Makeup makes you look older

Table of Contents

You might feel set in your ways with your tried-and-true makeup routine, but sticking with your old routine might actually be working against you! As you age, the skin on your face goes through a lot of changes. Your skin acquires new lines and wrinkles, and loses a lot of elasticity and firmness. So if you’re still using your same old makeup routine, you might end up doing things that make your aging skin look older than you’d like it to!

But you can easily avoid making your skin look older if you know what you’re doing. So today I’ll be sharing 9 common makeup mistakes that could be making you look older, along with how to avoid them. With just a few simple changes, you can ensure that your makeup routine is working in favor of your aging skin, and helping you look energetic and beautiful! I’m currently working on incorporating these changes into my own makeup routine. So remember, we’re all in this together! 🙂

9 Makeup Mistakes That Make You Look Older

1. Flat Or Droopy Eyelashes

Curling your lashes is a quick way to infuse your look with a boost of youthfulness. It opens your eyes and makes you look more energetic! Use your eyelash curler as the base of your lashes (carefully!) for about 15 seconds on each side. If your lashes are really long, you might need to curl them again about halfway down the lash to get the look you want.

2. Using A Too-Pale Foundation

Our skin becomes more pallid as we get older, so a perfectly-matched foundation might actually make you look a bit washed out. Select a slightly warmer tone of your foundation, or grab the next darker shade and blend it with your current shade on the back of your hand before applying. Either way, you’ll get a warm glow you’ll love!

3. Too Much Eyeshadow

A dense layer of eyeshadow can cause your eyes to look heavy and weighed down. Instead of using more shadow, apply an eyeshadow primer to your lids first, then apply your shadow. A little shadow goes a long way on primed lids, so you can have your color without adding heaviness to your eyes.

4. Amplifying Wrinkles With Concealer

Caking on concealer underneath your eyes might camouflage those dark circles, but it can also accentuate the fine lines under your eyes. To avoid drawing unwanted attention to wrinkles, apply concealer only on the inner half of your under-eye area.

5. Overdone Eyebrows

If you have light and fine brows, it can be tempting to use a heavy hand with your brow pencil. But severe and unblended brows can make you look older than you might want, so use your brow pencil lightly. Use a brush afterward to blend and soften your lines so they look more natural.

6. Lipstick Bleeding/Feathering

Those fine lines around your lips are like magnets for lip color, and can lead to bleeding or “feathering” lip color. Not cute! I wrote a whole post recently addressing lipstick and lip color tips for older women, including tips on getting your lip color to stay put. You can read that post at the link below!

Related: Get Younger-Looking Lips With These 9 Lipstick Tricks!

7. Not Using Moisturizer

Your hormone levels decrease as you age, and that can cause skin dryness. This can throw a wrench in your makeup routine, so make sure to use a moisturizer! You can also add a hydrating primer into the mix for more moisturizing power.

8. Uneven Eyeliner

The skin on your eyelids becomes less firm over time, which can make it hard to get a nice clean line when you’re applying eyeliner. Try using a liquid liner instead of a pencil, and make sure you’re not pulling on your eyelids when you apply!

9. Muddy Eye Color

When it comes to eyeshadow colors, warm shades like browns, reds, and yellows can produce a tired-looking effect. Instead, reach for jewel tones that will help your eyes look more lively and awake!

Hi, I’m Jillee!

I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

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15 Makeup Mistakes That Make You Look Older and How to Avoid Them

One of the key functions of makeup is to make us look younger. Want youthful, glowing skin? Desire eyes that look doe-like and awake? Makeup can do the trick. But even with a million makeup tutorials out there, it’s easy to make mistakes and actually make ourselves look older!

In fact, some of the biggest makeup trends out there can age our faces. (Page 11 is the perfect example of this.) Check out these 15 makeup mistakes that make you look older — and how to fix them.

Applying blush in circles

This leads to uneven application. | Deniskomarov/iStock/Getty Images

For ages, ladies have been taught to apply blush to the apples of their cheeks to give them a youthful flush. But this is actually one of the biggest makeup mistakes they can commit! Reader’s Digest points out that this technique creates unnatural circles on your face and can accentuate wrinkles. Instead, sweep your blush gently along the top of your cheekbone to create a natural, streamlined flush.

Next: A big no-no involving your concealer

Using green concealer on dark circles

Using the wrong color corrector can ruin your look. | Alena Rozova/Getty Images

Green concealer gained popularity for its ability to help camouflage dark spots and blemishes. Many people have gone so far as to use this mint-tinted cover-up on their entire under-eye area to disguise dark circle. But that’s actually a big faux pas. “If you apply concealer in the entire under eye area, it doesn’t hide dark circles — it can accentuate them,” StyleCaster explains. Instead, use less concealer in a more skin-appropriate shade. (More about that on Page 4.)

Next: While we’re on the subject of your eyes …

Applying eyeliner too thick

Too much eyeliner can make your eyes look smaller. | Sasiistock/iStock/Getty Images

Bold black eyeliner is a flattering ode to ’50s and ’60s glamour. But beware of having too heavy of a hand when applying. Reader’s Digest warns that, while eyeliner on your top lid can open up your peepers, too much of it will just make your eyes look heavy and weighed down. To keep eyes looking lively and awake, apply thinner lines in a dark grey or brown shade.

Next: A makeup mistake that plagues far too many people

Using the wrong concealer color and application

Pick out the right concealer. | Robertprzybysz/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to under-eye concealer, the color you choose is the difference between disguising fine lines and wrinkles — or making them pop. “If the concealer is too thick or not the right color, you’re accentuating more than you are concealing,” one makeup artist tells The List. Opt for a light-weight concealer in a shade close to your skin tone — a shade too light can make it look like your have balloons under your eyes.

