Concealer Is Not One-Formula-Fits-All
Prior to the demise of More Magazine, I was researching a story for the August issue on the most flattering makeup in your forties, fifties, sixties, etc. I figured the makeup artists I was interviewing would advise choosing a more hydrating foundation as you got deeper into menopause—or maybe they’d suggest sweeping on a brighter blush to counteract increased sallowness. What I wasn’t expecting was to be told I’d be trading in my beloved Cle de Peau Beaute’s Concealer. I’ve used it fairly faithfully for fifteen years; it's that good. However, the experts to whom I spoke said no matter how stellar your skincare regimen (or your current concealer), your complexion will become dryer, crepier and thinner with age, and adjustments in cover-up formula may be necessary.
That said, the concealer police are not going to show up on your fiftieth (or seventieth) birthday and confiscate whatever you’ve been applying for the past decade. And if it’s still working for you, fantastic. But if it does begin to underperform, the following expert advice may explain why—as well as offer a few, more flattering alternatives.
in your forties
“Thanks to hormonal changes, skin starts to get a bit drier during this decade, so you should opt for a creamier formula than you were using in your thirties, especially if you’re applying it primarily around the eyes,” says Jeffrey Paul, a Los Angeles celebrity makeup artist. Why? In addition to the obvious hydrating benefits, a creamier formula is less apt to cake and sink into lines. This is also the decade when our skin starts to lose some elasticity—and as skin sags, the under-eye area stretches and becomes thinner. Thus, blood vessels there may become more apparent, making some of us look like we have chronic dark circles. (Note: The extreme busyness of this decade only adds to the dark circle issue, as many of us regularly sacrifice sleep for checking Just. One. More. thing off the to-do list.) The solution: Opt for a concealer with buildable coverage, so on mornings when you need extra camouflaging, you’re, well covered. One concealer oft-recommended (and my personal favorite, as you now know): Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer ($70; neimanmarcus.com). Other strong contenders: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer ($24; ulta.com) and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29; sephora.com).
In Your Fifties
“As you get older, you want a concealer with conditioning and brightening properties so you don’t inadvertently put extra emphasis on fine lines around the eyes,” says makeup artist Trish McEvoy, whose own Correct and Brighten ($41; nordstrom.com) fits this bill. The reason you want conditioning (just another word for moisturizing) is because your skin is getting dryer. (Like you didn’t know that.) Brightening, meanwhile, means the concealer is probably laced with subtle iridescent particles that create a soft-focus-like finish on the skin, diminishing the appearance of lines or crepey-ness. Other pro picks that boast both benefits: Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat ($42; sephora.com) and LaPrairie Light Fantastic Cellular Concealing Brightening Age Treatment ($80; nordstrom.com). To apply, makeup artists say to use your ring finger to tap on the under-eye, just under the brow and over any redness around the nose (even inside your nostrils).
In Your Sixties+
Say goodbye to opaque, full-coverage formulas; at this point they just look heavy (and obvious) on your skin. More flattering: sheer, light formulas that improve, not mask, your complexion. For under-eye discoloration or small blemishes like broken capillaries, go for a moisturizing, balm-like concealer, such as Benefit Fakeup Concealer ($24; sephora.com). As I mention here, I use this concealer occasionally myself, primarily when I want a sheer, natural effect (at the gym or running errands) but I’m not going for total under-eye-circle oblivion. If you require more coverage than Fakeup can provide, rather than resigning yourself to a heavier (less flattering) formula, try a color-correcting cream beneath the concealer to cancel out the blue or red that’s bothering you. Bobbi Brown Corrector ($34; sephora.com) is an excellent option for dark circles (so good in fact, you may not even need concealer on top of it), while Makeup Forever Camouflage Cream Pot Redness Color Corrector ($20; sephora.com) helps cancel out broken capillaries or other red blemishes.