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Makeup Mistakes Over 40 To Avoid at All Costs

As we age, our skin goes through a lot of changes that often have a huge impact on how makeup looks on our faces. This is why it is so important to adapt your makeup techniques as you enter your 40s. 

The good news is that doing this is as simple as avoiding a few common makeup mistakes that many older women in their 40s make.

This will allow you to adopt strategies that will flatter your changing skin. In the end, you will realize that this is the key to achieving that youthful, radiant appearance that you’ve always wanted.

Makeup Mistakes Over 40 To Avoid at All Costs

In this article, we’ll share some of the most common makeup mistakes over 40 that we see women make. We’ll also explain how to correct each one for a flawless and fabulous look. Finally, we’ll also give you some recommendations for the best products that you can use to elevate your mature features

Sounds good? Great! Let’s begin! 

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What are the most common makeup mistakes over 40?

Here are some of the most common makeup mistakes that women over 40 make: 

Skipping lip liner:

Lip liner is not just for creating a defined or dramatic lip shape.

It can also help prevent your lipstick from creating the appearance of fine lines around your mouth, which can make you look older.

Lip liner can also make your lipstick last longer! 

Not hydrating enough:

Hydration is key for healthy skin especially when you have mature skin. Not drinking enough water is one of the biggest mistakes you could make.

When your skin is well hydrated, your makeup products glide on smoothly, making you look more radiant.

Dry skin, on the other hand, grabs onto makeup and makes it look cakey.

Makeup Mistakes Over 40 To Avoid at All Costs

Using one foundation shade:

Your skin tone is not uniform all over your face. You have different shades on different areas like your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Using one foundation shade, liquid foundation or otherwise, creates a flat unnatural look. 

Not exfoliating weekly:

Exfoliating is an important step in your skincare routine. It helps improve your skin texture and brightness. It also helps your makeup apply better and last longer. This means you are also using less makeup.

Heavy eye makeup:

Dramatic eye looks may be stunning, but they also draw attention to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Too much eye shadow can also poorly accentuate the brown bone.

But, for older women, this can inadvertently add years to your face and is therefore one of the worst makeup mistakes over 40. 

Overloading on the foundation:

Heavy foundation settles into fine lines and wrinkles, exaggerating their appearance. Full coverage foundation has it’s places but is usually not a good idea. Instead of heavy coverage and dark colours, use a tinted moisturizer that evens out the skin tone without accentuating lines.

Neglecting your eyebrows:

As we age, our eyebrows may become lighter. Neglecting them or using the wrong techniques to fill them in can make us look older. In turn this easily becomes one of the makeup mistakes over 40.

When filling in your eyebrows, use short, feathery strokes to mimic the look of natural hair. Avoid using overly dark shades of eyebrow pencil. Go for a color that matches your hair and skin tone instead so it doesn’t look odd against your brow bone. 

Skipping blush:

Blush is a fantastic tool for adding youthful radiance to the face shape. Don’t skip it!

To apply blush, use a cream blush or gel blush formula as it blends seamlessly into the skin. Use soft, warm tones and apply it to the apples of the cheeks and blend it outward.

Liner and mascara under your eyes:

Eyeliner and mascara can enhance your eyes. But they can also have the opposite effect if you apply them under your eyes. This is a common problem and doing this creates a heavy look that makes your eyes look droopy. 

bad makeup for women in 40s

Forgetting lip care:

As mentioned before, the lips undergo significant changes as we age.

To keep your lips looking youthful, exfoliate and moisturize them regularly. And before applying lipstick, consider using a lip primer to create a smooth canvas first. 

How to Fix Your Makeup Mistakes Over 40

Don’t worry too much if you have been making any of these mistakes! It’s really common and most people make them, whether they mean to or not!

You can easily fix any makeup mistakes over 40 in your makeup routine and makeup application with these simple tips: 

Use lip liner correctly:

Always choose a shade that matches your lipstick, or one that is only slightly darker than your natural lip color. Go for creamy formulas that glide smoothly on your lips.

Also, when you draw the outline, try to follow the natural shape of your lips before filling them in with the same pencil. This will create an even base for your lipstick and prevent any feathering. Apply your lipstick on top with your fingertips for the best results. 

Proper hydration:

Use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away your natural oils. Use a toner to balance your skin’s pH level. You should then apply a serum that targets your specific skin concerns like anti-aging or brightening.

After that, apply a moisturizer that suits your skin type to lock everything in. Use an eye cream to hydrate the delicate skin around your eyes. This will remove any dark circles.

