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Super beautiful - makeup at any age

We at Ensemble have a passionate hatred for any ‘rules’ around how we should live, especially in terms of 'keeping up appearances'. That said, we’ve noticed our relationship with makeup changing as we get older.

We spoke to leading makeup artists about their changing faces and must-have products. Take what you like and discard what you don't. You’re beautiful!

Baksho, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Carolyn Haslett, hair and makeup artist and photographer

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

Yes, and I want to be honest about this. Because my eyesight has deteriorated and I wear glasses, it's actually hard to put it on! So I generally don’t wear a lot. I put mascara on, sometimes I might put a little foundation through the middle of my face, mixed with a face oil to spread it thinly, a bit of creme blush and preferably a tinted lip balm.

Age makes us look at a lot of things differently and if I'm honest, I like to see minimal makeup on an older face. Unless it's someone who has been wearing a full face all their lives, and they are used to doing it, then it looks right on them, it's part of them, but I prefer a more natural look. Maybe there is a bit of blush to give colour, a thin eyeliner, a sweep of mascara, and a light lip - a stain or a lip balm with a bit of colour. Healthy skin is always going to be better in my opinion.

What major changes have you made, and why?

Again, eyesight, and I don’t think what I wore in my 20s would work now. I used to smudge kohl around my eyes; I liked the lived in punk look.

When I went to France and trained as a makeup artist, I noticed that French women were more into looking after their skin, not hiding it by piling on the makeup. It's interesting how different cultures are around this; like the English would generally be the opposite of the French. I haven't lived in Paris for a long time, so maybe it's not like that now, but we usually only pay attention to what we are attracted to or repelled by (as far as makeup or beauty goes). I can remember not wearing a lot even when I was at the makeup school, and after, I was always very pared back, so maybe that’s also why I still am.

Anything you won’t give up?

Mascara, tinted lip balm, SPF, face oils.

Anything you’ll never do again?

Anything highly frosted. 

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Each to their own. I personally don’t want to do it. I tried it years ago, but I don’t really have a problem looking my age. Maybe other people do; it seems like the last frontier to conquer. 

It may be fashionable to use older models - which I love - but people are still ageist. Maybe if we weren't such an ageist society, women wouldn’t feel so bad about looking older, it must be exhausting - and expensive - to constantly keep up the fight. Men seem to let it happen and probably think they look okay (more delusional perhaps?) so I don’t know why there’s so much pressure for women to look younger while working full-time and raising families.

Nothing wrong with tweaks if it makes a woman feel good. I guess it's like getting your hair done, but a lot more expensive and painful!

Number one product?

I love face oils.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

They aren’t really hacks, more like common sense. Look after your skin, wear sunblock (although I’m very guilty of not always wearing it), dye your eyebrows, get rid of any (unwanted) facial hair, make sure your teeth are as good as they can be, keep a level of fitness if possible. Personally I don’t think skinny looks that good or that healthy when you’re older.

Caty, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Emma Peters, makeup artist and founder of Aleph Beauty

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you've gotten older?

Skin changes from day to day and season to season, particularly throughout different periods of your life. This means that we all need to be adaptable with our makeup so we can get the best results no matter what. Older skin requires a softer touch with application. Full coverage, matte finish makeup can be incredibly ageing as it will highlight any texture, lines and wrinkles. Wearing a natural coverage that just looks like the best version of your own skin is most flattering.

What major changes have you made, and why?

I’ve actually started to wear more makeup more often as I’ve gotten older, but I think that’s less to do with age and more to do with the fact that I now have makeup that I love. It not only feels good on my skin, it is nourishing and enhancing the texture of my skin for the long-term. I’m also loving the simplicity of using our multi-use products, so it’s now quicker and easier to get a great look.

Anything you won't give up?

Aleph Concealer/Foundation and Cheek/Lip Tint.

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

This is such a broad and individual topic, as there are many methods that fall into this category and many more reasons for people to choose to use them. The trick for those wanting to go down that track will be to choose methods and practitioners wisely. 

Any hacks you've learned as you've gotten older?

All the hacks! I use full body Photobiomodulation / red light therapy almost daily to enhance and regenerate mitochondria; it’s a great way to help the body's healing and regenerating processes. It provides targeted wavelengths of light at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels of the body reducing inflammation, enhancing collagen production among many more benefits.

The other proactive ageing must is to look after hormone health. Taking care of and balancing hormones is one of the best overall strategies I’ve adopted.

Anything else that's changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

I love that I’m more confident in my skin than ever and use makeup for no one’s benefit but my own.

Shirley Simpson, makeup artist

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

I can’t be bothered to wear as much as I used to. I used to spend a bit of time trying to make my very small, hooded, lashless eyes look better by applying a lot of product -  shadows, eyeliners, mascara etc. Now I don’t bother… just mascara.

What major changes have you made, and why?

The most major change I’ve made is to apply less, although I've never really worn tonnes. I guess in my 20s I wore a bit more because I was going out a lot and I was in a band. Also, I now only use products that are as natural as possible, especially foundation because I don’t like the thought of my skin absorbing toxic chemicals. I use Aleph foundation/concealer for this reason.

Anything you won’t give up?

I think because of said small featureless eyes I will always need mascara and Revitalash (hello Revitalash).

Anything you’ll never do again?

In my formative years I used a lot of Shiseido Moisture Mist cake foundation in a very white shade with Revlon ‘Hot Tomato’ eyeshadow…(not good with a complexion that’s reddish with pimples). There’s not a more unattractive combo on earth!

