4 makeup mistakes that are ageing you

Lead image: Sorry Emily Blunt, but your pale face and tan chest are not working in your favour. via Getty.

When I worked the M.A.C counter, a millennium ago, I remember crudely applying a wash of lime green eyeshadow to my peepholes with a slip of mascara, a frosted pink shimmer cream on the cheekbones, a hot pink lipstick on my puckers – and voila – I looked as cute as a button.

Fast forward 15 years: If I left the house sporting THAT face, I could be mistaken for a boozy palm-reader who lives with her 15 cats. Yup, choosing the right makeup as we get on in life is important. Here are some make-up pitfalls to avoid:

1. Using the wrong coloured foundation

Well, this is quite the no-no at any age. It will do you no favours, especially when you opt for a foundation that’s a lighter than your décolletage, as Emily Blunt has above. A bad situation is made worse if you are also using a powder-based foundation; or anything that fails to deliver some type of faux youthfulness to the texture of your skin.

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Instead: Capture the warmer tone of your skin when choosing the colour of your foundation. And also try richer textures such as: Smashbox CC Cream, Lancôme Teint Visionnaire, and Giorgio Armani Designer Foundation. Remember, your skin should look better with foundation on, not worse.

2. Going blushless

Blush is SO important for that youthful glow… especially if you lost it a decade or so ago. This, like most things post 40, has to be recreated with makeup. Enter blusher. Colour choice is of course imperative. Don’t go too bright or dark in this area. Choose a colour that is going to give you a beautiful, girly flushed look. Pinky-peach and rosy tones are normally best. And I prefer a cream blush because it adds a youthful glisten to the old cheek-bed.


Tip: Use bronzer to shape your face (under the cheekbones) and then add a cream blush to the apples of the cheeks. (Smile deliriously to locate your apples. And do watch the crows feet when you’re applying, if any blush creeps in there… hello old age makeup.)

Try: Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick (this is what I use). Becca and Bobbi Brown also have some fab options in the crème blush department. (M.A.C I’m still very annoyed at you for discontinuing my beloved Lillicent Blushcrème, so you won’t get a mention.)

3. Wearing winged black eyeliner

Madonna, we love you, but you should maybe rethink this look. via Getty

This look can be massively ageing, especially when few have really mastered the art. Because of its unforgiving characteristics, and the fact it’s used around an area that changes substantially with age (the peepholes), it’s best to let go of any black liquid eyeliner attachments. Move on to the smoky look. Way more forgiving.

Try: I love metallic eyeliner around the lash-line. The metallic quality can jazz up the peeps without being too harsh (black). Melli Cosmetics Waterproof Longwear Pencil is a great eyeliner. M.A.C. also have some good options.

4. Creating high contrasts

Any makeup that features too much contrast is going to make you look older. For example, if your eye-shadow palette du jour consists mostly of white and black – this is bad. Not only is that concoction massively out of date (circa early 90’s), but it’s also a style that can make one look like an ageing ex-stripper. Think soft, muted tones instead, and use darker colours as definition around the lash-line only.

Ditto to lighter concealer under the eyes -  this highlights an area that you don’t want highlighted, as Celine Dion demonstrates.

Using a pale concealer under her eyes isn't the most flattering option for Celine Dion.

Madonna looks younger in this softer makeup rather than her contrasty stage make-up. (Sorry Madonna for that truly shocking photo.)

Soft vs harsh: These photos were taken 10 days apart, but Madonna looks much younger when she doesn't wear highly contrasting makeup.

This article originally appeared on Glam Me Up and has been republished with full permission.