57 responses

  1. Jennifer
    July 16, 2013

    This is exactly the talk I was having with myself over the weekend. The fading color and invisibility factor has increased my need to up my eye makeup. I understand the whole red lip thing, its chicness and power, but I have more “texture” around my lips than eyes, so would rather draw attention there. Eyebrow product has been in my arsenal for several years. It’s invaluable.

    12:42 pm
    margaret said...

    @Jennifer, Eyebrows frame the face and welcome the ‘eye’ accent. I am accenting my eye area, brows, lids and lashes. I use soft black or a combo of purple and violet liner and mascara. I like to highlight the cheek bone to lift the facial features.

  2. Highland Fashionista
    July 16, 2013

    Yeah, I do find myself wearing more….still struggling with the lipstick thing….Gray looks fab with a strong lip, but I have always been a smoky eye/nuse lip gal, but my toned-down version of that look doesn’t pack as much of a punch now that I am not 100% brunette any more, so I am finding solace in a rosy, Bobbi Brown type look for day, then using my old standby, the smoky eye and nude lip for going out, where I can amp it up a bit. Still not comfortable with the red lip for longer nights out, because it is so high-maintenance.

  3. hostessofthehumblebungalow
    July 16, 2013

    I shy away from red lips and have been embracing the heathery pinks…
    the grey is coming in around my temples and there are sparkles of tinsel elsewhere. I do love a good chat with the make up folks at Sephora they seems to know so much more than I could ever know about make up.

    I did have a melting experience in the car the other day when my foundation Bobbi Brown…literally rolled down my cheeks! It was so hot you could have fried an egg on the bonnet of my Volvo!

    Will you do your own wedding make up?

  4. Patsy
    July 16, 2013

    Yay! I did it right! Brown/black mascara, brown pencil eyeliner and MAC crèmesheen, although my color is peach blossom.

  5. Sandra
    July 16, 2013

    Ok, I’ve been dealng with this for a long time. One thing I’d add is Guerain Four Seasons bronzer. I use it on my cheekbnes, around my forhead. It adds structure, I’d watch Hot and Flashy on youtube. She has makeup videos for those over fifty. While at youtube go to Lisa Eldridge and look at her aging videos. Lots of great tips from both ladies. Lisa’s went viral. Check these out. Nothng outrageous, jut great tips.

  6. RoseAg
    July 16, 2013

    Very nice. I am mostly a drugstore make-up girl, but that foundation is worth every penny. I believe it’s mostly sold on-line.

  7. Pain au Chocolat
    July 16, 2013

    A transparent wax lipliner pencil eliminates lipstick “bleed.” Several companies make them; you can get one at Sephora or Ulta.

  8. Linda
    July 16, 2013

    Don’t know if it’s true because it’s hard to be objective in the face of the mirror, but the Laura Mercier artist got me into the darkest navy blue eyeliner. Supposedly makes the white of the eye look whiter. Anything helps.

  9. AggieK
    July 16, 2013

    When I suddenly and purposely went grey (silver?) I switched to a purple eyeliner and a pinky coral frosted lipstick. My eyes are light brown or maybe olive. I have a lot of brick colored lipstick on hand but that color seems too dark to me now. Anyway, the result is lots of people have told me I look younger, which definitely seems counterintuitive to me.

  10. Susie
    July 16, 2013

    What a well timed post, as I go into the makeup room and start cleaning out old and non flattering colors now that I am silver. I too agree, the eyeshadow has gone away. I use Jane Iredale (not as toxic) concealer under eyes and on lid, then pencil liner in dark brown in lashline only, Jane Iredale eyebrow kit, and Brett (also Jane Iredale) lipstick,(sheer red) There is a very cool compant called 100 percent pure making night creams, moisturizers from very natural ingredients. Thats it!! Look better now than ever!

