Common Makeup Mistakes That Leave You Looking Older

When most of us first learned how to apply makeup, we were in our teens or early 20s, and our skin was youthful and wrinkle-free. We taught ourselves how to cover up acne, create the perfect daytime smoky eye, and make our lips appear bigger. And for many, the makeup routine that helped us look our best when we were younger stuck — and we continued doing it no matter how old we were.


However, with age, our face changes, and so should our makeup products and the way we apply them. "As we get older, our go-to makeup routines and favorite beauty products may not be performing as well as they used to, and there's good reason for that," aesthetician and TikTok beauty expert Elena Duque tells Reader's Digest. "Our skin tone, texture, and elasticity are different than when we were in our 20s and 30s, which means our beauty products and how we apply them need a little tweaking."

Luckily, there are plenty of easy tips and tricks that can help your makeup look its best, no matter what your age is. Say goodbye to makeup that enhances wrinkles and hello to makeup that will give you a dewy, youthful appearance with these tips!


You don't prep your skin

Regardless of how old you are, preparing your skin properly before you apply makeup will make the biggest difference. Not only will cleansing the face rid your skin of any lingering dirt and oil, but the moisturizer will give your skin a smooth appearance.


"A gentle exfoliating wash to remove any dead skin is a good start for having smooth skin before adding moisture and makeup," celebrity makeup artist Denika Bedrossian tells Byrdie. "I love to add moisture all over the face and neck ... " Once you finish your skincare, give yourself a couple of minutes before you begin doing your makeup. "Allowing the product to sink in will allow your skin to bind beautifully with your makeup products," Bedrossian adds.

Of course, what your skincare should and shouldn't include is very individual. However, using a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid will help your skin look plumper, and it can help minimize the appearance of wrinkles. And needless to say, using SPF is a must, whether you add it to your skincare or makeup products.


You skip the primer (or you use the wrong one)

With primer, for a lot of people, it seems to be a love or hate relationship. However, if you hate using primer, you most likely just haven't found one that works for your skin specifically. "Makeup primer is a great way to naturally photoshop your face," beauty pro and aesthetician Michele Spellos tells Reader's Digest. "It creates a smoothing effect that will enhance coverage and keep your foundation in place all day."


It is, in particular, those areas where you have wrinkles or fine lines that will benefit from a primer. A good primer will smooth the skin's surface by filling in those tiny lines; that way, when you apply makeup over the surface, it will be super smooth. While there are silicone and water-based primers, if you're looking to fill in lines and prevent creasing, a silicone one is the better choice.

You match your foundation to your face and not your neck

Choosing the right shade of foundation is a crucial step in any makeup routine, and a common mistake that can age your appearance is matching the foundation to your face rather than your neck. Your neck often provides a more accurate representation of your natural skin tone, as it's less exposed to the sun and tends to be closer in color to your chest and body. When you apply foundation that matches your face but not your neck, the result can be a noticeable contrast between your face and the rest of your body. This mismatched foundation can create a divide along your jawline, drawing attention to the difference in color.


"Foundation needs to be like a flawless, seamless, airbrushed finish that matches skin perfectly," Michele Spellos explains to Reader's Digest. To avoid this makeup blunder, always test foundation shades along your jawline and extend the swatch to your neck. The goal is to find a shade that seamlessly blends into both your face and neck, creating a harmonious transition between the two areas.

You mix water and oil-based face products

Mixing water-based and oil-based face products may seem harmless, but it's a common makeup mistake that can lead to a less-than-flattering result, particularly when it comes to primer, foundation, and concealer. The reason behind this is the fundamental difference between water and oil — they don't mix well. When you combine water-based and oil-based formulas, they can separate on the skin, causing your makeup to move around and potentially become patchy or uneven. "Be sure your primer and foundation are of the same formula," Michele Spellos tells Reader's Digest. "Use water-based with water-based, and oil-based with oil-based."


