As a 44 year old woman who’s flipping obsessed with makeup, I feel very passionately that beauty doesn’t have a shelf life and will be enjoying my collection and wearing make up on the daily until the day I die. And yes, I totally agree that you need to adapt your makeup as you get older – I’m a massive advocate of this – as there’s nothing more aging than seeing a more mature lovely still trying to rock the same look that she did in her twenties – to hang on to her younger self – when it invariably gives quite the opposite effect! And that brings me to the subject of today’s blog, shimmer, as I firmly disagree with those who believe that glitter and sparkle need to be relegated to the back of the makeup drawer and that mattes are the only way forward when your age starts with a 4..! I personally believe that using light, shimmer and a wee bit of sparkle can bring luminosity and vitality to your look and it’s youthful not aging. If done right of course, so here are my 5 tips for using and rocking shimmer, glitter and all things sparkle in your 40s.
Less is definitely more when it comes to using shimmer so that you avoid the mutton dressed as lamb/face been smashed with a disco ball look and this is where layering product comes into its own.
What I recommend here is rather than a full-on eyelid of shimmer – which is aging and well just naff – you use light and something sparkly a bit strategically. You can do the ‘halo’ or ‘spotlight’ placement where you use a mid-tone colour on the inner and outer third of your eye and then a lighter, brighter pop in the middle to bring light to the centre of the eye making them appear bigger and brighter. You can also incorporate a touch of sparkle with a topper; there are loads of options out there but my pic for a classy pop of light and shimmery depth is Charlotte Tilbury as she does this so well. Her eyeshadow quads are gorgeous (and each pan in the palette is labelled so you know where you need to put it) and the ‘pop’ shade is what you want here; her shadows are buttery and massively pigmented and using your ring finger – to get maximum pay off – you press it onto your eyelid to give a multi-dimensional look to the eye.
Similarly, you can also layer colour, texture and light to get a multi-dimensional lip by applying a lip gloss to the middle of your pout to give a fuller look to your mouth. Always a winner as we all know that getting older means thinner lips..joy!
Ah highlight, one of my fave things and definitely a cracking way to incorporate a subtle and sophisticated shimmer into your look. I’m loving cream formulations at the moment as they’re the most natural; use them on your brow bone, the bridge of your nose, the corner of your eyes to give brightness, your cupid’s bow to give the illusion of fuller lips as well as (of course!) your cheekbones to add that lovely sheen and bring luminosity to your base. Our complexion typically gets drier and looks duller and flatter as you get older – thanks Mother Nature – so this is where highlighter comes into its own and should be your new BFF!
We can definitely still rock shimmery blush shades as we get older – flat matte shades are not the only way forward – but make sure that the shimmer is subtle, and the powder finely milled, as I find that cheaper or less sophisticated formulas can pick up texture and emphasise fine lines on older skin. But a sheer wash of a pretty, multi-dimensional colour, such as Hourglass’ stunning range of Ambient Lighting Blushes, can bring a youthful flush and that ‘glowing from within’ look that is just what we want.
And you can ramp it up and go for a full-on glitter eye but keep it classy and do a sheer wash; that way you get the pretty, sparkly effect without looking like a toddler that’s been let loose with finger paints! I really recommend the NARSissist Wanted palette here; don’t let the colours and sparkle put you off, they can be dialed back to a pretty wash or dialled up if you’re getting ready for a girls’ night out and want to up the ante. And I say hoorah to that as I do love a good statement eye! I think the trick to wearing it is balance though, and if I do a full on shimmery eye then I’ll do it with a simple base, a bit of bronzer, a few dabs of highlighter and blush and a nude lip. Nothing more.
And my final tip is to get the right texture when having a magpie moment and adding some glitter to your collection; always make sure that the product has fine particles of shimmer (rather than chunky), as that will give you a beautiful glow without looking cheap and nasty. I’m loving Stila’s Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows at the moment which are just molten loveliness – I have Jezebel and Grace – and By Terry’s Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadows which are stunning shadow sticks. My fave is Bronze Moon and I reach for that when I want a bronze, shimmery eye. Not the cheapest but worth every penny!
So that’s it, my 5 tips for incorporating shimmer in to your look when you’re over 40. Have you got any favourite products that I should add to my list?