  11. Wendelah
    July 16, 2013

    I’m 59, just starting to go gray. So far, I’m happy with continuing with Stila tinted moisturizer in Light, which provides plenty of coverage when layered and has SPF 20. My eyelashes and eyebrows have been graying for a few years longer and I’ve just been letting them. I haven’t found a mascara at any price that doesn’t irritate my eyes or a brow color that looks right with the very dark brown eyebrows paired with dirty blond hair that nature gave me. I do use a brow gel by Anastasia of Beverly Hills to keep my brows in line. It’s all covered up by the my blended trifocals anyway. For fun, I bought a makeup palette by Tarte to take to Paris. I love their Aqualillies blush, bronzer, highlighter and all of the eye shadows. They all look very natural looking with my skin tone (even the bronzer!) and the soft, moisterizing texture doesn’t sink into my creases. This isn’t exactly makeup but I did treat myself to new eyeglasses this year when I saw that big frames were back in style. I don’t wear lipstick, just Laura Mercier lip gloss in Black Orchid and Paula’s Choice anti-feathering lip liner. I hear great things about the Luminous Silk foundation. Tempting…

  12. Chicatanyage
    July 16, 2013

    I actually seem to be finding that with my grey hair I need a slightly stronger and pinker lipstick to prevent everything fading into obscurity. the paler pinky brown I used to use no longer cuts the mustard.

  13. Nancie Bartley
    July 16, 2013

    Still holding onto my blonde but my SIL who was always brunette has been silver for a while and never adjusted her make up. Those browns and golds look slightly “off” now…I think the blondes adjust easier as the pinks we naturally look good in also look good with silver. For brunettes who may have tended towards golds and browns, more adjusting is required. At least IMHO.

  14. Alicia Kan
    July 16, 2013

    Really topical! Glad you wrote about this. I’m beginning to gray and am determined to go natural (a shocker for Asians).

    Agree that skin is key. I’m using L’Oreal’s Youth Code BB Cream after trying more expensive brands. It leaves a bit of dewiness without looking too shiny.

    My t-zone still challenges after all these years. Instead of powder which I find looks cakey after a while, I’m using a discontinued solid gel mattifier from Victoria’s Secret.

    Eye shadow has long bitten the dust. Asians are obsessed with bigger eyes, so it’s been an interesting transition in accepting a barer eye. These days it’s Laura Mercier’s cream eyeliner in Mahogany applied with a wet brush, plus a bit of mascara, and a stronger brow.

    I’m using cream blush to compensate for color. Tarte’s cheek stain in Blissful is good on olive skin. Having said that, I’m fully expecting my skin tone to change to a cooler one.

  15. Mardel
    July 16, 2013

    I love this post even though, at 55, I am still only in the land of silver highlights. Although my hair is somewhat dark and my skin pale (I use luminous silk foundation several shades lighter than yours) I can’t pull off red lipstick. I need a pink or a wine.

    I am intrigued to see if, when I go gray, I no longer need eyeshadow. What I wear is already very pale and subtle, because I need to lighten and brighten the eye area while adding depth. I’ve had to move to an eyeshadow primer due to the crepey eyelids and I’ve never been able to pull off a smokey eye unless I pull my hair back. If I forgo eyeshadows I look like someone punched me. Perhaps gray hair will not cast such deep shadows? Anyway, I’ve needed eyebrow color for years and I used a blend of powders in the ash blonde mixed with light grays which can still look too dark on my face if I don’t take time to blend well.

  16. Mary anne
    July 16, 2013

    Ah yes. Sadly I too have had to give up eyeshadow! Because it does creep into one’s eyelid wrinkles. Besides, too much “stuff” on an older faces and ya start looking like a drag queen (I’m guessing that’s not a desirable look for a wedding).

  17. materfamilias
    July 16, 2013

    Not ready to do the grey thing yet, but I have been re-evaluating makeup lately. I’ve been trying to dial down the foundation makeup to BB or below, going bare skin (at least, nothing that shows — SPF, daycream always worn) as much as possible during the summer. A bit of neutral eyeshadow and mascara and a bit of gloss. Fall will call for a re-evaluation, stronger lip treatment at the very least, but I’m trying to put my effort into facials and to accepting the reality of 60-year-old skin, age spots and all . . . we’ll see how that goes.

