10:08 30 October 2009
Flattering hair and make-up can take years off you, but are your old-fashioned styles dating you instead?
If you're stuck in a rut when it comes to hair and make-up and you're making yourself look far older than your years, here are the most common ageing beauty blunders and how to avoid them.
If you are still applying blusher to your cheekbones, stop right now. Over time our faces become thinner and wearing blusher only exaggerates that gaunt in a totally unflattering way.
The cure... Blend, blend, blend
Use a cream blusher but don't wear it on your cheekbones. Smile and dab it on to the apples of your cheeks, then blend thoroughly with your fingers.
Too much shimmer
It looks great on teenagers, but on more mature skin shimmery make-up exaggerates the rough texture of your skin and intensifies the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The cure... Be subtle
Go for creamy eye shadows and lipsticks in subtle colours that complement your skin tone, such as smoky, tawny or coral shades.
Our eyelashes shorten as we get older, which can make applying mascara a messy business (especially if you're navigating bifocals, too).
The cure... Book a tint
Having regular eyelash tints provides all the beauty benefits of mascara with none of the mess. Ask at your local beauty salon.
Over-plucked eyebrows are unflattering on the more mature woman and look outdated.
The cure... Let them grow
Aim for softly groomed brows with a natural arch to widen the eye area. Allow your brows to grow then pluck from the arch. To find your natural arch, hold a pencil to the corner of your nose and angle it up across the iris of the eye. Where the pencil meets your brow is where the arch should start.
Heavy lip liner
Using a dark liner outside your natural lip line will emphasise lines around your mouth.
The cure... Go nude
Use a nude lip liner, apply sparingly and never go outside the natural line of your lips.
The wrong lippy
The over-50s should avoid matte lipsticks, which look "pasty and dry", says Deborah Grayson, writer for beauty website ivillage.com. Just as bad are greasy lipsticks which bleed into fine lines around your mouth.
The cure... Give lips a moisture boost
Treat yourself to a moisturising lipstick, such as No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick.
Same old stuff
As we get older our skin changes and we need to use different products to keep it looking its best.
The cure... Try something new
Invest in a "miracle moisturiser". No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum repairs sun-damaged skin and improves fine lines. M&S's Instant Fix Line Eraser will also treat deep lines.
Skin becomes drier as we age, which can leave foundation looking caked-on. Loose powders are also best avoided because they settle into wrinkles - highlighting them.
The cure... Less is more
Use foundation just where you really need it - the sides of the nose or on red spots. Or try a tinted moisturiser.
Dodgy hair dye
Nothing is more ageing than trying to cover grey hair by dying it back to the colour it was when you were 20. It never looks convincing, plus within two weeks you'll have a quarter of an inch of grey roots.
The cure... Go for highlights
Instead of masking your grey, find a colour that works with it. There are shades of blonde that work with grey hair, go for highlights which will blend together with it rather than masking the grey hair completely.
Wearing your hair past your shoulders once you are over 50 is a bad idea. Hair loses its lustre and gets coarser as we age so, unless yours is in fabulous condition, keep it short.
The cure... Crop it
A crop can be incredibly flattering and works really well with grey hair - as does a short, sharp bob.
Neglected hands can end up dry, wrinkled and prone to age spots.
The cure... Regular TLC
Diffuse age spots with a dab of tinted moisturiser or self-tan. Wear rubber gloves to do the washing up, moisturise regularly, and always use sun cream on your hands.
Long talons only look good on very few people.
The cure... Keep 'em short
Keep nails short and rounded, and avoid bright varnishes which draw attention to older hands.
Real or fake, a dark tan accentuates lines, wrinkles and pigmentation spots.
The cure... Lighten up
As we get older it is important we take good care of our skin, so stay out of the sun. It's far more flattering to look more natural than aiming for a deep tan, so if using a tanning product, go for a lighter shade with that doesn't stand-out too much.
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