My makeup lesson with Joanne Morgan | Tips and advice on the best foundation for mature skin and a makeup tutorial for over 50s
A few weeks ago I was invited to experience a professional makeup lesson with talented makeup artist Joanne Morgan, who runs Make-Up Artists 4 TV, an agency specialising in the supply of makeup artists to the media. Joanne Morgan is a BAFTA nominated makeup artist who works with a professional team of TV, film and editorial makeup artists, hair designers and stylists. Hugely experienced and in high demand, Joanne has led a fast paced and exciting life but a cancer diagnosis in 2017 has resulted in a need to reassess her life and slow down a little bit. Although still running her successful agency, her personal life has undergone a bit of an overhaul to enable her to lead a quieter, calmer, more stress free life with less travel.
Make-Up Artists 4 You is her exciting new venture, based in Beaconsfield, so she can be close to her three children and two fur babies! She has also just turned 50 and we bonded over midlife chatter! Make-Up Artists 4 You offers one-to-one makeup tutorials either online or in person.
Have you ever really mastered the perfect makeup look that you love? I know I haven't! Do you feel like need a bit of a midlife and post-menopause confidence boost? Or maybe you have a special occasion coming up ... read on to find out more!
This is a gifted blog post and contains affiliate links.
The right makeup for older skin
So let's discuss makeup for older skin ... it is important to adjust our makeup techniques and tweak our products as we mature! We want flawless makeup that flatters and maintains a youthful glow without making us look older than we are! I am not sure I have ever really mastered the perfect makeup application although I hope I am not guilty of some of the more common mistakes women over 50 sometimes make - from choosing the wrong foundation or wearing too much, overdoing the blush or eyeliner, not giving enough attention to eyebrows and skipping SPF and good skincare.
I was very excited to accept Joanne's invitation. I've had my makeup done professionally a few times and always love it but Joanne's offer of a hands-on lesson was taking it to the next level! An opportunity to learn from the best and really get to grips with my changing skin.
I've had some amazing, best of the best skincare treatments, including the revolutionary new EMFace, recently so I know my skin is being very well looked after and is in great condition. My lines and wrinkles aren't too deep and my skin is hydrated and mostly healthy. But I know I lack makeup skills.
Joanne Morgan, one-to-one makeup tutorials
I arrived at Joanne's makeup studio in Beaconsfield, and was impressed by her extensive collection of makeup, how does she remember what she has!?
We started off by chatting about what I already have in my own makeup kit - I explained I'd had my eyebrows tattooed recently, that I tend to favour Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation for it's staying power, I use Charlotte Tilbury face powder and I love her Pillow Talk lipstick shade, that I also love Code Beautiful products particularly their eye primer and that I also use a few of Trinny London products, mostly for eyes and a concealer.
And what I wanted to achieve - I told Joanne that generally I keep my makeup routine simple and light and am not a big collector of beauty products or a lover of browsing makeup counters. My biggest issue is that I don't feel my makeup lasts and that I tend to have the same routine for day, night or special occasions! I'd love to learn to mix it up a bit, do something more exciting and up-to-date but create a fresh, youthful look.
As we talk Joanne takes photographs and makes notes on her phone and at the end of our makeup tutorial she will be pulling together a full report, personalised for me, with suggestions for new products to try as well as which makeup I already have that I can easily keep in my routine but maybe just improve my application techniques.
Remember, don't skip your morning cleanse, your makeup will look so much fresher if you start with clean skin. And never underestimate how much sleep we need. Beauty sleep really is important for our skin health as well as our overall health and wellbeing.
Above: Joanne shows me how to apply primer to my eyes, then helps while I try myself! Finally I am applying powder over my eyeliner.
Start with eye makeup - and use an eye primer
I've heard this before, but still don't do it - start with an eye primer before starting on your makeup base. Joanne explains this is essential for a special occasion but it is also a good habit for every day too. Starting with eye makeup means that any mess from applying eyeshadow and liners can easily be cleaned from bare skin rather than ruining your foundation. An eye primer improves the texture of your skin, creates a smoother base and means that your eye makeup will last longer and prevent creasing.
Top tip - Stretch your eyelid gently by lifting the brow as you apply - again this stops any creasing - then using a brush or your finger, gently tap the primer onto your skin. You want the primer to be dry and not sticky before you apply any eyeshadow.
Eye primer - I use Code LLE Lift Lid Enhance and Joanne also recommends Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pots and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Eyeshadow - next add your eye colour, Joanne chooses a natural colour (Eyeshadow X9: Dusky Rose from Mac) for me as I don't want anything too dramatic for my day makeup look.
