Makeup is all about illusion. Don’t make mistakes that add age instead of a fresh glow. Choosing brighter lip colors instead of darker shades creates the appearance of fuller, youthful lips. Using sheer foundations and powders mimics the reflection of light the way youthful skin does. Use these techniques and take off 10 years.

#1: Love That Blush
Blush can offer lift as well as life to your face. The most effective way to use blush is to apply color just slightly above the fleshiest part of your cheek. Don’t draw a line of color along your cheekbones; the effect will make you look drawn. Blend color in circles toward your temple.


#2: Don’t Over-do Concealer Under Your Eyes
Conceal dark circles under your eyes with a brush-on highlighter pen instead of thick concealer that comes in a stick or pot. Look for one that uses illuminating particles rather than opaque color. Thicker camouflage will accentuate the fine lines and droopiness of the thinner skin beneath your eyes. Shadows are deepest and lines are less apparent at the inner corners, so concentrate concealer in that area.

#3: Deep, Dark Lip Colors Add Age
To create the illusion of luscious lips, choose bright lipsticks and glosses in tones of pink, peaches, and vibrant reds. Leave darker shades such as browns, burgundies and wines at the makeup counter. A dark color creates the illusion of minimizing your mouth. Make your mouth look fuller and more youthful by outlining your upper lip line with a highlighter pencil and smoothing it out with your finger before you apply color.

#4: Avoid Too Much Foundation
Look for sheer liquid formulas with pigments that diffuse light. Avoid matte, velvet, and long-wearing foundations that will drain away youthful luminosity. You want to use foundation only where you need to even out skin discoloration, and you don’t need to cover every inch of your face. A foundation that’s too thick will accentuate fine lines.

#5: Ditch The Powder
Powder accentuates skin lines and prevents one of the hallmarks of youthful skin: light reflection. If you really, truly must use power, select one that is very sheer and translucent powder. Limit using it to only your nose and chin. When you’ve seen how less power equals a more youthful appearance, go cold turkey and switch to blotting tissues if you skin shows up shiny in the middle of the day. Blot only on the nose, chin, and forehead.

#6: Switch to Brown Eyeliner from Black
Here’s another trade-in that will take off years from your appearance. Ditch the harsh black eyeliner for brown. Restrict use of eyeliner to the upper lid. Blend and soften the color with a Q-tip. A hard-edged thick line drawn will make your upper lid look heavier, i.e., older.

#7: Pick the Right Color for Lip Liner
Choose a lip liner that matches the color of your lips instead of the color of your lipstick. A shade that is too dark will make your lips look tight and pursed. Don’t draw a line that is too obvious or heavy. A creamy formula won’t show up those dry patches.

#8: Use Liner and Mascara Only On Upper Lashes
The eyes are an area you want to uplift rather than drag down. Concentrate liner and mascara on the upper lashes and leave them off the lower. Outlining the lower lashes makes your eyes look droopy and accentuates dark circles. Start with one application getting mascara close to the roots, then add another feathering out at the tips.

For suggestions on products that will take off the years, read Makeup Mistakes That Make You Look Older Than You Are