Let’s face it – we’re all smart enough to know that make-up alone can’t make us look 20 years younger.
Despite what the makers may claim, it comes down to a simple fact of science: our skin ages, full stop.
And while we’re well-versed in the art of anti-ageing skincare techniques and products, we’re less sure of how our make-up can help us look younger.
For many of us, we’re stuck in a bit of a beauty rut, applying the same look and even the same products as we did 5, 10, even 20 years ago. Crepey, caked-on foundation anyone? Dehydrated skin? Thought so!
But with a few simple tweaks, you can make your beauty habits work harder for you. And while they can’t roll the clock back (or your birth date) permanently, they can help you to look more radiant, more rested and more youthful. Think of it as your freshest face possible.
We asked award-winning make-up artist Sarah Brock for her age-defying beauty tips.
1. Great make-up starts with super skincare
“Avoid dry, cakey looking skin by applying skincare which will keep your skin hydrated, plump and younger looking all day,” says Sarah.
Start by applying a rich anti-ageing cream all over your face, which will make skin look instantly younger, then apply a tinted primer to even out skin tone. It’ll help to smooth fine lines and wrinkles too, so your foundation doesn’t fall into the cracks.
2. Ditch the heavy foundation for a dewy glow
Sarah suggests trying a lighter, more dewy base to make skin look younger and fresher.
“CC Creams are great for a more mature skin as they cover redness and imperfections, refine the skin texture and can also make enlarged pores look reduced,” she suggests.
Sarah’s tip? Look for one with anti-ageing Vitamin E and that all important SPF to protect the skin from further damage. Try Liz Earle's Signature Foundation.
3. Conceal and moisturise
“After applying your CC Cream, make sure that you have a concealer to hand to add more coverage to areas that need extra help, like areas of rosacea, pigmentation, thread veins and dark under eye circles.
“Many concealers are designed to just cover blemishes - these concealers have a drier consistency, which means that they can make skin look older and can make wrinkles look more obvious.
“One of the best concealers on the market is the Clarins Instant Concealer: it covers all imperfections without drying the skin.”
4. Blush like a babe
A pop of colour to the cheeks is an instant ticket to being ID-ed for your bottle of Sauvignon Blanc – but not necessarily if you use a powder formulation.
“Cream or liquid formulations are definitely the best option. Choose a formulation that has no sparkle or glitter, as this will sit in lines and wrinkles.”
If you’re worried you’ll look a bit Aunt Sally with too much rouge, opt for a softer peachy tone instead like Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic in Ecstasy – it’s a universal flatterer.
5. Face powder is the enemy
“Over the age of 30, face powder really can become the enemy if you apply too much and if you use a formulation which is dry and cakey,” warns Sarah.
“Too much powder will make skin look instantly older and makes wrinkles stand out. Just use a small amount to set your make-up – dust down the T-zone to remove shine and on the eyelids to stop eyeshadow creasing.”
Sarah recommends looking for one with anti-ageing properties which don’t dry out the skin and have a very fine texture.
“Sisley Transparent Loose Face Powder is beautiful – it’s more expensive, but it will last you for years, as you only need the tiniest amount.”
6. Your eyes change shape as you age
As we age, our eyes can change shape. Hooded eyelids and more wrinkled skin can make applying eye make-up a real challenge.
Sarah’s tip? “Step away from bright coloured eyeshadows, which can make your make-up instantly look very Dynasty and Dallas. Avoid dark heavy colours, which can make hooded eyes appear too dark and smaller, too.
All you need is a 'wash' of natural, light coloured shadow on the eyelid and then apply eyeliner after to make eyes 'pop' and look instantly younger. A great one for beginners and pros alike is Clinique's Chubby Stick for Eyes in Bountiful Beige.
“Always apply more eyeliner to the top lash line than the bottom as this can drag the eyes down - many women avoid eyeliner as they think it is difficult to apply, but just make sure that your eyeliner pencil is soft.”
7. Always use black mascara
Forget coloured mascara - black mascara is a must-have for every woman, says Sarah
“CODE VLM Black Mascara is amazing - it makes the white of the eyes appear whiter (which will always make eyes look more youthful) and lashes appear thicker.”
A good way to add depth is with a tinted primer - we like Benefit They're Real! Tinted Mascara Primer. Don't forget to use eyelash curlers first, as this will make look eyes look even bigger. If you are losing lashes as you age, which does happen, you can always apply some false individual lashes after mascara.
“Or,” suggests Sarah, “invest in a lash enhancing serum to use at night like Revitalash, which will make your own lashes stronger and longer, and less prone to breaking.
8. Don't forget your brows
As we age, our brows can get thinner, too – so creating a full, good brow can take years off any woman.
Sarah suggests using a shadow rather than a pencil to fill in the blanks. “It is softer and more natural looking.”
A firm favourite among the A-list and celebrity make-up artists is Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Powder Duo.
9. Choose a lip colour slighter darker than your own
A youthful looking lip is full, plump with a healthy 'hint' of colour. If you love bright, bold lip colour than go for it - but the most flattering lipstick shade for a more mature lip is one a shade darker than your natural tone.
“Lips can lose volume as we age, so start by applying a really good lip balm before lipstick, which stops lips drying out and makes them look softer and more plump,” says Sarah.
“Many women think they can't wear lip gloss as they age, but my top tip is to choose a formulation which is between a lipstick and a gloss, so you get the colour of a lipstick but a slightly glossy effect too, making the lips look fuller and younger.
“The Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss gives the colour of a lipstick with a glossy finish to the lips, plus it has a lip-plumping ingredient to help lips look fuller.”