When it comes to makeup, people can likely agree on one thing: Foundation — yes, even the most full-coverage of formulas — should enhance your skin’s appearance, not have a mask-like effect that covers your natural complexion. However, there’s no denying that as you age your skin changes and so, too, will your needs change in terms of what a base product can do for you. Perhaps you’ve noticed that in the majority of makeup tutorials on YouTube and in most makeup ads, the models showcasing complexion products and techniques are in the prime of their youth, nary a fine line worth filling and with skin possessing the bounce-back rate of a full tank of collagen. That said, we bypassed popular opinion to get the experts’ experience and chatted with some of the most experienced makeup artists to bring you helpful advice for shopping, applying, and wearing foundation when you’re in your 40s and above. Read on for their must-have tips to take your makeup game to the next level.

1. Skin-care prep is key

The best way to ensure flawless application of foundation, whether you’re 14 or 40, is to prep your skin properly prior to the first drop of makeup. “Moisture is key, so always make sure you start with a moisturizer that’s hydrating but won’t turn greasy and interrupt your foundation texture,” makeup artist Nick Barose, who counts Kim Cattrall, Angela Bassett, and Holly Hunter as clients, tells Allure

“Prior to applying foundation, reach for a hydrating moisturizer or a bit of face oil. You can even dab in the foundation with a bit of the oil left on your fingers to add some extra moisture,” says makeup artist Gucci Westman, founder of Westman Atelier. “Be vigilant about moisturizing in all areas — especially around the eyes, where you want the skin to feel smooth.” Another Westman-approved tip to get a healthy glow without product: “Circulation is also key. Stimulate your face with a quick massage at night or before applying product to get the blood flowing and add a bit of glow to the skin.” If you’re looking for some circulation assistance, there are jade rollers and gua sha stones to give that facial massage an extra leg up.

We love the SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced and Chanel Le Lift Creme De Nuit for hydrating — but not-at-all-greasy — moisturizers.

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter Advanced

Chanel Le Lift Crème De Nuit

2. Find the right primer

“A primer that helps blur lines is great because then you won’t actually need to use as much foundation,” Barose says, namechecking Lancôme’s La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer and Armani Maestro UV Skin Defense Primer as favorites. “You also don’t need to wear it all over the face. Focus on lines or [other areas] of your face [you want to] blur.”

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