How not to look old, part 5–lose the heavy eyeliner

Remember white eyeliner, navy mascara, blue sparkle eyeshadow and false eyelashes that looked like big spiders? We thought we were hip, but we really just looked like Cleopatra or Nefertiti in puberty. Thank goodness those days have passed.

In her book How Not to Look Old, Charla Krupp has taken us through a few quick steps to taking years off our age, from changing our hair to grooming our eyebrows. Now she moves on to makeup tips for the eyes. She says nothing ages you like thick black eyeliner, cracked liquid liner, liner that is not well blended in, liner inside your lower lashes, too-bright eye shadow, glittery eye shadow, overly matte eye shadow, clumpy hard mascara or a single ledge of false lashes.

Over 50 is not the time to be using trendy colors of the rainbow. It's time to tone down to a minimalist color palette, using neutrals in soft pretty shades, not harsh and severe. Charla gets tips from three Chanel makeup artists to show us how to look five years younger with minimum fuss and maximum impact.

First, apply a silky neutral eye primer that smooths the surface so eye shadow will stay put, and that evens out the skin tone, camouflaging blotchiness and blood vessels. Then, instead of going the old route and using three color blocks on the lid, start with a neutral color that is close to the color of your lid but stands out against the color of your iris. "If your eyes are green, you want brown with khaki undertones. For blue eyes, a sand or taupe color works well. Brown eyes are best shown off with a darker, almost charcoal color." Dust that color over your entire lid using a broad shadow brush.

Second, choose a darker shade than the base tone for depth. Dip the edge of a shadow brush in the powder and follow your crease from corner to corner. Blend and smudge around the corners with a sponge or brush.

For eyeliner, use a pencil and start at the outer corner of the eye and draw inward, making the line as thin as possible. If you go the whole way in to the inner corner, your eye will look smaller, so stop a little more than halfway. "Use the point where your eye color ends as your stop sign." After drawing the line, smudge it to make it look softer. If your eyelids are droopy, "start your line at the outer corner about a centimeter above your lashes, then bring it down to the lash line. This will help your eyes look lifted."

For beautiful lashes, don't pump the brush! "Moving the wand in and out of the tube draws air into it, drying it out and making it thick and sticky." Start the application at the base of the roots and wiggle the wand a little bit, then draw the brush out to the tips. The Chanel artists say that, the older we get, the more we want length, not volume. "Chunky lashes will age you." So, when buying mascara, go for the ones that give you length, not fat, fibery volume.

If you have thin eyelashes due to illness or injury, you can get lash extensions, where a pro will bond 50-60 individual lashes, one by one, to your own lashes. The results can be dramatic, but the price tag will be around $300, and you will need to get them "filled" every 2-3 weeks at $75 or so because they do fall out. Amazingly, there are also eyelash transplants. Hair from your head is sewn into your eyelids, and then grows just like hair does. You have to get it cut and curled periodically, so this procedure probably isn't for the low-maintenance women. But in extreme circumstances, like after chemotherapy, it may be a good option. Transplants can run $3,000 per eye, but if you have lost yours, it may be well worth the price.

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