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Trinny’s golden rules for midlife makeup

Lost your makeup mojo? You’re not alone. ‘Sometimes we can get bored of our makeup look. We can become stuck in a rut, lose our confidence or feel like we don’t know what works for us any more,’ explains beauty entrepreneur Trinny Woodhall. The secret is just a few products and techniques to help us elevate our looks and try something new. Here she shows us how.

Make-up Lesson #1 Blusher

Blusher brings an immediate flush of life like nothing else can. They key is to use just enough in the right places.

There are other places than our cheeks to place blusher. Most of us will naturally flush a little on our foreheads and on our nose too, so a light swipe in these places adds to that ‘just been for a brisk walk’ rosiness. There are different types of blusher available:

Cream blushers are by far my favourite. They are easy and quick to apply with fingers or a brush and sit more naturally on the skin. They also wear better as you go about your day.

Liquid blusher give a wash of colour, a bit like a stain. They tend to dry quickly, so you need to apply them with a brush or your fingers. There’s not much margin for error here and you only need a small amount.

Make-up Lesson #2 The eyes

The focus of our face – our most important feature and the one that we really want to pop.

When we put on a print that doesn’t quite work because it’s wearing us, we can tell because our eyes get lost. This is where we almost always want to pull focus. Our eyes change as we go down the path of life – or rather, the shape and texture of the skin around them does. So it’s important to have an awareness of what’s best for the woman you are today. There is no reason why you can’t wear a colour on your lid at any stage of life, it’s just about doing it in a way that works for you.

Makeup for hooded eyes

A hooded eye, where the skin below the brow hangs over the lid, is by far the most common eye shape. Many of us are born with them or our eyes head that way with age. There’s nothing wrong with this. These are some of the ways to make them look open and lifted.

  •  If you have slightly oily eyelids, you probably find that oil builds up in the crease, so start with a mattifying primer, giving your eye shade something to grab onto.
  • Choose a lighter shade for the inner corner of the eyelid and a darker shade on the outside, to avoid heaviness. Or if you are using one colour, don’t build it on the inside.
  • Take the colour quite high under your brow bone, to alter the sense of where the crease is, blending so it’s not harsh.
  • At the outer corner of the eye, make sure the colour is lifted up towards your brow, rather than creeping down, where it will drag your eye down. Use a ring finger to blend the towards the temple.
  • If you want to, you can add a sliver of highlighter just under the middle of the brow.

Make-up Lesson #3 Try a statement lip

A statement lip creates presence. Fading into the background is not an option – a bold lip challenges you to embrace being noticed. It is also a fantastic mood lifter. If you don’t ever wear a strong lip then why is that?

You might think that your lips are too thin or your teeth are too yellow; or you worry that it will end up smeared or on your teeth. Whatever the reason, consider experimenting. Colour will bring energy and project confidence.

Keeping our lips in good condition is important. Exfoliate as well as pile on balm when they are dry – you can use an old toothbrush for this or pay special attention to your lips with a muslin cloth. Avoid any lip product containing mint or alcohol as both are drying.

Applying lip colour

We might be resistant to try a bold lip out of fear it will be too harsh. It’s true that heavy lip liner can be ageing. Instead, if you want a precise line, use a narrow lip brush to line your lip. For a softer look, use your finger to dab the lip colour into your lips, building up the layers until you have the effect you want.

Pay attention to your lip shape. If you have very thin lips then push the colour to the front and don’t take it all the way to the corners. If you have very full lips then you might want to keep the colour just inside the lines. Use a good lip colour that isn’t too oily, pat it in and don’t go too thick.

The rest of your makeup

A bold lip needs a clean, neutral eye so the two don’t fight. If the lip colour is warm, whatever you put on your eyes should be too. A bronzey or gold colour should be paired with a warm red lip.

A cool lip red lip looks great with a subtle silver eye shade. You also need to balance out a strong lip with strong brows, or everything will go towards your lips.


Extracted from Fearless: Style. Beauty. Life by Trinny Woodall (HQ, HarperCollins).



Nailing the perfect base is key to any makeup look – here Trinny shares her tips on how to do just that.

Complete your look with these brilliant styling tips from our friends at fashion brand Cucumber.

Lost your party mojo? You’re not alone – check out this supportive advice from Dr Clare Spencer.

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