If you're unsure about the your products, you can check the ingredient list. Water-based products often list water/aqua as the first ingredient, while oil-based products may contain oils like jojoba, vitamin E, or mineral oil, which will appear within the first five ingredients. "It's like building a house," explains Spellos. "When the foundation of the home is not set properly, the entire house crumbles." Keeping the formulations consistent in your makeup routine will help prevent any unwanted separation and maintain a flawless finish without unintentionally aging your appearance.

You use a heavy foundation

A heavy, full-coverage foundation is great for significant events or occasions when you expect to be photographed a lot, but on an everyday basis, it can make you look older than you are. In fact, if you go overboard with any foundation, it will look cakey and set in your lines.


"Don't use too much foundation; just make sure it's applied evenly (and cover the sunspots, if you have them)," celebrity makeup artist Mari Shten reveals to NewBeauty. "Instead, make sure your skin is well-moisturized, and add some glow with a slightly pink undertone to create a more youthful appearance."

Of course, a primer can help your foundation to look much more flawless, but even with that, keep in mind that a foundation is supposed to even out your skin tone and not cover every single imperfection on it. After all, you can always go in with concealer afterward and cover up any spots you're not happy with. And as far as application goes, you can use a sponge, brush, or your hands — just ensure that you are applying a very thin layer.


You don't take your undertone into account when picking makeup

A makeup blunder that might add a few years to your appearance is ignoring your undertone. Understanding your undertone matters as it's a game-changer that can either enhance your natural radiance or leave you looking washed-out and older than you'd like. Your undertone is the subtle hue underneath your skin's surface, and it plays a significant role in how makeup products complement your complexion. There are three main undertones — warm, cool, and neutral — and while there are different ways of identifying your undertone, looking at your veins is a reliable one. "You have cool undertones if you can see blue veins in your skin. If your veins appear green on the skin (olive), you're warm. Neutral is a mixture of both warm and cool undertones," makeup artist Daniel Martin explains to Byrdie.


Choosing a foundation or concealer that clashes with your undertone can create a stark contrast, emphasizing imperfections and potentially making your skin appear dull or sallow. However, it's not just the makeup of your base that you need to think about. Lip products should also be chosen according to your undertone. Heather Adessa Spadaro reveals to SheFinds that when it comes to lipstick, "medium and warm undertones can steer in any direction; however, cooler undertones usually look best in blue-based reds." On the other hand, if your skin is warm-toned, you look "great in coral reds." 

You don't color-correct

Color correcting can completely change the way your face looks, and skipping this step can age you. Color correcting involves using specific hues to neutralize color and correct away all of your skin issues, such as dark spots, under-eye circles, or redness. By addressing these concerns at the color level, you will end up with more even and youthful skin.


Dark circles under the eyes and hyperpigmentation can add years to your face, making you look tired and less vibrant. "Often, as we age, our under eyes hollow out, and we lose fat in that area. To make them appear less recessed, start with a color corrector in a pink or peach color," Elena Duque tells Reader's Digest. "Wait a couple of minutes until it's settled in, then apply your concealer over it for a smoothing and brightening effect." Incorporating a peach or salmon-toned color corrector can counteract the bluish or brownish undertones of these imperfections, instantly brightening the eye area and creating a refreshed look. For redness or blemishes, a green color corrector can work wonders.


When applying color correctors, it's essential to use a light hand and blend thoroughly. After that, you can go on with your regular face routine by applying foundation and/or concealer. By neutralizing unwanted tones and imperfections, you can easily highlight your best features to look refreshed and revitalized.

You use too much concealer

Instead of going overboard with a heavy foundation, apply your concealer strategically. Most of us tend to use concealer under our eyes, and with age, the fine lines around them become more prominent. The best tip we can give is to only apply concealer in spots you really need it — which means that you should under no circumstances draw that trendy huge bright triangle under them.


Instead, apply a couple of small dots, mainly focusing on any darker areas. "You can minimize creasing, but since we are moving, breathing beings, it is not always possible to prevent it altogether," makeup artist Suzy Gerstein tells Byrdie. "Remember to go easy on yourself. As much as a crease annoys you, it's usually nothing a couple of swipes of a damp Beautyblender or a fingertip can't fix."