Next: Making up this part of your face has become a bit of a lost art

Forgetting about your eyebrows

Take time to focus on your eyebrows. | Deagreez/Getty Images

Reader’s Digest explains that our eyebrows become more sparse as we get older. (Especially for those with a past of over-plucking.) And loading on eyeshadow, but neglecting your brows, can make your face look older. But you don’t have to go overboard coloring them in — a brow pencil in a slightly lighter shade than your natural hair color will do the trick.

Next: Here’s a surefire way to add years to your face

Using shimmery products

Shimmery products can highlight wrinkles and dry skin. | Viktoria Ovcharenko/Getty Images

A little shimmer in your eyeshadow can be fun for a night out to a dimly-lit restaurant. But outside of that, shimmery makeup products will only draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles. Instead, “opt for tasteful matte shades that give the eye subtle definition without appearing too overpowering,” Daily Mail suggests.

Next: A trend for the younger set that can make anyone look much older

Wearing harsh lipstick shades

Stick to natural lipstick shades. | G-stockstudio/Getty Images

You may think a bold lip color will give you a fuller-looking pout, but the opposite is true. Lips thin out with age, and harsh lipstick shades make them look even thinner. This applies for dark goth-inspired shades as well as bright, vibrant reds and pinks. Opt for more neutral colors that pair well with your skin tone.

Next: While we’re on the subject of lipsticks …

Wearing a lipstick that dries your lips

Your pout should be moisturized. | Michaelpuche/Getty Images

There are many lipstick formulas out there. Unfortunately, some of them have the potential to dry out your pout — and dry lips make you look older, no matter what your actual age is. To avoid this makeup mistake without spending a fortune on a new tube of lip color, simply apply a sheer coat of lip balm first to keep your pucker hydrated.

Next: This faux pas is a sign your makeup itself is too old

Clumping on mascara

Replace your mascara every three months. | Gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

We know — getting your eyelashes evenly covered in mascara can be a major hassle. But it’s a process you’ll want to go through, since clumped mascara and lashes draws attention to line and wrinkles in the eye area. (And it can also be a sign that bacteria has grown in your old mascara tube.) Take a cue from WebMD and change out your mascara every three months.

Next: Here’s a makeup no-no for all ages

Caking on creamy products

Don’t layer too much product. | Stephanie Zieber/Getty Images

Going overboard with cream-based blushes and eyeshadows will make you look like a clown, no matter what age you are. As you get older, however, these products will also age your face by putting your wrinkles on display. If you prefer creamy products to powdery ones, go the less-is-more route and apply about half as much as you think you should.

Next: Perhaps the biggest makeup mistake on our list

Too much contouring

Don’t sculpt your features too much. | Nicoletaionescu/iStock/Getty Images

When done properly, this popular makeup trend can give you a younger-looking face. But if you contour improperly — which is very easy to do — you’ll end up looking older. “The art of contouring is that it enhances the structure of your face, so that it appears more defined,” The London School of Makeup’s Murat Evin tells The List. “However, too much definition can actually highlight aging lines that are better left concealed.” If you absolutely can’t ditch the contouring trend, be mindful of blending your lines extra well.

Next: While we’re talking about blending …

Setting everything with powder

If you have dry skin, avoid setting powders. | PitchyPixi/iStock/Getty Images

Using a powder foundation works wonders in your early years for hiding oily skin. But as you age, your skin is less oily and doesn’t need that powder set as much. “Swap out powder for blotting tissues, which won’t highlight wrinkles in the same way makeup would,” Reader’s Digest recommends.

Next: This mistake makes you look older on top of being poor hygiene

Forgetting to wash your face

Never go to bed without washing your face. | Ferlistockphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Let’s set the record straight — makeup residue from the day before isn’t sexy. It makes you look unkempt and unclean. And as you get older, that slept-in makeup will make your wrinkle pop. The best thing you can do here is make washing your face a top priority in your bed time routine.

Next: Surprisingly, this won’t make you look younger

Going overboard with ‘trendy’ makeup

Try to stick to what works best for you, not trends! | Nastassia_Bas/Getty Images

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to try the latest eyeshadow shade or eyeliner technique. But putting too may trendy things together makes you look older, and uncomfortable. “When we try too hard to look cool and it seems unnatural, it’s a clear indicator to others that you are just not that secure,” celebrity makeup artist Anthony Pazos tells The List. “Baby steps are always the best bet when trying something new or trendy.”

Next: Last, but certainly not least …

Rocking glitter nail polish

Glitter nail polish should be a thing of your past. | Vicu9/Getty Images

In fact, glitter nail polish is a no-no for most people. On teenagers, it looks juvenile. And on adult hands, the glitter draws attention to wrinkled skin and swollen knuckles. The solution here is simple: Avoid glitter nail polish at all costs if you don’t want your hands to look significantly older.

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8 Makeup Mistakes That Are Making You Look Older

We work so hard to prevent fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin, but we don’t often consider that our makeup might be perpetuating those issues. When you end up making fine lines look deeper, your complexion sallow and dark circles worse, it’s time to rethink your application process. From the wrong foundation to an unflattering lipstick shade, these are the errors that are making you look older, and our tips on how to correct them.

Makeup Mistakes That Make You Look Older

Makeup can settle into wrinkles and make them look worse. Beginning with a flawless base stops creasing before it starts. Unlike regular primers, blurring formulas soften and hide fine lines for a more youthful-looking finish.

Mistake #2: You’re Using The Wrong Foundation

Powder makeup can dehydrate and give skin an unnatural texture—not to mention accentuate crow’s-feet, frown lines and wrinkles. Instead, use cream products that keep skin looking dewy and hydrated.

Mistake #3: You’re Applying Foundation Wrong

Foundation brushes can be difficult to use—how many times have you tried buffing out streaks only to make them worse? Instead, use a damp makeup sponge to pat on your foundation. The result will be an airbrushed finish with a dewy, youthful glow.

