Evening Makeup Application for Women Over 40

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Evening makeup for women over 40

We all want to look ravishing for an evening out. Whether that is attending a sensational party, wine Wednesday with friends, or a flirty dinner date with your mate. If you have slipped past the forty mark, applying evening makeup becomes a bit more formidable. Trying to find inspiration in beauty magazines or by watching YouTube tutorials just does not work for most of us.

I worked for over fifteen years in the beauty industry, interacting with some of the most noted celebrity makeup artists and with the world’s largest beauty brand creators and CEOs. I learned many insider tricks and tips along the way. I am sharing a few of my favorite evening makeup application suggestions to help you highlight your best grownup features.

Prepping the Skin for Evening Makeup

Creating an evening makeup look over the age of 40 is more about enhancing your own unique, beautiful features. Nonetheless, if you don’t prepare your skin appropriately before applying any makeup, you are going to look more like Tales From The Crypt than Sleeping Beauty. Even if I already have makeup on all day, I will take it all off, wash my face, and reapply my skincare products to give myself the freshest appearance. If you are in a time pinch – at a minimum, apply refreshing moisturizer and eye cream before your makeup application.

Remember, with all treatment products – the entire area needs to be considered, including the chin, neck, and upper chest or decolletage area. Do not only focus from the chin up. You want the facial area to look the same age and uniform in texture, firmness, clarity, and skin tone. Additionally, if you are showing a little bare skin this evening (like your arms, legs, or feet), moisturize or oil them, so they look just as youthful. My Beauty Tips Beyond the Face post might be helpful.

Start with the Base-Face

First, create what I call the base-face, which encompasses your foundation, concealer, and powder. Sometimes I spend more time on the base-face than I do the color portion as it sets up your color elements to take center stage more effortlessly.

Apply foundation that exactly matches your skin tone using a foundation brush. This will create a smooth, even coverage along every facial contour. Pay close attention to areas of redness around the nose and chin.  For more tips on foundation, read How to Find the Perfect Foundation Shade for Your Skin.

Your eye concealer should be one shade lighter than your foundation, as this area is naturally lighter (even though you might have dark circles). You want to choose a concealer that blends beautifully, lasts for hours, and doesn’t sit in the fine lines around your eyes. Use a concealer brush to blend flawlessly. If you need a little more coverage, then dab or pat with the brush instead of brushing or feathering.

Most of us experience blue undertones at the eye area closest to the nose. If yours is more severe, then try to find a tone that has a more peach undertone to counteract the blue. I also suggest blending any excess concealer on the eyelid and upper bone area as it will help eyeshadow to wear longer.

I typically do not use facial powder after my foundation. However, I will apply powder for my evening makeup, especially if I anticipate a lot of fun group shots with friends. This helps to tone-down my glowing skin, which sometimes can look too shiny for the camera. Match the powder color to your face. Many of us have a different color neck and decolletage as opposed to our facial skin tone. Using a light dusting of powder to even out the complexion in these exposed areas, which provides a more uniform appearance.

Evening Makeup Color Application

Next comes the fun part of choosing which facial feature to highlight for your evening look. Honestly, you really have two main options. Either your eyes or your lips. Sometimes I can not decide, and the outfit dictates it for me. But never, never accentuate them both. If you want to highlight your lips, then follow my post, The Perfect Red Lip. The red lip is just a guideline to follow for any prominent lip color such as fuschia, magenta, plum, or bright orange. If you are opting to spotlight your eyes, then follow the steps below.


Apply a matte, neutral color similar to your eyelid color all over from lash to brow with a larger eyeshadow brush. Blend well.

Most of us have a prominent brow bone, so apply a darker, matte color such as taupe, grey or brown, and lightly dot it just above the bone directly up from the pupil of my eye with a contour brush. Do not put it in the crease as this will only further darken your crease. Blend the dot of eyeshadow with a contour brush isolating this deeper color just above where the brow bone is prominent. Do not go from the inner eye to the outer eye with this contouring color, as it will make your eyes look smaller.

