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Do You Have Mature Skin? Apply Foundation Flawlessly With These Pro Tips!

Photo by Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

Being in your 40s and up doesn’t necessarily mean you have mature skin, but mature or aging skin tends to arise at that time. If you’ve witnessed someone who has consistent fine lines and wrinkles in their face (namely around the lips, eyes, and forehead), that’s an indication of this skin type. This skin type also tends to be on the drier side. Mature skin can be caused by a number of factors, including excessive sun exposure, smoking, menopause, and genetics. It generally calls for targeted skincare and makeup products, and specific foundation application techniques.

Makeup artist and HI BEAUTIFUL YOU ambassador Sarah Egan says this applies “definitely to someone 50 and older,” if not sooner, adding, “As we age, skin tends to lose moisture and elasticity, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness. You want to take these elements into consideration when deciding to use a product to help even out skin tone, like a foundation or a skin tint.”

Whether you’re going for a natural finish, radiant finish, or matte finish, if you’re after the best makeup tips for applying foundation on mature skin, keep reading for our expert advice below.

About the Experts:

Sarah Egan is a professional makeup artist and Hi Beautiful You ambassador.
Nikki Parisi is a celebrity makeup artist, hairstylist, and men’s groomer.

How to Apply Foundation on Mature Skin

1. Complete Your Skincare Routine

Regardless of skin type, skincare is always key. Not only does it improve your skin’s texture, elasticity and skin tone, but it helps with the application of makeup. So in the case of this in particular, if you want your foundation to sink into the skin effortlessly, a routine (even a small one) is necessary. 

Egan says at the very least, moisturize the skin and apply sunscreen. She notes that it’s important to wait 5-10 minutes after sunscreen application before starting your makeup routine. We also advise applying a hydrating eye cream to avoid a cakey finish in the under eye area.

If you want to save time and money, opt for a moisturizing SPF, which serves as a hybrid between the two. We recommend the lightweight KEYS SOULCARE Protect Your Light SPF 30 Daily Moisturizer, which includes squalane and niacinamide to brighten and strengthen.

2. Apply a Fitting Primer

We always recommend a primer for pre-makeup application, but the proper texture and consistency will depend on skin type. Celebrity makeup artist Nikki Parisi suggests a thick, creamy primer for mature skin—“it’ll help the skin appear silky smooth,” she says.

Our pick? The YENSA Tone Up Primer Essential Glow. The superfood-based allstar not only has tons of good-for-you ingredients, but it blurs fine lines and pores, smooths uneven texture, and locks in your makeup look. Think: the IRL version of Instagram’s Paris filter. Our IPSY community even agrees this is a top-tier pick.

3. Select Your Foundation or Skin Tint

Identify Undertones

Before making your foundation selection, you’ll want to identify your skin’s undertones, Parisi advises. This will make way for the most evened-out skin tone. Next, you can move on to the actual product, which you should select based on the undertone options provided on the brand’s website.

Pick Your Foundation

“For skin with fine lines or wrinkles, I’d choose a creamy, full-coverage foundation,” Parisi says. “Similar to the primer, a creamy consistency will help smooth the skin and cover any discoloration one may have.” Our community’s pick? The WANDER BEAUTY Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation. Packed with hyaluronic acid for moisture, and niacinamide for brightening, it’s no wonder it’s an IPSY fav! We also love the brand new POLITE SOCIETY More Than Just a Pretty Face foundation, which is creamy, weightless, longwearing, and hydrating.

Consider a Skin Tint as a Foundation Alternative

When it comes to the best foundations for mature skin, you can get equally effective results by opting for a skin tint or tinted moisturizer. This is recommended if foundation seems too heavy for the face. Egan is a huge fan of skin tints for mature skin because they’re more lightweight than foundations, but can still blur imperfections. “Regular foundations often sink into fine lines and creases, whereas a skin tint won’t exacerbate fine lines and wrinkles,” the makeup pro says. 

Egan’s pick? She’s a major fan of the HI BEAUTIFUL YOU BE YOU SKIN Skin Perfecting Tint. “I love the silky-smooth consistency of the sheer color gel,” she says. “It still has enough pigment to cancel out redness from the sun or heat. It also has antioxidants, alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E to help protect the surface of the skin from free radicals.”

4. Apply Your Product

Dispensing your foundation or skin tint, Egan suggests placing the product on the back of your non-dominant hand. Then, using your dominant hand, you’ll want to take the product and apply light dots all around your face, concentrating on the center of your face (your nose, inner cheeks, chin, forehead, and in between your eyebrows). “Most women need coverage in the center of the face more so than the edges,” she says. 

5. Use Necessary Application Tools

Parisi suggests having a foundation brush and a BEAUTY BLENDER or other comparable makeup sponge on hand. “The foundation brush will spread out your product, and the Blender will press it in,” she explains.

To use properly, take the brush and gently spread the foundation dots all around your face, starting in the center. Then blend and tap outward with the Beauty Blender. “Wait a minute after applying to let it set on the skin,” Egan says. 

6. Set the Look With Powder

If you’re only applying foundation, you can dive straight into the setting step from there. But if you’re applying additional makeup after foundation, you’ll want to turn to this step once your look is complete. But Parisi warns it “can be tricky.”

In her experience, “Only doing small areas with a small-medium fluffy blush, with a fine powder is the best outcome,” Parisi says. “I suggest using a powder that is not translucent. Go with your undertone in a lighter shade than your skin.” We (and all of TikTok) are huge fans of the CHARLOTTE TILBURY Airbrush Flawless Finish. The finely milled powder blurs and perfects, while adding moisture to dry skin. 

7. Add a Finishing Spray

There are many options to capping off the look with a spritz. Mists or setting sprays can help keep makeup in place, add a hydrating glow, or do both. Parisi recommends rose water spray. “This is a great choice because it’s moisturizing and will leave you with more dew to your skin,” she says. “The more dew the skin gives, the more you shine. With dewy skin, reflective light will always give you a vibrant, young and fresh look.” 

We’re personally fans of the GRACE & STELLA Hydrating Rose Facial Spray. Not only do we love the refreshing, feminine scent, but the blend of hydrolyzed collagen, antioxidant-rich rose water, and soothing aloe vera helps keep the skin calm, hydrated, and smooth. If you opt for a traditional setting spray, we suggest the KOKIE PROFESSIONAL Refresh Hydrating Setting Spray, which is a popular pick among our IPSY community. It’s a hit because it not only locks in moisture, but prolongs it. 

Want in on all the IPSY foundation fun and more? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer, who has a passion for hair, makeup, and skincare. She contributes regularly to Mane Addicts and her blog, Skyelyfe. Her work has also appeared on Glossy, People, E!, Sweety High and more.
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Article Last Updated September 14, 2023 12:00 AM