10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older
Written by Oana Schneider

Unknowingly, we add 10 years to our overall look, but when it comes to makeup things can be quite dramatic. OK, so your clothes are outdated, but when your face says 50 and your ID 35, there’s definitely a problem.

These are the most common 10 makeup mistakes that make you look older:

1. Skipping foundation

Unless you are in your twenties or younger, there really is no reason to skip foundation. I hear people complaining about how foundation is too heavy, tricky and so on. If you couldn’t find the perfect shade of foundation, buy a BB cream that comes in 3 shades: light, medium and dark. Basically, this product is half foundation and half cream, which won’t make you feel like you’re wearing a mask. Why wear anything at all? Well, because in time our face is exposed to sun and ultraviolet light, which leads to freckles, spots, discoloration and enlarged pores. A foundation will level everything and help you look fresh.

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

2. Not filling in your eyebrows

Technically, there are two issues here. The first one is that people forget to fill in their eyebrows. After a certain age, our eyebrows become thinner and thinner which makes us look like a tree during fall. Here’s what to do: pick a mate eyeshadow that matches the color of your hair and apply it gently on your eyebrows. Why not use an eyebrow pencil: it’s too dense and it’s sure going to drip down your face if it rains or if you sweat.

The other problem is that people tend to use too much eyebrow pencil which also makes them look old. Here’s something you should never forget: never ever use a black eyebrow pencil! Use dark brown, light brown and whatever shade you want, but not black- the contrast with your skin is too powerful, even if your skin is dark. Use a softer shade and contour a natural shape (you’ve probably seen some pretty epic eyebrow fails online, so you know what I mean!).

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

3. Too natural?

Some women will tell you that they are beautiful just like they came into this world. We don’t want to argue with that, but why not take care of your face? After the age of 35, going natural should only refer to your food. As I explained earlier, our skin is rarely perfectly even and we need to do some contouring here and there. And even if you’re not wearing foundation (which is a mistake, but anyhow), don’t forget the concealer: apply it on your eyelids and under your eye to hide those dark circles.

Yes, circles make us look old and…sick. If you don’t want people on the street to refer you to a specialist, apply some concealer. Also, when going for a natural look, there are a few products you need to apply no matter what: foundation, mascara, eyebrow shadow, blush and lip gloss. It doesn’t matter how neutral the lip gloss is or how subtle you decided to go with your mascara, it’s important to make your face look fresh!

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

4. Your hair is too long

Generally, if your hair is thick and healthy, you can wear it long and beautiful. But when you struggle with it and its dryness caused by aging, the only thing you can do is get it shortened. The rule says that after 40 your hair should be up to your shoulders: go for a natural color, like a dark chocolate and get bangs (it will hide the wrinkles on your forehead and draw attention to your eyes). Also, many ladies go for a bob and that’s actually a great idea if you don’t mind the fact that you can’t make it into a ponytail anymore. Bobs are easy to maintain and fun to wear, so you might like them.

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

5. Wearing too much makeup

You know what we mean, you’ve seen the old ladies wearing a lot of eyeliner and a loud lipstick and thought that looked outrageous, but the truth is that after a certain age there are a few thing you can no longer wear on a regular basis: bright red lipstick, false eyelashes, light blue eyeshadow, dark blush, lip contour or tanning lotions.

Invest in a good foundation with a SPF factor, some eyebrow eyeshadow, a shimmering lip gloss and a peach blush. Of course, don’t forget the concealer: it doesn’t have to be too greasy or else it will only get between your wrinkles and stay there, accentuating them.

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

6. Tan

Remember tan-mom? Well, after 40 try to stay away from tanning lotions and tanning salons and here’s why: in time, your skin loses its elasticity and the collagen bonds that hold the cells together are weakened, which leads to wrinkles. Also, your skin get burned ways faster. That’s why you could sunbathe for hours and not get tanned when you were younger and now you notice a change in your skin color after a few minutes of walking on the streets on a sunny day.

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

7. Dark lipstick

Frankly, dark lipstick is never a good idea, no matter how old you are: it’s unpractical, it looks bad and in case you get some of it on your teeth you’ll look like you could really use a dentist appointment. However, in time our lips become less full and wrinkled, especially when smoking is involved. Generally, try to avoid dark colors for your makeup, unless we are talking mascara.

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

8. Mascara on the lower lashes

No, that thought is not outrageous! The thing is, when you have fine lines around your eyes and wear mascara on your lower lashes you accentuate the wrinkles. Plus, you make everything look artificial. You shouldn’t apply more than 3 layers of mascara on your upper lashes and no mascara at all on your lower lashes. Also, no eyeliner under your eyes!

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

9. Wearing the wrong kind of eyeshadow

There are a few basic rules that every lady should keep in mind when it comes to applying makeup: if your skin is fair, use plum colors, gold shimmer and a pale pink. If your skin tone is medium, choose a combination of really dark and really light: white for your inner corners of your eyes and brown for the eyelid, for example.

If your skin tone is dark, go for creamy colors: beige, ivory, peach, pale pink, but use the eyeliner to contour your upper eyelashes in order to really make your eyes pop. Eyeshadow colors to avoid if you’re over 35: red, dark blue, black, bright green, yellow, fuchsia, orange. Try sticking to pastel colors, solid browns and plums, plus a hint of glitter.

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

10. Not wearing blush

Believe it or not, the blush can sculpt your face in a great way. But there is one rule of thumb no matter the shape of your face: never ever apply blush on the apple of your cheeks. In fact, here’s how things work: the blush create the illusion of a crease by darkening that area. It works beautifully on any kind of face, but not all colors are great for mature women: fair skin tones- pinks and peaches, medium skin tones- red browns, dark skin tones- pinks and peaches.

