How to use makeup to tackle signs of the menopause
Wondering how to best use makeup to your advantage during menopause? Here, Grace Fodor, the founder of pro-age makeup brand STUDIO10, shares her top tips.
Makeup during menopause
Facing the menopause is a life-changing experience and an inevitable part of ageing that all women will go through. It can be a challenging time for many, often resulting in unwelcome symptoms like hot flushes, insomnia and hormone-induced mood swings. What’s more, these hormonal changes can also trigger noticeable changes to the structure and performance of your skin, with many women experiencing acne for the first time again since their teens.
But you can’t turn back the ageing clock. Learning to embrace these changes is all part of the process. That said, switching up your makeup arsenal to take advantage of the products and techniques that have been specifically formulated to tackle menopausal skin won’t hurt. Looking good on the outside can give us the confidence boost we need to feel good on the inside, too.
Here are some great tips I have learned along the way to help tackle the common skin problems associated with this stage of life.
Boost your moisture levels
One of the biggest changes you’re likely to experience during menopause is the texture of your skin. This is because estrogen levels lowers in menopause, meaning your skin cannot produce collagen – the protein that gives your skin that plump, glowy look – as effectively as before.
As a result, your skin might have trouble absorbing moisture, leaving it feeling dehydrated, dry and flaky. Boosting your complexion’s moisture levels is the key to combating this, and I recommend Aroma Work’s Nourish Day Cream. Apply after cleansing your face and before makeup to soothe and lock in hydration.
Your skin might also appear less firm at this stage, meaning wrinkles and fine lines can begin to show themselves. It’s no secret that wrinkles are some of the biggest concerns associated with mature and menopausal skin. Once you’ve moisturised, don’t forget to add a primer, too – think of it as a built-in filter for your face. This will help to even out the texture of your skin as well as smooth out any fine lines and enlarged pores. Primer is also essential for ensuring that your makeup is long-lasting, as it locks in moisture and helps to prevent makeup slippage – essential if you’re experiencing hot flushes.
I recommend our Youth Lift Glow-plexion, which contains a special blend of deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid and firming active ingredients that help to brighten, lift and tone, while minimising pores and evening out the complexion. This product is truly multipurpose, containing a unique binding technology that ensures makeup stays put for hours, while giving skin a youthful glow. Wear alone over moisturised skin, combine with foundation, or mix into your favourite body lotion or highlighter.
Once you’ve primed, it’s time to cover up any pigmentation issues you may have. Your skin can become thinner and more sensitive during the menopause, which means signs of rosacea, bruising, rashes, and even pimples might suddenly appear. To combat this, try applying a colour corrector before foundation. My 4-in-1 Age Defy Skin Perfector palette is a quick and easy solution for correcting uneven skin tones, dark circles, age spots and imperfections. Formulated for mature skin and packed with antioxidant-rich, strengthening, and firming actives Suberlift and Nyamplung Oil, the supremely smooth and creamy formula blends seamlessly for an ultra-natural, real-skin finish. Neutralise redness or blemishes and conceal dark circles and pigmentation with the green and peach colour correctors, then brighten the under-eye area and softly contour cheekbones with the lighter shade. And don’t forget to blend downwards on the neck and chest areas if those sections develop redness or blotches, too.
When choosing a foundation, I suggest going for a medium-to-full coverage formula with hydrating properties to nourish skin throughout the day. Be sure to steer clear of anything that’s too thick and heavy, though, as this will just slide off your face if you have a hot flush. Bobbi Brown’s Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation is ideal – not only does it contain SPF 15, it also provides 16-hour staying power.
I also recommend Studio 10’s award-winning Age Repair Perfect Canvas SPF30 Foundation, which offers medium-to-full coverage that flawlessly evens tone, covers pigmentation, hides dark circles and corrects redness, without appearing heavy or cakey. To apply, blend the two creamy shades in each palette to customise your colour and apply in small dots to the centre of the face or along your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin), then blend outwards and buff deep into the skin. Be sure to feather the darker shade under your cheekbones, across the top of the forehead, into the temples, under the chin, and along your lower jawline for natural contouring and definition, too.
