Book Review: The Makeup Wakeup

It’s easy to assume that the makeup tips we pick up over time will accumulate into an always-better look. But after 40, that assumption falls apart: things start drooping or wrinkling, our natural coloring fades, we gain or lose weight. We look in the mirror and we’re looking at a different face – and not necessarily one we were wishing for!

Recently there has been more honest dialogue about aging and vanity, and women’s real interest in enjoying both their years and their looks. But most makeup books aren’t really much help here, either showing fantasy looks on young models or rehashing the same makeup tips we already know.

More magazine co-founder Lois Joy Johnson and makeup artist Sandy Linter have teamed up to create The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age, your guide for making up after forty. Lois and Sandy are the perfect team to write this book: as co-founder of More, Lois has interviewed countless women of all ages and backgrounds about their lives and their approach to beauty. Sandy is a celebrity makeup artist who, as Lancôme’s Beauty at Every Age Expert, works with both product development teams and private makeup clients.


Lois and Sandy share their expertise in making up after forty in three main ways:

  1. They share techniques and products to make the best of your looks. There are plenty of how-to’s, clear photos by Michael Waring, lists of products that work, and even Lois and Sandy’s “pros and cons” – their often differing experiences and opinions.
  2. They interview the celebrity models featured in the book – women who’ve lived on camera and off as models, actresses, and musicians, and who have varying approaches to beauty as they mature.
  3. They include dermatological and surgical help in the process, not only by interviewing star doctors on their techniques and what can realistically be done, but also by including makeup tips for women who aren’t going under the knife or needle.


Through this approach, Lois and Sandy take readers through the makeup and cosmetic procedure world – teaching us how to deal with the various things that happen to our faces as we mature, and giving us information about what can be done about those issues if we are considering further (medical) help. They also address what they call beauty “demons”: the suntanning, the brown spots, hair loss, and other “unmentionable” beauty issues that come with age.

Combining the expertise of a beauty editor and a makeup artist, The Makeup Wakeup is the most comprehensive guide to makeup after forty I’ve seen yet. Even pros like me (who often work on teenage models at work, btw) are looking for new ways to meet our clients’ needs and approach our own looks. The Makeup Wakeup is a truly new beauty book that goes beyond what we thought we knew about makeup and aging; it is an inside-out guide to the beauty concerns women have as we mature. And by explaining both the makeup tips and medical procedures available to us, Lois and Sandy point the way to creating looks for ourselves that reflect both the beauty of our faces and the dignity of our years.


The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age

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