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How Your Makeup Might Be Aging You


Makeup can do wonders to reverse the hands of time, making us appear instantly younger with just a few strategically placed strokes of the right beauty products. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is also true: makeup can age our appearance significantly, especially if it’s combined with poor skin care. Learn how your makeup could be aging you and discover our top anti-aging makeup tips for a younger-looking appearance.

Makeup and Aging: What’s the Connection?

According to one study on facial appearance and aging, makeup can both help and hinder when it comes to age perception. As we age, skin tone tends to become dull, lips and cheeks lose their youthful tint, and lashes and brows thin and fade. All of these changes lead to a decline in contrast between skin and facial features—a key indicator of age, according to the study.

Meanwhile, another study linked lower age perception to makeup application. Participants surveyed believed those in their 20s were older when wearing makeup, while those in their 40s and beyond appeared younger. Participants in their 30s were perceived to be in the same age range. For this study, makeup was applied by a professional makeup artist who was directed to make the participants look “more beautiful.”

Adding the outcomes of these studies together, it would seem makeup, when applied properly to accentuate features and mimic a youthful contrast, has the potential to instantly make us look younger as we get older—the key terms here being when applied properly.

5 Makeup Tips for a Younger-Looking Appearance

Don’t Actively Mattify Skin

Mattifying makeup can be great when you’re looking to tone down oils, but if you’re still preferring matte over moisture well after acne is no longer a concern, it might be time to update your routine. While matte makeup can help prevent an oily or “sweaty” look, keep setting powders contained to the undereye area and center of the forehead to maintain a healthy-looking glow. Strategically apply a little highlighter toward the temples and along the upper cheekbones for a lifting effect and a dewy, younger-looking appearance. For added contrast on the cheeks, opt for a blush that matches your natural hue. Not sure what that is? Pinch your cheek and see what shade shows—that’s the one you’ll want to match. Finally, when you take it all off at the end of the day, make quality skin care your top priority. Moisturizing anti-aging serums and oils, particularly those containing niacinamide (vitamin B3) or hyaluronic acid, can do wonders to perk up a dull, dry complexion overnight.

Shimmer, Don’t Sparkle

Sparkles can be a fun addition for big events where over-the-top makeup may be part of the dress code, but for everyday use, opt for eyeshadows or blushes that shimmer, not sparkle. What’s the difference? Sparkles tend to be large, metallic flakes that can accentuate creases or easily fall out of place. In contrast, a shimmering powder may contain pearl dust or other mineral particles that subtly capture and reflect light for a more natural-looking glow. When strategically applied, shimmering makeup can also assist in drawing attention away from dark undereye circles, liven up a dull complexion, and accentuate features like the inner eye for greater contrast and a more youthful appearance. For best effect, opt for gold, beige, or rose shades for lighter skin tones and deeper golds or coppers for darker skin tones.

Sport a Smokey Eye for Evening Events

A smokey eye can work just as well for those who are a little older. The trick is simply to adapt the technique to suit you as you currently are, customized to your skin tone and eye shape. Opt for lighter versions of the traditional smokey eye shades you may have favored in your younger years (i.e., gray instead of black) and maintain a bright, shimmery shadow in the inner corners of the eyes to get that fresh-looking appearance. Gently dab an illuminating cream concealer to the undereye area and blend upward toward the outer corner of the eye to hide dark circles. Finally, apply eyeliner on the top lash line and finish with mascara to really open up the eyes. Favor this smokey eye for evening events to make eyes pop and always pair with a nude or very slightly tinted lip color.

Liner Doesn’t End at the Eyes

While eyeliner may be a staple for many, as we age, brow liner and lip liner need to be added to your anti-aging makeup bag as well. Define thinning or sparse eyebrows with a brow pencil that’s approximately one shade lighter than your natural hair, using short strokes to mimic the look of hairs. Add brow powder to fill in sparseness, and use wax or a gel to keep hairs in place. Use warm and brown undertones for a more natural-looking brow. As for lip liner, this anti-aging makeup essential prevents lip color from feathering into fine lines around the mouth. Opt for clear or a color that is as close as possible to the shade of lip color you’ll be wearing (err on the lighter side). If applying lip liner all over the lips to keep lipstick in place, opt for a creamier liner that won’t dry out lips or crease. As a side note, using a lip color that’s slightly tinted over a darker shade will help to provide contrast without over-accentuating the appearance of thinning lips.

Always Start with Smooth Skin

Starting with smoother skin can improve makeup application and revive an aging complexion. While makeup primers can work in a pinch, layering on makeup to smoothen texture followed up with poor skin care can cause makeup to crease, aging your appearance while also risking the development of further wrinkles with regular touch-ups. Instead, why not start with a smooth surface with a custom energy-based wrinkle reduction treatment plan? In contrast to fillers that can add up in cost and must be redone on the regular, wrinkle reduction treatments utilize radio frequency (RF) energy to comfortably deliver heat well below the skin’s surface, spurring natural collagen and elastin production for smoother, firmer, younger-looking skin. With non-surgical wrinkle reduction treatments, visible results gradually improve throughout the treatment plan for a natural-looking outcome. 

Ready to start working toward a smoother canvas? Locate a certified wrinkle reduction treatment provider near you today using the search field below.

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