Are Your Makeup Habits Making You Look Old?

Rachel Krause
Photo: Dougal Waters/Digital Image/Getty Images

Photo: Dougal Waters/Digital Image/Getty Images

It was exciting when, at age 16, your makeup made people think you were already in college. But now that you’re older, looking mature for your age is anything but. If you’re not careful, though, your go-to makeup could be adding years to your look. So we asked Kim Young, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist, what mistakes will age you instantly.

Applying Stripe-y Blush
While you may have been taught to apply blush in a “stripe” from the apples of your cheeks to your hairline, Young says this will make you look outdated. These days, coming off as young and fresh is all about looking natural, she says. Focus on using a rosy, peachy blush color, and apply it to the apples of your cheeks only, using a clean brush to blend outward. Try NARS Blush in Deep Throat ($30, sephora.com).

Going Overboard with Foundation
A heavy, caked-on base may provide long-lasting coverage, but Young says that it really ages you. “One thing I see is too much,” says Young. “You can’t see the texture of the skin.” For a more natural, youthful look, Young says to follow this formula: primer, foundation, and powder—but only where necessary, like on your t-zone. For a lightweight formula with buildable coverage, she recommends NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($42, sephora.com).

Staying Matte
When you think youthful, you probably think young, glowing skin, dewy eyelids, and glossy lips. But as you get older, you may tend to shy away from these things because they suddenly don’t seem “age-appropriate.” While moderation is definitely key, Young says she doesn’t believe in playing by the rules. “Find something that’s natural enough, but something that has a youthful hint that adds shimmer to the eye,” she says. “Just to give a little spark.” For that subtle extra something-something, she recommends trying Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Underground ($20, sephora.com) or MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Mulch ($16, maccosmetics.com).

Tweezing Your Brows Too Thin
Young says that if you’re tweezing your brows into a thin line, you’re dating yourself. “The thin brows of the ’90s should have been over in the ’90s,” she says. Instead, look to Cara Delevigne, Lily Collins, Camilla Belle. The trend now is to have thicker, fuller brows, and it will make you look more youthful and natural.

…Or Heavily Penciling Your Brows
Unfortunately, some of us are not as blessed as the aforementioned brow goddesses and need some extra help in that department. But if you need to fill some spots in here or there or give the hairs a deeper, more standout shade, Young says to put the pencil down. Instead, try products like a shadow or brow gel that will help you achieve that natural look. TryAnastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel ($22, sephora.com) in the shade that best matches your color.

Relying On Old Trends
“The ’80s and ’90s came and went, and you should put down the colors that were popular at that time,” says Young. Instead, go for more natural looks, like light bronzing to warm the face and a pink dusty rose lipstick. Young’s favorite lip trick: Swipe some lipstick on the back of your hand, then use a lip brush to apply it. You’ll get a natural, believable finish—every single time.

Concealing Your Under-Eye Area with Concealer
Okay, don’t get us wrong—everyone looks younger without the bags that come with adult exhaustion. But Young says that piling on concealer and powder is working against you. “If you put that thick layer under your eyes, it accentuates the creases under them,” she says. Instead, she recommends buying a color-corrector, like Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in Orange ($39, nordstrom.com), to counteract the dark hue. Simply mix it with your foundation and apply a very thin layer; then set it with a lightening powder like Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder($24, sephora.com) for a luminous finish.

*This story was originally published on WomensHealth.com by Kristina Bornholtz.

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