The 4 Makeup Mistakes That Age You

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Makeup can be your best friend or your worst friend, depending on how you use it. If applied incorrectly, it can actually make you look older than you are. We consulted with celebrity makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen to find out four common makeup mistakes, and more importantly, how to fix them.

Heavy Foundation
VanLeeuwen says that in today’s day and age, it’s important to wear foundation that enhances the look of your skin while letting its natural texture shine through. “Gone are the days when women would ‘erase’ their faces with pore-clogging, full-coverage foundation and then paint new ones on top. This look is very aging and dated-looking,” he adds. “Today’s foundation formulas can hide imperfections and truly make your complexion look younger and fresher without looking heavy at all. The result is youthful, vibrant-looking skin.”

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Poorly Applied/Overapplied Mascara
“Nothing ages the face more than incorrectly applied mascara with too much product applied to the tips of the lashes and not enough at the base. It can look messy and leave flakes of black under the eyes,” says VanLeeuwen. “Eyelashes are naturally thicker at the base and thinner on the ends, so when applying mascara, start by wiggling the brush side to side at the base of your lashes to apply pigment and depth. Do this a couple times without worrying about the ends. Next, apply another coat while pulling through to the ends, which will be lighter and more fringy than the base. This will make your lashes look defined in just the right way, making you look more youthful.”

Too Much Black Eye Liner
VanLeeuwen says that wearing too much black eye liner can make you look aged. “One of my favorite ways to lighten up eyeliner, but still get great definition and pop, is to line the eyes with a dark plum liner instead of black,” he adds. “Plum is technically a gray tone; it’s dark, but it’s not black. Plum tones have a color effect on the eye, whereby the whites of your eyes look whiter and your eye color looks more vibrant. When combined with black mascara, applied correctly, your lashes jump forward off the plum background. The look is crisp and energizing without any heaviness or weight.” His favorite one: MAC Eye Kohl in Prunella ($16).

Overdone Lip Color
Overly colorful or heavily applied lipstick can be aging and also make you look dated. “It can weigh your face down and draw the eye down to your mouth and jaw area, which is the more masculine area of the face,” says VanLeeuwen. “I find that lightening up lips with lighter, fresher colors actually lifts the energy of the face up to the eye area, which is more feminine and striking. Another effect of lighter lips is that skin looks more creamy and luminous.”

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