Does make-up help you stay positive during difficult times?

This is part 2 of the Look Fabulous Forever survey of women over 50. Tricia Cusden, the founder of Look Fabulous Forever, has helped so many of our age group embrace make-up to make them feel better about themselves. A pop of colour using a bright lipstick makes everyone feel uplifted. I remember when I first had my make-up done by Tricia, she suggested a deep pink lipstick, Sweet Pea, which was never a colour that I had worn. However, once applied, I realised how perfect it was – it simply gave my whole face a glow, and I have been wearing it ever since.


A touch of ‘normality’ and doing something positive to make things feel and (look!) better psychologically.

After applying my makeup, I feel more positive about myself and about facing the world outside my door. There is a definite mental shift and I feel the world sees me as a healthy, happy person without really considering my age.

Ageing itself is a difficult time, regardless of circumstances. I used to think I looked OK until I hit 65,when everything went downhill fast. I couldn’t bear to look at my face in the mirror (not when wearing glasses or contact lenses, anyway). My skin had lost all colour, my islands of sun damage had merged to form continents, my lips and eyebrows disappeared, and I developed awful purple patches under my eyes. I’d never worn much makeup until this year, as I didn’t really know how and wanted to avoid looking like a badly plastered wall. Mutton as lamb etc. LFF products and tutorials were a revelation. I can look at myself in the mirror again – and smile. Even with my contacts in!

As I reached retirement and then afterwards I began to feel as if I was disappearing into thin air. I felt as if I contributed nothing and was insignificant. Wearing – even just a little- makeup daily – made me feel like the light inside me hadn’t actually gone out, but that there was still an ember which I could stoke and which would grow stronger. It makes me feel human again

By maintaining a level of control over the image presented to others – not an invisible ‘old lady’ but a woman who looks her best version of herself. Aged 67 at the start of the pandemic I never felt ‘old’ but the last 2+ years have taken their toll and I emerged feeling more hesitant, vulnerable and concerned about the future, and yes ‘old’! I’m surprised how many of my friends feel the same.

Difficult times require a determined and confident mindset. Putting on make up is a significant part in the process of becoming that person.

During difficult times in life wearing makeup is more than just a pleasant distraction – it’s a positive act that says you’re not going to be totally defeated by what life’s throwing at you. Also, the end result is a boost to your self confidence which in turn creates an increased drive to make the most of the day.


Even if you’re not facing the world, it helps you face yourself. The whole ethos of LFF has helped me reframe getting older.

If you want more information regarding the Look Fabulous Forever make-up and skincare range, click HERE for their website

Feeling good about yourself makes you stronger. So look after yourself first then you are in a better position to look after others

Having always loved makeup. It’s like my comfort blanket. A small but important constant in a rapidly changing time in my life.

How you perceive yourself has a huge effect on morale and levels of confidence, so looking in the mirror and liking / not liking yourself matters greatly.


Some of the answers to the survey

I also find people listen to me more if I go to appointments made up. My son made a serious attempt to commit suicide on Boxing Day last year and required three hours of surgery. He was discharged into my care with no support 24 hours later. No one listened to me then when I asked questions but if I put in my makeup and wear smarter clothes I am noticed more.

I can’t imagine life without makeup! It brightens even the darkest times…

I could no more face the world without my makeup on than walk naked down the street. Without my face in I feel invisible. With it I’m invincible!

I feel that I’m literally bringing colour back into my life and that there is something transformational about spending 10 minutes mindfully applying makeup. The results can be subtle or strong depending on what I’m doing/ wearing that day. I start the day feeling balanced and prepared for whatever the day holds. My intention for the day is set and I feel more positive and in control of how I am going to approach what the day may bring.

I had always envied women who wore lipstick so confidently but felt I was not beautiful or stylish enough to pull that off . Now I understand how to choose the right colours for me I get such a buzz from the final act of choosing and applying my lipstick -it gives me such a confidence boost when I see that final reflection in the mirror .I’m ready for the day in colours of my choosing – feeling how I want to feel , bright and positive, and not like the dowdy invisible gray person I can sometimes feel. My confidence has grown tremendously since I started taking this time to spend with and for myself .I feel much more resilient and am definitely keep those gray days in check.

