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8 Ways Your Makeup Is Making You Look Older, Beauty Experts Warn

Some seemingly innocuous makeup mistakes could be aging you.

Back in your 20s, you may have wanted to look older, whether it was to land a big promotion or prevent potential partners from overlooking you. But save for that innocent decade, you've probably spent countless hours and dollars attempting to turn back the clock with flattering clothing, stylish haircuts, and specially formulated skincare products. Your makeup routine also likely comes into play—but in this case, it's all too easy to miss the mark. Beauty experts even say that some seemingly innocuous makeup mistakes could be aging you. Read on for their best advice so you can maintain that youthful glow.

RELATED: 104-Year-Old Woman Reveals Her Anti-Aging Skincare Routine.

You're using loose powder foundation or concealer.

an assortment of makeup brushes covered with powder on a white background

According to New York City dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, powder foundation "can be drying on the skin and may settle into the creases." This is especially true if you use it around the eye area where you may have crow's feet.

In general, you'll want to use a cream foundation, as well as a cream concealer. As far as the latter goes, when you're applying it under your eyes, professional makeup artist Mandie Brice recommends applying it to the inner and outer corners of the eye area and blending towards the center. She says this will work best "without being cakey and accentuating the texture around the eyes."

You're putting on too much foundation.

woman applying makeup using makeup mirror
Rocketclips, Inc./Shutterstock

Even though cream foundations are better for more mature skin, they still come with challenges.

"One of the most common makeup mistakes that makes people look older is using too much foundation," says Laura Roncagli, a professional makeup artist and co-founder of "Foundation can make your skin look cakey and can settle into wrinkles, making them more obvious."

Thankfully, avoiding this is simple. Roncagli suggests using a light- or medium-coverage cream foundation and applying it lightly with a brush or sponge.

Don't have those products on hand? Add a dollop of moisturizer to your usual foundation. This will create a lightweight, blend-able consistency that will melt into the skin without emphasizing texture.

Another tip is to wet your makeup sponge before application, shares Gabrielle Devine, Emmy-nominated makeup artist, and president and CEO at Gift of Gab.

RELATED: 12 Hairstyles That Make You Look Older, According to Stylists.

You're wearing frosted or glittery eyeshadow.

four light neutral eyeshadows against white background
Chursina Viktoriia/Shutterstock

A frosted eyeshadow can make a serious statement. However, it can also settle into fine lines in a way you want to avoid.

"Fully-frosted applications tend to illuminate flaws around the eye area," says professional makeup artist Mary Winkenwerder. "These include magnifying any loose skin on the eyelids and making the eyes appear dark, depending on the colors used." The same is true for glittery eyeshadows.

Instead, stick with matte eyeshadows. If you want to add a little sparkle, Winkenwerder suggests using a frosted shadow under the natural brow line and on the lid at the lash line. Blending the color with a matte hue will create a wide-awake look that freshens up your face.

Or, you're wearing dark eyeshadow colors.

crushed black eyeshadow isolated on white background
kubais / Shutterstock

To look younger, beauty experts recommend not only matte eyeshadows but those in neutral hues, as dark colors more easily highlight fine lines.

If you want a bit of drama without a full-on smokey eye, Roncagli has a trick: "I recommend using very light or bright colors in the inner part of the eyelid and darker tones in the outer part." The technique can make eyes appear more prominent and give them a lifted effect if you blend the darker hue upward.

Keep in mind that the eyeshadow colors you use are only as good as the way you apply them. Winkenwerder suggests using soft bristle brushes to apply and blend, as the sponge applicators that come with some products can stretch the skin around the eye area. Using your finger can also add unnecessary pressure, which you definitely don't want.

RELATED: 8 Clothing Items That Make You Look Dated, Stylists Say.

You're wearing coral lipstick.

Woman paints her lips with coral-colored lip gloss, close-up.
todaydesign / iStock

Makeup experts suggest avoiding lipstick in coral hues because they can make your teeth appear yellow.

"Certain shades that are yellow- or red-based without any blue or purple tint can make teeth look more yellow, which is a sign of aging," explains Brice.

In addition to coral, browns, peaches, and some nudes also have a hint of yellow.

Or you're wearing a highly contrasting lipstick color.

pink and red-brown lipstick on pink background

The more a lip color contrasts with your skin, the harsher it may appear.

"To avoid showing off age, I recommend staying away from anything that contrasts too much with the wearer's skin tone—dark on light skin or light on dark skin—or that's very bright," says Brice.

She notes that the difference in color between the skin and the lips can make the fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth stand out—something you probably want to avoid.

So, what are the best colors to wear instead? Roncagli recommends creamy lipsticks in natural-looking shades. "If you have thin lips, steer clear of matte lipsticks," she advises. "They'll make your lips look even thinner."

RELATED: 8 Skincare Mistakes That Make You Look Older.

You're foregoing mascara.

woman with short blonde hair applying mascara in the bathroom mirror
Photodjo / iStock

Don't underestimate the power of mascara as you age. "It can help make your eyes look bigger and brighter," says Roncagli.

Purchase a quality product that won't smudge or flake throughout the day, as this can add to the appearance of under-eye circles.

You're picking the wrong nail polish color.

Close up of a hand with a dark blue manicure
Marina mrs_brooke / Shutterstock

It may not go on your face, but nail polish has a sneaky way of aging you if you're not careful. In fact, dermatologist Luigi L. Polla, MD, founder of the aesthetic medical center Forever Institut, previously told Best Life that "our hands are 'our second face.'"

"The skin is thin and delicate and impacted by a multitude of factors," she explained. This includes UV rays, cold temperatures, and frequent hand washing.

Therefore, harsh nail polish colors like black or navy blue can accentuate crepey skin on hands.

"In terms of color theory, more mature clients might want to try hues with warmer undertones as colors with cooler undertones can accentuate the blue color of veins," explains Brittney Boycecelebrity nail artist and founder of NAILS OF LA.

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Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more