What Makeup Artists Use To Make Themselves (And Clients) Look Younger

The best skin care preparation, application techniques and makeup products to age gracefully.

The gradual changes to your appearance that come with age should always be embraced. They can also mean that your makeup and skin care routines require some shifting.

According to veteran makeup artist and makeup department head Lindsay Garrison, what worked for you in your 20s and 30s might not be serving you in the same way during your 40s and 50s.

″[You should] learn new techniques and don’t be afraid to try new products. Our faces are changing, and so should the products we use on them,” Garrison said.

Whether you’re feeling insecure about the appearance of a new wrinkle or volume loss in your cheeks, Natalie Setareh, a cosmetics instructor with a belief that makeup can be for everyone, said that makeup can also be a tool to help you feel more confident.

“I’m near 40 and I’m already using makeup to give me a more youthful appearance. It’s natural to want to do this,” she said.

Setareh said makeup is often just a play on light, and her techniques involve bringing focus to your favorite features using highlighting, while helping to downplay anything that makes you feel self-conscious.

Keep reading to learn just how Satareh, Garrison and other makeup artists achieve this, along with a description of their favorite products and tricks of the trade for achieving a youthful glow.

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An active enzyme exfoliator
For Bobbi Brown Cosmetics artist-in-residence Carola Gonzalez, exfoliating the skin regularly (about three times a week) is very important.

"When it comes to makeup application, mature skin needs to be polished to remove dead skin, dry patches, and increase skin cell turnover," she said, adding that exfoliated skin will also make foundation look smoother and more even.

She uses this active exfoliator which uses potent fruit enzymes to gently slough off dead skin cells along with nutrient-dense plant oils and honey to help restore moisture and clear congestion.
Bobbi Brown
A skin corrector stick
Gonzales recommends incorporating a skin corrector into your makeup routine, like this one from Bobbi Brown, because they cancel out imperfections on the skin like dark spots and under eye circles. This convenient glide-on stick promises to be comfortable to wear, is never cakey and is infused with ingredients to provide a dose of moisture.
A glowy medium coverage foundation
"As skin matures, it starts to lose luster and luminosity. Skin starts to become more dehydrated, dull, and wrinkles become more pronounced," Gonzalez said. Because of this, she and nearly all of the other makeup artists we spoke to said that it was best to choose a foundation that's hydrating, lightweight and has a non-matte finish.

Jeanette Aguirre, a Los Angeles-based lead makeup artist for Glamsquad, said that she loves this luminous silk foundation by Giorgio Armani on mature skin because it won't settle into fine lines and wrinkles. The hydrating formula claims to blur imperfections and offer a glowy finish.

Other similar formula foundations recommended by our makeup artists include Future Skin Gel Foundation by Chantecaille, Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture foundation and Dior Forever Skin Glow.
An SPF-infused color correcting cream
"I can't stress enough how important it is to wear sunscreen daily to avoid premature skin aging," Aguirre said, something repeated by many of the others as well.

For a more natural, everyday makeup look, Aguirre reaches for this color correcting cream from Supergoop that contains mineral SPF50 for protection against UVA and UVB rays. She said she likes the customizable and buildable coverage offered by most CC creams as well as the skin-perfecting, natural finish that it leaves behind.

CC Screen is also infused with some skin care ingredients, like apple extract to help brighten the complexion and red seaweed extract which can help protect skin against free radical damage.
A lightweight setting powder
Los Angeles-based makeup artist Susan Zeytuntsyan said that setting powder has a tendency to settle into and accentuate fine lines, so it's important to only spot powder using a small brush, and only in areas you really need it, such as the T-zone.

"Use a very finely milled loose powder," Zeytuntsyan said. "I love the Hourglass one because it has reflective particles that help maintain that glow while still setting your makeup."
A rich, multi-tasking moisturizer
According to Zeytuntsyan, hydrating the skin is one of the most important steps in the makeup prep process. This is because makeup applied on top of dry skin can make products look patchy or settle into fine lines.

