25 Makeup Ideas For Women Over 50 With Gray Hair

Once you embrace your natural gray hair, you may find you need to update your makeup routine. What worked with your hair previously may leave you looking washed out now. As you get older, your skin changes as well, but you can still look fabulous.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should prioritize taking care of your skin. Makeup is no substitute for good skincare. At a minimum, your skincare routine should include a good broad-spectrum sunscreen, a light moisturizer during the day, and a heavier moisturizer at night. Stay away from harsh soaps that can dry your skin.

While your makeup routine will vary slightly from day to day, depending on where you're going and what you're doing, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind. Makeup should never look too obvious or heavy. It's fine to have a dramatic look at times. However, if your makeup is the first thing people notice, it's probably not a good match for your skin tone.

When your makeup suits your skin tone and coloring, it won't look pasted on. You'll look like your best self, not someone else entirely. A good rule of thumb is to focus on one feature at a time. So if you have on a very bold lipstick, tone down your eye makeup. Continue reading to see 25 polished, yet natural makeup looks for women over 50 who have embraced their gorgeous gray hair.

Portrait of senior woman with short grey hair looking at herself in the mirror and applying face cream, 25 Makeup Ideas For Women Over 50 With Gray Hair

1.  Practical Daytime

Beautiful smiling senior woman with short gray hair posing in front of gray background. Beauty photography.

This minimal daytime look is perfect for days when you have a lot to do and want to look put together without much fuss. A soft brown eyeliner and a light coat of mascara bring out her eyes without looking overdone.  A neutral, highlighting lipstick and light blush complete this look. The overall look is understated and polished, the way you want to look when you're out running errands and don't know who you may see.

2.  Everyday Polish

Portrait of a cheerful elderly woman with makeup standing against a grey background inside of a studio

This is another great daytime look. If you have darker skin, you can go with a bolder lip color without looking overly dramatic. Applying a highlighter across your cheekbones, upper brows, and chin can make you look like your skin is absolutely glowing. Minimal eye makeup and a touch of blush for color finish off this flawless look.

3.  Dramatic Glamour


For a dramatic night out, you can go darker and more intense with all of your makeup. However, you still want to have a focal point. False eyelashes are a great way to bring attention to your eyes on special occasions. Black eyeliner and neutral eye shadow will make your eyes pop. This bold yet muted lipstick looks polished but doesn't compete with her eyes. Since this is a dramatic look, contouring blush and a glowing highlighter are great options.

4.  Plum Perfect


Don't be afraid to use color, even for a daytime look. This lovely plum eyeshadow brings out her dark eyes. The brown eyeliner and mascara provide contact and make the color pop. The lipstick echos the plum shade in a more muted hue. This is a fresh, energizing look for every day or a special occasion.

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5.  Modern Classic


For those times you want to look put together without looking too dramatic, this is a classic look. The eyes are the focus of this look, which accentuates her beautiful gray curls. The highlighter, eyeliner, and dark mascara work together to draw attention to her eyes.  The sheer red lipstick completes the look perfectly.

6. Professionally Neutral

Portrait of a confident mature businesswoman with makeup standing in a convention centre

If you need a professional work look, try dark brown eyeliner and mascara combined with a muted neutral reddish-brown lipstick. Nothing stands out too much, and it works great with this short gray cut.

7.  Casual Fun

Portrait of a beautiful senior woman with makeup in nature

This "no-makeup" look is perfect for a run in the park or meeting up with friends. A light sweep of mascara and some sheer pink gloss enhances her features without looking overly made up.

8.  Refined and Elegant

Portrait of a businesswoman with makeup with arms crossed looking at camera

Don't forget your brows when you're doing your makeup. Many women who are gray, particularly if they still have brown tones in their hair, will look great with a brown eyebrow pencil.

9.  Bold Color


Have some fun and go bold with your lip color. Gray hair is neutral and looks fabulous with red lipstick. If you want to tone it down for the office, opt for a muted shade of red that still stands out.

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10.  Laid Back and Lovely

African American Woman with makeup

If you have just enough gray to add some highlights, you can add sparkle to a fresh look like this one. Using a sponge to apply foundation can make it blend in invisibly. Add the lightest touch of mascara and a sheer red gloss for an easy, beautiful look.

