Is your makeup ageing you?

Seven mistakes you had no idea you were making

If not applied carefully, makeup basics including mascara, eyeliner and lipstick can add years to your face. Here are a few tips on how to best use your makeup to avoid looking older. 

What ages you: A powdery finish

Powder foundations, especially ones that are mineral based, are popular because they’re tolerated by sensitive and acne-prone skin. The problem is powder tends to settle into fine lines, wrinkles and pores, drawing attention to them. The result is unflattering.

Turn back time: Try a foundation that gives a dewier finish. A sheer-to-medium coverage foundation will give you luminosity. The lighter formulas blend over the skin easily, and help visibly soften the appearance of fine lines and minimise signs of ageing.

Try: Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup

What ages you: Cakey concealer

Dry skin soaks up makeup like a sponge, exposing lines and deep pores. And nowhere is skin drier than around the eyes. However, it is hard to avoid concealer as you age. Most women need it to cover darkness around the eye area.

Turn back time: You will triumph over dry skin and cakey concealer with a good eye cream and concealer combo, plus a primer. First, keep the skin under your eyes well hydrated so it is less likely to soak up makeup. Next, apply primer to smooth the surface, then dab on the concealer.

Try: Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex or L’Oréal Paris Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer

What ages you: Crooked eyeliner

As you age, the skin on your lids starts to sag and become crepey. This makes drawing a precise line along the upper lid tricky to achieve; and a wonky line is not a good look.

Turn back time: There are two ways to tackle uneven liner application. Trade your liquid liner or sharp-tipped crayon for a chubbier, creamy liner that you can smudge to create a subtle smoky effect. Another tactic: use you fine-tipped liner and bury the colour within your lashes using a back and forth motion. Both methods will define the top lashes without creating a discernible line.

Try: L’Oréal Paris Color Riche in Le Kajal or Maybelline Master Smoky by Eyestudio Mechanical Pencil

Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup

Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex

L’Oréal Paris Color Riche in Le Kajal

What ages you: Makeup on the lower lash line

Lining the top and bottom lashes looks polished at 25, but around 40-something, lower lash line makeup stops being sultry and can start looking haggard. Darkness around the eyes is also ageing, as it closes off the area and makes eyes appear smaller and more recessed.

Turn back time: The most effective option is skipping under-eye liner and mascara all together. But if you’re not ready to go bare, try lining and applying mascara on just the outer third of the lower lash line.

Try: Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara

What ages you: Spider-leg lashes

The density of your lashes decreases with age, and piling on volumising mascara in the hope of rebuilding what has been lost can actually accentuate the problem by causing clumps and scraggly hairs.

Turn back time: Begin your mascara application by wiggling the wand right at the base of the lash line to deposit colour and create an instant illusion of thickness. Volumising mascaras plump up straggly lashes, but another trick to try is a mascara primer.

Try: Clinique Lash Building Primer or Lancôme Cils Tint Lash Enhancer 

What ages you: Lipstick bleeding

Even non-smokers have probably pursed, puckered or sipped with their lips and created little lines around their mouth. Everyone gets them, and while lipstick and gloss are helpful to brighten and plump the mouth, certain formulas will bleed into those lines, creating tiny spokes around the mouth.

Turn back time: Try this technique: line just outside your natural lip line to prevent bleeds and make your mouth look fuller. To avoid a ring-around-the-lips effect, use a liner in a shade as close to your lip colour as possible.

Try: Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Precision Glide Lip Liner in Ballet Blush

What ages you: Over-used neutral shades

One hard truth about ageing is your skin’s natural radiance wanes. Makeup can help, but not if you only wear neutral shades, such as brown or taupe. As you age you face needs at least one pop of vivid colour to break up a subtle palette and prevent you from looking washed out. Hello, colour!

Turn back time: Adding a touch of punchy colour to neutral makeup gives you a more interesting look. Hues like coral or rosy pink are universally flattering on lips and cheeks. When it comes to lipstick selection, don’t go too matte or too shiny. As for gloss? Skip the all-over application and just dab it in the centre of your lips to feign fullness and minimise migration.

Try: Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy in 302

Lancôme Cils Tint Lash Enhancer

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Precision Glide Lip Liner

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy

Main image photography: Edward Urrutia

Annie Millar is a Beauty Expert with more than 30 years experience in the Beauty Industry. Her qualifications include Life Coaching, Makeup Artistry, Beauty Therapy and Secondary Teaching. She is currently the Beauty and Lifestyle Editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.