In fact, there is one shade that fits all and that is peach. Use a shimmering highlighter for your apple cheeks to get a great contrast with the blush and you’re all set. Fortunately, we thought about adding a few examples for those of you think this is just a lot of reading to do and can’t imagine the final result.

10 Makeup Habits That Make You Look Older

Use these guiding lines and you’ll look younger than ever! Plus, it’s time to ditch all your expired makeup and invest in these beauty products: foundation/ BB cream, a peach blush, mascara and a shimmering lip gloss. And don’t forget about your hair: get a chic and short haircut and add bangs to highlight your eyes. Good luck, everyone!

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About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois and was part of our team as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget and has a degree in Communications.


  • I’m not going to lie, I read this to see if any of these habits are part of my routine. Really the only ones I incorporate are 7 and 8 but I think I’m still young enough to get away with those on occasion, haha. I’ve always preferred brow powders over pencils, so that’s an especially good tip. I never used to fill mine in at all because they’re relatively full and dark, but they photograph better and help tie every makeup look together when I add a little bit of brow powder.

  • Wow, that makes such a huge difference. I’ve never thought that make up could change a person that much, or perhaps go that far. I’ve always said to my wife to not use make up because I love it natural and I wasn’t a make up person. But I guess some ladies could use these tips because if you look at the details, you can clearly say it’s really effective.

  • I had sought this article as a priority read. Thanks! Lately, since my adult daughter taught me to do make-up, I’ve taken interest in putting on makeup on my 51+ aged face. Liquid foundation gives me that all-day confidence and a little touch/ brush of compact powder makes me feel very pretty and looking smart.

  • I agree with most of these. Unfortunately I am one of those people that hates wearing foundation. I’ve hated the recent contouring craze. I always give new things a try and realize I really do prefer to go more natural. Recently I bought a new foundation that seems to be one shade too dark. I feel like I look like that picture of Charlize Theron…too tan. Being too tan does age you a lot I think. I have tried a bb cream but I also feels like it doesn’t give enough coverage for the price you pay.

    Thanks for the tips. I’m all for foregoing the bottom eyelash mascara!

  • My #1 mistake is, of course, #1! The irony of it all! I’ve never realized how skipping foundation could make such a big difference! Thanks!

  • Though I’m a man, I just loved the photographs of all these girls. The girl in the first photograph looked awesome after a little makeup. Well, I can’t stop admiring most of the girls on this page, but how do you remove those red specks on the face without any makeup. Even men, too have it. What are they and how to cure them naturally? Any suggestions?

  • I’ve been planning to check out the BB creams, as I’ve heard a lot of positives about them. I’m glad you detailed this and added pictures, because sometimes they make all the difference. I definitely err on the side of too little, versus too much, but nowadays, the base/foundation induces confidence.

    • I’ve tried BB cream foundation and honestly they’re not as good as everyone is making them out to me. It’s just a regular foundation but it’s pigments blend into the skin more. For example: If you were to buy a Loreal cream foundation you would need to find your exact color (one shade lighter actually) but with BB cream you just need a similar color to match.

      I find that powered foundation looks the most natural. With cream based products you really need to seal it with a power afterwards or you will look really shinny. If you’re going to couture your face, cream based products will really mess with the darker colors. (It will not blend nicely) In my opinion you should use powder based foundation.
      Don’t waste your money on BB creams.

  • I always thought that a red or dark lipstick made you look younger. On Pop Trigger they had men take a poll on which woman looked younger based on there makeup. Surprisingly the men all said that the women with the darker red or darker lip stick always looked younger. Something around the lines of “with red lips women look more youthful and with lighter colored lips they looked more pale. As being human everything fades skin, hair, teeth color..; so when we see women with more colored lips they appear more youthful.” I’m only paraphrasing this is not word for word.
    Maybe this is just my personal opinion.

  • I would never, ever advocate a woman cutting her hair simply because of her age!!! I see so many women every single day who have long hair who are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, maybe even older! I would be so sad if any of these lovely ladies cut off their beautiful hair just because they were pressured to conform to some age rules.

  • This article is very interseting. It seems like the girls are being forced to wear make up. It is an amazing difference. I personally agree with the article. Why do girls need to wear make up. Yes they may look hotter but they should be able to dress freely.

  • Bb creams are my favorite as they are not as heavy as foundations but still provide some coverage. There also some types of bb creams that give you a dewy or a matte look. Personally, I love dewy bb creams as they tend to make you glow and that helps in making you look younger.

    Another tip that I might add here is to skip the liquid eyeliner as it is too harsh. Outline your eyes with a pencil or just tightline as it is more natural looking for older women!

  • I think that a key trick is being able to find the right foundation for you, as it is the best way to create a base on which to complete your makeup. But also use a primer, as this means that it sits much better without looking cakey on your skin. You can look much older if you don’t do your makeup properly, whereas just by taking a small amount of time to get it done in a way that looks natural, you can enhance the looks that you have without having to worry about people thinking that you have too much makeup on.

  • To be honest I don’t think light blue eyeshadow looks good on anyone, nevermind people over 50! It’s a wonder they even make the stuff anymore! I really need to invest in a good BB cream because I frequently avoiding wearing foundation due to it being so heavy on my face. I’ve always used a wet to dry foundation as well, so I’m wondering if using a wet foundation and powdering my face would help with the cakey feeling I get. Although I usually put minimal on, it feels so heavy, I’m wondering if the mixture itself is just too thick.

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