50+ Beauty Blog

The 50+ Beauty Blog: Age-defying Make Up

Georgia Gadsby - Beauty for the Over 50s

Remember the stripes we all used to paint on our cheeks? Maybe you’re not old enough. Or maybe you have the kind of razor-sharp cheekbones that never needed them in the first place.

How I loved my little black box. You started with the blusher, then you dabbed a bit of pearly highlighter above it and painted a stripe of muddy pigment below. Oh, and you swept a little mud around your jawline to give it more definition. Ta-da!

Trouble was, the powder was quite coarse, and never really blended properly. The colours weren’t exactly subtle, either; I probably looked like a tribeswoman setting off for a village war-dance.

Still, I’ve never quite given up my longing for socking great cheekbones. I interviewed the late actress Kate O’Mara once, when she was in her sixties, and simply couldn’t take my eyes off hers. Interesting – her face hadn’t sagged one bit, and she explained that prominent cheekbones act like scaffolding: they hold everything up for years.

She let me hunt for face-lift scars – not a trace. She also showed me how to do the Die-nasty face-lift: grab a small hunk of hair above each ear, yank it backwards until your eyes water, then fasten discreetly under the hair at the top of your head.

Well, no make-up is going to give you cheekbones like Kate O’Mara’s. Sure, you can have silicone pads inserted under the skin, but I know a woman who had this done – and one of them slipped. Not a good look.

Fortunately, one of the benefits of growing older – provided you don’t put on too much weight – is that even modest cheekbones can become a little more evident. And if you want to make a feature of them, there are products around now that will give them a discreet bit of oomph.

Best of the bunch, I think, is {Visible Lift Face Definer} – by Studio 10 – which comes in a smart rectangular black box. Inside, are a cream highlighter and blusher that dry to a velvet finish, and a shader made from finely-milled powder.


Studio 10 Visible Lift Face Definer

The reason I like it so much? Blusher first: it looks alarmingly vivid in the palette, but you need just the tiniest amount to give your cheeks a sheer and natural-looking flush.

Highlighter: this one’s good for older skin because it’s relatively subtle. Instead of sitting on your cheekbone like a bicycle reflector, it just adds radiance and glow.

Contour powder: what a great colour! Not too dark, not too blah. It’s effective yet all but undetectable as an artificial effect. Just as well – nothing looks sillier on older skin than a thick stripe of brown pigment. It just tells everyone that you’re trying too hard. Or stuck in the Eighties.

Now for a minor grumble. There’s no brush. I know – it’s not the kind of make-up you’d carry around in your handbag, but it’s still slightly annoying when you’re going away for the weekend.

To be honest, I generally use the palette for evenings, when it really does make a difference to my look. It’s perfectly OK for daytime use, but I’m generally too lazy. Plus I work from home.

However, Studio 10 also happen to do the perfect blusher – {Plumping Blush Glow-Plexion} – for slapping on in five seconds flat. This one’s a creamy liquid that you pump from a large dispenser – so no chance of bacteria contamination (or of running out anytime soon.) The colour’s interesting: a sort of pinky-apricot with a hint of greige that’s oddly just right for older skin.

Of all the blushers I’ve ever tried, this is definitely the most foolproof. It’s got light-reflecting and plumping ingredients, too. And it stays on all day, which is a lot more than can be said for powder blushers.

I started trying {Studio 10} products, incidentally, because they’re specifically aimed at ‘perfecting older skin’. By which they mean the skin of anyone over 30. (Hmmm, if I were 30 again, I wouldn’t be jumping for joy at being bunged into an ‘older’ category.)

Still, Studio 10 seem to have mastered their brief and come up with a few things that no other brand does in quite the same way.

I’ve become a devotee of their {Longlast Velvet Liquid Lips} – a demi-matte liquid lipstick made for long-lasting wear. Only three colours, but I can at least vouch for the two lighter shades, which brighten your look without being remotely shouty.

The texture is moist without being sticky and, oh joy, the colour stain survives even my nightly face-wash. Not in a slept-in-your-makeup way – it just makes your lips look more youthful.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…