Midlife Beauty Issues and What You Can Do About Them

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

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As women over fifty, our beauty concerns are a lot different than those of our daughters. I mean, I’ve got midlife beauty issues I didn’t even know existed when I was young! Today we’re talking about five of the most common midlife beauty issues, and what you can do about them. Some of these midlife beauty issues have simple solutions, and some require more invasive procedures. Be sure to check with your doctor if you believe one of your issues may be caused by an underlying medical issue.

1. Going Gray

Consider highlights! In my recent post, The Ten Best Beauty Tips for Women Over Fifty, Lacy Bay of Shear Vintage Salon said that natural-looking highlights blend away the gray and let you go longer between salon visits. (This is what I do.) The gray hairs are still there, and some of them get highlighted, and some don’t. It all manages to blend. I love the way highlights brighten my face and skin! If you’re gray all over, talk to your stylist about adding more highlights or lowlights to balance out the gray. Ask your stylist about a new technique called balayage in which highlights are painted on by hand, providing a natural blended look with no regrowth lines at the scalp.

2. Thinning Lashes & Brows

This can be caused by everything from brow overplucking in high school (guilty!) to alopecia resulting from menopause. For most women, the solution can be as simple as taking Biotin (daily recommended dose is 2500 mcg.) or using an over-the-counter eyelash and eyebrow growth serum. (I do both of these things.) Sometimes, eyelash serums can cause a little redness right above the lash line. I use Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in “Eden” to neutralize any lid discoloration. In fact, most days it’s all I wear on my lids – which makes my lashes pop! For quick and easy fixes, you can try Lancome’s Cils Booster Mascara Enhancing Base for lashes (enriched with micro-fibers to add volume and length) or Benefit Cosmetics’ 3D BROWtones Instant Color Highlights on brows. If your problem is severe, consider asking your dermatologist about Latisse, a prescription growth treatment.


3. Dry Skin

As we age, our skin naturally gets drier. Combat that by upping your water intake. (To figure out how much water you need to drink, check out this post.) According to registered, licensed dietitian Wendy Howard, eating more Omega-3, found in foods like salmon, ground flax seed, or Omega-3 enriched eggs, can also help. If you don’t care for fish, Wendy suggests taking a high-quality fish oil supplement. (She recommends Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Fish Oil.) To address the problem topically, I use Jergens Wet Skin Body Moisturizer right after my shower, then pat dry. (The Monoi Oil scent  is delish!)


4. Age Spots

Age spots are brown spots that appear on hands, face, neck, and chests as we get older. Despite the name, they’re actually caused by sun damage, rather than aging. To treat them yourself, try an over-the-counter (OTC) retinol. (I use Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Retinoid Pads, which you can purchase at Ulta, but I buy it much cheaper on Amazon.) If you’ve already used retinols, and you’re ready for something more powerful, you might try Differin Gel. This used to be called Retin A, and it was prescription only, but now it’s OTC. It can be irritating to skin, so mix it with your moisturizer and start with an every-other-day application. (I alternate days with the Retinoid Pads.) For a faster fix, your dermatologist can offer things like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, chemical spot treatments, or laser treatments.


5. Thinning lips

This one is tough. Topical lip plumpers work somewhat by irritating lips with ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger, and wintergreen — all which increase blood circulation to your lips. I use Dior Addict Lip Maximizer, which has collagen and marine-based fillers that supposedly make your lips appear more voluptuous right after applying and make an even bigger difference after 15 days of continued use. Does it help? Honestly, I’m not sure. (But I keep using it!) Bebe Tran, who does my makeup for some of the Empty Nest Blessed photo shoots, recommends using a lip pencil just outside your normal lip line, then filling in your lips with the liner, followed by lipstick. For a more permanent solution, she recommends semi-permanent lip liner, which a trained professional lightly tattoos just outside your lip line. It costs around $350 and lasts about 2-3 years. Another solution is Juvederm lip injections, which last up to a year and cost $450 to $600. You may have seen some of the lip plumping devices that have been all over the web lately. I don’t know anyone who’s tried them, but they look kind of violent to me! If you’ve tried one and liked it, please hit me up in the comments and tell me about it.


