The 6 Essential Eye Makeup Tips for Women Over 40

Because shimmer looks good at any age.

Headshots of Gwyneth Paltrow, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Taraji P. Henson wearing makeup
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Despite what you might have heard or previously read, there are no hard and fast rules for what makeup you "should" and "shouldn't" wear at any given age.

Makeup is a form of self-expression and can be used to enhance your already gorgeous natural features. That being said, as you move further into your forties and beyond, if the shimmery eyeshadow or cat-eye you've always worn in your twenties and thirties doesn't look quite the same, that doesn't mean you have to shelf them. Simply make a few tweaks to how you apply your eye makeup.

"A great thing to do is sit down with a makeup artist and learn what looks best on yourself," says Jamie Greenberg, celebrity makeup artist and founder of the Blighlighter.

In the meantime, we tapped Greenberg for her tips on how to approach eye makeup when you're over 40.

Keep reading for her advice on how to do a smoky eye, cat eye, and more.

VIDEO: Everything You Need To Know About Applying Makeup For Your Eye Shape

Shimmery Eyeshadow

Tracee Ellis Ross wearing gold shimmery eyeshadow
Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

"One of the biggest mistakes I see is when women tend to blend shimmery eyeshadow too high above their crease," Greenberg shares. "The shimmery eyeshadow can accent any textured skin, so I tend to place it in areas that you don't have much texture." She recommends applying shimmer to the lid as an accent for extra pop, or use it as a light eyeliner.

Inner Corner Highlight

Gwyneth Paltrow wearing shimmery champagne eyeshadow and floral beaded dress
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Yep, you can highlight your inner eyes like you would your cheekbones. Greenberg says she likes to add a bit of shimmer to this area of the eye, too. Take Gwyneth Paltrow's shimmery champagne eyeshadow she tapped on the inner corner of her eyes, for example.

The Colorful Smoky Eye

Jennifer Lopez in lavender smokey eye makeup and silver sequin dress
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

While a charcoal or pewter smoky eye is what instantly comes to mind when you think of the classic eye makeup look, dark colors aren't the only options. "Just because it's a 'smoky' eye doesn't mean you have to go super black or super dark," Greenberg explains. "Smoky ideally can be any color, just have darkest shades at the root." Just look at J.Lo's lavender smoky eye.

The makeup artist likes filling in the lash line with a black liner or shadow for subtle depth.

Below the Crease

Victoria Beckham in light smokey eye makeup and white blazer
Steve Granitz/WireImage

If you have textured skin, Greenberg recommends keeping dark colors from your smoky eye below the crease, as seen on Victoria Beckham. "Don't bring the darker colors above the crease unless you have untextured dry skin. That will also draw attention to textured skin," she says.

Cat Eye Eyeliner

Taraji P. Henson wearing subtle cat eye makeup and assymmetrical black dress
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

"I am in my 40s and as I've gotten older I've just had to change the area I put the cat eye," Greenberg says of the timeless eyeliner style. She recommends making the length of the wing a bit shorter. This will also prevent drawing attention to any texture or line lines around the eyes.

While a cat eye may look simple, it takes some practice to get clean, even wings and lines. That's why Greenberg suggests creating the shape with eyeshadow first. "I recommend using eyeshadow first to draw the line, and then going over it with the liquid liner," she says. "Like when you were younger and you make a poster with pencil and go over it with a marker."

Keep It Balanced

Cameron Diaz wearing coppery eye makeup and matching lipstick
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

"Less can be more on the eyes, and the key is to balance the eye look with the rest of the face," says Greenberg. In addition to adding a few individual lashes, she recommends accentuating the cheeks with a creamy, blendable blush like her Blightlighter. Greenberg is also a fan of a bold lip — in any shade.

Just look to Cameron Diaz's slightly copper shimmery eyes, rosy cheeks, and matching lip for inspiration.

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