By your 40s, you've likely found a beauty routine you're comfortable with, but what may be surprising are those little signs of aging — like fine lines and pigmentation — that can start unexpectedly popping up.
A few easy adjustments to how you do things can help revitalize your whole look, says celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff, who has worked with stars including Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna and Alicia Keys. Here are her tips for the most common makeup mistakes we make at this age.
1. Skipping lip liner
Lip liner gets a bad rap when it’s used incorrectly and you see an obvious line of demarcation around the lips. But when used correctly, lip liner can help prevent color from smearing and bleeding, and can make lips that are thin or starting to lose collagen appear fuller.
Instead of playing matchy-matchy with your lip color and lip liner, choose a warm neutral-toned pencil to outline your lips — regardless of lipstick color — and then be sure to fill in your pout with the pencil, too. Top with your favorite lipstick or gloss. “Your lips will look fuller, sexier and younger,” says Sheriff. You can also count on your lipstick to stay in place better, for longer.
2. Not hydrating enough
You’ve likely noticed that your skin feels drier than it used to 10 years ago, and it’s not your imagination. Dry skin grabs on to makeup, so that wrinkles and pores appear more obvious, and the surface of skin appears bumpy instead of smooth. Hydrated skin, on the other hand, allows makeup to blend in effortlessly, and reflects light, all of which makes it look younger.
Be sure to prep your face before applying any makeup with a hydrating primer or balm that smoothes skin; try It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer for additional anti-aging benefits from nutrients as well. By using primer, you’ll find that you can use less makeup, and that what you do use blends more seamlessly on skin that is plump with moisture. And don’t forget to hydrate with beauty’s longtime BFF: water. Sheriff suggests trying alkaline water for mineral benefits that deeply quench skin from the inside out.
3. Using one foundation shade
With skin that is more mature, using one opaque foundation color all over can appear like a heavy, aging mask on skin. It may seem unnecessarily time-consuming to fuss with more than one color, but in reality, a more authentic color match translates to using and having to apply less makeup in the end.
Look for a product like a dual-sided stick or compact that includes two shades, so that you can blend hues as needed for different areas of your face to create a natural-looking canvas. You’ll also want to look for a formula that addresses redness while having enough coverage for discoloration and hyperpigmentation — issues that 40-somethings often contend with.
4. Liner and mascara under your eyes
It may have looked rad in your 20s and 30s, but over-defining the bottom of your eyes with heavy, dark makeup now can make eyes appear droopy and emphasize darkness and fine lines in the area.
Focus on opening your eyes up by first curling your top lashes with an eyelash curler. Then work your favorite mascara from root to tip slowly to help eyes look more awake. If you want to add definition with eyeliner, stick to the top lid. Consider using more softening shades like chocolate brown and navy blue instead of black, which can appear harsh on all but deeper skin tones.
5. Not exfoliating weekly
The quality of your makeup finish comes down to texture, and if you’re not methodically removing dead skin cells from the surface of your complexion weekly, skin can appear dull and bumpy — causing your makeup to catch and apply unevenly.
Whether it’s a scrub, fruit acid exfoliants or hand held tool, it’s essential to keep skin fresh for a radiant, glowing makeup finish.
This story was originally published on Sept. 8, 2016.