How to Apply Eyeshadow for Women Over 50

by Michelle Powell-Smith
The right makeup techniques will allow you to look your best at every age.

The right makeup techniques will allow you to look your best at every age.

Changing faces require changes in the way you apply and wear makeup, particularly eye makeup. The hormonal changes that occur in your 50s may leave your skin drier and more delicate, particularly in the eye area. Age frequently adds some heaviness to the upper eyelid, creating the appearance of a hooded eye. Learn how to apply eyeshadow to create a look that is fresh, youthful and pretty, even as age changes your face.

Apply your favorite eye cream to the delicate eye area. Wait at least 10 to 15 minutes to allow the cream to absorb into the skin before applying your eye makeup.

Gently dab a cream eyeshadow primer over the entire eyelid. Using a primer will help your eyeshadow last through the day and prevent it from sinking into and emphasizing fine lines and wrinkles.

Choose a palette of neutral, matte eyeshadow shades appropriate for your skin tone. Depending upon your complexion, choose matte shades of ivory, brown, pink or peach as an overall color, opting for a darker color if your complexion is darker and a paler shade for fair skin.

Apply a light, matte shade from lashes to brow bone with a soft eyeshadow brush.

Work a small amount of a slightly darker shade into the outer corner of the crease of your eyelid. If you have opted for an ivory shadow for all-over application, your crease color might be a very light brown. If you have a darker complexion, your base shade may be a camel or taupe, with a deeper version of the same in the crease.

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Items you will need

  • Eye cream
  • Eyeshadow primer
  • Matte eyeshadow
  • Eyeshadow brush


  • If you adore shimmer, apply a small amount of shimmer shadow into the inner corner of the eye.
  • Experiment with different nude and neutral shades to find the ones you like best.
  • Cream eyeshadows are also an excellent choice for older skin, whether you opt to apply with a fingertip or small brush.


  • Don't forget the brows, eyeliner and mascara. Opt for a softer shade of liner, focused on the outer corner of the eyes. Curl your lashes and keep the mascara on the upper eyelashes for the most flattering look.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.

Photo Credits

  • David Oxberry/Digital Vision/Getty Images