EZ Beauty: Our Top Tips for a Fresh New Look

Freshen up your makeup, skin-and hair-care routines with this handy tip sheet.

“Beauty has nothing to do with age and everything to do with a comfort zone that the years have provided.” -Andrea Robinson, author of Toss the Gloss


Keep Calm and Carry On “At menopause, skin changes quality,” says Toronto’s Dr. Diane Wong of Glow Medi Spa. “It thins so you’ll see more of the facial vessels which we call telangiectasia, resulting in more visible redness.”

In addition to a steady diet of anti-inflammatory omega-3 rich salmon and walnuts to boost the skin’s barrier function and calm redness, choose products with soothing ingredients to strengthen skin and calm inflammation. Try: Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster, $88; Aveeno Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream, $20-$23; Vichy Neovadiol Advanced Replenishing Care, $51.

Feed Your Face While sunscreen is the best “ounce of prevention” anti-ager there is, “Free radicals in the air negatively affect the skin by destroying collagen and elastin,” says Wong. An antioxidant-loaded serum or moisturizer protects from both the sun’s UV rays as well as external aggressors like car exhaust, cigarette smoke and pollution. Try: Lise Watier Sublimessence, $84; Juice Beauty Antioxidant Moisturizer, $44; Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum, $66.

No Scrubs The time it takes for skin cells to turn over doubles every 10 years, leaving us with a top layer of dry, dead skin that just won’t budge. A good scrubbing is incredibly tempting.

We’re not killjoys depriving you of the immense satisfaction of an exfoliating scrub, but “harsh scrubs can damage thinner skin,” says Wong, and are best left to sturdier bits like feet and upper arms.

Your face can benefit from a gentle twice-weekly over-night exfoliation with alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid that gently loosen the “mortar” between skin cells, sloughing away dead skin while softening fine lines and fading dark spots in the process. All without harming the healthy skin beneath.

Look for glycolic acid paired with lactic acid for a gentle, gradual peel. Try: Jouviance Glyco-Laser 5% Soft Peel Night Cream, $40; Philosophy Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Aging Peel, $89; Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix pads, $13.


Simplif-Eye If you’re always flummoxed by the multiple shades in any given shadow palette and only ever use the taupe-y neutral, this is for you.

For uncomplicated eye definition over 40, with no crease-settling, skin-tugging eyeliner, Maybelline New York lead artist Grace Lee offers these easy steps: “Curl lashes, load up on mascara, add a soft line of neutral shadow close to the lashes and some highlighter in the inner corner of the eyes and on the brow bone.” Try: Revlon Dramatic Definition Mascara, $12; Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Exte
nsion Kit, $20; Essence Mono Eyeshadow in Triple Choc, $3; Maybelline New York EyeStudio Color Tattoo Crayon in Barely Beige, $9.


High Brow Maintaining fuller brows is “all the more important when you’re older because brows frame the eyes and add lift to the face,” explains Smashbox Cosmetics Global Pro Artist Lori Taylor Davis.

For defined brows, select a pencil shade that matches your lightest hairs and apply with soft feathery strokes. “They shouldn’t look painted on or tattooed on,” says Taylor Davis. “No Sharpie brow or Groucho brow.” Try: Smashbox Brow Tech Matte Pencil, Taupe, $24; Maybelline New York Brow Drama Pomade Crayon, $12.

Less Is More Former beauty industry executive Andrea Q Robinson, whose book Toss the Gloss advocates a product rethink after 40, says that foundation can be an unwitting trap. “Avoid descriptors like ‘long wearing’ and ‘mattifying,’” she explains. These can be masky and drying. Instead, seek out lightweight, tinted moisturizers or BB creams with sheer, hydrating formulas in gold, skin-warming tones. Try: L’Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation, $30; Laneige BB Cushion compact, $44 including refill.

Conceal & Highlight “Modern makeup means concealing more by using less,” says Robinson. Match concealer to foundation instead of going too light under eyes to avoid the dreaded “reverse-Panda” look. Use concealer sparingly and only where needed, in two different textures: “One more pliable for ‘patting away’ dark circles under the eyes,” says Robinson, “and the other (which should stay put) for blemishes, birthmarks, spider veins and brown spots.” Try: Benefit Fake-Up Under-eye Hydrating Concealer, $31; Vincent Longo Perfect Canvas Illuminating Concealer, $35.

For more advanced concealing, blur any vertical lines running from the nostrils to the outer edge of the lips (evocatively called naso-labial folds) using a light-reflecting pink-toned concealing pen and soft, whiskery strokes to illuminate the area and help bring it forward. Try: Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen, $47. Apply highlighter in a warm champagne shade “on the bridge of the nose, the cupid’s bow of the mouth and on top of the cheekbones. These little tiny touches make your face look finished,” says Maybelline New York’s Grace Lee. Try: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, $26; Flower Highlighter in Pearl Shimmer, $11.

Lips: Colour Within the Lines “As we get older, lips start to thin, yet most women run a mile from lip liner,” says celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury. “Instead, use a lip liner shade that mimics the colour of your natural lips, drawn onto the outer edge of the lip – too far over and it won’t be convincing.” Try: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pink Venus, $27.

Lighten Up “Dark, sticky lip glosses had their place for a fun night out many years ago,” says Robinson, “but will likely dance their way into unwanted lines around your lips now.”

She recommends taking “a good, hard look at what you’ve been beauty hoarding to see if it truly works for your cosmetic needs now,” and then upgrading to sheer tinted gloss balms or lighter-toned creamy lipsticks. Try: Covergirl Colorlicious Gloss balm in Taffy, $20; Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant in Pink Praline, $28.


Lather Up When natural hair colour fades and turns silver, “The hair with no pigment can be a different texture,” says Toronto stylist Brennen Demelo, leaving you with a head full of unfamiliar and often unruly strands.

Skipping washings in the hopes of keeping newfound frizz at bay may give you the greasy scalp and lank hair of a sullen teen. Choose a gentle shampoo that adds moisture and strengthens hair to resist breakage.
Try: Strivectin Ultimate Restore Shampoo, $25; Klorane Anti-Aging shampoo with olive extract, $11.

Combat Dryness “The biggest thing with aging hair is making sure it has moisture,” says Demelo. “Women tend to cover it up [with styling product], but they have to address it.” So instead of fighting your hair with flatirons and time-consuming blow-drys, make peace with its texture and “find a style that’s a little more free, a little bit looser, a little more natural,” says Demelo. Make moisture and smoothing your priorities.

Try: L’Oréal’s in-salon smoothing and repairing Pro Fiber treatment ($30-$35 at select salons) is
paired with at-home products (conditioning mask, $29) to sustain the effect. Schwarzkopf BC Excellium Beautifying Silver Spray, $15, nourishes hair to smooth flyaways and neutralizes yellow with a purple tint. Conair’s Infiniti Pro The Ultimate Brush ($40) releases static-neutralizing ions to instantly smooth frizzy hair on the fly.