Secret of staying beautiful over 40: By Hollywood make-up artist

Secret of staying beautiful over 40: By the Hollywood make-up artist who makes Cindy Crawford and Gwyneth Paltrow look SO amazing in midlife

  • Riku Campo who lives in California, has been a make-up artist for over 30 years
  • Clients have included Gwyneth Paltrow, 48, and Cindy Crawford, 54
  • He has penned a new book full of insider secrets and top Hollywood tips 
  • Make-up artist reveals importance of diet and skincare for beauty over age 40

At last, change is afoot in the beauty industry. Now older women are almost commonplace in skincare campaigns, the focus is shifting from wrinkle creams to midlife make-up.

Julia Roberts, 52, and Christy Turlington, 51, have modelled for Lancome and Maybelline foundation respectively, while last year Charlotte Tilbury hired Joan Collins, in her 80s, to promote her Flawless Foundation.

No longer are the over-40s encouraged merely to cover wrinkles and tone down their lippy. Now they can experiment with colour and style instead.

One man above all is championing this change. For more than 30 years, celebrity make-up artist Riku Campo has worked with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Gwyneth Paltrow, 48, Rachel Hunter, 51, Cindy Crawford, 54, and Meg Ryan, 58.

Hollywood make-up artist Riku Campo (pictured) who lives in California, shared his advice for staying beautiful over age 40

He believes ‘beauty is enhanced by age’ and that the over-40s must ditch ‘old-fashioned stereotypes’ and refuse to fade or become invisible.

Riku, Finnish by birth but based in California, has rewritten the rules for older beauty with a new book full of insider secrets and top Hollywood tips.

So ditch your ‘I always do it like this’ attitude. Now’s the time to revamp your routine and teach yourself how to make the most of your face, whatever your age…


Once you hit 40, wrinkles become more prominent because the skin loses elasticity. There’s just no avoiding it. The skin around the eyelids starts drooping, and the lines are deeper along the forehead and glabella (the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose).

Hyper-pigmentation (dark spots and sun spots) may appear or be more visible as a result of years of UV exposure.

These spots may appear on the hands, chest and neck as well as the face and because of the lack of elasticity and reduced collagen production, slackness becomes more severe, especially in the lower face (jowls, corners of the mouth) and the neck.

As we reach our mid-50s, oestrogen levels drop, which, along with environmental damage, contributes to premature ageing. As the epidermis thins, cell turnover slows down.

As skin ages, keratinocytes — found in the outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis — change shape and become shorter. Sebum decreases by as much as 60 per cent, and enzymatically active melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) decrease at a rate of 8 to 20 per cent per decade, resulting in pigmentation.

Celebrity make-up artist Riku, said having sufficient vitamin A/retinoid in your diet is particularly important for skin health. Pictured: Classic colour, You can never go wrong with red lips


1 First, prepare your eyelids with primer and foundation. Apply light brown matte eyeshadow along the lash line to create depth. Then blend it in so it looks soft.

2 Apply the same light brown on the crease, which creates a shadow above the eye make-up that lifts your eyes and makes them look bigger. Blend well with a blending brush, back and forth like a windscreen wiper, until the shadow looks soft and natural.

3 Curl the lashes.

4 Apply mascara

Pictured: The finished transformation 

There is also a loss of water in the skin, which reduces its barrier function. The skin appears drier and we see a decrease in collagen turnover and elastin production.

By your 70s, skin loses fat in the subcutaneous layers, which causes it to sag around the temples, eyes, cheeks and chin and can result in a hollow look.


It’s not impossible to reverse the damage and prevent further deterioration. Here’s how …


You already know you need to add more veg and fruit to your daily diet, consume foods that contain healthy oils and fats and watch your alcohol intake.

It also helps to increase your bone density by doing weight-bearing exercise and taking collagen supplements.

And it’s important to raise your protein intake, as 50 per cent of your bones are made of protein, and maintain a diet high in calcium, the most important mineral for bone health. Vitamins D and K help your body absorb calcium.

Vitamins play a huge role in skin health, particularly vitamin A/retinoid. Beef, eggs and dairy are good sources of vitamin A. Vita-min B3/niacin brightens the skin’s appearance and reduces redness; all animal and plant foods are good sources.

Riku revealed the sun is the main cause of wrinkles, therefore it’s important to avoid sun exposure in peak hours and to wear sunscreen every day 

Vitmin B5 prevents water loss from the skin and improves skin barrier function: wholegrains, avocado and chicken are good sources. Vitamin C creates collagen that keeps your skin firm and protects it from free-radical damage: tomatoes, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries and broccoli are good sources.

