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Beauty Blunders: Makeup That Makes You Look Older

We wear eyeliner and mascara to make our eyes pop, foundation to cover up fine lines and blemishes, and blush to give our cheeks a youthful glow. But depending on how we use such products, and the age at which we use them, our good intentions can easily go awry. Certain colors and product applications that look great on a 20-year-old might not be as flattering on a 60-year-old. If an aging appearance worries you, avoid these makeup mistakes that instantly make us look older.

Using Too Much Foundation to Hide Fine Lines
If you put extra foundation on to minimize increasing lines as you get older, the foundation just settles into every wrinkle and crevice and draws attention to aging even more. Instead, use a tinted moisturizer that offers subtle coverage and a hydrating (and therefore anti-aging) boost for your skin. Try Olay CC Cream, $19.99.

Applying Eyeliner and Mascara on Lower Lids and Lashes
Lining the lower lids with dark pencil and coating the lower lashes with dark mascara can bring out under-eye circles and crow’s feet once we’re past a certain age. Plus, eyes can look smaller overall as a result. But don’t throw out those products just yet. Outline your upper lids with a thin, dark line that gets thicker toward the outer corner, curl your eyelashes, and then run the mascara wand over the upper lashes a few times. Voilà—eyes that pop.

Wearing Eye Shadow and Lipstick in Harsh Shades
Eye shadow colors that veer into frosty, metallic, bright, or shimmery might be trendy, but they look too stark against aging skin. Opt for neutral tones such as MAC Shroom or Cork (both $15).

With lipstick, it’s best to stick to hues that are only a little darker than the lips’ natural color, since lips tend to thin with age. Anything too bold only makes that phenomenon more obvious. (That’s also why lip liner is a must in our later years, too.) As an alternative, lip gloss helps plump pouts and adds a hint of color. Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($15) works on almost anyone.

Applying Blush to the Apples of Your Cheeks
The general method for applying blush is to smile, find the apples of your cheeks, and then run the blush brush over them. But as sagging skin becomes more prominent on the face, a better method is to find where cheekbones peak and apply blush there instead, sweeping the brush up and back. Go for a delicate rose shade like NARS Orgasm or Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Rose Silk.

Obviously, not everyone needs to follow this advice. If you’re young with nary a wrinkle in sight, or if you just want to have fun with makeup rather than worry about whether it brings out your crow’s feet, be as experimental as you’d like. But if you want to mask the pesky signs of aging, it might be time to reevaluate your makeup routine. 

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