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Absolutely not. Gawd knows I could do with some… But I dislike the ’samey clone’ look it creates on women. There are lots of things I don’t like about my appearance  but I'm happy to own my wrinkles and bagginess, and accept that this is the way it's meant to be.

Number one product?

I love my Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. The only cleanser I've ever truly loved. It whips everything off and you can give your face a good massage with it. It’s not too thick (like some others) and doesn’t leave any film behind. THE BEST. Both my daughters use it now too.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

What you put in your body affects your skin. In my teens/20s I was always moaning ‘why is my skin bad’ while eating processed carbs, hot chips and drinking beer and staying up late etc. Taking away processed carbs/sugar/ bad vegetables oils has been a revelation for my skin.

Buy a couple of really good brushes. Doing a lovely blended smokey eye is impossible with a sponge applicator thing. My faves are from MyKitCo (available at the Makeup Collective, in Ponsonby or online)

Watch some tutorials online. Find a makeup artist you like the look of and teach yourself. I still do this, but am fussy who I follow - my current fave is Celine Bernaerts on Instagram. You don’t want the ‘Instagram’ look (or do you?!), so be selective.

Anything else that’s changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

Ironically I feel like I can face the world with pretty much no makeup now that I'm older and more saggy. WEIRD.

Your daughters (Heidi, 19 and Nina, 16) are really into makeup. Do you relate to their relationship with it?

I relate to the way they wear makeup (especially Heidi) because they’re in a scene. So it’s important for them to portray who they are, via their face. Obviously they could wear none, but for Heidi, she’s a musician and she always gets fully dressed up and does her face to go with that. She’s not low-key…it’s all about the dress up factor. I enjoy seeing it and can totally relate, but it's not for me anymore. I'm just a cat/dog woman at home, so why would I?

Photography, hair and makeup by Carolyn Haslett

Models: Baksho and Caty at Silver Fox Management

No items found.

We at Ensemble have a passionate hatred for any ‘rules’ around how we should live, especially in terms of 'keeping up appearances'. That said, we’ve noticed our relationship with makeup changing as we get older.

We spoke to leading makeup artists about their changing faces and must-have products. Take what you like and discard what you don't. You’re beautiful!

Baksho, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Carolyn Haslett, hair and makeup artist and photographer

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

Yes, and I want to be honest about this. Because my eyesight has deteriorated and I wear glasses, it's actually hard to put it on! So I generally don’t wear a lot. I put mascara on, sometimes I might put a little foundation through the middle of my face, mixed with a face oil to spread it thinly, a bit of creme blush and preferably a tinted lip balm.

Age makes us look at a lot of things differently and if I'm honest, I like to see minimal makeup on an older face. Unless it's someone who has been wearing a full face all their lives, and they are used to doing it, then it looks right on them, it's part of them, but I prefer a more natural look. Maybe there is a bit of blush to give colour, a thin eyeliner, a sweep of mascara, and a light lip - a stain or a lip balm with a bit of colour. Healthy skin is always going to be better in my opinion.

What major changes have you made, and why?

Again, eyesight, and I don’t think what I wore in my 20s would work now. I used to smudge kohl around my eyes; I liked the lived in punk look.

When I went to France and trained as a makeup artist, I noticed that French women were more into looking after their skin, not hiding it by piling on the makeup. It's interesting how different cultures are around this; like the English would generally be the opposite of the French. I haven't lived in Paris for a long time, so maybe it's not like that now, but we usually only pay attention to what we are attracted to or repelled by (as far as makeup or beauty goes). I can remember not wearing a lot even when I was at the makeup school, and after, I was always very pared back, so maybe that’s also why I still am.

Anything you won’t give up?

Mascara, tinted lip balm, SPF, face oils.

Anything you’ll never do again?

Anything highly frosted. 

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Each to their own. I personally don’t want to do it. I tried it years ago, but I don’t really have a problem looking my age. Maybe other people do; it seems like the last frontier to conquer. 

It may be fashionable to use older models - which I love - but people are still ageist. Maybe if we weren't such an ageist society, women wouldn’t feel so bad about looking older, it must be exhausting - and expensive - to constantly keep up the fight. Men seem to let it happen and probably think they look okay (more delusional perhaps?) so I don’t know why there’s so much pressure for women to look younger while working full-time and raising families.

Nothing wrong with tweaks if it makes a woman feel good. I guess it's like getting your hair done, but a lot more expensive and painful!

Number one product?

I love face oils.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

They aren’t really hacks, more like common sense. Look after your skin, wear sunblock (although I’m very guilty of not always wearing it), dye your eyebrows, get rid of any (unwanted) facial hair, make sure your teeth are as good as they can be, keep a level of fitness if possible. Personally I don’t think skinny looks that good or that healthy when you’re older.

Caty, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Emma Peters, makeup artist and founder of Aleph Beauty

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you've gotten older?

Skin changes from day to day and season to season, particularly throughout different periods of your life. This means that we all need to be adaptable with our makeup so we can get the best results no matter what. Older skin requires a softer touch with application. Full coverage, matte finish makeup can be incredibly ageing as it will highlight any texture, lines and wrinkles. Wearing a natural coverage that just looks like the best version of your own skin is most flattering.

What major changes have you made, and why?

I’ve actually started to wear more makeup more often as I’ve gotten older, but I think that’s less to do with age and more to do with the fact that I now have makeup that I love. It not only feels good on my skin, it is nourishing and enhancing the texture of my skin for the long-term. I’m also loving the simplicity of using our multi-use products, so it’s now quicker and easier to get a great look.

Anything you won't give up?

