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RHONY star Jenna Lyons loves these beauty picks for women over 50

The stylish 55-year-old "RHONY" star loves everything from a creamy concealer to a volumizing mascara and a shampoo custom-made for thin hair,

Jenna Lyons' beauty picks are all perfect for women over 50.
Jenna Lyons shared her beauty routine, and it's packed with gems for women over 50. (Getty Images)

A few weeks ago, The Real Housewives of New York star Jenna Lyons appeared in a simple, straight-to-camera TikTok video outlining her current daily beauty routine. Obviously, celebrities hawking skincare products is nothing new, but something about this particular clip stopped me in my scrolling tracks. For one, the items were all from the buzzy brand Merit, a high-quality/mid-priced line beauty editors rave about. But even more, what made Lyons's video compelling (and made me want all the products) was the subject herself. Lyons has been an influential tastemaker since long before RHONY. She's a Gen X fashion rebel who dared to wear a denim jacket to the Met Gala, a former J.Crew president who somehow also guest-starred on HBO's Girls — her insider status alone is enough to make one pause on a TikTok cosmetics tutorial or click on a rote headline like "Jenna Lyons's Beauty Picks." See below for her favorites — all great for women over 50.

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Lyons has used this lengthening mascara over her false eyelashes to make them appear more natural. Even on my regular lashes, this is hands-down the best mascara I've ever tried. Like the name suggests, it goes on "clean" and it stays put — truly no flaking, no smudging or clumping.

$26 at Sephora

For those who don't know, Lyons got her start at J.Crew in the early '90s, when she was just 21. Over the next 27 years, she revitalized the famously preppy catalog brand by melding bold patterns with classic silhouettes and by pushing statement-y costume jewelry on 2010s consumers like we were all Betty Draper attending a cocktail party in 1959. Lyons is the reason you owned a sweatshirt with sequins on it in 2008, and she also helped shape some of Michelle Obama's most famous looks (the former first lady was an outspoken J.Crew fan at the time). Since leaving J.Crew in 2017, Lyons bounced around various fashion-consulting gigs, created her own line of false eyelashes — LoveSeen — and, eventually, landed at RHONY, where she's been an unlikely and, seemingly, somewhat reluctant breakout star, with a newfound level of fame and celebrity success.

Lyons created Loveseen's high-quality, reusable lashes to meet a personal need: She has a rare genetic disorder — incontinentia pigmenti — that left her without natural lashes of her own. 

$19 at Amazon

Lyons is now 55, more influential and, arguably, stylish than ever. While she doesn't look "young" (nor, refreshingly, like she's trying to look young), her skin is gorgeous and her makeup always appears natural and fresh. She regularly recommends skincare and cosmetic products to her 700,000 Instagram followers and shares tips across social media via collaborations with brands like Merit. What I like about her approach to beauty is the simplicity, the haphazard, bare-bones, beauty-slacker vibe of it all. It's a non-precious stance on beauty I suspect many over-40 women can relate to, a non-girly way to put in some effort, but not a ton.

What's great about the beauty routine Lyons outlines here is that it requires little technical skill and takes just minutes to pull off. The Merit products she's using are high-quality, a little pricier than drugstore brands, but still affordable. The picks — and the routine itself — seem custom-tailored to meet the needs of aging skin: they're highly moisturizing and scent-free with ample coverage that feels good on your face. The concealer stick works without caking or creasing, the blush leaves a warm, subtle glow.

As our skin gets older, it can be harder and harder to find a concealer that both provides good coverage and doesn't emphasize fine lines or creases and settle into wrinkles. Enter the Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick which provides the undereye/blemish/age-spot camouflaging you're looking for while also gliding on super-smooth and adding moisture back into the skin. This product is aces. 

$38 at Sephora

A portable, easy-to-apply color stick that leaves a subtle, non-clown-face glow even when you don't (and never did) know how to apply blush. A blush stick for "mature" beginners, basically. 

$30 at Sephora

In her TikTok video tutorial, Lyons says something fancy about the "Vachetta" shade (shown here), how it's like the special leather of the handle of a bag that costs more than my first car. I don't know about that, but this is a good, stay-put cream shadow that goes on easy with a brush or even your finger and it comes in a something-for-everyone array of natural and smoky hues.

$24 at Sephora

Lyons includes Merit's makeup brushes in her tutorial, but they seemed — to me — not as must-buy as the other products (i.e. you can use the ones you already have and they'll work fine). She also gives a tip about navy eyeliner working especially well to highlight brown eyes. She's right, though this long-standing makeup artist trick will work for anyone, with any eye color and you don't need a pricey eye pencil to pull it off.

NYX's wallet-friendly eye pencil is smudge-proof and the creamy-non-crumbly formula lends itself to precise lines.  

$6 at Amazon

After watching the initial Merit TikTok video, I went down a Jenna Lyons "beauty essentials" rabbit hole. Here are a handful of favorite products she's recommended over the years.

"A great moisture-looking cheek thing," Lyons told Allure. The pigmented gel goes on smooth and sheer, is easy to blend and leaves a natural “no makeup makeup” flush.

$20 at Sephora

“I have really thin hair that tends to get frizzy," Lyons told the New York Post last year. "But when I use this shampoo, my hair looks perfect when I wake up.”

$32 at Amazon

"This is a super smooth and creamy highlighting balm and it's not really shiny," Lyons told Allure back in August. "I can't wear a lot of highlighter at my age!"

$30 at Amazon

"Like a powder but when you put it on it melts [into your lips]," explained Lyons. "It's kind of amazing."

$25 at Cle

It's an investment for sure, but NuFace is the gold-standard in at-home micro-current facial treatments: hundreds of reviewers say, when used regularly, it works to tighten and lift skin on the face — and neck. 

$350 at Amazon

Lyons is such a huge fan of this lush, earthy, subtly-scented body oil, she buys it in bulk to give as gifts, according to Vogue.

$85 at Saks Fifth Avenue

In an interview with the Huffington Post in March 2023, Lyons shared that her preferred sunscreen is this ultra-hydrating SPF 50 stick by Coola. "It feels like ice on your skin," she said.

$29 at Amazon