9 Beauty Mistakes That Are Making You Look Older

Updated 04/11/17

There comes a time when every woman wants to look a little younger. Even when you’re still young, a late night or a nausea-inducing, head-banging hangover can be ageing—your skin can appear grey and sallow, while fine lines can look more pronounced. Essentially, the goal here is to continue being asked for ID in shops and at bars for as long as possible (can I get a high five?).

So what’s the answer, besides living life like a hermit or scheduling regular dates with a dermatologist wielding a needle? Well, while you can turn back time with clever makeup trickery, and we’ll bet you have most of these products in your makeup bag already, the key is using them to their youth-boosting best. That’s why we’ve called on five makeup artists to share their anti-ageing makeup tricks, keep scrolling for the makeup mistakes that are ageing you and how to fix them

Before you panic at the sight of wrinkles, remember they are most likely fine lines caused by dehydration, while more pronounced lines can be tackled with skincare. “The look of fine lines and wrinkles can be softened by plumping the skin with moisturisers,” says Hannah Martin, Bobbi Brown’s senior pro artist. “Try layering a balm over your serum for an extra injection of hydration before applying your foundation.” 

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm $65

We recommend you factor in a serum containing humectants like hyaluronic acid or glycerin that attract water to the upper layers of the skin for a plumped look and feel. Try mixing a couple of drops into your foundation to ramp up the moisture.

OZ Naturals Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C $23
Hylamide Low-Molecular HA $12
Pixi Overnight Glow Serum $26

You may think, when it comes to makeup and ageing, that a less-is-more approach is key and you’re right, but don’t scrimp on primer. Depending on your complexion’s needs, they can work wonders.

“A silicone-based formula like Benefit the POREfessional face primer (£25) can help to diffuse the look of fine lines and open pores,” explains Lisa Potter-Dixon, head make up artist and brow expert for Benefit Cosmetics. “Apply underneath your foundation and after your skincare for the perfect flawless face.”

If dullness is your foe, then try an illuminating primer instead. “Estée Lauder’s Illuminating Primer (£22) applied under foundation will give luminosity to the skin and prevent makeup from sitting in any fine lines,” explains Lynsey Alexander, Estée Lauder’s UK make up ambassador.

For a long time it was thought that wrinkles were the one factor that made us look older, but it is now widely acknowledged that pigmentation is also ageing. An even complexion looks more youthful, fact.

“Age spots tend to be dark, so before foundation use a yellow-based colour corrector,” suggests Potter-Dixon. “Pat that over the problem area to diffuse the depth of colour before applying your foundation. On stubborn sun spots and patches of pigmentation, blend an industrial-strength cream based concealer like Benefit Boi-Ing concealer (£18) onto the sun spots using a fluffy eye shadow brush, this will give you an airbrushed finish while still hiding the problem!”

Benefit Lemon Aid $17

Powder formulas have a tendency to highlight fine lines and leave skin looking flat.Use a serum-based foundation instead,” advises Sarah-Jane Froom, BareMinerals international make-up artist. “The key is to avoid a full coverage; if you use too much foundation it will just sit in any creases,” she adds.

Bare Minerals BareSkin Serum Foundation $27

If you want to turbo-charge your foundation's youth-boosting abilities, Potter-Dixon suggests mixing a liquid highlighter into your foundation, just ensure the highlighter is sheeny not sparkly. “This will lift the look of your skin and give a dewy finish!”

If you have an oily complexion, use an illuminating powder to mattify your T-zone, it will take down excess shine but leave your complexion looking dewy.

Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder $39

“With foundation and concealer, never be afraid to use your fingers. The heat from your hands can help to warm the products, making them mimic your natural skin and not sit in fine lines,” explains Froom.


Of course you don’t want to rival some of the faces on Instagram, but subtle contouring can be very flattering. As we age our faces lose volume, so some clever contouring can help soften your face. “Using a liquid bronzer or darker foundation in the hollows of the cheeks and angled into the mouth gives a soft contour that will light and angle the face,” says Urban Decay’s Regional Makeup Artist Danielle Roberts.

Benefit Dew the Hoola $23

A pop of blusher on the apples of the cheeks will automatically lift the look of your complexion. Peach tones are the safest option, as these are soft but will leave the complexion looking fresh,’ says Potter-Dixon.

Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Indecent $19

We’re not suggesting you slather Vaseline on the lens of every iPhone you’re about to take a picture with, like old Hollywood stars used to do to give that soft focus look in films. But harking back to old-school trickery is not a bad idea. Alexander recommends using the Estée Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape (£46). Surgical tape has been used for years to literally pull skin taught on famous faces before red carpet appearances and on film sets. Estée Lauder’s liquid version will “help disguise any fine lines and wrinkles for a super-sculpted look,” adds Alexander.

Estée Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape $46

As we said earlier less is more, this rule is especially true when it comes to eye makeup. Shimmering textures and very dark shadows can draw attention to fine lines and creases around the eyes. “Define your eyes by filling in your brows and applying a little eyeliner (the formula is up to you). Finish your look with a little lip balm or gloss. This will help you look fresh, bright and youthful,” says Martin. 

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm $17

Opening image: Wildfox.

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