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Video Best Make-up Tips for women over 50: Primers, foundations and concealers

Set for professional make-up on whiteArticle by Ceri Wheeldon

We explore primers, foundations and concealers for mature skins.

What are primers?

Are they just marketing hype to persuade us to part with a little more cash – or do they actually serve a purpose?

Face Primers

I have been using foundation under my foundation for years – I really notice the difference if by any chance I happen to forget. Skin looks smoother, more luminous and dewy, and make up stays ‘put’ for longer. Many contain light reflecting particles  to help diffuse fine lines, pores and imperfections.

Worn under foundation, they create a great canvas before you start to apply makeup. Some work as moisturisers, while others actually help to absorb oil and moisture – great for keeping makeup in place during hot weather or if having a hot flush. Others have SPF built-in or even skin tightening properties.

Others help counter redness of the skin, others ( such as Laura Mercier Radiance primer) have a pearl tint to create a soft focus effect , some are tinted to help even out skin tone, and for those who do not want to add an additional step or product into their routine, there are foundation primers available.

Eye Primers

These are made specifically for the delicate eye area and create a better base for eye make up. They  help prevent eyeshadow from creasing and smudging , help the eye area look less crepey, even out uneven pigmentation, and help eye-makeup stay in place for longer. Some are also water resistant ( such as Laura Mercier’s eye basics )

Lip Primers

Lip primers help lips become more supple and help prevent feathering , smooth and refine the lips and helps the lips ‘hold’ the colour in your lipstick. Some lip primers are also designed to help ‘plump’ the lips. When applied over lip primer lipstick stays in place for longer.

Eyelash Primers

Eyelashes become coarser and shorter as we age.  Eyelash primers such as Clinique’s Lash Building Primer help thicken and lengthen lashes while conditioning them to make them lashes stronger.

Choosing Foundation

Always choose your foundation in daylight. The best place to apply is along the jawline. Don’t be afraid to ask for sample size at the make-up counter and try at home. Avoid thick foundations which settle into lines. Liquid foundations are best for younger looking skin. Look for moisturising foundations- a matte finish can be ageing and more likely to settle into lines and wrinkles- especially if you don’t use a primer.


Concealers tend to be more heavily pigmented and thicker in formulation than foundations. Used to mask dark circles, uneven skin tone and pigmentation mark and threads.  Concealer is used to cover smaller areas of the face. When choosing the colour of your concealer, think about the area you are looking to apply it to. For covering, dark circles, which are blue in tone, look for a yellow based concealer to counter the blue. For pigmentaion marks and blemishes look for a concealer that is closer to your own skin tone.

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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