"For mature skin, use a really rich and emollient moisturizer as a base for your foundation," she said. "I love Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre."

This iconic French face cream actually functions as both a moisturizer and a makeup primer and contains a blend of calming aloe, soy proteins, skin-softening shea and beeswax.
A natural airbrush bronzer
Brett Freedman, a Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist, said that as we age, we lose the color in our skin. Adding a lift of tawny or bronze to your usual routine makes skin look warmer, more glowy and all-around healthier.

He suggested using Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush Flawless bronzer. Its pressed powder formula is made using micro-fine perfecting powders for a silky feeling on the skin as well as hyaluronic acid to hydrate.
A highly rated lash curler
According to Freedman, nothing opens eyes up more than curling the lashes.

"Once lashes are in the curler, squeeze and hold for a quick count of 10," he said, cautioning against "pumping" lashes with the curler, which he said "won’t really ‘set’ a curl. It won’t last."

This highly rated stainless steel lash curler promises to never pinch the delicate skin around the eye and uses elongated silicone pads that won't break lashes.
A brown eye pencil with a slight shimmer
"One tip I always give women who want to freshen their makeup as they get older is to switch from black eyeliner to brown. Let the black from the mascara be the deepest shade," Freedman said.

He loves Mac Cosmetics' Eye Kohl eyeliner pencil in the shade Teddy, because it's the perfect deep brown with the right amount of shimmer to catch light and add depth.

For even more definition that won't drag eyes down, Freedman also suggested using a slightly lighter brown, like Mac Cosmetics' Powersurge, on the bottom lash line.
A brightening under-eye cream
Garrison said that it's important to prep your under-eye area with moisture. One of her favorite eye creams is the iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex, which is packed with peptides and potent antioxidants to help support collagen production, protect the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
An 8-pack of cooling eye gels
When it comes to addressing under-eye puffiness and eye bags prior to makeup application, Garrison also likes to use these cooling eye gel patches that claim to deliver potent actives to help de-puff, brighten and smooth the under-eye.
A "glow from within" complexion booster
Garrison's absolute favorite product for achieving that "lit from within glow" is Charlotte Tilbury's cult-favorite Hollywood Flawless Filter, a unique product that hydrates, illuminates and blurs imperfections.

"You can mix it in with your foundation for an all over dewy finish or just apply it to the high points of your face, like the tops of your cheekbones, for added radiance," Garrison said.
A smoothing lipstick primer
"As we age we develop fine lines around our lips and if you’re not using a lip primer, your lipstick is more likely to bleed," Garrison said. Her solution? To always line lips prior to lipstick application and prep using this lip primer that can smooth lips and prevent lipstick from feathering.
A creamy lip liner
Setareh said the melanin in our lips can fade with age, making them look smaller than they really are, or smaller than they once were. Using a lip liner to slightly over-line the top lip and just the center of the bottom lip can help create a more full look and draw attention to the center of the face.

She also said she avoids drying lipsticks or matte lip paints, and that lip liners by NYX are what she typically grabs for most. Available in a large variety of shades, these lip pencils are creamy and long-wearing.
A neutral matte eyeshadow palette
Setareh commonly brightens the eyes of her mature clients, which she achieves using matte shadows from a Viseart eye palette. This professional makeup brand is known for producing richly pigmented eyeshadows that are easy to blend.

"I use a matte or satin highlighter in the corner of the eyes and move it upwards under the brown bone. This is better than trying to use concealer under the eyes, which creases tremendously," she said.

For an extra wow effect, Setareh also applies a flesh-toned or white liner to the waterline, which can help the eye appear more open and bright.
A creamy and radiant concealer
Garrison and Setareh both shared love for Nars' Radiant Creamy concealer, an industry favorite formula that contains light-diffusing mineral powder to blur the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and brighten the under-eye. It's available in 28 shades.

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