Vitamin D defends your skin against acne and other infections: milk, fish and eggs are good sources and unless you live somewhere with a sunny climate, you should take supplements.

Vitamin E protects your skin from free-radical damage: veg, fruit, nuts and seeds are good sources. Vitamin K heals wounds and bruises. It can be found in cabbage, liver, kale and milk.


The sun is the main cause of wrinkles: dozens of studies have documented its impact.

Avoiding sun exposure during peak hours (10am to 4pm) can reduce sun damage by as much as 60 per cent. Wearing sunscreen every day can slow or prevent the development of wrinkles and sagging skin. Remember, though, that sunscreen takes 15 minutes to absorb.

Riku recommends applying toner every morning because the product corrects and balances the pH of your skin



1 Wash your face. As skin gets drier with age, you may need a product designed for dry and sensitive skin, such as cleansing milk. If you have combination or oily skin, use a cleansing foam.

2 Apply toner. Toner cleanses and closes the pores, and corrects and balances the pH of your skin. I like spray toners — they are like a mini-shower for your face.

3 Moisturise the eye area first. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body and loses moisture quickly, so an eye cream is essential morning and night.

If you have particularly dry skin or puffy eyes in the morning, get undereye patches or eye pens. These smooth the skin, reduce puffiness and fight dark circles.

4 Apply serum. Buy one that contains skin-firming ingredients such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or retinol (vitamin A). Retinol makes skin more sensitive to the sun, so add SPF-60 sunscreen on top of the serum and moisturiser.

5 Apply day cream. I recommend a thick face cream, especially in autumn and winter. Don’t forget your neck. Massage into the skin.

6 Apply sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend applying SPF-60 sunscreen all over your face, ears, neck and hands. You can apply make-up directly on top of this.

Riku recommends using a mild exfoliant three times a week to remove dead skin cells from your face, neck and chest


1 Wash your face. Cleanse twice at night. Follow the morning steps for toner, eye cream and serum.

2 Apply night cream. At night your cells are most active, so your skin repairs itself while you sleep. Massage the night cream into your face. This relaxes the muscles and allows the cream to absorb faster.

3 Use a mild exfoliant three times a week to remove dead skin cells from your face, neck and chest.

4 Three times a week, use a cream mask you can leave on overnight.



Instead of popping blemishes, apply an acne spot-treatment gel that contains strong salicylic acid. This will penetrate pores, shrink blemishes and clear skin. Let it dry for five minutes, then apply an acne patch and leave on overnight.

Cracked lips

Usually a simple lip balm can heal cracked lips. But licking your lips too much, sunburn and allergies can exacerbate dry lips. Another tip is to open a vitamin E capsule with a needle and apply the liquid straight onto your lips — this will promote cell turnover and moisturisation.

Riku revealed ice cubes can be used to make pillow marks disappear faster, however the marks can be avoided entirely by using silk pillowcases 

Pillow marks

Gliding ice cubes across the skin gently will make pillow marks disappear faster. To avoid such marks, use silk pillowcases.

Riku’s Facial Massage

Facial massages are important for women over 40 because they increase blood circulation and oxygen flow to the facial muscles. They also stimulate the fascia (the connective tissue between your skin and facial muscles), which helps smooth out and prevent fine lines, giving an instant facelift.

This ten-minute trademark massage of mine will also relax the face muscles and relieve tension.

1 Ensure face and hands are clean and hair is pulled back.

2 Apply face oil or moisturising cream on your skin and neck.

3 Massage these seven areas:

  • Lower neck up to the chin.
  • Lower jaw toward the ears.
  • Chin toward the ears.
  • Outer corner of lips toward ears.
  • Outer corner of nose to temple.
  • Around the nose.
  • Forehead (use upward motion).


Riku said most stick foundation are far too heavy for mature skin, he prefers to use a tinted moisturiser on older women


Foundation is optional

For some women the word ‘foundation’ already sounds like too much make-up. That’s because years ago foundation was thicker than it is today and gave the skin a cakey look, making the wearer appear older. Today’s foundations are lighter, so you can wear them and still look dewy and natural.

That said, I’d skip all foundation meant for combination or oily skin, including mattifying, oil-free and pressed-powder foundations, and mineral formulas. Those will only make your skin look dry.