Aleph Concealer/Foundation and Cheek/Lip Tint.

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

This is such a broad and individual topic, as there are many methods that fall into this category and many more reasons for people to choose to use them. The trick for those wanting to go down that track will be to choose methods and practitioners wisely. 

Any hacks you've learned as you've gotten older?

All the hacks! I use full body Photobiomodulation / red light therapy almost daily to enhance and regenerate mitochondria; it’s a great way to help the body's healing and regenerating processes. It provides targeted wavelengths of light at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels of the body reducing inflammation, enhancing collagen production among many more benefits.

The other proactive ageing must is to look after hormone health. Taking care of and balancing hormones is one of the best overall strategies I’ve adopted.

Anything else that's changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

I love that I’m more confident in my skin than ever and use makeup for no one’s benefit but my own.

Shirley Simpson, makeup artist

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

I can’t be bothered to wear as much as I used to. I used to spend a bit of time trying to make my very small, hooded, lashless eyes look better by applying a lot of product -  shadows, eyeliners, mascara etc. Now I don’t bother… just mascara.

What major changes have you made, and why?

The most major change I’ve made is to apply less, although I've never really worn tonnes. I guess in my 20s I wore a bit more because I was going out a lot and I was in a band. Also, I now only use products that are as natural as possible, especially foundation because I don’t like the thought of my skin absorbing toxic chemicals. I use Aleph foundation/concealer for this reason.

Anything you won’t give up?

I think because of said small featureless eyes I will always need mascara and Revitalash (hello Revitalash).

Anything you’ll never do again?

In my formative years I used a lot of Shiseido Moisture Mist cake foundation in a very white shade with Revlon ‘Hot Tomato’ eyeshadow…(not good with a complexion that’s reddish with pimples). There’s not a more unattractive combo on earth!

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Absolutely not. Gawd knows I could do with some… But I dislike the ’samey clone’ look it creates on women. There are lots of things I don’t like about my appearance  but I'm happy to own my wrinkles and bagginess, and accept that this is the way it's meant to be.

Number one product?

I love my Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. The only cleanser I've ever truly loved. It whips everything off and you can give your face a good massage with it. It’s not too thick (like some others) and doesn’t leave any film behind. THE BEST. Both my daughters use it now too.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

What you put in your body affects your skin. In my teens/20s I was always moaning ‘why is my skin bad’ while eating processed carbs, hot chips and drinking beer and staying up late etc. Taking away processed carbs/sugar/ bad vegetables oils has been a revelation for my skin.

Buy a couple of really good brushes. Doing a lovely blended smokey eye is impossible with a sponge applicator thing. My faves are from MyKitCo (available at the Makeup Collective, in Ponsonby or online)

Watch some tutorials online. Find a makeup artist you like the look of and teach yourself. I still do this, but am fussy who I follow - my current fave is Celine Bernaerts on Instagram. You don’t want the ‘Instagram’ look (or do you?!), so be selective.

Anything else that’s changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

Ironically I feel like I can face the world with pretty much no makeup now that I'm older and more saggy. WEIRD.

Your daughters (Heidi, 19 and Nina, 16) are really into makeup. Do you relate to their relationship with it?

I relate to the way they wear makeup (especially Heidi) because they’re in a scene. So it’s important for them to portray who they are, via their face. Obviously they could wear none, but for Heidi, she’s a musician and she always gets fully dressed up and does her face to go with that. She’s not low-key…it’s all about the dress up factor. I enjoy seeing it and can totally relate, but it's not for me anymore. I'm just a cat/dog woman at home, so why would I?

Photography, hair and makeup by Carolyn Haslett

Models: Baksho and Caty at Silver Fox Management

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Super beautiful - makeup at any age

We at Ensemble have a passionate hatred for any ‘rules’ around how we should live, especially in terms of 'keeping up appearances'. That said, we’ve noticed our relationship with makeup changing as we get older.

We spoke to leading makeup artists about their changing faces and must-have products. Take what you like and discard what you don't. You’re beautiful!

Baksho, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Carolyn Haslett, hair and makeup artist and photographer

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

Yes, and I want to be honest about this. Because my eyesight has deteriorated and I wear glasses, it's actually hard to put it on! So I generally don’t wear a lot. I put mascara on, sometimes I might put a little foundation through the middle of my face, mixed with a face oil to spread it thinly, a bit of creme blush and preferably a tinted lip balm.

Age makes us look at a lot of things differently and if I'm honest, I like to see minimal makeup on an older face. Unless it's someone who has been wearing a full face all their lives, and they are used to doing it, then it looks right on them, it's part of them, but I prefer a more natural look. Maybe there is a bit of blush to give colour, a thin eyeliner, a sweep of mascara, and a light lip - a stain or a lip balm with a bit of colour. Healthy skin is always going to be better in my opinion.

What major changes have you made, and why?

Again, eyesight, and I don’t think what I wore in my 20s would work now. I used to smudge kohl around my eyes; I liked the lived in punk look.

When I went to France and trained as a makeup artist, I noticed that French women were more into looking after their skin, not hiding it by piling on the makeup. It's interesting how different cultures are around this; like the English would generally be the opposite of the French. I haven't lived in Paris for a long time, so maybe it's not like that now, but we usually only pay attention to what we are attracted to or repelled by (as far as makeup or beauty goes). I can remember not wearing a lot even when I was at the makeup school, and after, I was always very pared back, so maybe that’s also why I still am.

Anything you won’t give up?

Mascara, tinted lip balm, SPF, face oils.

Anything you’ll never do again?

Anything highly frosted. 

