When it comes to makeup and applying eyeliner, there are a few common mistakes that women over 40 might make. Here are some of the biggest ones to be aware of:

Use Super Heavy or Harsh Lines On Your Eyes

As your skin ages, it becomes less elastic. If you’re applying heavy or thick eyeliner, it can look really severe, and end up drawing more attention to the wrinkles and fine lines around your eyes.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Apply your eyeliner softly and with finer, smudged and softened lines.
  • Use softer pencil lines and be sure to blend the eyeliner for a more natural and flattering look. A smudged line can be forgiving on the skin and give a softer, look. Without inadvertently accentuating fine lines and texture around the eyes.


Using Only Black Eyeliner

A rich, black eyeliner can look harsh on mature skin. So, if you’re attached to your black eyeliner, why not try to mix things up a bit?

What You Can Do Instead

  • Choose Softer Eyeliner Colors
  • Try shifting to a softer shade like brown, charcoal, or navy. This way, you can achieve a softer eye definition and a more natural and flattering look. These shades will still give you the definition you are after, without being too overpowering.


Not Adjusting Eyeliner Style

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the style of eyeliner that you used to wear may not be as flattering on your face now as it was back then. Avoid overly dramatic or winged styles that can make your eyes droop and emphasize sagging skin or wrinkles you have at the outer corners of your eyes.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Adapt Your Eyeliner Style
  • If you’re open to changing it up, why not consider some more subtle enhancements? By using a soft smudged line or a subtle wing, you’ll be able to lift your eyes and give a more youthful appearance. And do so without creating added texture where your eyeliner is.


Using Shimmery Eyeliners

Another minor letdown, I’m afraid. Sadly, strong shimmer or glitter eyeliners can actually draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. This happens because light reflects off the shimmer, and when the surface of your skin is more lined or textured, the shimmer only serves to accentuate those wrinkles or textures.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Stick to Matte or Satin Finishes
  • By choosing a matte or satin finish for your eyeliners, you can help avoid drawing attention to any fine lines and wrinkles.


Applying Eyeliner to the Entire Waterline

I see this one a lot, and I just want to scream and help women when I see this. It immediately places them somewhere in the late 1980s or early 1990s for me!
Applying eyeliner to your entire waterline instantly makes the eyes look much smaller than they are and is aging, and can look somewhat dated, on anyone over the age of about 25, I’m sorry to say.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Focus on the Outer Half of the Waterline
  • If you’re so attached to your waterline eyeliner technique, a simple adaptation may work wonders. Try applying your eyeliner only to the outer half of your waterline instead of the entire length of your eye. This can give the illusion of a lift to your eyes, and open your eyes up – as opposed to the entire waterline look which truly closes them up a lot.


Skipping Tightlining

Tightlining (lining the upper waterline) can add definition to your eyes and help make your eyelashes look more full. It’s a step that can make a significant difference in your overall eye makeup look.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Tightline the Upper Waterline
  • Tightlining the upper waterline can add depth to your eyes and give your lashes a fuller appearance without the need for a thick eyeliner line. It is a particularly good option if your eyelashes are quite sparse, and you’re not interested or able to wear false eyelashes or get extensions of any kind.


Neglecting Primer

Ever notice your eyeliner smudging or transferring as you get older? Any guesses why?
One reason may be that you’re not using a good eye primer before you apply your eye makeup.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Use an Eyelid Primer
  • Applying a good quality eyelid primer before eyeliner can help create a smooth surface, prevent smudging, and help your eyeliner last longer.


Applying Eyeliner on Lower Lashes Only

By applying eyeliner only to your lower lash line, your eyes can make the eyes appear droopy. This is because the eyeliner below your eye creates the illusion of leading your eye downwards.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Apply Eyeliner to Both Upper and Lower Lash Lines
  • Balance your eye makeup look by adding eyeliner to both the upper and lower lash lines, focusing on the outer corners, to open up the eyes. Always think of going upwards, and outwards.


Not Blending Properly

Harsh lines and unblended eyeliner can make your makeup look less polished and put together.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Blend Properly
  • Use a small eye makeup brush to blend the edges of the eyeliner for a seamless and polished finish. Always remember to blend! Blending is one of the secrets to great makeup. So if you haven’t heard m e mention it before, remember to blend blend blend!


Using Outdated Techniques

As you might have discovered, makeup trends and techniques change over time. And they change constantly.

What You Can Do Instead

  • Update Makeup Techniques
  • Stay up to date with modern makeup styles and techniques that suit mature eyes. Online tutorials and websites (like this one!) and makeup artist tips can be valuable resources for learning new approaches.


Makeup is such a personal choice, it’s a great way to express ourselves, and celebrate the faces we have been given in our own individual way. I hope these suggestions can help you achieve a flattering and age-appropriate look. But do feel free to experiment and find what works best for you!

Here’s a couple of bonus pointers to help you on your way to avoiding eye liners mistakes, for good measure!

Focus on Your Eyelashes

By accentuating your lashes, you can lead the focus away from your fine lines and wrinkles. Be sure to use a mascara and an eyelash curler (yes – they make a huge difference!) to add volume and length to your lashes. This can help give your eyes a more youthful appearance and open up your eyes as well. And if you often find your mascara is smudging, be sure to get these useful tips about how to keep your mascara from smudging right here.


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Eyebrow Maintenance

Well-groomed eyebrows can really frame your eyes beautifully and complement your eyeliner look. So don’t forget to shape and fill in your eyebrows to enhance your overall eye makeup. It can also help give your face a more polished and complete look, too.

Remember, makeup is a form of self-expression, and as I’ve said before, there are no rules. Something I LOVE about makeup.

But what’s more important is that you feel comfortable and confident in your appearance.

While these tips can serve as a great starting point, do feel free to experiment, mix it up, and discover what works best for you and your very own unique features!

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