The little things—exercising regularly, staying hydrated, eating well, shielding your skin from the sun, getting enough shut-eye—make a huge difference in how youthful you look, but sadly they can only take you so far. With the right beauty tips, erasing a decade or so is as easy as unzipping your makeup bag.
GO DEWY: The more hydrated your skin is, the younger it will look. Start with an extra-rich moisturizer and stick with creamy makeup. “Light textured, dewier formulations are less likely to accentuate wrinkles,” says Dr. Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY. Foundations infused with humectants and light-reflectors will give you smoother, younger-looking skin. Try Clarins Skin Illusion Natural Radiance Light Reflecting Foundation ($39) or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, ($62).
Celebrity makeup artist Misha Shahzada of Artist & Agency and Avène agrees. She gets a dewy effect by warming foundation with her finger tips before applying it and follows that up with a damp Beauty Blender Sponge ($19.95) to sheer it down as too much foundation will actually add on years. “I like to spritz the Beauty Blender with Avène Thermal Spring Water ($18) so it’s extra hydrating.” says Shahzada.
After applying your foundation, target areas that need a bit of coverage with a creamy concealer. Along with under eye circles and any redness or blemishes, apply your concealer to the inner corners of your eyes, which can always use some brightening. A concealer pen like like Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector ($30) works brilliantly.
GET CHEEKY: There’s no denying it, rosy cheeks are youthful. To wake up your face, smile and apply a nice warm, pink-toned cream blush to the apples of your cheeks, blending upwards toward the temple. Cream blush will be absorbed into the skin and won’t sit on the surface like powders can so you’ll get a natural lit-from-within glow. Shahzada loves Chanel Cream Blush ($38), which “is very sheer and never blotches!” NARS The Multiple ($39) is another great option.
Finish with a touch of highlighter on your upper cheekbones for added dimension and extra radiance.
EYE LIFT: Line upper eyes right at the lash line to create the appearance of a naturally lush lash. Brown or black will look the most natural. Shahzada likes using a “waterproof pencil and smudging it a little bit with a small liner brush to soften the effect.” Even better, work the line slightly up and out past the outer corner to create an understated lift.
Choose eye shadows in warm nude, taupe, and brown tones layered on top of an eyeshadow base beforehand to prevent creasing and fading.
To look more wide-eyed and awake line the inner rims of your eyes with a cream-colored pencil like Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Nude ($20). Cream pencils look much more natural than white but have the same eye-opening effect.
Curl lashes with an eyelash curler so eyes look bigger and brighter. You’ll avoid lash breakage by using a high-quality eyelash curler and curling close to the lash root, before applying black or dark brown mascara. We love the Shiseido Eyelash Curler ($19).
Brows tend to thin out as we age so it’s important to fill them in for a youthful, yet well-groomed look. “A fully actualized eyebrow—not too thin, not too short, not too far apart—is the easiest way to perfect your appearance short of plastic surgery,” says New York City based brow expert, Ramy Gafni. “It’s like makeup that you don’t remove.” After filling in, always brush through so brows look completely natural, not harsh. Try Ramy Perfect Brow Wand ($28), a waterproof brow filler with highlighter that miraculously works for all hair colors.
LIP SERVICE: Shahzada recommends “moisture rich lipsticks to prevent lip lines and to keep lips hydrated.” A lip stain topped with clear gloss is a nice option to prevent color from bleeding. Makeup artists agree that deep, dark colors add years. Instead, opt for rosy-toned hues such as Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Rose Petal ($25) or Benefit Benetint ($30) for instant youth.
To make thinning lips appear fuller, Dr. Graf says to use “a nude lip pencil on the outer border before applying your lip color.” You can also finish with a touch of gloss in the center of your lips for a fuller looking pout.