40 plus makeup: how to wear a bold lip and light eye

A few months ago one of our lovely readers Nellie emailed me a few makeup questions that she was hoping I could answer. In a pervious post, I (hopefully) answered one of her questions about choosing and applying age-appropriate foundation.

The topic for today is how to wear the bold lip and light eye makeup combo.


I’m a BIG fan of this look. For me it pretty much means swiping my top lid with a cream coloured eyeshadow, bashing on some mascara and then applying the boldest colour lipstick I can.

It’s a gorgeously girly and tousled look. It’s fresh but glamorous with a subtle vintage nuance. It evokes a long night of dancing the tango with a romantic stranger (as IF that’s ever going to happen but it sounds awesome). A sexy, insouciant, carefree vibe.

If you are keen to get into this look, I’ve listed below my top five tips for successfully executing a bold lip and pale eye combo.

How to wear a bold lip and light eye

1. Start with a dewy or satin base – use a foundation that isn’t too matt or too powdered. You are trying to look ‘natural’ and create that relaxed and youthful aesthetic.

2. Apply a barely there eyeshadow over your whole lid. You want to use a cream, or a gold base. Something with a light shimmer to it. By applying over the whole lip you are effectively ‘flattening’ the area.

3. Use your favourite mascara. Apply two layers and build up those lashes. If you like to use eyeliner, go for a very thin stroke along the lashline with a liquid eyeliner.

4. Choose your bold lip colour. I have a number of go-to reds but you will need to experiment and try a few different ones to see if you suit a blue or a orange base. I can wear either but I prefer a blue base because it makes the teeth look whiter. For a bold, matte, blue-based red try Youngblood Vixen available in our shop. When applying a very bold lipstick, grab a bunch of cotton buds. If your lipline isn’t looking neat, simply smooth around the lips with your cotton buds. USE EACH BUD ONCE ONLY. If you keep swiping with the same cotton bud repeatedly, you’ll just smear colour everywhere.

5. Apply a pink toned ‘flush’ to the cheek. The best way to do this is to do an exaggerated smile and apply the colour to the apple of the cheek. Blend it back slightly towards the hairline.


So. How about it? Will you give the bold lip and pale eye combo a go?

Written By

Gillian is a marketing savant and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience in above and below the line marketing, digital strategy and creative direction. She is an exceptional people person who loves to collaborate with clients every step of the way to achieve the best possible outcome. Gillian is also a successful makeup-artist and make-up obsessive who loves to share her tricks of the trade and help women to look good and feel great.


  • Thank you Gillian! I’m quietly chuffed you wrote this post. So helpful and the pics- especially ones of you, are gorgeous xx

  • Gillian you look gorgeous! Ok so we have the makeup how do we create your hair! My hair is about that long and for the life of me there is nothing I can do with it. So it is either dried straight and then GHD or up in a messy bun, messy pony, you know the general Mum look after two days of lovely blow dried straight hair and why is it that a blow-dry from the hair dresser last longer that the home job?? These are the BIG questions!

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