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We all know that butterfly clips and bubblegum-pink lip gloss are trends best left to teenagers, but there are many other, less obvious beauty mistakes that can make any woman look years older than her chronological age. Here is our list of the top ten beauty blunders that can add years to your face and our recommendations on how to fix them:
10. Bright Red Lipstick
Over the past few years, the bombshell has come back in a big way, thanks in no small part to Mad Men's Joan Holloway, with her outrageously curvy figure, her fantastic wardrobe, and her perfectly painted pout. However, despite our wishes to look as fabulous as this small-screen siren, many of her beauty habits, most notably her red lips, can make the average woman appear older. As we age, our lip line can become less defined, and makeup can settle into the fine lines around our mouth. To combat this effect, use a liner to define your lips before applying lipstick, or skip the lipstick completely and use a non-sparkly lip gloss in a natural hue to give the appearance of fuller lips. To prevent the appearance of lines, try an anti-aging product specifically formulated for the lip area, like YBF's Define For Lips.
9. Flat Hair
Between the headaches and hair damage associated with rollers and curling irons, it's no wonder they've fallen out of favor. However, limp locks can make your face look gaunt, an obvious sign of aging. To keep your hair beautiful without over-styling, try volumizing shampoos and conditioners and tousle your hair at the roots to give it a little extra oomph. If you want to tool up, make sure you get thermal protection.
A sun-kissed glow can make you look happy and healthy, but spending hours in the sun (or, heaven forbid, a tanning bed) can take your skin from golden goddess to granny in no time at all. Rather than risking wrinkles and skin cancer, try applying a matte bronzer to your cheekbones to add definition and give your skin a radiant glow. A bonus of achieving a head-to-toe tan is cursorily camouflaging cellulite (not that you have any, but you know, just in case). After scouring the self-tanning universe for something that meets our lofty criteria, we settled on five sunless tanning products to represent the very best in the category, based on formula, fragrance, and performance.
7. Powder Foundation
Mineral makeup has been all the rage for the past few years, but the powdery formulas used in some of these foundations can settle into fine lines and wrinkles, making you look older. To keep your skin looking plump and youthful, mix one part liquid foundation with one part anti-wrinkle cream to create a perfect tinted moisturizer. Or to take the no foundation foundation option with Osmotics Inner Light or Dr Perricone.
Thankfully, glitter makeup has gone the way of disco, but it seems that shimmer is here to stay. While hydrated skin looks great at any age, shimmery makeup draws attention to age spots and wrinkles. To keep skin looking bright and refreshed, drink plenty of water and moisturize - with Five of the Best - regularly.
5. Blunt Cuts
Sure, Anna Wintour has sported her harsh hairdo for years, but blunt haircuts can make your face look severe, an unwanted effect at any age. Stay away from sharp styles and stick to loose layers instead. Take a look at HerCare products that target your style for a long-lasting cut.
4. Heavy Eyeliner
Panda bears may be adorable, but that doesn't mean we should use them as inspiration for our eye makeup. Using heavy eyeliner on aging skin can not only cause the makeup to migrate around your face, but can magnify the appearance of wrinkles. Rather than tossing out your favorite pencil or liner, keep your eye makeup simple and confine it to the upper eyelid.
3. Slicked-Back Hair
Ballerina buns and other tight coifs were runway regulars this past year, but, despite the feeling that you're getting a face-lift from these slick styles, they actually highlight wrinkles and other signs of aging. To keep hair off the face without making yourself appear older, slip on a simple headband or experiment with parting your hair differently.
2. Overdrawn Eyebrows
Eyebrows can become sparse as we age, but dark, drawn-on brows look unnatural and can draw attention to thinning hair. To keep eyebrows looking lush, avoid over-plucking, and pencil or brush in color within the natural shape of your eyebrow. Osmotics makes an excellent lash and brow enhancer that helps stop hair thinning before it starts, as does Hydropeptide.
1. The Frozen Face
While Botox and other anti-aging medical procedures are designed to keep us looking young, it's doubtful that anyone would mistake a taught, immobile face for actual youth. It's important to do that makes you feel energetic and confident, but there are many things gained with age, including wisdom and, on your face, the proof that you've smiled, laughed, and even spent a few late nights out over the years. Do what makes you feel best about your looks, but remember, there's something to be said for aging gracefully.... with a little help from our Best Beauty Products of 2009.