When it comes to beauty, we’re often told less is more — especially as we age. Wearing too much makeup can accentuate fine lines and drag our already descending features down even further, so we’ve learned that keeping our look low-key is usually the best bet. But what about for those special times we want to feel our most glamorous — hello, New Year’s Eve! — and have a little fun? With the big night right around the corner, we tapped into Giorgio Armani Beauty’s celebrity face designer Tim Quinn’s expertise when it comes to women 45 and older. Below are his tips for creating the most festive — and flattering — makeup look to watch the ball drop this year, and to keep in our back pockets as we head into the new decade.
Start With a Mask
“You don’t want the skin to look flat, as it can ‘age’ you in photos,” says Quinn. His remedy? Starting off your New Year’s Eve prep with a hydrating face mask ($19.99, Amazon) or eye mask ($25, Nordstrom) to ensure your skin looks rested and fresh. “One tip is to apply under eye masks while you are doing your makeup,” says Quinn. “Let them do [their] work as you apply your eyeshadow, and for an extra bonus, they catch all of the excess shadow.”
Glow Instead of Sparkle
Sure, sparkles scream Happy New Year!, but do we really want to be screaming anything these days? Exuding a subtle glow like a warm fire rather than a shiny disco balls feels more us. “When you’re at a certain age, you want your makeup to look fresh and luminous, rather than sparkly,” says Quinn. “I recommend blending in some liquid highlighter into your foundation, like Giorgio Armani Beauty Neo Nude A-Highlight ($38, Armani Beauty), to create a luminous glow.” And if you still want a little sparkle, sequins never go out of style.
Fake Fuller Lips
Most people know about lipstick and lipliner, but there is a third component that Quinn swears by when it comes to getting the perfect pout. “I always apply lipstick first and then a lip liner in a coordinating color,” he explains. “Then, I usually use Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Concealer ($34, Armani Beauty) and run it along the lips. This will help to highlight the lips and make them look a little fuller.”
Play Up the Eyes
A smokey eye is a classic party look that works on everyone, just be sure to blend, blend, blend. After applying your eye shadow, pull your lid out and smudge it in with the brush or your finger to give the eye a little more width. “Make sure you blend out the bottom lashes and waterline for a more dramatic look,” says Quinn.
He also doesn’t shy away from falsies ($69, Sephora). “False eyelashes are also the easiest way to give your eye a little extra drama!”
Whether you are opting to accentuate your lips with a festive cherry red lip or you’re leaning toward a fun eye shadow, Quinn says it’s imperative that you choose one or the other. “People tend to go overboard for the holidays, but just make sure it all balances out, whether you do a bold lip and neutral eye, or a smokey eye and nude lip.”
Up Your Brow Game
The lips and the eyes seem to get all the credit, but it’s often the eyebrows that can make (or break!) a look. Something as simple as adding a little definition and color to your brows with a brow gel, like Maybelline’s TattooStudio waterproof eyebrow gel ($10.99, Target) is an easy way to feel more polished and prepared for a night out — and look stunning to boot. Be sure to brush your brows up, and never use a shade that’s too dark.
Frame Your Face
“To really complete a look, it is important to frame the face,” says Quinn. “You can accentuate the face by using bronzer (we like Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess bronzing powder, $45, Sephora) to frame the hairline, jawline, and cheekbones. This will really go a long way in upping your look this New Years.”
It is also important to be aware of gravity! “Your face changes as you age, so make sure you are changing your [makeup] technique to match,” says Quinn. You may need to accentuate the cheekbones and brow bones with bronzer or blush a bit higher than you normally would to keep things looking lifted.
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