Nicky Park

Editor of Life & Style.

Are you ageing or deteriorating? (+photos)

Use make-up to enhance your beauty, not exaggerate ageing.
Photo / Jason Capobianco
Use make-up to enhance your beauty, not exaggerate ageing. Photo / Jason Capobianco

Celebrity make-up artist Rae Morris warns she'll be blunt.

"Ageing is not a bad thing," she writes in the opening of her latest book, Timeless Make-Up.

"It's kind of fabulous - a lot of people become much better looking as they get older.

"... But there's a big difference between ageing and deteriorating."

The Australian beauty pro explains to women how they can make the most of their faces as they get older.

She identifies a few general signs of ageing:

* Temples become more concave
* Hallows develop beneath eyes and cheekbones
* The neck becomes heavily lined
* Eyebrows become parser and lashes become thinner
* Earlobes drop
* Hands become more wrinkled
* Age spots appear on hands and arms

But it's not all doom and gloom. There are ways you can play around with make-up to you get the best out of the canvas you've been gifted.

Morris says the biggest mistake women make with their products is wearing too much. To add insult to injury, women tend to cake it on the areas that age the fastest - drawing extra attention to these regions.

See, women age differently to men. Where the gents have hair to save them from sun damage - like their chests, mouths and hands - women are, generally, pretty bare. Then we go and spritz perfume on these spots, so any sun protection that has been applied fails to work.

To try and disguise an ageing face, Morris suggests doing things that lift. Wear your hair up higher, emphasising the top of the eyelid more than the bottom, sweep cheek colour upwards and apply lipstick a tad higher at the corners of your mouth.

Common make-up mistakes older woman make:

* Lining underneath the eye a third of the way across: If you've got droopy eyes, then drawing only three quarters across means you're pointing to the lowest, least flattering part of your peepers.

* Drawing sockets in the eye: We have extreme sockets as we get older so she uses a flesh colour in that socket to mask the ageing.

* Using a frosty white or shimmer underneath the eyebrow: Morris says brows should never be highlighted, they're one of the most masculine parts of the face.

* Using shimmer: A sheen will emphasise wrinkles. Celebrity client, Cyndi Lauper told Morris not to put shimmer anywhere your face is ageing.

* Falling in to a make-up rut: Women always wear make-up to the time they felt most attractive, Morris says. "I feel sorry for women who were teenagers in the 80s. Women don't actually believe how good thy can actually look."

Tips for timeless make-up:

* Get a good belt of brushes: "You can do with two or three products and a tool belt of brushes than you can with a sponge and a cottonbud and a drawer full of make-up," Morris says.

* Have the right array of products: Here's Morris' must-have list: a really good foundation, a cheek colour, a soft rosey lip colour that replicates the shade your lips were when you were younger, a mascara, and a matte grey shadow - one of the most flattering shades a woman can use.

* Remove your face, don't reapply: "You always want your make-up to look like you've just done it," Morris says. She likes to use a baby wipe to remove the base and lip, but leaving any eye make-up. Rather than adding layers to what you've already applied, start with a fresh face. "You'll look more alive."

Check out examples of Rae Morris' timeless make-up looks here.

Timeless Makeup, by Rae Morris, published by Allen & Unwin, is available now. RRP $49.99

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