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Makeup Tips for Your Late 20s

Hey, it's Shakira... looking a lot more vibrant this year than she did nearly six years ago—and it's all because of her hair and makeup choices. In this month's issue of Marie Claire, writer Ning Chao explores a few ways to use makeup to look younger.

It's a well-written story with straightforward tips, but I've gotta tell ya—it makes me a sad that she's only 28 and, in her words, feels like she's going downhill. I like to think of women in their late 20s like this: They might not be spring chickens anymore, but that's okay. They're more like... early-summer chickens. Plenty of cluck left!


With that said, some women do use makeup that's too harsh or too "bubblegum," which does them no favors. I think the best approach is one that makes the most of your youthful looks while acknowledging the fact that you're not 21 anymore. The Marie Claire article has some straightforward, helpful advice, and I'll share some of it with you when you

  • Go light on the powder. A little bit is fine, but stay away from an powdery matte foundation. “Too much powder can make a person look older," says Patrick McMullan, who has shot countless celebrities and models. “It’s particularly hideous at the end of the night. Heroin chic [heavy black liner and powdery white skin] might have looked very cool on a 19- or 16-year-old model, but on a 30-year-old woman, it just looked worn out.”
  • Use spot concealer. Instead of covering your whole face with foundation and concealer, use it only where you need it. (Be sure to find the right shade, like I did with Prescriptives Custom Blend.)
  • All-over shimmer is not your friend. “Formulas with shiny particles act like airport runway lights, illuminating every line, wrinkle, and pore,” says Lauren Hutton. She recommends it for the under-25 crowd, but I think it's difficult for anybody to pull it off. No matter what your age, use it sparingly, and only to highlight. Nobody needs a sparkly forehead.

These are only three tips, so check out the magazine story if you want more, my summer chickens.