Mistake #4: You’re Highlighting Your Dark Circles

The older we get, the harder it is for our dark circles to go away naturally. Instead of trying to mask the problem with an overly light concealer, find one in the same shade as your foundation. You want to hide, not highlight.

Mistake #5: You’re Not Accentuating Your Crease

If your eyes don’t seem as bright and wide as they once did, try a little bit of chocolate brown shadow. Work it into your crease to create the illusion of bigger eyes.

Mistake #6: Your Eyeliner Is Too Dark

Swap your stark black liner for one in a gunmetal gray. It won’t look much different, but it will subtly make your whites pop without making your eyes look heavy and tired overall.

Mistake #7: You’re Making Your Lips Look Small

A deep shade of lipstick gives the illusion of thinner lips, which, in turn, ages you. Choose rosy pinks and raspberry shades to help define while adding a youthful flush. If you like a dark hue for an evening out, go for a glossy finish.

Mistake #8: You’re Not Rehydrating Your Skin

Makeup has a way of dehydrating skin, accentuating pores and highlighting fine lines and wrinkles. Keep a face mist in arm’s reach for a midday refresh—the more hydrated your skin, the plumper it looks.

30 Makeup Choices Making You Look Older

If you won’t walk out the door before you’ve put your makeup on, you’re not alone. Beauty is now a $445 billion industry, with $62 billion in cosmetics sales transactions taking place in the United States alone each year. In fact, according to a report from SkinStore, the average American woman will spend more than $200,000 over the course of her lifetime on cosmetics.

However, while research suggests that makeup can actually affect others’ opinions, including boosting a person’s perceived competence in the workplace, many makeup-wearers are making major mistakes when it comes to applying those cosmetics that can cost them in the long run, adding years to their face with every brushstroke. So, before you spend more of your hard-earned money on makeup products that just aren’t working, discover the common makeup mistakes that make you look older.

1 Using shimmer on your eyes

While a little shimmer on the eyelid may feel like a good idea, if you’re concerned about adding years to your face, this is a no-go. “Shimmery eyeshadow in the crease and on the brow bone of mature eyes will accentuate wrinkles,” says Stephanie Jones, licensed esthetician and owner of The Blushery in Beacon, New York.

So, what’s the alternative? “Instead, try using a matte shadow in the crease, and a little shimmer on the smoothest part of the eyelid to make them pop and appear brighter,” suggests Jones.

2 Applying your blush too high on your cheekbones

Though you often hear that highlighting your cheekbones with a little color can accent your bone structure, putting your blush too high can actually add years to your face.

“Sweeping stripes of blush all the way up the cheekbone to the temple is a sure way to show your age. Instead, try tapping cream blush on the apples of the cheeks, and blend with a brush or fingertips out to cheekbones. This will bring some natural looking warmth, which is flattering at any age,” says Jones.

3 Using eyeliner on your bottom lid

The raccoon-eyed may have been a hit in the early-2000s, but lower liner isn’t a good choice by today’s standards, especially if you’re concerned about looking older. “Skip it,” says Jones. “Bottom liner pulls the eyes down and looks harsh. Instead, keep eyeliner to the upper lid to make eyes appear lifted and more open.”

However, if you can’t imagine only lining the top part of your eye, there’s a way to get your fix without making yourself look worse. “If bottom liner is a must, apply with a gentle hand, and soften with a smudge brush or fingertip,” suggests Jones.

4 Overdrawing your eyebrows

There’s no denying that the days of pencil-thin brows have come and gone and that full, lush eyebrows are in. That said, adding too much pencil to your brows may give you the opposite of the youthful, Brooke Shields-esque effect you may have been aiming for.

“It is certainly okay to use an eyebrow pencil, but it must be applied properly,” says Jones. “Avoid drawing two lines in the shape of eyebrows, as this is a very outdated look. Instead, use a sharpened brow pencil to lightly draw hair-like strokes along the brow’s natural shape to fill in sparse areas and to coat grey or white follicles.” And if you’re worried about overdoing it with a pencil product, there are other options out there: “Powder and a flat angled brush could also be used,” says Jones. “Finish by brushing through with a clean spoolie brush.”

5 Not moisturizing your lips

One surprising way you’re giving away your age? Not taking proper care of your lips before applying lip products. The good news? Keeping a moisturizing lip balm on hand can help you get the flawless canvas you wanted. “When lips are dry they look dehydrated, wrinkled, and deflated. Dry lips could also crack and flake, which does not look nice at any age,” says Jones.

Her recommendation? “A daily lip balm will instantly brighten, smooth, soften, and plump lips back to a pouty pucker.”

6 Using a bold eyeliner

While you might imagine that bold liners can brighten your eyes and make you look more youthful, they might actually draw unwanted attention to aging skin.

“Whether worn on top or on bottom, bold liner is not the best choice for mature eyes. As we age, our eyes will start to droop and wrinkle, causing liner to go on jagged and uneven,” says Jones. The solution? “A smudge of eyeliner into the lash line will still define eyes without the boldness of a solid line.”

7 Applying dark-colored lipstick

The right bold lip color can polish any look, but relying on dark lipsticks can make your mouth look less pouty than you’d like.
“Dark lipstick is certainly a great way to experiment with colors, but it takes some prep to wear it well. The darker the color, the smaller the lips will appear. It will also draw attention to aging skin around the mouth area,” says Jones. If you want a pop of color, she recommends using a berry palette instead.

8 Layering your foundation

While you might turn to foundation and other heavy makeup to conceal some of those fine lines and wrinkles, doing so can actually have the opposite effect, highlighting them as you cake on your products. “When skin begins to show signs of aging, our first instinct is to cover it up. However, less is more when it comes to a youthful complexion,” says Jones.

“Avoid piling on layers of coverage, as it will eventually settle into lines and begin to crease and look caked. Instead, apply a small amount of a full coverage foundation where needed and blend. This will make skin look fresh faced and natural.”

