Makeup Over 50 Tips From a 72-year-old Makeup Artist

Sandy Linter’s name carries a certain prestige in the makeup industry. The continually sought-after 72-year-old artist works with legends like Diana Ross, Iman, and Christine Brinkley. And she does her own makeup every single day. Choosing the right foundation and concealer for aging skin is tricky, but Linter has played with thousands of products over the years, and she knows what’s good.

“As you get older you have to choose a product, especially a concealer or a foundation, for texture,” says Linter. “You don’t want it to make your pores look bigger. And the wrong product can bring out the wrinkles instead of diffusing the wrinkles. No makeup can hide wrinkles completely, but sometimes when you’re well made up they’re not nearly so obvious.”

The first thing to keep in mind is that just because a formula is labeled “anti-aging” doesn’t mean that it’s actually good for aging skin.

“Forget about all the signs and all the labels that are on packages,” says Linter. “I’ve used anti-aging formulations and they’re heavy; I won’t use them anymore. They say anti-aging will cover this, that, and the other thing,  when in fact sometimes when all that is covered, you look older.”

“She told me she no longer wears eye shadow because someone told her that women over 50 can’t wear eye shadow. That’s nonsense.”

And forget about all those rules about the dos and don’ts for makeup over 50.

“I have a friend who’s over 50, and she told me she no longer wears eye shadow because someone told her that women over 50 can’t wear eye shadow,” says Linter. “That’s nonsense. And there’s a lot of that out there. Those rules are all old fashioned—they just don’t apply anymore.”

Your skin changes as you age, and the products you use should change with it.

“Check yourself out, are you doing the same thing over and over again just from habit and it’s not working? And you don’t like the way you look? And things you used to love don’t work anymore?” asks Linter. “I mean, that’s happened to me, so it has to happen to a lot of people. You do need to update your little makeup wardrobe.”

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For the most part, if you’re doing your own makeup and you’re over the age of 50, you want to go for a dewy lightweight formula. “When you’re younger your skin is thicker and healthier and it can hold more weight of product, and as you get older, that’s just not true,” says Linter. Your skin also gets drier as you age, so a dewy formula can help you look more vibrant. One of her personal favorites comes from Dior.

 

Shop: Dior Airflash Spray Foundation, $62

Linter loves Dior’s lightweight, full-coverage spray foundation. “I like the color. It makes me look healthy without looking peachy or orangey,” says Linter. “And the texture is good.” She says it’s so important to pick the right color.

A dewey formula is especially good if you have dark spots, she says. “Don’t try to cover up those dark spots with a foundation because you’ll look like you’re wearing a mask, especially if it’s matte,” says Linter. “Go for glow—that’s going to make your skin look better. Use a foundation that is not the same color as the dark spot but darker than your own skin.”

However, if enlarged pores are an issue for you, she says to go for something with a more natural or matte finish. “When your pores are larger and you put dewey on top of it, it magnifies them. The same with highlighter,” says Linter. Matte can be tricky for older skin because you don’t want it to make you look super dry. Her favorite right now is by Makeup Forever.

Shop: Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin, $38

Linter loves Make Up For Ever’s matte foundation because it provides full coverage. Just be sure not to apply too much. “A finger full can do your whole face,” she says. If it’s looking to heavy, diffuse it with a damp sponge.” Linter started playing with this product because she wanted a foundation that wouldn’t transfer on to her face mask when she’s out and about. “If it’s matte, it doesn’t have a transfer onto the mask. And I’ve been wearing matte lipstick as well,” says Linter.

When applying foundation, she says to avoid areas that are badly wrinkled. For her, that’s under her eyes. She says to apply concealer in these spots. The most important thing to remember with concealer is that you need to apply it with a good brush. “Never put your concealer on with your finger, it doesn’t work as you get older,” says Linter. “Because your finger is a little warm and then you put your concealer on and it never really works because you every time you pick your finger up off your face you’ve lifted off concealer. So you put on more and more and more and you don’t get the right effect.” Linter’s favorite concealer brush is made by Kevyn Aucoin.

Shop: Kevyn Aucoin Duet Concealer Brush, $32

“It’s so fabulous,” says Linter. “It’s the right texture. It’s great because it’s double-sided.” The flat side is used to apply concealer while the domed end is for buffing and blending.

As for concealers, one of Linter’s favorite is the Dior Forever Skin Correct.

Shop: Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer, $36

“I like it because it’s very moist and it doesn’t catch in the wrinkles,” says Linter. “So when I smile I don’t get lines of makeup in my inside the wrinkles.”

Another favorite is from Yves Saint Laurent.

Shop: Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat, $35

“My under eye area is kind of dark and next my nose area is kind of dark, and so sometimes I’ll use Touché Éclat by Yves Saint Laurent,” says Linter. “They’re very handy little pens that you can lighten up the inner corner of your eye with.”

The last thing is to remember is to have fun!

“Don’t hesitate to use makeup. It’s pleasurable and when you look good you have a better day—I don’t care what anybody says,” says Linter. “I’m 72-years-old, and I wear foundation and concealer every day. It makes me look better, but it makes me feel better, too.”

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