17 Things That Make You Look Older Than You Really Are

By Kelly Marages, Redbook

Style and beauty experts reveal the hidden ways you're aging yourself - and their sneaky tricks for turning back the clock.

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Overplucked Eyebrows

"Fuller brows are universally more youthful," says brow artist Sania Vucetaj, who counts Sarah Jessica Parker and Olivia Culpo among her clients. "They take you back to your pre-waxing days and your youth before overdoing anything." Don't despair if you have over-plucked in the past, though. Simply fill in sparse areas with a brow pencil. The slanted tip and blending brush of Sania's Angled Mechanical Brow Pencil ($30; saniasbrowbar.com) make it easy to create an arch with natural-looking fullness. Also avoid putting creams, moisturizers or other lotions on your brow area. "They impede hair growth by clogging the follicle," notes Vucetaj.

Your Allegiance to Bootcut Jeans

When it comes down to it, you can wear anything you want at any age, says celebrity stylist Kemal Harris. There's just one caveat: "I like to think of it more in terms of being modern or current," says Harris, who styles Robin Wright and her House of Cards alter ego, Claire Underwood. Toss the stuff in your closet that was trendy once upon a recent time. "If you're wearing a silhouette like bootcut jeans that have a dated look, you won't appear as modern," says Harris.

Ill-Fitting Clothes

Unless you're going for an oversized look, frumpy clothes are never fabulous. "Getting your staple pieces - a classic jacket or a favorite black dress - tailored slightly to fit better makes you feel younger and look slimmer," says Harris. If a tailor isn't readily available or affordable in your area, Harris recommends going to the local dry cleaner: "You just need someone who can do inexpensive hemming or alterations."

Peachy Nails

Mauve manicures are obviously for grannies. But your go-to opaque peach or pink polish may have a similar effect: "It can make your skin look aged and wash you out," says Jin Soon Choi, founder of JINsoon Nail Laquer. Instead, try a sheer glossy white like gray-tinged JINsoon Kookie White ($18; nordstrom.com) or creamy pink-and-white combo, Doux. "It's a modern version of a classic sheer pink, and is part of a trend that brightens skin tones," says the celebrity nail guru. The best canvas: medium length oval or round nails.

Matching All Your Accessories

The bag, the shoes, the belt: If they're all the same color, your whole look will come across as dated, says New York City-based stylist Hannah Deely. Same goes for the print-du-jour: "Wearing a head-to-toe trend can make it look like you're trying too hard to be young, which can actually make you look older," she notes. Focus instead on adding one trendy item, like a statement purse, or opt for a neutral bag paired with printed or striped pumps. A monochromatic scheme with varying shades in the same color family like reds and pinks should also do the trick.

Hyper-Cleansing Your Skin

In the quest for a clear complexion, "oil" sounds like a dirty word. But cleansing with conventional, harsh products can dry out facial skin. Translation: It'll age you. (Worse, it can make skin over-produce oil. Teenage acne with middle-age crow's feet? No thanks.) When it comes to facial cleansers, those with fewer ingredients - and those that contain so-called "good" oils, such as S.W. Basics Cleanser ($22.49; target.com) - often get the job done better and keep skin plump and hydrated.

An Unbalanced Silhouette

When trying trends like high-waisted trousers, "make sure you balance your proportions," says Harris. With a full trouser or longer skirt, your top should be more fitted to the body. Think: crop jacket, a shirt that reveals a sliver of midriff or a sleeveless blouse. The same rule applies the other way around:

Want to try one of this season's shirts with fun, Edwardian sleeves? Harris recommends a cigarette pant or tailored short on the bottom.

Covering Your Flaws With Foundation

Sure, you want to even out your skin tone. But slathering your face with heavy makeup will make wrinkles more prominent and skin appear dull. Instead, just add highlighter to cheek and brow bones.

Sticking to "Age-Appropriate" Clothes

Fashion often feels like a young person's game, but it doesn't have to be that way (see: slide 1). That said, if you're dying to try a trendy silhouette but aren't comfortable showing a certain part of your body, such as your d├ęcolletage or arms, consider a fashion-forward solution, suggests Harris. If you've found a sleeveless dress you love, for instance, "layering a black, merino wool turtleneck underneath it is a fresh way to cover up," she says. Another bonus, notes Harris: "Anything with a high neck like that draws the eye to the face."