9 Avoiding lip liner

Though many people have negative associations with over-lined lips, choosing a lip liner in a hue that matches your lips can help define your mouth and keep your makeup in place.

“Mature lips tend to have faded edges, causing lipstick to go on unevenly. This could look off-balance and even a little sloppy, as it will quickly travel outside the shape of the mouth,” says Jones. “For a clean application, first, use a lip pencil in the shade of your natural lip tone—not the lipstick color—and even out the shape of the lip border. Use the pencil to fill in the entire mouth and then apply lipstick on top.”

10 Sticking to a single concealer

Think that single concealer will work for every part of your face? Think again. Different areas on your skin have different undertones, meaning a single concealer just won’t cut it. “It is important to have a concealer that matches the skin tone to cover sun spots and blemishes. However, heavily vascular areas and dark circles may need a little more TLC with color correcting concealers. Green tones will cancel out redness caused by vascular lesions and rosacea, and orange tones will cancel out dark under eye circles,” says Jones.

Above all, be careful about where you’re putting those products, and don’t try to use your concealer in place of foundation. “Use sparingly, and only where needed. Blend well!”

11 Using a heavy hand

While your instinct may be to use more products to accentuate your features as you age, you’re doing yourself a disservice when you do so. “Heavy makeup can make younger faces look more mature,” says cosmetologist Shreeda Tailor, owner of J. Tailor Salon in Houston. And if that’s not enough to convince you to tread lightly when it comes to your makeup, consider this: according to research published in PLoS One, faces with light makeup were considered more attractive than those with heavy makeup.

12 Applying shimmer on textured skin

It’s not just shimmery eyeshadow you should steer clear of when you’re trying to avoid making yourself look older. If you’re using a shimmery foundation, you’re only making the creases in your skin more apparent. “Shimmer on textured skin can pronounce wrinkles and fine lines,” says Tailor.

13 Not curling your eyelashes

While eyelash curlers may look like modern-day torture devices, when it comes to maintaining a youthful look, they’re essential. Curling your eyelashes can help make your eyes look wider while diminishing the appearance of hooding that can occur later in life. Just make sure you curl your lashes before you apply mascara, or you’ll cause them to clump together.

14 Avoiding red lipstick

While many people believe that red lipstick is only for younger faces, if you’re avoiding it in favor of nude tones, you could be making yourself look older. If you want to look younger, choose a true red and line your lips before applying it. Red lipstick can increase facial contrast, which research published in PLoS One suggests as a means of reducing the appearance of age.

15 Skipping the moisturizer

Though many people worry that moisturizing before applying makeup will cause their products to slip, the opposite is often true. Moisturized skin often holds onto makeup better than dry skin, and failing to moisturize before applying foundation can lead to product settling in your fine lines, making them more apparent.

16 Using highlighter under your brow bone

The rise of the ultra-contoured face has made many people eager to add highlighter to their makeup routine, but if you’re adding it under your brows, you could be making your face look older. Highlighting the brow bone from underneath can actually make your brow and lid look closer to one another, while making your upper lid look heavy. Instead, if you want to define the area, lightly trace the underside of your brow with concealer instead.

17 Trying too many trends at once

Can it be fun to play with makeup trends at any age? Of course! However, it’s important to be discerning when it comes to which ones you use—and whether or not you use multiple trends in a single look. Though they may look great on their own, trends like a contoured face, smoky eye, and over-lined nude lips, when combined, can not only overwhelm your face, they can also draw attention to aging skin.

18 Sticking to the same look for years

Whether you’ve kept the same hairstyle for decades or you just can’t part with your favorite perfume, everyone gets stuck in style ruts from time to time. If this is the case with your makeup, though, you could be making yourself look way older than your chronological age.

“Take a few minutes to really look at yourself to see if your eye shape has changed, your skin has become drier, or maybe your natural lip line may have softened. Different products may be needed now to help maintain a pretty, polished makeup and skincare. You may need lip liner now, but never before. You might start softening your eyeliner now, when a strong black liquid liner seemed okay when you were younger. You may need a lash primer now, but, in the past, mascara alone was fine,” says makeup artist Mindy Green, founder of mobile beauty salon MG Beauty.

19 Using blue-toned shadows

Step away from the blue eye shadow and nobody gets hurt. Unfortunately, those cobalt and violet hues you may favor could be doing you a serious disservice in the long run. “Purple- and blue-toned eyeshadow can bring out under eye circles and make you look older,” says Tailor.

20 Using overly-yellow concealer

While those invested in color-correcting may tell you that yellow concealer can help cover purple undertones in your skin, going too yellow with your products could be doing more harm than good. Skin tends to get sallower with age, and yellow-toned products can draw extra attention to that change in aging skin, making you look older and making your skin look off-color, too.

21 Going too heavy on your contour

The Kardashians may have turned contouring into a billion-dollar business, but if you’re trying to look your age (or younger), it might not be your best bet. As your face ages, you lose some of the fat deposits that kept your skin looking full and youthful. And since the purpose of contouring is to make the hollow areas of the face look more recessed, it can age you along the way.

22 Applying thick eyeliner

Eager to make your eyes look larger and less wrinkled? Skip the thick swipes of eyeliner. 
”Heavy eyeliner can bring out tired eyes,” says Tailor. Worse yet, if you’re not smudging it adequately, the liner can get trapped in the wrinkles in your under-eye skin, making them more prominent and making you look more like Alice Cooper than a presentable professional.

23 Forgetting the SPF

If you’re not using sunscreen on a daily basis (and in your products), you’re asking for more wrinkles and sun spots to crop up. “It’s not good at any age to skip sun protection, but as you get older, you’re more susceptible to age spots and discoloration,” says Green. “Wearing sunscreen will help protect you from the aging and burning rays of the sun, and from your skin developing hyperpigmentation.”

