I have never worn a lot of eye makeup, especially this past year. But now, even when I do put it on, I noticed that the way I applied it when I was younger isn’t making my eyes pop anymore.
“The size of our eyes is determined when we are born and remains the same throughout our lives,” explains Kelly Schultz, owner of Julu Beauty. “As we age, the tissue around the eyes loses its support and begins to sag. This can make eyes seem to appear smaller.”
Schultz explains that if we make our eyes look larger, our overall appearance will be more youthful.
So if you are ready to make your eyes pop, here are some tips from experts:
The best way to keep your eyes from looking tired is to get enough sleep each night. Makeup artist Lucy Chambers says, “If possible, sleep on your back. It may sound silly, but just like when you sleep in a silk blouse, and it gets crumpled, the same thing can happen to your face. The fluid drains and causes puffiness and emphasizes wrinkles.”
Next, apply a hydrating eye cream under the eye. Schultz says, “Put your eye creams in the fridge overnight so that when you wake up and prep your skin, the coldness will reduce swelling.” Schultz is also a fan of retinoids at night to diffuse fine lines and prevent excess wrinkles over time.
As for dark circles (which can make eyes look sunken), use concealer. Chambers says, “Dark circles tend to be a greenish/blue, so you want to use something peachy to chance it out. The pale concealer in the wrong tone can make the dark circles more prominent.”
As we age, our eyelids can become more hooded, and the skin may get oiler, so applying an eyelid primer is essential. It gives shadow a solid base to adhere to so that it lasts longer.
Next, apply shadow, preferably powder over a cream. “Avoid shimmer or pearl eyeshadows as these will draw attention to the thinner skin that sags along the eyes,” advises Schutz. Also, stay away from cool tones. Chambers said, “Softer, warm colors tend to be more flattering.”
For a day look, use one earth-neutral color applied on the entire lid up to the crease. For the evening, try a two-color approach. Schultz suggests applying one along the top lid and then blend it to the crease. Then take a lighter color and add it to the inner corner of your eye to elongate the eye.
Because the eyes/face tend to droop as we age, consider only lining the top lid. Schultz explains, “You want soft definition at the lashes that will give the appearance of lifting the eyes.” Chambers prefers a warm brown or dark grey over a black liner. She explains, “It gives eyes definition but is less harsh than black.”
Another trick Chambers likes is to rim the waterline of the upper lashes. “As we get older, the waterline tends to be more visible. If you apply liner in here, the effect is subtle but effective in really making the eye pop,” says Chambers.
Finish up using an eyelash curler on your lashes to open up your eyes and make them appear more prominent. Lashes can be curled daily as long as you are gentle. Then apply mascara, preferably one that is water-resistant or waterproof. Again, Chambers prefers a dark brown or expresso over black mascara. “Try it,” she says, “I guarantee you will notice a big difference.”
Unfortunately, we may begin to lose hair in our brows as we age. Schultz says, “The length of the brow shortens and creates the look of a smaller eye.” Adds Chambers, “It doesn’t help that those of us that grew up in the ’80s or ’90s plucked our eyebrows so thin!”
Today’s trend of thicker brows is usually too heavy for most older women. Eyebrows should frame the eyes, not dominate the face. Keep them clean, natural, and not too thin.
Brows don’t need to match your hair color but should also not be too far off. Chambers suggests blondes go one to two shades darker than their hair color, while brunettes should go one to two shades lighter. Adds Schultz, “If the brows have thinned with age, fill them in with a pencil or powder in a neutral shade that matches the root color of your hair.”
One final tip: if you wear readers, you want to take a peek at your eye makeup with your glasses on before leaving the house. Chambers explains, “Readers magnify our eyes, so when you have them on, it might show that you haven’t blended your eye makeup in properly or make small errors appear larger.”
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