  18. Cornelia
    July 16, 2013

    I am getting more and more gray (from medium-brown) and my main adjustment has been to always wear something. My skin has held up well enough to use only a tinted moisturizer, but I started to fill in my brows and use a lash curler before mascara. No lip bleeding yet, but will keep that liner in mind once that happens. I always use a little blush (I am so pale) and a lipstick that is about a shade or two darker than my natural lips.

  19. blackbird
    July 16, 2013

    Thanks for this.
    Hiking vs make-up…make-up wins hands down.

    3:36 pm
    Flo said...

    Oh grief. Fathoming the zillion vessels of facial product from target zone-to-target zone, store-to-store, shelf-to-shelf is [to me] way tougher than a hike.

  20. Kathy
    July 16, 2013

    I’ve alway been quite happy even when my hair was prematurely gray- but I wasn’t as thrilled when the eyebrows started to match- hence I dye them myself. Of course the instructions on the box say NOT to, but that is to excuse them from liability. I feel that I can be even more cautious than any salon would be and I have been very successful. Needless to say this is NOT something that you experiment with prior to a wedding, however you might think about it afterward. Of course it is contingent on you having enough eyebrow to dye. I notice that many of my friends have either over plucked or had too much hair loss to consider dyeing. If you do try it, start out slowly, perhaps a lighter shade and leaving the dye on for a shorter time. Just for Men, (for sideburns) has worked just great for me. I am sure that you will look lovely.

  21. Eleanorjane
    July 16, 2013

    So many folks giving up eye shadow! I’m sure it’s possible – I did my 60+ year old Ma’s make up for special events and I used matte neutral eyeshadows in taupe, cream and soft brown. I wouldn’t go for anything with sparkle or that was too bright or dark, but natural colours helped to emphasise and define her eyes. She got lots of compliments so it seemed to work. :)

  22. Susan
    July 16, 2013

    My hair is turning white (as opposed to gray) , but is taking its time getting there. At this time, I have my nonwhite hair highlighted to blend with the hair turning white. When I first have the color done, I look quite blond. I’ve found (and this surprised me) that less makeup with an even lighter touch than usual looks best when my hair is very light. I have started using eye shadow (and even my husband says he likes the look) with light and neutral colors (bobby brown powdered eye shadow). I think part of the reason for using eye shadow has to do with uneven skin color in the area from eyelids to brow. The definition also helps as I have very nondescript eyes that don’t show up much.

    Like Lisa, I have long hair (cut with some face framing layers) and have been told by almost everyone I ask (from hairdresser to friends to husband) that I should keep my hair long.

  23. Candace
    July 16, 2013

    I was ready to go naturally gray/white until my kids convinced me to color it for a few more years. Although I don’t like the root upkeep, I like being able to play with different hues, within reason. A photographer recommended Josie Maran’s concealer for his Clients, so I tried it and fell in love, also blending it into the deeper creases between my eyebrows and the laughlines on the sides of my mouth. Takes a few years off very nicely, and covers the eyelid crepe smoothly. For your mouth wrinkles, stop drinking from water bottles or straws, and use a beauty gadget with galvanic every other day. Took a few weeks, now mine are gone. I was amazed the first time I touched up my eyebrows, just how important they are in framing your lovely face. I love your happy shade of the lighter pink lipstick!

    2:40 pm
    Trish said...

    Candice, curious as to which ‘Josie Maran concealer you used, there are several. Thanks :)

  24. Loretta
    July 16, 2013

    With you on the eyeshadow issue. Always looking for a matte (no shimmer!) neutral shadow just to even out the skin tone of my eyelids, which are very dark. I color and highlight my hair, but in my mid-50’s, I have found that my skin tone has changed and frankly, my lips have narrowed and have those horrible lines going off them. I can no longer find a lipstick color that works. Very depressing!

    10:11 am
    Duchesse said...

    Loretta, have your tried MAC “Malt”?

    1:30 pm
    Loretta said...


    I have not. But will certainly take a look the next time I am near Sephora. Thanks!

