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Makeup Memo - intro to age-defying makeup with Kristen Arnett

Reviewed by SarahK August 24, 2011 27 Comments
We're excited to introduce international, eco-friendly makeup artist Kristen Arnett to the Truth In Aging community! Kristen will be writing weekly posts that will focus on makeup as it relates to TIA. To learn more about Kristen check out her bio. And keep reading for this week's Makeup Memo!

Unequivocally, when a woman passes her mid-thirties, something rather disconcerting happens…the signs of aging make their appearance. It seems that 37 is the magical year for when age really sets in and women can’t get away with their ordinary and casual beauty habits any longer.

Think about it, around 37 years old did you wake up one morning shocked at who was staring back in the mirror? This woman, you thought, doesn't look refreshed after a full night of sleep like she used to. Her skin hasn't “bounced back” after a late night out and the puffy darkness under the eyes is almost frightening. Wrinkles that used to come and go with the day's expressive behaviors are digging in for the long haul. Skin has begun to surrender to gravity forcing it downward, and brown spots make their stamp like a passport revealing days of decadent sunbathing or lazy protection.

The makeup you’ve been using since your 20s starts to look awkward, and while something drives you to use more in an attempt to hide the tired look of age, it's only making you appear older.  It’s as if one night Age drove in and parked on your face. Permanently.

Sound familiar to anyone out there?

So what happened is that after 35 years old, your body slowed down its collagen and elastin production.  These are proteins that give the skin its structural support.  Collagen gives skin firmness and elastin creates flexibility.  As soon as those two start to wane, the plump, glowing and firm face you once knew succumbs to the duller and more deflated version.

The majority of skin care products on the market cannot help the body’s internal creation of collagen and elastin, so it is better to concentrate on a diet full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

Skin is one part of the equation, but the makeup game also changes significantly. Attention to detail, color correction, and sculpting all become important to lift the features and give them the “right” definition.  After 37, making an eye line just 2 millimeters too long, or choosing a foundation 1 shade too light can add years to the face. It becomes so frustrating because what used to work doesn’t anymore, and it seems there’s very little you can do to understand or help the problem.

Women won’t learn how to apply makeup properly for their age in stores because most beauty consultants are too busy selling to take the time to teach.  Often the sales people don’t actually know the skills themselves or how best to advise their customers.  When women have given up, realizing they don’t have the know-how to restore their youthful glow, they come to me for makeup lessons to learn what I call, "age-defying makeup techniques".

Now I’m here to help you with the Truth in Aging as it relates to your makeup. You’ll be relieved to know it doesn’t involve caking on pounds of cosmetics. Let’s begin…

Truth  #1

Black liner on the eyes draws attention to wrinkles.*

Ditch the black eyeliner. Instead try a color like navy, plum or chocolate to line your eyes.  Use a small angled brush to buff over the top, following the shape of the liner to create a more diffused effect. For eyeliner that stays put, use a coordinating shadow on your angled brush and as you go over the liner, it will set the makeup as it blends out the harshness of the line.

*If you have dark skin and hair, black is totally acceptable to use, just make sure to soften the line as described above.

Give it a try and leave comments on how it worked for you.
  • September 5, 2011

    by Kristen Arnett

    Hello to all! My goodness this was quite a fabulous response for my first article on TIA. I feel so welcomed by all of you and loved your positive comments and sharing your personal stories! Sorry it took me a bit of time to get back to you, but now I will do my best to answer the flurry of questions.
    @Catherine - I am very fair too, but I make sure I don't automatically pick the lightest foundation available. Sometimes we think we are more pale than we actually are. So be sure to do a check on your jawline to see what color blends in. Then that's your shade!
    @Cheryl, gel eyeliner is a great way to go! I'd reconsider the black though given your features and try something just a tad lighter and see how you look.
    @Pam, I will put your suggestion into the article mix.
    @Angela - you made me laugh very hard. I totally get it.
    @Leanne - I personally am not a fan of tattooing makeup. I've never seen it look especially flattering and I think it can be dangerous. But I also am not a fan of telling someone not to do something they like. So, do what makes you feel beautiful!
    @Ann - so happy to hear you cleared out your makeup box for safer options! There are many safe eyeliners out there, but the problem of running can happen for just about any of them "safe" or not.
    @Imelda - Grey is a wonderful choice! Tarte markets themselves as natural, but they really aren't. In their gel eyeliner they do have natural ingredients, but they also have synthetics like Propylene Glycol (the same ingredient in anti-freeze) in their formula. I'm not saying the eyeliner is going to kill you, but it certainly isn't natural.
    @Julie - the answer to your question is basically a whole article by itself. The first thing I will say is that you didn't mention using any cheek color and that would balance out your lips.
    @Jeni - don't freak out! Those women are no indication of what you will look like. They may eat badly, be under stress and have abused themselves in other ways. The fact that you are even on here means you are probably caring for yourself in more preventative ways.
    @Penny - you are right on track it seems!
    @Ann -put liner in between the eye lash roots if you can get in there. Every eye is so different, but getting close to the lashes is essential. Again, depending on your skin tone, plum is OK. If you find it makes you look tired and bruised then run away! Try navy or chocolate. Glad to hear the smudging worked. If you like the bottom, then go for it. A lot of women don't because it draws attention to under eye darkness.

