Makeup for people with mature skin was actually the MOST requested topic last year and it’s really never been more relevant. Unfortunately, the beauty industry keeps forgetting about this segment of their customer base in their marketing and product development — and this is no bueno.
Sonia Roselli is an expert on this topic and if you’re a makeup artist, you probably already know Sonia. She is the QUEEN of skin prep and the name behind the cult-favorite Japanese made luxury skin prep line, Sonia Roselli Beauty. She has also developed several courses specifically to help makeup artists grow and scale their businesses.
An esthetician by trade with over 30 years of experience in the beauty industry, Sonia specializes in makeup for women over 40. She is one of Chicago’s top makeup artists, and she is known for flawless complexion work and eyes that kill. She doesn’t do social media trends. Instead, she specializes in classic looks that you’ll never be embarrassed of when you look back in photos in 20 years. (we’ve all been there!)
Quick sidebar… I was introduced to Glossible at IMATS London a few years ago. A fellow makeup artist was sitting next to me, and she suggested I join the Glossible group. I actually went ahead and joined ALL your groups. Honestly, I finally felt like I found my people.
As a matter of fact, I found two fellow artists turned friends on this side of the planet who are my makeup besties. Nika Ambrozic, who I interviewed in Episode 14 on capsule makeup bags — and Katrin Levi in episode 17, we talked about sanitation!
Ok, now that I’ve set the stage, let’s get into my interview with Sonia Roselli!
Maybe it’s a little controversial, but can we first define what “qualifies” as mature skin?
My best friend is 60, and she looks like she’s 40. But I also know 25 year olds that look 70 because they didn’t wear sunscreen or they didn’t moisturize properly.
I don’t like to put a number on anything so to me, mature skin is really about the health of the skin. When I was in esthetician school, they told me that mature skin is anything over the age of 25 because this is when we start to think about, and I hate to use this term, but anti-aging products. We start to think about that because the beauty industry has told us that’s what we need to start caring about.
For me, it’s more like anything over 40 is mature skin. I like to approach it like the health of the skin, what kind of radiance the skin can have so it looks healthy and ageless, whatever age you are. But 40 is when I personally started to notice a lot of changes to my skin. It just depends on the individual because everybody’s skin is so different.
Where does one start when it comes to makeup for mature skin? What are some common mistakes you see people making?
There’s two things that I love thinking about when it comes to makeup for mature skin. First, the skin texture starts to change as we age. When I was creating my line, Sonia Roselli Beauty, I thought a lot about skin prep. I remembered that when I was applying makeup, if I would do a facial beforehand, the makeup would look so much better on skin of all ages, but especially on mature skin.
As we age, our skin starts to look more sallow, it’s more dry and dehydrated. Makeup is a play on light. It’s how light reads on the face. When your skin is hydrated and plump, it reflects light differently. I don’t have time to do facials on people these days, but little things like exfoliating can really help your makeup lay better and you can get a truer color read on the skin. The first product we launched was the sexApeel™ Instant Exfoliation Spray because I really believed that this would help people so much, especially for mature skin.
This goes back to the biggest mistakes I see people making. They’re not prepping their skin. They might be using a primer, but that really just makes your foundation slide everywhere! Plus, I see a lot of people choosing the wrong foundation formula for their skin. They might watch YouTube and the latest influencer is talking about this foundation and so they buy it, but they’re unimpressed with it… because the texture isn’t right for them. For example, a super matte texture isn’t good for mature skin that’s dry and dehydrated.
Oh, and a little creme blush never hurts, either!
Want to get more information about the different skin types and how to take care of them? Download my free Skin Type guide below!
Are there any good techniques on social media that would work for someone with mature skin?
When you paint the skin the way you see it being done on Instagram, it really can age someone. It can look very harsh. There’s so much science that goes into makeup artistry, from color theory to placement and one of the bad things about social media is that we’re putting people into these cookie cutter look, and that takes all of the fun out of makeup artistry.
Vivian Baker is an Oscar-winning makeup artist and one of my good friends. One of the first things we bonded over was that we both love to actually look at our clients for a few minutes before we get started painting the face. We figure out their best features and then we create something in our head that’s uniquely them.
Following a formula really is the death of creativity as a makeup artist. When people are looking at makeup on a model, they’re not really looking at the makeup… they’re looking at the person wearing the makeup. That person is beautiful. You could put mascara on them and you’d still want that look.
Behance is one of my favorite sites to go to and see the work of makeup artists who might be too busy working to be all over social media. Train your eye to see different things. When you’re thinking about mature makeup, think about Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, and even Jennifer Aniston and see how they do it.
If you do makeup on people over the age of 40, and you do those heavy makeup looks, they’re going to look 20 years older. Makeup artistry is how you make people feel, and if someone were to do that to me, it would make me feel like I can’t wear makeup like I used to.
What are some of your favorite ingredients, products, or tools specifically for mature skin?
I think we should keep our routines very simple. I don’t think we should be using Retin-A, retinol, facial scrubs, exfoliating cleansers, etc. Less is more. This is probably crazy for an esthetician to say, but I honestly think our skin works a little better when it’s dirty!
One of the things we started seeing in the 90’s as people had access to more of these items is a lot of redness. The skin barrier would get broken and would start freaking the you-know-what out.
One of my favorite ingredients that isn’t used as much as it should be is ceramides. This helps the skin’s cell structure rebuild itself.
Aside from ceramides, there’s three things that I tell people to do when this happens:
1 – Wash your makeup brushes everyday
2 – Use a great cleanser at night
3 – Rinse your face in the morning (no washing)
This is especially great for people who have issues with sensitive skin. Over cleansing can really cause issues, and so can excessive products. Just beware of “marketing ingredients” which are ingredients that are barely in the product. It just allows companies to make certain claims that won’t be effective enough to notice.
This is why I’m so drawn to Japanese skincare. They use functional ingredients and the textures are luxurious. It reminds me of when I first got started in the beauty industry and getting ready felt special. It just isn’t the same these days.
Whatever I can launch first! I have a lot of things on the horizon, and I’m just waiting for production to pick back up, especially in Japan.
One of the first things we’ll be launching is a skin prep brush. I love using a brush to apply my skin products and with COVID, this is one thing that has really changed for makeup pros.
We’ll also have a heavier moisturizer that’s a lot like Water Balm, but on steroids.
Then we have an eye cream prep product coming soon! One of the things I’ve noticed with eye creams is that when you use them as skin prep, they can tend to be a little too heavy which can cause “panda eye.” There will also be a night version of it, and we are in the final development stages in Italy with that.
We’ll also have sexApeel™ pads that will be easier to use and to travel with!
At the end of 2022 or in 2023, we’ll be coming out with concealers and foundations! We just finished the formula for the foundation and it is so ridiculously good. We’ll have good colors and good undertones!
So exciting! Ok, so where can my listeners connect with you?
My website is soniaroselli.com!
Been answering your beauty questions since 2014!
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P.S. If you asked me a beauty question, if I don't immediately know the answer, I must thoroughly research every question I receive, and sometimes do not have an immediate answer or I need clarity on unlisted ingredients in certain beauty products, sometimes getting a clear answer takes up to 3 weeks... have patience, it'll be worth it!
Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.