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Each to their own. I personally don’t want to do it. I tried it years ago, but I don’t really have a problem looking my age. Maybe other people do; it seems like the last frontier to conquer. 

It may be fashionable to use older models - which I love - but people are still ageist. Maybe if we weren't such an ageist society, women wouldn’t feel so bad about looking older, it must be exhausting - and expensive - to constantly keep up the fight. Men seem to let it happen and probably think they look okay (more delusional perhaps?) so I don’t know why there’s so much pressure for women to look younger while working full-time and raising families.

Nothing wrong with tweaks if it makes a woman feel good. I guess it's like getting your hair done, but a lot more expensive and painful!

Number one product?

I love face oils.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

They aren’t really hacks, more like common sense. Look after your skin, wear sunblock (although I’m very guilty of not always wearing it), dye your eyebrows, get rid of any (unwanted) facial hair, make sure your teeth are as good as they can be, keep a level of fitness if possible. Personally I don’t think skinny looks that good or that healthy when you’re older.

Caty, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Emma Peters, makeup artist and founder of Aleph Beauty

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you've gotten older?

Skin changes from day to day and season to season, particularly throughout different periods of your life. This means that we all need to be adaptable with our makeup so we can get the best results no matter what. Older skin requires a softer touch with application. Full coverage, matte finish makeup can be incredibly ageing as it will highlight any texture, lines and wrinkles. Wearing a natural coverage that just looks like the best version of your own skin is most flattering.

What major changes have you made, and why?

I’ve actually started to wear more makeup more often as I’ve gotten older, but I think that’s less to do with age and more to do with the fact that I now have makeup that I love. It not only feels good on my skin, it is nourishing and enhancing the texture of my skin for the long-term. I’m also loving the simplicity of using our multi-use products, so it’s now quicker and easier to get a great look.

Anything you won't give up?

Aleph Concealer/Foundation and Cheek/Lip Tint.

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

This is such a broad and individual topic, as there are many methods that fall into this category and many more reasons for people to choose to use them. The trick for those wanting to go down that track will be to choose methods and practitioners wisely. 

Any hacks you've learned as you've gotten older?

All the hacks! I use full body Photobiomodulation / red light therapy almost daily to enhance and regenerate mitochondria; it’s a great way to help the body's healing and regenerating processes. It provides targeted wavelengths of light at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels of the body reducing inflammation, enhancing collagen production among many more benefits.

The other proactive ageing must is to look after hormone health. Taking care of and balancing hormones is one of the best overall strategies I’ve adopted.

Anything else that's changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

I love that I’m more confident in my skin than ever and use makeup for no one’s benefit but my own.

Shirley Simpson, makeup artist

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

I can’t be bothered to wear as much as I used to. I used to spend a bit of time trying to make my very small, hooded, lashless eyes look better by applying a lot of product -  shadows, eyeliners, mascara etc. Now I don’t bother… just mascara.

What major changes have you made, and why?

The most major change I’ve made is to apply less, although I've never really worn tonnes. I guess in my 20s I wore a bit more because I was going out a lot and I was in a band. Also, I now only use products that are as natural as possible, especially foundation because I don’t like the thought of my skin absorbing toxic chemicals. I use Aleph foundation/concealer for this reason.

Anything you won’t give up?

I think because of said small featureless eyes I will always need mascara and Revitalash (hello Revitalash).

Anything you’ll never do again?

In my formative years I used a lot of Shiseido Moisture Mist cake foundation in a very white shade with Revlon ‘Hot Tomato’ eyeshadow…(not good with a complexion that’s reddish with pimples). There’s not a more unattractive combo on earth!

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Absolutely not. Gawd knows I could do with some… But I dislike the ’samey clone’ look it creates on women. There are lots of things I don’t like about my appearance  but I'm happy to own my wrinkles and bagginess, and accept that this is the way it's meant to be.

Number one product?

I love my Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. The only cleanser I've ever truly loved. It whips everything off and you can give your face a good massage with it. It’s not too thick (like some others) and doesn’t leave any film behind. THE BEST. Both my daughters use it now too.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

What you put in your body affects your skin. In my teens/20s I was always moaning ‘why is my skin bad’ while eating processed carbs, hot chips and drinking beer and staying up late etc. Taking away processed carbs/sugar/ bad vegetables oils has been a revelation for my skin.

Buy a couple of really good brushes. Doing a lovely blended smokey eye is impossible with a sponge applicator thing. My faves are from MyKitCo (available at the Makeup Collective, in Ponsonby or online)

Watch some tutorials online. Find a makeup artist you like the look of and teach yourself. I still do this, but am fussy who I follow - my current fave is Celine Bernaerts on Instagram. You don’t want the ‘Instagram’ look (or do you?!), so be selective.

Anything else that’s changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

Ironically I feel like I can face the world with pretty much no makeup now that I'm older and more saggy. WEIRD.

Your daughters (Heidi, 19 and Nina, 16) are really into makeup. Do you relate to their relationship with it?

I relate to the way they wear makeup (especially Heidi) because they’re in a scene. So it’s important for them to portray who they are, via their face. Obviously they could wear none, but for Heidi, she’s a musician and she always gets fully dressed up and does her face to go with that. She’s not low-key…it’s all about the dress up factor. I enjoy seeing it and can totally relate, but it's not for me anymore. I'm just a cat/dog woman at home, so why would I?

Photography, hair and makeup by Carolyn Haslett

Models: Baksho and Caty at Silver Fox Management

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Super beautiful - makeup at any age

We at Ensemble have a passionate hatred for any ‘rules’ around how we should live, especially in terms of 'keeping up appearances'. That said, we’ve noticed our relationship with makeup changing as we get older.

