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Make up your mind: Does your makeup make you look older?

With a background in fine arts and a passion for fashion, Sébastien Tardif has worked as a makeup artist in more than 20 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Sébastien has collaborated with award-winning fashion designers...

Aging makeup blunders

Throughout my life as a celebrity makeup artist, I have never met anyone purposely trying to appear older than they actually are.
Woman looking in mirror

Dermatologists and plastic surgeons have never been busier trying to turn back the clock for their patients. That’s why I am dumbfounded to see so many women unknowingly sporting makeup that adds years to their look. Are you a member of that not-so-exclusive group of ladies parading around town with a self-imposed look of superfluous maturity? I’m revealing the top four makeup blunders that can make anyone look older.

Stay away from heavy, cream/wax-base concealer

Not only does it take forever to smooth out into place, but it always ends up settling into nooks and crannies that definitely don’t need emphasizing.

Solution: Use a weightless, oil-free, liquid concealer with buildable coverage. It’s easy to blend and diminishes dark circles, dark spots and redness without alerting the entire neighborhood to its presence.

Do not “set” your makeup with powder

This step is just an old ploy to add one more step to your makeup routine. You may be simply using too heavy of a moisturizer or too thick of a concealer or foundation, but when the texture on your face is in perfect harmony with your skin type, you do not need to lay down an extra layer of powder that usually ends up settling into fine lines you didn’t even know existed.

Solution: Find makeup that seemingly disappears on skin’s surface, does not add a sticky appearance to your complexion and is self-setting. As the day goes on, reach for blotting papers instead of powder to soak up the shine-causing excess oil. Unlike tissues, blotting papers do not lift the makeup off your face, so your skin stays smooth and fresh-looking.

Ban dark bronzing powder

Some of you are probably saying “I don’t want to look pasty” or “I love bronzing powder.” Well, it doesn’t always love you back, especially if you’ve already applied concealer, foundation and powder — it may start to look more like cement than makeup. Your goal should be injecting your complexion with life and color that makes you look healthy, not orange or dull.

Solution: Try a silky, gel-based color that emulates the glow you get from having exercised or having pure oxygen running through your skin. Soft shades like rose gold, copper or coral-champagne exemplify this perfect mix of blusher/bronzer appeal while lifting your features.

Avoid very thin eyebrows

Thin brows might have been all the rage in the early '20s, '30s and a bit of the '90s, but unless you are a model experimenting for an editorial shoot, this style will only end up making you look way older. A fuller looking brow does wonders with shaving off the years and recalls a time when you were younger and had never given a thought to altering the natural frame above your eyes. Kim Kardashian, Lily Collins, Ashley Olsen and many of today’s top models sport the bushier, natural-looking eyebrow to great effect.

Solution: If you naturally have very thin brows or have gotten carried away with the tweezers, let the hair grow back or simply fill in the missing areas. When adding some fullness, make sure to use a very finely pointed pencil tip and try mimicking hair growth as opposed to just plainly coloring in large parts of skin surface. Always try penciling in from the top part of the brow to elevate and open up the eyes; never fill in going downward toward the eye socket.

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