24 Not blending your foundation

The point of foundation is to make your skin look beautiful and natural. Unfortunately, if you’re skipping the blending step, all it makes your skin look is old. For the best results, start your foundation in the center of your face and blend outward with a foundation brush or blending sponge. This will keep the product thick enough to cover blemishes, but thin enough to avoid settling into fine lines.

25 Applying too much setting powder

While powder may have once been your go-to when it came to setting your makeup, applying it with such a heavy hand when you’re over a certain age can make you look older. Powder can not only look caked when applied over liquid foundation, it can also increase the likelihood your other products will settle into your wrinkles, drawing attention to them.

26 Using clumpy mascara

Long, defined eyelashes are always in style. What’s not? Clumpy, spidery eyes. Stuck-together lashes can draw attention to the wrinkles around your eyes in an instant. The solution? If you find your lashes clumping together, use a lash comb to separate them out.

27 Using a full-coverage foundation

While you might be eager to opt for full-coverage products as you age, a sheerer foundation formula will actually serve you better.

“As your skin becomes more mature, layering heavy makeup on your face will emphasize lines. Use sheer formulas like tinted moisturizers, liquid foundation, and even BB/CC Creams. These provide some color, and, in some cases, you can build the coverage where needed. They also provide more moisture and sometimes even contain anti-aging ingredients. As an alternative, you can dab concealer or a stick foundation just where you feel you need more coverage,” says Green.

28 Not using a facial primer

Those primers at Sephora may seem like little more than snake oil promising major results, but in reality, they’re a must-have—especially for aging skin. “Primers today can handle skin concerns like dryness, oiliness and large pores. A primer will give you a smoother surface to apply your foundation, and help keep it from settling into fine lines,” says Green. “Some primers even have technology to help diffuse the appearance of lines.”

29 Over-applying bronzer

There’s a world of difference between a sun-kissed glow and a face that looks like it’s been dipped in the mud. If you’re using too much bronzer, all you’re doing is drawing attention to the wrinkles in your skin. Using bronzer to contour can also make your face look hollower, exacerbating the signs of aging.

30 Relying on powder blush and shadow

While powder formulas may have been stalwarts in your earlier years, sticking to powder blush and shadow as you age could be making you look older than you actually are. “If your skin is getting drier, you could benefit from the added moisture in a cream blush. A cream shadow may appear softer and more natural on your lids as you age,” says Green. “More brands are introducing these products and some brands of cream shadow have good staying power and double as a shadow primer.”

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10 Makeup Mistakes That Make You Look Older and How to Avoid Them

As we age, our makeup routines much grow and change with us. But so many women make the same makeup mistakes year after year, according to Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist Jan Ping. If you don’t update your routine, you run the risk of looking older than you are. Follow these 10 tips to look your best, at every age.

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

It’s one of the keys. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Applying makeup on dry skin ranks as one of the biggest makeup mistakes. It can make your face look dull, cracked, crepe-y, and tired. Every look rests on a solid foundation, and using the right moisturizer will set a solid one. Also beware using too much face powder. While it will keep shine down and help makeup stay put, it can also age you. Powder settles into fine lines and wrinkles, especially on dry skin.

Next: If you always apply makeup in the bathroom, you may want to rethink that.

2. Apply your makeup in natural lighting

Natural lighting helps you get the best match. | yurok/iStock/Getty Images

Many of us have bright, revealing lights in the bathroom or makeup vanity. That can lead to makeup mistakes like using the wrong shades or applying too heavily. Always test your makeup, especially foundation, in natural lighting. Since you spend most of your time in natural light, make sure you check your look there, too. It will avoid a nasty surprise when you get a glimpse in that storefront window, later.

Next: Exercise caution during this part of your routine, as well.

3. One concealer does not rule them all

You need different concealer for different coverage. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Spackled-on concealer actually highlights lines and wrinkles as it dries, so you want to use extra moisturizer around your eyes. If you can, use minimal concealer on the inner corners of your eyes only. When it comes to foundation, splurge a little. “No foundation is better than bad foundation, but good foundation is best,” said Maybelline New York makeup artist Melissa Silver.

Never use too much product at once, which will cake and make you look older. Instead, dot just a little on the bones beneath your eyes and blend it upwards, instead of applying it directly to your dark circles or blemish. You also can’t use one concealer for everything. A peach-toned concealer cancels out the blue in dark circles, while a green-toned one hides blemishes. Yellow-toned ones will even out larger areas, like your cheeks.

Next: If you use this technique, your look needs updating.

4. Harsh lip liner belongs in the Clinton era

Stay away from crazy contrasting lip liner. | Stockbyte/iStock/Getty Images

Harsh lip lines have gone the way of stirrup pants. Instead of drawing a thin, sharp line around your lips, blend it inward. You should wear a lip liner to keep your lipstick from bleeding, not just defining your pucker. Draw a smudged outline, shading your lips with the pencil. Whatever you do, always match your lip liner to your lipstick. Dark outlines and light lipstick looks very dated.

Next: The following look also sets you back decades.

5. Never match your makeup to your clothes

Pair neutral clothes with vibrant makeup. | Staras/iStock/Getty Images

Matching your makeup to your clothes feels old-school, and not in the classic vintage way. When you wear both bright-colored clothes and makeup, you risk looking like a member of the circus. Makeup artists suggest pairing vibrant clothes with neutral makeup and a classy smoky eye with more formal looks. Feel free to use a bright lip with sparkle for special occasions, but always stay mindful of the occasion. If it feels too splashy for the office or the weekend, follow your instincts.

Next: This makeup mistake just screams “old lady.”

6. Update your blush application to flatter your face

Apply a rosy pink blush to the apples of your cheeks. | Eva-Katalin/iStock/Getty Images

You may remember the old advice about applying blush on the apples of your cheeks. Taking that too literally can make you look like a clown. Also watch out for brushing blush too far down below your cheekbones. That visually pulls down the face, making you look jowly. Instead, pay attention to where you blush naturally. Brush it up along the cheekbone, using the center of your eyes as a guide. Sweeping it upward will also draw the eye that way, slimming your cheeks.