I mentioned to several of my friends that I was working on a post about midlife beauty issues. That was a bad idea because they kept coming up with more midlife beauty issues! (Friend: “Oh, I sure hope you’re writing about unwanted facial hair!” Me: “Um, nope. Wasn’t planning to do that one.” Another friend: “Oh, good! Please write about crepey undereye skin.” Me: “Um, nope. Wasn’t planning on covering that one either.”) Okay, then. Part two is on the way! Any other pesky midlife beauty issues you want me to cover? Please leave me a comment and let me know. 🙂





Photo by Megan Weaver.


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Suzy Mighell

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  1. Thanks Suzy ! Sometimes I try to ignore some of these issues but that certainly has not helped! I am a big believer in Retin A and a really good dermatologist. I Plan to try the pads you mention for spots. You cannot laser your whole body!? HA. Have a good week! Julie L

    1. Julie,
      I love Retin A too and am so happy that it’s OTC now! I tried laser once but was such a wimp about the pain, I’m not sure I’ll do it again, but a good dermatologist can make all the difference in the world. Thanks for your sweet comment! xoxo Suzy

  2. “It’s always something!” Who said that…Gilda Radner? I just thought it fit a lot of situations. Oh yeah, this getting older is not bad except for the chin hairs, thinning hair (pink scalp, anyone?), an age spot that was on my cheek and is now below my chin line, losing all the fat on the back of your hands and looking like a crone. However, I would not go back for anything…I’ve worked too hard to get where I am. Suzy, you always look fab and are a good source of products that are excellent for taking care of our bodies, no matter our age. I so appreciate your encouraging and uplifting posts.

    1. Donna,
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Yep, it really is always something. I am constantly amazed at how I never thought about these kinds of things when I was younger. Isn’t it funny how we don’t appreciate youth when we have it?! In my next post, I’m going to talk about thinning hair, chin hairs, and probably aging hands too. I am with you on aging, though. I wouldn’t want to go back, and I’m thankful for the wisdom that comes with aging. If it comes along with a few other issues, it’s okay! xoxo Suzy

  3. Great tips. My latest issue is droopy and sagging upper eye lid skin. Do firming eye creams work? Also how to disguise them with makeup. Thanks!

    1. Beth,
      Ohhh, that’s a tough one. I am not convinced that firming eye creams work. I have heard that the upper eyelid lift is actually the MOST common plastic surgery procedure women get these days, so if it really bothers you, it might be worth checking into. As far as makeup for it goes, I would just be sure you’re using a good primer and highlighting your brow bone for lift. If you don’t consider surgery, it might be worth making an appointment with a makeup artist (not one in a store that will try to sell you something, but rather a freelance makeup artist)who could give you some tips. If you want me to talk to mine here in Dallas and see if she could schedule something via skype (not sure where you live), please email me at [email protected], and I will be happy to try and connect you two. I hope you talk to a good Dermo about this. Please let me know what you learn! Thanks for your comment. xoxo Suzy

  4. I have thin lips and use the lipliner trick. It works! I am concerned about lip lines though. I can’t bring myself to get lip injections. I’ve seen too many that look funny????????. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Brigit,
      I agree that the lip volumizing injections look kinda funny, but I have had friends who specifically had the tiniest bit of Juvederm filler injected right into those vertical lines around their mouths. It looks fabulous and is definitely something I would consider. Thanks so much for the comment! xoxo Suzy

  5. Hi Suzy,
    Wow I had no idea Retin A is OTC. I believe I stopped using it over 5 years ago when it was a prescription. I recently had microblading done on my eyebrows and was advised not to use Retin A to ensure the microblading doesn’t fade away. My neck is my concern now. My eyes seem to pinpoint on it.
    Thanks for the great tips!!

    1. Nancy,
      I know! I was overjoyed when I found out it was! I think you should try it on your neck. I use mine there! It just speeds cell turnover and exfoliation, revealing new, fresh skin underneath. I’m all for that! How do you like the microblading? Thanks for commenting! xoxo Suzy

      1. Oh my gosh! Great idea regarding neck – thank you! It took until the 6 week touch up before I loved the microblading. I now wake up in the AM with eyebrows.

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