Youthful beauty tips for those over 50

Less is definitely more when it comes to looking like a natural beauty and defying the years whether during or after a cancer diagnosis. Our Beauty Contributor Elfreda McGowan has some tips.

We all know that our skin ages, we’re constantly bombarded with adverts for the latest anti-ageing lotion or potion, but I think most of us are a little less sure of how make-up can also help us defy the years.

Many of us can get stuck in a beauty rut – we learn to use certain products as teenagers and continue to use the same products and apply them in the same way as we age. This can lead to a tired complexion, smudgy eyes and caked-on foundation.

With a few simple changes, you can roll back the clock and look more youthful and fresh faced.

Get your base products right

Use a rich anti-ageing moisturiser on your face and neck and apply a tinted primer under your foundation. These products will keep your skin looking fresh and plump, and also stop your foundation from sitting in fine lines and wrinkles.

Check your foundation coverage

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that foundation coverage is the problem – using a heavy foundation will leave your skin looking cakey and will highlight any wrinkles and areas you would like to disguise. It’s much better to use a CC cream or light foundation which will still cover imperfections and areas of redness but will look dewy and healthy. Look for products with a high SPF and vitamin E in the ingredients, as they will protect your skin from further damage and have anti-ageing benefits.

Choose the right concealer

As we age, some women have a lot of issues with rosacea, pigmentation, veins around the nose and dark circles. After applying your CC cream or light foundation, you can move on to covering these areas with a concealer. Steer clear of concealers that are designed to just cover blemishes, as they have a dry powdery consistency and will age your skin. Keeping with the theme of dewy and glowy, find a concealer that’s hydrating, contains anti-oxidants and hyaluronic acid. Most brands have suitable concealers for older skin. The right concealer will lift the under eye area and take years off. Never feel shy to ask for guidance at the makeup counter, it’s good to ask for guidance regarding colour also, so you avoid going too light or dark.

Cream blush instead of powder

A little colour on the cheeks is an instant pick me up, but powders can look dull. Cream blush is easy and quick to use, won’t sit in wrinkles and gives a warm glow. If you’re worried about colour, soft peachy tones are really beautiful and look more Helen Mirren than Aunty Sally.

Face powder will sit in wrinkles and instantly age you if you use too much, so swirl your brush once in the powder, tap off the excess and set the makeup down your t-zone and over your eyelids to stop eyeshadow creasing.

Natural coloured eyeshadows

Older eyes can change shape, a little bit of wrinkled skin and hooded eyelids can make it difficult to apply eye makeup and use colour. I think it’s best to steer clear of bright eyeshadow or dark heavy colours; these will make your eyes look smaller and too dark. All you really need to look beautiful and chic is a wash of a natural taupe or light coloured shadow on the lid and then apply a thin layer of waterproof eyeliner as near to the lashes to make your eyes pop and look younger. I say waterproof, as some ladies have issues with their eyeliner transferring onto their upper eyes or just sweating off. Waterproof liners will stop this.

Back to black

Personally, I love black mascara; it makes the whites of the eye look whiter, the lashes thicker and adds depth. Stay away from coloured mascara as they can age your look. If you feel your lashes need help after treatment or in general, invest in a lash enhancing serum to use at night with will strengthen and lengthen your lashes.

A good brow shape

As we age and during or after cancer treatment our brows can get thinner, so creating a good brow can take years off you and frame your face. For older women, a powder shadow and an angled eyebrow brush rather than a pencil is an easier way to fill in blanks or create an eyebrow shape. It is softer and more natural looking.


For youthful lips, think healthy and plump with a hint of colour. The most flattering lipstick shade for a more mature lip is one shade darker than your natural lip tone, but if you love bright reds or pinks, I think you should go for it. These shades can look really elegant and fun and brighten your look. For plump looking lips, go for a lipstick formulation that is between a gloss and a lipstick.

In June of 2017, Elfreda found out she had breast cancer, it was a terrible shock but she faced it head on. She has completed chemo, radiation and the drug Herceptin. Elfreda is a professionally trained make-up artist and beauty therapist, she has vast experience in make-up and beauty and broadened and refined her skills working in salons in Dublin and London. She has worked as a make-up artist for well-known brands, most recently, Georgio Armani, and also works freelance, taking part in shoots, weddings and other special occasions. Her passion for all things make-up and beauty-related, and love of helping people feel good about themselves, has her very excited to be able to share her knowledge with the readers of Happy Magazine.

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