If your dark circles are very prominent, consider switching to a concealer with pink undertones in addition to the color correcting mentioned above, as it will help cancel out the darkness even more — and you won't have to use tons of it.

You bake your face makeup

Baking your makeup is a technique that became popular thanks to the drag community and was "used as a way of really setting the foundation into the skin, so it lasts longer, without the need to reapply powder constantly while performing," makeup artist Tonee Roberio tells Refinery29. And in the past decade, baking has become a staple for many beauty lovers. While you can bake all over your face, people most commonly bake their under eyes to brighten them up and provide a full-coverage look.


However, even though baking is an excellent method to set your makeup, the significant amount of powder that ends up on your face is likely to end up creasing after a while. "Baking can look good if you're 16 and have no wrinkles because there's nothing to crease on you, right? But if you're 35 and older, I believe that it's just unnecessary," beauty influencer Andreea Ali shares in a YouTube video. Instead of baking, apply a tiny amount of setting powder under your eyes and in your T-zone, if necessary.

You don't contour properly

Contouring your face has become such a crucial part of makeup. However, since the face tends to lose fat as we age, contouring can make your cheeks appear even more hollow — aging you in the process. Instead, you'll want to use less product and be strategic with the placement.


"You want to contour your face in a way that gives you a lift. You can do this by placing your contour a little higher and just slightly under your cheekbone," makeup artist Theresa Novicky suggests to SheFinds. "This will lift your face. Also, slightly above the jawline to lift that area as well. Less is more with mature skin. So start off really light and add more if you need to."

And since a lot of people tend to mix contour with bronzer, let's clarify that the two are separate makeup items. Contour is cool-toned, and it's supposed to mimic the natural shadows of your face, while bronzer is warm-toned, can contain glitter, and is meant to warm up your face by giving you a sun-kissed appearance.


You don't use blush

If there's one makeup item that can immediately help you look more youthful, it's definitely blush. Having rosy pink cheeks instantly makes you look more alive; however, knowing the proper blush placement is crucial.


"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," Mari Shten reveals to NewBeauty. "This will bring more color to your face, keeping your makeup looking bright and fresh." Apart from using blush on your cheeks and forehead, you can also dab some onto the bridge of your nose as well as your eyelids. This will instantly make you look like you spent the whole day outdoors.

While you can still use any blush color you like, shades with a pink undertone for fair skin and a purple undertone for darker skin will make you look like you are actually blushing. This will instantly give your face some fullness in the cheek area — something that often gets lost with age.


You have a heavy hand with highlighter

Luckily, the days when we used to cover our faces in highlighter are over, as we now know much better. However, sometimes we can still go a bit overboard and use too much highlighter, especially if it's one that we adore. Place a little here and there — and next thing you know, your face is glowing like a disco ball, and your fine lines are more visible than ever.


To ensure your highlighter isn't aging you, pick a cream one without glitter chunks in it. You want your skin to look like satin and not have any visible glitter chunks on it. "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," makeup artist Jessica Sanner tells NewBeauty.

Instead of using an actual highlighter, you can also use your skincare to create a beautiful sheen on your skin. Dab a drop of an oil serum to the high points of your cheeks, and avoid adding any powder products to that area.

You prefer powder products to creams

One of the best tips that can change how your makeup looks is to swap out your powder products for cream ones. Not only do creams look much more natural, making it seem like you're barely wearing any makeup, but they will also give you a dewy, youthful sheen. "I avoid powders in general and gravitate toward cream blushes, really wanting the skin to look natural, fresh, and hydrated with a healthy glow," makeup artist Beth Follert tells Ipsy.


Of course, this doesn't mean you can't use powder products. Just be aware of how they tend to settle into lines, making you appear older. So, it's best to use them only in areas where you absolutely need them (or in areas where you don't have any wrinkles). Luckily, every powder product is available in cream form nowadays, which is why you can find a creamy substitute for your favorite blushes and contour products.