  • September 2, 2011

    by Ann

    I found your comments intriguing. I am confused about where to put the liner....I've read that lining on the top makes your eyes look droopy and you're telling us not to line the bottom. Also, you advise against using black but for us ladies over 50 I would think avoiding plum shades around the eyes would be mandatory!

    I did try smudging the liner and that was a terrific tip. It does make the lighter liner shades such as green and brown much more serviceable so I can do away with the black...I am still lining top and bottom, however.

  • August 29, 2011

    by Penny

    Marta - your pic is wonderful! Red certainly is your color. Lovely, lovely dress and your hair is beautiful. Wow!

    I'm eagerly waiting for new make-up tips from Kristen. Totally agree with "no black liner" for a younger looking face. At 70 I use a few more tricks, like Bobbi Brown gray/brown shadow: applied with dampened angled brush and always go over it with dry powder to soften the line. My eyes have always been my best feature and I'm still able to make them look good. I need to get these eyelashes thicker now, however. I also use a slight application of concealer on my lids as foundation under shadow. Shadow is smooth, no blotches.

    I love TIA, Marta, and your wonderful candid & knowledgeable remarks. Thanks a million!

  • August 26, 2011

    by Aysia

    Kristen rocks in the clean, green make-up world. Thrilled to see her contributing here!

  • August 26, 2011

    by Jeni

    I also remember reading somewhere that women start seeing accelerated aging starting at age 35, and when I turned 35 last year, I felt like my hair and skin aged 5 years overnight:( I'm turning 37 soon - I can't wait:( I'm slightly freaking out because when I went to my boyfriend's 20th high school reunion 2 years ago (where most of the women were 38), most of them looked like they were in their mid-40s. And the reunion was in CT, where there's not a lot of sun. So I am nervous what the next few years will bring for me.

  • August 25, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Okay- I'll dive in, as well. My concern is all about lip color. At 60, I have a pale face that's aged well with the exception of dark circled eyes (genetic). I wear Lennon wireless glasses which defuses that effect for the most part. I've found my exact shade of foundation which is a light peach'ish tone. I don't know if it's yellow (warm) based or neutral. My lips: Thin lips. When I wear color ALL I seem to see is my lips; even wearing the palest of shades. I really don't think my mouth should stand out like a scar! And color- either it looks orange or too pink. So, I pretty much don't wear any, ever.

    Although I believe with groomed brows, some mascara and light liner, which I've got down- a little lip color would be of great benefit to my lower face, this has been horrific since passing 50.

    Peace ~jk

  • August 25, 2011

    by Sara G

    Simply wow! Marta you look so fabulous! I hate makeup, but if I can look like you with it, I'm sold. Great column. Awaiting for the next installment. Did I say you look simply wonderful!!!

  • August 25, 2011

    by Carolyn

    High hopes for this series! I second Pam's question, even though I'm only 51. The crepiness makes me so frustrated trying to do anything to make it look better. I have tried so many things to tighten the skin under my eyes. What won't look silly if I can't make it look better?

  • August 24, 2011

    by Valerie

    Yay videos !

    Thank you Marta and Kristen

  • August 24, 2011

    by Kitri

    I started using khaki green a few years ago, and find it much kinder to my 50+ eyes. Now all my black eye pencils and shadows are gone. My sagging eyelids cause powder and pencil liners to smear under my eyes, so I've also switched to gels. I use Bobbi Brown and Tarte's gel liners in a pot.

