The quest for eternal youth will never fade away. Back in the day, it was bathing in milk and honey (shout-out to our homegirl Cleopatra); these days, it’s Botox, fillers, facelifts, or just a really kick-ass retinol cream. Whatever the method, the end goal has stayed the same: to hold off gravity and our natural aging process just a little while longer. But here’s a little tip: Your skincare routine isn’t the only thing that can help you achieve that. You also happen to possess something Cleopatra didn’t—a secret weapon that can take years off your face in under five minutes: makeup. Lest we forget, the contents of your makeup bag have anti-aging powers too. So just how do we use makeup to look younger? Ahead, you’ll find five little-known makeup tricks we’ve picked up through the years from the industry’s top pros. These go beyond standard advice like simply picking cream over powder, and we guarantee they’ll step up your makeup game—and help you look as young as you feel. Keep scrolling to see them all!
We love our black eyeliner dearly—a world without it seems like a bleak world indeed. But here’s a pro tip: You might want to consider swapping it out for a deep chocolaty brown. Why? The warmer undertones in a brown pencil brighten up your eyes in the subtlest way, whereas black can cast shadows, close up your eye, and accentuate dark circles. Plus, anything with ashy undertones can be aging (your hair color included). Try out warmer shades, and watch your face light up.
Korean women know their beauty products and, arguably, look years younger because of it. But products are only part of the equation—their beauty technique is different too. Here in the U.S., we’ve long celebrated the perfectly arched brow. Across the Pacific, however, Korean women opt for a different brow shape: a softer, straighter arch (if one at all). Why? Supposedly, this shape mimics the way our brows are shaped naturally when we are younger, and thus, when applied in our more mature age, it should have the same effect. (We delve more into the straight-brow trend here.) Instead of shaping a defined arch with strokes, try softening your brow shape and diminishing the arch using a soft pencil like the one above.
To be honest, we’ve always dismissed primer as a needless extra step in our beauty routines, falling more in the placebo-effect area than actually adding any value. How very, very wrong we were. Primer, as it appears, becomes a useful weapon in the face of aging skin and a dull complexion. A lightweight, water-based choice, like Kat Von D’s, can be used for so much more than prepping your face for foundation. Here’s a tip we picked up from celebrity makeup artist Erik Soto: Squeeze a small amount of primer onto your hand and blend it with a rosy liquid lipstick. Then dab it onto the apples of your cheeks with a wet beauty sponge for the most youthful, dewy flush. Or apply it over your foundation for a smoother, more glowing finish. You can even mix it with powder eye shadows for an ethereal wash of color that instantly brightens your eye area—the possibilities really are endless.
To prep your skin for foundation, you may layer on a moisturizer beforehand for a smooth base. Here’s an expert tip: Layer on just a bit of moisturizer on top of your foundation afterward too. Why? Doing so can help you achieve the strobing effect without using a highlighter and give your tired skin a healthy, dewy radiance. We love this primer-moisturizer hybrid from Glossier as a do-it-all product.
Tired eyes? Dark circles? Buy a nude eyeliner (yes, they exist), and line your bottom waterline for an instantly wide-eyed effect. Skip white—it can look too retro—and opt for a neutral shade that’s similar to your skin tone instead. With one swipe, your eyes will appear wider, brighter, and more awake—aka the opposite of sagging and tired.
This story was originally published on August 21, 2015.