While a great anti-aging skin-care regimen (hello, retinol!) can definitely keep those fine lines and wrinkles at bay, we’ll take a little anti-aging help anywhere we can get it, even when it comes to our makeup routines.
However, while many assume that slapping on more makeup can successfully conceal sun and age spots, expert makeup artists suggest that less is always more, especially since going with a cleaner and brighter beauty look can make all the difference.
To help you fake a younger look with makeup, we asked top makeup artists to break down age-defying makeup tips that will help your skin look healthy and radiant.
Read on for tips on how to achieve your best makeup look yet.
“One of my favorite tricks to brighten the eyes, making them appear more youthful, is to add a pop of highlighter on the inner corner,” says celebrity makeup artist Sara Talias. She says the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow ($48) highlighter adds the perfect amount of brightness.
Forget About the Contour
Contouring has had its moment—now, it’s all about a softer look. “The trend used to be all about contouring and chiseling your cheekbones, now it’s all about the no-makeup look, and also elevating the makeup,” explains celebrity makeup artist Trish McEvoy. “Instead of applying makeup in the contours [of your face] to create shadows, go higher with your blush and bronzer.” The result: a lifted, more youthful look. “Think high,” she adds.
To keep things hydrated, not cakey, opt for a creamy bronzer like MERIT Bronze Balm Sheer Sculpting Bronzer ($30) which can be easily applied and sheered out with a brush, sponge or fingers.
Blush and Glow
We love blush for adding a bit of life and color back into the face, but Talias says adding a liquid blush is also “the best trick to create a lit from within glow.” Fan-favorite Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush ($23) is also her expert-approved pick for the task, a formula she says “adds a playful color that blends seamlessly.”
Stick to Matte Formulas
While shimmery, high-shine formulas might look prettier in the pan, McEvoy says matte formulas, specifically bronzer, are more forgiving. “The more glow you have to a product, the more the pores will appear enlarged,” she says.
For a no-shine base, Estée Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF 19 ($48) delivers a perfect wash of tone-evening color.
To instantly add a youthful appearance to any makeup look, Talias says to finish your makeup with a hydrating mist. “I love the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($49) to set the makeup and add extra hydration,” she says. The superfine mist is packed with hyaluronic acid and green tea to soothe and set makeup without disrupting your look.
Go Easy On The Setting Powder
Setting powder can be a godsend when you want to give your makeup primer a boost. However, makeup artist Naseeha Khan explains that this product can actually add a heavy layer onto the skin, which can ultimately pronounce fine lines and wrinkles.
To use this product carefully, she suggests using it under your eyes to ensure your concealer doesn’t crease. Otherwise, she warns against using it on other areas of your face, as she says you always want your skin to look natural and healthy.
The refillable Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Brightening Powder ($46) is made with vegan collagen and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the under-eye area as it sets.
Don’t Use Too Much Foundation
While it may be tempting to slap on a ton of full-coverage foundation, celebrity makeup artist Mari Shten explains that using too much of this product can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.
“Don’t use too much foundation, just make sure it’s applied evenly (and cover the sunspots, if you have them),” she says. “Instead, make sure your skin is well-moisturized, and add some glow with slightly pink undertone to create a more youthful appearance.”
Use Cream Blush Strategically
While cream blush can help achieve a more natural look, Shten recommends applying products like these carefully. Blending is key in achieving a more youthful-look, she explains, making it important to use a good makeup brush to apply your product evenly.
“Use a cream blush—in pink and peachy tones—on top of the apples of the cheeks, and use a makeup brush to swipe it across your forehead,” she tells NewBeauty. “This will bring more color to your face, keeping your makeup looking bright and fresh.”
Avoid Using Dark Eyeshadows
While a sultry smokey eye can definitely leave your onlookers guessing, Shten advises against using darker shadows, as they tend to bleed easily, and can accentuate lines around the eyes. Instead, she recommends selecting lighter and softer shades—plus brown and grey eyeliners!—that will help keep your look clean.
Overdraw Your Lips With A Lip Pencil
Lip pencil may seem like a tricky makeup product to use, but Shten says it can be mastered easily if you know where to start. The secret to nailing precise lip liner application, she explains, is to actually make sure the pencil shade is as close to your lip color as possible.
Once you have found your go-to lip pencil shade, she advises overdrawing your lips with your pencil first, and then finishing your lip look with a gloss and light lipstick. “Just go right on top of your lip liner, and then use gloss or light lipstick on top to make lips look more plump and instantly look younger,” she adds.
Add Some Face Oil To Your Foundation
If you are looking to achieve a natural glow without packing on tons of highlighter onto your cheeks, makeup artist Branden Malear advises adding some face oil to your foundation to keep your skin looking dewy and bright. “Apply two or three drops of face oil into your foundation to give your makeup a youthful glow,” he says. “This is also a great way to hydrate the skin too.”
Our go-to: Summer Fridays Heavenly Sixteen All-In-One Face Oil ($55).
Draw In Your Brows Carefully
While full and defined brows look great at any age, Melear says you’ll want to exert caution when drawing in those arches, as you’ll want to keep your look appearing clean and natural.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a fuller brow look, as he recommends using a taupe brow pencil to lightly fill in your brows. “This ends up giving them a more lifted look,” he adds.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Ultra-Slim Precision Brow Pencil ($25) makes creating fine, hair-like strokes easy and comes in 12 ultra-flattering shades.
Apply Powder Blush Correctly
Much like cream blush, Melear explains that powder-based blush is another product that should be applied carefully. Applying too much product can make the complexion appear garish, he says, making it important to apply a small amount in the right areas. “Blush should be applied to the tops of the cheeks (and swept back), to allow the face to appear more angular,” he tells NewBeauty. “This helps give the face more shape.”
Switch Your Lipstick Shade
If your go-to lipstick shade is a dark and sultry one, listen up. Makeup artist Helena Olivares advises swapping vampy plum or brown tones for more neutral shades, as they can look a bit harsh on aging skin. Neutral tones and subtle pinks, she explains, can help you achieve a more youthful appearance, as they instantly give the skin a brighter and cleaner look.
Melts-right-in MAC Powder Kiss Velvet Slim Stick ($27) comes in an array of nude and brown shades to suit every skin tone and won’t budge for up to 12 hours.
Use Liquid Or Cream Highlighters
Highlighter products, without a doubt, can give your cheeks that effortless glow in seconds. However, makeup artist Jessica Sanner advises using highlighter products carefully, as you won’t want to use products containing glitter.
“Be sure to use a liquid or cream-based highlighter that does not contain glitter, as you want to aim to achieve a satin-sheen glow,” Sanner tells NewBeauty. And while it may be tempting to add more product onto your cheeks, she advises against using highlighter on textured areas, as it tends to exaggerate lines and wrinkles. “If you have more textured areas, do not add highlighter to that area, as it can exaggerate, and give you the opposite effect of what you want.”