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cocomademoiselle cocomademoiselle 8 years
Almost every "girl" from 15 to 65 (?) likes to read beauty/fashion magazines! And it is so sad to realize that the girls on the pages are ALL under 20! Sad sad industry... We really have to be strong in our belief to make the most out of it and feel good and confident with ourselves and be our own super-model!
Kellylicious Kellylicious 8 years
I'm 25...and just getting started! I whole-heartedly agree with spot covering as opposed to all-over foundation. I started doing it several years ago and my skin has never looked better - especially in pictures!
smarler smarler 8 years
That is pretty depressing. I'm going to be 26 next month, and I think that I've finally just started to really show my stuff.
rosey_y rosey_y 8 years
For some reason this post really depressed me too. And I'm only 22. Although logically I know it's not true, reading all of this made me feel like it's all downhill from here! I'm not having a go at you BellaSugar - I think maybe it's the article's pairing of phrases such as "30 year old woman" with "worn out". Until I read that I never considered the notion of a healthy, normal 30 year old woman looking "worn out", especially just because she opted for some face powder. My friend recently turned 32 and she GLOWS - she's an absolute knock out, even with one or two lines around her eyes (she's a naughty sun worshipper!). When she walks into a room you can bet more eyes are on her than ANY 18 year old. She has something that so often eludes youth - grace, humility and confidence. These things really do make her even more stunning. She's been known to wear shimmery eye shadows and powders too. :)
Misskastar Misskastar 8 years
Sorry I just realized the stuff came from Marie Claire. I know the tips may be useful...but it's the tone that gets me and the implied message (how to look younger, which is better) I am going to read the article and stop ranting now.
Misskastar Misskastar 8 years
what a depressing post and even more depressing comments!!! I do like what a lot of you said about women not being over the hill at all. I'm 23 and it is sad to see women who are older than me not embracing their age!!! Without getting all feminist...it is MEN who set this standard, but WOMEN who perpetuate it!!! Like the people in the comments...that is the reason why it is the perceived notion that women are just old and worn out after 30!! I normally love bellasugar and all of the beauty posts, but the article itself had a gloomy and negative connotation. Yes, shimmer may show your wrinkles more...whatever! If you like shimmer, GO FOR IT!!! If there are people wearing things 3 sizes too small, or girls walking around with hideous skunk highlights, then shimmer on a 30 year old is perfectly fine! I think the best role models are women who don't let their age define them and continue to do what THEY WANT! For example, Madonna-she wears things that would perhaps look great on a "19 year old girl." Well on her it looks fab as well. In other countries, women have a better view on getting older. Hopefully the U.S. gets on board.
melda melda 8 years
Shakira is gorgeous i love her
juliawa juliawa 8 years
am I the only one that thinks Shakira looked better in the "before" picture?
colieoats colieoats 8 years
It is sad that our culture sets up these ridiculous cuts offs for this and that. 28 is not 16, but who wants to be back there!? Shakira looks amazing...and although sometimes I wonder where time goes...I don't feel like I'm heading towards a dreary dark tunnel, going into my late 20's...jeeez!
Angiebaby Angiebaby 8 years
Dang you ALL are making me feel OLDER than dirt, lol, and I'm only 34!!! The truth is, this last year or 2 I just started feeling and looking a little older.. .maybe it's all the sparkles I use! hahaha! Love the tips!
emma- emma- 8 years
Geez...28 is not old...I hate how the culture we live in tends to take a self defeating attitude when it comes to age.
klovie klovie 8 years
I'm 32 and I still feel young. That could also be due to excessive immature behavior, but hey.
Megatron Megatron 8 years
Early summer chicken. I like. I, too, feel smarter and more comfortable with myself as I get older. I know I have TONS left in me.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Well, I won't beat anybody with a stick... but I don't think it's downhill at all after 25, and 30 is far, far from over the hill. I mean, Gina Gershon is 45, and she's still one of the foxiest women in Hollywood.
Esix Esix 8 years
After 25 it's downhill for women :p First wrinkles, fat where there was no fat before, gravity starting to do its job... Be honest, you're over the hill when you pass 30. However, confidence and self esteem ( and denial ) do seem to increase over the years, which can greatly compensate for withering looks. Ok, who's first to beat me with a stick? :))
katiejane24 katiejane24 8 years
Seriously, what is WRONG with our culture that at 28 we start feeling like we're losing our appeal. I definitely agree though that the days of glitter and such are definitely over. Thankfully, I don't mourn their passing too much.
kerish kerish 8 years
well..I am in my late..very late 20's somehow I still feel like am in my lates teens say 19..e i think hairstyle is what u have to be careful about ....it makes or break you!! Makeup is important yes but what keeps me young is SpongeBob Square Pants...watch it every morning . FEEL YOUNG FIRST THEN WORK ON LOOKING YOUNGER
vinnie vinnie 8 years
I took me until 35 to feel less "Spring Chicken" than usual.
coddswaddle coddswaddle 8 years
Honestly, a lot of the trendy makeup and fashion "styles" for "young" women just look crude and tacky to me; a step above a 5 year old getting into her mom's makeup. If you look at those late summer to winter women in Europe, you can see the difference between the refined, complementary, and elegant style of an experienced woman compared to the cave-drawing efforts of young women (and many Americans).
dracsbabe dracsbabe 8 years
Do we think we are still in pioneer days where we only lived till 30? LOL I see women in their 40's that are better looking than any 21 year old.
Brittneylb Brittneylb 8 years
Bella Sugar is right. I'm 28 and I feel like I am just beginning to be a spring chicken! I feel so much better about who I am and how I look now than I did in my early 20s.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I agree, 28 is still young. Heck, 38 is still young — and I personally can't wait to be in my 30s. I feel smarter and happier the older I get.
demonkitty18 demonkitty18 8 years
28 is still young!!
Nickey Nickey 8 years
Exactly. I'm 26 and I don't feel old at all. I feel great like I've finally grown into womanhood for real. As for the makeup, I don't wear it all the time. I always have on lip gloss though. Gotta keep it poppin!
Seraphim Seraphim 8 years
agreed Dr_NO and MandyJoBo I feel and look better than i ever have bring on 30!!!!! haha :)
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