  • August 24, 2011

    by Imelda

    What an exciting great addition to this wonderful site! Thank you, Marta and Kristen!
    I've ditched the black liner two years ago and replaced it with chocolate and occasionally grey (is grey fine too, Kristen?) opting for the softer smokey matte look instead of the vampy seductive effect that black liner had on my eyes. Tarte has the gel liners with amazonian clay. are they any good? Looking forward to the tips and tricks, Kristen!

  • August 24, 2011

    by Ann

    I'm thrilled with the idea of a makeup column, especially since I spent about 3 hours the other day sorting out my makeup based on safety rating and TIA recommendations. I now have a pretty empty make up box and look forward to TIA recommendations-particularly about eye pencils, I couldn't really find any data on safe ones that don't run. Your site is a treasure. thanks!

  • August 24, 2011

    by Leanne G

    Love the new column. What are your thoughts on cosmetic tattooing. I have bad eye sight and many years ago I had my eyeliner tattooed. I was thinking of getting it refreshed as it has faded lots.

  • August 24, 2011

    by Angela J

    Kristen, I'm thrilled that you'll be writing a weekly column. I used to love playing with makeup but now that I'm in my mid-40s, I no longer know how to apply it. I can't help feeling I look like an old hooker if I wear more than mascara.

  • August 24, 2011

    by Stephanie

    Marta,
    That picture is amazing, and your arms are so cut! Red is a great color for you, which I imagine you know otherwise why would you wear red in that picture.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie

  • August 24, 2011

    by JustD

    Thanks for the wonderful review and Marta, gotta say that you look Mah-ve-Lous!!!!!! Great advice and a lovely picture. GO-GURL!

  • August 24, 2011

    by Pam

    What a great weekly addition! This is such a wonderful website.

    I would like to make a request for one of the weekly makeup features. How to do makeup for underneath the eyes. I'm 59. My facial skin looks 35-40ish, but my undereye skin looks 70++! It makes me want to cry.

    How to use makeup, concealer, etc to make this area look younger? (Dealing with puffiness, dark shadows, circles, crepey skin.) What to use and how to use it? Any and all tips and tricks will be so VERY appreciated.

    Marta, your picture was beautiful.

  • August 24, 2011

    by Cheryl

    Thank you Marta & Kristen! I'm 46, and the last time I had my makeup done by a professional, she recommended a gel eyeliner applied with a fine brush to the underside of the lashes, so you don't have a stark line above the eylash line. You have to hold your eyelid open to apply it this way. I find this to be a foolproof way to frame my eyes. I use black gel liner and black mascara, although I am fair, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Any thoughts?

  • August 24, 2011

    by Oksana

    what a great new feature! I completely agree w/avoiding black eyeliner - too harsh. keep it coming!

  • August 24, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Welcome to TIA, Kristen! ~jk

  • August 24, 2011

    by Catherine

    I am 60 & I sure hope you will be recommending makeup products too! I have alot to cover up! lol
    Was wondering about your comment "foundation one shade too light can add years"? I am pretty fair so does that mean to go darker?
    Looking forward to more articles!

  • August 24, 2011

    by Alicia Ruhland

    Yay! I love makeup and hate the traditional makeups that have a ton of chemicals for my acne prone skin. Exciting!

  • August 24, 2011

    by Jennifer

    i am so appreciative for this new feature by Kristen! As a result of makeup just not looking the same as it once did, I've ended up using less & less of it, which doesn't do wonderful things for my appearance either!

  • August 24, 2011

    by Morning Feeding: ‘Hot Sauce Mom’ Found Guilty Of Child Abuse | Mommyish

    [...] Eco-friendly makeup artist Kristen Arnett will be writing weekly posts that will focus on makeup (Truth In Aging) [...]

  • August 24, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Valerie, Kristen and have been discussing videos and we will doing some over the coming weeks.

  • August 24, 2011

    by Valerie

    Thank you for this post. It would be great if there had been a tutorial video to get a better idea.

  • August 24, 2011

    by Lisa

    Very excited about this new feature! Make-up application for the over 37 set is a great topic. Can't wait to learn more!

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