Ageing Make Up Mishaps: No 4 – Matt is too flat


Easy one this, although it took me years to figure it out for myself. I used to have very oily skin, shine was my mortal enemy. I fought it three ways, matt foundation, loose powder and pressed powder for touch ups on the go and STILL my face resembled an oil slick.

The problem is that as skin ages, it naturally becomes drier because it produces less oil. When you cancel out shine it creates a flat canvas. Young skin glows with health. Matt foundation just makes you look old. Certainly powder your T Zone, a shiny nose is never in fashion, but ditch matt foundations.

Now, obviously in the photo at the top, Carol’s hair is the wrong shade for her and her clothes are draining the colour from her face, but we’re just looking at her make up and how matt, flat and frankly, old, she looks. Her skin looks pretty parched as well.

I’ll have what she’s having.

Compare it to this recent (2013) photo, and let’s not take into account any ‘work’ she may have (or may not) had done – Yes, I know she’s tries too hard with the false eyelashes, hair extensions and tight clothing etc but she is still stunning. Look at her foundation, what a difference an experienced make up artist can make.

Her make up here is perfect and her skin’s gorgeous and hydrated.  The thing to note is that her foundation is not matt.  She’s ‘glowing’ and ‘dewy’ and those are the two keywords to look for when buying a foundation for mature skin.

Note that in the first picture she’s wearing a powder blusher and in the second, a cream or gel one.  Cream/liquid/gel blushers are a more flattering alternative to powder ones as they’ll bounce light off your cheekbones.

I’m just about to run out of the amazing liquid Becca Beach Tint that came with a Glossybox. It’s no longer sold in the UK so I’m on the lookout for another cream/gel blusher. I’d prefer a liquid one, yes I’ve looked at the Benefit Lip & Cheek Tint but I just know I’d mess up the application and look all clowny.

The front-runners seem are:

Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush (possibly Nude 03?) £16.50

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks (Calypso Coral maybe?) £18.50

Surprisingly, I’ve never bought a Bobbi Brown product. I’d be interested to know who’s bought what, especially those legendary foundation sticks.

I like the reviews these two have received and it’s refreshing to see they’re both catering for darker skin tones and not just giving us a measly choice of two or three. It’s a question now of choosing the right shade, which is actually the tricky part, I’m sure we’ve all made some expensive mistakes picking the wrong colour.

The only exception where matt on the face is acceptable is bronzer. The longevity of Guerlain’s iconic Terracotta Moisturising Bronzing Powder £33.00 speaks for itself; non orange; non shimmery and natural looking. Worth the money too as it’s not one these lightweight powders that shatter if you snap the lid shut too quickly, it lasts for ages.

It’s a balancing act – matt, powdery skin is ageing, you don’t want ugly shine, but you do want to cover up pores, blemishes, broken veins etc, at the moment Liz Earle Sheet Tint  is the only foundation that delivers that for me, just enough ‘dew’.

Remind me to tell you later what happened when I used a sample of Perricone MD’s No Foundation, Foundation – fabulous coverage and I thought I loved it, but it is a matt finish. TWO people on the two different days I wore it, actually said I looked ill, lesson learned I think.

And the lesson of course is, matt is too flat, go with the glow.


  1. 41andcounting
    March 2, 2013 / 12:57 pm

    Can definitely recommend the Liz Earle blusher. Bought it in Coral(not a colour I’d normally choose, but having a bit of a makeup renaissance!) and I really like it.
    Doesn’t sit in my pores and lines like powder blusher and is easy to apply, especially when it’s your first time using a cream(as it is for me). Easily buildable and looks lovely with just a little for a healthy glow, or a bit more for a real pop of colour.

  2. March 3, 2013 / 4:58 pm

    Thanks for this, it’ll be one of the Liz Earle one then for me.

    Maybe I was being a bit cautious with the Nude colour, coral looks slightly too peach for me, I might try Nectar 06

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