Makeup Tips

I’ve been studying the best placement for eyeshadow and liner to open up the eyes. The way I once applied darker eyeshadow in a C shape is no longer working for me. As the skin around the eyes softens, that application brings too much attention to downturned corners.

I am wearing my Friday date night makeup. My skincare is always Beautycounter Countertime here. It is much more of a priority for me than any makeup. I use it every morning and night. I’m not wearing foundation, but I am wearing bronzer in Surf here. I’ve drawn on the image below to show the placement of bronzer on my face. Blending is the key to looking natural.

Note the placement over the eye on the brow bone. I used the bronzer to blend and fade the edge of the eye shadow. The gray eyeshadow is Storm, a soft semi-matte color, and at the inside corners is Chamis, a yellowish matte color to bring up the dark circles that form there as we age. Both shadows are by Merle Norman. Once again, careful blending is the key! I avoid eyeshadow above the crease, on the brow bone, and I never use any shadows that shimmer.

I used the black Color Outline Eye Pencil here on the top lash line only. I smudged it into the lashes so that it is on the waterline and above the lashes. The liner’s placement is from the pupil outward, stopping before you get to the downturn at the outer corner. I used a dark gray shadow to blend the pencil line above the lashes and soften it. My black mascara is here. The lip color is Girls’ Night – Classic Red here. I always blot lipstick to be more of a light stain than a color sitting on the surface. That helps it stay where I put it, and it looks softer.

The ends of my brows and the arch line up with the (not so straight) lines I drew above. I fill in my brows with a color that blends well with my hair and follow the natural shape. My brow color is Gray in the sculpting pencil by Merle Norman.

The rest of my date night look includes a Clara Sunwoo modern twin set in navy. The cardigan is here, and the extender tank is here. The pants are here.

My shoes and clutch are a few years old. Similar items are here and here. Referral and affiliate links in my posts may generate a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

  1. Are you no longer applying liner under your lashes? Are you still applying shadow in the crease? I really like the minimalist application of makeup. You prove it looks great.

    1. I haven’t applied any color or liner on the bottom lashes for a few years. The effect is too harsh as I’ve aged. I don’t apply shadow in the crease anymore. I do use the darker color in an oval shape over my pupil while looking straight ahead and blend well.

      1. I would love to see a shot with your eyes closed to see exactly how the oval shape above your pupil looks. This is precisely what I have been looking for, to create a more natural look.

          1. Hi Susan—I also was wondering about the oval placement of the eye shadow. I’m assuming it’s a horizontal oval rather than vertical? Also, I’m not familiar with bronzer. I thought it was used to contour and give your face a tanned look. What’s the difference between bronzer and blush? Why do you use bronzer rather than blush on your cheek area? Would you ever consider doing a video showing application of your entire makeup routine starting with a daytime look and adding for an evening look, if that’s what you do. Thank you. . .

          2. It is a vertical oval. I’ll email a picture, but it isn’t obvious. I blend very much. Bronzer from Beautycounter is not brownish. The Surf color is more like my skin when I get a tan. I sometimes use a bit of blush on the apple of my cheeks, but it has seemed too bright lately.

  2. Thank you Susan! These are makeup tips that I can really use! Facial countors change with age, and my big blue eyes are disappearing! I no longer use foundation as it’s uncomfortable, clogs my sensitive skin, and color matching is such a hassle. If I can define my lips & eyes, I’m happy! – great post! Lovely outfit!

  3. This post is timely, as only yesterday I was thinking that I should request that you do another makeup tutorial. And for the same reasons, that our faces change with time and what we used to do doesn’t always work anymore. We must have been on the same wavelength. I too find that as I age, less is more, as too much can look clownish. I know my eyes need more definition, but wasn’t too sure how. I no longer wear the bright or darker lip colours I used to. Yours is bold enough to make a statement, but muted. I will follow your lead. Thank you, Susan.

  4. Thank you! Those are all excellent tips – can’t wait to try! With age, my lids have become more crepey and hooded – always a challenge!

  5. Hi Susan.
    You look beautiful as always.I am not sure I understand where to put the brow color,or do I not use any shadow at all there? As a medium blonde with hazel eyes do you think I could use the bronzer color in the crease?Thanks and take care.Linda

  6. Great tips. How do you purchase Merle Norman products? Are they available online, or do I need to locate a sales rep in my area? Thank you.

  7. Susan- your skin looks so healthy. Are you using the cleansing oil? I am concerned that this might feel greasy? What other specific Countertime products do you use? Thank you for sharing.

    1. The Cleansing Oil is terrific! I massage it into my skin and then add some water to create a milk and then splash more water on to remove it all. It isn’t at all greasy after you wash it off. It leaves my skin soft and supple, never dry and tight. I use all of the products in the Countertime collection.

  8. Thank you for all your blogs. I read them all. You are a beautiful lady with gorgeous blue eyes. I am an 85 year old lady and dress much like you do except for the pants. I color my hair Ashe Blonde and have green eyes. Thank you, Edna Canter

  9. I had my brow and eyeliner tattooed on several years ago and had the liner done in a soft olive green and the brow in a very soft reddish brown as I have natural red hair (although it has some help from a very good colorist now) The colors were probably a little to soft when I had them done but I had seen some that looked horrid and I wanted them to be natural as I aged. It has been a great investment as now my eyesight isn’t the best and my hand is a bit shaky and I never have one brow a inch higher than the other and my liner never smears. I often don’t wear mascara on the bottom lash and it looks fine. Thank you for all your help.

  10. Good morning!
    Can you suggest attire for an outdoor, woodsy wedding in Michigan at the end of September? The invitation says semi-formal with walking shoes. I a size 10. Thank you.