You use a glitter-based highlighter

Highlighter is truly a magical tool in your makeup arsenal, as it is capable of bringing a radiant glow to your face as long as you aren't heavy-handed. However, if you're reaching for a glitter-based highlighter, you might be unknowingly adding years to your appearance. Glitter, while sparkly and fun, has the tendency to accentuate fine lines and draw attention to dry patches on your skin. When applied to areas where you want to enhance your features, like the tops of your cheekbones or the bridge of your nose, the glitter particles can settle into the lines and pores and emphasize them, making them more noticeable. And drawing attention to those instantly ages you.


To avoid this, make sure you carefully pick your highlighter. "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," makeup artist Jessica Sanner tells NewBeauty. By making a simple switch to a glitter-free highlighter, you can illuminate your face, allowing your radiant, youthful self to shine through.

You place your blush too low

Blush is great for adding a healthy flush and youthful glow to your complexion. However, one common mistake that might be aging you is placing your blush too low on your face. Many people fall into the habit of applying blush just below their cheekbones, often while smiling. While this technique might seem foolproof when your face is all smiles, the issue arises when your expression relaxes. The blush, initially perfectly perched, ends up sitting too low and can pull your face down visually.


"Blush should be applied to the tops of the cheeks (and swept back) to allow the face to appear more angular," makeup artist Branden Malear tells NewBeauty. "This helps give the face more shape." So, instead of smiling while applying blush, opt for a neutral, relaxed face. This ensures that your blush is placed where it naturally enhances your features without being affected by changes in expression.

Your eye makeup is too dark

Here's the thing — just because you have some fine lines around your eyes doesn't mean you can't pull off a rocker chic messy smoky eye. However, you might want to change a few steps to ensure the dark eye makeup doesn't age you. First, use an eye primer to prevent the dark eyeshadows from creasing in any fine lines. Avoid going for black or gray shadows; instead, reach for a deep brown, as it will warm up your face. And instead of going for a thick eyeliner look, grab a pair of wispy false lashes that will lift your eyes and also hide any potential creasing.


However, the truth is that opting for a lighter-colored eye look will instantly make you look younger. "Use a light color shadow in matte or shimmer to the inner corner, lower lash line in the outer corner, and the inner lid," makeup artist Kimara Ahnert tells InStyle. Just be aware that glitter can enhance fine lines, so stick to exclusively applying shimmery eyeshadow in the inner half of your eyes.

You apply dark eyeliner on your bottom eyelid/waterline

Applying eyeliner to your bottom eyelid is a common move, but few realize that it could be working against that youthful, wide-eyed look you're after. "Using eyeliner only on the bottom of the eye can age you — it makes your eyes seem small, and bottom-heavy," celebrity hair and makeup artist Rob Harmon explains to SheFinds. "You should wear eyeliner on the top to open your eyes but not too thick, or that can age you as well." Apart from adding dark eyeliner on your lower eyelid, adding it to your waterline is even worse. "First of all, makeup inside the waterline instantly creates the illusion of smaller eyes," Kerrin Jackson tells SheFinds. "As soon as you apply that kajal inside your lash line, you're telling the world that you're older. Remember, that big eyes equals youthfulness."


In order to create those big eyes, applying eyeliner to the upper eyelid is your best friend. However, as soon as that same eyeliner or kajal hits your lower eyelid or waterline, it has the opposite effect. Of course, if you're going for a fairy grunge-inspired makeup look, smudged black eyeliner on the lower lid is essential — but be aware that it can make you look a bit older.

You don't use brown eyeliner on your upper eyelid and nude in your waterline

Just because black eyeliner is a no-go for that youthful look, it doesn't mean you have to forgo eyeliner entirely. The key lies in choosing the right shades and placements to create a softer and more natural effect. "This might be controversial, but I'm telling you, if you're using black around the eyes, that's it. Plus five, 10, 15 years even," makeup artist Ali Andreea tells Express. "It not only ages you, but it gives you a very severe look." Instead of reaching for a stark black eyeliner, opt for a brown hue for your upper eyelid. "Deep brown has the impact of black but looks less jarring," Brigitte Reiss-Andersen tells Allure. "It gives you all the intensity, but in a more sophisticated, subtle way." The gentle contrast of brown adds definition without the harshness that can come with black, making it an excellent choice for those wanting to maintain a softer gaze.


