Make-Up Mistakes That Make You Look Older

Make-up and brushes spilling out of a cosmetics bag

Make-up is meant to enhance your natural features. We all aspire to youthful, glowing skin – but have you ever thought that your make-up application techniques may be making you look older than you are?

It’s easy to make mistakes with make-up such as dragging skin, heavy eyes and harshly lined lips. Lead product developer and skincare specialist Patricia Boland from Colorescience UK highlights seven common make-up mistakes to watch out for.

Going overboard with the shimmer

model removing makeup

Less is more. Pic: iStockphoto

Shimmer can be fun to use on the face – and it can look lovely, if it’s used correctly. Too often do we get carried away with beauty trends such as an intense highlighter glow or bold, glittery eyelids.

Unfortunately, this can accentuate fine lines on the skin. Using too much shimmer to highlight your eyebrows, your cheekbones or your eyes can make your face look age worn.

Instead, opt for neutral matte shades to define your eyes or choose a very soft, reflective pearl shade to add a pretty yet subtle touch to the eyes.

Applying blush in circles

From a young age, we are taught to apply blush in circles on the apples of our cheeks.

This way of make-up application makes the colour drag lower than it naturally should, giving the appearance of dragging skin and an uneven application.

The correct way to apply blush is by gently sweeping the colour across the top of your cheekbone. Avoid strong blush colours like red and orange that can look harsh and unnatural on the skin.

Overlining your lips with the wrong shade

Lady applying red lipstick Pic: Istockphoto

Back to matching, not mixing! Pic: iStockphoto

To stop our lipstick from bleeding out onto our skin and our teeth, a lip liner is essential. However, overlining your lips using a colour that does not match your lipstick is a 90s trend that nobody wants to revisit.

Using the wrong shade of lip liner creates an awkward, uneven border around your lips that can look harsh and unnatural even on a youthful face.

To line your lips correctly, find a colour that is a close match to your lipstick shade and remain modest when building the size of your lips. Begin building from the bottom lip rather than the top, as this will look more seamless and natural.

Heavy lining of the lower eyelid 

As we grow older, the skin around our eyes begins to slump, giving us the impression of smaller-looking eyes. Youthfulness is associated with doe eyes, big and round. However heavily lining the lower eyelid makes your eyes appear narrower and droopy.

To counteract this, try using a neutral, light make-up pencil to help open up the eyes and keep your make-up looking bright instead of heavy and ageing.

Clumping your mascara

Close-up of young white woman's face, make-up free, green eyes, serious expression

Mascara can “open up” your eyes

Mascara is the easiest way to instantly appear more awake. However, there is so much that can go wrong in the application of it that can subsequently make you look older.

Examples include clumpy and spidery lashes, the dreaded “raccoon eyes” and black mascara transferring onto your eye make-up.

To avoid this, always use a waterproof mascara to ensure smudge-free make-up. Apply mascara on the lower lashes first to avoid accidental make-up transfer.

To really open up your eyes on special occasions, try using an eyelash curler. This adds volume without adding too many layers of mascara which could clump.

Applying dark eye shadow in the wrong way

Here’s how to do smoky eyes…

Perfecting the smoky eye is something many make-up lovers aspire to. However, it can easily go wrong and too much dark eye shadow can really overpower and age the face.

Take care not to apply dark eye shadow all over your whole lid, as this can make you look visibly older.

Instead, dab the dark colour on the outer corner of the eye and keep your make-up look bright by applying a light colour on the inner two-thirds of your eyes.

Using too much powder

Nothing is as unnatural, ageing and harsh as cakey-looking skin. Too much powder will do no good for your skin and in the worst case, it can make you look slightly comical and clown-like.

Of course, we don’t want our make-up to slip and slide all over our face, so perhaps try using a setting spray instead, which gives a blended and naturally set look.

If you don’t like the feeling of spraying your face, go easier on the powder. Apply it only in the T-zone area where you tend to get oily (the forehead, the nose and chin).

Letting your face have a slight, natural glow can make your skin look youthful and flushed. So don’t cover it all up with powder!

This piece was brought to you by the experts at colorescienceuk,

Sarah Proctor

I've worked on a variety of regional newspapers and national magazines. My Weekly and Your Best Ever Christmas are fantastic, warm-hearted brands with an amazing, talented team. I'm a sub-editor and particularly love working on cookery, fiction and advice pages - I feel I should know all the secrets of eternal life, health and happiness by now, but hey, we all need that regular reminder!