Eyeliner Makeup Tips for Women Over 40

Eyeliner can do wonders for tired looking, mature eyes. We'll give you tips on how to get a natural makeup look with eyeliner.

Woman applying eye makeup. Eyeliner makeup for mature eyes.

Many women worry that eyeliner makeup can make eyes look smaller or accentuate wrinkles, or crepey eyelids.

Well, before you give up, try some of these gel and pencil eyeliner tips that can make your eyes look bigger, brighter and more lively.

We'll show you eyeliner makeup tips that can enhance mature eyes and make eyes look whiter, brighter, and lively again.

I love wearing eyeliner! But if you’re over 40 it can be tricky. And there are hundreds of makeup artists who tell you the wrong and right way to apply it.

However, I don't like to follow someone else's rules. I do what works best for me. If you agree, then try some of these tips...

by Linda Robison

Is there a wrong or right way to apply eyeliner?

Close up of eye wearing too much eyeliner.  
How to use pencil eyeliner.

Many blogs or YouTube videos seem to have the same eyeliner makeup tips for mature eyes; don't wear dark eyeliner, don't wear too much eyeliner, or skip it all together.

Yes, the rules may have changed for those of us women over 50 or 60, but that doesn't mean we can't wear eyeliner at all. 

Tips for putting on eyeliner makeup

After playing around with different techniques, here are some eyeliner application styles that work well for me. And, more important, they don't make my eyes look smaller!

Eyeliner on upper lid


We're told it's wrong to wear black or dark eyeliner if we're over 40 or 50. Experts say it's too harsh, may accentuate lines and dark circles and make eyes seem small.

how to put on eyeliner on upper lids


I wear a bit of black eyeliner, but I put it inside the upper eyelid rim, between the lashes, and sometimes right along the lash line. I don't draw the liner all the way across my eye, just darken the outer corners.

Eyeliner on lower lid


Experts will tell you never apply dark liner to lower lids. It will exaggerate wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles and even make your eyes look smaller.

Showing how to apply eyeliner on lower eyelid. Best white eyeliner for waterline.


I apply a small amount of black liner to the outer 1/3 of the inner lower lid. But, again, the trick is to never draw the line all the way into the inner corners of the eyes.

Natural looking eyeliner tips for wrinkled eyelid skin

What if every eyeliner you've tried accentuated wrinkles and dark circles around your eyes? Try a thin eyeliner!

Then stop using a pencil or crayon and try a gel eyeliner makeup in a brighter color. Better yet, try a creamy-gel eyeliner like the one I'm using in the picture below.

Best eyeliner tips. Shimmery golden caramel Any Wear cream on upper and lower eyelids.How to wear bright eyeliner. Here I'm using an eye makeup that is creamy but goes on with the easy of a gel.

This color is Golden Carmel Brown. The eyeliner gel (also used as an eyeshadow) makeup is called the Any Wear Cream. It's waterproof, smudge proof and comes in several colors. 

And it comes with the thinnest brush I've ever seen. So you're able to draw a thin line along the upper and lower eyes.

This natural looking eyeliner tip is perfect if you have a lot of wrinkles or crepey skin around your eyes, because it's waterproof and smear-proof.

And, it won't migrate and settle into the crinkles and lines around the eyes.

Note: It doesn't dry immediately, so you have a few seconds to fix any mistakes easily. That's important for many women (like me) who have a hard time using liquid or gel liners. I can never seem to draw on a nice smooth line!

Best eyeshadow to use as eyeliner

The eyeliner gel I'm wearing in the picture above can be used as eyeshadow, as well as eyeliner.

It's called the Any Wear Cream because you can use it anywhere you want a pop of color, highlight, sheen, or shimmer.

For example, it can be used as a:

  • cheek highlighter
  • eyeshadow
  • eyeliner
  • lip shimmer

How to apply colored eyeliner

Here, the owner of Mommy Makeup, Debra shows how to apply colored eyeliner and how to use it as an eyeshadow, lip color, and cheek color/highlighter.

What's nice about this color is that it accentuates the eyes without having to use dark eyeliner and brings a lift to the upper eye area! It's also a great eyeliner color for blondes.

It comes in 15 other gorgeous colors!

How to make eyes whiter

How to apply green eyeliner for brighter eyes

What makes your eyes look brighter and less tired? Choosing the right eyeliner color can make all the difference in the world, regardless of your eye color. 

There are certain shades of green eyeliner (like hunter green) that can really make the whites of your eyes pop!

How to wear white eyeliner makeup over 50

Another eyeliner makeup trick for mature eyes that really works to brighten and open them up is applying a bit creamy white eyeliner inside or along the rim of the lower eyelids.

How to apply white eyeliner

Showing how to wear white eyeliner over 40. Best white eyeliner for waterlineAPPLY WHITE EYELINER TO WATERLINE

There are many ways to apply white eyeliner. Here is what I like to do...

Run a creamy white eyeliner pencil to the inner corners of your eyes only. You can apply inside the lower eyelid or right under the eyelash line. 

Note: Apply white eyeliner to only the inside 1/3 of the eyelid. Don't draw the eyeliner all the way out to the outside corners of the eye. I find it makes me look too washed out or tired.

Best white eyeliner for the waterline

Originally, I was using a cheap drugstore brand, wooded pencil eyeliner, but it was too white, it didn't last long, and irritated my eyes.

So I switched to Maybelline TattooStudio Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. It'll last all day and works very well on the waterline.

Note: I have a problem with white eyeliner irritating my eyes. It's been hard to find one that doesn't make my eyes swell or get watery. That's why I went with the Maybelline brand. Oddly enough, Maybelline eyeliners don't give me any trouble, even though they're not officially labeled as hypoallergenic.

Final eyeliner tips

Note: Do you have issues with your eyes that make wearing eyeliner difficult, like, wrinkles, poor vision, or contact lenses? Click here to read: How do I apply eyeliner to make my eyes look younger?

To get the best look for your eyes, you really need to play around and experiment with different types of eyeliner makeup to see what works for you. And don't forget to give waterproof gel eyeliners a try. Many women find them much easier to use than liquid eyeliners.

Hopefully at the end of the day you’ll find the best combination of eyeliner makeup tips that'll make your eyes just pop!

Also, head over to Eye Makeup Tips for Aging Eyes for more helpful tips for younger looking eyes. Also, find some quick beauty hacks to make your eyes look less tired.

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