Is it just us, or is the 40-plus age range suddenly the most lit of them all? For reasons beyond our comprehension, it was once a scary marker of time that women met with dread and dismay, but these days, it's the unofficial kickoff to the unbothered era of doing whatever the hell we please, whenever we see fit. While there are certain drawbacks like changes to our hair, skin, and nails that require slightly different beauty practices than the ones we carried out in early adulthood, there are so many experts and resources out there to help us make the smoothest transition. One area that requires a fair amount of retooling when we graduate to mature skin? Makeup.
That's where Monika Blunder comes in. The Hollywood makeup artist is known for creating the most gorgeous fresh and glowy makeup looks on icons such as Jennifer Garner, Gemma Chan, Jessica Alba, and Benjamin Button herself, January Jones. Blunder is also the creator of Monika Blunder Beauty, a clean makeup line dedicated to helping us all create that signature dewy complexion at home.
Being that she's a bona fide glow expert, we couldn't help but probe Blunder for some tips and tricks for achieving that enviable aura, and one of her answers was so simple yet so profound that it left us reeling. "I'm 51, and I just feel like I look so much younger when I wear less makeup," she said. "When I wear a lot of foundation or a lot of concealer, it goes into my fine lines, and it just ages me. So I think less is more, 100%." That's right—Blunder's big hack for creating the most glowy skin you've ever seen is using less makeup.
In a "more is more" makeup landscape, this is truly a revelation. So what exactly are the pared-back makeup-bag staples that constitute the best makeup for mature skin? Blunder reveals all ahead.
First and foremost, Blunder calls out a lightweight foundation or a good tinted moisturizer as the top makeup product those with mature skin need to have on deck. She feels so strongly about this that the first launch from her makeup line was a lightweight moisturizing foundation/concealer hybrid that helps you look like you drink a gallon of water every day. It has soothing arnica and edelweiss to calm redness in the skin and can be applied all over the face or as a targeted spot concealer.
"Makeup, at the end of the day, makes you feel good. I feel like it's sort of the icing on the cake," Blunder explains. To that end, she says those with mature skin should concentrate the majority of the product through the T-zone and in the center of the face instead of applying it in globs all over the face. This lightweight foundation is another fan favorite with a strong foothold in the 40-plus scene.
A good tinted moisturizer is surprisingly hard to find, but this one answers the call. It's not chalky or ashy looking and imparts that subtle, filtered glow Blunder says is so essential for mature skin.
"A cream blush is so useful versus a powder blush because it just looks so much more youthful," the artist explains. Like most cosmetic powders, she says powder blush tends to just sit on top of mature skin, which can make lines and texture look more pronounced. With cream formulas, like this gorgeous stick from Ilia, you get more of a healthy-looking, natural flush.
Of course, lip liners can help keep lipsticks from creeping into fine lines and wrinkles around the lips, but Blunder points out that they're also effective for helping to conceal some of the volume loss that hits our pouts as the years pass. "Lip liners are so underrated! People sometimes are scared of them because they think of these overdrawn lips," Blunder says. "It gives the lips so much more shape, especially when you're getting older and they can start to sag a little bit and you don't have that definition anymore." This one by Charlotte Tilbury is a winner in terms of shade and consistency.
For so long, older ladies have been instructed to avoid bold lip colors. Blunder doesn't subscribe to this outdated notion. "If you're more daring, I think a pop of color on the lips is so pretty," she says. Why not try this pretty bordeaux?
According to Blunder, opening up the eyes with the right mascara is another great way to exude youthfulness. "With the eyes, one thing I've noticed is that the lashes get less and less and less with the years," she tells us. "A good mascara that gives you a nice, full lash line is really great." This clean option from Honest Beauty comes with a primer on one end for longer, fuller-looking lashes every time.
My fellow beauty editor Erin Jahns is an eyelash master, and she swears by this lash tint from Surratt. The brush is kind of funky and doesn't look like it would do much, but she swears it gives the best length, curl, and separation of any product she has used. Check out her thoughts on it here.
Brows are a super-important feature—they can literally change the entire look of your face. "A full brow is definitely more youthful," Blunder explains. Aside from that, making sure the tail of the brow stays lifted and never filled in a downward motion keeps the face looking lifted and open instead of droopy. Blunder recalls a learning moment early on in her career when actress Sharon Stone taught her the importance of brows. "She said to me, 'Darling, you don't put anything downward. Everything needs to go straight across.'" This pencil from Hourglass appears in quite a few of the makeup tutorials our pro posts on Instagram.
Creating bushy, lifted brows is simple with this Benefit pencil. Not only does it feature an ultra-fine tip for depositing those perfect hairlike strokes, but it also has a spoolie brush to keep things soft.
Eyeliner is a powerful tool, especially for those over 40. It can be used to create beautifully smudged eye looks and even serve to create dimension underneath shimmery eye shadows. Blunder says they're a go-to at every age but suggests a small trick to help camouflage the natural pull of gravity as we age. "Even if you don't want to do an extended line, just do a tiny, little flick upward," she says. This way, you create the illusion of lift. Genius.
Powder is one of those mature-skin no-nos that's dug its claws so deep into the rules that we don't even question it anymore. While Blunder agrees that powders can be drying, especially on mature skin, she's not totally against them. "I’m not a huge fan of powders, but if you have super-oily skin, a good powder can help," she says. Unlike other powders, this one by Terry de Gunzburg takes lines and wrinkles into account, calling in ingredients like hyaluronic acid to fill in wrinkles and silica microbeads to prevent shine without being overly drying.
This iconic translucent powder is beloved by makeup artists for everyone, including those with mature skin. It's soft and silky to the touch and does an exceptional job of setting makeup into place without amplifying different textures in the skin.
"A little bit of concealer under your eyes can really help to get rid of any dark circles you have," says Blunder. In keeping with the "less is more" theme of fresh, glowy mature skin, though, she emphasizes the importance of using lightweight and stretchy formulas and being very conservative with the amount of product used. This new option from Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty is the perfect consistency for complementing all skin types, including mature skin.
If you're a Who What Wear regular, then you've probably read some product testimonials from Jahns's mom, Elise. Not only is Elise a makeup artist and beauty junkie in her own right, but she also inspires whiplash-inducing double takes whenever she reveals that she's in her 70s. She looks good. She recently identified this concealer as one of her favorites, noting that its lightweight texture, hydrating feel, and blurring effect are all perfect for mature skin.
The Glossier Stretch Concealer is perfect for those who love executing a five-minute face that looks glowy and pulled together with minimal effort. It's super hydrating and sheer but can easily be layered to get more coverage. Plus, it's easy to apply with your fingers. For those with mature skin, this is a must-try.