The best foundations and concealers for a more mature face

WHAT EVERY WOMAN NEEDS: The best foundations and concealers for a mature face

AS we age our skin texture changes so we need to adjust the way we care for it, as well as the way we enhance it. In this, part two of the series The Best Make-Up For Women Over 50, we take a look at foundations, tinted moisturisers and concealers.

Today’s foundations are designed to improve texture and tone, and even out skin tone. And foundations that target mature skins are formulated with ingredients that are more moisturising, contain an SPF and anti-oxidants to protect ageing skin, and help to correct discolouration, age spots and dark circles. They are also usually more hydrating and light reflecting and are less likely to exacerbate fine lines or wrinkles. So it’s crucial that you get a top-quality foundation that matches your skin tone exactly.

Your skin also changes seasonally so you need to own at least two or three shades to match your skin during the different seasons. Look for a creamier formula in a paler colour when skin is drier in the colder months, and a lighter formulation in a warmer tone when skin is oilier or more moist in summer. Alternatively, use a tinted moisturiser, a BB cream or CC cream instead of foundation. (Read more below.)

Your base should complement your complexion, and if you choose the right colour it should literally “disappear” into your skin. And when it comes to choosing a foundation, make-up artist and author of Makeup Masterclass, Rae Morris, says “never match your foundation to your jawline, because the neck is the palest part of your body (your jaw blocks the neck from the sun). Always match your foundation to your chest area, because your face and body must be the same colour.”

Water-based liquid formulations are best for more mature skins because there are more moisturising, come in all types of texture and different levels of coverage. Grease-based foundations are great for normal to dry or scarred skins. Oil-based foundations are great for dry skin, but they can look greasy and heavy. Mineral powder foundations are popular, but they can settle into fine lines and wrinkles on a dry, mature skin.

Some of my favourites include:
* Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup SPF25
* Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Ageing Foundation
* Chanel Perfection Lumiere Long Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup
* Glo Minerals Luxe Liquid Foundation SPF15+
* Genie Line Smoothing Foundation
* Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF15
* Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation
* Revlon Age Defying Firming And Lifting Makeup
* Maybelline Instant Age Rewind


Tinted moisturisers, with or without an oil base, are the sheerest foundations available. Their luminous textures are ideal for delicate skin, perfect in the summer months or for the woman on the go who doesn’t like the feel of make-up but wants a little colour.

But it’s all about the “alphabet” formulations — BB, CC and soon-to-be DD creams — as potential skin-perfecting options. While these creams are marketed for separate issues and are theoretically different, benefits and coverage vary greatly among different brands.

BB creams (short for beauty balm or blemish balm) are an all-in-one product — a combination non-brightening primer, foundation, moisturiser with anti-ageing ingredients and an SPF. They offer light to medium coverage and are lighter than foundation but heavier than tinted moisturisers. They are typically laden with hydrators to create a dewy finish, which are not so great for acne-prone or oily skin. Best for dry to normal skin types.

CC creams (or “colour correcting” cream) are a combination brightening primer, foundation, moisturiser with anti-ageing ingredients and an SPF. They are meant to address issues such as redness or sallowness (usually with light-diffusing particles) and are lighter on the skin than a BB cream. CC creams are typically oil free and are best for oily and acne-prone skins. Generally not suitable for dry skin types.

So is this the end of traditional foundation as we know it? Probably not. These products usually only come in a few shades, while foundations can come in dozens, ensuring a more exact skin match and the ability to custom mix them.

Here are some of my favourites:
La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL BB cream SPF50+
* Clarins Super Restorative Tinted Cream SPF20
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Tinted Comfort Cream SPF50+
* Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging CC Cream SPF10
* Bobbi Brown BB Cream
Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30

Or, why not make your own tinted moisturiser? Mix a few drops of your favourite foundation with your moisturiser in the palm of your hand.


Concealer is a must for ageing skins. But you’ll probably need two different concealers — one for under the eyes and one to retouch the face and cover any age spots.

Apply a creamy concealer one to two shades paler than your foundation AFTER foundation to hide dark shadows (under the eyes and around the lower corners of the nose), cover skin imperfections (age spots, pigmentation and discolouration) and colour correcting (such as the “blue” inner corners of the eyes, or redness caused by broken capillaries, scars, sun damage and blemishes).  But if you’re trying to hide a raised bump, the concealer should match your foundation.

Ditch the opaque, cakey products and switch to a lightweight liquid or grease formula that corrects and brightens skin discolouration, instead of completely covering it. And DON’T even think about using to cover wrinkles at the crow’s feet; concealer will only highlight them. Instead, apply concealer from the inner corner of your eye to the mid-point only.

And be mindful of how much you apply. Rae Morris says “It is better to see the hint of a scar than to apply too much concealer.”

Concealer is also a great way to highlight and lighten areas that have started to recede into shadow, such as your temples and cheeks, the bottom corners of your nose and down the philtrum (the infranasal depression from base of the nose to cupid’s bow of top lip).  TIP: Draw a triangle shape under your eyes to brighten the entire eye area.

I recommend:
* YSL Touche Eclat
* M.A.C Select Cover-Up
Glo Minerals Luxe Liquid Bright Concealer
* Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer 
* Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer
* Genie Line Smoother Concealer
* Nude by Nature Flawless Concealer
IT Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better” CC Colour Correcting Full Coverage Cream SPF50+

NEXT: The best powders for more mature faces

PREVIOUS: The best primers


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All products mentioned are available from department stores, selected pharmacies and drug stores, and specialist make-up stores (such as Mecca Cosmetica and Sephora)
— except where I have made direct links. Other online beauty sites include
StrawberryNetBeautylish, Adore BeautyPriceline, Chemist WarehousePM Studio, and

If you want more information about products for mature skins read this anti-ageing edit post from Get The Gloss here. Or if your want to see tutorials on how to apply your make-up go here.

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Do you have a product that you can’t live without? Got a favourite make-up for mature skin? A go-to product? Care to share? Would love to hear from you. Ever stylishly yours …


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