To further enhance the bright and lively appearance of your eyes, consider using a light-colored eyeliner in your lower waterline. " ... opt for a champagne shade or nude eyeliner on the waterline," makeup artist Saffron Hughes tells SheFinds. "This will achieve a wider, brighter look as opposed to darker colors like black or brown, that may make you look older and more tired." The nude shade helps to counteract any redness or discoloration, creating a clean and open look.

You don't highlight the inner corners of your eyes

We already know to avoid darker makeup looks, but here's the flipside of that hack that can make a big difference in your overall youthful appearance: highlighting the inner corners of your eyes. Those tiny corners pack a punch when it comes to brightening up your face and creating a fresh and lively look. All you need to do is dab some light eyeshadow to the inner corner of your eyes and you'll immediately seem more awake.


In fact, you can even apply some of your highlighter to the inner corners, which can instantly open up your eyes, making you look more awake and vibrant. The trick is to use a bright color that contrasts with your eyeshadow and makes your skin look lighter in the area. A champagne or pearl shade works wonders for most skin tones, creating a subtle but impactful luminosity. The key is to keep the area light and avoid anything too heavy or dark, as this could have the opposite effect and make your eyes appear smaller.

You use powder and glitter eyeshadows

When it comes to eyeshadows, using cream formulas over powders will help enhance your eyes without accentuating your fine lines. However, do keep in mind that it's best to opt for a long-wearing formula and always use a primer underneath. Again, apart from switching from powder shadows to creams, you should also stick to matte or glowy formulas and avoid glittery ones. "Glittery shadows can be very aging," makeup artist Pati Dubroff tells Good Housekeeping. "Glimmer exaggerates wrinkles and minimizes contours."


If you're having a hard time saying no to glitter, be mindful of its placement. Instead of putting glittery eyeshadow all over your eyelid, limit it to your inner corners for some extra sparkle. For a similar effect, you can also use face jewels, which, if placed alongside your eyeliner or in your inner corner, can make your eyes sparkle and give you a youthful appearance. After all, that is a trend recently popularized by Gen-Z, so why not try it?

You're not curling your eyelashes

Another common makeup faux pas that might be aging you without you even realizing it? Neglecting those lashes! Curling your lashes is a super easy and quick way to make your eyes appear youthful in a matter of seconds. "If you're over 35, you need to be curling your lashes," makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen tells Allure. "Eyelashes flatten as you age, and you need to keep everything going upward, against gravity. Even if you skip mascara, curling your lashes makes your eyes look bigger and brighter."


Now, we get it — not everyone wants to fuss with an eyelash curler every single day (especially as it can be intimidating). Luckily, that's where the beauty of a lash lift comes into play. Think of it as a semi-permanent solution to keep your lashes in a perpetual state of curliness for a few weeks. "Most women will notice their first fine lines around the sides and beneath the eyes," celebrity lash and brow stylist Amy Jean reveals to Body+Soul. "The lash lift commands so much attention to the lashes — which are practically crawling up the eyelids upwards and outwards — so it draws focus away from those lines." However, there are a couple of things to know before getting a lash lift, including the fact that it should be avoided if you have chronically dry eyes. But whether you're a lash-curling pro or considering a more long-term solution like a lash lift, the key is to pay attention to those lashes. 


You go heavy with mascara on the inner half of your eye

Mascara is an important part of any makeup routine as it easily opens up the eyes while also adding a touch of glamour. However, a common mistake that might be subtly aging your look is going heavy on mascara on the inner half of your lashes. Applying an excessive amount of mascara to the inner lashes can create too much darkness in the inner corners of your eyes. This can make your eyes appear smaller and, in turn, contribute to an overall older-looking appearance.


