I’m 54 years old and since I was a teenager I didn’t like wearing foundation because I didn’t like the feeling on my face. However, now that I’m more mature I’ve realised going bare-faced is not always ideal because my tone skin is becoming more and more uneven. Any chance I can skip it? Do you have any alternatives?
Melissa Wright, Sunderland (UK)
I see many midlife women asking for the same thing, so you are not alone. Most of them feel that a foundation smothers their skin and makes them feel that it’s not breathing, but things have changed dramatically in the past few years and there are many good products lighter in texture than ever.
I wouldn’t recommend skipping the foundation but rather choosing the right formula for you. Embracing your look as you age means adjusting your skincare and make-up regimens to best suit your ever-evolving skin. Of course, skincare prep is key. So, in case you feel your skin dehydrated, make sure to apply a moisturizer and a serum before foundation.
Honestly, I believe wearing a foundation is a must when we get older as there’s much more than simple coverage. As you mentioned, as we age skin becomes finer so small imperfections show through. When it becomes dull and our face starts to sag this creates dark shadows, particularly under the eyes, around the nose and mouth. The purpose of the foundation is to even out skin tone, covering blemishes, providing a smoother finish and a healthy glow. A good one can also act as an effective barrier to stop pathogens and pollutants as well as reduce free radical damage.
Modern formulas are much improved and they are more than just a cosmetic product for mature skin. Ideally, to get your desired coverage and ensure a natural finish, you should look for buildable formulas that you can layer on top of one another to create a seamless result. The mineral makeup foundations that have come out recently, in particular, are more fragrance, filler and preservative-free with a built-in natural sunscreen and do wonders on older skin.
Made from a blend of natural ingredients like zinc and titanium oxide, they leave out a lot of the chemical nasties found in regular makeup such as parabens, preservatives, oil and fragrance and they work most on every skin type. Turn that around – the foundation protects your skin against the elements! It does not smother your skin. It protects your skin.
If you struggle to find the right one, make sure to test different finishes and colours on your skin (better near a window or somewhere with plenty of natural light). In my opinion, the powder-based mineral types are the easiest to apply and feel the lightest on the skin.
Regarding application, working with the principle that “less is more” is always good, especially in areas where there are lines or creases. Above all, the best would be to find yourself a good makeup artist who carries a great line of makeup for mature skin that she believes in and uses herself.
A good makeup artist is like a good hairdresser – she will guide you in the best ways to bring out your best features and teach you all the tricks for once at home.