Makeup In Midlife: Why Your Foundation Color Doesn’t Work Any More

Carol and I were just discussing this very topic so I thought it was worth reviewing on the blog. Why is it the foundation color and formula we wore for years and years suddenly no longer works for us?

Well for most women, reaching middle age comes with a barrage of unexpected changes – physically, emotionally, and even in seemingly less important things, like makeup. One such surprise is the realization that your tried-and-true foundation color suddenly doesn’t seem to match your skin tone anymore. While it might seem confusing and unnerving at first, there are several reasons why this happens.


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Why Your Foundation Color No Longer Works For You

  1. Changes in Skin Tone: As we age, our skin undergoes various transformations, including changes in texture, elasticity, and, even pigmentation. One of the primary reasons your foundation color may no longer work for you is due to shifts in your skin tone. How and why does this happen? Factors such as sun exposure, hormonal changes, and genetics can contribute to uneven pigmentation, leading to differences in your complexion compared to when you were younger.
  2. Loss of Natural Glow: Youthful skin often has a natural radiance and luminosity that can diminish over time. As we age, our skin tends to lose moisture, becoming drier and duller in appearance. This loss of natural glow can affect how foundation blends with your skin, potentially making your current shade appear too flat or ashy on mature skin that lacks the vibrant undertones of that youthful glow.
  3. Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Another common aspect of aging is the development of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. While makeup can work wonders in concealing imperfections, using the wrong foundation color can accentuate rather than disguise them. A mismatched foundation may settle into fine lines, making them more noticeable and detracting from your overall look.
  4. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, especially during perimenopause and menopause, can wreak havoc on your skin’s chemistry. Changes in estrogen levels can lead to increased dryness, sensitivity, and even acne breakouts, all of which may affect how your foundation interacts with your skin. What once provided flawless coverage may now emphasize dry patches or exacerbate hormonal acne, necessitating a reevaluation of your foundation choice.
  5. Neglecting to Update Your Makeup Routine: Lastly, it’s important to recognize that as we age, our makeup needs evolve. What worked for you in your 20’s or 30’s may no longer be suitable for your skin now that you are in middle age. If you’ve been using the same foundation color for years without reassessing your needs, it’s possible that your skin has changed more than you probably realize. Regularly updating your makeup routine to accommodate these changes can help ensure you look flawlessly radiant.

7 Of The Best Foundations For Mature Skin

Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Foundation aging skin fountainof30


1. Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Foundation, $69

You know this iconic foundation had to come first right? There is a reason it has been a long-time favorite of makeup artists. It is weightless, blends into the skin seamlessly, blurs the appearance of texture and imperfections and makes skin radiant and glow. This oil-free foundation offers medium coverage so your natural skin can shine through. If you are seeking opaque coverage this one may not work for you. However your natural skin will look like it’s having a really great day, every day.

It comes in a whopping 40 shades so there absolutely one that’s perfect for you. The only drawback is that it is not cruelty-free.

gucci foundation color fountainof30

2. Gucci 4 Hour Full Coverage Luminous Matte Finish Foundation, $69

I swear you would think this was the exact same foundation as Armani’s yet a different design house and packaging. It also comes in an astounding 40 shades. And while it’s true many, full-coverage, matte foundations can look heavy on the skin and emphasize fine lines and texture, this one does not. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and black rose oil to moisturize while bamboo powder to absorbs shine yet is not drying.

The downside is that it is heavily fragranced which may not be ideal for sensitive skin and it is not cruelty-free.

Kosas foundation for aging skin

3. Kosas Revealer Foundation SPF 25, $42

If you are seeking a medium coverage, lightweight, liquid consistency that’s effortlessly blendable, sand provides buildable  coverage, yet a natural, skin-like finish…then this could be your new foundation. Kosas contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, and peptides and soothing and brightening ingredients like arnica, caffeine, and niacinamide. Amazing. It’s also cruelty-free. It effortlessly covers redness and blurs the appearance of pores and fine lines.

For me the drawback is that it contains SPF. SPF’s found in makeup are not high quality because they don’t play well together (unstable) in the same bottle. So pretend it doesn’t have any and apply sunscreen before you use this or any makeup containing “SPF.”

nars light reflecting foundation beauty over 50 fountainof30

4. NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation, $52

If you prefer a natural, light coverage foundation that evens out your complexion, blurs texture and discoloration without matifying or adding too much shine, you need to check out NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation. It comes in an impressive 36 shades.

dior foundation for aging skin fountainof30

5. Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation, $43

Some might say this is the best foundation for aging skin. This medium coverage foundation has a super-lightweight, liquid consistency that is effortlessly blendable for buildable coverage all while leaving a gorgeous, natural-looking finish. What’s not to love? It’s not drying and doesn’t stick to dry patches, but is also not oily or too radiant so it creates a truly natural-looking finish. The formula contains hyaluronic acid and squalane to keep skin moisturized all day and night. It also comes in 43 shades!

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation fountainof30

6. Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation, $96

Yes it costs a pretty penny and only comes in 10 shades, but this is my current favorite foundation. Luckily one of these shades works perfectly for me. It’s formulated with a moisturizing blend of jojoba oil, olive squalane, and shea butter, but isn’t greasy or heavy. In fact the lightweight consistency blends in quickly and is buildable. The best part is that it covers redness and hyperpigmentation beautifully. It doesn’t settle into fine lines or cling to dry patches. Longwear and packed with skin-loving ingredients, it’s also cruelty-free. This foundation simply leaves skin smooth, healthy, and radiant. I could not love it more.

L'Oreal Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation makeup fountainof30

7. L’Oreal Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation, $17.99

Of course I added a more affordable drugstore foundation, because this one is that good. It’s formulated specifically for mature and sensitive skin. This medium coverage, creamy, lightweight, buildable foundation covers imperfections effortlessly without settling into fine lines and wrinkles. It contains niacinamide (to help skin retain moisture and smooths out the complexion) and comes in 23 shades. While this foundation contains SPF 50 I still highly recommend using a quality sunscreen before applying.

armani foundation color match fountainof30

While discovering that your foundation color no longer suits you can be soul-crushing, it’s a natural part of the aging process. Understanding the underlying reasons behind this shift in your makeup needs should empower you to make informed decisions about your beauty routine. Whether it’s embracing a new shade that complements your evolving skin tone, adjusting your skincare regimen to address specific concerns, or seeking professional advice, remember beauty is about embracing change and celebrating the journey at every age.

Tip: If you are not good at foundation color matching, do what I do and go to Sephora or your favorite department store and have their makeup artists help you.

Lauren Dimet Waters Signature

Read some of my other beauty posts like Antiaging Beauty: Makeup That Helps You Get Your Glow Back and 11 of The Best Creams To Try for Skin Barrier Repair.

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Beauty Photo: iStock

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