To maintain a fresh and youthful gaze, focus on applying mascara more on the outer half of your lashes. "Emphasizing the outer corner of the eyes make eyes look more open and lifted. Reapply extra coats of mascara to the outer lashes only," Kimara Ahnert tells InStyle. Similarly, you can opt to add some false half-lashes to the outer corners of your eyes to lift them even more.

You don't do your eyebrows (and you overpluck them)

Whether you're skipping the eyebrow routine altogether or religiously plucking them in order to avoid looking older, making sure your eyebrow routine is on point is crucial. Natural-looking eyebrows are the secret weapon for a more youthful appearance, and mastering fluffy brows can take years off your face. When filling in your brows, you should opt for a shade lighter than your natural eyebrows and apply it at a 45-degree-angle to the skin. "The strokes will be softer, and the brows will look more natural," makeup artist Sandy Linter tells Allure.


Sparse or over-plucked brows can instantly age you, which is why you should avoid plucking too much. "As you age, your face becomes more asymmetrical, but it's a big mistake to try to correct it by reshaping your brows," Linter confirms. "Tweezing a lot won't reshape anything — it'll just make your brows thinner." After all, surely you've heard the saying that eyebrows are sisters and not twins. Now, if you've fallen victim to over-plucking, don't worry — there are plenty of growth serums and treatments that can help restore your brows to their natural glory. All that's left for you to do is embrace their natural shape, fill them in with a light touch, and watch as your face takes on a more youthful and refreshed appearance.


You overdo your eyebrows

On the flip side, you don't want to overdo your brows, either. "Naturally, as you age, your brows generally get a little patchier," brow expert Joey Healy tells Coveteur. "Also, the tail tends to drop, which can pull down the eye and make it look droopy. Unfortunately, this also happens in an asymmetrical way. Some people think it's because of the side you sleep on, but the tail does drop. The quality of the hair also changes, and it suffers as time goes on."


To ensure your eyebrows look as youthful as possible, it's best not to over-pluck them — a couple of stray hairs are fine, but don't make them thinner like we used to in the '90s. Also, opt for an eyebrow pen or pomade in a shade lighter than your hair, as too dark eyebrows can make you look older. If you have noticed that your brows have become lighter in color or you even spot some grays, an eyebrow tint is an easy way to get a more permanent result.

You don't prime your lips

Lip priming often takes a back seat in many makeup routines, but neglecting this step can inadvertently contribute to an older appearance. Your lips are a focal point of your face, and ensuring they are prepped and primed can actually make a big difference in the overall youthful effect of your makeup.


According to Sephora, a lip primer serves as a crucial preparatory step before applying lipstick or other lip products. Its multifunctional role includes setting the lips, adding hydration, and even providing a natural shine. Lip priming is especially essential when it comes to maintaining a youthful look. "Pesky fine lines around the lips can look more pronounced with lipstick on — even if you use liner first," Elena Duque tells Reader's Digest. And when those lines are highlighted, it can quickly add a couple of years to your face. Luckily, lip primers create a smooth and even base for lipstick application — and most importantly, they prevent feathering and ensure your lip color stays in place throughout the day. This helps avoid the unintentional bleeding of lipstick into fine lines around the lips, which is crucial, particularly when you're using a darker lip color.


You apply lipstick without lip liner

Lip liner should be a crucial part of everyone's makeup routine as it prevents any of the lipstick from bleeding into the lines around your mouth throughout the day. With age, these lines tend to get more prominent, which is why it's super important not to skip this step.


"A lot of times when you wear lipstick, especially as you age and get a little bit of the fine lines around your lips, it's very common for lipsticks to gradually blur the edges of your lip and go outside of your lip line," celebrity makeup artist Christin Cook Zito explains to Today. "That's what I would call the bleed of a lip [product]. That is specifically what lip liner prevents."

Apart from preventing your lipstick from bleeding, lip liner is also great for making your lips more symmetrical, which can become a problem with age. Evening the lips out is something you can do with liner, and when you apply lipstick over it, you can rest assured knowing that the lip liner will help the lipstick stay put for longer.