Women with fair skin look best in rosy pinks and peaches, “nothing too brown,” according to Silver. Pinks and peaches work well on medium skin tones, too. Corals, oranges, berries, and bronzes complement darker complexions, but avoid blue undertones if you don’t want to look ashy.

Next: Update your look instantly by following this rule.

7. Give your eyebrows some love

Don’t pluck them too thin. | YakobchukOlena/iStock/Getty Images

As women age, their hair can thin, resulting in pale, sparse eyebrows. Keeping your brows well-shaped and defined can instantly give your face a more youthful look. Fill it in with quick, short strokes, using a pencil or eyebrow gel in a slightly lighter color than your natural brows. Make sure to stay in the same color family though — you want them to look like they grew that way. Also follow your brows’ natural shape. Too much arch will make you look like a Disney villain, and nobody wants that.

Next: Watch out for this harsh makeup mistake.

8. Skip dark, harsh colors unless your skin tone is darker, too

Avoid harsh black liner. | ValuaVitaly/iStock/Getty Images

Dark, dramatic eyes can get tricky to pull off, according to Ping, becoming less flattering on most women as they age. “Our eyelashes thin out as we get older, and women sometimes try to overcompensate for that with lots of black makeup,” she added. “All that does, though, is draw attention to the wrinkles around your eyes.” Instead of a black liner, choose a dark brown or grey. Less is more, in this case. You also don’t need to line your eyes all the way around. Lining the bottom lid too heavily will pull your eyes down, making you look sad. If you must line the bottom, use a lighter color.

Next: This makeup trend belongs in your costume box.

9. Leave the glitter in the disco era

It doesn’t do anyone any favors. | korabkova/iStock/Getty Images

If you spend much time in the makeup aisle, you know every brand loves glitter and glam, these days. But older ladies should stay away from “frost” or “iridescent” eyeshadow and glittery powders, according to Ping. These light-reflecting formulas actually accentuate fine lines and creases, giving you a crepe-y look. Instead, use a little glimmer right in the inner corners of your eyes or along the brow bone, to brighten things up a bit.

Next: Speaking of eyes, take care of your peepers.

10. Baby the soft skin around your eyes

The skin there is extra delicate. | PavelKriuchkov/Getty Images

“We apply all kinds of creams and cosmetics there, but you can do more harm than good if you’re too aggressive,” said dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Melanie Grossman. Too much rubbing, can damage the skin and cause red, puffy eyes, as well. As we age and our skin gets thinner in that area, the results look even more pronounced. You should always remove eye makeup at the end of the day to avoid irritation and infection, but gently. Use a gentle cleaner and a soft towel, but never scrub too hard.

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8 Simple Ways To Fix A Foundation That Is Too Dark For You Debolina Raja Gupta Hyderabd040-395603080 August 30, 2019

A sudden plan crops up. You have 15 minutes to get dressed. Your friends are waiting for you outside. You whip out your new foundation. Turns out you bought a shade or two darker than you need!

This is when the panic button goes off. You don’t know what to do. The solution is rather simple actually.

How to lighten dark foundation when in a hurry?

There are actually many ways in which you can do this. There are on the spot fixes and also fixes that will allow you to lighten the shade of the entire bottle too. And we categorize these solutions in a similar manner, so you use the quick fix right away and save the bottle after you get back home!

First let’s go with quick fixes. After all you could be stuck with wrong foundation right now!

Quick fix tricks

1. With A Moisturizer:

We always carry a moisturizer with us. Women never leave home without a small portable bottle or tub in their bag. That’s all you need to fix your foundation!

Take a little of the foundation on the back of your hand and add a few drops of moisturizer to it. Mix it up well. Check to see if the shade is fine. You can add more moisturizer if needed.

The moisturizer will reduce the pigmentation of the foundation. The shade is now perfect for you.

2. With A Finishing Powder:

Almost everyone has a light shade of this product that they use for highlighting their makeup look. If you have got one, you don’t need anything else.

Once you have applied you foundation, just apply the finishing powder evenly all over your face. This will lighten out the pigmentation of the foundation. But remember to only use the powder that you use for highlighting, not the one you have set aside for contouring or bronzing!

3. With A Wet Sponge:

When you use your fingers to blend in your foundation especially a liquid foundation, it will seem darker than when you use an applicator or a brush. When you have a foundation that is darker, avoid using your fingers. A sponge is the perfect solution!

Before you use the sponge, dampen it a little. Do not show it under running water. The idea is for it to be a little damp, not soaking wet. Once you dampen the sponge, take very little of the foundation and spread it onto your skin. Ensure that you use a light hand. You do not want the foundation to settle into the crease and give out a darker shade a few hours down the line.

4. With A Concealer:

First things first, this demands a light hand and the use of the product in smaller quantities.

Apply a concealer whereever required and hide the blemishes. Then take very little of the product and blend it around the concealer. Make sure that you blend in a triangle instead of circles if you have dark circles. That is dot the foundation around the eyes, and then begin at the ends if the eye and move downwards towards the cheek. In this way, if you have dark circles, it doesn’t get highlighted!

Piece of cake.

5. Use it sparingly:

Buying a darker foundation is not always a bad thing. It can spare you the expenditure of buying a new concealer.

Now all you have to do is not use this every day and all over your face. Just use it on the blemishes or marks you wish to hide. Just like you would a concealer!

6. As a bronzer:

It can also dub as a bronzer if you don’t already have one.

Apply a powder foundation all over the face and use the darker foundation only on your cheeks and jaw line to make it more prominent.

How To Save The Entire Bottle?

6. With A Moisturizer:

All you have to do is to add some moisturizer to the entire bottle of the foundation.

But go about this carefully. Don’t just dump it all it. Remove the foundation from the bottle and transfer it into a bowl. Now slowly keep adding moisturizer and testing it until the right shade is achieved. Now you can transfer the contents back into the bottle.

