The majority of beauty brands out there are steered towards the younger generation. Billboards are adorned with fresh-faced women and men and with the rise in beauty blogging and YouTube videos on the topic, there is buckets of content readily available for the younger generation to access the best makeup techniques, products and tips.
And, with it being found that 16-24-year-olds have the highest beauty spend, why wouldn’t brands cater to that generation?
However, there is a notable ‘forgotten generation’ when it comes to makeup, skincare and beauty with a significant lack of material, products and help out there for the older generation. And, when we say the older generation, we are talking about 60+.
So, in recent years, a community of beauty bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers have emerged and are now inspiring women around the world as beauty influencers.
“As older women, we don’t have to follow what the young ones are doing.”
70-year-old Tricia Cusden is from London and has built an entire business empire around helping older women feel their best. Her aim? To provide them with the tips they need to create makeup looks that are flattering and complement their age.
With her YouTube channel boasting over 28,342 subscribers, she posts makeup tutorial videos which are empathetic to the change in skin texture all older woman experience. Each of her videos also have subtitles to cater to those with hearing difficulties.
One of Tricia’s highest viewed videos focusses on eye and lip makeup. The video, which has racked up more than two million views, uses techniques and products that take into consideration wrinkles, hooded eyes and thinning lips.
Speaking to The Guardian, Tricia said: “I started getting involved in beauty in my 60s when I noticed a lot of changes happening to my face.
“Wearing makeup, for me, is about feeling able to face the day, not about looking younger. I like to wear nice clothes, do my hair, put my face on and feel the very best version of me that I can create.”
Tricia’s own frustration with the makeup industry bubbled over when Dior revealed wrinkle-free 26-year-old Cara Delevingne, (25 years old at the time), as the face of their anti-ageing products.
In 2013, Tricia took her passion for tackling this casual ageism she felt the makeup industry projects by launching Look Fabulous Forever, a range of beauty products that are steered towards giving older make-up lovers the best possible products for their needs.
Talking about how the idea came about, she said: “The industry language of ‘anti-ageing’ is profoundly insulting.
“I realised that other women must be facing the same problems, so I decided to find a cosmetics manufacturer to produce a range for me.
“My idea was to put it [cosmetics] all under one umbrella and say, ‘If you’re over 55, post-menopausal, this will work better on your older face.’”
“Over the last few years, more people have been searching online for videos of women over 50 doing make-up, and that’s really helped me and other older beauty vloggers to grow.”
Melissa Gilbert resides in Tennessee and, at the age of 63, is a hugely popular vlogger for the older generation. She started by watching videos by young vloggers but realised there was a place for her to bring her makeup skills to an older audience.
To her 81,075 subscribers, Melissa’s platform differs from Tricia’s in that she also focusses on hair, fashion hauls, celebrity inspired looks and discussions about age-related issues including treating wrinkles, glycolic acid and injuries such as tennis elbow.
Her videos have gained a total of 7,223,007 views, but Melissa highlighted that being an older YouTuber doesn’t come without its challenges:
“We do get comments like, ‘you old hag, why don’t you get off YouTube?’ But we continue to fight to be heard.”
However, Melissa has persevered and enjoys the community she has built on her channel:
“Most of my audience is women my age. I’ve become close friends with many of them and that kinship is part of the reason I make the videos.
“We lift and support each other, whether it’s problems with kids or health or husbands, or just feelings about getting older. It means everything to me.”
“People have stereotypes of how ‘old people’ should do their make-up, but my make-up is far from that. And what I’m doing is giving other women courage to do what they want.”
72-year-old Makrye Park is known around the world for her YouTube channel, Korean Grandma, but her videos are best known in her home country of Korea.
Her journey into YouTube was not one of self-discovery. She was encouraged by her granddaughter, who, after seeing her grandma’s friends suffering from dementia, wanted to give her own grandma a new lease of life.
Continuing the videos, even when back from her travels, Makrye has seen her subscribers grow and now posts to a massive 576,119 subscribers.
A browse through her channel and you will notice that her videos are a way of showing the older generation that make up can be fun, is ageless and is better quality than it used to be.
She also believes she is helping to change the norms of Korean culture saying: “Old women perm their hair, wear old people’s clothes and limit make-up to the basics. But it’s other old people that demand we stay that way, not young people.”
These are just three of the many older women, and men, online joining forces and building a presence on social media. Gone are the days of assuming that Instagram, YouTube and other platforms are for the young ones. The older generation are becoming more savvy when it comes to technology, so, it’s time to stand up and pay attention to the 60, 70 and even 80-year-olds who are changing the face of the beauty industry and the online world as we know it.