19 Ways to Look Younger Instantly With Makeup

19 Ways to Look Younger Instantly With Makeup featured image
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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.

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Hydration, hydration, hydration 

Celebrity makeup artist and founder of Makeup by Kelli Anne, ​​Kelli Anne Sewell, says to look for a hydration element in all of your makeup and skin-prep products. “Mature skin is a little more dehydrated in general, so every single product that you’re putting in your face should have an element of hydration, starting with skin prep. Use a rich cream like The Dewy Skin Cream by Tatcha ($72), it will hydrate your skin, brighten and help you look more plump.”

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Start with facial massage 

Before applying any makeup, do this. Sewell says to start by investing in a good gua sha—she loves the Stainless Steel Gua Sha by Tweezerman ($27)—pair it with a nice lotion and take the time to massage your face before applying any makeup. The result: a more contoured face, plus a rush of circulation to the area for a more wide-awake look.

“Spending 10 minutes on facial massage is way more beneficial than 10 minutes on makeup because you’ll feel and look better and you can put on less makeup,” she says.

Not sure where to start? Read our guide to gua sha here.

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3 / 19

Don’t overdo it

Instead of covering your face with a heavy foundation, Sewell says to let it shine through. “A good tinted moisturizer is exceptional. My mom who’s in her sixties loves the Tower28 SunnyDays ($32) because it’s everything in one and takes five seconds.”

Anton Vierietin / Getty Images
4 / 19

Use matte eyeshadows

“Metallics accentuate texture, so if you’re applying a lot of sheen or glitter on your eyes, you’re going to be accentuating any fine lines or wrinkles in the area,” says Sewell. “So a good rule of thumb is to stay more matte in the eyeshadow space.”

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Brighten the eyes

“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 Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter ($48) adds the perfect amount of brightness. 

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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.

“Whether it’s contour or any cheek product, always think upwards,” adds Sewell. “Place and extend your blush a little higher, your bronzer a little higher. Let it enhance the shape of your face but just ‘lift’ it a little with those contour products.”

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.

7 / 19

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.”

8 / 19

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 ($52) delivers a perfect wash of tone-evening color.


Photo Credits: Matteo Valle / Contributor/ Getty Images | Image Used for Illustrative Purposes Only
9 / 19

Finish with a mist

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.

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10 / 19

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. 

For a skin-like finish, Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder ($35) is talc-free and won’t leave you looking cakey or powdery.

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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.”

Photo Credits: Rosdiana Ciaravolo / Contributor / Getty Images
12 / 19

Use 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.”

Photo Credits: Rattawich Kamol / Shutterstock
13 / 19

Avoid using dark shadows

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. 

Photo Credits: July Prokopiv / Shutterstock
14 / 19

Overdraw your lips

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.

Photo Credits: Susie Cushner / Getty Images
15 / 19

Cocktail 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: MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil ($72), packed with plant oils, vitamins and antioxidants for a younger glow, instantly.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock
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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.

Photo Credits: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock
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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.”

Photo Credits: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock
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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 ($28) comes in an array of nude and brown shades to suit every skin tone and won’t budge for up to 12 hours.

MAC Cosmetics
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Use liquid or cream highlighter

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.” 

Photo Credits: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock

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