Follow this beauty routine twice a day in the morning and at night for the best results. And be sure to also drink plenty of water throughout the day.

bad makeup for women in 40s

Use two foundation shades:

To do this, first determine your skin tone and undertone then use the two shades that match them closely. If you do this, one shade will be slightly lighter than your natural skin color while the other is slightly darker.

Apply the lighter shade on the center of your face. This means it goes on your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Blend it outwards with a sponge or a brush. The darker shade goes on the perimeter of your face shape. So your hairline, jawline, and neck.

Blend it inwards in the same way as before. This creates a natural-looking gradient that mimics how light and shadow hit your face.

Avoid liner and mascara under your eyes:

Instead, during your makeup routine, focus on enhancing your upper lash line and lashes. Use a waterproof pencil to apply it close to your upper lash line following its natural shape.

You can also create a slight flick at the outer corner of your eye for a more lifted look. Next, curl your lashes with an eyelash curler. Apply a couple of coats of mascara to make it smudge-proof.

As you apply, wiggle the wand from the roots to the tips of your lashes. Try not to apply too much product or your lashes will clump together in dark spots. This will ultimately defeat the purpose of trying to avoid these makeup mistakes over 40. 

Avoid these makeup mistakes over 40

Exfoliate your skin weekly:

‘To exfoliate, use a gentle scrub that suits your skin type. Apply it on damp skin after cleansing before massaging it all over in circular motions for a few minutes.

Rinse it off with lukewarm water then pat your entire face dry with a soft towel. Follow up with a toner, serum, moisturizer, and eye cream as usual.

Do this once or twice a week to remove any dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup products residue. Over time, it will reveal a smoother and clearer complexion.

To exfoliate, use a gentle scrub that suits your skin type. Apply it on damp skin after cleansing before massaging it all over in circular motions for a few minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water then pat your skin dry with a soft towel.

Follow up with a toner, serum, moisturizer, and eye cream as usual. Do this once or twice a week to remove any dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup residue.

Over time, it will reveal a smoother and clearer complexion giving you a more youthful look. Eventually your skin may be one of your best features!

What are some of the best products and tools to use for makeup over 40?

Being in your 40s doesn’t mean you have to wear less makeup or be a makeup expert. Here are some of the best makeup products and tools that you can use to avoid makeup mistakes over 40. With these you’ll create a flawless look that looks youthful and lasts all day: 

Lip liner

We recommend the Milani Color Statement Lip Liner. It is a creamy pigmented lip liner that glides on smoothly and lasts long. It comes in 8 shades that match any lipstick color. It also has vitamin E and jojoba oil to nourish and moisturize your lips.

Good makeup choices for Women in their 40s

Hydrating primer

Get the It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer. This is a hydrating primer that smoothes your skin giving you a more natural look.

As it does this, it delivers anti-aging benefits from collagen and antibodies. It also helps your makeup last longer.

Dual-sided foundation stick 

The Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick SPF 21 is a great choice here. It is a dual-sided foundation stick with two shades in one product.

It has a blendable formula that provides medium to full coverage. Because it is not a powder foundation, it is also long-wearing and transfer-resistant. You also get SPF-21 protection from the sun. 


We love the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. It is a liquid eyeliner that has a fine tip for creating precise lines.

One of the best parts is the waterproof formula that stays put all day. It also comes in 8 shades ranging from classic black to fun colors.

Good makeup choices for Women in their 40s


We highly recommend the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara. It is the best makeup designed to give you voluminous lashes without clumping.

It comes with a soft wavy brush that coats every lash evenly. The formula is also waterproof and designed to resist sweat or tears. It comes in four shades to suit any makeup look.

Best makeup for women in their 40s


Go for the Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder Deep. It is an exfoliant that can transform from a powder to a foam when mixed with water.

It contains rice bran, papaya enzymes, green tea, and pearl extracts. Additionally, it is designed to exfoliate and nourish your skin. You’ll also love the pH-neutral formula that balances your skin’s natural acidity.

Final Thoughts on Avoiding Makeup Mistakes Over 40

Makeup is a powerful tool in your arsenal when you want to enhance your looks. It is a great way to boost your confidence as you grow older.

However, once you hit your 40s, it is important to ensure that you adapt your makeup techniques to your changing skin. This means avoiding some of the common makeup mistakes over 40 that a lot of women make when applying makeup. 

When all is said and done, though, makeup only enhances your natural beauty to make you feel more confident at any age. The real beauty is already there. With these tips and product recommendations, you get to bring it to the surface. So just have fun with it! Good luck!