Makeup Mistakes to Avoid in 2017: The Do’s and Don’ts of Makeup for Women in Their 40s

Makeup Mistakes to Avoid

For women in their 40s, makeup can be a make or break choice. With thousands of brands today and even more skin care products, it becomes even more difficult to choose what is best. While starting with the right skin type is a good step, there are still certain shades of lipsticks and foundations, or even the style of applying eyeliner that may prove wrong for you.

Another important aspect is to choose makeup products according to your age. This is dependent on two factors. Firstly, the right color needs to be taken into consideration. There are certain shades and tones that may have suited your skin in your 20s; however, it’s a big no-no to go with the same ones in your 40s. Experiment with shades to see which ones works best.

Secondly, anti-aging factors need to be looked at. Certain makeup products have anti-aging serums, SPFs, and moisturizers incorporated into them. Choose products based on your skin’s requirements.

Makeup Mistakes by Women in Their 40s

Makeup Mistakes to Avoid

Using the Wrong Foundation Shade

Don’t: Avoid trying out foundation on the hands; use the jawline instead.

Do: Opt for more natural and subtle tones that suit your skin. Go for a shade darker than your skin color or blend two shades if required. A good foundation is not supposed to give a tanned look—it’s used primarily for highlighting the skin and giving it an even tone. A good tip for makeup in the 40s is to use a concealer stick to hide any hyperpigmentation or discoloration.

Going for Shimmery or Bright Shades of Eyeshadow

Don’t: Avoid using shimmery, glossy, and sunny shades of eyeshadow as they can deepen the appearance of fine lines and crow’s feet near the eyes.

Do: Use cream of matte colors as they have a smooth, velvet finish. With these colors, fine lines and discoloration near the eyes are not visible. As the eyes are more sensitive now, simply go for a stroke or two, keeping in mind that less is more.

Using a Lip Liner

Don’t: Avoid using a lip liner that is darker than the lipstick, or worse, applying lipstick without using a lip liner.

Do: Use a shade that is a perfect match to the lipstick, or else play it safe with a nude-colored liner. Also ensure it is applied within the lips, and not outside the natural lip line. A good liner makes lips look plump and prevents lipstick from smudging.

Using Waterproof Mascara

Don’t: Avoid using waterproof ones as they contain more pigment to be able to hold on for long. In addition, removing this mascara requires a lot of effort.

Do: Use regular, non-smudge mascara. It is gentle on the eyes, suitable even for oily skin, and can be washed off with a good face wash, too. Alternatively, use baby oil or a makeup remover to wipe it off with ease. Also, applying it only on the upper eye lashes is a good idea, since applying it on the lower eyelashes could make the wrinkles underneath prominent.

Going for Dark, Pigmented Lipstick

Don’t: Avoid using heavy and bright matte shades to look young. These suit younger women and are richly pigmented, which often shows through cracks in the lips.

Do: If you still want a bright shade, opt for a glossy one. Use light and frosty shades like pink or peach for an elegant look, if you prefer matte lipsticks. Try using a hint of nude gloss for an evening party. A cream-based lipstick with a smooth finish gives fuller lips.

Woman applying rouge with brush to her face

Using Loose Powder

Don’t: Avoid using too much face powder, bronzer, and loose blush.

Do: Powder is simply used for reducing the effect of an oily face. Instead, if the skin appears oily even after using cream-based makeup products, simply dab a little powder on the T-zone.

Applying Too Much Concealer under the Eyes

Don’t: Avoid going too heavy with concealers to hide wrinkles, crow’s feet, or dark circles. Do not draw a line with your concealer covering your entire under-eye area.

Do: Use a little only in the inner corners of the eyes. Using a concealer to hide skin-related issues in your 40s only aggravates it. Too much concealer draws attention to the eye area by making it look cakey and highlights fine lines. Use it only in areas where it’s required.

Skipping on Hydration

Don’t: Avoid applying makeup on the face without using a good moisturizer or primer as a base.

Do: Follow a proper routine with a nourishing day and night cream, moisturizer, primer, and lip balm. Be sure to drink plenty of water, juices, and smoothies throughout the day.

Avoiding Exfoliation

Don’t: Avoid focusing primarily on makeup products. A useful anti-aging tip is to religiously follow a skin care routine every day, including exfoliation.

Do: Use it in the morning to remove dead skin, as well as to smooth and rejuvenate the skin. It also tones the facial skin and makes it look healthy.

Using Alcohol-Rich Toners and Products

Don’t: Avoid using alcohol-rich toners as they strip the natural oils off the face.

Do: Go for a hyaluronic acid gel or serum instead of a toner. Opt for gentle and chemical safe products for normal skin, preferably with natural cooling and hydrating ingredients.

Best Makeup Products for Women in Their 40s

makeup products

Foundation: The CoverGirl Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Foundation is available in 12 shades to choose from and takes care of discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. A one-fluid ounce bottle costs $10.98 on Amazon.

Concealer: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer is waterproof and contains vitamins and collagen. The product costs $21.69 on Amazon.

Mascara: The Pur Minerals Fully Charged Mascara costs $17.77 on Amazon. It has anti-aging properties and promises to lift, separate, and define lashes.

Lipstick: The L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipcolour is an anti-aging serum. Amazon charges $14.95 for 0.13 fluid ounces, and is available in different shades.

Eyeliner: IT COSMETICS No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner comes in black and is waterproof. The 0.017 ounce stick costs $28.95.

Eyeshadow: The bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow has SPF in a creamy formula. The product is priced at $33.45 for a 0.10-fluid ounce package.

Blush: Priced at $19.00, the Cheeky Babe Pressed Mineral Blush has anti-aging properties and is available on Amazon.

Primer: The E.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer contains grape and vitamins A, C and E. It reduces fine lines, hydrates, and gives a long-lasting finish. The 0.47 fluid ounce package costs $3.99 on Amazon.


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Carrillo, S., “11 Makeup Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making,” Total Beauty web site,, last accessed January 30, 2017.

Gold, G., “The 5 biggest makeup mistakes women make in their 40s — and how to fix them,” Today web site, January 13, 2017;, last accessed January 30, 2017.

Bailly, J., “10 Makeup Mistakes That Add 10 Years,” web site, August 31, 2012;, last accessed January 30, 2017.