knows that’s the trick to look 5 months younger, fresh, awake and just back from a revitalizing run (which I never am because I hate running). I love the Hervana blush by Benefit. I know it’s not as famous as its cousins Galifornia or Benetint, but I swear by it and if you have fair skin I know you will love it too. It’s very subtle, which is perfect because at this age you don’t want to look like Heidi (and I don’t mean Heidi Klum, obviously. I mean this Heidi).
And now, onto everything else. Brows are important because they lift the face and if you are over 30 and have tried to take a pic with your phone but suddenly the wrong camera has turned on and you have seen your face looking down, you know that lifting is good. But you have to be careful! Cara Delevigne’s brows are beautiful on her, but maybe are not the best option for someone over 30 with fine brows. Filling your brows is great and a process that I truly enjoy (look for IG videos about brows if you are streessed, they are hypnotizing and extremely relaxing!) but be gentle and subtle. Yes, subtleness is the key for everything. I use this Bobbi Brown powder, but I’ve tried this drugstore option and it’s pretty nice as well.
And talking about subtleness, no more colourful eyeshadows for me. I’m all about forgiving neutrals. The best colours are those that are barely there. And matte preferably. If you have greasy eyelids, use this primer. Otherwise your eyeshadow can end up in a fine, sticky line in the middle of your eyelid. The Dior Montaigne palette is my absolute favourite since I saw it on Paule. I can apply it and blend it upwards with my fingers. It takes no time and looks very nice and effortless (mostly because it truly is effortles). And if you don’t want to use eyeshadows, try to apply a little bit of bronzer in the outer corner of your eyes and blend, blend, blend. Beautiful and simple.
Sadly, drawing a fierce eyeliner is not possible anymore. My eyelids are not the ones they used to be. I used to look a little bit Japanese with tight upper eyelids, which I loved. Now my eyelids are more sad Saint Bernard kind of looking. So I just draw tiny spots between the roots of my lashes with the amazing Kat von D Tattoo Liner and create the illusion of fuller lashes while having the thinnest eyeliner. I finish mimicking my longest outer eyelash instead of trying to draw a cat eye flick that will never be even in both eyes (I know that now). Oh, and I use the shade Mad Max Brown, because black eye liner can be too harsh now. Subtleness again. Last but not least, two layers of mascara to open the eyes. Careful, though: spider eyelashes aren’t what you are looking for. I’m currently using this mascara by L’oreal because I think volume is what I need now, not length.
And just two more things: lipstick and nails. Lipstick is problematic now. While I used to love experimenting with all kinds of formulas, I try to avoid most of my lipsticks these days because they start following the lines around my lips and end up in my chin, nose and, sometimes, cheeks. Lovely. Even more if I am wearing a bright colour shade and I realize that while I was discussing things with my boss in that important meeting, my lipstick decided to go for a stroll around my face. Really proffesional. The priority is, more than ever, finding a lipstick that stays in place. So I look for lip stains. I really like the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. The price is ridiculous and once they are set, they are set. You don’t have to worry about them. My favourite shades are Ibiza, Sao Paolo, Antwerp and Stockholm.
If you have read so far, thank you. You must be over 30 and tired of makeup fails. Join the club! I have just a last tip for you: while chipped nails were really trendy in the grunge era (paired with flannel shirts and a gloomy attitude), when you are over 30 they just look terrible. So you have three options: don’t paint your nails, get a manicure every week or try the gel couture line by Essie. Whether you like preppy red nails or classic French Manicures, you will forget your nails for about two weeks. The shade in the picture is Fairy Tailor.
To sum up: be subtle and blend, blend, blend. Invest in a good foundation, wear a nice light blush to look fresh, mascara to look awake… and be careful not to have lipstick in your teeth. That’s all you have to bear in mind. You will be fine.