Age is just a number, but there's no shame in wanting your skin to look a little more plump, dewy, and line-free. We asked makeup artists, dermatologists, and other experts to spill the top tricks and tips they have to reverse some of the earliest signs of aging—fast. These are the 20 ways you can look and feel your best at any age.
1. Choose Lighter Lipstick
Dark shades can be unflattering on mature skin because lips get thinner with age, explains makeup artist Matin Maulawizada, who works with celebrities like Angelina Jolie. To keep lipstick from looking too severe, choose rosy reds or flesh-colored shades, and stay away from peaches and oranges, which can make teeth appear yellow. And remember, swiping on lipstick without other makeup can make you look older than if you wear no makeup at all.
2. Sweep Blush Up High
For an instant cheek lift, place your blush brush at the highest point of your cheekbone and apply color in a circular motion, advises makeup artist Sandy Linter, who works with Elizabeth Hurley. Go for warm pinks, apricots, or bronzes since they create less contrast.
3. Lift Your Eyes With Pencil
If you've been using liquid eyeliner for years—or even no eyeliner at all—it's time to try a creamy and soft eyeliner pencil. The softness of a classic kohl or gel pencil enlarges the eyes more than liquid liners do. To reverse droopy-looking lids, blend the liner up at the outer corners with a Q-tip or flat eyeliner brush. We like L'Oréal Paris Never Fail Eyeliner, which even comes with a built-in sharpener.
4. Invest In The Right Concealer
Cover-up can be tricky to apply; many formulas sink into crevices, emphasizing every fine line. To get the most coverage with the least product, try "camouflage," a dryer form of concealer that can take years off of your face, says Maulawizada. It doesn't contain as much oil as regular concealer, so it won't move, and it's better at hiding sun spots. Try Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage ($28).
5. Fake Cheekbones
Grab your favorite highlighter, bronzer, and/or contour kit: it's time to define that jawline and give yourself the high cheekbones of your dreams. "Highlight the areas you want to bring out," says Chanel celebrity makeup artist Kara Yoshimoto Bua. "Highlighting with a powdery shimmer highlighter on dry wrinkled areas will emphasize it, but using a moisturizing balm to increase the feeling of dewy skin look healthy and can bring a youthful healthy glow." As for contouring, Bua says it will help reduce the pouch that sometimes appears near the jawline and lift cheekbones when you blend correctly and make sure not to apply too much of it.
Piling on layers of powder will accentuate fine lines and wrinkles and make skin look dry. This is why Bua warns against using thick powder or heavy-duty foundation. "Like a powdery highlight, too much thick foundation and powder on dry or wrinkled skin can make your skin look older," she say. "I would opt for a more moisturizing foundation to add a healthy tone and glow and even out skin without building up a heavy layer." We like Armani Luminous Silk foundation and Laura Mercier Silk Creme Photo Edition foundation.
By now you know how damaging the sun can be, so besides coating on sunscreen, shield yourself with chic accessories. Swap your thinly rimmed aviators for oversize frames and you'll get more protection around your eyes, which wrinkle first, says Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch. And don't forget a hat: "Buying a five-dollar fedora now will save you $10,000 with me later," adds Hirsch. Throwing on a scarf can also help prevent sun spots in the décolleté area.
8. Stock Up On Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil contains fatty acids similar to those found in our skin and is an incredibly gentle moisturizer. If you have skin that's dry and sensitive from overloading on harsh face and eye anti-agers, bring your skin-care regimen to a halt, says Jessica Wu, an L.A.-based cosmetic dermatologist, and slather on a thin layer of unflavored oil at night instead.
9. Baby Your Hands
Derms agree that hands are a dead age giveaway. To keep them young, apply the same retinoid from your face to your hands and add a layer of Vaseline, says New York dermatologist Heidi Waldorf. Wear cotton gloves to bed to keep the treatment in place overnight. Skin looks suppler, and your cuticles will benefit too.
10. Treat Your Feet
It doesn't matter how sexy (or expensive) your shoes are—dry and cracked feet can ruin everything. Before going to bed, apply a thin layer of over-the-counter salicylic acid and a dollop of Vaseline to areas where your skin is thick or scaly, then put on your socks, says Waldorf. The combo keeps calluses and blisters at bay for instantly prettier, younger-looking feet, and it rinses off in the shower.
11. Schedule An Eye Exam
When you can't see properly, you squint, overcompensating for the work your eyes should be doing and deepening frown lines and crow's feet, says Hirsch. She adds, "Ninety percent of the time when women in their 30s come in for Botox, I send them to the ophthalmologist because they need a stronger prescription."
12. Shield Your Windows
Did you know the average commuter gets almost 200 hours of sun exposure each year just driving? And, Hirsch says, "Eighty percent of all sun exposure is through windows." To ward off sun spots, wrinkles, or worse — skin cancer — derms recommend investing in a clear window film such as Solar Gard, which blocks 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays with SPF 285 in your home or car.
13. Self-Tan With Caution
Self-tanner makes skin look glowier in just a few hours—but it can also darken and emphasize your sun spots, says Linter. If you have a lot of damage on your chest or arms/legs, use a warm foundation shade instead. One slightly darker—one or two shades—than your face color should match your body perfectly.
14. Reverse Brown Spots
Lemon juice diluted with water helps fade sun spots on all skin tones, says New York dermatologist Jessica Krant. Since acids can be irritating, apply the mixture before bed to spots with a Q-tip, and gradually increase to twice daily. Stop using the acid if your skin gets too light.
15. Keep Cool
"You'll get more of a lifting effect from your products if they're cold," says New York cosmetic dermatologist Patricia Wexler. A room-temperature de-puffing eye cream can take up to two hours to work versus only 10 minutes when it's been in the fridge. Plus, this technique keeps products fresher longer.
16. Wear Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreens
You already know SPF 30 is a must to wear every single day—no matter what. But a formula that contains antioxidants will also reduce oxidative damage and does not need to be reapplied as often. We love La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Fluid for Face, which is super-lightweight and easy to apply every single day under makeup (or alone).
17. Remove Makeup Before Bed
Duh, right? But this is about more than just avoiding clogged pores. It's extremely important to rid your skin of the environmental pollution you've been exposed to throughout the day and wash away free radicals to avoid the breakdown of collagen and elastic tissue, says Wexler.
We love Anastasia Beverly Hills brand founder Anastasia Soare's killer nighttime skincare routine:
18. Beef Up Your Brows
Thick brows are a sign of youth, so filling them in correctly is crucial. Draw in hairs with a ticking motion from bottom to top using a neutral shade. Try Benefit Brow Zings shaping kit. Products like RevitaLash RevitaBrow Conditioner can also help by boosting brow growth with peptides and botanicals.
Before you go to bed, apply a dedicated facial patch to areas where you'd get Botox. They keep your facial muscles from contracting and lines from becoming deeper, and they really do work, says Wu. Try Frownies Facial Pads. If it delays your Botox appointment even a few weeks, then it's worth it.
Most dermatologists will tell you that the key ingredient to smooth and firm skin is retin-A. "This hands-down is my number-one favorite for building collagen and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles," says dermatologist Anna Guanche. "It also helps with acne and can actually help remodel acne scars in the long run." If you want something you can find at Sephora, Ulta, or just over-the-counter, she says to look for retinol in the ingredient list as retin-A is usually prescribed. Try something like RoC Retinol Correxion Daily Hydration Creme.