Sandra BullockIf you're in your 40s like Sandra Bullock, congratulations. Hopefully by this point, you're comfortable in your skin and have never felt more confident in your life.

That said, there's no doubt that physically, things have changed a bit since you were in your 20s -- particularly if you've had kids.

There's no need to throw in the towel just yet, though. You can look better in your 40s than ever before, with the help of a few top tips from professional makeup artists.

Check out their secrets after the jump!

1. Plan to spend more time on your face: What took you 10 minutes in your 30s should now take about 15 minutes.

Wash and Moisturize: You should wash your face once or twice a day with a gentle face cleanser. Use a daily moisturizer that contains SPF. Don't forget to moisturize at night, and don't forget to use a hydrating eye cream in addition to your moisturizer. It's more important now than ever.

2. Eyes: You will need to use an eyeshadow base or "primer" now to make sure that your shadow goes on evenly. I use M.A.C. Prep + Prime -- Laura Mercier also makes a great eyeshadow base.

Remember that you can use concealer just on your inner eye. You don’t have to extend it all the way out in a "ring." It looks more natural this way. Pro tip: Mix your concealer with a little eye cream for added hydration.

Don't get too dark with your eye makeup. Stick to cream eyeshadows and powders that are matte. Your days of glitter/shimmer are over. That stuff just accentuates wrinkles.

You can still be bold, just stay away from bright colors that make you look clownish. The trendy colors you used in your 20s probably won't look so good now. Move away from the pastel palettes and instead opt for browns and grays.

3. Brows: Continue to shape and fill in your brows. Don’t round your brows or make them look like an upside down Nike swish. Makeup artist Stephanie Trail says these are common mistakes that drive the pros crazy. Your arch should be 2/3 of the way across your eye (see last week's post for photos explaining this in more detail).

4. Lips: Your lips should be soft and plump. Use a lip plumper -- it doesn't have to be expensive, and it will help soften the lines around your lips that lead to feathering. Sally Hansen makes a lip plumper that many professional makeup artists use.

If you’re wearing lipstick, make sure you line your lips. Your liner should never be darker than your lipstick. If anything, make it a shade lighter.

5. Cheeks: The pros recommend using a light cream blush on the apples of your cheeks in your 40s, not powder. Continue to contour beneath your cheekbones with bronzer.

6. Face: Tinted moisturizers are a great option in your 40s. Don’t use really thick foundation, or foundations that are oil-free or matte -- they will settle in your pores. Powder foundation can settle in wrinkles; use it with care.

If you have a lot of lines around your eyes, keep that area moisturized and plumped in order to keep powder from settling.

As you age, the melanin in your skin changes. This means that you might need a different color foundation/powder in your 40s than you did when you were younger.

ONLY use powder where you need it. A loose water-based powder is best for the 40 and up crowd. Remember that your skin is drier now than it used to be -- you don't need as much powder as you once did.

7. Highlight: Using a highlighter will give your face an added glow. Dab a dot of highlighter and blend at the inner corners of your eye, at the corners of your mouth, over and under your brow, over your cheekbones, and down the bridge of your nose. Many pros swear by Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat.

8. Don't forget about your neck: What goes on your face should also go on your neck, and even on your chest if it's exposed. Your neck and chest can give away your age if you let them.

9. Hydrate: It's more important than ever now to drink lots of water. This will keep your skin from getting dehydrated -- very important in your 40s.

10. Stay current: The makeup tips you used in your 20s are probably outdated now. Ask your friends for an honest assessment of your hair and makeup, and what you can do to update your look. Even better, schedule an appointment with a professional makeup artist (not a cosmetic counter girl) to learn what looks best on you now.

Most of these tips came from Stephanie Trail, the owner of Salon NFuse here in Nashville. Stephanie's done hair and makeup for lots of Nashville celebs and models -- the woman knows what she's talking about. Thanks for the advice, Steph!


Image via DJTomDog/Flickr