11. Fairy Fantasy

Older African American woman with makeup sitting and looking out into the world with optimism

A carefree, upswept hairstyle sets the stage for this fairy-inspired look. Foundation with a dewy finish instead of matt makes her skin glow. Dramatic eye shadow makes her eyes the focal point. A touch of sheer pink lip gloss adds to her glow.

12.  Sparkling Gleam

Portrait of a mature woman with makeup on a white background

You may have been told that iridescent highlighters are for teenagers, but don't believe it. Everyone looks better with a little sparkle. Use a highlighter on all of the parts of your face that light naturally hits, such as your brows, cheekbones, and lips.

13.  Pretty in Pink

Closeup shot of a mature woman with makeup sitting

Pink isn't just for little girls. This beautiful pastel shade looks fabulous with gray hair. Sheer pink lipstick can make you look polished even when you're feeling harried.

14.  Bold Frames

Portrait of a mature woman with makeup standing in a studio

Contrast can be very flattering. These black glasses add drama and contrast to this otherwise minimal makeup look. Never hesitate to throw on a bold accessory.

15.  Golden Fall

Portrait Of A Mature Woman with makeup Smiling At The Camera. Outside.

Use your makeup to enhance your best features. Here, an understated pink lipstick highlights her lovely smile. A light application of eyeliner and mascara brings out her eyes, while the creamy finish on her foundation gives her a radiant glow.

16.  Quirky Glam

Portrait of cheerful woman with makeup in eyeglasses against green background. Smiling female is wearing jewelry. She is having short gray hair.

This bright pink lipstick looks stunning with these sparkly earrings. Sometimes more is more. The earrings, glasses, and lipstick work together to make this look a show stopper.

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17.  Warm and Bright

In a quiet park, a beautiful senior woman with makeup enjoys a peaceful moment and smiles at the camera.

No matter what shade of gray your hair is, make sure your makeup works with the undertones in your skin.  If you have warm undertones, shades such as this gorgeous berry lipstick will look great on you.

18.  Sincere and Introspective

One senior woman with makeup and a grey bob in front of a dark grey background. Portrait of smart senior woman in her 60s, looking away from camera.

Longer gray hair looks beautiful in a face-framing bob. A subtle pink sheen and some light mascara are all that's needed to finish off this serene look.

19. Flirty Fun

Closeup face of senior business woman with makeup standing against grey background with copy space

This adorable pixie cut makes the most of these gray highlights. Using eyeliner only on the top lid keeps it from smudging and causing dark undereye circles. A nude lip color keeps this look light and playful.

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20. Pearls and Grace

portrait of a senior asian woman with makeup, looking at camera smiling

You can never go wrong with a classic. If your outfit is timeless, your makeup can be as well. Well cared for skin and pink lipstick look great on everyone. You may have to experiment to find your best shade. Head down to your local makeup counter to try several different shades.

21. Radiant Charm

A beautiful black woman with makeup and white curly hair smiles for a headshot

With these gorgeous curls, not much else is needed. This makeup is kept simple. Neutral eye shadow and dark brown mascara frame her eyes, while a hint of pink blush and lipstick give her a rosy glow.

22.  Ruby Red

Portrait of a wealthy senior woman wearing makeup and necklace against black background

One of the best things about gray hair is how fantastic it looks with red, whether it's red lipstick or a red dress. In this case, it's both. This look is polished perfection. You don't have to match your lipstick precisely to your outfit to get a great result, either. This lipstick is a flattering shade for her complexion, though it's a little different shade than her dress.

23. Ringlet Obsession

Beautiful senior woman with makeup drinking a hot drink in coffee shop

These wild and untamed curls, paired with her dramatic glasses and sexy red lipstick, contrast with her understated outfit. So much of fashion is about finding the right amount of contrast. This is a perfect combination of wild and restrained.

24.  Simple Cheer

Beautiful African American senior woman with makeup stands confidently on her front porch. She is smiling at the camera.

This is another excellent example of finding the right amount of contrast. The hairstyle, eye makeup, and outfit are sweet and simple, while the lipstick is bold.

25. Shiny Bright

A Mature Mexican Woman with makeup Working Out

This dramatic red gloss shows off her beautiful smile. If your skin is looking washed out by lighter gray hair, bronzer is an easy way to add some color. A little bit will go a long way in giving you a healthy glow.

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If your hair has been dark, you may need to play around with different looks before finding some that make you feel your best. You may find you look great in shades you could never wear before. Experiment and have fun.

If you're looking for more inspiration, check out these posts:

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