You line the outer corners of your mouth

Lining the outer corners of your mouth may seem like a routine step in lip definition, but it's a common makeup mistake that can lead to a more serious and mature appearance. Yes, the application of lip liner plays a pivotal role in shaping and enhancing your lips, but where you choose to line can significantly impact the overall effect you achieve. "Avoid lining the outer corners of the mouth, as this can drag it down, aging you and giving a clown-like appearance," Michele Spellos tells Reader's Digest.


If a youthful and lifted look is your goal, there's a simple adjustment to make in your lip-lining routine. Use your lip liner to define the Cupid's bow and the central portion of your upper and lower lips — and blend it out towards the edges without actually lining them. Emphasizing the natural curves and contours of these areas helps create the illusion of fuller, more youthful lips.

You wear matte lipsticks

Here's the thing: Pulling off matte lips gets harder with age. Not only does the matte appearance make your lips look dryer and thereby ages you, but the matte finish also enhances all the lines on your lips — and well, with age, there's just more of them. "Heavy, opaque coverage with a strong line makes your lips look thin and age you by 15 years," makeup artist Fiona Stiles explains to Good Housekeeping. "I like sheerer formulas, patted on with your ring finger."


If you want to avoid the dreaded crusty-lipped look, you can use a lip scrub to ensure you remove any dead flakes from them. After that, go in with a thin layer of concealer, after which you should put on a generous amount of lip balm. Once that sets in a bit, go in with your lip primer, liner, and lipstick, preferably in a dewy formula.

You wear dark lipstick and skip gloss

Another lip choice that might be adding a few extra candles to your figurative birthday cake is dark lipstick. While bold lip colors can be a fun way to express yourself, it's essential to be mindful of how darker shades can impact your overall appearance, especially when it comes to age. "What that means is that on your lips, these lipstick shades actually make your lips appear thinner than they are," celebrity makeup artist Kerrin Jackson reveals to SheFinds, adding that the "best way to avoid this aging illusion is to "avoid dark lipstick shades altogether."


As we age, our lips tend to lose some of their fullness, and dark shades can accentuate this change. Now, we're not saying you should banish dark lip shades from your makeup bag forever. Far from it! Instead, consider striking a balance. If you love your deep, vampy hues, first go for a lip liner to define the edges of your lips and prevent the color from bleeding. Jackson tells SheFinds that if you "absolutely love a dark lipstick shade, and need to wear one," you should add gloss to it as this will "help reflect some light off the dark color, and give your lips the illusion of appearing fuller." And keep in mind that makeup is all about having fun — so feel free to rock that dark lip when the mood strikes.


You don't use a setting spray

Setting spray is the one makeup item besides primer that will help your makeup stay put — and with age, that's the most important thing you can look for. "Setting sprays absolutely make a difference in the wear of your makeup," celebrity makeup artist Gloria Elias-Foeillet explains to Byrdie. "They prolong the life of your makeup application."


While the traditional way to use setting spay is at the end of your makeup routine, spray a thin layer after each step if you want to ensure your makeup is even more set into place. That last spray of it will ensure your makeup doesn't look too powdery and give some of that skin-like appearance back to your face. Setting spray is also great for reviving makeup that's been on your face for a while, and if you ever find that your cream products aren't blending nicely, a spritz of setting spray should do the trick.

You don't fix your makeup throughout the day

Perhaps the easiest makeup mistake making you look older that you can fix is adjusting your makeup throughout the day. "So many women don't maintain their makeup during the day, and runny mascara or liner ends up settling in wrinkles," celebrity makeup artist Stephen Sollitto tells Good Housekeeping. "Toss a few Q-Tips in your bag, and use it to clean up throughout the day. You'll look fresher and, in turn, younger."


After all, it would be crazy to expect your makeup to stay perfectly put all day, no matter what primer or setting powder you use. Luckily, with a small makeup bag of essentials, you can always do a couple of touch-ups every time you go to a bathroom. And keep in mind — the less makeup you wear, the less there is to fix, so if you're having a busy day, keep your makeup as natural as possible.