7. With A Lighter Foundation:

Let me tell you a little secret. Just before I got this foundation that is too dark, I ended up buying a foundation that was too light for me! The good thing that happened is that I now have a foundation that is too dark and too light for me.

How is that good? Because I can now mix these two in the right proportion to end up with the right shade of foundation! Again over here, do not just dump it all in together. Take one of the foundations in a bowl and slowly keep adding the other until you end up with the right shade.

8. Save It For The Summers:

If you feel like none of the above methods, then remember every product you buy has a shelf life of at least a year. And that means, that there will be at the very least one summer that will arrive before the product expires. With summer comes tan. This foundation will be prefect to use then. So don’t throw the bottle out in a rush. Patience pays!

A little patience and presence of mind is all you need!

Once you have tried these little tricks, do let us know which one you favour the most in the comments below!

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Debolina Raja Gupta

Hey I am Debolina. A complete nut-case and a wild-child if you may, I love keeping the child in me alive, and my daughter helps me do that all the time! A crazy working mom and also trying my hand at everything while I can, content-writing,designing, avid reader,book reviewer, fashionista, makeup blogger, avid blogger, photographer, wannabe guitarist, traveler.

The whole point of foundation is to make skin look so completely flawless and natural that no one suspects you’re wearing anything at all. But any makeup artist will tell you foundation is actually one of the trickiest products to master. So how can you crush it like a pro? First, choose a liquid formula, which “is buildable, looks more natural than a cream or powder, and mimics the texture of actual skin,” says celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher, who has worked with the likes of Lily James and Emily Blunt. Then crib these clever tips:

1. Prep your skin. Rough, dry patches are foundation’s number-one nemesis—they make application uneven and flaky, no matter how dewy or hydrating your makeup is, says Streicher. To smooth out skin, start by exfoliating with a chemical exfoliator (gritty scrubs can be too harsh), and then slather on moisturizer while your skin is still damp; let it sink in for few minutes before laying down foundation. Primer isn’t necessary for everyday wear, Streicher says, but it can be helpful if you’re trying to combat a specific skin concern like large pores or oiliness.

2. Custom-blend the right shade. We know, it’s a lot to ask. But it’s the trick to ensuring an exact match every time. “Skin tends to be darker in the summer and lighter in the winter, and this method lets you tweak your color year-round,” Streicher says. Get two foundation shades—one lighter and one darker than your natural skin tone—and put a few drops of each on the back of your hand. Mix them together before swiping the combo on your jawline to test. If it blends in seamlessly, apply it all over. If not, play with different ratios of color until you get it just right.

3. Find good light. In other words, get thee to a window. “Natural daylight gives the most accurate impression of how your makeup will look in real life,” Streicher explains. If that’s not an option, try installing bright white light bulbs in your bathroom for the closest approximation of outdoor lighting (avoid warm yellow and cold fluorescent lights at all costs).

Davide GallizioImaxtree

4. Use your fingers. Nothing beats them for fast, streak-free coverage, Streicher says. “There’s more leeway with liquid formulas since they’re more sheer and forgiving.” But don’t pile product on haphazardly: Start by dotting foundation on the areas where you need more coverage, like in the T-zone or cheeks, and then spread whatever’s left over the rest of your face.

5. Diffuse with sponge. To get a truly airbrushed finish, apply foundation with your fingers and then tap a damp Beautyblender all over your face to even things out, Streicher suggests: “It blurs hard lines and picks up excess product so foundation never looks cakey.” Also important: running the sponge under your chin and down your neck. For an even glowier look, spritz your sponge with a facial mist that has a touch of oil, such as Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

6. Pat on concealer afterward. You’ll use a lot less than if you put it on before foundation, Streicher says. Her golden rule for perfect concealer: Choose the right texture for the job. Use a creamy, hydrating formula on dark circles (so the cover-up won’t settle into fine lines) and opt for something thicker and drier to cover a pimple—that way it won’t slip off throughout the day.

7. Set it with powder. No, you can’t skip this step. “It’s key for getting foundation to last all day,” Streicher says. Dip a clean makeup puff in loose translucent powder like Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, fold the puff in half, and rub its sides together until the powder is completely absorbed. Tap off any excess before lightly rolling (swiping will smear foundation) the puff over your skin to seal it all in.

1. Let brand spokesmodels guide you. From Beyoncé to Lupita Nyong’o, makeup brands everywhere are signing on more black women of various skin tones as spokesmodels in order to show off a range of foundation shades. Celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine, who counts Queen Latifah (the face of CoverGirl’s Queen Collection) as one of his top clients, advises black women to use ad campaigns or in-store displays with darker-skinned models as a guide when foundation shopping. You can usually find the exact shades that are shown in the ad, and that can help you find your foundation fit a little easier.

Courtesy Image

2. Apply swipes of foundation close to your jawline and chin to test different shades, while also paying close attention to the shade of your neck to find the perfect match. Your face isn’t the same shade as your neck or chest, so “you need these areas to be harmonious and match when applying your base,” advises L’Oréal celebrity makeup artist Sir John. “Otherwise, you’ll look like a ’90s prom gone wrong.”

If you can’t swipe the foundation on, hold the bottle up to your chin and jawline to make sure the colors match up. If you are able to test out a few foundations in-store, use your ring finger to dab a bit of each shade onto your chin, jaw, and neck. The shade that basically disappears into your skin will be your perfect match.

Sir John also recommends getting close to a window so that you can view the shade against your skin in natural light. “Daylight will always show you the closest match,” Fine says. “It shows the truest color and undertone of a foundation.”

