There comes a time in our lives where we start to realise age is not on our side. Our teens and early twenties are easy enough when it comes to beauty routines as we tend not to care about wrinkles or grey hair as it is so far down the road.
And for the longest time, there have been two takes on the matter of ageing, do it gracefully or get yourself a good surgeon! But for the everyday woman like me, surgery is not an option and I’m definitely too squeamish to think about Botox and filler injections, so where does that leave us?
Well, with the way that cosmetics and makeup are going, there are now plenty of options when it comes to keeping that youthful look while we have our youth and making us look younger even when it is starting to slip away!
With makeup there are clever things you can do to look younger almost instantly, but the best way to enjoy your youthful look for years to come is to take action against it as soon as possible. Even in your early twenties its good to get a head start on your skin care routines, so the way I see it is to take it seriously now and reap the rewards later on.
Exfoliate – This is an easy enough action to incorporate into your routine at any stage. Exfoliation helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles as removes dead skin cells and give skin a fresher and smoother surface. Too much exfoliation can be bad though, especially on the face where skin is more delicate than anywhere else. If you scrub too hard you remove the effective barriers that protect the skin from dirt and particles that can cause infection or inflammation. Red skin may only be temporary, but it is not the path to youthful skin.
Cleanse – Cleansing your skin should be part of your daily routine anyway, to rid the face of dirt and particles that can build up and cause spots. But if you wear makeup, this routine may not be as simple as just cleansing with ordinary soap. There are so many products out there for makeup removal that it can be tricky to know what is best for your skin, but sampling something that works for your skin type and can remove makeup without being harsh on your skin is a general winner in cleansing.
So, while wet face wipes seem convenient and obvious that they are for cleaning the face, they aren’t tailored to individual skin types, they aren’t specifically designed to clean a certain type of makeup and they can sometimes just move the dirt around your face, leaving you with an oily residue. Try clear cleansers that don’t contain harsh chemicals and are delicate on your features. Staying on the youthful side depends fully on you making the best out of them.
Moisturise – Locking moisture into the skin is vital for a youthful appearance as it helps to produce new and healthy skin cells as often as possible. Moisturising after cleansing is a fast way to give yourself that youthful glow on the spot but with the right type of cream you can slow down the appearance of ageing and keep your skin firm. Firm skin means fewer fine lines, so moisturiser is really not one to be ignored. Make sure you find the right match for your skin type (oily, dry or combination) for a fresh face. Although oily skin tends not to age as fast as dry skin, it doesn’t help with the youthfulness issue and can cause problems applying makeup and keeping it in place.
The other thing to consider when you have your favourite moisturising cream to hand is to remember your neck. A lot of people forget about the neck as part of their beauty routines, but actually the skin there is also quite delicate and thin and prone to lines and wrinkles. If you want to fool people with your age and appear 5-10 years younger, your neck is the first thing to give away tell tale signs of your actual number!
Sun Protection – High up on the list of things that can cause the skin to look and feel older than it is, is the sun. Even in the colder months of autumn and winter the sun causes damage to the outer layers of skin and the effects can last days, months or even years. When you are out on a clear or even a partially cloudy day, the sun’s rays will find their way onto any skin that is on show. This is normally always the face so it’s important to apply sun creams or lotions, especially in hotter countries or in the middle of summer where as little as five minutes can give you bad sunburn.
The issue most people face is that they want to wear makeup when just out and about and it’s only on holiday that we rely solely on sun cream when we’re out lounging by the pool with a cocktail in hand. So, a great tip is to invest in foundations that also have a high SPF to protect that lovely, youthful skin. There’s nothing wrong with a little rosy red tint in your cheeks on a hot summer day, but sunburn is a quick way to faster ageing skin.
Clever Makeup Tricks
Foundation – In a fast bid to de-age yourself with makeup it can be a tendency to keep piling the stuff on until the real you is completely hidden. But this is a big no-no and can add years on instead of taking them off. When it comes to foundation, go lighter on your application and try not to layer it on or go for something with a heavy formula. When you’ve been looking after your skin, you should be able to show it off and foundation should act as an accessory, not an overcoat.
In addition to this, to help give you a more youthful appearance be careful with what shade of foundation you use and see a consultant to help you match the right shade to your skin. Too dark and it looks like you have something to cover and too light will highlight any fine lines and wrinkles. The same goes for mattifying foundation, while this is fantastic for oily or combination skin, it can show off every shadow caused by lines as the surface of the skin looks flatter.
