Makeup makes me look older

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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Beauty Hair & Makeup

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.

I don’t usually wear makeup, so the few times a year I put it on for a special event, my children tend to comment on it. Some years ago, when my 11-year old must have been 3 or 4, I was getting ready for some fancy dinner, so in addition to my evening attire, I had full makeup on. As I was saying my goodbyes and giving last-minute instructions to our babysitter, my son took a long, stunned look at me, and exclaimed: “Mommy, you’ve turned into a girl!” Which I took as high praise. I remember thinking at the time that what my kid was trying to express was that, with makeup on, I looked noticeably younger than my regular, everyday self.

It turns out that I was correct, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Psychology by Richard Russell of the Department of Psychology at Gettysburg College, in collaboration with researchers from CHANEL Fragrance & Beauty Research & Innovation.

Prior research had established that makeup makes faces look more physically attractive, but the effects on makeup on age perception had remained largely unexplored. Russell and his collaborators set out to determine how wearing makeup affects perceived age on female faces.

To find out, the team first recruited 32 women in four different age bands: approximately 20, 30, 40, and 50 years old. Each woman was photographed with no makeup, and then after being made up by a professional makeup artist (in different makeup conditions, including “natural” and “intense”), under carefully controlled photographic and lighting conditions. Next, one hundred and thirty-two female participants viewed all the photos and rated each face for attractiveness (on a 0 to 100 scale) and estimated age (from 10 to 70 years old).

Whereas makeup made faces of all ages look more attractive, its effects on apparent age were more complex: middle-aged faces looked younger with makeup on, 20-year old faces looked older with makeup, and 30-year old faces looked their real age whether wearing makeup or not. In addition, makeup applied only to the skin and eye region had a more significant effect on age perception than make up applied to just the skin and lips.

Faces of different ages, with and without makeup. Credit: Richard Russell

The faces displayed above are age-band composites (morphed averages) of the actual faces used in the research. The images all have even skin because of the averaging process, which obscures the skin-evening effect of makeup, said Richard Russell, the study’s lead author. “I find that the faces in the top row (no makeup) appear to have greater variation in age than the faces in the bottom row (full face intense makeup),” Russell added. “To put it another way, the images on the top corners look more different in age than do the images in the bottom corners. This kind of flattening of the age range with makeup is what we —makeup makes younger women look older but makes older women look younger.”

According to the researchers, make up accentuates three visual features that we associate with youth: skin evenness, facial contrast (between features such as the eyes and lips and the rest of the face), and facial feature size (more youthful faces have relatively larger eyes). Thus, it made sense that by manipulating these aspects, makeup made the older faces look younger. But this explanation does not account for why makeup should make the youngest faces look older, which the scientists were surprised to discover.

One potential answer is that, in our society, we connect makeup use with adulthood, causing us to perceive women that are near the threshold of adulthood as older that their years when wearing makeup. Taken together, the study’s results suggest that makeup affects age estimation both via bottom-up routes (by altering facial contrast, facial feature size, and skin homogeneity), and also through top-down routes related to people’s implicit consideration of social norms concerning makeup use.

The study’s authors remarked on the practical application of their results, especially concerning ageist discrimination in the workplace, which women are more likely to experience than men. Older women encounter considerable entry barriers in many professions, but on the flip side, women that look too young can be regarded as less competent. Women’s ability to decrease or increase their perceived age with makeup could result in professional benefits, by giving them a an edge in a biased work environment.

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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