We spoke to leading makeup artists about their changing faces and must-have products. Take what you like and discard what you don't. You’re beautiful!

Baksho, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Carolyn Haslett, hair and makeup artist and photographer

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

Yes, and I want to be honest about this. Because my eyesight has deteriorated and I wear glasses, it's actually hard to put it on! So I generally don’t wear a lot. I put mascara on, sometimes I might put a little foundation through the middle of my face, mixed with a face oil to spread it thinly, a bit of creme blush and preferably a tinted lip balm.

Age makes us look at a lot of things differently and if I'm honest, I like to see minimal makeup on an older face. Unless it's someone who has been wearing a full face all their lives, and they are used to doing it, then it looks right on them, it's part of them, but I prefer a more natural look. Maybe there is a bit of blush to give colour, a thin eyeliner, a sweep of mascara, and a light lip - a stain or a lip balm with a bit of colour. Healthy skin is always going to be better in my opinion.

What major changes have you made, and why?

Again, eyesight, and I don’t think what I wore in my 20s would work now. I used to smudge kohl around my eyes; I liked the lived in punk look.

When I went to France and trained as a makeup artist, I noticed that French women were more into looking after their skin, not hiding it by piling on the makeup. It's interesting how different cultures are around this; like the English would generally be the opposite of the French. I haven't lived in Paris for a long time, so maybe it's not like that now, but we usually only pay attention to what we are attracted to or repelled by (as far as makeup or beauty goes). I can remember not wearing a lot even when I was at the makeup school, and after, I was always very pared back, so maybe that’s also why I still am.

Anything you won’t give up?

Mascara, tinted lip balm, SPF, face oils.

Anything you’ll never do again?

Anything highly frosted. 

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Each to their own. I personally don’t want to do it. I tried it years ago, but I don’t really have a problem looking my age. Maybe other people do; it seems like the last frontier to conquer. 

It may be fashionable to use older models - which I love - but people are still ageist. Maybe if we weren't such an ageist society, women wouldn’t feel so bad about looking older, it must be exhausting - and expensive - to constantly keep up the fight. Men seem to let it happen and probably think they look okay (more delusional perhaps?) so I don’t know why there’s so much pressure for women to look younger while working full-time and raising families.

Nothing wrong with tweaks if it makes a woman feel good. I guess it's like getting your hair done, but a lot more expensive and painful!

Number one product?

I love face oils.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

They aren’t really hacks, more like common sense. Look after your skin, wear sunblock (although I’m very guilty of not always wearing it), dye your eyebrows, get rid of any (unwanted) facial hair, make sure your teeth are as good as they can be, keep a level of fitness if possible. Personally I don’t think skinny looks that good or that healthy when you’re older.

Caty, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Emma Peters, makeup artist and founder of Aleph Beauty

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you've gotten older?

Skin changes from day to day and season to season, particularly throughout different periods of your life. This means that we all need to be adaptable with our makeup so we can get the best results no matter what. Older skin requires a softer touch with application. Full coverage, matte finish makeup can be incredibly ageing as it will highlight any texture, lines and wrinkles. Wearing a natural coverage that just looks like the best version of your own skin is most flattering.

What major changes have you made, and why?

I’ve actually started to wear more makeup more often as I’ve gotten older, but I think that’s less to do with age and more to do with the fact that I now have makeup that I love. It not only feels good on my skin, it is nourishing and enhancing the texture of my skin for the long-term. I’m also loving the simplicity of using our multi-use products, so it’s now quicker and easier to get a great look.

Anything you won't give up?

Aleph Concealer/Foundation and Cheek/Lip Tint.

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

This is such a broad and individual topic, as there are many methods that fall into this category and many more reasons for people to choose to use them. The trick for those wanting to go down that track will be to choose methods and practitioners wisely. 

Any hacks you've learned as you've gotten older?

All the hacks! I use full body Photobiomodulation / red light therapy almost daily to enhance and regenerate mitochondria; it’s a great way to help the body's healing and regenerating processes. It provides targeted wavelengths of light at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels of the body reducing inflammation, enhancing collagen production among many more benefits.

The other proactive ageing must is to look after hormone health. Taking care of and balancing hormones is one of the best overall strategies I’ve adopted.

Anything else that's changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

I love that I’m more confident in my skin than ever and use makeup for no one’s benefit but my own.

Shirley Simpson, makeup artist

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

I can’t be bothered to wear as much as I used to. I used to spend a bit of time trying to make my very small, hooded, lashless eyes look better by applying a lot of product -  shadows, eyeliners, mascara etc. Now I don’t bother… just mascara.

What major changes have you made, and why?

The most major change I’ve made is to apply less, although I've never really worn tonnes. I guess in my 20s I wore a bit more because I was going out a lot and I was in a band. Also, I now only use products that are as natural as possible, especially foundation because I don’t like the thought of my skin absorbing toxic chemicals. I use Aleph foundation/concealer for this reason.

Anything you won’t give up?

I think because of said small featureless eyes I will always need mascara and Revitalash (hello Revitalash).

Anything you’ll never do again?

In my formative years I used a lot of Shiseido Moisture Mist cake foundation in a very white shade with Revlon ‘Hot Tomato’ eyeshadow…(not good with a complexion that’s reddish with pimples). There’s not a more unattractive combo on earth!

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Absolutely not. Gawd knows I could do with some… But I dislike the ’samey clone’ look it creates on women. There are lots of things I don’t like about my appearance  but I'm happy to own my wrinkles and bagginess, and accept that this is the way it's meant to be.

