A punch of color on your cheeks or a rich lipstick shade can easily erase years off your face, but the wrong makeup can do just the opposite.
Seemingly harmless blunders, like amping up barely-there brows or adding powder to eliminate shine are just a few of the many surprising reasons why your face is looking tired and worn lately. And while applying sunscreen daily to protect skin from aging UV rays is a no-brainer, technique is also part of the key to looking younger.
Several celebrity makeup artists weigh in on the most common mistakes you’re committing that are aging you, as well as how you can prevent them from hiding your natural radiance:
Going Too Light (or Dark) with Concealer
Concealer is the perfect go-to product for hiding fine lines, blemishes, and dark circles under the eyes–except the wrong color can also make you look older instantly. “Many women are too liberal in applying under eye concealer in shades that are too light for them, which gives an outdated appearance,” explains Nola Weinstein, editor-in-chief at Glam.com. “The goal is to brighten rather than lighten.” Weinstein recommends using a CC cream, which isn’t as heavy as concealer, but has the ability to provide similar, if not better results. “Most will conceal and correct in a way that leaves you looking awake and recharged instead of tired out.” If you prefer applying concealer, make sure the hue matches your skin tone for a natural finish.
Powders help in setting your makeup, contouring, and eliminating shine, but applying too much of it throughout the day can result in the product settling into fine lines, accentuating wrinkles. “For true oil control, try a balancing moisturizer or an oil-free foundation to conceal imperfections throughout the day,” suggests Emmy Award-winning makeup artist Vanessa Elese. Also, don’t forget to have blotting papers accessible in your handbag to quickly eliminate shine without adding more makeup. “Blot papers are my go-to solution not only for myself, but also for clients,” she states. “They’re great for both on-camera and on-the-go touch-ups. They manage oil without disturbing makeup or clogging skin with layers of product.”
Forgetting One Product
Another way you may be making yourself look older with makeup? Doing without primer. “Primers are very important for mature skins as this help minimize imperfections, giving a smooth canvas for foundation,” says Hollywood-base celebrity makeup artist Juliana Landis.
Skipping Creamy Cosmetics
“As women mature, the skin on the face and neck become dry, resulting in a loss of radiance,” says Annie Tevelin, founder of skincare line SkinOwl. “To prolong a youthful appearance, switching out drying powders with creamy foundation, as well as powder blush with cream blush is essential. Powders have a tendency to sit on the skin’s surface, drawing attention to fine lines and wrinkles.
Creating Harsh Lines
Everyone knows eyeliner can make eyes appear brighter and more awake, but applying too dark, harsh lines can also accentuate crow’s feet and wrinkles on the delicate eye area. “Make sure you smudge it out instead of creating a solid line or keep it mostly on the top lid,” says makeup artist Amanda Shackleton, who has worked for Vogue and Glamour. “Your eyes will look defined, but not weighed down. The result is a lift on the upper eye, which always makes you look fresher and younger.”
Not everyone is born with lush, full, perfectly arched eyebrows, but according to beauty expert Hilary Kennedy, filling your thin brows with a dangerously dark pencil is a major no-no. You can create thicker, more beautiful brows with a pencil, but the key is choosing the perfect shade. “If you’re using a pencil, choose one shade lighter than your hair color if you’re brunette and one shade slightly darker if you’re blonde or a redhead,” says Kennedy. “Eyebrow powders are also a nice way to fill in brows without harsh lines.” To get the best eyebrows for your face, she recommends using a clear brow gel or brush and then brushing your brows upward. Then, fill in any gaps you may have, concentrating on the arch and tail end.
“Intense metallic shades on the eye can be problematic for women of a certain age,” warns celebrity makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. “Try shadows with a soft shimmer finish that won’t read silvery eyes for a modern way to make your eyes twinkle and more youthful.”
Using One Unflattering Color
Mauve lipstick may seem like an ideal choice when it comes to a fresh color for lips that can be worn day or night, but this purple hue, in particular, can easily make lips appear thinner, a tell-tale sign of an aging face. “Mauve lipsticks are best left for grandma,” says Weinstein. “Opt for bold reds, soft pinks, or glossy neutrals for a more modern look that reflects your aesthetic.”
Going ’80s with Liner
Experts agree that lip liner can easily add some much needed oomph to one’s pout, all while making sure that your lipstick stays put. However, one common mistake women tend to make is using a liner that’s the same shade as the lipstick. “The key to lip liner is using a tone that is closely or slightly darker than your natural lip tone,” says Elese. “This won’t leave behind evidence of your makeup creation.” In addition to making your lipstick appear flawless, a more natural shade will also make thinning lips appear fuller and plumper.
Amping up the Blush
“Unless your goal is to look like a cartoon version of yourself, go light on blush in a color that flatters your skin tone,” says Kennedy. “Smile and blend directly on the apples of your cheeks and blend out towards your temples. Correctly applied blush can add a youthful glow and take years off a face, but too much in a darker shade can add years.” Those with olive and darker skin tones should choose a warm shade, with those with fair skin must look out for rosy tones.