Best Beauty Products: 15 Women Over 40 Share the Beauty Product That’s Aged With Them

If you’re old enough to see ultra-low-rise pants and think not of Julia Fox but instead of an “I’m a Slave 4U”–era Britney Spears, you’re also old enough to have a long and storied history when it comes to beauty products. Your childhood was probably laced with the scents of Tommy Girl or CK One, and there’s a good chance you wanted to be The Noxema Girl. Later, mall trips centered around the acquisition of Hard Candy and Urban Decay nail polishes and Lancôme Juicy Tubes. You came up in the pre-balayage era, with its Sun-In and spiral perms and stripey salon highlights. There’s a good chance that your hair evolution also involved teased bi-level bangs, handfuls of tiny plastic butterfly clips, and in the early aughts, a plastic hair insert known as the Bump-It. (Apologies if you’d been trying to black that one out.) Women in their 40s also know what it is to mourn a ride-or-die, can’t-survive-without-it beauty product that gets inexplicably discontinued. (RIP, Thermasilk.)

By your fourth decade of life, you’ve really lived through some moments, beauty-wise. That means you know a thing or two about products. Not only what really works for you and what really matters (hint: sunscreen), but that often, newer—or fancier—isn’t better. Ask any woman in her 40s, and she’ll likely say there’s at least one irreplaceable beauty product she’s stayed dedicated to for a decade or two. And when a woman who now shells out thousands for lasers and Botox and fancy neck cream says she still swears by a humble item originally discovered in her middle-school best friend’s Caboodle, we listen. Cases in point: Here are 15 items that women over 40 attest have more than stood the test of time. They’ll vibe with your next-gen low-rise bootcut jeans, too.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

“I started using this in college, and it’s still a constant go-to for me. The plummy tone is almost my lip color, but so much prettier. Whenever I wear it I get so many compliments on it. It’s just the best color—it looks good on everyone and with everything! As I’ve gotten older, it looks just as good as it did when I was younger. I tried so many trends over the years and I always reach for this color and formula because it’s moisturizing and flattering for all age levels. —Mindy Katz, Scotch Plains, NJ

Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

“I’ve been using this forever, and although these days I have access to free mascaras because of my job, I continue to buy three-packs of Voluminous on Amazon. I love it because I can pile on coat after coat and it never looks clumpy. I also prefer the classic brush versus the spiky plastic brushes that a lot of newer mascaras have. As long as I have eyelashes, I will stick with my Voluminous.” —Baze Mpinja, Brooklyn, NY

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen SPF 46

“I have used this product since a dermatologist first recommended it about a decade ago. Sunscreens have come a long way, but ten years ago it was very hard to find one that would not leave a white trace or a tacky feeling on your skin. This is silky, weightless, and feels like a fresh moisturizer. It’s also one of the best products to prevent and control melasma, a condition I got after having my first child. I’ve tried several other brands, and while some of them are decent, none of them provide the same luxurious feel. I will keep buying this until the company goes out of business, which I hope never happens!” —Patricia Morales Galindo, Los Angeles, CA

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

“I’ve been using this since I was 15! It’s always given me confidence, but now that I’m over 40 it’s even more important because it makes my skin tone look more even.” —Lisa Miller Frankel, Fanwood, NJ

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Body Lotion

“I’ve loved the smell of these—the body wash and the lotion—and have kept buying them from my 20s into 40s. It’s a clean citrus scent and the lotion feels luxe and hydrating but never greasy. ” —Betsey Brownfield, Portland, OR

Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Body Wash and Lotion

Psssst Dry Shampoo

“I’ve been using this since the ’90s, well before dry shampoo was even a thing. My friends used to make fun of me because of the dated packaging, but it works so well—even better than the fancy brands, in my opinion. Definitely a tried-and-true for me.” —Hilary Mitchell, Cape Elizabeth, ME

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, The Luscious Mattes

“I’ve been using these Revlon matte lipsticks for a looong time. I love the consistency, the color options, how it wears well and the price—it’s less than $10 at Target! I’ve tried more expensive brands over the years, but I still always prefer these.”—Celeste Hart, Jacksonville, FL

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, The Luscious Mattes

Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid

“This is the best antiperspirant, and I would know: My college friends used to call me—lovingl,y of course—Pit Stains Janes.” —Beth Janes O’Keefe, Pleasant Ridge, MI

Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

“Even as my skin has changed in my 40s, I still swear by Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I’ve used it for so many years and I’m convinced it has kept me looking younger, plus saved me many trips to the dermatologist.” —Claudia Schaff, Norman, OK

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

“Good ol’ Vaseline! I’ve used it since I was a teen as a nightly lip moisturizer, an eye makeup remover, on super-dry skin patches, and even inside my nose in the winter to prevent nosebleeds from the dry air. It’s just so multi-purpose. When I used to travel a lot, I only had to bring one thing as opposed to several different products. I’ve tried switching to new versions over the years, but they’re just not as good.” —Jessica Widmann, West Hartford, CT

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

“As someone with thick, dark, naturally curly hair, I spend an obscene amount of money on hair care products, so I always look for ways to balance it out with my makeup purchases. I have never worn a lot of makeup, and my first mascara was Maybelline Great Lash. I think the pink-and-green tube appealed to the ’80s prepster in me. My lashes are like my hair—naturally thick and dark. Thirty years later, this still is all I need.” —Stacey Curry, New York, NY

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub

“I don’t care what anyone says, this classic just works so well. My skin is super smooth after I use it and honestly the familiar smell and texture tricks me into feeling young, because I’ve used it forever! —Jessica Stillman Silverstein, Scotch Plains, NJ

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub

Olay Daily Facials Deeply Purifying Clean 5-in-1 Facial Wipes

“The packaging for Olay’s deep-cleansing facials has changed several times over the years, but they remain great. I use them daily in the shower to remove all traces of my makeup; I love that they have two sides and that one is a little more exfoliating.” —Tammy Posner, Lake Orion, MI

Olay Daily Facials Deeply Purifying Clean 5-in-1 Facial Wipes

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter

“I have dry skin and have used this for as long as I can remember. I even use it on my face at night a few times a week; it firms my skin and I don’t break out. I believe it has helped as a wrinkle preventative, and it’s so inexpensive. People might think it would be too heavy, but it’s really not for dry Northern winters.” —Kim Levlocke, Essex Junction, VT

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub

“I started using this in my early 20s and never quit. It feels so immediately satisfying and is small, so it can travel easily. Now that I live in Maine and the cold/dry winter season is two-plus months longer, this scrub feels even more essential, to keep chapped lips at bay.” —Carla Tracy, South Portland, ME

About Dian Sastro

Check Also

Beauty products at Carson warehouse contributed to Dominguez Channel odor, watchdog agency says – Daily Breeze

Southern California’s air pollution watchdog agency has issued violation notices to Los Angeles County and …