Number one product?

I love my Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. The only cleanser I've ever truly loved. It whips everything off and you can give your face a good massage with it. It’s not too thick (like some others) and doesn’t leave any film behind. THE BEST. Both my daughters use it now too.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

What you put in your body affects your skin. In my teens/20s I was always moaning ‘why is my skin bad’ while eating processed carbs, hot chips and drinking beer and staying up late etc. Taking away processed carbs/sugar/ bad vegetables oils has been a revelation for my skin.

Buy a couple of really good brushes. Doing a lovely blended smokey eye is impossible with a sponge applicator thing. My faves are from MyKitCo (available at the Makeup Collective, in Ponsonby or online)

Watch some tutorials online. Find a makeup artist you like the look of and teach yourself. I still do this, but am fussy who I follow - my current fave is Celine Bernaerts on Instagram. You don’t want the ‘Instagram’ look (or do you?!), so be selective.

Anything else that’s changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

Ironically I feel like I can face the world with pretty much no makeup now that I'm older and more saggy. WEIRD.

Your daughters (Heidi, 19 and Nina, 16) are really into makeup. Do you relate to their relationship with it?

I relate to the way they wear makeup (especially Heidi) because they’re in a scene. So it’s important for them to portray who they are, via their face. Obviously they could wear none, but for Heidi, she’s a musician and she always gets fully dressed up and does her face to go with that. She’s not low-key…it’s all about the dress up factor. I enjoy seeing it and can totally relate, but it's not for me anymore. I'm just a cat/dog woman at home, so why would I?

Photography, hair and makeup by Carolyn Haslett

Models: Baksho and Caty at Silver Fox Management

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

We at Ensemble have a passionate hatred for any ‘rules’ around how we should live, especially in terms of 'keeping up appearances'. That said, we’ve noticed our relationship with makeup changing as we get older.

We spoke to leading makeup artists about their changing faces and must-have products. Take what you like and discard what you don't. You’re beautiful!

Baksho, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Carolyn Haslett, hair and makeup artist and photographer

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

Yes, and I want to be honest about this. Because my eyesight has deteriorated and I wear glasses, it's actually hard to put it on! So I generally don’t wear a lot. I put mascara on, sometimes I might put a little foundation through the middle of my face, mixed with a face oil to spread it thinly, a bit of creme blush and preferably a tinted lip balm.

Age makes us look at a lot of things differently and if I'm honest, I like to see minimal makeup on an older face. Unless it's someone who has been wearing a full face all their lives, and they are used to doing it, then it looks right on them, it's part of them, but I prefer a more natural look. Maybe there is a bit of blush to give colour, a thin eyeliner, a sweep of mascara, and a light lip - a stain or a lip balm with a bit of colour. Healthy skin is always going to be better in my opinion.

What major changes have you made, and why?

Again, eyesight, and I don’t think what I wore in my 20s would work now. I used to smudge kohl around my eyes; I liked the lived in punk look.

When I went to France and trained as a makeup artist, I noticed that French women were more into looking after their skin, not hiding it by piling on the makeup. It's interesting how different cultures are around this; like the English would generally be the opposite of the French. I haven't lived in Paris for a long time, so maybe it's not like that now, but we usually only pay attention to what we are attracted to or repelled by (as far as makeup or beauty goes). I can remember not wearing a lot even when I was at the makeup school, and after, I was always very pared back, so maybe that’s also why I still am.

Anything you won’t give up?

Mascara, tinted lip balm, SPF, face oils.

Anything you’ll never do again?

Anything highly frosted. 

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Each to their own. I personally don’t want to do it. I tried it years ago, but I don’t really have a problem looking my age. Maybe other people do; it seems like the last frontier to conquer. 

It may be fashionable to use older models - which I love - but people are still ageist. Maybe if we weren't such an ageist society, women wouldn’t feel so bad about looking older, it must be exhausting - and expensive - to constantly keep up the fight. Men seem to let it happen and probably think they look okay (more delusional perhaps?) so I don’t know why there’s so much pressure for women to look younger while working full-time and raising families.

Nothing wrong with tweaks if it makes a woman feel good. I guess it's like getting your hair done, but a lot more expensive and painful!

Number one product?

I love face oils.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

They aren’t really hacks, more like common sense. Look after your skin, wear sunblock (although I’m very guilty of not always wearing it), dye your eyebrows, get rid of any (unwanted) facial hair, make sure your teeth are as good as they can be, keep a level of fitness if possible. Personally I don’t think skinny looks that good or that healthy when you’re older.

Caty, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Emma Peters, makeup artist and founder of Aleph Beauty

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you've gotten older?

Skin changes from day to day and season to season, particularly throughout different periods of your life. This means that we all need to be adaptable with our makeup so we can get the best results no matter what. Older skin requires a softer touch with application. Full coverage, matte finish makeup can be incredibly ageing as it will highlight any texture, lines and wrinkles. Wearing a natural coverage that just looks like the best version of your own skin is most flattering.

What major changes have you made, and why?

I’ve actually started to wear more makeup more often as I’ve gotten older, but I think that’s less to do with age and more to do with the fact that I now have makeup that I love. It not only feels good on my skin, it is nourishing and enhancing the texture of my skin for the long-term. I’m also loving the simplicity of using our multi-use products, so it’s now quicker and easier to get a great look.

Anything you won't give up?

Aleph Concealer/Foundation and Cheek/Lip Tint.

