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Best Makeup for Women Over 30, 40, 50 (According to Tina & Daughter)

makeup for women over 30, 40 - boomerinas.com

by Tina Boomerina and my daughter,

I’ve done some research on makeup (on myself) and I’ve gotten a lot of help from my 30-year-old daughter over the years. Here are the cosmetic tips we’ve pooled together from our collective experimentation. Some products may be best if you’re around 30, but I use many of these items and I’m over 60.

My daughter is more of a makeup expert than I am because she worked in a high-end Beverly Hills store for years, however you will get her point of view and mine.

Anyway, here are the best cosmetics for women over 30, 40, 50, or 60… Or, maybe I should say, “Here is a list of the makeup products we use.” My daughter once said that YSL and Chanel are the best, but I refuse to spend ridiculous amounts of money if I can come up with a cheaper product that’s almost as good.

Some of These Products May Work for You:

You may look good in the colors I wear or the colors my daughter wears. I am fair but not porcelain. My skin turns golden when I tan... then sallow afterwards. I used to have oily skin but it's dry now (at age 62). My natural hair color is mousey brown but I bleach the helloKitty out of it. My daughter has fair Mediterranean skin, hazel green eyes, and wavy brunette hair with a red undertone.

* If I have a star next to a product, it means I've updated the article and I want to remember the new product... And, YOU might want to try the product or get a sample.

Primer and Foundation for Women Over 30 or 40

1. Best Primer: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is the best primer.

Makeup Tips - Boomerinas.com

Makeup for Women Over 30


  • According to my daughter, Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is the only primer you should use.
  • I like Smash box Photo Finish Primer. (You should only use a tiny amount or it will ball up. Smash box is like spackle. It fills in the large pores in my T-Zone.)
  • Smash box Photofinish Lid Primer is supposed to be amazing and my daughter says it will draw attention to your eyes. I haven’t tried it, but women over 50 give it great reviews online, so it's on my list.

2. Best Foundations: My daughter and I agree that you have to pony up for the best foundation you can afford.

However, we disagree on the best brand. She likes something light. My super-hydrating foundation made her break out… so it’s better for women with dry skin.

  • Chanel: My daughter swears by Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15. However, she just got a sample of YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Illuminating Foundation SPF 19 and she loves it because it goes on light and smooth.
  • Chantecaille: As far as I am concerned, there is only one foundation worth using – Chantecaille. My daughter learned about this French brand from her older, well-heeled customers in Beverly Hills, and I’ve been using it for almost 10 years. I am very pale, so I wear Chantecaille Future Skin in Alabaster. Then I add a few dabs of Chantecaille Camomile. If foundation turns orange on you, try Chantecaille. It's crazy expensive, but it's the best.
  • * Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation: I just got a sample of this (with a Nordie's purchase) in "Natural Glow 100" and it's a great, golden color. It's not as heavy as Chantecaille, but not as moisturizing... so I might get another sample and try it over moisturizer for a fresher daytime look. It turns my face into a wonderful, young, blank canvas... well... as young as can be expected on a woman over 60 who needs a facelift. (And, it's been an hour and my face is not orange!) If you're too young for a heavier, moisturizing foundation like Chantecaille, but you want a little bit of coverage for a special event... or whatever... ask for a sample of D&G.
  • Stila Tinted Moisturizer: One reader (Wendy) recommends tinted moisturizer as an alternative to foundation. I've tried Stila in the past, so I'm sure it's great. If you want to read Wendy's other ideas, see the comment section. (ps I'm now using Stila Tinted Moisturizer and I love it.)

3. Best Concealer: My daughter likes NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey. She wants you to know that when the NARS concealer seems like it’s empty, it’s not! Use the end of a makeup brush to get the rest out. She also likes MAC Pro Longwear Concealer because it’s less cakey, however it doesn’t stay on as long as NARS. For a cheaper fix, she recommends Maybelline Instant Age Rewind.

My daughter’s method of concealer application:

  • 1. Put foundation over face and eyelids.
  • 2. Put concealer over eyelids and under eyes.

4. Best Highlighter: The best highlighter for women of all ages is YSL Touche Éclat. This best-seller is the gold standard. However, if you are looking for something cheaper, try Benefit Watt’s Up for a dewy look. It’s so beautiful (and natural) that my daughter wears it to the pool.

5. Best Powdered Sunscreen: My daughter applies Eminence Organic Sun Defense in Peaches and Cream (SPF 30) over her foundation, but before applying blush and bronzer.

