Before we start, we need to make sure we’re using the right tools to perfect our looks. Which brushes you use is almost as important as the actual make up used.
There are specialized makeup brushes and tools for every application or occasion. If you can't tell the difference between a kabuki brush and a fan brush, start with these basics below. We believe every woman should have these brushes and tools in their makeup kit to get that perfect eye look.
Stiff Angled Brush
Always remember to wash your brushes! Makeup brushes can be a hotbed for bacteria, and the internet is full of horror stories of what can happen to your face if you aren’t diligent about cleaning makeup brushes or eyelash curlers. While there are specialized brush cleansers, we’ve found that a gentle liquid soap or baby shampoo works just as well.
Prepare your canvas by shaping, moisturizing, priming, and curling. These 4 easy steps will immediately enhance your eyes, even on those bare faced no-makeup days.
Whether a cause of over-plucking in the 90's or just effects of aging, many foxy mature ladies have patchy, sparse brows. Sparse or thin eyebrows could actually age you, so it's important to get your brows in top shape!
Use a brow pencil to fill in your brows to the desired shape. Using a sharp pair of tweezers, pluck any stray hairs outside of your defined shape. We also recommend trying one of the many eyebrow growth serums to stimulate hair growth.
Tweeze and shape your eyebrows by imagining 3 lines going out from the outside of your nose:
Your eyebrow should start just to the outside of your nose bridge (line 1). The peak of the arch of your brow should align to the outer edge of your pupil (line 2). Taper off your brow at the outer corner of your eye (line 3).
Eye creams should be part of your daily skincare routine. This part of your routine is even more important as you age as our skin gets drier. A moisturized eye area will reduce any fine lines that product can potentially settle into. A good eye cream can also lighten dark circles and reduce puffiness to boot. We particularly like the Organys Moisturizer Appearance eye cream for the morning, and ROC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream at night.
Finish off your eye skincare routine with an eye mask at least once a week.
If you are going to use any makeup near your eye area, always use a primer! Primer helps create a smooth surface and ensures your makeup lasts all day and into the night. We are a big fan of Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion. This powerful formula will hold up against anything you put it through, whether it’s extreme humidity or just a long day. We rarely go a day without using this primer under our eye makeup, and a little product goes a long way.
Curled lashes immediately opens up your eyes. This is especially important as many older women develop droopy, hooded eyes (thanks, gravity!) There are 2 types of curlers: traditional curlers, and heated curlers. Traditional curlers tend to be easier to use, while some heated curlers can keep your lashes curled for days!
Curling your lashes is much easier than it seems. First, stand close to a mirror and take your eyelash curler as close to your lid as you feel comfortable. Gently pinch at the base, then rotate hand upwards, gently pinching as you move the curler up towards the tip of your lashes. The key is to be gentle when pressing.
Perfect your look with age-and-color-appropriate brows, expertly lined eyes, and eye-opening lashes.
Knowing whether you have warm or cool skin undertones is key to finding the right color palette to accentuate your features and not looking washed-out.
Your coloring may change with age, so just because you were "warm" in your teens, you can now be "cool" in your 50's and beyond, or vice versa.
Start by staring at the inside of your wrist.
Look at the inside of your wrist in neutral lighting conditions. Do your veins look blue or green? If they look more on the blue side, you are probably cool toned. If your veins look greenish, that means your skin is more yellowish (yellow and blue make green) and therefore are warm toned.
Next, hold gold and silver jewelry next to your skin.
One of the two metals will look cheap on you, and one will look expensive. If gold looks the best, you are probably warm under-toned, and if silver looks the best, you are probably cool under-toned.
Many women with gray hair make the mistake of continuing to fill their eyebrows with the same pencil or powder they used before turning gray. This creates dark eyebrows that contrast unnaturally with your beautiful silver mane. If you have light gray or silver hair, stay away from charcoal, brown, or black pencils and powders!
Conversely, other silver-haired women don't fill in their eyebrows at all, making them look washed out. When you have gray hair, your eyebrows become even more important. Filled brows frame your face, instantly elevating your look and will make your appear more youthful.
Start by filling in your eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil. Be sure to use a pencil with pigmentation that best matches your undertone. We recommend our Warm Betty for warm undertones, and Cool Helen for cool undertones. Fill using light strokes to mimic hairs.
Eyeliner does wonders to open up our eyes, especially when you have gray hair, but be careful not to use too-dark a shade. Line your eyes with an appropriate color such as warm brown, taupe, or light gray. Skip on the black or charcoal gray eyeliners which will provide too much drama and look severe.
There are 3 main types of eyeliner: pencil, gel, liquid. Pencil tends to be easiest to apply, but often will not give you as clean and precise an application as gel or liquid liners. Gel liners will glide on lids easier, and may be either in pen-form or in a pot with a brush. Liquid liners tend to give you the most precise and long-lasting application but will take some practice to get right. Which type you use is more personal preference – try different types for different situations and looks!
If you have trouble drawing a straight line with your eyeliner, try the dot method: Create a line of dots along your upper lash line using your favorite pencil, gel, or liquid liner. If using gel eyeliner, use a pointed brush to apply the dots. Next, use a stiff angled brush to blend and connect the dots together to create one smooth line. Voila! No more shaky, unevenly lined eyes.
Do not pull and tug on your lids as you apply eye liner (or any other time for that matter). The skin around your eyes is extra delicate; pulling and rubbing your lids can cause wrinkles and fine lines to appear.
Mascara is key to combat the hooded eyes that come with age. There is a limitless supply of mascaras touting to improve your lashes one way or other. Whether you are looking to length, curl, or volumize, evaluate the mascara based on the formula that is right for you, as well as the brush shape & size of the wand. We like using the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl or L'Oreal Voluminous mascaras. Most mascaras come in a regular formula and waterproof-formula. We recommend only using a waterproof-formula mascara only as needed and not on a daily basis as we believe it is more strain on your eyelashes.
To apply mascara, start at the bottom of the lashes and gently wiggle the mascara wand upwards to the ends of your eyelashes. The wiggle motion will help create volume and ensure that your lashes are fully coated with product. If needed, use a separate spoolie brush to separate eye lashes and remove any clumps. For a daytime look, limit to one coat mascara. In the evening, feel free to add a second coat of mascara for a more dramatic effect, but be sure to wait for first coat to dry before applying the second coat.
Never pump the mascara wand into the tube! Instead, you should use a twisting motion to pick up product on to the brush. Pumping will introduce excess air into the tube, causing your mascara to dry out and clump.
Skip the eye shadow. As one matures, our skin sags, and the skin around our eyes develop fine lines and wrinkles. Shadows tend to settle into these lines and crevices, making us appear even older. If you must use eye shadow, always use a primer and stay away from anything with glitter!
There you have it! The basics to achieving a perfect eye makeup look to go with your beautiful head of gray hair. Hope this comprehensive guide will help you find the best makeup for gray hair. Follow these steps and you will have eyes that best complement your natural silver strands.