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9 Ways Your Makeup Is Making You Look Older (With 9 Easy Fixes)

makeup mistakes

9 Makeup Mistakes That Make You Look Older

You might feel set in your ways with your tried-and-true makeup routine, but sticking with your old routine might actually be working against you! As we age, the skin on our faces goes through a lot of changes, including acquiring new lines and wrinkles as well as losing elasticity and firmness.

So if you’re still using your same old makeup routine, you might end up making makeup mistakes that make your aging skin look older than you’d like it to. But you can easily avoid making your skin look older if you know what you’re doing (and you will by the time you finish reading this post!)

Today we’ll be exploring 9 common makeup mistakes that can make us look older and learning how to avoid them. With just a few simple changes, you can ensure that your makeup routine is working in favor of your aging skin and helping you look energetic and beautiful.

I’m currently working on incorporating these changes into my own makeup routine, so we’re all in this together! :-)

Related: 7 Simple Hacks That Will Make Your Eyes Look Younger

Check out my video about making your lashes look thicker & your mascara last longer at the end of this post.

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 1: Flat Or Droopy Eyelashes

Curling your lashes is a quick way to infuse your look with a boost of youthfulness. It opens your eyes and makes you look more energetic!

Use your eyelash curler as the base of your lashes (carefully!) for about 15 seconds on each side. If your lashes are really long, you might need to curl them again about halfway down the lash to get the look you want.

Related: 7 Practical Style Tips That Will Instantly Make You Look More Vibrant

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 2: Using A Too-Pale Foundation

Our skin becomes more pallid as we get older, so a perfectly-matched foundation can actually give you “washed out” look. Select a slightly warmer tone of your favorite foundation, or grab the next darker shade and blend it with your current shade on the back of your hand before applying. Either way, you’ll get a warm glow you’ll love!

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 3: Too Much Eyeshadow

A dense, cake-y layer of eyeshadow can cause your eyes to look heavy and weighed down. Instead of using more shadow, apply an eyeshadow primer to your lids first, then apply your shadow. With a primer, you’ll need considerably less eyeshadow to achieve your desired color, all without adding a heavy appearance to your eyes.

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 4: Amplifying Wrinkles With Concealer

Caking on concealer underneath your eyes might camouflage those dark circles, but it can also accentuate the fine lines under your eyes. To avoid drawing unwanted attention to wrinkles, apply concealer only on the inner half of your under-eye area.

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 5: Overdone Eyebrows

If you have light and fine brows, it can be tempting to use a heavy hand with your brow pencil. But severe and unblended brows can make you look older than you might want, so use your brow pencil lightly and then blend it with a brush afterward for softer, more natural looking lines.

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 6: Lipstick Bleeding/Feathering

Those fine lines around your lips are like magnets for lip color, which can lead to that dreaded effect of bleeding or “feathering.” I wrote a whole post recently addressing lipstick and lip color tips for older women, including tips on getting your lip color to stay where you want it. Check it out at the link below!

Related: Get Younger-Looking Lips With These 9 Lipstick Tricks!

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 7: Not Using Moisturizer

Our hormone levels drop as we get older, and that can impact our skin’s ability to keep itself moisturized. Dry skin and makeup rarely get along, so make sure your daily skincare routine includes a good moisturizer! (For even more moisturizing power, apply a hydrating primer before starting on your makeup.)

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 8: Uneven Eyeliner

The skin on our eyelids becomes less firm over time and makes it hard to draw a clean line when applying eyeliner. To get around this, try using a liquid liner instead of a pencil (and be sure to avoid pulling or tugging while you apply it!)

makeup mistakes

Makeup Mistake 9: Muddy Eye Color

When it comes to eyeshadow colors, warm shades like browns, reds, and yellows can make you look tired. Instead, reach for jewel tones that will make your eyes look more lively and awake!

What’s your best quick and easy makeup tip?

YouTube video
This simple DIY tip really works for us gals with less than thick lashes.

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Beauty Tips

  • I’ve recently started skipping eyeliner on my lower lashes. I have a brownish eyeshadow . I use the crease brush. Then l use it lightly under my eyes. I’ve heard as you get older that area of your eyes loses definition.,lts definitely less harsh than eyeliner for a softer effect.

