Sometimes looking in the mirror can feel like a drag if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep or are confronted with a new wrinkle, but putting makeup on can be a huge mood booster. Julie Meikle, 51-year-old makeup artist and TikTok sensation, is all about inspiring people to play up their looks and have fun with makeup, especially as they age. As someone who’s been in the beauty industry for over 20 years, she has more than a few tricks up her sleeve, as well as product recommendations you can’t miss.
Makeup and hair tips are her main focus, but she also wants to empower others and often discusses the reality of aging and body image. “I promised myself I wouldn’t use filters,” she says. “I’m 51 years old and that’s OK. If I’m going to teach women then I need to be real.”
Ahead, Meikle tells us what is in her beauty bag and the products she recommends for women over 50.
READ THIS NEXT: Goldie Hawn Swears by This Grocery Store Product for Perfect Skin at 76.
Meikle says that first and foremost, it’s important to have a good skincare routine, but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever need a little help from the makeup department. As you age, your skin loses elasticity, which in turn makes your pores more visible. Enter: primer, a quick camouflage method that can smooth out the overall appearance of the face.
A little primer goes a long way, says Meikle. You apply it before any other makeup—most women will only need it on the T-zone and a little on the cheeks. She loves the Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer, which comes in a mini size that will still “last you forever.”
She also loves Danessa Myricks Blurring Balm Powder, which feels a little less “heavy duty” than Tarte, but creates a natural smoothing effect just the same.
Concealer or color corrector can help even out the skin as well as minimize shadows and discoloration that can often come with aging. One of Meikle’s favorites is the Color Correcting Duo by Sigma. “It’s the perfect color for my skin tone to correct and conceal the shadows and it doesn’t leave my under eye feeling heavy,” she says. “It also comes in a variety of skin tones to suit all colors.”
These little corrections will light up the entire face, as well as shift the focus to the eyes.
For more beauty advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Finding a foundation that you like doesn’t have to break the bank (Meikle’s top choice can be found at the drugstore), but it should feel light on your skin. Meikle explains that a full-coverage foundation tends to appear too heavy on women over 50. It creates an opportunity for the makeup to settle into fine lines and wrinkles—which never looks good.
She loves the L’Oreal True Match Nude Plumping and Hydrating Tinted Serum Foundation. “I would choose it over most high-end foundations,” she says. “It’s a formula that’s easily buildable, but also gives coverage without feeling too heavy.”
It’s important to bring some color and dimension back to the skin once all the base makeup is done, and choosing the right bronzer is key. Meikle recommends using a powder bronzer when you’re older because cream ones can remove the makeup you just applied and reveal the sun spots you may be trying to hide.
“My favorite is the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer,” she says. “It comes in different shades and smells delicious. It’s soft formula makes it easy to blend and it’s affordable.”
If you’re looking for a brand with a large range of skin tones from fair to deep, Meikle recommends Fenty Beauty.
Wearing different eyeshadow can not only make your eyes the focal point, they’re also a really fun way to experiment with different colors when doing your makeup. Meikle advises using a primer or base before the shadow to cancel out discoloration and prep the lid for an easier application.
“There are beautiful shadows on the market but the most affordable options that I love are the Elf Rose Gold Eye Shadow Palette and their Nude Mood Palette,” she says. “They’re creamy, easy to use and full of beautiful pigment.” These palettes are lightweight and easy to store, especially if you’re traveling.
According to Meikle, eyebrow pencil is even more important than eyeshadow—especially as you age.
But these pencils have a little bit of a goldilocks thing going on: You want one that isn’t too hard or too soft. If the pencil is too hard it can be difficult to apply; if it is too soft you’ll have to blend in so so much product it could end up looking too harsh. She says the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is just right.
“The ABH pencils are perfect and the size allows you to create a beautiful hair-like stroke,” she says. They also have the most color options available.
As we age, not only does the hair on our head get thinner, but sadly so do our lashes. Thank goodness for mascara, and in particular, Meikle recommends tubing mascara. Tubing mascara is different from regular mascara because it has polymers that wrap around each individual lash.
Our eyes also can become more sensitive after 50, so picking a mascara that will amp up the lashes without irritation is another key. Meikle’s go-to right now is the Tartlette Tubing mascara. “It’s a buildable formula (which isn’t common for a tubing mascara) and the wand is narrow and long which allows you to get to the root of the lashes.” There’s also zero flaking, which is a plus!
READ THIS NEXT: The Best Lipstick Shade for Your Zodiac Sign, According to Astrologers.
Lipliner helps give the illusion that the lips are fuller and adds definition.
Meikle’s favorite is Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude. “It’s the perfect neutral lip liner—not too pink or orange,” she says. “It allows you to over-line your lips slightly without it being obvious.”
You can use the liner with any shade of lipstick, but if you’re sticking with a classy nude lip, Meikle suggests pairing the liner with L’Oreal Colour Riche Formula in Fairest Nude. It looks good on any skin tone and has a creamy formula and rich color that Meikle loves. She also notes that if you’re planning on wearing lipstick, make sure your lips are nice and hydrated beforehand.