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Long-Wear Makeup - A Do or Don't at 50?

Back when our skin was young, juicy, oily and blemish prone, long lasting makeup and mattes saved us.  Cracking glass ceilings, juggling work, kids and marriage left no time for retouching so stay-put cosmetics ruled. Now a new generation of face, eye and lip products promises to cling nearly forever (no kidding one foundation claims "25-hour wear"). Silicones and film forming polymer technology keep the new stuff hanging on. So you ask, is long wear still part of our strategy or have we outgrown it? Here's my answer and these three celebs seem to get it right:


SAY NO TO LONG-WEAR FOUNDATION. Get realistic like Helen Mirren, 67. Shine control is over and creating the illusion of fresh glowing skin is the priority. Your complexion is dry and accessorized with wrinkles, lines and brown spots. Counteract all with a tinted moisturizer, BB or CC cream, liquid or cream foundation that emphasizes hydration not long wear. Look for radiance boosting words like brightening, illuminating or light diffusing. Super tip: skip all powder foundations (even mineral powder) and use blotting papers to tap down the T-zone in hot humid weather. Try: Dior Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing Makeup SPF 15 ($48,, L' Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup ($12.95,, Lancome Teint Miracle Lit-From-Within Makeup Natural Skin Perfection ($40,

TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World - Red Carpet
Fernando Leon
SAY YES TO LONG WEAR EYES ... BUT KEEP IT CREAMY. Long wear cream shadows and cream/gel pencil liners simply define or create seriously smoky eyes without smears and smudges. They're soothing to dry lids and crease/wiggle proof on crepey, saggy or loose ones. A great team, since shimmery cream shadow brightens tired eyes while the pencil firms up shape. Do it like Ann Curry, 56. Super tip: skip gel cream liners in pots that brush on and liquid liners or felt-tips. They're difficult to apply and give mature eyes a hard flat look. Try: Neutrogena Crease-Proof Eye Shadow ($8.49,, Clinique Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-Hour Eye Colour ($19.50,, Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eye Pencil ($6.99, and Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye- Pencil ($24,

Sharon Stone in black dress

OK TO LONG-WEAR LIP COLOR "LITE." Long lasting lipstick used to mean lining and coloring in your lips with a pencil, applying full-strength lipstick, blotting, and reapplying a lipstick topcoat or adding gloss. It made every woman's mouth look like a frosted cupcake. Then came mattes which stuck through greasy salads, stained our coffee cups and dried our lips to a dead flat finish. Now lightweight high pigment gel formulas restore color and shape, moisturize and add look contemporary. Sharon Stone's red lips do at 55. Super tip: skip glosses and get your lip plumping de-aging from subtle shine or shimmer. Try: Maybelline Color Whisper by Color Sensational ($7.49,,  L' Oreal Paris Colour Riche Colour Caresse  ($9.99,, Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Color ($24,

Because ... everything in life after 50 is about balance!

For more beauty and style tips for women 50+ check my book The  Makeup Wakeup, Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson ($16.41,

Photo credits:  Helen MirrenAnn Curry,   Sharon Stone


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