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

This is such a broad and individual topic, as there are many methods that fall into this category and many more reasons for people to choose to use them. The trick for those wanting to go down that track will be to choose methods and practitioners wisely. 

Any hacks you've learned as you've gotten older?

All the hacks! I use full body Photobiomodulation / red light therapy almost daily to enhance and regenerate mitochondria; it’s a great way to help the body's healing and regenerating processes. It provides targeted wavelengths of light at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels of the body reducing inflammation, enhancing collagen production among many more benefits.

The other proactive ageing must is to look after hormone health. Taking care of and balancing hormones is one of the best overall strategies I’ve adopted.

Anything else that's changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

I love that I’m more confident in my skin than ever and use makeup for no one’s benefit but my own.

Shirley Simpson, makeup artist

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

I can’t be bothered to wear as much as I used to. I used to spend a bit of time trying to make my very small, hooded, lashless eyes look better by applying a lot of product -  shadows, eyeliners, mascara etc. Now I don’t bother… just mascara.

What major changes have you made, and why?

The most major change I’ve made is to apply less, although I've never really worn tonnes. I guess in my 20s I wore a bit more because I was going out a lot and I was in a band. Also, I now only use products that are as natural as possible, especially foundation because I don’t like the thought of my skin absorbing toxic chemicals. I use Aleph foundation/concealer for this reason.

Anything you won’t give up?

I think because of said small featureless eyes I will always need mascara and Revitalash (hello Revitalash).

Anything you’ll never do again?

In my formative years I used a lot of Shiseido Moisture Mist cake foundation in a very white shade with Revlon ‘Hot Tomato’ eyeshadow…(not good with a complexion that’s reddish with pimples). There’s not a more unattractive combo on earth!

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Absolutely not. Gawd knows I could do with some… But I dislike the ’samey clone’ look it creates on women. There are lots of things I don’t like about my appearance  but I'm happy to own my wrinkles and bagginess, and accept that this is the way it's meant to be.

Number one product?

I love my Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. The only cleanser I've ever truly loved. It whips everything off and you can give your face a good massage with it. It’s not too thick (like some others) and doesn’t leave any film behind. THE BEST. Both my daughters use it now too.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

What you put in your body affects your skin. In my teens/20s I was always moaning ‘why is my skin bad’ while eating processed carbs, hot chips and drinking beer and staying up late etc. Taking away processed carbs/sugar/ bad vegetables oils has been a revelation for my skin.

Buy a couple of really good brushes. Doing a lovely blended smokey eye is impossible with a sponge applicator thing. My faves are from MyKitCo (available at the Makeup Collective, in Ponsonby or online)

Watch some tutorials online. Find a makeup artist you like the look of and teach yourself. I still do this, but am fussy who I follow - my current fave is Celine Bernaerts on Instagram. You don’t want the ‘Instagram’ look (or do you?!), so be selective.

Anything else that’s changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

Ironically I feel like I can face the world with pretty much no makeup now that I'm older and more saggy. WEIRD.

Your daughters (Heidi, 19 and Nina, 16) are really into makeup. Do you relate to their relationship with it?

I relate to the way they wear makeup (especially Heidi) because they’re in a scene. So it’s important for them to portray who they are, via their face. Obviously they could wear none, but for Heidi, she’s a musician and she always gets fully dressed up and does her face to go with that. She’s not low-key…it’s all about the dress up factor. I enjoy seeing it and can totally relate, but it's not for me anymore. I'm just a cat/dog woman at home, so why would I?

Photography, hair and makeup by Carolyn Haslett

Models: Baksho and Caty at Silver Fox Management

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Super beautiful - makeup at any age

We at Ensemble have a passionate hatred for any ‘rules’ around how we should live, especially in terms of 'keeping up appearances'. That said, we’ve noticed our relationship with makeup changing as we get older.

We spoke to leading makeup artists about their changing faces and must-have products. Take what you like and discard what you don't. You’re beautiful!

Baksho, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Carolyn Haslett, hair and makeup artist and photographer

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

Yes, and I want to be honest about this. Because my eyesight has deteriorated and I wear glasses, it's actually hard to put it on! So I generally don’t wear a lot. I put mascara on, sometimes I might put a little foundation through the middle of my face, mixed with a face oil to spread it thinly, a bit of creme blush and preferably a tinted lip balm.

Age makes us look at a lot of things differently and if I'm honest, I like to see minimal makeup on an older face. Unless it's someone who has been wearing a full face all their lives, and they are used to doing it, then it looks right on them, it's part of them, but I prefer a more natural look. Maybe there is a bit of blush to give colour, a thin eyeliner, a sweep of mascara, and a light lip - a stain or a lip balm with a bit of colour. Healthy skin is always going to be better in my opinion.

What major changes have you made, and why?

Again, eyesight, and I don’t think what I wore in my 20s would work now. I used to smudge kohl around my eyes; I liked the lived in punk look.

When I went to France and trained as a makeup artist, I noticed that French women were more into looking after their skin, not hiding it by piling on the makeup. It's interesting how different cultures are around this; like the English would generally be the opposite of the French. I haven't lived in Paris for a long time, so maybe it's not like that now, but we usually only pay attention to what we are attracted to or repelled by (as far as makeup or beauty goes). I can remember not wearing a lot even when I was at the makeup school, and after, I was always very pared back, so maybe that’s also why I still am.

Anything you won’t give up?

Mascara, tinted lip balm, SPF, face oils.

Anything you’ll never do again?

Anything highly frosted. 

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Each to their own. I personally don’t want to do it. I tried it years ago, but I don’t really have a problem looking my age. Maybe other people do; it seems like the last frontier to conquer. 

