Eye Makeup Tips for Seniors

Published October 1, 2018
Senior woman putting on eye makeup

Eye makeup can be challenging to get right when you're over 50 and battling fine lines and wrinkles. However, there are several ways you can revamp your current routine to freshen up, revitalize, and take years off your look.

Undergoing Care and Maintenance

First and foremost, it's important to undergo proper care and maintenance when it comes to your eyes. Why? Because good prep makes your life more straightforward when you're ready to start the application process.

Use Eye Cream Every Night

Your eyes need all the help they can get as you age and have crow's feet to contend with. Make sure you use a moisturizing eye cream, day and night, to keep the skin surrounding your peepers properly hydrated and firm to allow for easier makeup application.

Woman in robe applying eye cream

Prime Away

Considered a life-changing makeup product. Applying eye primer across your lids prior to eyeshadow will help keep everything in place and last longer. It will also "blur" any pesky eye creases to result in smoother, younger-looking skin.

Apply primer on eye lids

Apply a Mascara Primer

Who says that you only have to prime your lids? Applying a mascara primer from the root of your lashes to the tip will not only moisturize them, but it will also separate your lashes in preparation for mascara application.

Woman applying mascara primer to lashes

Applying Eyeshadow

Once your peepers have been properly primed and are ready for action, you can proceed with eyeshadow application.

Choose Subtle Tones

In terms of applying eyeshadow on older eyes, you need to be selective with the colors you choose. This is because heavily pigmented eyeshadows can add years to your look, magnify hooded lids, and highlight crow's feet. Instead of bold, rich shades, choose neutral tones that will complement aging eyes and make them stand out for all the right reasons.

Senior woman putting on makeup

Contour for Definition

If you want to contour your peepers, use an eyeshadow that's darker than your base shade in the crease to develop definition and open them up. Makeup artist Patti DuBroff, who has worked with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, says you should avoid coloring the brow bone in any way, as this can have the opposite effect and shrink down your eyes.

Woman with contoured eye makeup

Change Your Technique

When you were younger, you might have extended your eyeshadow color beyond the end of each eye; however, try to avoid doing this now as it can make you look tired and draw attention to jowls.

Senior woman applying makeup

Rocking the Eyeliner

Eyeliner might be a significant part of your daily eye makeup routine; however, you should consider changing it up based on the following tips.

Opt for Soft Shades

Try to avoid eyeliner that's too dark for your coloring. Instead opt for soft brown shades if you have a fair complexion or black for a deep complexion, as these hues are much more flattering for older skin.

Senior woman putting on eye makeup

Use Thin Lines

If you're a liquid liner gal, stick to thin lines just above your upper lashes and avoid your lower lid as this looks super unnatural and will only minimize your eyes. For those who prefer pencils, line your lower lid just under the lash line and then smudge it with your pinkie finger to avoid it looking too harsh. Also, resist the urge to tug at the outer corner of your eyes during application as this will cause skin to crinkle, which results in wonky lines.

Close-up of left eye

Add Shimmer to Inner Corners Only

To create a lively, replenished look, pop a hint of shimmer in the inner corner of each eye to immediately wake you up. This can be through a highlighting product or glittery eyeshadow cream. However, avoid putting shimmer elsewhere on your peepers, as it can amplify fine lines and wrinkles.

Mature woman applying eye makeup

Accentuating Your Lashes

Avoid droopy eyes by applying the right mascara in a certain way.

Choose the Right Formula

It's common for older women to lose eyelash fullness as they age, so the trick is to make your lashes look as full and lush as possible. Be sure to choose a lengthening or thickening formula over a volumizing mascara, as volumizing formulas can draw attention to short lashes and make them look even stubbier.

Senior woman applying mascara

Warm Up Your Curler

If you're struggling with lash length, in addition to using lengthening mascara, you can opt to curl your lashes using a warm curler. Simply heat up your curler with a blow dryer for a few seconds before using it on your lashes to open up your eyes and make them look younger.

Senior woman using eyelash curler

Give Other Colors a Go

Sometimes black mascara looks too harsh on certain complexions, whereas a navy blue or dark brown hue can bring out the whiteness of your peepers and truly make them pop. Opt for dark brown mascara if you're fair skinned and have blonde or gray hair, and navy blue if you have a deep complexion and dark hair.

Woman using a mascara brush

Keep Everything On Top

Apply mascara solely to your top lashes and avoid your bottom lashes as this will only close the eye in and illuminate any dark circles.

Close-up of mascara on top lashes

Keeping Brows Strong

As well as losing lash fullness, it's also possible for women over 50 to lose eyebrow fullness. However, you can remedy this with brow products and shades.

Use a Darker Eyebrow Pencil

Make sure you use an eyebrow pencil that's a couple of shades darker than your hair color, but not too soft. When an eyebrow pencil is too soft, it often goes on too strong and looks unnatural.

Senior woman using eyebrow pencil

Avoid a Cartoonish Aesthetic

Apply your brow pencil in light, feathery strokes to make your eyebrows look soft and fluffy and create the appearance of more hair. Pay special attention to the shape and fullness, as these factors can contribute to a more youthful aesthetic overall.

Close-up of long lashes

Less Is More

The popular phrase "less is more" is often used in the beauty world to emphasize the importance of a minimalistic look, and it certainly applies when it comes to senior eye makeup. Try different looks to find out what works best for you but try not to overdo it. The wrong products and shades can actually end up having an aging effect.

Eye Makeup Tips for Seniors