Quickly Update Your Makeup Look in Your 40’s With These New Trends

how to update makeup look routine in your 40's

If you’re in your later 30’s to mid 40’s you rocked some pretty awesome styles back in the day. From young teens to 20’s adults, we went thru all kinds of changes through the 80s makeup and styles, the 90s and the 2000’s…. We covered a lot in there!

And since those years are so ingrained, it can be hard to completely let go of our inner fluorescent multi-colored glamour girl inside. From Madonna to Nirvana…. Poison to Boyz II Men…. Run DMC to TLC…. You get the picture.

Well, you don’t need to let her go. Just tuck her away gently and let her go crazy once in a while.

But you can update your makeup look…. It’s never too late. You can take current trends and incorporate them lightly into your makeup routine to give you a fresh and even more youthful look without being overly dramatic. Unless you want to then by all means go for it.

So, for the everyday grownup you are now, let’s take her and update her to a more sophisticated adult, using some amazing new trends, all while keeping your own beautiful individuality still shining through.

4 Easy ways to update your makeup look by updating your:

  • eyebrows – fill in more, but not big or fake!
  • eyeshadow & liner – new trends, cleaner & classier lines
  • base & foundation – easy match, lightweight, simple application, primer, powders and baking information
  • contouring – gently emphasize your best features and contour for simple illusions

When you think of makeup growing up, transitioning from the 80’s through 90’s, it was neon miss-match eyeshadow colors, big eyebrows (did we even care about them at all back then??), bright blush and pinky lipstick.

Here’s a glamour shot from 1993 of me and my sister for reference. My sister may actually physically hurt me for sharing this but it’s worth it.

1990's glamour shots


We stood out. There wasn’t a lot of skin prep or protection….. Heck, back then we lathered up with baby oils and basted like a turkey cooking in the sun.

As the later 90’s came around, we sure learned what plucking was by nearly eliminating our eyebrows to a thin line.

In fact, we lined everything from our lips to our eyes. Dark eyeshadows and lipstick, with few cutesy clips all up in our hair. Rolling over to the 2000’s, we started learning about moisturizing, but we still caked on our foundation over our whole face and layered the heck out of our makeup.

So here we are, nearly 3-4 decades later (however old you want to admit you are), but yes, we’ve come a long way, and it’s time to update.

And let me tell you, these girls today have some new wonderful makeup tools and trends that can really help ramp up our own beauty routine.

How to Update Your Makeup Look

Let’s go through the style updates, trends and makeup tools you can use today to give yourself an update without looking too “young” or out of place.

You might also see a few new makeup terms like contouring, baking and reverse cat eyes among others.

There’s a bunch of tips ahead, so feel free to choose to embrace these new trends fully or just slightly update your current makeup style.

Update Eyebrows

I’m going to start with the eyebrows because for me, this is one of the main features on our face that is so neutral yet can easily define your style in an Insta-second.

Here are how the girls are wearing their eyebrows bigger.

Take a look at some before and now eyebrow looks from the 90’s to the 2020’s. You can see the much thinner lines back then compared to a fuller look today.

The current trend is a larger yet distinctly defined brow. For me, I will let those girls have their big retro brow moment, but here’s how you can update your brows without going full trend where it’s out of place.

First, I want to share with you an awesome find called an eyebrow stencil stamp kit or you may have heard one called the Glamour gals eyebrow stamp kit. It comes with a bunch of stencil designs, a stamper color of your choice, and a little brush. This gem can be a game-changer for you and really help in creating an updated look in less than a minute.

Seriously, I can do both eyebrows under a minute.

I lOVE THIS stamp kit!


What I found really cool was that apparently, this stencil has been around since the 1950’s. I just happened to watch a woman on Tik Tok talking about different makeup trends from the 1950’s and she had this stencil in the lineup. It came with a lip stencil too which was quite entertaining.

You can watch here: 1950’s makeup Tik Tok video by @pinuppixie

Using a stencil will allow you to get a clean, outlined look.


