5 Makeup Tips to Minimize Puffy Eyes and Other Signs of Aging

Easy steps to take before having an eyelid lift or facelift.

Let’s face it. This aging thing can sneak up on you. All of a sudden, we get sagging skin at our lower face and jawline. Squint lines and crow’s feet, puffy eyes or baggy eyes begin to appear. And damage from too much sun, smoking, not enough sleep or a poor diet can leave us with dull, tired-looking skin. Hang up the towel? Quit? Never!

So what are the tricks of people who never seem to age? For instance, walk past any makeup counter and look at how great the makeup professionals look… and yes, even those in their 50s and 60s. Sure, there are a few who can appear a bit overdone (it is their field, after all) but for most, their skin looks soft and dewy, their eyes bright and youthful, their cheeks and lips full and radiant. And while some may have had a facelift, eyelid lift or Botox, their enviable looks aren’t due to surgery alone. They come with an understanding that if we want to stay younger looking, we need to update more than our attitude and wardrobe; we need to update our makeup, as well. And so, this 60+ writer went behind the counter to get some anti-aging makeup tips from the pros. All agreed on one point… don’t stop using makeup altogether; instead, use it differently.

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Tip #1 Have the confidence to experiment. Get out of the rut of using the same products you’ve used for years. Explore makeup and skin care lines that are targeting women age 50 and older. These companies have invested in the science to create products in formulas and colors to help us look our best. For example, they work every day on the makeup techniques that can help minimize saggy or puffy eyes and prolong our having an eyelid lift. Think eye creams specially formulated to reduce puffiness, and concealers that hide dark undereye circles without caking; not the heavy pancake makeup of the past.

Your Eyes
Tip #2 Emphasize the eyes. This is where you can truly help eliminate the look of puffy eyes and saggy lids and have fun doing so. Let’s start with eyeliner. Lining the upper lids in a shade that’s not too dark, using a stroke not too heavy and adding a slight lift at the outer corner of the eye can be a beautiful way to accent your eyes and give them a bright-eyed look before taking the step to have an eyelid lift. (Even women who have had an eyelid lift know this trick.) Learn to use eye shadow to subtly showcase the upper lids; it’s easier than you think. And to soften squint and frown lines, Botox injections are unsurpassed. You’ll also want to emphasize the lashes with mascara. And, check out today’s lash growing/lengthening products, some of which are available only by prescription. The makeup pros I talked to swear by them.

Tip #3 Define the brows. Use a powder-based pencil for a soft, natural look (not a wax crayon pencil that can look fake and too harsh), and use only short, feathered strokes to mimic the actual brow hairs. Less is more when it comes to the brows. For the effects of a browlift but with makeup, brush a bit of highlighter a shade lighter than your skin just under the brows.

Your Face
Tip #4 To defy gravity, learn to contour your face to define and lift the cheekbones. Use a contour powder in a shade that’s just a bit darker than your natural skin tone and the right-sized brush to shade the natural hollow of the cheeks. Then, pop the apples of your cheeks with a flattering, healthy rosy cheek color to lift the face. Use another brush to gently blend the two shades. Don’t overdo the contouring or the pop of color on the cheeks. The goal is natural shading that emphasizes the upper part of your face, not starkly defined areas or clown cheeks. .

Tip #5 Use products with ingredients that plump the skin, especially the areas above and below the lips to minimize those feathery lines that all of us hate. Today’s serums are revolutionary for lip lines and can be used in conjunction with another proven solution, Juvederm injections.

Bonus Tip: Invest in a good 6x or 10x magnifying mirror, and always check your makeup in daylight (stand at the window with mirror in hand) before heading out. As we get older, our eyesight isn’t as sharp as it once was, which can lead to our makeup application being either too much, not enough, uneven, or specks and smears that need to removed.

All of these anti-aging tips are easy to do with just a little practice. See for yourself. Stop by different makeup counters and ask the pros for product and application tips specific to your face and coloring. And be sure to ask about the go-to products they use on their own face. Few stick with just one makeup line, choosing instead to use what works best, even if from the drugstore. Those kinds of insider tips are beautiful to know.