Anti-Aging Makeup Tricks

"The wrong application techniques — or even those that you haven't changed in a while — can cause your makeup to work against you," says Los Angeles–based celebrity makeup artist Fabiola, who works with Julianne Moore and Katie Holmes. It's all too easy to emphasize the signs of aging in your attempt to minimize them.

Before you grab another lipstick or blush, learn how to refresh your beauty routine and subtract years from your look: Use these age-defying techniques to mask wrinkles and achieve youthful-looking skin.

Mistake: Applying makeup to bare skin

Fix: Dehydrated skin can highlight wrinkles and lines on your face, especially the deeper lines on the forehead, the between-brow furrows, and the nasolabial folds (the "parentheses" that run from your nose to the outer corners of your mouth). "Just think — a raisin is a dehydrated grape," says Dana Chasen Thomases, a Boston makeup artist whose clients include Bethenny Frankel and Emmy Rossum. "Moisture plumps the skin and temporarily smooths away wrinkles."

Create a smoother canvas by faithfully applying an anti-aging moisturizer and eye cream before you begin putting on makeup.

Mistake: Caking on concealer

Fix: If you use a heavy hand to cover up dark circles, you may actually enhance crow's-feet and laugh lines, especially if you use a thick formula, which can dry out as the day goes on.

Instead, apply a lightweight concealer from the inner corner to the middle of your eye, and lightly dab foundation, which is less likely to sit in wrinkles, under your outer eye.

To blur the appearance of deep lines on your forehead and around your nose and mouth, makeup artist Tim Quinn, who works with Gwen Stefani and Kate Bosworth, recommends using a small brush to apply light-reflecting concealer directly onto the creases. Blend the concealer out to diffuse its appearance.

Mistake: Wearing mascara on your lower lashes

Fix: In the same way a little black dress can visually erase pounds, black mascara swiped on the lower lashes visibly enhances wrinkles. "It brings attention to that crepey area and can weigh down the eye," explains makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, who works with Kim Kardashian. Instead, bring the focus up and away from the area by curling your top lashes and applying two coats of the blackest black mascara. If you just can't do without some color on the lower lashes, try using a softer shade, like brown, and comb through the lashes with a lash separator for a clump-free, natural look.

Mistake: Opting for full-coverage foundation

Fix: Thicker foundations have drying ingredients, such as zinc, that can sink into fine lines, thereby making them look bigger, says Fabiola. You're better off with a lighter foundation. Or make the combination of primer and tinted moisturizer your new skin-perfecting go-to. Start by applying a silicone- based primer to fill wrinkles and create a smooth canvas, then apply a tinted moisturizer to even out skin tone. If you can't live without a fix of foundation, advises Fabiola, "mix it with moisturizer and gently pat it down with a damp makeup sponge throughout the day to keep it looking fresh and dewy."

Mistake: Skipping lip liner

Fix: Wearing lip liner is one of the great beauty conundrums: On the one hand, it keeps lipstick from bleeding into fine lip lines, but on the other, it can make you look dated ( la Krystle Carrington, back when shoulder pads were de rigueur).

The solution is clear, waterproof liner. "Use it to line the outer edge of your lips, then dust a little bit of powder over it to set it even better," says Hillary Clark, a makeup artist based in San Francisco. For extra definition, line the lips with a nude pencil that closely matches your natural lip color.

Mistake: Choosing matte lipstick

Fix: You might think that a matte formula would draw less attention to wrinkles because it's less likely to stray beyond your lip line, but because matte lipsticks tend to be thicker (and hence more drying), they can make lines appear deeper and more obvious.

Prevent your lipstick color from working against you by making sure that your lips are moist throughout your application. Start by exfoliating with a one-to- one mixture of honey and sugar, to gently remove flakes and hydrate the skin. Then apply a moisturizing lip balm or an anti-aging eye cream to your lips, which will plump and hydrate the lips just as it does the eye area. Says Clark, "Once that's dry, and you've applied your clear liner, use a sheer semi-gloss color all over."

Mistake: Wearing shimmery eye shadow

Fix: As any lover of bling will tell you, the shinier something is, the bigger it looks — this is good for diamonds but bad for wrinkles on your eyelids. To avoid magnifying imperfections around the eyes, ditch metallic and iridescent shadows because these highlight wrinkles and sagging skin. "Instead, blend a natural-looking matte taupe or brown into the crease of the eyes to lift and conceal lids that are droopy or wrinkled," advises Dedivanovic. Lightly sweep the same shade along the lower lash line, keeping the color close to the lashes to create subtle definition without the look of makeup. For an extra lift, use a matte highlight on the brow bone, right below the outer brow.

Mistake: Piling on mattifying powder everywhere

Fix: A dusting of powder may fight shine, but its mattifying effects exaggerate lines on the drier areas of the face, including your forehead. "If you want to set your foundation to avoid shine, opt for a loose powder with some light- reflecting pigment to soften the appearance of lines," says Chasen Thomases. Be sure to choose a luminous, fine-milled product that will have the effect of airbrushing. (Formulas with too much shimmer, however, will enhance the wrinkles you're trying to erase.)

Mistake: Sweeping on the wrong color blush

Fix: What does blush have to do with minimizing wrinkles under and around the eyes? Turns out the color you choose affects the appearance of your wrinkles — too much or not enough highlights wrinkles, but the Goldilocks shade — the one that's just right — shifts the focus from them. "A soft, shimmer-free rose or peach blush that ends below the outer corners of the eyes softens the area and subtly draws the eye away from the lines," says Dedivanovic.

To get the technique right, smile naturally and start applying color on the apples of the cheeks. Sweep it up toward the outer corners of the eyes, stopping before you reach the lower lash line. The upward sweep also helps "lift" sagging cheeks. Just remember to blend, blend, blend — since any harsh lines will have the opposite effect.

Mistake: OD'ing on bronzer

Fix: Ever notice how even the youngest celebs — Lindsay Lohan and Snooki, for example — look years older when they're doused in bronzer? That's because the pigment applied with a heavy hand can sink into lines, making them darker and more visible. But bronzer can just as easily lift the entire face and neck, when used correctly to contour. The aim is to create the illusion of a shadow. Start with a matte version — no shimmer! — or even a pressed powder in a darker shade than you usually use, advises Dedivanovic. Lightly sweep the bronzer onto your cheeks and up toward your temples. Then apply some along the jawline and under the chin. Says Dedivanovic, "This creates a soft shadow under the chin, so it will appear slimmer. Plus, it minimizes wrinkles or sagging in the neck area."

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