The make-up tricks which will make you look better not younger in your 70s

aCher:  every inch the glamorous septuagenarian
Cher: every inch the glamorous septuagenarian - Getty

On Monday night, Cher looked every inch the glamorous septuagenarian at the premiere of The Bikeriders in Hollywood. Wearing a cropped leather jacket, glittery black cargo trousers and fluttering long eyelashes, the 78-year-old defies the notion that you should “tone down” fashion and beauty choices with age. Her skin looked youthful and vibrant with a peachy-pink flush on the cheeks and lips and properly defined brows.

The 78-year-old star was at the premiere of 'The Bikeriders' in Hollywood
The 78-year-old star was atending the premiere of 'The Bikeriders' in Hollywood - Steve Granitz

Cher’s got it spot on, according to fellow 70-something make-up artist and brand founder Trish McEvoy, who has previously made up the faces of Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker. For McEvoy, there is no reason to scale back on wearing make-up as you get older.

“Many people say ‘less is more’ but I don’t believe that,” she explains to me over Zoom. At 74, McEvoy looks like she could be in her 50s. “Everyone ages differently, I know women in their 40s who look like they’re in their late 20s and also midlife women who look older. It’s more about when you look in the mirror asking yourself how you feel.”

Of course, there are days when you might want to simply look well-rested without too much make-up, or a more defined look at other times. Diana Ross is a great example at 80 of how to embrace this versatility; she opted for peachy make-up and defined eyes at a concert in Michigan earlier this month while other septuagenarians like Anna Wintour, Helen Mirren and the Queen always look radiant without being overdone.

Anna Wintour: never overdone
Anna Wintour at the 2024 Met Gala: never overdone - Getty

For McEvoy, whatever your age the key is to assess what your skin is really like – for example if your skin is dry, you’ll need to use more hydrating cream and liquid products.

Here’s her expert advice for make-up in your 70s.

Focus on luminosity

“A young person has a natural radiance to their skin, so that’s what we want to recreate,” says McEvoy. For your make-up to look glowy and healthy, you need to start with good skincare. A BB cream or tinted moisturiser can add a boost of hydration while still giving your skin a light layer of coverage. “If you’ve prepped the skin properly and you use moisturiser or primer that gives your skin a hydrated look, any make-up you put on top will last much longer,” she adds. Try Beauty Booster Cream SPF35, £65, by Trish McEvoy.

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Beauty Booster Cream SPF35, £65, by Trish McEvoy

‘Pinpoint’ conceal

As we get older pigmentation or uneven skin can become more common. Using a generous coverage of sun protection daily can help to futureproof your skin from any further sun spots and pigmentation, but to cover anything existing McEvoy recommends “pinpoint” concealing by applying a thick-ish cream concealer in small areas just where you need it, and gently blending.

“If you just use concealer in tiny areas where you need it, rather than covering the face too much with product, you’ll still maintain the healthy glow of ‘real skin’ underneath,” she says. Try the Studio Finish SPF35, £20, by Mac with the Concealer Brush 20, £3.90, by Edy London.

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Studio Finish SPF35, £20, by Mac; Concealer Brush 20, £3.90, by Edy London

Add some warmth

“Warmth in the skin makes you look like you’ve had a good rest,” says McEvoy. This means bronzer, which is often overlooked in the make-up stakes but can make a huge impact on the overall “healthy” look of the skin. “As we age, our skin can appear more sallow so using a soft bronzer adds structure and warmth to the skin,” she adds.

Sweep a cream bronzer along the jawline to define the area and on the cheekbones and temples to add a sunkissed look. For McEvoy, creams are better suited for older complexions as they add an element of hydration to the skin, too. Try the Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer, £26, by Saie.

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Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer, £26, by Saie

The colours to try

According to McEvoy, pinks and peach tones on the lips and cheeks can bring back a fresh vibrancy to skin over 70. Rather than a bright opaque lipstick, however, grown-up lip glosses in bright colours can add a youthful pop without feeling too strong a colour. On the cheeks, blush placement is important. “You want to apply it high on the cheeks to give an added lift,” says McEvoy. Try the Color Fuse Longwear Glassy Lip and Cheek Stick, £30 by Haus Labs. For eyes, don’t be put off by black gel eyeliners although McEvoy finds that deep grey eyeliners are excellent for giving more of an ethereal look to the face.

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Color Fuse Longwear Glassy Lip and Cheek Stick, £30 by Haus Labs

Define your features

“As we age we lose definition in our features,” says McEvoy. “So we need to put that definition back into our lips and eyes with a lip liner and eyeliner.” Lip liners don’t have to look obvious, or even visible at all – match the shade to your lipstick and all it will do is define the lip line and prevent your lipstick colour bleeding into fine lines around the mouth. Try the Hot Line Lip Liner, £22, by Monika Blunder Beauty.

McEvoy is a big believer in having brows tinted – even if they’re grey – to give you a natural definition, and “tightlining” the upper lash line with a pencil (gently pressing the product in between the eyelashes) for a very natural definition. “This ‘invisible line’ immediately makes your eyelashes look thicker, too,” she adds. Try the Intense Gel Eyeliner, £22, by Trish McEvoy.

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Hot Line Lip Liner, £22, by Monika Blunder Beauty; Intense Gel Eyeliner, £22, by Trish McEvoy