Eye makeup brings light, color, and interest to the eyes. But as we age, eye makeup can pose challenges--especially eye shadow, which can require a change in both color and application techniques.
The Aging Eye
The skin around the eye is very delicate. It is one of the first places on the face to show signs of aging, with crow’s feet and wrinkles on the lid, and under-the-eye darkening. At a time when the older eye needs most to camouflage the effects of time, poor eye shadow application can emphasize the very deficiencies it was meant to hide.
The first step is to recognize that the eye shadow color you may have used for years may no longer work with changing skin color and texture. You should visit a department store makeup counter and have a technician try several shadow colors to determine the most flattering color for your face now. Buy a coverup stick to use if dark circles are present.
While there, ask about application pencils to see which ones allow you more control over the tool. Older hands are less steady than they were in their youth, and liquid eyeliner may no longer work well. The makeup technician may suggest a powder liner that will give the same effect.
If you don’t already own one, buy a magnifying mirror. Some magnifying mirrors are lighted, providing extra help for applying makeup and maintaining the skin.
One of the newest tools in makeup is the primer. Like paint primers, face and eye primers allow makeup to go on smoothly. Invest in a good primer and apply to face or eyes before applying makeup. Allow the primer to set on the eyes, then apply any face powder. A coverup stick can do double duty as an eye brightener. Apply a dab to the inside corner of each eye to bring a refreshed look to the eyes and face. Blend thoroughly.
To apply eye shadow, close one eye and use the other hand to open the space between the eye and eyebrow to insure complete coverage. Apply the eye shadow in long strokes, overlapping each stroke into the previous one and blending softly. Use your liner shadow to create a soft line on the eyelid near the lashes. Apply mascara.
One key to applying eye makeup as we age is to take our time. If you rush, it will show, and you want your eyes to say only beautiful things about you.
Marla Currie has written professionally since 1995. She is editor and publisher of The Urban Shopper, an online magazine whose consumerist content is targeted to Black and Latino females. In addition to short fiction, Currie is author of "The Humours of Black Life," a nonfiction work. She has a master's degree in advertising.