With so many items on our to-do lists these days, and with the rise of work-from-home environments and an ever-increasingly casual culture, makeup can seem like an afterthought. Sure, some people absolutely adore self-makeovers in the mirror and following their favourite TikTok and YouTube personalities for ideas, but many of us simply feel a bit clueless when it comes to cosmetics.
We hear the terms “soft eyeliner,” “heavy mascara,” “thick eyelashes,” “bold lips,” and “dewy skin,” but what impact do they have? Especially when you’re a millennial or older and you vividly remember the days of sparkly eyeshadow and shiny lip gloss (or even blue eyeshadow and pink cheeks—we are looking at you, Gen X-ers). So how can you navigate this complex world, and new Gen Z trends, when you’ve passed your 30th birthday? Here are a few helpful tips to keep it simple.
Less is more
Some people love to play around with makeup for fun, while others may use it as a bit of a crutch to help deal with physical insecurities. In either case, being mindful not to overdo it is key. This is true at any age, but especially as you reach your 30s and older and you may be driven by the desire to “look younger.” Don’t be fooled—too much makeup can actually age you, not to mention age your skin so you look older without it, too.
Choose the right shade
Going too dark or too light with your foundation, too orange with your bronzer, too pink with your blush, and “too black” with your eyeliner can really set the wrong tone with makeup. If you’re not sure what shades work for you, it is easy (and typically free) to seek a consultation from a professional at a cosmetics counter or beauty store.
In the meantime, remember that a common makeup mishap is covering dark circles under the eyes with a concealer that’s just too light—when looking to match your skin tone, put small samples of colour on your inner forearm and hold them up to your face, focusing on matching the undertones.
Go cruelty-free and vegan
With so many accessible options these days, whether in cosmetic and drug stores or online, why not avoid products that still test on animals or contain animal-derived ingredients? So many makeup brands now have certifications on their packaging to make the “hunt” for more ethical makeup even easier. As an added bonus, cruelty-free and vegan products tend to (but not always) have more natural ingredients, which is all-around better for your skin and health.
Clean your brushes
An easy, but often overlooked, item to add to your makeup routine is to clean the brushes you use to apply your makeup with. After all, you use them on your face day in and day out. In addition to washing away bacteria that can develop overtime, you will also wash away caked on makeup, so your brushes actually work more effectively and apply your makeup better. Simply using a gentle soap and running them under warm water at least once a month will help clean and refresh them.
Master a quick routine
If you are not really the “makeup-wearing type” but you wish you were, this tip is dedicated to you. Most adults already know that time is precious, but especially as you reach your 30s, it seems we simply come to appreciate its value even more. Establishing a fast and foolproof makeup base into your routine (and adding to it for special occasions, or when the mood strikes) can help you save time when you are feeling tired or stressed out (much like your favourite go-to outfit does).
Keep it natural
Although it can be fun to play around with makeup, arguably the best use of it overall is simply to enhance your features, not totally change them! Sure, contouring looks like wizardry. But unless you’re walking a runway show or posing in a high-fashion magazine, why not aim for just a polished version of yourself? The most universal cosmetic tip is to look like you—just maybe a little less tired and rundown.
Robyn Karmazyn |Contributing Writer