Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: Dos and don'ts for a glamorous, mature look

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts, and each week he'll tell you all you need to know about the latest make-up techniques

Julia Roberts (Richard Shotwell/AP)
Julia Roberts (Richard Shotwell/AP)

By Paddy McGurgan

I recently held a poll on my Facebook page, asking readers what they find most difficult about their current beauty routine. The resounding answer with 50%-plus of the vote was make-up dos and don'ts - what to use and what to avoid.

I really do not believe there are distinct rules because everyone is different in how they like their make-up, the condition of their skin at the time, their complexion and their overall genetic make-up.

Mature make-up is probably one of my all-time favourite styles to work on. Older women are often self-conscious about their skin and appearance, but I often find I am able to use less product to build up my coverage and create a flawless finish.

Here are my top tips and products for creating glamorous make-up for older clients.

It is hugely important to have a good cleansing routine, no matter the age. For this I would recommend investing in Caudalie's Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil (£18, Space NK), which can be used on even the most sensitive of skin. It has a silky consistency that not only breaks down face and eye make-up easily, but also leaves the skin both supple and dewy.

I would then go in with Laura Mercier's Radiance Primer (£30), which helps to bring a natural healthy glow to the skin while also creating a smooth surface for a flawless make-up application. This product has a slightly pearly tint, which helps to increase radiance and tone down the look of pores, fine lines and any redness.

Now that you have prepped your skin, you are ready to begin priming. I have always discussed the benefits of using one or more primers to achieve different purposes, and there are so many different types to suit your skin's needs, whether it is to mattify, illuminate, hydrate, smooth or colour correct. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but the most common primer I would use for older skin would be a smoothing primer to remove and disguise indentations and to add texture to create an even base for your foundation or concealer.

My all-time hero product for this is Make Up Atelier Paris T Zone Gel (£25.50, Make up Pro Store).This will even out any texture issues within the skin. It's also lightweight, so you avoid any worries of pore-clogging.

For anyone who loves a medium to full coverage foundation, try Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Longwear High Coverage Foundation (£40), which not only gives a full flawless complexion, but also delivers UVA and UVB protection. This lightweight liquid foundation melts effortlessly onto skin, delivering full coverage to illuminate features with a comfortable, second-skin finish that won't crease or fade.

Powder bronzer is my favourite way to sculpt and define the face, and is traditionally applied with an angled or tapered powder bronzer brush. When using a powder solution, make sure to tap off any excess product from the brush. The main areas where you should target the product are your temples, then beneath the cheekbone and along the jawline, giving the illusion of symmetry and slimness. I do have to admit to being a bronzer hopper. I go through moods and preferences, but I have recently tried NOTE Cosmetics Bronzing Powder in shade 10 (£14.20). Apply lightly on to the skin to give a warm complexion.

I love using blusher on an older client because it completes the complexion, giving a natural hint of colour in the apples of the cheeks. This is a divisive one because I know a lot of my mature clients are dubious about blusher, especially those with redness or signs of rosacea in their cheeks. For this reason, I always use a coral/peach toned blush because I feel it not only adds colour, but warmth as well. Try NYX Professional Makeup High Definition Blush (£6). These paraben-free blushers are highly pigmented, super-blendable and lightweight, giving you a healthy, fresh glow that will last all day.

Five tips for looking good all day long

1. Invest in a tinted moisturiser. This will hydrate and add moisture to the skin, and add coverage for a sheer daytime look.

2. Avoid pressed powders because these can often crease into fine lines. Opt for a lightweight loose powder that can be patted onto the skin and buffed in circular motions to create a flawless effect.

3. To give your eye make-up an added lift, invest in a pair of eyelash curlers to give a gentle, full-lash effect without using large amounts of mascara.

4. Choose a matte bronzer to give your face a sculpted effect. It will sit smoothly on the skin and not highlight any areas of concern.

5. For your lips, choose a gloss finish. This will make the lips appear hydrated and luscious, and who does not need this in cold weather?

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