Feel like you are fading into the background because of disappearing eyebrows or undefined lips on which lipstick now bleeds? Beauty writers Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey are adamant that the bloom of youth can be reclaimed without rushing to a cosmetic surgeon.
They recruited 2,400 women -- all aged from 35 to well into their sixties -- to use anti-ageing products and make-up for three months or more, and have published the results in their new book, The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible. These are the 10 make-up essentials which, they say, can melt away the years.10 make-up musts
1 A make-up primer: With silicones to smooth the skin and light-reflective pigments to 'blur' fine lines, a primer helps solve the problem of 'disappearing' make-up.
Primers rated: Guerlain Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting (€56), 8.57/10; Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch (€26), 8.39/10; Elizabeth Arden Good Morning Skin Serum (€41), 8.28/10.
2 A 'line smoother': Real magic, these. Again, they feature silicones, and can be applied as required to deep grooves and finer lines.
Line-fillers rated: Cosmetics a la Carte Skin Veil (€34.80), 7.87/10; Tri-aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler (€37.83), 7.83/10; Monu Skin Perfector (€18.93), 7.05/10.
3 An anti-ageing foundation: Many foundations have age-defying properties. These work by adding skin-caring ingredients to ensure skin looks 'plumper'. New generation foundations also harness the power of 'optical pigments'.
Anti-ageing foundations rated: Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup (€44), 9/10; Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Radiance Makep SPF15 (€100), 8.85/10; Clarins Super Restorative Foundation SPF15 (€47.71), 8.56/10.
4 A light-reflective concealer: Wand-style concealers go a long way to disguising dark circles, and can lessen the appearance of deep groovess.
Concealers rated: Benefit Erase Paste (€27), 8.62/10; Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in Place SPF10 (€23), 7.45/10; Susan Posnick ColorCorrect (€15.82), 7.1/10.
5 Cream blusher: The texture 'melts' into skin, so it doesn't look dusty. That makes it goof-proof, too.
Cream blushers rated: Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick (€28), 8.28/10; Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lip and Cheeks (€26), 8.04/10; Cosmetics a la Carte Bare Blush (€29), 7.5/10.
6 Lip pencil: Does double-duty at this stage in life: it defines lips, and helps prevent lipstick from 'travelling' into feathered lines.
Lip pencils rated: MAC Lip Pencil (€14.50), 8/10. Inika Mineral Lip Liner (€16.50), 7.89/10. Sisley Phyto-Levres Perfect (€30 approx). 7.66/10.
7 Lip gloss: Lip gloss is the fast-track to a juicier pout.
Lip glosses rated: New CID Cosmetics i-gloss (€18.50 approx.), 8.9/10; Lancome Juicy Tubes Ultra Shiny Hydrating Lip Gloss (€19), 8.34/10; Yes to Carrots C Me Shine Lip Gloss (€10 approx), 8/10.
8 A bone-coloured cream eye-shadow: You can shade your eyes with a rainbow of colours, but use a neutral eyeshadow as a base.
Cream eye-shadows rated: Clinique Quick Eye (€19), 9.33/10; Bobbi Brown Long-Wear (€24), 8.55/10; Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/ Liner (€22), 8.25/10.
9 Brow colour: Because defined, groomed brows help give your face structure.
Brow pencils rated: MAC Eye Brows (€16.50), 8/10; Rituals Natural Eyebrow Pencil (€7.90), 7.6/10; Benefit Instant Brow Pencil (€21), 7.41/10.
10 Waterproof mascara: A boon, as we age, because waterproof mascara stays put through hot flushes and will survive watery eyes.
Waterproof mascaras rated: Chanel Inimitable (€28), 8.12/10; No7 Extreme Length (€16.50), 7.44/10; Guerlain Le 2 de Guerlain (€34), 7.4/10.
The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, by Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey, published by Kyle Cathie, is out now, priced around €23.50