6. Best Bronzers: My daughter loves YSL Terre Saharienne Bronze Poudre de Soleil (powder). It’s not too orange and has a good texture. I’ve been wearing Tarte Park Ave Princess mineral bronzer for years and I love it.

best makeup for older women - boomerinas.com

Makeup for Women Over 40 or 50

7. Best Blush: My daughter says that older women need to add a bit of color because it makes them look more youthful. Her go-to blush is Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Praline. My favorite blush is NARS Torrid. We have an 80-year-old friend who loves MAC blush in Gingerly. And, the best brush for application is the Bobbi Brown kabuki (face brush).

According to my daughter, all products from YSL and Chanel are great, but you can go cheaper if you have good brushes. Brushes are the most important makeup product you can buy. When you see those beautiful models on commercials for inexpensive makeup, the reason their faces look so flawless is because of the expensive brushes used in application. (Use baby shampoo to clean brushes.)

8. Best Finishing Powder: My daughter likes the white translucent powder from Tarte. Bare Minerals original is good too.

Best Eye Makeup for Women - Age 30 and Up

9. Best Eye Shadows: If price were no object, my daughter would wear Givenchy because it goes on smoothly, stays on all day, and has beautiful colors. When money is tight, she wears MAC eyeshadow in Saddle, which is good for brown or hazel eyes because it brings out the gold flecks. However, my daughter says, “When in doubt, go for Laura Mercier eyeshadow.” I have worn Make Up For Ever eyeshadow, but I now wear MAC Pressed Pigment, which I love love love love love love.

10. Best Eyeliners: Here are the eyeliners my daughter uses to make a high cat eye.

  • MAC Rapid Black Penultimate eyeliner pen: My daughter uses this on her top lid. She makes it look natural by using short strokes rather than drawing a line
  • Lancôme Eye Pencil in Black Lapis: My daughter goes over the eyeliner pen with this pencil. She also uses it under the eye. Then she smudges the top and bottom. (Use a Q-tip to clean it up.) We know a woman over 80 who wears this same dark blue Lancôme pencil. It doesn’t bleed. (*Yes!!! I love this. I just got Lancôme Le Crayon in Black Lapis in the mail and it's wonderful. Right now, I see Black Lapis online at Nordstrom.com but not Sephora.  Actually... when I took the pencil out of the box, I read it wrong and I used Le Crayon for my eyebrows... before using it correctly as an eyeliner. It wasn't bad for eyebrows either because it was easy to make short lines like little hairs. I wonder if they have something similar in light brown.)

Another eyeliner that stays on really well is Bobbie Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner. My daughter wears Chocolate Shimmer Ink or Violet Ink.

Laura Mercier Black Ebony Cake Eyeliner is what I wear. Wet it with Laura Mercier Tightline Activator and it will not bleed. Use a small Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier brush.

11. Best Mascara: My daughter and I both like YSL Babydoll Mascara in Fetish Black. Other good ones are Lancôme and BADgal Lash (from Benefit).

12. Best Eyebrow Product: The best eyebrow gel is Damone Roberts.

Best Lipsticks for Women Over 30, 40, 50, 60

boomerinas.com best lipstick lip gloss

Natural Lipsticks and Glosses

13. Best Lip Liner: My daughter likes NARS. She says you should smudge the line with your fingers so it looks more natural. The lip liner used by our older friend is Lancôme Le Crayon in Caramel.

14. Best Lipsticks: My daughter and I both like Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie from Bare Escentials. My daughter wears Raise the Bar. I wear Fly High.

A good natural lip color is Cargo High Intensity. It comes with a brush so it’s good for travel. My daughter says it doesn’t bleed. She wears Equador. Another (cheaper) natural lip color is Make Up For Ever in Rouge.

15. Best Lip Glosses: Here are my daughter’s favorites:

  • Chanel Glossimer in Spark.
  • Laura Geller lip gloss in Melon.
  • Lancôme Lip Gloss in Combustible (if you can find it).
  • Sephora's Own Brand Lip Gloss is an inexpensive alternative.

My daughter also likes to wear a touch of pink gloss over her lipstick, and for this, she uses Stila Grapefruit Lip Glaze because it’s sticky (in a good way) and it stays on. She only puts a small line on the middle of her lower lip for a sexy, pouty look. Marilyn Monroe used this trick, adding a touch of gloss over her red lipstick.

I don’t wear gloss, but I like Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia for a fresh, dewy look. It’s like a natural-colored gloss, but it’s not sticky.