  25. Philippa
    July 16, 2013

    I wore Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk #4 to my wedding, although I was originally matched as #5! (The skin on my forehead is slightly darker than that of my lower face and neck, unsurprisingly). And as you know, I look nothing like you and do not have grey hair! I did hours of research and it consistently came out top for wedding foundation, and I can testify it is amazing stuff (although of course you can check for yoursef in our photos). I used my standard MAC concealer around the nose (I have never managed to get on with below-eye concealer, unfortunately), a brown MAC eyebrow pencil which I already owned and I think is slightly orangey, as a lot of brown shadows and pencils sadly are (looking at our photos I think one eyebrow is darker than the other, so don’t do this), Shu Uemura eye shadows in an unshiny gold/wheat and a soft brown, and black liquid eyeliner, although I usually use a brown MAC pencil (Coffee) for day. Also a very pink Shu lipstick, Laura Mercier blusher (Orange Blossom – very similar to Nars Orgasm, which is fab) and Maybelline Volum’ Express One by One mascara, which is my daily favourite. Oddly, I prefer old mascara (which is very unhygienic) as a I find the slightly dryer consistency goes on less gloopily, allowing you to build better coverage (I usually use at least three coats). I have thought about taking the lid off new tubes for a day or so before use to let them dry out in a less germ-friendly fashion, but am always too disorganised. On the day I found that I’d forgotten my eyelash curlers (the horror!! I have not used mascara without them for seventeen years) but the One by One did a good enough job that I didn’t actually miss them.

    Are you going to use a primer?

    5:37 am
    Flo said...

    “I wore Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk #4 to my wedding, although I was originally matched as #5!”

    Because of where I live, getting to a shopping mecca and back = a 5 hour commitment, 2 1/2 of which is spent behind the wheel. Going for a bottle of Luminious Silk isn’t enough of a draw to dislodge me from my personal desktop shopping mall, but I WANT that Luminous Silk. Right now!

    Question. Is it possible to make a skin match from my desktop. I have located this pic from inside the internet. So, given what you know, how reliable do you find this shade chart?


    And by the way, I would NEVER have guessed that you, LPC, have olive skin undertones.

    6:15 am
    Philippa said...


    Not very. And every browser displays colour differently. Considering how expensive the foundation is, I wouldn’t risk it.

    The Armani counter squeezed some of their foundation into a tiny pot for me to carry on trying at home, their version of pre-made up samples. Maybe you could make a shortlist and delegate someone to bring you back some samples next time they are going into town, if they will do that at your local counter?



    7:05 am
    Flo said...

    Thank you, Philippa. My Sensible Self was yelling the correct answer, but it took you to make me hear!

    9:52 am
    Philippa said...

    I am glad to have been of help!

    A good dose of sensible advice is one of the reasons I like visiting here :-)

    8:10 am
    Eli said...

    Flo, if you want to match foundations online, a very good website is findation.com

    You put in matches you currently own (the best matches you have of course, nothing that was “off”) then it gives you matches in other brands and formulas. Of course the more matches you put in, the better your results will be.

    The most off I have found is about one shade and that’s understandable due to slight variations since the results are based on user inputs. Over time the results have become more and more refined.

    Lisa, I am surprised that you use this shade a few shades darker than me! It is a lovely foundation and quite versatile. Seems to work for all ages and in all seasons and gives the best finish ever; my mother and sisters kept complimenting it after I tried it on the first time. Of course after a week of compliments wearing it every time (good size samples are wonderful) I had to buy it.

    Regarding the lip lines, have you tried Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix? There are many lip primers out there that help with smoothing the surface of the lips. Really anything waxy (even waxy lip balms) should do the job. Guerlain and Urban Decay also do them, along with many others.

    I hope everything goes well.

    12:58 pm
    Flo said...

    Thank you Eli, a most interesting site. I had high hopes going in, but my input must have automatically eliminated certain brands, so that by the end the Armani brand had been completely eliminated from my field of remaining match choices. That, or I’m being profiled as one who can’t afford Armani, funny!!

  26. Philippa
    July 16, 2013

    (Oh and PS by cross-hatching do you mean feathering? There are plenty of anti-feathering lip pencils out there. I haven’t tried any myself but have heard good things about some of them).


