Rae Morris turns makeup conventions on their head—and proves that she’s right—in redesigning where to focus light and looks for women over 40. By Anne-Marie Cook.
“Think about where women age; above and between the eyes, the cheeks…putting a shimmer or highlight on those places is like shining a spotlight on them.” Rae Morris, is on a mission to make makeup artists rethink how they work with older women—the rules that work for younger people and are generally taught in schools don’t apply. “Forget everything you know about makeup,” she says.
This is Rae’s quick guide to creating flattering looks for older women:
Don’t use pink-based foundation. Pink will cause the appearance of ageing. Yellow bases will make more youthful. Use a yellow base, and match the foundation to the body, then blend through the neck. Then, make the neck one shade darker than the face to minimise the appearance of neck wrinkles.
Forget powder. Powdering an older face will enhance the appearance of wrinkles. Older skin is less oily so won’t need powder, but if it does get shiny encourage her to blot it. If powder has been added, she can’t touch up the foundation.
Youthfulness is about looking round: whatever you highlight will pull forward, lift out, so lighten the forehead to make the face appear rounder.
Contour contour contour. Create a cheekbone by adding shadow between the lines from the outer edge of the lip to the top of the ear and the corner of the nose to the outside corner of the eye.
Pay special attention to the eyebrows—this is where the face is dated. Older women have tended to overpluck their eyebrows, and now that the style is thicker, flatter eyebrows. Arched, overplucked eyebrows are a real age giveaway. Arched eyebrows also make the face look overweight. To fill in the eyebrows, don’t colour them. Instead, use a very thin bush to ‘flick’ in extra hairs, especially underneath the arch. Don’t use a reddish colour in the brows.
Ageing causes more prominent brow bones. Don’t highlight the brows, this draws more attention to them. The shape of the brows can also point to all the areas that you don’t want to focus on, like the hollows between the eyes. Ensure that the eyebrows don’t point down in the centre, as this will make her look both angry and older!
When shaping eyeshadow, everything needs to point up, otherwise it makes the eyes look more droopy. Find the highest part of the eyelid and put the eyeshadow line parallel to this or higher. Go straight across from the top, centre part of the eyelid toward the top of the ear. Then join the rest of the eyelid to fill in the line, but ensure it points upward. Shimmer on eyelids will show more wrinkles, so use creams. Navy and matte grey are the most flattering eyeshadow colours.
Rae Morris taught her “Makeup for Over 40s” workshop at Salon Melbourne.