“The best thing you can add to your beauty arsenal is a great eye shadow primer,” Stiles adds. Her go-to is Heir Atelier Eye Primer, which she uses to ensure that shadows last all day. Martin agrees and uses Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas on lids to help lock down eye shadows. “It’s great for long wear,” he says.
So, primer on the upper eyelids — check. But, as Stiles points out, you may want to incorporate an undereye primer into your makeup routine to keep products like concealer from settling into fine lines. She loves the Armani Prima Eye and Lip Contour Perfector, which “seamlessly and invisibly smooths out the under-eye.”
4. Create natural dimension, but be wary of unforgiving finishes
As much as we love an “anything goes” approach to experimenting with makeup, anything that leans too heavily into shimmer or matte finishes tends to enhance skin imperfections like texture and sagging, rather than complement the face. “Glitter and matte shadows can be dramatic for older skin,” Moultrie says, opting for washes of “light browns and taupes” to avoid overpowering the eye. “Remember, less is more. If you want to take it a step further, at night perhaps, use a shadow with a subtle shimmer.” Stiles also recommends clients go for a satin finish over sparkle. “You get some of the luminosity but without the frosty shimmer.”
Another pro favorite? “The Dior Backstage eye shadow palettes have incredible options and finishes to create different looks,” says Martin (who happens to be a brand ambassador for Dior). “To add dimension to the eye, start out using darker shades at the base of the upper lash line and pull that depth up to the crease,” he explains. “Because the skin in that area has lost its natural contour, you want to create dimension without harsh lines. The [eye shadow in the] crease creates a natural shaping as you blink and you’ll see this come through.”
5. Cream shadows are your friend
“A good cream shadow with a satin finish looks stunning because it sinks into the skin and feels more a part of the face,” Stiles says. Even better, cream formulas offer a variety of coverage levels ranging from sheer to opaque. Look for ones that have a shimmer finish, like Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow, Chanel’s Ombre Première Longwear Cream Eyeshadow, and Kjaer Weis’s luxe coconut- and sunflower-seed oil-infused formula.
6. Upgrade your eyeliner
Eyeliner is one of the best ways to add definition to your eyes and the key to nailing it is getting the formula right. “When you’re young, a crisp cat eye looks amazing, but as you age and the skin becomes less taut, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a straight, even line,” Stiles says. “Even if you draw it on perfectly, it will look wobbly once you let go of the skin. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but this is just a general guideline.” To create a sexy, not severe, look, Stiles uses a soft eyeliner pencil to trace the shape before buffing a bit of darker matte or satin shadow on top to diffuse the line. “You’ll get the definition, but without the harshness.”