Top tip - she explains that using a fluffy brush, you should gently press the product onto the eye area, rather than swipe or slide. Then choose a slightly darker shade and again lift the lid, use a clean brush and gently blend into the socket.
Think of the eyelid like a triangle and don't apply too far towards the nose. Then if you would like to, use a kohl liner to add definition.
Kohl liner pencil - Joanne recommended the Mac Kohl in Teddy shade for me and demonstrated how best to apply it.
Top tip - set your eyeliner with a light eyeshadow colour using a flat eyeshadow brush, gently applied over the kohl.
But don't apply anything to the under eye line until after you have done your foundation and concealer, also save eyebrows and eyelashes until later too, or you risk an unfinished foundation look.
The result really did make my eyes pop and created a more lifted look to my slightly droopy eyes ... my eyes are quite small but the right colours to suit my green eyes and the best technique to combat my hooded lids and my makeup was already looking amazing!
Links to all makeup products mentioned are provided below.
Foundation for mature skin
Now the all important smooth base!
Joanne recommended I consider face primers under my foundation instead of a powder on top. It has the same effect of setting makeup but will also help restore the skin's youthful glow, lessen any signs of fatigue and smooth the skin, it is an instant complexion booster and Joanne loves the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I currently have the Votary Natural Glow Day Cream from my March TOYL box which contains the very best ingredients to moisturise and is perfect for under makeup.
Don't forget you need an SPF too - at least a minimum of 30 SPF every day, don't rely on the SPF included in foundations, it isn't enough. Joanne loves COOLA Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 - what a great suggestion, a setting spray and SPF combined!
Foundation - Joanne chose the NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation in Deauville for me, this is an advanced makeup/skincare hybrid liquid foundation with a medium, buildable coverage and a natural finish.
Top tip - for the best results from foundation for mature skin, focus on targeted areas to take down any red tones and imperfections rather than cover your entire face.
Apply with a foundation brush, just dabbing onto the areas where it is needed, then use a buffing brush to buff it in more thoroughly. If you need more coverage, apply in layers, this is a good technique for longer wear too.
Top tip - don't apply too much foundation on your chin or other areas where there are any fine hairs as it accentuates fluff! And stop foundation on the jawline, it does not need to be applied to your neck, see final touches below!
I was delighted with my dewy finish and softer look when Joanne had finished applying my foundation, the NARS product gave a very natural-looking coverage and I will certainly consider buying this one for myself.
Dermaplaning devices take exfoliation to the next level and increase skincare absorption and treat fine lines, they remove any surface debris and fine facial hair and fuzz to reveal a super smooth and glowing complexion. Ideal for a smoother makeup look. I had a professional dermaplaning treatment a few years ago but on Joanne's recommendation I have ordered a Dermaflash Luxe+ Anti-Ageing, Exfoliation and Peach Fuzz Removal Device from Currentbody (gifted) and will be trying this out over the coming weeks.
Get 15% off all Dermaflash products at Currentbody using FIFTYANDFAB.
How to apply concealer for mature skin
Firstly apply a concealer to your upper cheekbones, don't drag it across the skin, tap gently and build coverage as needed.
Top tip - although we want to alleviate any dark circles, it is not advisable to apply too much product on the under eye area of older skin as it accentuates fine lines.
Dark shadows can be corrected by applying concealer with a light reflecting formula or a very slight highlighter, this is prescriptive per individual.
Eye cream is a vital part of skincare and should be applied every night. Again find one that suits your skin and is not too heavy. You can often ask for samples before committing to a high value purchase, some people can take a stronger cream. A pea-sized amount of eye cream should be applied using a gentle tapping method.
Then for any age spots or blemishes, use the same concealer shade.
Concealer - My favourite is still the Trinny London Just-A-Touch, it can be used as a foundation but I use it as a concealer, applied with my fingers and then blended with the Trinny London Conceal/Eye Contour T Brush which I am delighted with, I use it for my eye primer and my concealer, it is a perfect multi-tasking, slanted brush.
Eyelashes, eyeliner and waterline
Now we can go back to the under eye area, use a powder for this for a softer result or you can apply a kohl liner using a very fine brush if you want something more dramatic.
Top tip - applying a cream or nude shade like Mac Studio Chromagraphic Pencil to the waterline will really open up and enhance your eyes and make eyelashes appear fuller.
Mascara - can be applied to the upper and lower lashes, my favourite is the CODE VLM Volumising Lengthening Mascara from Code Beautiful and I favour a darker shade, usually brown/black.
The perfect eyebrows
Joanne reminded me how important it is to get a regular eyebrow shape and tidy! It really is an instant face lift and frames your features beautifully.