How to update your eyebrows:

  • use a stencil to fill in the desired style with a stamp or eyebrow pencil and a small angled eyebrow brush
  • OR create an outline with an eyebrow pencil and use upward strokes with a small angled eyebrow brush and an appropriate brown color to just lightly fill in.
  • set eyebrows with a setting spray (or use hairspray like me) 🤣🤣🤣


Update Eyeshadow & Liner

I have vivid memories of blues and shimmery colors all through the 90’s and well into the 2000’s.

And while blues and colors are still “in-style”, they are applied differently today. You totally have permission NOT to wear the blues anymore.

Surprisingly, people are swinging back to vibrant colors and trying on many different looks, only applying them all around the eye or deliberately positioning on the lid.

Another trend is eyeliner. There are new ways you’ll see in the pictures below where they are extending the lines above the lid, outside the lid and downward called “reverse cat eye”, and even doing separated lines above and beyond the lid area.

These are very young looks, that while I think are cool and beautiful on these younger generations, we can take that trend and take it down a few notches to be “on trend” without trying too hard.

How to update your eyeshadow look:

  • blend your darker tones into your colors or lighter tones
  • skip the shimmer or light color up to your brow line
  • if you need shimmer, use on inside corner of eye only
  • use a lighter, neutral color up to your brow line to add a highlight


Update Base & Foundation

While we know of moisturizers, concealers, etc, nowadays girls wouldn’t dream of putting on a foundation without a primer.


What is primer and do you need it?

Good question. To me, I thought moisturizer was the best thing under makeup….. nay, nay my friends.

Primer is used underneath eyeshadow, foundation, tinted moisturizer, and mascara to create a smoother look that enhances makeup coverage. And it is also there to help your makeup stay on longer all while targeting concerns like oily or dry skin. Think of it like the real life Photoshop of the makeup world.

You might also be thinking that primer sounds like a hyped-up moisturizer, just another product the makeup industry created to get more money out of us. Eh, maybe…. I don’t think anyone knows. There is a whole generation right now that swears by its necessity.

Foundation, Powder & Concealer

As far as foundation goes, it no longer needs to be spread over your entire face in a thick, covering spread. This generation has perfected the application process too by using foundation sponges and brushes. They seriously have an applicator for everything.

They apply the foundation slightly over base areas like cheeks, forehead and jawline. They like to blend in with an applicator sponge …. not their fingers like we all still do.

Apply your concealer (which almost always comes with a wand). Blend in by tapping in with a sponge.

Apply your highlighter.

Now, this is where it can get weird…. now they suggest doing something called “baking” where you apply a pretty robust amount of powder over these recently highlighted areas…. To set it in. Then blend.

Baking has been used in the drag community for quite some time. This was a new term/concept for me to learn.

Baking is a the process of applying concealer and loose powder under your eyes for a crease-free, flawless-looking finish. The technique is letting a thick layer of translucent powder sit on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes, so your body heat can set or “bake” your foundation and concealer underneath.  Traditional baking uses a damp sponge to allow the loose powder to sit under your eyes for 5-10 minutes to blend with your foundation and concealer, leaving you with the creaseless, flawless makeup.

Here’s an example of baking.

How to update your base look, take their routine but dial it back a bit by:

  • use a primer all over your face before applying your makeup
  • only lightly add in highlighter on the lower outside corners of your eye and under the front corner of your eye
  • add highlighter along the top of the entire nose
  • add a light amount of powder to set all over
  • blend by using a powder brush


Contouring is also really popular now, where you apply darker powders to create concave shadow areas and to enhance other features.


Steps for putting on your makeup:

  • primer
  • eye cream, blend in
  • foundation, sponge blend
  • concealer, blend in
  • light powder w/damp sponge, fairly thick layer
  • “bake”
  • dust off loose powder
  • finish doing your eyes, eyebrows and lips


It’s really an amazing world of makeup right now. There are tons of color options, price points, skincare, applicators and techniques.

And to be honest, I think these current makeup wearers are the most knowledgeable so far. Women and men alike. We can definitely learn a thing or two from them.

It’s like everything in life: try it, see if it fits you and make a decision based off your own experience.


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