New Year’s makeup often involves hiding a multitude of sins from the previous week. But the temptation to slap an extra slap, to disguise a puffier face and dark bags under the eyes, can sometimes make us look older.
At 51, I’ve noticed that certain things (matte foundation or the wrong color lipstick for example) can instantly add on to a few years. What’s the point of all those cutting edge serums and rejuvenating masks in my bathroom if a few things in my makeup bag could erase them all?
Eager to learn how to look more like Brigitte Bardot than Granny Pig on New Year’s Eve, I sought the help of makeup artist supreme Wendy Rowe. In addition to perfecting makeup on countless Vogue covers, Rowe is who Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller, Helen Mirren, Priyanka Chopra and Olivia Wilde call upon when they want to look fabulous on the red carpet.
Here is Wendy Rowe’s checklist of the essentials for perfect glamour.
Number 1: the right foundation
“Avoid anything with a matte or powdery finish, as this will end up looking cakey and accentuate your lines. A good tinted moisturizer is much more flattering as we get older. And apply it with your fingers. Always choose something with a dewy, radiant finish (the more sheer the better). If you find the coverage too light on some areas, use a good concealer afterwards to cover things like pigmentation, broken veins, and dark circles under the eyes. And be sparing with concealer as it can get a little powdery.
Westman Atelier Complexion drops to £62, Net-a-Porter (net-a-porter.com)
Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer £32, Space Nk (spacenk.com)
Number 2: Eyebrows of the right shade
“Choose an eyebrow pencil that is one shade lighter than you normally would. Anything too dark on your brows can make them look too heavy and make your eyes look smaller. You want to try and open your eyes as much as possible. Soft ashy colors work really well on most people (and never use browns with red). As for shape, work with what you have. Big, full brows are more youthful, but don’t try to recreate them as they would just look clownish.’
Hourglass Arched Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil, £33, Space NK (spacenk)
Number 3: Watch your mascara
“If mascara is applied too thick it has the effect of closing the eye, which we want to keep as open and lifted as possible. Forget those with false eyelash effect or volumizing mascara because they seem too clogged. Fine, natural-looking mascara is much more flattering after a certain age. And always choose waterproof mascara, as it’s less likely to smudge.’
Chanel Noir Allure Mascara, £37 (John Lewis)
Max Factor mascara 2000 calories. £9.99, (Boots.com)
Number 4: Go glossy with lipstick
“Our lips get drier as we age, so anything with a matte finish will make them look even drier. Also, matte lipstick is not flattering. The shade of the nude is also important. Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk is not for everyone! As a general rule, nudes with blue or red undertones will make the face look more alive. And using a very soft lip liner is a good way to make lips that have become a bit thin look fuller.’
Victoria Beckham Beauty Lip Definer, £18, (Victoria Beckham)
Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick, Number 08, £27 (Feelunique)
Number 5: Soften the eyeliner
“Heavy, dark eyeliner is really aging, as it will close your eyes and make them look smaller. It can be much more flattering to simply point the eyeliner pencil between the lashes on the lid instead of drawing an actual line. And just do the outer corners and then blend with a brush. Try using browns or bronzes which are softer and flattering.
Victoria Beckham Satin Kajal Liner, £22 (victoriabeckhambeauty.com)
Number 6: Mattify your eyeshadow
Always choose a bronzer or matte eyeshadow over anything shiny. The sparkles will fall into the creases and accentuate the lines.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Tanning Cream, £43, John Lewis (johnlewis.com)
Dior Satin Finish 5 Couleurs Couture Palette, £49, (dior.com)