Like it or not, we live in a youth-oriented world. Women in particular face constant pressure to maintain a youthful appearance as they age. Before searching for the fountain of youth, it’s important to consider whether we should be so focused on anti-aging. Aging is a natural process that we should all embrace, but the desire to look younger persists.
If looking more youthful will give you a confidence boost, consider these tips, which range from simple makeup tricks to more semi-permanent cosmetic procedures. While it may not be possible to turn back the clock, these ideas will provide you with a brighter, more fresh-faced appearance.
Who doesn’t want to look younger fast and make a good first impression? You may be surprised to learn that the treatment making the biggest impact on how people perceive us is not a facelift, Botox ® or a filler. Surprise! It’s makeup. That’s right — makeup.
In a study published in Drugs in Dermatology, Dr. David Dayan found that for women over 40, control cosmetic makeup made them appear 4.5 years younger than their stated age. The women in the study were photographed with no makeup, their own makeup and a control makeup (IT Cosmetics). The subjects watched a cosmetic representative give a live demonstration of how to apply the control makeup. Three hundred evaluators examined the photos. The results showed that the patients with makeup were perceived as younger than those without makeup. Furthermore, makeup outperformed neuromodulators, fillers, and facial surgery in regards to making a good first impression.
However, makeup can make us look older if not applied correctly and needs to be applied judiciously. Check out Prime’s own Lenore Caulton-Downey for tips on make up. There are also plenty of YouTube videos regarding how to apply makeup. Better yet, visit your local department store makeup counters and ask for a makeover. The only expectation is that you buy one item. Just be forthright on what type of look you want, i.e., natural or more dramatic.
While it’s becoming more and more popular to embrace natural gray hair, many women still opt to dye their tresses. Next time you head to the salon, ask for warm-toned hues. Cool-toned shades—like gray—can wash you out, while warm tones make most skin tones look brighter. To find inspiration online, search for terms like “honey blonde,” “golden brown,” “bronze,” “butterscotch,” and “chocolate brown.”
If you have age spots, sun damage, or acne scars, consider asking your dermatologist about laser resurfacing. This process improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of fine lines by using concentrated rays of light. Several sessions may be required for noticeable results, and the process does increase the skin’s sun sensitivity, so sun protection in the months following the procedure is paramount. While the healing process may take a few months, the results last for years.
Lipstick trends in the last decade have largely focused on matte lip looks, but there has been a recent shift towards glossier, more youthful looks. While you may think lip gloss is reserved for teenagers, it’s actually flattering for people of all ages. Matte lipsticks tend to be drying, while lip glosses plump lips up and make them look more youthful. Opt for a nude color that closely resembles your natural lip tone.
Consider a product like Charlotte Tilbury’s Collagen Lip Bath Gloss in the shade Pillow Talk.
Acid peels utilize chemical exfoliants to gently remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin, leaving it looking smoother, brighter, and more youthful. For the most dramatic results, make an appointment with a professional—like a dermatologist or esthetician. Luckily, today you can also perform a light chemical peel at home using one of the many innovative new products on the market. At-home peels provide lighter exfoliation and are a great choice for sensitive skin.
The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel is a great pick that combines AHAs and BHAs, containing Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Lactic Acid.
While you may be used to doing regular maintenance on your eyebrows to keep them looking sleek and manicured, consider embracing their natural shape for a more youthful look. Perfectly arched brows were on-trend for decades. Now, people of all ages are moving towards growing out their brows instead. There are plenty of products on the market which are designed to create a fluffy, more natural look. One popular pick is Glossier’s Boy Brow, which enhances your brows with a light tint while giving them more volume.
Consider skipping foundation and instead opting for a tinted moisturizer. Foundation can look heavy on the skin, especially if it has a matte formula. Tinted moisturizers provide lighter coverage and let your skin’s natural texture shine through. Opt for a formula with SPF included to get sun protection while offering light coverage. For a more polished look, consider a foundation with a naturally luminous finish rather than one labeled as “matte” or “satin.”
Try the ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint, which has an SPF of 40, to keep your skin looking younger and wrinkle-free in the long term as well as the short term.
As we age, our skin becomes drier, and makeup can sometimes emphasize the problem. Before starting your morning makeup routine, it’s important to prep your skin to create a smooth, hydrated canvas for your base products. Be sure to moisturize and add SPF before layering on hydrating primers. The Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer sets quickly and locks in makeup while plumping and smoothing the skin.
An under-eye primer or eye cream prevents concealer from settling into fine lines and ensures base products apply evenly. The Marc Jacobs Under(Cover) Perfecting Coconut Eye Primer features a nutrient-rich formula that smooths the skin while providing a barrier for makeup.
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our bodies and is also used in injectables to create plumper, fuller skin. These fillers are a popular non-surgical procedure that can be used in the lips, cheeks, under eyes, and other parts of the face to create a more youthful appearance. Doctors use fillers to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plump up lips, and contour the face. They add volume and fullness and provide instant results, though they may cause bruising or swelling for a couple of days. The procedure takes between 15 minutes and one hour, and results typically last between one and two years.
When applied correctly, makeup can make your eyes look bigger, brighter, and can make you look younger. Unfortunately, however, the opposite is also true. Dark, heavy makeup can visually pull the eyes downwards, enhance wrinkles and create the appearance of smaller eyes. Avoid black eyeliner and opt for softer colors like gray or brown, depending on your eye color. Use restraint when lining your bottom lid. A soft wash of shadow is more flattering than a harsh line. One universally flattering trick involves lining your lower waterline with a nude eye pencil. This creates the illusion of wider, brighter eyes.
Neuromodulators (Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin®) and fillers (Restylane®, Juvederm® and Sculptra®) can all improve appearance, but they can also backfire if overdone or not done correctly. In the article ‘Hooked on Injectables’, Emily Listfield asks, “When did fish lips and frozen foreheads become our beauty ideal?” She goes on to advise how to use and not abuse.
First and foremost, select a conservative doctor who is board certified with an expertise and experience in cosmetic injectables. Schedule a consultation before treatment for the two of you to discuss what your concerns are. Most doctors will apply the consultation fee toward the treatment. If it turns out that there is not a good treatment for your concern, realize it is worth the consultation fee to learn that from an expert. I have seen more than one patient pay for a procedure that did not help, and they would have happily paid the consultation fee to find that out first.
During the consultation, the doctor usually hands the patient a mirror and allows the patient to point out what is bothering them. The doctor can then explain how that concern can be addressed, as well as point out what the doctor thinks might make an improvement. They should counsel you about what is reasonable and realistic and what the costs are. Finally, he or she can also review the benefits and risks of each procedure and show you Before and After pictures of their own patients who have had the procedure.
Want to learn more about how to choose the best hair color for aging gracefully? Check out our Expert’s Guide to Younger Looking Hair—and Hair Colors that Age You.
Subscribe today for free to receive our weekly update and never miss an article.