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Louise McSharry: ‘Some women manage to fight off the pressures to appear eternally youthful. I am not one of them...’

Our beauty writer reveals her best make-up tips to counter the signs of ageing

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'I’m working towards making peace with that and, in the meantime, I’m going to be smart when it comes to my make-up.'

'I’m working towards making peace with that and, in the meantime, I’m going to be smart when it comes to my make-up.'

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, €24 at mccauley.ie

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, €24 at mccauley.ie

Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Undereye Brightener, €21.60, boots.ie

Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Undereye Brightener, €21.60, boots.ie

Chanel’s Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick, €42, brownthomas.com

Chanel’s Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick, €42, brownthomas.com

Sculpted by Aimee’s Cream Luxe products, €18, sculptedbyaimee.com

Sculpted by Aimee’s Cream Luxe products, €18, sculptedbyaimee.com

Just for Men’s Moustache and Beard Brush-In Colour Gel, €11.49, boots.ie

Just for Men’s Moustache and Beard Brush-In Colour Gel, €11.49, boots.ie

Ultra Suede lipstick, €24, makeupbymario.com

Ultra Suede lipstick, €24, makeupbymario.com

The Audacious Lipstick Collection by Nars

The Audacious Lipstick Collection by Nars

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'I’m working towards making peace with that and, in the meantime, I’m going to be smart when it comes to my make-up.'

Being a beauty writer and a feminist can be conflicting at times. Actually, who am I kidding? Being a woman living in Western society and being a feminist can be conflicting at times. You know that your value is in your ability, your mind, and your heart, but you can’t help but feel certain pressures when it comes to your appearance because you live in a society which puts them on you constantly.

These pressures are particularly intense when it comes to ageing. I’d say there are few among us who haven’t struggled with their internal monologues bemoaning the appearance of new lines, or less elasticity in their faces and bodies, while the strong feminist voices in their heads say, “Yes, but it doesn’t matter. Ageing is a privilege.”

Some women manage to fight off the pressures to appear eternally youthful, or to at least strive to. I am not one of those women. I don’t really mind getting older, in theory, but I’d like my face to stop moving.  

At some stage, we will all show signs of ageing. I’m working towards making peace with that and, in the meantime, I’m going to be smart when it comes to my make-up.

There are those extol strict rules in terms of what beauty decisions women should make after a certain age. No bright colour. No long hair. No glitter. That’s all nonsense. There are, however, some pitfalls which can unduly emphasise ageing.

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Chanel’s Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick, €42, brownthomas.com

Chanel’s Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick, €42, brownthomas.com

Chanel’s Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick, €42, brownthomas.com

First, highlight should be carefully applied. The gleam of healthy, glowing skin never stops being beautiful, no matter your age, and highlighter can help you achieve that look. However, if applied too close to the eyes, it will gather in fine lines and draw the eye to the wrong place. Keep highlight to the centre of the cheekbone rather than on top. When choosing a colour, something natural like a pearl or pink will give you the best results. Try to avoid metallic shades like silver or gold, which can look heavy and ageing. Chanel’s Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick (€42 at brownthomas.com) is beautifully subtle, as is Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight (€24 at mccauley.ie).

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Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, €24 at mccauley.ie

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, €24 at mccauley.ie

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, €24 at mccauley.ie

Liquid concealer is often applied heavily around the eyes in make-up tutorials, but it’s not always necessary. If you don’t have much discolouration around the eyes, skip it. If you do, tap the product on gently with your finger rather than lashing a load on with a brush or applicator. The less product you use, the better, as excess will gather in fine lines. A thin layer will also set better than a thick one. I like Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Undereye Brightener (€21.60 at boots.ie) as the light formula offers a lot of concealing bang for its buck.

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Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Undereye Brightener, €21.60, boots.ie

Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Undereye Brightener, €21.60, boots.ie

Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Undereye Brightener, €21.60, boots.ie

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Cream products work beautifully on skin as it gets older, whether it’s bronzer, blush or highlight. They give a more natural result, and are less likely to sink into fine lines. They also work well on dry skin, and as our skin naturally loses moisture as it ages, are great for mature faces too. Sculpted by Aimee’s Cream Luxe products are beautiful, and work brilliantly on any age (€18 via sculptedbyaimee.com).

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Sculpted by Aimee’s Cream Luxe products, €18, sculptedbyaimee.com

Sculpted by Aimee’s Cream Luxe products, €18, sculptedbyaimee.com

Sculpted by Aimee’s Cream Luxe products, €18, sculptedbyaimee.com

Finally, as we age, our brows thin out and tend to lighten. Don’t let them disappear. A good set of brows will frame the face. A professional can help with the right tint and shape or, if you’re feeling confident, an at-home tint can do a great job. Just for Men’s Moustache and Beard Brush-In Colour Gel works a treat, and comes in natural-looking shades (€11.49 at boots.ie). Be careful not to go too dark, as this tends to look unnatural and harsh on older faces.

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Just for Men’s Moustache and Beard Brush-In Colour Gel, €11.49, boots.ie

Just for Men’s Moustache and Beard Brush-In Colour Gel, €11.49, boots.ie

Just for Men’s Moustache and Beard Brush-In Colour Gel, €11.49, boots.ie

As always, these are just suggestions. Your face is your face, and you’re entitled to do what you want with it. You don’t owe anyone youth, and we are privileged to age. If you’re struggling to feel that way, I suggest you check out the @and.bloom Instagram account, which features beautiful women ageing unapologetically. It certainly makes me feel better every time I look at it.

Lost in translation

Microblading has become very popular in recent years for people who struggle with their brows. This is essentially the semi-permanent tattooing of individual hair-like strokes and can result in the appearance of incredibly realistic brows. The process takes about an hour and requires a top-up six-to-eight weeks after the initial appointment. Results should last 12-18 months.

Something old…

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The Audacious Lipstick Collection by Nars

The Audacious Lipstick Collection by Nars

The Audacious Lipstick Collection by Nars

François Nars launched 12 lipsticks in Barney’s New York in 1994, before adding 28 more shades in 2014 and naming them The Audacious Lipstick Collection. These are a staple of my lipstick collection — the classic black magnetic packaging is a joy to have in a handbag or make-up case. These lipsticks are highlight-pigmented, which means you only need one coat, and a satin formula means they are very comfortable to wear. I am never without Anita, which is a beautiful dusky rose, but also have a soft spot for Grace, which is a super-bright pink.


... Something new

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Ultra Suede lipstick, €24, makeupbymario.com

Ultra Suede lipstick, €24, makeupbymario.com

Ultra Suede lipstick, €24, makeupbymario.com

Makeup by Mario’s line has been a huge hit since it launched a year ago, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider his influence on beauty trends via his work with Kim Kardashian. His latest launch is the Ultra Suede lipstick (€24 at makeupbymario.com), which comes in the brand’s trademark white packaging. The 20 shades are named after members of his team (a nice touch), and come in a non-drying matte finish. Huge progress has been made in matte lipstick formulas, and this one is exceptionally comfortable


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