I feel that make up is a form of self care.  Get up, wash your face and put on some make up and go have some fun.  The main media is so moany and negative that we’ve forgotten how to enjoy ourselves.  And we don’t need to be airbrushed.  Wearing my makeup makes me shove all the negativity aside and be myself.

I forget how old I am and feel just like me.

I have always worn make up so it feels like a little bit of normality. Catching sight of my best version in the mirror lifts my spirits.

I have always worn make up so it feels like a little bit of normality. Catching sight of my best version in the mirror lifts my spirits.

I like to feel I look as good and natural as I can. Makeup helps me to look good and healthy on the outside despite my body not feeling great on the inside. I put makeup on for my benefit and not necessarily to create an image for others and I just feel better with makeup on.

I look in the mirror and see “me”. Still me no matter what else is going on that I can’t change. Makeup is my armour/my uniform. As a nurse I put on my uniform and I can face challenges and I can talk to anyone. When I’m out of my uniform I find talking to strangers really challenging and my self confidence falters. My makeup is part of my uniform that helps me face the world and stand tall. Ali

I love art and I see it as something creative to apply each day. It’s always a bit different and it’s about being visible, present and occupying my space.

I sometimes get a shock when I see my elderly mother (no longer with us) looking back at me in the mirror. Make up makes me look and feel younger and more myself. Even just lipstick can brighten my whole face.I think it’s about finding a balance between acceptance of my ageing self and the image I want to project to others and I resonated with your ‘Best Self’ analogy. 

I like to feel I have a choice about wearing makeup but to be honest, I feel my best self  with it on. It’s a complex one. I’m just grateful to have discovered your company (recommended by a good friend who you helped get through lockdown) and simply love your weekly blog. You are a visionary and an inspiration. Thank you.

I usually only wear lipstick as I feel “naked” without it. So, whether times are difficult or not a slick of bright lipstick gives me a boost and makes me feel ready to face the outside world.

I wouldn’t dream of going out without makeup as I hate the way I look without it. I have no confidence in my looks without my ‘armour’ to hide behind. I’ve felt like this all my life and, for me, it’s really important to have cosmetics (LFF) that I can happily use now I’m in my sixties. Many products on the market just don’t work on older skin and don’t help us ‘ladies of a certain age’ feel good about ourselves. I’ve been wearing makeup all my life and will continue to do so.

If you look brighter you feel brighter, if you look fabulous you feel fabulous – it really works!

If you look good you feel good. I love that makeup makes me feel beautiful and confident.

In adolescence, living with an unpleasant and controlling stepfather, wearing eye make-up became a triumphant act of defiance and make-up has remained my friend ever since.

Watch Makeup Tutorials for Older Women…

How to Cover Dark Under Eye Circles


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How to Create a Smoky Eye Look 


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1 month ago

Annabel and Grace – I think you BOTH look fabulous !!
You and your Pro-Age Magazine are an inspiration to us all.
Thank you!

1 month ago

Reading about wearing make up in difficult times reminded me of the heart-breaking news from Ukraine that we watch on TV every day. Most of the women, especially the elderly ladies, are well made up even in the midst of the destruction – brushed hair, wearing make up – despite all odds. It´s both life-affirming and heart-breaking. It also puts the right perspective on our own problems. I am humbled by their resilience. If only all this was over and Ukraine won … I am sure they will. Best regards and thanks for your great feel good magazine from the Czech Republic.

June Ratcliffe
June Ratcliffe
1 month ago

This is a lovely post. I feel very much that we have to look after our confidence and wearing makeup, feeling happy with your hair (or as happy as you can be due to the effects of age etc) and wearing clothes you feel comfortable and stylish in, is the foundation for how you appear to the world. Annabel, your pink lipstick and pink jumper really uplift you.
Keep up the good work.