5 ways to tailor your make-up services for mature clients

The industry’s leading make-up artists reveal the do’s and don’ts when it comes to applying make-up on older clientele:

  1. Know your market
    “Mature clients are often looking for something different from their make-up compared to younger clientele – they don’t want over-the-top party looks from their makeover. Instead they want anti-ageing make-up tips and tricks along with advice on how to achieve the appearance of looking younger,” says Nilam Holmes-Patel, co-founder and CEO of High Definition Beauty, which has a range of professional make-up products. For example, bold or nude lipsticks can look harsh on older women so opt for soft-toned shades instead, she advises.

  1. Be tactful with what you say
    “When sharing your expertise bear in mind that some clients may feel sensitive about the ageing process,” says James McKnight, brand ambassador for make-up brand New CID Cosmetics. “It’s best to talk to your client in general terms rather than being super direct. For example, ‘You need to wear foundation as your skin tone is uneven’ is quite direct whereas "Our skin tends to become more uneven in tone as we age so this foundation will even everything out beautifully’ is much more diplomatic.”

  1. Make it a learning experience
    “Offer individual masterclasses to help mature clients create the perfect ‘day look’ which incorporates anti-ageing make-up tips, and make it so in-salon make-up lessons and makeover packages can be redeemable against product purchases,” says Holmes-Patel. “You could even create ‘anti-ageing make-up packages’ which include other preventative services you offer, such as facials that tackle fine lines and wrinkles. This will help to encourage repeat business and loyal custom.”

  1. Remember their skin needs
    “Skin becomes drier and more textured as we age, so you have to prep it well before application and avoid using make-up with drying, powdery base formulas,” explains McKnight. “Opt for light-diffusing and slightly more luminous concealers and foundations instead, and use a cream blush to provide radiance to the cheeks rather than shimmery highlighters.” As we age, our lashes and brows become sparser too so McKnight advises softly defining lids with neutral matte eyeshadows and eyebrows with soft brow pencils to create definition.

  1. Don’t forget the lips
    Loss of lip volume is a common side effect of ageing, so “redefine the contours of the lip softly with feathery strokes of a lip pencil that matches the client’s natural lip colour,” says McKnight. If you do use lipstick, McKnight suggests using rosy pinks or soft corals as “dark matte colours can make the mouth look a little ‘mean’ and enhance lip volume loss,” adds McKnight.