The Glam-Ma Makeover: What this superstar makeup artist can teach midlife women

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Before and after of the ultimate ‘Glam-Ma’ makeover - Courtesy of @hudabeauty
Before and after of the ultimate ‘Glam-Ma’ makeover - Courtesy of @hudabeauty

The picture above is of a midlife woman who has been given a ‘glam-ma makeover’. And yes, we know what you’re thinking: it looks jaw-droppingly unrealistic and filtered to the hilt, but this is all about the make-up and there's no retouching.

It is the work of Huda Kattan, a 38-year-old make-up artist, whose make-up tutorial, the aptly titled glam-ma makeover, has helped boost the value of her business to over $1 billion dollars, according to Forbes.

Kattan’s belief is that this transformation is achievable for everyone, so long as they follow the steps. Watch her videos on Instagram and it becomes clear that this is not faked; in fact, it’s a clever combination of fine-tuned concealer and foundation, imperceptible contouring, that sculpts the features, and make-up that immediately gives the appearance of bigger eyes with fluttery lashes. It’s certainly not a style for everyone, but it clearly highlights the transformative power of make-up.

Huda Kattan, an Iraqi-American make-up artist graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 with a degree in finance. After a short spell in Dubai working in recruiting, she decided to try her hand at something she truly loved: make-up.

She took a make-up artistry course in Los Angeles and started the Huda beauty blog in 2010, at a time when there was nothing else like it for glamazon beauty obsessives.

In 2013 she launched a range of false lashes with the help of her older sisters Mona and Ayla (Mona and Huda now run the business together). The fledgling business captured a moment which saw the boom in insta-beauty stars posting the kind of fabulous make-up looks that can only be achieved with lashings of mascara. With fans such as Kim Kardashian, their success was almost instantaneous, with stores such as Sephora quick to get in on the Huda phenomenon.

Fast-forward to 2022 and 50 million devoted social media followers later, she’s created an aesthetic that has spawned a million imitations. Huda's make-up is stocked everywhere from Boots to Selfridges. And although it might seem her high octane Huda glamour only appeals to the super young, this is a woman who knows what make-up works - whether you’re 17 or 70.

Here are her golden rules for midlife women.

Spend more time on prep than on your actual make-up

I would always approach beauty differently for a woman over 50. Before I even begin on make-up for older clients, I take time to properly apply skincare. I usually spend more time on skin prep than I do on the make-up itself, because even by massaging the face properly with an oil before you begin, you will immediately de-puff and remove fluid from the face which makes all the difference.

Older skin needs more hydration, so even just a few drops of oil under your moisturiser is really valuable. Personally I spend 30 minutes to one hour massaging my face and using tools. It’s amazing how much you can do for the skin without Botox, fillers or threads.

Use as little base make-up as possible

You never need to wear too much foundation or concealer. A lot of people like to layer on lots of make-up, which is certainly a look in itself, but I love to just use just enough base product to even out the skin tone. Although you might see a lot of make-up on my Instagram feed, a lighter base is often better for midlife women.

A concealer alone is great, you don’t always need to use foundation. Just dot the concealer sparingly where you need it - avoiding any areas of wrinkles around the eyes so as not to accentuate them, and pat in the product with your ring finger.

On more mature skin, use fingers to blend base make–up, because you get the natural warmth of your fingers which helps to give a smoother finish. Use powder sparingly wherever you tend to get shine.

Steer clear of shimmer

When it comes to eye make-up, certain shimmers can accentuate wrinkles, so satin finish eyeshadows can be more flattering. But don’t feel like you need to ‘tone’ down your eye make-up: if you’ve gone for a natural-looking base, you can afford to go heavier on the eyes.

Don’t worry about wrinkles. Even when I have Botox, my doctors are always trying to get me to get Botox around my eyes and I’m like, ‘no, I’m human, I need wrinkles around my eyes!’

Add pops of colour

One of the fixtures of my glam makeovers is full, defined lips, and for that you need lip liner to define the shape and make sure your colour lasts all day.

For cheeks, cream blush or a tint is nice on mature skin, as it can provide a really instant refresh - our Cheeky Tints are great for this. But ultimately for the healthiest glow, health is by far the most important thing for beauty. Taking lots of rest, water and vitamins is what gives you that healthy radiance.

Frame the eyes

As we age, it's really important to define the brows. I would definitely use a brow wax to brush them up and keep them in place and then fill them in using a gel or pencil if needed. Sometimes when you apply too much make-up you can make them look worse, so start by applying sparingly. You will always need to use mascara, too, it’s one of those real essentials.

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