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Skin Deep

Skin Deep: Here's what I've had to stop doing with my makeup because my skin is getting older

Curse my years of smiling and laughing and enjoying life, they’ve destroyed my smooth canvas.


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth. 

I’ve never claimed to be a makeup artist, but I’ve always been fairly confident about my makeup skills.

They were borne out of a genuine passion for beauty, and honed over years spent in front of the mirror applying and removing various looks (there were no YouTube tutorials back when I got started, so it was all trial and error). As a beauty columnist, I feel I have a responsibility to keep those skills on point, so recently, when I felt they were deteriorating, I was dismayed. What was going on? Why wasn’t my eyeshadow blending like it used to? Why didn’t my foundation sit as well as it used to? The answer, is terrifying. It’s age.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be over the hill, but my skin has changed.

There are some lines that didn’t use to be there, and the elasticity isn’t what it once was. As a result, some of the makeup techniques I used to use just don’t work now, and I’ve had to add a trick here and there to avoid ageing myself with my makeup. 


First, my eyeshadow application has changed. I used to be able to blend with a sweeping stroke across the crease of my eyelid, but of late I noticed this was resulting in a slightly stripy finish. The product wasn’t being distributed evenly because my skin is folding on itself as I sweep the brush, resulting in gaps in the shadow.

Look, it’s not sexy, but it’s normal. As we get older, the collagen and elastin fibres in our skin deteriorate, so it’s just not as firm and bouncy. We can counteract some of it with appropriate creams, but change is inevitable. 

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to avoid this issue when applying eyeshadow (and, in fact, eyeliner). Instead of using broad strokes, you simply need to use smaller circular motions to apply the product on a patch at a time. Smaller strokes for liquid eyeliner should also avoid any dragging. Sometimes I kind of press the product on while holding the applicator sideways to create a line rather than pulling at all.

If you think about it in terms of the difference between painting a firm surface and a soft surface, you’ll get it. You can casually lash paint on wood no problem, it’ll go on smoothly. If you’re painting a piece of fabric, it’ll drag and distort unless you are gentle and more delicate with your strokes.


When it comes to complexion, my struggle has been the makeup sinking into the fine lines under my eyes and the semi-circular creases which are developing either side of my mouth due to my wretched smiling and laughing. What was I thinking enjoying all those experiences over the years?!

To avoid this happening, I use a lighter touch with the product in those areas. The more product there is, the more likely it is to sink or cake. I use as little as possible, and then pat the areas with my fingers to lift any excess product before powdering with loose translucent powder (my favourite is Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, but Nyx Cosmetics Professional Makeup Setting Powder is a good budget alternative.


Aside from these issues, there are various other problems which may rear their ugly heads as the years go by. If you’re a fan of matte foundation, you may find that it’s not sitting as nicely as it used to on your skin as you get older. Due to hormonal changes, the skin tends to get drier as the years go on, so you may find yourself leaning toward a more hydrating formula.

Perhaps your lipstick will start to bleed a little as you develop fine lines around your lips (lipliner should help with this issue – if you’re afraid of ending up with a line of colour, try an invisible one like this). Perhaps your eyebrows will start thinning, and you’ll rely on various brow products more heavily to prevent them from looking patchy. The good news is that there’s a product for every eventuality these days.

New Product


Alex Steinherr is one of the world’s leading beauty influencers, and the launch of her skincare line with Penneys back in October was big beauty news. Now, they’re adding three new products, Sleep Spa Oil to Milk Cleanser, the Pollution Solution Clay Mask, and Pollution Solution Dual Texture Exfoliating Pads which come in a handy pot of sixty. They range in price from €3-€6 – I’m a fan. 

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