Applying Blush Too Low

If you've seen even one blush tutorial, you know to apply the color to the apple of your cheeks, i.e., the roundest, fleshiest part. There's just one problem: "As we age, those apples head south - and become more like pears," says Genevieve Monsma, founder of MediumBlonde.com. A more flattering strategy? "Brush on color about an inch under the eye at the top of your cheekbone, or where the stems of your pears are," she says. "This provides a subtle illusion of lift."

Not Enough Shut-Eye

No one is choosing to be sleep-deprived. It raises stress levels and can even contribute to weight gain. But there's yet another reason to prioritize shut-eye. When it's in the deep sleep portion of the sleep cycle, the body produces growth hormone that helps repair and renew damaged cells. Sticking to a steady bedtime and a pre-sleep ritual both help improve sleep quality. Been there, failed that? Multiple studies have shown that lavender essential oil ($6.95; edensgarden.com) can help coax the mind and body into deep, productive sleep - particularly for women.

Sultry Selfies

Maybe duck face does give you killer cheekbones. But studies have shown that the simple act of smiling can make you appear younger to strangers. It's unclear if grinning tricks people into thinking your wrinkles are just laugh lines, or if the sight of a happy person elicits joy all around and the generous thoughts that go with it.

Lining From Corner to Corner

After one gloriously smoky hour, lower lid eyeliner and mascara starts to slide - sultry at 25, disastrous post-35, says Monsma. "Dark, runny makeup emphasizes circles and shadowing," she notes, adding that it also creeps into enemy No. 1, fine lines. If you're loading up on eye cream, the effect happens even faster. A better bet: "Keep the undereye light and bright with concealer, perhaps a luminizing cream, tapped in your eyes' inner corners," advises Monsma. She likes Algenist Reveal Luminizing Drops ($38; sephora.com). Then add a white or nude eyeliner, such as L'Oreal's Infallible Mechanical Eyeliner in White ($6.40; amazon.com), for instant brightening. And if you can't bear to give up lower liner and mascara, at least go easy, says the makeup pro: "Try to limit application to the outer third of your lower lash line - and choose waterproof formulas."

Too Many Adult Beverages

Alcohol is dehydrating, and hydration is the key to looking fresh-faced. So, yes, drinking plenty of H2O as you imbibe helps lessen fine lines, wrinkles, and puffy eyes. (Word to the wise: Alcohol also decreases Vitamin A levels, an antioxidant that aids cell turnover, and can cause capillaries to dilate and burst.) However, switching what you drink can make a difference. Clear spirits like gin, vodka and tequila typically leave your system faster than dark liquors, lessening damage.

Layering On Bronzer

Dusting copper-colored powder over your nose, chin and forehead will play up fine lines and large pores as the dark powder sinks into them, says Monsma. "The most flattering way to apply bronzing powder is on the perimeter of the face in the shape of the number three," she advises. "Start on your forehead near your temples, loop down to the tops of your cheekbones, then curve out and around again along your jaw."

Being Too Serious

"As we get older, we want a more comfortable shoe and other practical pieces," she Harris. But that doesn't mean you can't be playful with fashion! "Once you've got your essentials tailored and fitting well, you can tap into the latest trends with a more fun handbag or shoe." She loves a Converse sneaker for walking around town.

Staying Neutral

Skin loses color as it ages. "Think of a toddler's skin versus your grandmother's complexion," says Monsma. So while it may be tasteful, a nude or neutral makeup palette simply won't cut it. Instead, Monsma suggests subtly brightening one area - "lips or cheeks usually work best" - with sheer pink, peach or a pinky-brown. "It doesn't have to scream color," she says. "We're talking cream or gel formulas with soft finishes." Some of her favorite complexion-wakeners: Fresh Tinted Lip treatment in Petal ($24; amazon.com); Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink ($30; sephora.com); and NARS The Multiple in Riviera ($34.99; amazon.com).



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U.S. Daily News: 17 Things That Make You Look Older Than You Really Are
17 Things That Make You Look Older Than You Really Are
U.S. Daily News
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