    1. Michigan weather at the end of September can be rather cool. I would wear a two-piece dress or dinner suit in navy or plum. Add nude low block heel pumps and a gold or tan clutch bag. You could also drape a large square printed silk scarf over your arm in case it gets too chilly.

  11. Susan,
    I really enjoy your blog and your creativity in sharing fashion with us.
    I have a question about those wild eyebrow hairs. I have figured out how to color the ones that turn white, rbut is it a good idea to trim the ones that grow too long. What do you suggest?

  12. I began using Beauty counter rejuvenating serum and rejuvenating day cream several months ago. Do you use any rejuvenating products or did you switch entirely to Countertime? What specifically do you use at night and day ? Do you still use the resurfacung peel? Thank you for your tips.

    1. The Countertime products are even better for my aging skin. I replaced all of my other items with Countertime products as I ran out. I still use the Overnight Resurfacing Peel about three nights per week. (I love that product!)

  13. Susan, would you mind doing a make-up application video? That way you could show us brushes, products, and techniques. Thank you, Sheila

    1. I have done a few makeup videos in the past. It is really difficult to show the details on camera, which is why I though detailed pictures might be easier to see.

  14. Hi Susan,
    I have been following your blog for some time and enjoy it very much. I’m 62 and also find that my makeup practices need to change. I like the idea of bronzer but have been unable to find a shade that I can wear. I am fair skinned with a funny gold tone to my skin that makes everything turn orange. My blush has to be and honest pink or berry with no hint of peach- but I haven’t been very happy with that either. Would this bronzer be appropriate?

    1. Surf might be a good color for you. Don’t think of it as a blush. It is just a hint of color that looks more like your skin if you had a tan. You can use blush with it.

  15. Love this beautiful minimalist look! Are you using any sort of concealer under your eyes or are you just blending the bronzer into that area? I have mild rosacea so my cheeks are always somewhat rosy. Do you think the Surf bronzer would soften that rosiness a bit?

    1. I try not to put anything in the area under my eyes. I only put the bronzer in areas I circled and then blend well. I have never been a fan of concealer because I have bags under my eyes. I am sure the concealer would just draw attention to them. You may benefit from the Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation here.

  16. Hello Susan,

    I enjoy your blog so much!
    I am so pleased that you wear items that you already own which is “recycling” at its best! These are also the most doable suggestions for most of us who don’t want or need to go to great expense when we already have classic items in our closets. Thanks for sharing new ideas…especially for me!

    I love this blog regarding your simple, but lovely makeup routine. I agree that as we are gifted with the experiences of our lives…less is best!

    I would be most grateful if you would also share your wise tips and care of your hairstyle. It always looks so elegant, but also so soft and natural! Would you mind sharing what products, styling techniques, perm or no perm, curling iron, flat iron or just scrunching with your fingers that work so well for you?

    Thank you, Susan, for celebrating our best of years as gracious and happy women!
    Keep on…keeping on1 🙂

    1. My hair is naturally curly/wavy. The less product I use, the better it behaves. I usually let it mostly air dry and then blow dry any unruly bits and then pick it out. It seems always to go its own way no matter what I do to it.

  17. I love your clothes and styles. They are elegant. But in central Texas when the heat index is 108 I can’t wear jackets and sweaters except in December and January. So sad.

  18. I ordered the Countertime lipid oil cleanser. Love the way it works and the smell is wonderful. I may have to try more products in this line.

  19. You look amazing! Such beautiful, bouncy skin. Great tips. Excited to try a few of them. I would guess you have many more date night’s to come.

  20. I’ve started doing the little horizontal oval eye shadow trick and all I can say is “wow” that is amazing! Thank you!

  21. You look absolutely gorgeous and classic. I am 65 and the way I used to do my makeup just makes me look older. I am going to try your advice. Thank you so much!

  22. Susan: thank you! You have inspired me to be true to myself again. I loved scarves ( since high school) so my collection is updated & used. At retirement from a bank and dressing up, I went totally casual until I felt the need to change to my new lifestyle and show my best self. I am even wearing makeup again and spent the last two days polishing my favorite silver jewelry. Thank you for sharing your self. Looking back through your site I see you have had some health issues. Not everyone would share that. You are real and very classy. I wish you well and once again thank you for inspiring me. Cheers!

  23. I am 75 years old and I feel like I take a terrible photo and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this article to get some ideas for my makeup. I feel like I look washed out and I cannot keep my lipstick on. I do not wear a lot of make up just enough but I think I might be using to little. I am going to try your ideas. I am not happy with photos taken of me with my grandchildren. Thank you. Gail Smith

  24. I’m so happy to see that you use use Merle Norman cosmetics, I am 80 years old and have used Merle Norman cleansing cream, foundation and Mirzcol for 65 years, I use the same brow pencile as you, but haven’t tried the eye shadow yet, Will try it very soon, Thanks for the tips,

  25. What are the 3 black lines you drew on your face showing. I enjoyed your tutorial and would like to see more and closer up shots. Thank you

  26. Thank you! I have been searching for good make up tips for 60+. Everything I find is selling product. This was perfect!

  27. You look wonderful.The lip color looks very natural.I have trouble with undereye bags.I don’t cover them, since I wear glasses.I don’t wear foundation but do use blush.

    1. Since the blog is about my style and journey through life, I don’t usually show other people. However, if my dearest friend, Barbara, were still living, you would often see a beautiful black woman with me. If my lifelong sweet Filipino friend, Maria, didn’t live so far away, she would be in many of my pictures.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.