Next, apply a snap of color like a bright pink on the center portion of the eyelid. Blend this color on the ball of the eyelid with a blending brush. If you want your eyes to really pop, then use a color that is opposite from your iris to create vibrancy. For example, my eyes are hazel/green, which is why I use bright pink. If your eyes are brown, then use a blue. Only a hint of this color will be on your eyelid, but it creates a dazzling effect.

As a final eyeshadow step, I take my smallest eyeshadow brush and apply a lighter color (even a white) than my skin color at the lash bed, directly in the middle of my eye. I lightly blend it along the lash line. This technique helps to open up the eye and make it look brighter and more prominent.


Tightlining (also known as an invisible lining) is your secret weapon if you want your lashes to appear thicker and darker. You gain this effect without globbing on a lot of mascara or a typical liner, which makes the lid and eyes look smaller. You must use a product that is designed for tightlining applications. I like to use this cake liner in ebony/black. You will need a synthetic, eyeliner brush, either angled or straight.

Wet the brush with water and then swipe it across the cake liner to pick up the pigment. Slightly pull up your upper eyelid to expose the underside of your lash bed. This is where a magnifying mirror is indispensable (you know what I’m talking about!). Starting from the outer corner of the eye, dab the brush right at the base of the lash directly where the lash grows out of the skin. Move it towards the inner part of the eye as you deposit less and less of the product from the brush. This technique will immediately define the eye, making the lashes look darker and fuller once you apply mascara.


If you curl your lashes, do them before applying mascara. Start on the outer part of the eye at the lash bed and clamp down comfortably for a second or two, then move halfway up the lash and crimp again for only one second. Typically you don’t need to do this to the inner part of the lash line. Yet, if you do, work from the middle out since the lashes towards the nose are shorter and very difficult to curl. Your lash should have a natural C-curve, no kinks or bends. If you are too heavy-handed with your lash curler (or if you do not clean/replace your pad regularly), you run the risk of lash breakage.

The most effective way to apply mascara is to start on the outer corner working your way from the bottom of the lash to the top of the lash, wiggling side to side as you coat the entire length of the lash. Follow with the same technique for the middle lashes and then again for the inner lashes. Sometimes I like to go through and feather out the outer lashes so that they are positioned out to the side more than vertically. It gives a beautiful natural effect to the lash and also makes them appear longer. I rarely put mascara on my bottom lashes as I want the focus on my eyes to be upward, not downward.  Check out How to Apply Mascara the Correct Way for more tips.

Eyebrow Gel

Since our eyes are the focus of this application, I typically contour my brows after I have completed all other parts of my eye makeup. That way, I am more light-handed when applying the brow filler, and I have not created a Cruella De Vil look.

Choose a brow color that is one shade darker than your current hair color. A brow gel versus a pencil is a lot easier to apply, looks more natural, and is more forgiving. Using a brow brush, apply at the base/bottom of the eyebrow across the entire length of the eyebrow. Then go back with a brow wand and feather up all the way across so it deposits the gel evenly into the whole brow.


Since we have applied face power, then use a powder blush. Shy away from cream blush as you only want to use a cream if you are applying after foundation. An excellent tip to follow is powder on powder and cream on cream. This ensures that your cheek color blends well into your skin. Choose a natural flushed color.


Your lips for this look are going to be the easiest color option. Take a natural lip color and line and fill in your lips with a lip liner.

Take a similar color lipstick and apply it across your bottom lip. Then rub your lips together. If you need more, then use a lip brush in the appropriate areas (for me, it is usually on my cupid’s bow). Rub your lips together again to create a uniform look.

Next, I spread a similar color gloss in the very middle of your lips. Rub your lips together again. You do not need to apply gloss over the entire lips just in the middle, as this will make your lips appear more full.

Effortless Evening Makeup

All of these suggestions are ideal for creating a stunning evening makeup look for anyone beyond the age of 40. This party look takes me less than 15 minutes and creates an attractive, fresh, and beautiful appearance. YOU are remarkable and unique, so do not cover up your radiant beauty with a lot of darker nighttime shades. Let your natural sparkle shine through.

I want to hear from you. How did it go with your makeup application? Drop me some comments below.