Baby Boomer Beauty Advice

Written by Lauren Long

Some women in their 40s and 50s tend to forego beauty regimes of make up and style.  Makeup artist Bobbi Brown says there's no sexier time, that is, if you know how to work it!

Mature beauty is based on "feeling good about yourself," says Bobbi Brown, a leading makeup artist, who nevertheless recognizes that cosmetics will always be important to women. After making up thousands of model faces during the past 20+ years, Brown has definite ideas about the beauty of mature women.

Brown's tips for looking younger, longer:
For smoother looking skin, moisturize with an extra emollient face cream before you apply any makeup.
Eye cream, which is normally richer than face cream, will also help minimize crow's feet.
Re-evaluate the makeup colors you're using. As skin tone fades, it's important to move away from browns.
The best way to play down wrinkles is to focus on your strongest feature and play that up.
A sweep of subtle, bright blush on the cheeks draws attention away from crow's feet.
Use sun-block daily. If you like the tanned look, experiment with a bronzing powder.
Don't overlook brows; they're a great focal point for the face. They tend to fade and become sparse as women age, so define them with eye shadow and a brow brush.

"I think the 40s and 50s are a time when women are their strongest, most vibrant, independent and sexy," says Brown, who in 1991 founded her own cosmetics and skin-care company, Bobbi Brown Essentials.

"The older women I admire most are those who wear their wrinkles well," says Brown. Part of aging gracefully means using the correct colors as natural coloring tends to fade. That's why once-foolproof shades of brown and taupe don't seem as flattering on an older woman.

"This is the perfect time to play with and switch to bright and pretty shades," says Brown. "I think it's a common misconception that older women need to wear more sedate colors. In fact, there's nothing like a subtle touch of bright color to give you a look that's instantly younger."

As for eye makeup, keep it simple and don't use contouring eye shadow. This will make eyes look smaller. And avoid eye shadows that are intense frosts because they tend to settle into wrinkles and bring more attention to them.

Because skin tends to get drier as you get older, you should consider switching to super-emollient moisturizers and moisturizing makeup formulas, says Brown. If you have dry skin, try not to use powder formulas. Stick to cream foundations and blush sticks. These glide easily onto skin for even application.

Mature beauty is also about wisdom. Beauty emergencies become an opportunity to get creative. "When I'm in-between appointments with my hairdresser, I help camouflage the occasional gray hair with some mascara," reveals Brown.

At any age, beauty has as much to do with taking care of yourself as it does with attitude. As Brown says, "Those little wrinkles on the sides of your eyes come from laughing and smiling, how can that possibly be bad?"

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