Read on before you reach for your lippie.
I was recently asked for my ID while buying some alcohol, and my natural reaction was to laugh out loud, thinking the cute guy behind the counter was attempting to give me a jovial ego boost.
I am 28 after all, and there is no way in hell I look underage, but to my surprise he was quite serious – and made my day.
I wasn’t wearing any makeup that day and wondered if that was what had made me look younger, which is quite ironic, considering the amount of time and money I spend on makeup products aimed at giving me that glowy, youthful look.
But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. After all, heavy makeup tends to age a face, which is why teenagers often go a bit overboard with their eyeliner and lipstick when trying to buy booze or sneak their way into a club. I guess it takes a few years to learn all the beauty hacks to achieve a more natural look.
Of course, this doesn’t mean banning makeup altogether is the answer to eternal youth, but there are certain beauty looks to avoid once you’ve passed your mid-twenties, even if just for the sake of confusing the guy at the liquor store…
What you’re getting wrong: Your natural instinct tells you to cover any hyperpigmentation with a heavy layer of foundation, but caking it on will make you look older, as the product tends to settle into all your fine lines and accentuate them.
The fix: Less is definitely more when it comes to foundation, and in order to look younger, stay away from thick, full coverage foundations and opt instead for a lighter consistency with medium coverage so your natural skin tone can shine through.
What you’re getting wrong: Too much dark eyeshadow and eyeliner can easily make you look 10 years older than you really are. Black eyeliner on your lower waterline in particular, will not only make your eyes look smaller, but draw all the attention to any fine lines around the eyes.
The fix: If you can’t go without eyeliner, only apply it to the outer corner of the upper lash line to make eyes appear bigger and brighter. Stay away from dark shades and instead, add a little bit of a light shade eyeshadow or concealer on the inner corner of the eye, which rejuvenates the look even more.
What you’re getting wrong: Applying blush on the apple of your cheeks sounds like the right thing to do, but if it’s not blended out properly, or if the shade is too bold, it will age you, as this application technique was popular a few decades ago and is consequently still used by a lot of older women.
The fix: Use a shade that isn’t too far off your natural skin tone in order to avoid the clown look, and be sure to blend blush into your temples for a more natural, youthful look.
What you’re getting wrong: Finishing off your look with setting powder can be counterproductive when you’re using the wrong powder and/or too much of it, as it tends to settle into fine lines and can make your complexion appear dull and washed out.
The fix: Use setting powder super sparingly, and make sure it’s a very finely milled product that doesn’t leave a visible layer on your skin for a softer finish.
What you’re getting wrong: You’re overlining your lips to fake a full pout, but lip liner around the corners of the mouth actually ages your look.
The fix: Youthful lips show more volume in the middle, with an accentuated cupid’s bow, so feel free to apply liner around the centre, but stay away from the corners of the mouth. Moreover, lighter shades make you appear younger than darker shades, which will create the illusion of a narrower pout.
6. Brow pencil
What you’re getting wrong: Brows can make a huge difference to a face, and while full brows are associated with youthfulness, the shape, rather than density, is actually most important. Flawlessly arched brows with sharp flicks can be seen everywhere on Instagram, but the angled brow shape tends to age the face by creating a more severe finish.
The fix: If you want to take a few years off your appearance, stop arching your brows and instead, pencil them in fairly straight, with only the slightest bend in the outer corners.
7. Hair style
What you’re getting wrong: You love your hair long and have always worn it this way, so it can’t possibly make you look old, right? Unfortunately not, as our hair becomes thinner with age, just like our faces lose some volume. Long, thinning hair can draw attention to this and make our faces appear even longer and thinner than they are.
The fix: Opting for a short hairstyle or simply adding some layers around the face to your existing long hairstyle can make a world of difference.
Images via makeuptalk.com, makeupgeek.com, idiva.com, stylisted.com, youtube.com, indulgy.com, sophiegee.com.
Nadine is a beauty writer who's always on the hunt for the perfect nude lipstick and the best Instagram filter. She has a weakness for handbags and never says no to a cup of strong coffee. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.