Most stick foundation is also far too heavy for mature skin, while CC (colour-correcting) creams contain too many chemicals, resulting in a mask-like appearance. BB (blemish-balm) creams are also too heavy.

Don’t believe ads that praise a foundation’s ‘lifting, firming and anti-ageing’ qualities. Foundation is not a skincare product: make-up can’t nourish your skin.

I love using tinted moisturiser instead of foundation on older women, as it’s perfect for dry skin and gives a natural, radiant result. It doesn’t give you much coverage, so you will want to use concealer in the corners of your eyes, on your eyelids and in any other areas that need touch-ups.

In fact, if you don’t want to wear make-up at all, try using just concealer — it’s a real miracle- worker. It hides tired eyes, discoloration, rosacea and sun spots.

Riku said cream blush gives mature women the most natural look and gives cheeks a great sheen

Switch to cream blush

I like to use cream blush on mature women because it looks the most natural, glides on smoothly, blends perfectly and gives cheeks a great sheen. Cream blush gives your face a lift, whereas powdered blush brings out fine lines. Always apply on bare skin or on top of your tinted moisturiser or foundation and concealer.

The best colours for almost any skin are shades of pink, from the lightest salmon pink to the brightest fuchsia and darkest berry. The lighter your skin, the lighter your blush should be.

TOP TIP: Contouring your face doesn’t work when you’re over 40. It looks good under spotlights at red-carpet events but in real life you can end up looking as if you’re wearing stage make-up.

Go natural with brows

Eyebrows shouldn’t be the main focus of your make-up. Some women, including actress Whoopi Goldberg and model Kristen McMenamy, have almost no eyebrows at all and they look cool like that because it’s their style.

As we get older, the brows get thinner and more uneven and sometimes turn grey. To fill in, first powder the brow area to set a base that will keep everything in place. Then fill in with a pencil in small strokes, or dip the angled end of an eyebrow brush into powder and brush into your brows.

TOP TIP: Choose a brow colour one shade lighter than, or the same colour as, your natural brows.

Riku said all skin tones should avoid long-lasting matte lipsticks because they always end up looking too dry 

Avoid glitter shadow

For daytime, eyeshadow finishes should be matte. For evening, you can choose a light-reflecting shadow but nothing that contains glitter — it looks too obvious and gets stuck in your lines.

The white liner trick

If you are not an eyeshadow fan, just an eye pencil and mascara will bring out your eyes beautifully.Waterproof pencils last longer because the eyes of mature women tend to water. They dry fast, so blend and soften the line right after you apply it.

TOP TIP: White pencil liner on the waterline (between your lashes and the eye itself) always brightens eyes, making them look bigger.

Lipstick colour rules

For all skin tones, avoid long-lasting matte lipsticks which always end up looking too dry. Lip glosses are not a good choice either, as they feather away into fine lines around the lips. So what should you go for? Colour!

For fair skin tones, even if you have blue undertones to your lips, pink — from light rose to raspberry to bright fuchsia — looks great. And you can never go wrong with red lips. I don’t believe red lipstick makes you look old. It’s the classiest make-up look ever.

For tan skin tones, deep rose, mauve, raspberry, reddish brown and burgundy work. For more colour, choose hot pink, fuchsia, magenta, purple and cool reds.

For dark to ebony skin tones, deep brown, purple and bluish reds look fantastic, as do bright orange-reds and gold for evening.


Pictured left to right: Make sure you moisturise first, lip liner counters natural thinning and the final look — full and bold

The most-sold make-up product has always been lipstick, and that is no surprise because it’s the fastest way to change your look.

1 Your lips should always be moisturised before you apply lipstick. If they are dry, exfoliate them as well as the skin around them with a face scrub and warm water. Apply lip balm straight afterwards. Let it absort into the skin for a few minutes, then smooth on a little bit of foundation. This will give you a neutral canvas on which to apply your colour.

2 Lips get thinner as we age, but you can make them look fuller by outlining them just a few millimetres outside your natural lip line, especially in the corners. If you wear a neutral lipstick, use a lip liner half a shade darker to instantly create a lip lift. Make sure the result looks natural: don’t draw a line that is too thick.

3 Colour in your lips with the liner, then apply lipstick.

Adapted by Alison Roberts from I Am Beauty, by Riku Campo (£30, HarperCollins), out on October 15. © Riku Campo 2020. To order a copy for £25.50 (offer valid to 17/10/20; UK P&P free), go to or call 020 3308 9193.

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