Makeup As We Age

by Jorunn Hernes (Norway)
(Series – Part 2 of 5)

As we grow older, our colours fade. Our hair turns grey, and the colour of our eyes fades a little. We don’t shed the outer layer of skin cells like we did when we were young, which results in a duller surface. The skin loses elasticity, and we get wrinkles.

All the emotions we have felt throughout our lives, the smiles and laughs, the frowns of concentration and concern, are written on our faces like autobiographies of our lives.

The cosmetics industry tells us youth is beauty. If youth is beauty, old age is character.

As a Norwegian woman, my attitude towards skincare and makeup is one of Nordic simplicity. So, if you are looking for elaborate skin care regimes and detailed makeup instructions, don’t waste time reading this article.

Regarding skin care, the number of wrinkles you get is determined more by your genetic heritage than any kind of anti-age serums you may choose to use. There’s nothing wrong with extensive use of lovely skin care if it gives you pleasure. Just don’t worry that you’re missing out on eternally youthful skin if you don’t.

I have two words about makeup as you grow older. More and Less.


More Makeup

If you have never used makeup before in your life, this is the time to begin! This is the time in your life when a little blush and lip colour will do much more for you than when you were young, and your skin did this all on its own.

More Moisture

Counteract the dulling appearance by using blush. Nothing makes your face look fresher and more radiant than the right blush …applied lightly. And as mentioned above, more moisture is key, so cream blush is great.

More Transparent

As the skin loses the youthful radiance, we should compensate by using moisturizing makeup products. A light BB cream is fabulous.

More Blush

A transparent cream blush, a moisturizing lipstick applied lightly. A transparent BB cream that blends into your skin and evens out instead of covering.

More Brows

Our eyebrows get sparser and faded as we age, so this is the time to carefully groom those lovely brows. Choose a soft brow colour and emphasize the brows, gently.

More Eyeliner

Eyeliner is my secret weapon. As eyelids droop and hooded eyes become like medieval cowls (I know because I will soon be mistaken for a Benedictine monk), applying eyeshadow becomes trickier, but a little eyeliner carefully applied just at the root of the lashes is fabulous, even in old age. Just a little eyeliner and mascara makes the eyes pop and the eyelashes look fuller, even if you skip eyeshadow.


Less Coverage

Because the skin loses moisture, it might be smart to switch from a very covering foundation and powder to a more transparent cream foundation or BB cream.

Less Opaque

Same with lips. The bold, matte, opaque lipstick is a wonderful statement look and if that is your signature, go for it! But generally, a highly moisturizing, transparent variety of the same bold colour may be even better as we age.

Less Shimmer

Eyeshadow with shimmer and glitter will emphasize wrinkles and make hooded eyes appear even more hooded, so it’s time to leave those to the young ones and opt for matte eyeshadows.

Less Black

Eyeliner is my holy grail, but instead of raven black I would go for a softer off-black, or a dark brown. Exception to this: For mascara, I would stick to black if you have always used black.


Do not be persuaded or tempted to choose makeup outside of your season just because you grow old. Just because we are older, we do not turn into a different season. Every season has a wide array of choices in cosmetics. You may choose the less bold versions of makeup within your season, but never ever compromise on colour. Always use your season’s makeup, just apply it a little lighter.

Jorunn Hernes is located in Norway, where she offers in-person 12-Season Colour Analysis. Jorunn blogs in English and Norwegian about colour and style, with particular focus on minimalism and practicality. Please click the link buttons below for more information.
Jorunn Hernes

5 thoughts on “Makeup As We Age

  1. Pam says:

    Thank you for this post. The lipsticks recommended in this for BW are from what company? Black Cherry is mentioned and apple berry I think. Don’t know makes them. Thanks.

    • Chrysalis Colour Admin. says:

      Hi Pam, this is Jorunn answering your question. I can’t remember mentioning specific products in this particular blog article, this is more general advice and not about specific products or brands. I would love to help you find the products you mention, though, can you remember exactly where you saw Black Cherry and apple berry mentioned? Let me know and I’ll try to find what brands I was thinking about. If you’re looking for specific lipsticks for your season, I recommend checking out my free mini-course on Choosing Lipstick. You’ll find it on my Nordic Simplicity website under courses.

    • Chrysalis Colour Admin. says:

      Hi Pam, Jorunn here again. I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and did some sniffing around, and I am wondering if the blog post you are referring to might be the one called The Mature Bright Winter (linked to under my article). That post is written by Terry Wildfong and appeared on her blog Your Natural Design. So I think she might be able to answer your question about the brands of those lipsticks you mention!

  2. Jan says:

    Thank you, Jorunn, for the wonderful and practical advice. I, too, have noticed that transparency seems to be the key to making my cosmetics work for me now.

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