  27. mette
    July 16, 2013

    Do you need different makeup for gray hair ?
    Yes. Without anything, you look faded.
    I´d concentrate on one, two things.

    First, the eyebrows. They need to be visible in the right way.
    Second, I´d pick a glorious red lipstick and see to it, that it does not get smeared.
    Great skin is a special bonus.
    Eye glasses / sun glasses will take care of the eye makeup.

  28. Anon
    July 17, 2013

    Any makeup artist will tell you that a dark lip makes the lips look smaller and the woman look older.

    Rose-pinks, peach-pinks, light coral or peach – depending on your coloring, makes a woman look younger.

  29. Lisa
    July 17, 2013


    To echo an earlier poster, do look at Lisa Eldrige’s site. If you aren’t familiar with her, she is a make-up artist based in London who does fantastic work. Here is a link you may enjoy. http://lisaeldridge.com/video/25644/glowing-youthful-make-up-look-for-mature-skin/

    Best wishes!

    6:17 pm
    Flo said...

    Wowwww. So great. Thank you.

    9:44 pm
    Candace said...

    This is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  30. e
    July 17, 2013

    I should start wearing makeup again one of these days. After having so much fun with it in my teens and twenties, I stopped wearing any. But now, in this bizarre transition from having near-black hair & eyebrows to being silver-white, it is such a difference to my entire look that I don’t really know what to do with myself when I’ve lost what was always such a strong color contrast with my very pale white skin. Honestly I love it, but I also have to be honest with myself about perhaps how faded I might look.

    My eyebrows (which never needed any color or penciling) are going gray steadily and for years I could get by just tweezing out the few white hairs, but now that would leave me with not enough eyebrows so I have to consider dying or coloring them, but don’t know if I should just restore them to black or consider a lighter color like some kind of charcoal?? I really wish there were lots more pictures available of graying haired women and the variety of things they might do…

  31. That’s Not My Age
    July 18, 2013

    Your ‘pink eye’ comment made me smile. Once when I was working on a magazine, a colleague complemented me on my lovely pink eyeshadow – I wasn’t wearing any.

    6:10 am
    Flo said...

    Out to lunch with my two sisters-in-law a couple of months ago, later that day SIL #1 emailed me that SIL #2 asked per privately if the reason my eyes were so pink & blue was that I’d had cosmetic surgery recently. SIL #1 being quick on her feet, said No but she does look incredibly young doesn’t she. Pink AND blue eye.

  32. Nancyblackett
    July 18, 2013

    Loved this post and bough the Armani foundation today on the multiple recommendations. Thanks

  33. maryn
    July 22, 2013

    “I also asked for the product that got rid of what we shall politely call lip cross-hatching, but either it was out of stock or nobody’s invented it.”

    Well, they did, but several have been discontinued – DuWop’s, Poppy King’s. Your best bet, unless you enlist a pro artist, may be from:
    Cargo: http://www.cargocosmetics.com/products/bridal-collection/reverse-lip-liner-
    Too Faced: http://www.sephora.com/borderline-smoothing-anti-feathering-lip-pencil-P265415
    or MakeUp ForEver: http://www.makeupforever.com/products/lip-line-perfector.html#.Ue32BhbBzzI

  34. Jorndyce
    October 8, 2013

    Researching all things grey I stumbled upon your blog thankfully. ;-) It was a delight and pleasure to read this article and I believe I will read on.



    8:13 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Jorndyce, :)

  35. Elizabeth
    February 25, 2015

    I am completely in the dark on how to proceed in the total beauty conversion required due to my new gray tresses. Seems to me this “going natural” is slightly more difficult to manage than first expected! Here goes…the journey of foundation selection and new color choices in lips, cheeks and WHAT?…Clothes too? Oh my

    8:13 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Elizabeth, You can take it one step at a time:). Most of what you do already will still work. Just fade the lipstick and add eyebrow pencils as a first step!

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    May 12, 2016

    Make up is always magic, it makes us more beautiful.

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