Let’s face it: Makeup makes us look and feel good. But if you’re applying it incorrectly or using the wrong products, makeup may just be aging you — rather than making you look fresh and youthful. From neglected brows to over-made-up eyes, we found 10 easy ways to nix the mistakes you just might be making.
DO skip face powder
- Here’s why: Most of us reach for powder to set makeup, but it also tends to magnify lines in the skin, aging us. If you can’t give up powder, try switching to a sheer translucent powder or a mineral-based one, which illuminates and brightens the skin.
- Try this instead: Skip the powder or opt for a more moisturizing mineral version. We like Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation Powder/ SPF 30, $28.
DO opt for brown eyeliner over black
- Here’s why: Eyeliner is an excellent tool to open up the eyes and make them appear wider, but the color black can be too harsh. Switch to a softer shade of brown and avoid lining the lower lash line which can look overdone. Avoid a heavy hand with eyeliner – a thick liner can make upper lids look heavy.
- Try this instead: Opt for a light color liner or a neutral brown shade that’s universally flattering. We like CARGO Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Beach, $18.
DO make blush your friend
- Here’s why: The right color blush can add a youthful look to a tired face, but the key is finding a shade that is just right. Women with fair and medium skin tones should look for rosy pinks and peaches, and darker skin tones look best with coral and berry shades.
- Try this instead: Avoid bright colors and looks for a shade that is neutral, soft and sheer. We like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Custom Glow Blush & Bronzer Duo, $14.
DO wear the right foundation
- Here’s why: No one can claim to have "perfect" skin, and foundation can work wonders on uneven skin tones. The key is the right product and the right amount of it. Using too much foundation, especially one that’s too thick, can cause the product to settle into fine lines. Avoid anything matte and be sure to prep the skin with a moisturizer and primer before applying.
- Try this instead: For a product that provides natural coverage and offers sun protection, we like Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation, $55.
DO fill in sparse brows
- Here’s why: Eyebrow color fades as we age, so filling in over-plucked spots or fairer hair is a must in any makeup routine. Keep brows shaped and defined, and choose a pencil or gel shade that is one or two notches lighter than your natural brow color.
- Try this instead: Pencils are great for precision, but gels have longer lasting staying power. We like Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (offered in 5 shades), $18.
DON'T over-conceal under eyes
- Here’s why: While concealer seems to be the answer to erasing under eye circles and combating the look of fatigue, if used incorrectly, can actually make you look older. Too much makeup around the eye area can highlight wrinkles and lines in this delicate area. Be sure to prep the skin with a moisturizing eye cream and keep the touch light.
- Try this instead: Look for a concealer with a lightweight texture and bonus points if it offers sun protection. We like Physician’s Formula Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Spotless Concealer SPF 15, $19.
DON'T skip primer
- Here’s why: Primers are just what they sound like: They create a base by smoothing skin and ensuring that makeup stays put. Mix with foundation or tinted moisturizer or apply a light layer as the first step in your makeup routine.
- Try this instead: A thin layer of a silicone-based makeup primer can fill in lines and pores, but so can natural ingredients like oatmeal and cocoa butter. We like Lush Feeling Younger skin tint, $26.
DON'T overdo lip liner
- Here’s why: Not only is the look of heavy lip liner dated (hello, ‘90s!), it can also emphasize the fine lines around the mouth. Soften the look with a liner that closely matches your lipstick or use a creamy lipstick pencil for easy application.
- Try this instead: Keep your application clean and easy with a chubby stick that has the precision of a pencil, but has the staying power and look of lipstick. We like Flower Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby in Rosie Posie, $20.
DON'T skip lip color
- Here’s why: As we get older, we lose the pigment in our lips making lipstick that much more indispensable. That said, steer clear of anything metallic, glittery, or too dark and avoid a heavy hand when it comes to applying. Less is more.
- Try this instead: When in doubt, opt for a nude lipstick and look for one that offers sun protection, anti-aging, and collagen-boosting properties. We like LORAC Cosmetics Breakthrough Performance Lipstick, $22.
DO go easy on the eye shadow
- Here’s why: While we’re not opposed to adding color to eyelids, it’s best to avoid bright or dark eye shadow shades, which can draw the wrong attention to the eyes. A more subtle way to play up your peepers is to play up the lashes and a precise wand ensures a non-clumpy, non-spidery lashes.
- Try this instead: Play up your eyes by emphasizing lush lashes, but skip mascara on the lower lashes. We like CoverGirl Last Exact Mascara, $7.29, available at drugstore.com.