Well, that’s our list of the best cosmetics for women over 30, 40, 50, 60, or whatever. I usually go with the brands my two daughters recommend unless I need something with more moisture. My daughter will be writing another article about how she uses her favorite products. If there’s a primer or foundation or eyeshadow you really love that we don’t have on our makeup list – especially if you’re over 40 or you have dry skin – please let us know.

More Articles for Women Over 30 or 40 and Up:

Milestones Meet Gemstones: The Mature Woman's Guide to Rockin' Jewelry

Women Over 40, 50, 60: Parisian Style Details

How to Look Better in Online Dating Photos: 11 Tips

What are the best crossbody bags for travel?


Makeup over 30 40 50 60 - 2 women's opinions

Main Photo - Best Makeup

Photo Credits:

  • Main Photo: Fenn Wright Manson fashion photo.
  • Makeup for Women Over 30: Phase Eight fashion photo.
  • Makeup for Women Over 40 or 50: Fifty Plus fashion photo.
  • Natural Lipsticks and Glosses: Dunnes Stores clothing photo.

What do you think of this article? Give us your tips in the comment section or put this article on social media with the buttons.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. Wendelah

    I would never wear this much makeup all at once. I prefer a more natural look. I don't wear foundation, ever. I don't use lip liner or most of the products you recommend. My daily routine is Stila Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 and a neutral lipstick with sunscreen. The coverage is good and it can be layered if I want more. If I need blush, I use Tarte. It has good staying power, does not break me out, and has plenty of shades to chose from. I like Tarte's eye shadows, too. I don't need eye pencil. I don't use mascara but since you have to toss it every three months, I wouldn't use anything that spendy. Mabelline gets good ratings and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I don't like lip gloss at all. The least bit of wind and my hair is sticking to my face. I don't see the point in recommending shades for anything. What works for me probably wouldn't look good on you and vice-versa.

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I'm sure you're right, but this was mostly written for older women. My daughter (30-ish) helped me out. She wears more makeup than most women do because she used to work at a store where she could only wear black. When she wears this stuff you don't always know it, but she has darker coloring than I do, so she can pull it off. (However, she has fair skin and needs to wear a hat or she'll end up wrinkled and splotchy.)

      My daughter doesn't wear makeup all the time, but I have to tell you, when she does, she looks amazing.

      I never wear gloss. I don't wear much makeup unless I'm going someplace special. I need the Chantecaille and a bit of lipstick... and a swipe of blush... because I am very pale. I have a feeling you have more color and definition to your face. When you are old, you will probably use more makeup.

      And, of course, I don't use ALL of this stuff. My daughter doesn't either. It's just that we decided to get together (through email) and write a mother/daughter article. And, it was fun.

      Also, I found my favorite eyeshadow (MAC shimmer) from writing this. I don't usually wear much because I have purple glasses and they give me some color.

      I didn't wear any makeup for the first 20-ish years of my life. I was a hippie. We didn't do makeup.

      And, I don't throw out my makeup every three months even though I should. I am very careful to wash my hands and not contaminate my goodies. I've had the Tarte blush for about 10 years and I haven't died yet, but I live in Seattle where you can leave the milk outside for a year and it won't spoil. (joke)

      I'm going to add your ideas to the article, too. Thanks for your comments. We're not going to hold a gun to your head and make you wear heavy foundation but this article is just to help women who are sick of the same old thing. It might give some old biddy like me an idea or two. And G-d knows we need all the help we can get.


      • Tina-Boomerina

        Actually, I doubt most people would wear all this unless they had to look wonderful for an event. I seem to remember my daughter spending about an hour on her face in order to look natural enough for a big date. She gets it from her grandmother... not me. haha.

  2. Christiane Marshall

    Hi Tina!

    I haven't worn mascara in 29 years because I have dry eye which makes my eyes tear throughout the day. Even with eye drops.

    Is there a mascara that won't run even if I wipe the tears away?

    Thank you!

    p.s. I just tried to post this and received the following error message:

    "You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down." LOL!

  3. Lil

    Thanks for the timely post! I am over 40 and seeing changes in my skin. Insomnia over the past six years has especially taken a toll and my previous concealer wasn't working on my now-dry skin, so I wasn't covering up the dark circles (mainly next to my nose) at all. Well, I read this post and I went right out and bought the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind. What a difference! I instantly look refreshed and maybe even a few years younger! I plan to try your other suggestions one-by-one so I don't "break-the-bank" in a hurry:). Thanks again!

  4. Tina-Boomerina


    I don't know if reading these ideas has helped you or not, but it helps me because I like to look up which products I use.

    I had to throw my old mascara out and I couldn't remember the brand... but I came back here to find it. And, now I remember a few other things I need to stock up on.