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Wait! What's that siren we hear? Oh...we know... it's the Make Up Police, and they might be headed your way!
Indeed, if you haven't changed what's in your cosmetic bag since, well, it's just too long to remember, and then you are in danger of looking waaaay older than you should!
In fact, while most women believe that looking young means holding on to the make up style that defined them at a time when they looked their best, beauty and style experts say when you're knee-deep in a cosmetic "time warp", you look older – not younger.
“No woman would be caught wearing a 30 year old dress or a 25 year old pair of shoes - but yet so many are still wearing the same make-up they wore when they were in high school or college - and many more are duplicating the look they had on their wedding picture,” says legendary celebrity make up artist Adrien Arpel.
Even when products are updated - to a pricier brand for example – Arpel says many women still stick to the same color palette, and same basic type of make-up and seldom take chances or think outside the box to find a new look.
"These women are just stuck in a time warp – and it's not making them look younger but older," says Arpel.
The other extreme is, of course, the woman who will try anything new ...frequently dipping into their daughters make up stash in an attempt to update their own look. This, says make up artist Michael Maron, is an even bigger mistake.
"There are some products and colors and styles of cosmetics that look wonderful on young women but on a 40 plus woman can look aging," says Maron. One example is make up with a heavy frosted look.
On young skin Maron says the look is sexy and glamorous. On more mature skin it can accentuate wrinkles and lines and cause you to look older than your years.
Celebrity make up artist Barbara Fazio agrees. " As you age, the goal is soften the look – so everything should be like looking through a soft focus lens – and to do that you need less not more make up, for a fresh, more youthful look."
What I personally love about the less is more philosophy: You don't have to spend a lot to update your look! And in these tough economic times that means looking younger is not only possible, it won't break the bank!
To help get you started thinking in the right direction, I've pulled together tips from these experts and more on how to choose make up that definitely helps you look 10 years younger – almost instantly!
1.Foundation Tips: Skip the heavy foundation and dense powder - both age your skin. Instead opt for a sheer foundation with moisturizers and always try to match your complexion color, rather than adding color to your face. Hint: To even out skin tone and add a dollop of instant youthful glow, go one shade lighter on your foundation. You should also consider using an under make up primer. It will smooth out your complexion, soften lines and keep foundation and blush on longer.
2.Bronzer Tips: Add an instant youthful glow with a peach toned bronzer in cream or powder - but be sure to avoid any shades that are too brown, plum or muddy looking, particularly if you have brown spots or uneven skin tone. And never put bronzer all over your face. Instead, use it to highlight the areas where sun would hit naturally – the tops of cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and forehead.
3.Blush Tips: Whether applying a bronzer or blush, NEVER put it on the apples of your cheeks. Once you hit 40, the "apples" begin to slide south and you'll end up with blush closer to your mouth! That pulls the face down and makes you look older. Instead, apply it only to the top of your cheekbone, beginning just under the center of your eye and sweeping upward toward your temple. This brings the eye upward, and can instantly take years off your face!
4.Lips Tips: Swap out lipstick for lip-gloss. Nothing is more aging than lips with lines – and those vertical ridges that hit the center of your upper and lower lip occur with age. A matte or frosted lipstick will accentuate them – a gloss will make them all but disappear! But skip the sparkly, glitter glosses and go for one with a light tint in a color close to your natural lip tone. If your lips need more definition, add a pencil in a color that matches your lips. Outline and then put a few light strokes on your lips and smudge with your pinky finger. Apply gloss – and you'll have definition, color, shine – and youth! (What's not to love? ☺ )
5. Eye Tips: Good bye Liquid Liner- Hello Soft Eye Pencil - Nothing accentuates crow's feet and tiny lines like the harshness of liquid liner. Even a micro thin line will look "hard" and make wrinkles more noticeable. Instead, try a pencil in a soft black, charcoal, navy, brown or plum – draw on and then smudge for a soft look. When choosing a shadow, stick to neutral shades – and use color sparingly. The goal is to keep a soft focus around the eyes, where aging shows up first.
6.Cover Up Tips: Avoid Light Color Concealer – and ditto for those eye creams with the brightening iridescence. Why? Once you're over 40, eye puffiness is a bigger problem than dark circles –and that means anything light or shiny makes the puffs look bigger. This, in turn, increases the shadows in the "tear trough" indentation under the eye. The end result: Dark circles look darker and you look old and tired.
To look young and fresh, choose a concealer with a dense pigment and match the color to your skin tone - or go one to two shades darker and blend well. The darker shade will bring down the appearance of the puffs and the overall look will be less darkness under the eyes. Also, make certain to “pat” concealer in place using your ring finger (for minimal pressure on the eye area) and always put it on last - after foundation. If you put concealer on first, followed by foundation, you‘re likely to dilute the product and end up with less coverage.
7. Brow Tips: Soften your eye brows – Before you plunk down a mortgage payment on a Botox shot to relax your wrinkly brow, try changing up the look of your eyebrows first – you may be surprised to discover how much younger your forehead actually looks! Skip the stick-skinny, shiny brow –that only makes wrinkles look more prominent. Instead, go for softer, slightly fuller look – and fill in bare spots with either a powdered brow color or a soft pencil in the same shade as your natural brows or one to two shades lighter. The trick to creating a youthful brow: Try an eye liner pencil rather than a brow pencil and use it to create quick short strokes rather than a long, hard line. Never, ever go darker on your brows – it's aging. And scary. ☺