“I wear makeup to look older” – says no one. Well, except for the underage girls who want to pass as an adult to enter a nightclub.
The point is, you use makeup to look radiant and spotless. As you age, the purpose of wearing makeup changes too. Concealing signs of aging becomes the primary reason for wearing cosmetics. However, you often don’t realize that you’re committing makeup mistakes that accentuate signs of aging more than they conceal, making you look older than you are.
From using unsuitable cosmetic products to dated application techniques, here are 10 of the most common mistakes that age you and how to avoid them.
- Messing up the first step: foundation
The number one makeup mistake that ages you may start right at the foundation – in a literal sense.Here are several ways you’re getting it wrong:
- Wrong kind of formula
If hiding your age is one of the reasons for wearing foundation, then go for a hydrating and satin-finish liquid foundation. Avoid cakey foundation which may come in a form of powder or mineral-based formulas, which just seep into your fine lines and wrinkles and amplify signs of aging.
- Color mismatch
Too pale, too dark, too yellowish, too pinkish – the slightest shade mistake can mess up your look. Foundation should be undetectable. If it looks natural and close to your skin tone, then it’s a winner.
- No foundation at all
Skipping foundation and applying powder directly dry your skin out, create cakey-looking lines, add years to your complexion. Hate full-coverage foundations? Use BB cream or a tinted moisturizer with sheer to medium coverage for a more natural look.
The right foundation helps even out skin tone, conceal blemishes, and give you a youthful glow. But getting it wrong can backfire.
- Going heavy on concealer
Caking on concealer or picking the wrong shade can sabotage its real purpose. Going overboard may draw unwanted attention to fine lines and wrinkles you’re trying to camouflage.
The key is to go for a light touch since the skin under the eyes is 7 times thinner than the rest of the face. Apply to the inner corner of the under-eye area and gently blend outwards.
Learn color correcting techniques too, rather than settling for thick and super light shades (which may result in a “reverse-raccoon” appearance. If you have purplish circles, get a color with a yellow or peach undertone.
- Too much contouring and highlighting
While contouring precisely enhances your face structure and makes you look younger and more radiant, going overboard can do quite the opposite. Too much definition can highlight aging lines that are better left concealed.
Highlighting, which goes hand in hand with contouring, should also be executed subtly. It takes a proper placement of such glow to make it work.
Avoid applying a shimmery highlighter on your brow bones and eye creases (smile lines). Doing so may pull down the eyes and emphasize crepey texture. Instead, focus your highlight on the taut areas like the cheekbones.
- Overdone cheek blush
The small mistake of using too much blush, picking the wrong shade, and/or applying it too low can unknowingly make you look dated and more mature.
Avoid harsh shades, like anything too brown or red. Vivid pink, which makes you look like a clown, is also a big no-no.
Choose something close to your skin tone. Apply a small amount to the center of your cheekbone and sweep upward and back to give your face an instant lift along with a youthful glow.
- Attention-grabbing eyeshadow (for the wrong reasons)
When it comes to eyeshadow, there are two major blunders to avoid:
- Too much. A dense layer of eyeshadow over the lid area can make your eyes look heavy, weighed down, and visibly older.
- Too bright. Bright blues, purples, pinks, and greens – which are trendy in the 80s – tend to reveal your not-so-young age. They also enhance line creases.
Go for deeper neutral hues, like bronze. If you want to add some color, go for darker/muted versions of your preferred color, like navy instead of bright blue or deep jade instead of green. Another crucial factor is to blend it properly.
- Heavy black eyeliner on the lower lid
A heavy black liner on the lower lid ages you for many reasons. Instead of opening your eyes, it makes them look small and bottom heavy, accentuating the fine lines surrounding the eyes and dragging down your whole face.
As an alternative, use a soft pencil on both the upper and lower lids for wide, attention-grabbing eyes. Keep it close to the lash lines and gently smudge it to blend out and soften the look.
- Flat or droopy eyelashes
Droopy lashes, especially on the lower lashes, can shift everyone’s attention to the wrinkles around your eyes. To look young and vibrant, you want your peepers bright and open. Curling your eyelashes correctly is a quick and easy way to boost youthfulness.
- Bad eyebrow job
Showing up with super light and fine eyebrows can make you look older – but filling them in with severe and unblended fake brows using a harsh pencil won’t do any good.
Use a light hand to fill your brows. Opt for a shade that’s close to your natural hair color. Do quick, short strokes to keep it light and feathery.
- Two words: lip liner
Dark, heavily lined lips not only make your pout look unnatural – it can instantly date your look too, or make you look like a drag queen.
Make your lip liner work for you. Soften the look by matching it to the color of your lipstick or to your natural lip color.
- Dark, dead-looking lipstick
Remember the time when you used your mom’s dark lipstick to look a few years older? The same effect works til now that you’re 25.
Heavy, dark lipstick shades, like raisin or deep burgundy, can make your pout look thinner and older. To look a few years younger, swap your dark shades for some lippies that pop in reds, corals and pinks, or something natural-looking, like peaches. It’s also important to use a lip balm prior to color to avoid dry and flaky lips.
Author Bio: Mina Natividad is a resident writer for Napoleon Perdis, a leading luxury makeup brand in Australia, which prides itself in delivering top of the line cosmetics and makeup courses. Sticking to the heart of the cosmetics brand, she aims to empower women with articles about style and beauty.