6 makeup tricks to camouflage wrinkles, rather than highlight them

Makeup Tricks To Hide Wrinkles

How to stop your makeup from ageing you

Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / October 17 2023

Most of the time, makeup is our friend - making us look more glowy, bronzed and bright-eyed. But sometimes, it can do more harm than good if you don’t use the right formulas and don’t apply it correctly. The wrong concealer around the eyes can highlight (rather than hide) wrinkles. A cakey foundation will settle into your creases. And some lipsticks feather into all those fine lines around your lips and put them front and centre. No, thank you.

To avoid your makeup ageing you, follow these handy tips for camouflaging your wrinkles, rather than accidentally highlighting them. 

#1 / Smooth out your canvas with a primer

A primer helps blur lines by filling them in. It will also help your foundation sit smoothly on your skin and stay put without creasing through the day. A silicone formula with hydrating benefits is a top choice. We like The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer for masking the signs of ageing.

#2 / Use a sheer concealer

Seems kind of counterintuitive to hide wrinkles with a light-coverage concealer, but unfortunately, full-coverage formulas have a tendency to go cakey and settle into your fine lines. “Concealers with heavy and matte textures generally make the skin look much older,” warns Alphie Sadsad, National Artistry Lead for Sephora ANZ. “Sheer and moisturising textures work best when camouflaging wrinkles,” he says. Sadsad is a fan of Becca Cosmetics Light Shifter because of its hydrating formula and light-reflecting and natural-looking finish.

If a sheer coverage just isn’t cutting it, Sadsad recommends pressing a corrector into areas where you see discolouration, before applying your concealer. “Sephora Collection Color Corrector in Peach works best to defuse darkness under the eyes. Use the warmth of your fingers to blend and melt into the skin.”

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer

Becca Cosmetics Light Shifter

Sephora Collection Color Corrector

#3 / Keep your base looking dewy

The best finish for anyone that is concerned with wrinkles is a creamy, dewy skin,” says Sadsad. Matte finishes can look dull on the skin and draw attention to a wrinkled surface. It’s also important to make sure your skin is well hydrated before you layer foundation over the top. Especially around the eye area. Moisture helps plump skin and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also ensures your foundation applies more evenly.

“Firstly, prepare your canvas with skin care that is right for your skin type, keeping in mind you want your skin to have a glow even before foundation,” Sadsad explains.

Apply your foundation with a wet sponge (we love the OG beautyblender) for a flawless, never-caked-on finish. Foundation that’s been laid on thick will settle into your lines and make them look more prominent.

Sadsad’s foundation go-tos are Nudestix Tinted Cover Foundation for light coverage and IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream SPF 50 for medium coverage. 

“And if you are worried about looking too wet, place powder in key areas.”

beautyblender The Original

Nudestix Tinted Cover Foundation

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream SPF 50

#4 / Go easy on the face powder

Speaking of face powder, you need to tread carefully here. Too much powder applied at once will leave skin looking dull and creased. Sadsad says *how* you apply powder is a real game-changer. “Never bake, press it in with a sponge, or use a powder puff.” 

“The best way to use powder when you don’t want to highlight fine lines is to reach for a small ponytail shape brush and lightly roll where you need to set. Make sure you tap the excess off the brush, too.” Try Sephora Collection ProBrush Precision Crease Shadow #17.

If you're worried about looking too shiny, Sadsad says to apply powder just around the eyes and on the centre of the forehead instead of all over your face. “It'll keep your makeup from creasing in key areas without sacrificing a healthy glow.”

#5 / Steer clear of glitter eye makeup

“Using shimmering beige, champagne or golds on the inner corners of the eyes wakes them up by bringing light to the area. However, avoid using shimmer, glitter or metallic eyeshadows all over,” warns Sadsad. If any of those specks of glitter find their way into your wrinkles (and somehow they always do!), all they’re going to do is draw attention to these areas you’re trying so hard to hide. “Mattes and cream shadows work best,” says Sadsad. We like Too Faced Just Peachy Velvet Matte Eyeshadow Palette.

#6 / Prep your lips before you apply a lip colour

“Moisturising, more moisturising and exfoliating.” Those are Sadsad’s top tips when it comes to preventing your lipstick from highlighting all those teeny tiny wrinkles around your mouth. “Use a sugar lip scrub and exfoliate in a circular motion, working around and outside the lip,” suggests Sadsad. “Using an exfoliator twice a week will make your mouth softer and encourage new cell growth.” 

Before applying lipstick, define the edge of your lips (and create a barrier to prevent feathering) with a lip liner in a clear lip liner, like COVERGIRL Farewell Feathering Lip Liner in Transparent. Finding a long-lasting, budge-proof lip colour is also essential. We reviewed all our favourites over here.

Sephora Collection ProBrush Precision Crease Shadow #17

Too Faced Just Peachy Velvet Matte Eyeshadow Palette

COVERGIRL Farewell Feathering Lip Liner in Transparent

Want more tips on how to prevent your makeup from ageing you? You got it.

Main image credit: @cindycrawford

Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.