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Deals & Steals

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

All the pro tips and tricks to look fresh-faced after forty

40 makeup tips
Beauty tips for midlife

Finish last

Had a late night and an early morning? Don’t break out the concealer trowel just yet. Put the rest of your face on first. Toronto-based makeup magician David Goveia says women tend to be heavy-handed with cover-up, which can look unnatural and highlight flaws in older skin. “Wait until you’ve applied your base, blush and lipstick — you’ll look better, feel better and end up using less.”

Curl, girl

An eyelash curler may look like a medieval instrument of torture, but it should be a basic in your beauty bag. Why? It opens up the eyes for a more youthful appearance and helps mascara make a bigger impact. Gently close the clamp on upper lashes, squeeze for 10 seconds, then softly open before removing. Follow with mascara.

Don’t have a meltdown

Whether it’s a hot date or a hot flash, you want your makeup to stay put. Look for products that won’t melt or slide in high temperatures or on moist skin. Try Cargo Cosmetics Water Resistant Bronzer and Better-than-waterproof Mascara, and keep makeup from slipping with Clarins Fix’ Make-up.

Stop wine-ing

Ditch those dark wine or overripe plum lipsticks in the recycling bin. Severe, dark colours put your lips on a diet, making them appear thinner. “I call it the Cruella De Vil look,” says Toronto-based makeup artist Jackie Shawn. “From a distance, it appears almost like a gash on the mouth. Softer colours can give the illusion of a fuller lip.”

Zoom lens

Don’t be scared to take a closer look. A magnifying mirror is a must-have — great for doing eye makeup, plucking stray hairs, putting in contacts or just examining the current state of your skin. Focus with the Tweezerman Tweezermate 10x Lighted Mirror, which can be attached to a larger mirror for convenience.

Arc angel

Eyeliner doesn’t have to be applied in one perfect swoop. In fact, most of the makeup artists we know use several shorter strokes to line the eyes. A soft line makes for a great daytime look (and pre-morning coffee, it’s much more manageable). Another option: Use an eyeliner brush and shadow.

Softly, softly

Opt for a facial cleanser before reaching for the eye makeup remover. A good, water-soluble face wash will remove makeup without the extra step (or cost) of using a separate remover. More importantly, it will also save on unnecessary rubbing and tugging of the skin in the delicate eye area (hello, wrinkles!). Try gentle but effective products such as Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser or Dove Pro-Age Foaming Facial Cleanser. If you can’t do without your waterproof mascara (notoriously difficult to get off without a blow torch — use water “resistant” instead), wash your face first and then gently sweep away remains with eye makeup remover.

Gone off

Always adhere to the shelf life noted on your products. If you can’t remember how long ago you bought something in your makeup bag, it’s probably time to toss it out.  (Or, if you were wearing bell-bottoms at the time of purchase, best donate it to science). Old makeup changes texture, loses function and builds up bacteria, especially in products that go on your eyes, mouth or that you dip your fingers into. Try Cargo Cosmetics Blu_ray Lip Gloss, which comes with an indicator to keep track of how long it’s been open.

Smoke signals

Contrary to popular belief, women our age can still indulge in a sultry, smoky eye for evening. “Just keep the darker shades softer and don't migrate too far up the lid,” explains Toronto-based M.A.C senior makeup artist Jane McKay, or you’ll end up highlighting pesky creases. Avoid black, and try some of the subdued hues that have popped up everywhere this season, such as cool greys and warm browns.

Perfect pout

Get yourself the right everyday lipstick. “All women should have a lipstick shade that is an exaggerated version of their own natural lip colour,” says Poppy King, Australian founder of cosmetics company Lipstick Queen. “It will always be a perfectly flattering shade, no matter what the occasion.” Remember, avoid completely matte lipsticks, which can settle into lines. Sheer or creamy textures (like those found in Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge collection) are an older girl’s best friend.

Lift me up

Good brows can frame and lift the face if shaped and maintained properly. “A well-placed arch lifts the outer edges of the eye and can even give the illusion of higher cheekbones,” says San Francisco-based Hilary Foote, vice-president of Benefit Cosmetics Brow Bars (who recommends getting a professional brow arch every three weeks! while tweezing strays at home). Give Benefit Brow Zings brow-shaping kit a try — it comes with tweezers, a brush, brow wax and powder.

Colour your world

Maybe you can't break out the turquoise glitter eyeshadow like your teenage daughter (please don’t), but you can still have some fun with an unexpected colour, especially on nails and toes. Purple polishes, such as OPI’s smoky violet-hued Parlez-Vous or Chanel’s shimmering rich aubergine Vendetta, make a style statement without looking like you’ve just left the disco.

Sweeping beauty

The doll-size applicators that come with most makeup compacts and eyeshadow kits are not worth the time —or the streaking —they offer. Invest in a set of makeup brushes made for grown-ups, and take good care of them by washing regularly to stave off bacteria and also extend bristle life. (Spray on a brush cleaner, such as Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner, or wash them gently with a mild shampoo, rinse and lay flat to dry.)

Straight flush

A swipe of vibrant blush on the apples of the cheeks can take years off your face. “My favourite colours to brighten skin are pinks, corals and peaches,” says McKay. “They make everyone look healthy.” When applying, go easy — there’s a fine line between a lively, cherubic glow and a mad clown.

Be serious

Speaking of clowns, stop smiling when applying your blush. It works as a tool to find the apples of your cheeks, but on more mature skin you can end up sweeping blush into the lines around your eyes, which will highlight wrinkles. 

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