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How to Apply Eyeliner After 40 and the Best Ones to Use! ✎

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As we age, our skin undergoes various changes, and our makeup techniques often need to be adjusted accordingly. For women over 40, applying eyeliner can present new challenges due to factors like fine lines, changes in skin texture, and even shifting eye shapes.

However, with the right techniques and products, you can enhance your eyes beautifully and gracefully. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to apply eyeliner after 40 and the best eyeliners to use.

Also read: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Feta Cheese 

1. Prep Your Eyes

Before applying any makeup, it’s crucial to prepare your eyes properly. This involves moisturizing the eye area to ensure that the skin is smooth and hydrated. As we age, the skin around our eyes can become drier and more delicate, making it essential to use an eye cream that addresses these issues.

After moisturizing, apply a good quality eye primer. This helps to create a smooth base for your eyeliner, ensuring it stays in place throughout the day and doesn’t settle into fine lines or creases.

2. Choose the Right Eyeliner Formula

When selecting an eyeliner, it’s important to consider the formula. For mature skin, gel or cream eyeliners can be more forgiving than liquid ones. They glide on smoothly without tugging at the delicate skin around the eyes.

Pencils can also be a good option, especially if they have a creamy texture. Waterproof formulas are beneficial as they tend to stay put and resist smudging, which is particularly important if your eyes tend to water more as you age.

3. Go for Softer Colors

While black eyeliner can be dramatic and striking, it can also be harsh on mature skin, highlighting wrinkles and fine lines. Instead, opt for softer colors like brown, gray, or taupe.

These shades provide definition without being too stark and can give your eyes a softer, more youthful appearance. Navy and plum are also excellent choices as they can enhance your eye color and add a touch of sophistication without the severity of black.

4. Master the Technique

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The way you apply your eyeliner is crucial. Rather than drawing a single, continuous line, use short, feathery strokes to gradually build up the color. This technique helps you achieve a more natural look and reduces the risk of mistakes.

Start at the outer corner of your eye and work your way inwards, keeping the line thin and as close to the lash line as possible. Avoid extending the line too far beyond the outer corner, as this can drag your eyes downwards.

5. Smudge for a Softer Look

A harsh, defined line can be unflattering on mature skin. To avoid this, gently smudge your eyeliner with a smudging tool or a cotton swab. This softens the look and blends the color seamlessly into your lash line, creating a more natural and flattering appearance.

If you’re using a pencil or gel eyeliner, smudging can also help to camouflage any unevenness or mistakes in the application.

6. Tightline for Added Definition

Tightlining is a technique where you apply eyeliner to the upper waterline, giving the illusion of thicker lashes and more defined eyes without the look of heavy makeup.

This technique can be especially effective for mature women, as it adds subtle definition without emphasizing fine lines. Use a waterproof pencil or gel eyeliner for this purpose, as it needs to stay in place on the moist waterline.

7. Highlight the Inner Corners

Adding a touch of highlighter or a light, shimmery eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes can make a significant difference.

This simple step brightens your eyes, making them look more awake and youthful. Use a small brush to apply a light, shimmery shade just at the inner corner, blending it slightly into your eyelid and lower lash line.

Best Eyeliners for Women Over 40

1. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a favorite among makeup artists for its smooth application and long-lasting formula.

It’s perfect for mature skin because it glides on effortlessly and stays put all day without smudging.

2. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil is known for its creamy texture and vibrant color payoff. It’s easy to apply and blend, making it ideal for creating both subtle and bold looks. Plus, it’s waterproof, so it won’t budge even on humid days or watery eyes.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil

Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil combines the intensity of a liquid liner with the ease of a pencil.

It’s enriched with crushed pearl powder, which helps to smooth and hydrate the skin around your eyes, making it a great choice for mature women.

4. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner

Stila’s Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner offers the perfect blend of precision and smudging ability. It glides on smoothly, sets quickly, and stays put, providing a reliable option for all-day wear.

The variety of available shades also makes it easy to find a color that complements your look.

5. Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon is a versatile eyeliner that combines the precision of a pencil with the smoothness of a gel. Its long-lasting, waterproof formula makes it perfect for tightlining and creating defined looks that last all day.


Applying eyeliner after 40 can be challenging, but with the right techniques and products, it can enhance your natural beauty and make your eyes stand out. Remember to prep your eyes, choose the right formula and color, and apply with care.

The best eyeliners for mature skin are those that glide on smoothly, stay put, and provide a soft, natural look. With these tips and recommendations, you’ll be able to create beautiful, flattering eye makeup looks that enhance your features and make you feel confident at any age.

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