It may be fashionable to use older models - which I love - but people are still ageist. Maybe if we weren't such an ageist society, women wouldn’t feel so bad about looking older, it must be exhausting - and expensive - to constantly keep up the fight. Men seem to let it happen and probably think they look okay (more delusional perhaps?) so I don’t know why there’s so much pressure for women to look younger while working full-time and raising families.

Nothing wrong with tweaks if it makes a woman feel good. I guess it's like getting your hair done, but a lot more expensive and painful!

Number one product?

I love face oils.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

They aren’t really hacks, more like common sense. Look after your skin, wear sunblock (although I’m very guilty of not always wearing it), dye your eyebrows, get rid of any (unwanted) facial hair, make sure your teeth are as good as they can be, keep a level of fitness if possible. Personally I don’t think skinny looks that good or that healthy when you’re older.

Caty, photographed by Carolyn Haslett.

Emma Peters, makeup artist and founder of Aleph Beauty

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you've gotten older?

Skin changes from day to day and season to season, particularly throughout different periods of your life. This means that we all need to be adaptable with our makeup so we can get the best results no matter what. Older skin requires a softer touch with application. Full coverage, matte finish makeup can be incredibly ageing as it will highlight any texture, lines and wrinkles. Wearing a natural coverage that just looks like the best version of your own skin is most flattering.

What major changes have you made, and why?

I’ve actually started to wear more makeup more often as I’ve gotten older, but I think that’s less to do with age and more to do with the fact that I now have makeup that I love. It not only feels good on my skin, it is nourishing and enhancing the texture of my skin for the long-term. I’m also loving the simplicity of using our multi-use products, so it’s now quicker and easier to get a great look.

Anything you won't give up?

Aleph Concealer/Foundation and Cheek/Lip Tint.

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

This is such a broad and individual topic, as there are many methods that fall into this category and many more reasons for people to choose to use them. The trick for those wanting to go down that track will be to choose methods and practitioners wisely. 

Any hacks you've learned as you've gotten older?

All the hacks! I use full body Photobiomodulation / red light therapy almost daily to enhance and regenerate mitochondria; it’s a great way to help the body's healing and regenerating processes. It provides targeted wavelengths of light at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels of the body reducing inflammation, enhancing collagen production among many more benefits.

The other proactive ageing must is to look after hormone health. Taking care of and balancing hormones is one of the best overall strategies I’ve adopted.

Anything else that's changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

I love that I’m more confident in my skin than ever and use makeup for no one’s benefit but my own.

Shirley Simpson, makeup artist

Have you noticed the way you wear makeup has changed as you’ve gotten older?

I can’t be bothered to wear as much as I used to. I used to spend a bit of time trying to make my very small, hooded, lashless eyes look better by applying a lot of product -  shadows, eyeliners, mascara etc. Now I don’t bother… just mascara.

What major changes have you made, and why?

The most major change I’ve made is to apply less, although I've never really worn tonnes. I guess in my 20s I wore a bit more because I was going out a lot and I was in a band. Also, I now only use products that are as natural as possible, especially foundation because I don’t like the thought of my skin absorbing toxic chemicals. I use Aleph foundation/concealer for this reason.

Anything you won’t give up?

I think because of said small featureless eyes I will always need mascara and Revitalash (hello Revitalash).

Anything you’ll never do again?

In my formative years I used a lot of Shiseido Moisture Mist cake foundation in a very white shade with Revlon ‘Hot Tomato’ eyeshadow…(not good with a complexion that’s reddish with pimples). There’s not a more unattractive combo on earth!

Botox and injectables/appearance medicine - yay or nay?

Absolutely not. Gawd knows I could do with some… But I dislike the ’samey clone’ look it creates on women. There are lots of things I don’t like about my appearance  but I'm happy to own my wrinkles and bagginess, and accept that this is the way it's meant to be.

Number one product?

I love my Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. The only cleanser I've ever truly loved. It whips everything off and you can give your face a good massage with it. It’s not too thick (like some others) and doesn’t leave any film behind. THE BEST. Both my daughters use it now too.

Any hacks you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older?

What you put in your body affects your skin. In my teens/20s I was always moaning ‘why is my skin bad’ while eating processed carbs, hot chips and drinking beer and staying up late etc. Taking away processed carbs/sugar/ bad vegetables oils has been a revelation for my skin.

Buy a couple of really good brushes. Doing a lovely blended smokey eye is impossible with a sponge applicator thing. My faves are from MyKitCo (available at the Makeup Collective, in Ponsonby or online)

Watch some tutorials online. Find a makeup artist you like the look of and teach yourself. I still do this, but am fussy who I follow - my current fave is Celine Bernaerts on Instagram. You don’t want the ‘Instagram’ look (or do you?!), so be selective.

Anything else that’s changed the way you think about beauty/makeup as you get older?

Ironically I feel like I can face the world with pretty much no makeup now that I'm older and more saggy. WEIRD.

Your daughters (Heidi, 19 and Nina, 16) are really into makeup. Do you relate to their relationship with it?

I relate to the way they wear makeup (especially Heidi) because they’re in a scene. So it’s important for them to portray who they are, via their face. Obviously they could wear none, but for Heidi, she’s a musician and she always gets fully dressed up and does her face to go with that. She’s not low-key…it’s all about the dress up factor. I enjoy seeing it and can totally relate, but it's not for me anymore. I'm just a cat/dog woman at home, so why would I?

Photography, hair and makeup by Carolyn Haslett

Models: Baksho and Caty at Silver Fox Management

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.