"Your makeup is only going to look as good as your skin," says celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter, who now serves as Lancome's Beauty at Every Age expert. After moisturizing, apply a serum, like Wexler MMPi Skin Regenerating serum ($55/1 oz., bathandbodyworks.com), under your eyes to de-puff, and smooth a silicone-based primer, like Lancôme La Base Pro primer ($42, lancomeusa.com), on your forehead, nose and cheeks to minimize fine lines and pores. "Taking time to prep your skin will help makeup last longer."
Use a fluffy brush to skim bronzer over cheekbones and along the jawline. "This is not about faking a tan; you only need a hint of color." Linter suggests Lancôme Tropiques Minérale in Natural Sunkiss (shown left; $39; lancomeusa.com) for fair to medium skin and Edward Bess in Desert Sun ($48; bergdorfgoodman.com) for darker complexions.
A skin-warming cheek color, like Kevyn Aucoin Beauty's Creamy Moist Glow Blush in Tansoleilis ($24, kevynaucoin.com), is key to completing any look, says Linter. But be mindful of where you apply the pretty pink hues. While flushed apples can be sweet in your 20s, "the youthful look doesn't give older women enough definition," she says. Linter's rule of thumb: "The older you are, the higher up on your cheekbones you should focus the color."
Skip the pasty cover-up and obvious brow-bone high-lighter—two of Linter's no-no's. Instead, "apply individual lash clusters along the upper lid. Use shorter clusters made for bottom lashes, which will look more natural, like Shu Uemura Flare Lower Eyelashes ($16/box, shuuemura-usa.com), and dot concealer, like YSL Touche Eclat Concealer ($40, saksfifthavenue.com), on inner corners, where discoloration is worst."