Tutorial: Eye Makeup for Older Eyes!!

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When we women get to *ahem* a certain age, we have to change our makeup habits to adapt to our more mature faces. This became excruciatingly apparent to me recently when I asked my daughter to help me apply winged eyeliner. She was so frustrated because my eyes were so “wrinkly and crinkly and old” that she had to pull them every which way to try to get an even line without pulling on all that extra skin and she finally gave up. Yes, after giving birth to this person, raising her, feeding her, clothing her, teaching her, loving her… she GAVE UP! Did I give up on her when she spit up, had colic, needed stitches, HAD to have the ugliest $100 pair of shoes I’ve ever laid eyes on and was a venomous 15 year old? NO! Uh….er, I digress.

I’ve had many requests for a tutorial for older eyes, so let’s talk about how to apply makeup on older eyes shall we? I’m going to go through a normal everyday look and show you some tips and step by step application. Below is my bare eye and you can see how many issues I have!!

Bare Eye (2)

Concealer – getting a good match is the most important. The thin skin under my eyes is lighter than my face (as is the same for most women), so I need two separate shades for eyes and face. I like IT Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube ($29), one side is Bye Bye Undereye Concealer and the other side is Hello Light Liquid Brightener.


Don’t forget your brows! There are two very common brow mistakes women make that make them look older.

Appy brows

Too thin brows—if you over plucked as a teen, there are brow stencils out there that can really help.  Anastasia of Beverly Hills makes an excellent kit, Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes ($39.50).  To get the most natural looking brows, use powder and a stiff slanted brush (these both come in the Anastasia kit). Using the stencil, fill in brows with short strokes then follow with a wax to keep them in place.

Brow color – brows that don’t match your hair and skin tone are a dead giveaway and age you tremendously. Make sure when purchasing a brow pencil or powder you test in both indoor and outdoor light. If in doubt, you can’t go wrong with IT Cosmetics Universal Brow Power (reviewed here).


Always use an eye shadow primer. Using a good eye shadow primer will accomplish a few things: eliminate redness or veins on the eyelids, smooth out wrinkles, make shadow last longer and increase the intensity of the color. My favorites are Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Urban Decay Primer Potion. There are also a few good drugstore options: Milani, NYX and Prestige are good choices.

Choose the right brush. Make sure if you are applying eye shadow to the brow bone, you use a wide brush; in the crease, a rounded dense brush, for eye liner, a thin brush, etc. The brushes I’m using for this post are: RAW all-over eye shadow, Make Up For Ever #236 crease brush and Sigma E40 tapering blending brush.

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Remember your colors. Light shades bring your eyes forward, dark shades recede. This is why most people wear lighter shades on the eye lid and darker shades in the crease—to give the eye depth. Look on a color wheel and see what shades look best with your eye color. The most complimentary shades will be across the color wheel from your eye color. Blue eyes look good in peach, copper & brown. Brown eyes are stunning in blues, purples and grays. Hazel eyes sparkle in greens, browns and golds. Experiment!

Okay, here we go, I’m using the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette (reviewed here).

Brow Bone – After patting on your eye shadow primer and doing your brows, choose a wide brush with a light matte or shimmery eye shadow shade and apply it from the base of the lash line all the way to the brow. I like shimmery beige shades for the brow bone, but some prefer matte and that’s great too. Just stick to neutral shades in this area or you’ll end up looking like Mimi from Drew Carrey. I’ve used White Chocolate for a brow bone and base shade.

Lid – next comes your lid color, I prefer lighter colors on my lids unless I’m doing a smoky eye. You will choose your brush size based on the amount of real estate on your eye lid. Sweep the lid shade all over the lid stopping at the crease. I’m using Marzipan, a rose gold. Tip: if you are using a shimmery shadow, tap the shadow on the lid instead of sweeping in case of fallout—you don’t want glitter cheeks.

Crease – this is always a challenge for me—my eyes naturally turn down at the outer corner and in order to disguise that, I need to pull that crease color way up on my eyes. There are two tricks I use. #1. I use my best rounded, dense brush and starting in the center of my eye (where the iris is) I make a rounded arch—this draws the eye upward and centers the color in the middle of my eye drawing attention away from the drooping outer corner. #2. I make a V from the outer corner of my eye into the crease and extend the crease color out a bit to draw the eye up and blend, blend, blend. I used Gilded Ganache, an olive green with gold sparkle.

CreaseCrease 2

Inner Corners – don’t forget to brighten the inner corner of the eye with a light shimmery eye shadow or a light reflecting eye pencil. Pixi makes a great doubled sided Crayon Combo called Wide Awake (reviewed here) that has a matte side and a shimmer side—it’s like 8 hours of sleep in a pencil! Tip: If your eyes are looking or feeling tired, try a nude colored eyeliner on the waterline—it’s an instant refresher.  

Curl those lashes– don’t forget this step. Curled lashes make them appear longer. Two two lash curlers I have pictured here are from Japonesque. The pink one gives a straight up curl and the white one doesn’t get as close to the lash line, thereby giving a “fluffier” look. I used the pink curler in these pictures.

Japanesque Lash Curlers

Eyeliner – whether you prefer liquid, gel or pencil, stay away from the harshness of deep black. It will age you in 2 seconds flat. Instead opt for charcoal, a medium matte black, chocolate, grey or navy. Liquid liner done wrong can be equally as harsh. I like a soft pencil that you can smudge for a softer look and the texture is easier on the delicate skin around your eyes. For this look I used MAC Teddy Kohl (deep bronze) on the upper last line and Painted Earth Baroque Pencil Gel Liner, reviewed here.

Eyeliner and Curled Lashes

Mascara– mascara is such a subjective makeup item. Not one size fits all, everyone has a different brush or formula preference. Use two coats of your favorite! This is two coats of bareMinerals Lash Domination.

Daytime Eye Look

I hope some of these tips helped. Do you have any tips for mature eyes? Let me know in the comments or ask if you have any questions, I would love to discuss!



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  1. One thing I would add, is that those of us who have not just downturned, hooded eyes, with a little crease at the outer edge….it’s better not to try and connect the top and bottom eyeliner, but to smudge them both. If you end your eyeliner at the end of your top lid, you can get a cat eye, but using a small angled brush to sweep the eyeliner out before it sets.

  2. Great tutorial! I get so tired of looking at twenty something year olds doing tutorials, although I wish I had had some advice when I was their age… It’s amazing how terrific this mascara looks on you!

  3. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Great advice! My tip would be to make sure you’re using a hydrating, and therefore plumping, eye cream underneath your eye before putting on eye makeup. I don’t use it on my lid during the day since menopause had made them oily, and my makeup would slide off. I sometimes like a little blended dot of light shimmer on the inner eye corner to look more awake! (Danged saggy lids!!)

  4. Thanks so much for these tips!! I am liking to use gel eyeliner with a thin eyeliner brush. I have found it is easier for me to get a smooth line with my wrinkly eyelids. I also like to do a small cat eye point to lift my eye look. I also have found I like to use same gel eyeliner to line my upper water line, it seems to help my sparse eye lashes look fuller. I hope you will check my blog out if you get the chance.

  5. Be careful when using shimmer eye shadow. The “glitter” can get in creases and make them more pronounced.