Secure your base
Hot flushes are among the most common (and most uncomfortable) symptoms of the menopause. They’re often experienced as a sudden, intense rush of heat followed by excessive sweating and blotchiness. Needless to say, this can wreak havoc on your look, causing carefully applied makeup to instantly slide off. But while hot flushes can’t be prevented, setting your base with loose powder can help to protect against slippage, ensuring that your makeup lasts all day. I recommend Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder for this, which delivers incredible staying power without adding weight or texture, so that your skin looks and feels soft, smooth and flawless from dawn ’til dusk.
To prolong the life of your makeup even further and protect against smudging, creasing or fading try applying a setting spray after applying your powder. Comprising targeted ingredients to prolong your look, Urban Decay’s All Nighter Deluxe Spray is a cult classic, and its 100% vegan formula offers an impressive 16 hours of hold, plus temperature-control technology that guards against sweat and shine.
Still falling victim to that unwanted post-flush sheen? Keep some blotting papers in your bag to use throughout the day. These handy sheets are made with extra-absorbent materials manufactured to remove oil and sweat without taking your makeup off. Shiseido’s Oil-Control Blotting Papers are one of my favourites, and come coated in a thin layer of powder that absorbs oil to instantly freshen skin and eliminate shine.
Avoid wandering eyes
Next up, eyes. It’s a good idea to choose waterproof, smudge-free products to avoid panda eyes when you’re feeling the heat. The formulas for waterproof makeup are far more sophisticated now and will ensure that mascara, eyeliners and eyeshadows will stay in place all day.
My Liquid Foil I-Radiance – a 4-in-1 liquid eye primer, liner, colour wash and shadow – is a great alternative to powder eyeshadows and specifically designed to be smudge-, draft- and tear-proof. It’s also highly blendable, buildable, meaning it glides on, diffuses, and layers with ease for a crease-free finish. It can also be used as an eye primer to create a base for colour or applied as a liquid liner across the upper lash line to effortlessly shape, define and enhance those perfect peepers.
Pimp your pout
Switching your lipstick for a stain is the secret to prolonging your lip look – and Laura Mercier’s Velour Lovers Lip Colour gives great coverage without drying out lips – a key factor during the menopause when hormonal changes and dehydration can cause tissue to become dry and lose elasticity.
A good lipliner is also crucial for plumping lips, which tend to lose their fullness as we age. Studio 10’s Age Reverse Perfecting Lipliner is my go-to for a fuller-looking pout, delivering a dual-ended conditioning ‘lip-touring’ pencil that mimics the colour of your mouth to define, shape and minimise feathering and fine lines, while also enhancing each lip’s natural shape. To apply, follow the outer edge of your lip line and accentuate your cupid’s bow to create the illusion of volume.
Hit blush hour
As we age, skin cell turnover slows down and we experience a decrease in natural oils and collagen resulting in a dull, lacklustre complexion. The good news is, you can bring some radiance back to your skin with the power of blush. I recommend a cream or liquid formula rather than a powder, as loose particles tend to sit on the skin and emphasise any fine lines or wrinkles, adversely ageing mature complexions.
Thankfully, our bestselling Plumping Blush Glow-plexion is the ultimate complexion booster and can help you to achieve healthy, glowing skin in an instant. Formulated for mature skin, it contains the perfect blend of warm orange undertones, brightening pink hues and light-reflecting shimmer to add colour and radiance to a dull pallor. What’s more, this buildable liquid formula is enriched with plumping Adipofill’in™, and infused with natural polymers to help absorb excess oils. To apply, dab on your cheeks and blend out along the cheekbones, forehead and down the bridge of your nose for an ultra-natural finish.
Keep your cool
Finally, I recommend investing in a cooling spray to stash in your bag. Not only are these sprays great for refreshing your skin and maintaining hydration, they’ll also provide instant relief when you’re experiencing a hot flush. They work by creating the sensation of lowering your body’s surface temperature, cooling and calming skin, and can easily be applied over makeup while you’re on the go. My personal favourite is Meg’s Menopause Rosey Rain Facial Cooling Spray, which is infused with a delicate, natural-rose extract (often used for its healing properties) and marshmallow extract, which is utilised in folk medicine to relieve irritated skin.
Of course, experiencing the menopause doesn’t mean you have to suddenly strive to look 10 years younger than you are, or use makeup to emulate someone you’re not. Fine-tuning your beauty arsenal at any stage in your life is about finding the products that help to enhance your natural beauty in a way that makes you feel beautiful, radiant, and confident in your own skin – whether you’re 17 or 70.