Mumbai: What woman rejoices over wrinkles? The overwhelming majority wants to conceal them one way or another, but beauty experts caution women over 50 to be as discreet as possible when applying make-up to those unwelcome smile lines around the mouth and crow's feet near the eyes.

It can be a challenge for a woman to conceal these inevitable facial fault-lines along with age spots without looking like she has put on a mask. The best way to look younger is to use a moisturiser that matches the skin type, apply the right foundation, add a concealer and a little powder, and brush on a discreet amount of blush. And remember that not every little wrinkle must be covered.

Heike M Falkenstein, a make-up artist from Trier, advises women over 50 to use discretion when applying their make-up and make it look stylish.

"The older the woman is, the less attractive heavy make-up looks," said Falkenstein. She may use make-up to emphasise her eyes, but not excessively with dark black eyeliner, for example. Falkenstein also recommends that they be thorough in their lipstick application.

"From a certain age, the lips develop wrinkles that lipstick settles into," she says. Thus, the darker the colour, the more exact the application must be. Women also should cleanse their skin and apply a daytime moisturiser before putting on their make-up.

The best make-up looks only half as good when the skin hasn't been properly cared for. "Foundation should never be applied to dry skin because the colour pigment in the foundation will stick to dead skin cells," she suggests, adding that it is important to consider not only moisture, but also the oils in a product when selecting a face cream for older skin. "They help the skin retain moisture."

Peter Schmidinger, a make-up expert with a German cosmetic association, says foundation should be carefully worked into the skin rather than just smeared on. He recommends products that mimic skin pigment and follow facial movements, and therefore don't settle into the wrinkles.

Women who have mild skin irregularities should use liquid foundation, while those who have more noticeable irregularities should use compact powder, which is better at covering the problem areas, says Schmidinger.

"Foundations and powder with light-reflecting pigments look especially nice because they even out the wrinkles a bit," he adds. "Foundation should not be applied too thickly, otherwise it can get flaky and uneven and leave spots on the face," says Gabriela Herzig, a cosmetician from Berlin.

She recommends products that are free of extra oils and fats and leave a matt finish. "After applying the make-up, the face should be dusted with a light-reflecting powder to fix it in place. The goal is skin that looks as smooth as porcelain," she says.

Areas around the eye that are often the first to show wrinkles, should be brightened with a concealer or light-reflecting cream. "Age spots can be covered with a powder," says Schmidinger, adding that women should never use cover sticks on age spots -- they tend to leave the complexion looking uneven.

Falkenstein advises women not to try to conceal everything. It's better to accept wrinkles and age spots than to cover them with a mask. Older women should refrain from strongly coloured blushes and choose tender tones. It's important to apply the blush correctly.

"Mature women should begin at the middle of the cheek bone and spread the blush outward to the temples," suggests Falkenstein. "When the cheek bones are emphasised, the face looks younger. But apply make-up discreetly."

When the right technique is used, no woman needs a lot of make-up to look fantastic, believes Schmidinger. "Generally, only three steps are necessary to make a face look harmonious and expressive. Lighten the skin, apply blush and define the eyebrows."

Finally, Falkenstein warns against selecting products that are needlessly expensive. She suggests having a professional analysis of the skin done in order to ensure that the promised results match the skin's needs.

"A skin analysis can help determine the skin's level of oiliness and its ability to retain moisture as well as evaluate its exfoliation process."

The Interview People

Top 5

Moisturise before make-up

Don't try covering every flaw

Lighter shades of lipstick and blush work best

Use light-reflecting cream around the eyes

Mild skin irregularities?

Use liquid foundation