Makeup has an almost magical ability to brighten, balance and enhance your face—if applied correctly. But if you put on the wrong type of makeup, or the right makeup but the wrong way, it can actually make you look older than you are.
Before you throw your hands in the air and all your makeup in the trash, let us teach you how to put on makeup to look younger.
Shimmer down. Is the excitement of sparkly makeup enough to send you into an over-application frenzy? Shimmery products can emphasize wrinkles if worn incorrectly, so take care not to apply too much. Think “soft glow” instead of “blinding light.” Or just stay away from the dreaded “wrinkle zones” (see “Pro tips,” below). Light-reflecting tinted moisturizer is a fantastic alternative if what you’re after is a subtle, goof-proof overall glow.
Lighten up. Have you gotten heavy-handed with your application technique? Heavy makeup and intense colors can look severe, especially as we get older. Take years off your face by using less pigmented colors, sheer textures and a softer application for eyes, lips and cheeks. Choose neutral colors that look natural with your skin tone.
Do the dew. If you’re feeling plagued by wrinkles or dry skin, creamy formulations could be your new best friend. Try switching to liquid foundation, and cream eye shadow or blush for a dewy look. Creams can be applied with synthetic bristle brushes or your fingers. Then keep your look from sliding off: use a soft bristle brush to set your makeup with a light dusting of translucent powder.
Refine the shine. Oil slick alert! If your skin tends to get oily, try using blotting paper instead of piling on more powder as the day goes on. Since the sheets remove oil without adding anything to your face, you can use them with wild abandon.
Be a softy. Resist the urge to pencil-line your lower eye—it can look harsh and close off your eye, making it appear smaller. If your eyeliner ends up smudging (as most do), the area underneath your eyes will look darker. If you do line your lower eye, avoid black and use a sponge-tip applicator for blending, so the line doesn’t look too stark. Brown, gray and even deep purple pencils are great choices. Even better: use eye shadow (apply it with a thin, angled eyeliner brush).
Warning: wrinkle zones. Wrinkles are little crevices where both powder and cream makeup can get stuck, emphasizing fine lines. Avoid the trap by applying less makeup to areas where wrinkles tend to form: between the nose and mouth corners, crow’s feet around the eyes, forehead and any other personal trouble spots.
Bright idea! Use an at-home teeth-whitening system to brighten your whole face—no makeup necessary! And maintain your dazzling smile on a daily basis with whitening toothpaste.
Makeup misstep. One of the most common makeup application mistakes happens when women try to cover skin imperfections. If you apply too much base and follow with a heavy layer of powder on top, your face can end up looking mask-like and be more distracting than what you’re actually trying to cover. Instead, try putting concealer only on trouble spots, followed by a light application of base and dusting of translucent powder to set your look.