  • I’ve always had a challenge finding a foundation that’s light enough for skin as my skin is a light- fair shade. I recently had to Wet& Wilds break-up proof, smudge proof etc eyeliner for the Summertime. It’s very good at not budging in our hot and humid summers. I use a brownish- black shade. It can be a little hard to locate the shade. Also Maybelline has a gel eyeliner that comes in little pot with a brush – it’s from their Lasting Drama line. It’s also another great one for not budging or being runny.

  • NOTHING ages a woman more than black eyeliner on the lower lid. Everything I have read (except this article) says it will age you. After seeing your pictures I agree. The black just screams the older woman.

  • We all probably began wearing makeup YEARS ago, at about 12 or 13, And when we FINALLY got the green light, boy, did we make up for lost time!! Lots of our basic makeup routine seems to follow us through the years, until one day, we look into the mirror and don’t like what or who looks back at us! Yikes! I think, and really believe strongly, that the biggest makeup error that grown, mature women, make, is wearing TOO much makeup! WAY too much! They could safely wipe off half of what they put on and be fine. Especially eye makeup. Most women who attempt this look more like a racoon than an attractive woman. The whole idea of making up is to enhance your natural beauty not to try to look like someone totally different or someone half your age!!

  • I think getting rid of the darker shiade in the crease of the eye also makes you look younger. As you age, the eyes sink, and you don’t need the darker color to add definition. You can use a slightly lighter shade than your all over one in the crease to make the eyes look less sunken. A slightly darker shade on the lid below the crease can also even the depth out. I tried this on my 70 something mother, and it looked awesome.

    I’m also a fan of simple eye looks. I use a lot of cream eyeshadows and liners. I love the texture and think creams don’t sink into lines as much.

    I love BECCA Eye Under Eye Brightening Corrector, but unfortunately the company is going out of business soon. It’s peachy and covers dark circles so well. You don’t need as much concealer when you use it. I’m going to stock up before BECCA goes out of business. Fenty just introduced a similar product, and I’m hoping it’s just as good or better, plus it comes in a lot more shades.

    Sunscreen is also so important. I recently discovered Supergoop! SPF 30 Shimmershade Illuminating cream shadow/primer. The Daydream shade blended right into my skin and worked just as well as Urban Decay Priming Potion. I also love NYX Jumbo Crayons for both shadow and eyeliner. Bobbi Brown Gel eyeliner is also a favorite of mine. I prefer dark browns, plum, hunter green, and gunmetal over black. I make the liner darker on the eyelid but use less product on the bottom lids from the center of the pupil to the edges, lightly smudging it. Think Kiera Knightley. I add a bright shade like a metallic gold, copper, or silver right in the center of the lid if I want a more dramatic look.

    Don’t forget the SUNBLOCK. Theres some great moisturizing primers with high SPF,and I recently discovered ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 foundation which also protects against blue light. You don’t need a lot of the product, and it blends right in. Sometimes I mix it with moisturizer.

    I also keep a tube of Supergoop! Hand Screen SPF 40 in my handbag and apply it to the backs of my hands and arms when I’m out and about. Don’t forget to take care of the backs of your hands because they can show your age. I also put a little bit of my skincare products on the backs of my hands to keep them looking as nice as my face, neck, and decolletage.

  • As always, love your posts, Jillee! One thing though, I wonder about taking your foundation up a color to warm your skin? Isn’t that how women get that line between their face and neck? Also, I have found that most newer makeup offers “cool” tones and “warm” tones to choose from. I would venture to say, many, MANY and even most women need to just back off their makeup! SO many women, trying to look younger think they need to “cover-up” their age by using more, in fact, need to just give in to some of our beauty of aging and enhance their best features. NOTHING is going to make 60yo skin look 30 again. Unfortunately, to tell a woman how beautiful she COULD be is not taken well! Most of them could look in the mirror and wipe half of it off!! :-)

  • Did you suggest we don’t use eye shadow That’s brownish ? Only jewel tones , trying to clarify . The photos look as if you’re wearing brown , and I was ro sting what brown color you’re using

  • A good primer both on face and eyes is the foundation for a smooth even makeup application. Make sure to apply a moisturizer first, let it set in for a few minutes, apply primer, also letting it set in for a few minutes. Using a brush to apply foundation followed by damp blending sponge usually results in a smooth finish. Dab the sponge lightly on skin, don’t drag it across. Don’t go heavy handed with setting powders as they do tend to cake up and show your fine lines. Use a large fluffy brush held near the end and tapping off excess, then lightly brushing across face. This should give you a good base to work with.

