A veteran magazine beauty editor/writer (and a member of the 40+ club), Genevieve Monsma created MediumBlonde to help Gen Xers and Baby Boomers age the way they want.


Breakup With This Makeup

Breakup With This Makeup

Whoosh. It’s been a long week. So, rather than write another post on what we need to do/add/improve, let's cut ourselves some slack and discuss what we can skip.

In Your Forties

Chuck the matte makeup Most of you have begun an anti-aging skincare regimen in earnest by now, as you’ve started to see some tiny lines or sunspots. While generally a good thing, a sudden devotion to Retin-A or other exfoliating treatments can leave the skin a bit flakey (especially if you're not heeding my anti-flake strategy here)—and a matte formulation of foundation or lipstick will stick to those flakes. Not flattering. Really attached to your matte lip color? Okay, okay, I love NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils too. To stay smooth while I wear one, I first gently scrub my lips with a clean toothbrush to remove any loose skin, tap a drop of face moisturizer over my lips (waiting 30 seconds for it to sink in), then scribble on the lip pencil.

Ban dark or shimmery bronzer You don’t have to forego bronzer altogether (I wear it almost every day and wrote about that here), but there are now some rules to heed. Very deep shades can be aging on fair to medium skin tones, as they may make the skin look weathered. Also, formulas will lots of sparkle can settle into lines and pores, casting a spotlight on even minor skin imperfections. Stick instead to sheer, low- or no-shimmer formulas in a tone just slightly darker than your own skin. Some pros even suggest using a pressed or loose powder one to shades deeper than your skin tone for a sheer, truly forgiving finish.

In Your Fifties

Minimize muddy colors At this point, you’ve got to brighten up at least a little. While nudes and browns seem like goof-proof palettes (and they generally are in your forties), using them exclusively now can make you look sallow, says James Boehmer, director of global artistry for NARS Cosmetics. “Think of fruity colors like peach or berry or melon. If it looks like it grew on a tree or bush, it will probably flatter your cheeks or lips,” he says.

Limit luminizers It's understandable why you might gravitate toward products that promise radiance or glowy skin. But proceed with caution. Many so-called luminizing lotions and powders are chockfull of shimmer. And if you apply them to the tops of cheekbones, as most recommend, they will sink right into, and accentuate, any lines under the eyes. To wake up tired skin, you may be better off just using a good moisturizer, a hydrating foundation and a bright blush.

In Your Sixties

Bid adieu to vivid eye hues Bright hues on your cheeks and lips get a thumbs up. But eyeshadow or liner in super-saturated hues (e.g. purple, green, hot pink) can look garish on eyes and will only draw attention to crepeyness and lines. Better bets: soft shades like ivory, butter, caramel and soft grey.

Pitch pressed powder I like loose powder (read why here). But, many pressed powders are primarily oil-absorbing—and that’s the opposite of what most aging skin needs. Plus, patting on powder all day will fill nose pores with makeup, stretching them out and making them look larger. Not good. If your nose still shines on occasion, just use a blotting paper like this. Or, take a single ply of toilet paper—and press.

I Take Back What I Said About Highlighters. Sort Of.

I Take Back What I Said About Highlighters. Sort Of.

Chin Up, Heart Open, Lipstick On

Chin Up, Heart Open, Lipstick On