I love makeup because it's not simply colors and textures, but also a creative, artistic means of expressing my personality.
In the quest for the fountain of youth, many women are actually drinking from contaminated waters. Instead of rewinding aging, they’re unintentionally pushing it into fast-forward. Their arithmetic is all wrong—rather than subtracting years from their appearance, they’re actually adding years. Consider avoiding these ten beauty mistakes that can appear to accelerate aging instead of slowing it down.
1. Using Too Much Foundation
When it comes to foundation, less is more. You may be tempted to slather on foundation to cover your facial flaws, but you’ll actually wind up with a thick, mask-like appearance that makes you look old beyond your years. Avoid cake-like foundation. It looks unnatural, can clog your pores, and can settle into fine lines and draw attention to them.
Be on the lookout for a light, oil-free foundation. In the search for the right foundation, you may have to try many until you find one that’s the perfect balance of color and texture. If the myriad of foundations confuses you, ask an expert at a makeup counter for assistance.
2. Being Underweight or Yo-Yo Dieting
Maybe you can’t be too rich, but you can be too thin. When you’re underweight, you lose facial fat, which causes droopy skin and a gaunt, older appearance.
Dieting like a yo-yo is also a no-no that can prematurely age you. The constant weight gain and loss stretches and loosens your skin, so try to maintain a consistent, healthy weight. While you’re striving to achieve that weight, you can use a skin-plumping and tightening cream to tide you over.
3. Over-Tweezing Your Eyebrows
Another beauty gaffe that can give your face a gaunt, skeletal appearance is over-tweezing your eyebrows. Thinner brows tend to age you, even if you’re young. When you overdo the plucking, you risk scarring the follicles, preventing the hair from growing back. Serums are available to help regrow eyebrows.
You can also avoid adding extra years to your appearance by splurging on a professional brow shaping. An alternative is to keep the shape that you have, being extra careful to pluck only hairs that stray under the brow bone.
Pump up your brows’ volume with an eyebrow powder in a shade that matches your brow’s natural color. Subtly apply the powder a bit higher than your eyebrows’ natural arch, using a soft, feathery touch. Steer clear of cream-based brow fillers, which are too severe.
4. Using Eyeliner on Your Lower Eyelid
Your lower eyelid should be surrounded with that yellow tape that says, “Do not cross,” because it should be off-limits to eyeliner and mascara. Why? If they smudge, they emphasize dark circles and shadows in wrinkles, as well as other dark areas of your face. They can also draw attention to crow’s feet. All of this can equate to you looking tired and older.
Try to only use liner and mascara (preferably waterproof to stay in place) on the top eyelid to help you look refreshed and alert. If you must go for a smoky eye, apply mascara and liner very lightly over your lower lid.
5. Wearing Dark, Matte Lip Shades
The older you are, the older you’ll look if you attempt to pull off dark, matte lip shades. They lack softness, which makes them look very hard and severe. Matte colors can also bleed and feather in the tiny lines outside of your lips, which can add years to your appearance.
Instead, go for a softer look with a lip liner or stain in a dark color, overlaid with a sheer gloss to offset the dark shade’s harshness. Another caution regarding dark lipsticks—they’ll age thin lips by making them appear even thinner.
Also, put that red lipstick back in your makeup bag, and leave it there. Red is a loud, flashy color that will draw attention to lines around your mouth and can make your teeth look more yellow.
No matter what shade or texture you wear, outline your pout with lip liner to keep lipstick in place.
6. Applying Blush Incorrectly
You’re supposed to apply blush to the apples of your cheeks, right? Well, not exactly. Your cheeks are susceptible to sagging, and blush will only draw attention to this flaw. Instead, highlight your cheekbones by following their line and sweeping powdered blush upward.
Be sure you don’t apply the powder like two stripes of war paint. Instead, use a rounded, tapered brush for a silky smooth glow. Color matters too. If you go for a shade that’s too bright or too dark, you may end up looking like you belong in the circus. Opt instead for a lighter, softer hue that works well with your skin tone (rose is great for many), so you don’t get a call from the Ringling Brothers.
7. Being Too Harsh on Your Under-Eye Area
Any repetitious facial motion or habit is eventually going to leave its evidence on your skin. The delicate eye area (skin under the eye is seven times thinner the rest of the face) is particularly susceptible to frequent rubbing and pulling. This can cause the pigment around your eyes to darken, adding numerous years to your appearance.
Also, avoid premature aging and pigment problems by being very gentle with the skin around your eyes when putting in or taking out contact lenses and when applying eye makeup.
8. Ruining Your Teeth and Mouth
One of the advantages of drinking soda, coffee, or tea through a straw is that it can shield your teeth from staining. The drawback is that it’s prematurely aging you.
Whenever you purse your lips to drink from a straw or to smoke a cigarette, you’re etching lines all around your mouth. So ditch the straw and the smokes, and save your pucker for kissing!
9. You Don't Take Care of Your Hands and Nails
Your hands are one of the fastest-aging parts of your body. Dry, rough hands, no matter what your age, pile years onto your appearance. Slather on a moisturizing lotion, preferably one with sunscreen, several times a day to keep your hands hydrated and restore a dewy luster. A 2013 Australian study determined that women’s hands didn’t age at all after a sunscreen treatment every day for four years.
Out-of-style manicures can also fast-forward the clock. Long nails make your hands look old and witch-like. If nails are long and pointy, your hands will appear even more aged. Instead, pare your nails slightly past your fingertips.
Bright nail polish colors, such as orange, hot pink, and red, can shift the focus away from aging hands. Make sure you wear a warm red, rather than a blue-based one that can accentuate blue veins and spots. The same goes for purples and any shade of blue polish. Avoid nude colors, which are so subtle that they defeat the purpose of providing a distraction from the rest of the hand.
10. You Don't Have the Right Hairstyle
Some women think long hair rocks. Some think short hair is frumpy. No matter how much you love your Rapunzel tresses, they may make you look old and gaunt as you age and lose fat in your face. They draw the eye downward, making for a less-than-pleasing visual.
However, you don’t have to resort to a dowdy roller-set-and-sprayed bubble hairdo. You can try a shoulder-length cut abounding with layers for body, bounce, and the effect of a fuller, rounder face.
Mother Nature and heredity are tough enough aging adversaries, without you adding beauty blunders to the mix. Throw the clock into reverse, and let your own youthful radiance shine through with these effective, easy fixes.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.