Kathleen Kamphausen

3. Always get at least two shades of foundation: one that’s close to your skin tone and another that’s a bit lighter. The skin on your face isn’t all the same color — the center tends to be lighter and darker around the perimeter — so it’s a good idea to use two shades of foundation for the most natural finish. Also, if you can’t find an exact shade match, you may have to play makeup artist and mix your own by blending the lighter and darker shades together in order to match certain parts of your face and to contour. “There’s no reason a woman of color shouldn’t be able to sculpt her face too,” Sir John says. “The goal is to make sure that blend, blend, blend. This isn’t Cats on Broadway. You shouldn’t see the lines on your face.”

Lancôme

4. Don’t depend on your foundation to cover up dark spots and discoloration. Most dark-skinned women aren’t strangers to hyperpigmentation (stubborn dark patches on your face that are caused by increased melanin that take time and serious effort to make disappear). Your foundation may minimize the appearance of dark spots, but it won’t be your savior when it comes to hiding pigment patches flawlessly.

“Having just one foundation isn’t going to be enough because you’re going to need more coverage in general,” Fine says. This is where cream concealer comes in. Fine suggests applying your foundation first, and then dabbing on a concealer (stick formulas usually are thicker than creams) one shade lighter than your skin tone to hide spots.

Barneys

5. Avoid the ashy look by paying close attention to your undertones and not applying a chalky sunscreen under your foundation. Everyone has undertones in their skin (i.e. olive, yellow, pink), but the majority of black women have either gold or red. “The foundation can be your color but can appear ashen when you try it on,” Fine says. “This happens when you don’t use the right foundation with the proper undertone.”

Darker-skinned women tend to need foundations that contain red undertones that will show up deeper on the skin, but everyone’s skin tone is different. To find your perfect match, visit a makeup counter so a pro can at least tell you what tones you should be looking for.

As far as sunscreen goes, opt for a clear or super-sheer formula so it doesn’t alter your foundation, like L’Oréal Paris Invisible Sheer Advanced Suncare Clear Cool Lotion SPF 50+.

Courtesy Image

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Foundation is the makeup product many women couldn’t live without – it covers redness, blurs out imperfections, gives an even skintone and overalll can make us feel a million dollars, even on a bad skin day.

However, it’s fair to say not all foundations are created equal, and we’ve seen plenty of crimes against makeup thanks to the product (bright orange foundation, we’re looking at you).

One thing we certainly don’t want our foundation to do is make us look older; after all, it’s there to help you. Unfortunately, there are lots of foundation mistakes that can have an unwanted ageing effect, so we caught up with top makeup artists to find out how you can avoid them.

1. Applying foundation to dehydrated skin

We know how it is – morning arrives and, as you rush around trying to get ready, a multi-step skincare regime seems impossible. Then evening comes and all you want to do is fall into bed rather than faff around with more products.

MORE: THE BEST SHAMPOOS FOR GREY HAIR

However, if your skin is very dehydrated then it can have a seriously ageing effect on your foundation, explains Jamie Coombes, makeup artist for Dior.

‘Good hydration is key to a youthfully radiant complexion at any age’ he says, making the case for a good skincare regime, which, at the very least, should involve a good serum and moisturiser (see our favourite hydrating moisturisers here)

‘Lightly smooth serums and creams over the complexion – try not to over-massage, as this can overstimulate the sebum glands, producing excess oil that will make your foundation slip’ he warns.

2. Not wearing primer

Primer is one of those products that becomes increasingly important with age, and it’s a key part of your beauty arsenal when it comes to fabulous-looking foundation.

‘Using a good primer can help reduce redness, blur out imperfections and prep the skin for a longwearing foundation result’ says Jamie.

Try Smashbox Pore Minimizing Photo Finish Primer to do exactly that!

BUY NOW: Smashbox Pore Minimizing Photo Finish Primer, £28

MORE: 5 EYE MAKEUP MISTAKES THAT MAKE US LOOK OLDER

3. Choosing a very heavy foundation

Malin Coleman, makeup artist for Max Factor, says heavy foundation is a mistake she sees with alarming frequency.

‘People think that because they’re older, they need to go for a heavier foundation to disguise their lines, but actually it makes them look more prominent, as the foundation pools in the wrinkles’ she explains.

Jamie agrees: ‘For women looking for full coverage foundation, I always recommend something that is pigment rich, rather than texture rich, as this will cover with a lighter result.’

Malin recommends a light, sheer foundation that you can build up in any areas where you want extra coverage.

A serum foundation, such as Dior Capture Totale, is a good shout.

BUY NOW: Dior Capture Totale Serum Foundation, £58.50

4. Choosing a darker foundation to look ‘tanned’

Some of us have succumbed at one time or another to a foundation darker than our natural skintone in the belief that it will give us that bronzed goddess aura.

However, this is a huge error at any age, and can look particularly wince-inducing on older skin.

‘Be sure to use a foundation shade which matches your skin tone – foundation that does not match the skin tone is an instant ager’ says Jamie. ‘If you want to add more warmth, turn to blusher and bronzer.’

Hear, hear.

5. Over-powdering the face

Another common error is getting a bit too slap-happy with the powder. ‘Too much powder applied at once can really dull and clog up the skin,’ explains Malin, who says we should focus on ‘freshness’ instead.

Powder is useful in setting makeup and mattifying the skin, but it should be applied in very fine layers, rather than trowled on.

MORE: THE IMPORTANT ANTI-AGEING SKINCARE STEP WE ALWAYS FORGET

‘As we get older, heavier finishing powders can look overdone, accentuate pores, flatten the complexion and generally age us’ says Jamie. ‘Consider an HD powder, as this will reduce shine, but keep the youthful radiance.’

Another good tactic is to tap the powder brush on your arm before applying to your face – this will remove any excess product and ensure you use only a small amount.

Product-wise, we love Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder or Dior Forever & Ever Wear Loose Powder.

BUY NOW: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, £29

BUY NOW: DIOR Diorskin Forever & Ever Wear Control Loose Powder, £38.50

(Main image: Getty)

MORE: 6 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HAIR COLOUR LAST LONGER

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