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Eyeliner Tips for Women Over 40

Updated on January 27, 2016
When it's applied right, eyeliner can shave years off your age.
When it's applied right, eyeliner can shave years off your age. | Source

Do you really need to change your eyeliner?

Does the type of eyeliner we use really make a difference on older skin? The answer is yes. The skin on and around the eyes is the thinnest of our face and all that tugging and abuse we gave our eyes while applying makeup when we were younger just won't do anymore. We want to diminish the amount of creases and wrinkles around the eyes not add to them.

While your favorite pencil eyeliner may have served you well in your teens, 20s and even into your 30s, it's time to reconsider all the other options out there for liner application. You might be surprised at how much you prefer some of them. You don't have to completely replace your favorite technique, but mixing things up a bit could help protect the delicate skin around your eyes. Be sure to check out some of the videos of mature women sharing their eye makeup tips at the end of this article.

Options in Eyeliners

There are more options in eyeliners available to the public than ever before. Some of these are what the professional makeup artists and actors have been using for ages. The eyeliners you'll most likely find in stores and online are:

  • Pencil - the old standby
  • Liquid
  • Gel
  • Cream
  • Powder (eye shadow)
We'll now take a look at each one of these individually.

Eyeliner Pencils

Should you let them go?

Because of the thin skin and wrinkle factors mentioned earlier, you want to reduce the amount you tug on your eyes during makeup application. Of all the liner types, pencils require the most pulling of the eyes to apply, so you might want to consider cutting back on their use or eliminating them all together.

I confess though that I still always have one on hand as they're quick and sometimes provide the right look I'm going for. If you make sure they're sharpened or wet them before application, they don't pull quite so much.

Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner isn't just for a goth or dramatic cat-eye look, though it's great for that. There are so many brands to choose from with different applicators, from thin to thick, that will help you achieve a day or night look.

These liners are much kinder on the eyes as far as tugging and pulling, though applying them takes some getting used to if you've only used pencils in the past. One trick is to apply liquid eyeliner in short strokes instead of one long line, especially if you have a tendency to shaky hands. This technique can be used for any of the liquid-type of liners including gel and cream.

Your Favorite Type of Eyeliner

What is your eyeliner preference?

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Gel Eyeliner

Gel liners have the same benefits as liquid but you may feel like you have a little bit more control in the application. They often come in round tubs with applicator brushes. These are great if you think you can't apply liquid liner without making yourself look like a vampire movie vixen from the 50s (unless that's your thing of course).

Don't Forget Your Eyeliner Brush

There are so many options these days for applying eyeliner. Thin liner brushes are a top choice and one of the hottest sellers right now are angled brushes which help cut down on tugging at your eyelids while applying your liner.

Cream Eyeliner

Cream liners again have the same non-tugging benefit of liquid and gel eyeliners, but if you want a little bit more natural look, then you might prefer cream to the others.

Eye Makeup Tips From Mature Women and Eyeliner Tutorial

Below are some lovely older women generously willing to share some eye makeup tips with you on how to apply different types of eyeliners.

Eye Shadow as Liner

This is one of my favorite quick ways to apply liner. It's also frugal since you're buying one product that serves dual purposes. You simply use either a liner brush or a sponge-tip applicator to line your eyes with shadow. You can use the applicator dry or slightly moistened with water for a more dramatic effect. This works even better if you use a primer like I mention below.

Shopping and Application Tips

Most brands have a waterproof option for liners. Just be sure to check the packaging if that is what you're looking for, especially if you work or will be in a warm, humid environment.

As far as staying power, I've found that one of the best ways to keep eye makeup on all day is with a primer base for eyes. My favorite is Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion, but many companies carry their own eye shadow base now. It's a great way to keep your favorite eyeliner in place.

You don't have to stick to the blacks and browns I've listed here. In fact, most of the items I've listed will lead you to the product page and includes a variety of colors for each liner. Some of us can get away with dark liner during the day, but many of us need to tone things down a bit as the harshness really can add years to your face. It's up to you what look you're going for though. Above all, have fun experimenting.

Tell us your eyeliner stories.

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    • Retro Loco profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      You chose an excellent lens topic! Thanks for the reminder that it's time to ditch those mean, ole eyeliner pencils and buy something a little more loving! Thank you for the makeup tips, too!


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