  • Black liner when one is older will for sure make you look even older, not younger. Also, putting it under your eye only makes one look like a raccoon. Use a soft blending pencil for above the lashes in a med brown if you must put anything on. You can do this lightly (very lightly) under your lower lashes as well as long as you keep it minimal and do not go all the way across the lower lid, just from about the middle to the outside edge, and be sure to gently smudge it so it looks soft. Using a light brown (very ligh, almost blond) smudge liner pencil will give your eye depth without looking like you went crazy w your liner. Dump the crease color, instead gently blend you darker ‘smudge’ upward toward your brow so it kind of just fades away. It gives a very soft look and not a harsh line look. Also wearing false eyelashes that are too long will make you look older. As we age, lashes naturally become shorter (for most) and if you put real long false lashes on, you will def look like you are trying too hard. Very few women can wear dark lipstick. Medium shades work nicely and not gloss. Flat colors are good. Skin color changes as we get older, we lose the ‘pinkish’ tinge to our skin, So as our skin color lightens, lighten up your makeup!

  • My tips- I’ve not used black mascara or eyeliner since I was in my mid 30s, as I think it makes a person not only look older, but also like they’re trying too hard to look younger. Brown, bronze, taupe only. Also no red or orange lipstick-pink undertones tend to compliment my older skin.

  • I lost my eyebrows and. was frustrated because brow pencil doesn’t always stay on, especially in summer. I would wake up with no brows and didn’t like the look. I found a product online that’s solved my problem. It’s Brows by Bossy, a temporary brow tattoo. They have many colors and shapes. You can adjust the shape with scissors. It takes 15 seconds to apply using a wet washcloth and they last up to 3 days+ and they are waterproof. I am so glad to have discovered them on Pnterest

    • Linda, I have seen these on several different sites and they look amazing! However, I still have a little hair (nothing to actually call brows!), and wondered if that would be a problem or if the hair and the tattoo would just all blend together? I have about a pencil line worth of light brownish-blond hair. What do you think? Do you think I should try them? They aren’t expensive at all!

  • My main problem these days is sparse eyelashes when it first started happening I literally screamed because I was so freaked out. I do curl my eyelashes. I actually do the reverse and use a dark color on my lids. Mine are usually puffy and droopy because of my allergies at certain times of the year. I’ve always used a good blush. It makes a big difference with me being fair skinned with dark hair and eyes.

    • I actually for my eyeliner use a Charcoal gray shade. Good luck getting rid of the dark circles. It’s always been a battle for me with allergies are not helping with this .

  • I’m hoping someone can help me. I have tried everything to get rid of dark circles and bags under my eyes. Can someone tell me something that WILL ACTUALLY WORK!!!

  • I learned a trick on a recent cruise. Instead of buying a primer for eyes they said to use the concealer you already have. I’ve tried it and it really keeps my eye makeup looking good all day.

  • Interesting about the milk of magnesia under makeup. I used to do this years ago with our hot and humid Missouri summers. Also for my eyeliner. I usually use a Charcoal gray shade. I don’t use black unless it’s for evening wear. And even then, very rarely.

    • I actually had to break down and buy a bottle of milk of magnesia. I just use a very light layer with our extreme Summer heat. It’s been about the only thing that’s helped to not have my makeup literally running down my face. A makeup setting spray- NYX makes a good. I spray a light layer after I finish and it helps to set makeup to keep it from budging. For the dark circles I use the ELF hydrating concealer and then use a pale pink powder after I blend it in. I then use a sponge to blend the powder and then more concealer and regular powder.

  • Hi Jillee, you are so innovative. I love your posts. I usually go make-up free, but over the weekend needed ‘to look nice’ & found my ‘old’ make-up routine needed updating & today you gave me the answer. Thank you ♥ You’ve always got great ideas that are easy to follow that I end up spending way too much time on your site. You’re beautiful. Hugs

  • I also use a mineral makeup foundation and blush. I’ve also tried a few of the eyeshadow pencils by rimmel which are great , on older skin. I’m 51 but have had to start tweaking my cosmetics.

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