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Drop-a-decade Makeover the British Way

The right cosmetics really can help you turn back the clock for much less than plastic surgery

29 June 2009

The right cosmetics really can help you turn back the clock, says legendary make-up artist Barbara Daly from

Barbara Daily
Starting out
Make-up is a wonderful decoration and disguise. As you grow older, you want to mimic the look of youth gracefully! A few tips before we start: do your make-up in bright daylight, if possible. Don’t get stuck in a make-up groove: what looked good on you 15 years ago probably needs updating now. Stroll round make-up counters in department stores and book free makeovers from brands that appeal. You’ll learn what you do like – and what you don’t. Only buy if you really love a product.

Exfoliate Skin thins and gets drier with age, but you can freshen it up by exfoliating daily. Try a very gentle product, or simply a damp flannel rubbed lightly over your face when you cleanse, to remove the top layer of dead skin cells.
Skin thins and gets drier with age, but you can freshen it up by exfoliating daily. Try a very gentle product, or
simply a damp flannel rubbed lightly over your face when you cleanse, to remove the top layer of dead skin cells.Moisturise If your skin is dry, plump it with facial oils and rich creams in the morning as well as at night. You need plenty of moisture under your make-up: it can take years off your face. Leave it to sink in for at least five minutes before putting on foundation.
My choice Every day I spray my dry, sensitive skin with mineral water and apply Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose Facial
Oil, £17.60 for 50ml (, then Liz Earle Superbalm, £14.75 for 30g (, and top it with La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme SPF50+, £15 for 50ml (from Boots).

This is used to even out skin tone, which tends to fade as you get older (although you should never try to change your skin colour with foundation).
Choose a shade that matches your skin (or very slightly lighter). Test products on the back of your hand to check
the texture and spreadability; next, apply a stripe by your jawline and blend in with your fingertip, then see how it looks in daylight. If it has disappeared you’ve got the right shade. Opt for the lightest texture to give you the coverage you want. Build it up in very thin layers – nothing looks worse than a mask. If you have oily skin,go for oil-free; if it’s dry, go for one labelled ‘moisturising’.
Don’t apply it all over your face. Start from the centre and blend out, so when you get to the fine hairs at the
side (don’t worry, we all have them) there’s nothing there.
If you use a foundation brush or sponge, always finish with your fingertips, especially for daytime – the warmth
helps soften it into your skin so it looks natural.
Stand back and take a look. If you still have flaws you want to hide, such as brown spots, red cheeks, scars or
dark under-eye circles, use a proper concealer rather than a light-reflecting pen (though that’s brilliant for brightening the eye area if you have delicate shadows). Apply a tiny amount with a lip brush (or any small pointy brush) then blend in lightly with a fingertip. Avoid lines or crow’s feet, it will make them look worse. Also, use it on eyelids as a base.

Tinted moisturiser
If you have good skin, just use a dewy-textured tinted moisturiser in the summer. Add concealer, if needed, then blush and/or bronzer.

Layers of heavy foundation make wrinkles look worse. Try patting on a line-blurrer (see page 50 for our tried and
tested winners), which will soften the edges.

This is vital – lighting up your skin, eyes and whole face. Try creams or powder creams, which are similar to the
natural texture of the skin. Don’t worry about shading or shaping, just blend on to your cheeks. A good clear rosy pink or peachy shade suits most complexions, with a dirty rose for ‘nude skin’ days. Try a bronzer in the summer, but not all over – just on the protruding bits that would naturally catch the sun. (You can put a powder bronzer over moisturiser and sunblock – although leave ten minutes for them to sink in first.)

Face powder
This is another essential, despite its bad press. It makes pores appear smaller, combats shine and holds make-up in place. Choose a finely milled, translucent loose powder. Apply with a big brush (knock off any surplus on to the back of your hand) on the central zone and lightly over your eyelids before putting on eye make-up. If you wear eye pencil or creamy shadows, powder lightly after applying to hold them in place.

Eye make-up
Draw attention to your eyes, but avoid the come-to-bed-look of your youth. Aim for a clean, defined look – smoky if you wish, but not messy. Apply products to grease-free skin, prepped with concealer and/or powder, as before.

Mascara Choose a rich, soft dark brown, rather than black (unless you have black or dark brown hair). Waterproof avoids smudging and panda eyes.

Eyeshadow Opt for soft taupey neutrals; avoid pale and pearlised shadows, especially over any saggy or wrinkly areas.

Eyeliner Looks modern in either pencil or fluid form, painted on with a fine brush; try a slim slick of bright colour over neutral eyeshadows for day, or to enliven your look at night.

Brows Fill in thinning brows with tiny strokes from a sharp brow pencil. Match the colour to your brows (not your hair). Use a clean mascara brush to blend in. Soft mushroomy tones suit most people – stay away from reddish tones  and check the colour in daylight. If your brows are still thick and well-shaped, but pale, add colour by brushing through with a bit of mascara (what’s left on the brush after you have wiped it clean is usually enough). Comb into shape when dry with a clean old mascara wand or toothbrush. If you have heavy brows, invest in having them shaped professionally, then maintain the line at home.

Use a lip-colour pencil to create a crisp line, then soften it slightly with your forefinger. Put lipstick or gloss on top. For staying power, apply lipstick, blot, then apply another layer. Blot again and slick with gloss. A natural rosy colour is good for day, with a darker, brighter, more dramatic colour at night. Bright, rich shades can look chic, but avoid shrieking orange or fuchsia and pale lipsticks (though pale gloss is fine). Keep lips in good condition with balm, so lip colour stays put rather than running into lines.   

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Posted by at 12:04 AM
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