To combat the problem of ageing skin, the right foundation can make you look younger if you opt for something luminous and light. Or if foundation is too much, try a tinted moisturiser for the same effect. The idea is that you create a smooth surface that the light will bounce off and give you a youthful glow.
Concealer – Now you may be thinking that concealer already does the job of giving you a younger looking appearance, but it has to be applied with care so that it does the job it is supposed to. It is really tempting to use concealer thick and heavy to cover up all dark patches, but this can make it look clumpy and end up highlighting lines and wrinkles under your eyes. Find the areas you need to cover by using good lighting and a full mirror so you can see your skin properly. Dim lighting can accentuate shadows and will make you think you need to apply more concealer than you actually need.
Powder – While face powder, pressed powder or powder foundations might seem appealing, they can have a tendency to age you if not used sparingly. The reason being that if you apply too much of the stuff it can make your skin look dry and chalky. Even if you are prone to oily skin, it can have the same effect.
The problem is when your skin is a little on the shiny side, the temptation to use powder to cover it just counter-acts the issue. The best thing to do is to control oily skin with the right cleansers and moisturisers and when using powder to target the areas that need it such as the nose or forehead. Keep it away from your eyes or it ill accentuate the lines around them.
So, can powder make you look younger? It probably won’t knock ten years off you but if you use it correctly, it definitely won’t be adding any years on!
Eyebrows – One thing that will fade as the years go on is the health of your eyebrows if you haven’t been taking care of them properly. They start to thin out and lose their shine or colour over the years and it is a quick sign of your real age. So, if you want to use makeup to help you look younger, then a little grooming and an eyebrow pencil can go a long way.
If you want something a little more permanent then microblading could be the answer to your youthful prayers as a proper technician will be able to form a shape that works for your face and you won’t have to worry about it for a long time. If a little makeup is the way forward for you then use careful strokes of an eyebrow pencil to follow your natural shape and see the youth appear in your eyes as if by magic.
Don’t get too carried away with the tweezers either, I mean eyebrow trends come and go but one trend that will add years onto you is the barely-there eyebrow look. Over-plucked eyebrows tend to look older in style so it is a tell-tale sign of your actual age, plus the skin around your eyebrows can start to lose its elasticity, so showing it off leaves less to the imagination.
Eyelashes and Mascara – Your eyes are one of the first things people notice about you, and while they might still hold their same colour, the areas surrounding them may not. Ageing eyes come from laughter lines, wrinkles, dark circles and less prominent eyelashes, so makeup needs to be used very cleverly and carefully to hide them.
Piling on eye makeup is not the answer, if it is too heavy it will just magnify lines and highlight ageing skin. So, the answer is moderation, and to turn back the clock you have to treat your eyelashes well. Incorporate an eyelash conditioning serum into your beauty routine to get the shine and fullness back into your individual lashes and to keep them strong when you apply makeup daily.
Before using mascara take an eyelash curler to your lashes very carefully and bring them back to life with a fantastic curl that screams youth and make them the focus of your eyes. When you get to the mascara, really focus on creating length with your new curly addition to take years off you. If you must use mascara on your bottom lashes, just use it lightly toward the outer corners, but avoid repeating the process and building volume down there as it will look spidery and is a sign of age.
Lipstick – You may not choose to where lipstick every day and it could only come out for special occasions but with the colours and textures available right now, there is no reason you shouldn’t give it a try.
People get scared that lipstick has to be one colour or at best a couple of variations of that colour when they get older, but the truth is there are plenty of shades out there that can make you look younger but not like you have tried to.
Pink lipstick is a great example, it is playful and comes in different shades to suit your skin tone and can be worn both daytime and evening. Shades on the nude side have a plumping effect on the lips while still looking quite natural and as lips can thin out with age, it is a great option to help make you look younger.
If dark lipstick is more your thing then be careful when applying it and use a lip liner to keep lines sharp and crisp. Lip lines tend to get softer as you get older so when lipstick is applied it can bleed or feather into the surrounding skin. Even if it feels a little off at first, keep trying these new lipstick techniques with the aim of taking a few years off yourself.
Don’t be Scared to Experiment
Remember to roll with the times, there is a reason that products evolve and change, as they get better and become more convenient for you to use once you get used to them. If you really want to make yourself look younger, remember that some of these old products and techniques will be quite quick to tell your age, even if you think you are applying them well.
When it comes to your makeup kit, keep it replenished and get rid out of date makeup that can be harmful to your skin or eyelashes and stat getting into a routine that allows you to apply makeup minimally until you are happy with your desired look.
Getting older doesn’t mean we can’t look younger, we just have to be clever in what we do to achieve it.