I had my eyebrows tattooed last year and I have loved the results, I will be going back for a top up later in the summer, but I still need to get them professionally shaped as the powder brow technique has added definition and volume but my own eyebrows will still grow and get untidy!
Eyebrow pencil - I am currently using a dark brown eyebrow pencil and brush from B'Kate - Pro Brow Powder Pencil in Leo.
I am still in the habit of using a powder although I have reduced to a minimum and l love Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Airbrush Finish.
Finishing powder - Joanne recommends I try the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder - it is much lighter and great to give a final set, the transparent white colour instantly brightens the skin and the micronized pigments will not settle in any fine lines. It will maximise wear and coverage and create a perfect flawless look.
Top tip - for any midlife flush on your neck - most of us have it - it is a good idea to apply some light powder on your neck, you do not need to use foundation, use a powder brush, tap off any excess powder and gently apply as needed. Mineral based makeups are much better for this as they typically don't contain potentially irritating ingredients. Any yellow based powers, sometimes known as 'banana' powers can help combat this redness.
Choose a flattering blusher for your colouring - Joanne recommended pinks and corals for my skin tone - either a cream blush or a powder blush will work but for more specific product recommendations for your skin type, Joanne will give you the best advice!
Top tip - apply your blush to the apples of the cheeks and then use a blusher brush to blend in and create contours and definition.
Final touches to your makeup - blusher and neck
You can neutralise the colour of the lips with some of our foundation and also use a lip pencil, which can help prevent any bleeding of your lipstick,
Lip pencil - I love CODE SSL Soft Smooth Lip Liner and you can use this to fill in your lips too, creating a nice base - one shade suits all and it has a lip plumping effect as well.
Then apply your chosen lipstick using a brush or straight from the lipstick! Add some lip gloss and you are ready to go!
Lipstick - my personal favourite lipstick is Pillow Talk from Charlotte Tilbury for an everyday shade but I need to be more adventurous for special occasions and nights out!
The perfect finished makeup look
After Joanne had created my everyday look she then talked me through options for a more dramatic look for evenings out or special occasions. She also tied my hair up and showed me how even small changes can have a big impact!
I was so delighted with my finished makeup look, my new youthful appearance, I really wished I had been going out that night! Unfortunately though my husband had a bad cold (yes the dreaded man flu) and my daughter was working in London!
I learnt so much about the different makeup products and am looking forward to adding to and updating my makeup kit!
Makeup bag - when I travel I love to use The Flatlay Co, Drawstring Bag.
Now how can I make sure I can recreate this look myself!? Joanne's report arrives a few days later with instructions and product suggestions, but any change of makeup routine takes persistence and consistent habit change. I am motivated to buy a few new products and organise my makeup drawer so that everything is a little bit more organised and accessible.
Having a one-to-one makeup tutorial with Joanne was so much fun! And I learnt loads of new tips, it was also invaluable to be able to ask questions and talk through different ideas.
My makeup tutorial was tailored for me, my skin type and skin tone. Although I have included a few general 'top tips' I would recommend booking your own makeup tutorial with Joanne to really understand how best to adjust your look as you age. And if you do - make sure you have a special occasion or night out to head to afterwards! You will be oozing confidence! And Joanne is lovely to spend a few hours with!
You can get in touch with Joanne through her website Make-Up Artists 4 TV Ltd or follow her on Instagram @makeupartists4tv.
Disclaimer: Joanne gifted me a one-to-one makeup lesson in exchange for sharing my experience on my blog. All words and opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links.
Download an easy to use printable makeup shopping list, or
Book a makeup lesson with Joanne by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you book your own makeup lesson with Joanne and mention Fifty & Fab will receive a free HD Loose Powder from Joanne's own makeup range - Make-Up 4 TV.
Makeup products Michelle recommends ...
Eye Primer - Code Beautiful
Eyeshadow - Trinny London
Concealer - Trinny London
Kohl (Waterline) Pencil - Charlotte Tilbury
Mascara - Code Beautiful
Eyebrows - B'Kate
Blusher - Code Beautiful
Lip Pencil - Code Beautiful
Lipstick - Charlotte Tilbury
Makeup bag - The Flatlay Co. Drawstring Bag
For all Code Beautiful products - use fifty-15 for 15% off
Makeup products Joanne recommends ...
Eye Primer - Mac Cosmetics
Eye Palette - Mac Cosmetics
Kohl Liner Pencil - Mac Cosmetics
Face Primer - Clarins
Makeup Setting Spray SPF - Coola
Foundation - NARS
Waterline Pencil - Mac Cosmetics
Finishing powder - Laura Mercier
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