Makeup ‘rules’

I’m not much for rules. Sure, I adhere to the important ones, like don’t commit murder, but most rules with regard to makeup are completely arbitrary and I ignore them.

Anyway, I was watching some beauty influencer (I really don’t remember who) and she referenced a story from Business Insider about the makeup rules everyone should know by age 40. I was intrigued, not only by the use of the word ‘should’ but also by the source. Since when is Business Insider in the makeup game? Who made these rules? I guess someone named Aubrey Almanza who writes for Reader’s Digest. Her publication alone makes me think she’s approximately 1,000 years old. I encourage you to check out some of her other articles before you take her seriously. I’m pretty sure I read some of these same stories in Good Housekeeping and Marie Claire in the early 90s.

Anyway, here are the rules:

1. Say yes to foundation, no to powder

I guess the rationale here is that powder looks heavy and settles into fine lines, which can be true. They recommend using a tinted moisturizer, or if you have to use foundation, you wait for it to dry and then put moisturizer on top. For that touchable, dewy look.

In short, this is crap. Wearing powder doesn’t need to look heavy and cakey; use a velour puff or damp sponge to apply it instead of a brush, only put it where you need it, choose a powder that doesn’t look like garbage. If your skin is dry and you don’t feel like your makeup slides around your face, go ahead and skip the powder, but this “rule” isn’t universal. Also, don’t put moisturizer on top of your foundation. Please. I’m begging you.

2. Know which lip colors work best with your skin tone.

The argument is that as we age our lips get thinner, so we should avoid dark colors like deep reds, purples, and browns. Supposedly they make lips look thinner. The advice here is to stick to colors that blend into your skin tone palette, i.e. nudes.

No. Boring. Wear what you like. There are too many beautiful lipstick colors to wear nothing but nudes for the last 40+ years of your life.

3. Apply blush in places it occurs naturally.

This rule says don’t attempt to contour using blush and bronzer, and only use blush colors that mimic your natural flush.

While I am on board with not slapping blush all over our faces, if you want to contour after 40, go for it. If you want to use a bright pink blush, cool. If you want to use a dark, shimmery blush that doesn’t look remotely natural, awesome. Good for you.

4. Stop applying eyeliner to your lower lashes.

Lining the lower lashes makes eyes appear smaller, older and more tired, and even lining the upper lashline should be done subtly. If you *must* apply lower liner, stick to the outer corner, and connect it to the upper line.

Girl, line what you want. Use neon glitter. Wing that shit like Amy Winehouse. No judgement, and I’ll likely ask you about your technique for that killer wing.

5. Never let your lipstick migrate.

Use a lip liner so your lipstick doesn’t feather and move from your natural lip line.

Ok, I’m on board with this one. The only issue I have is that they’re actually recommending a Mally beauty product, and the general concensus among beauty junkies is that their products are garbage.

6. Don’t go overboard with undereye concealer.

As we age the skin under our eyes gets thinner and drier, so don’t layer on the heavy concealer. They recommend using a lightweight concealer and home remedies for puffy eyes and dark circles.

Eye roll. Yes, using crazy heavy concealer or piling it on is a bad idea, but only using a lightweight concealer isn’t going to cover the shit we want to cover under our eyes. Use a good eye cream, try to get more sleep, and if those aren’t a possibility, try a color correcting concealer before applying foundation. If you’re not familiar with color correcting, it uses opposite color theory to neutralize redness, zits, undereye circles, whatever you want to cover. Maybelline and NYX both make pretty good color correcting products, and they won’t cost your firstborn.

7. Avoid sparkles

Shimmer settles into fine lines and makes you look older. If you have to wear sparkle, limit it to the inner corner or center of the lid.

Whatever dude. Glam it up.

8. Always fill in sparse brows.

Brows should be kept defined, well shaped and fairly full. Any sparse areas should be filled in.

Yeah, I’m about the brows, but this has nothing to do with age. Literally everyone looks better when their brows aren’t thin and wispy. It’s not the 90s anymore.

9. Find the right brow pencil color.

Don’t just grab a random brown that seems neutral enough. Choose the same color as your brows.

This is common sense but is also about personal preference. If you like super dark Disney villain brows, go with that.

10. Use a pearly, not frosty, highlighter.

Frosty or iridescent shades reflect light and accentuate texture, like fine lines and creases. It also looks highly unnatural. They also recommend using a cream formula and adding it to your eyelids, brow bone, cheekbones and upper body.

If you like unnatural, see-it-from-space highlighter, use it. I’d recommend using something that works with your skin tone and doesn’t make you look sick or like a weird alien, but ultimately it’s your choice.

11. Never skimp on the primer.

Primer creates a smooth base and helps makeup go on easier and last longer. Depending on the primer you choose, it can smooth skin, make pores appear smaller and diminish the appearance of fine lines.

Yeah, I’m on board with this. We should all be using eye and face primers. I don’t think eyelash or lip primers are worth it though.

12. Remember that less is more.

Don’t wear too much makeup because it’s not attractive. Play up the features you like rather than trying to cover up the ones you don’t.

Yeahhhh… suck it. “Too much makeup” is completely subjective.

If you couldn’t tell, I think most of this is bullshit. Makeup is extremely personal. It’s also supposed to be fun; wear what you want, play with color, don’t let someone else dictate what you should and shouldn’t be wearing or what you’re too old for. Makeup should make you feel beautiful and confident and able to take on the world, and your opinion about your face is the only one that matters.

8 thoughts on “Makeup ‘rules’

Add yours

  1. Thank You! I feel like I’ve been using the same products forever and want to try something new, but those “rules” you mentioned for people my age has made me hesitate. I use powders because my over sensitive skin hates foundation, but is it nesting in my cracks and crevices?! I’m not sure but I feel a little braver about trying something new

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl do it. Whatever makes you happy. If you like the way you look and you feel like a goddess, that’s all that matters. Age is irrelevant.


  2. Your post was hilarious! I love your sassiness and I truly agree with you that everyone is entitled to doing whatever they want with their make up. Only you can decide what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Trying to limit yourself by following rules is a bit too drab.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree with you! Makeup has no rules. People should wear what they like and find flattering on them. Forget everyone else!

    Liked by 1 person

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