Want to appear more youthful? In this article we discuss the things that make us look older and what you can do about it.

8 things that make us look older

Perhaps you don’t want to look younger but most of us certainly don’t want to appear older. I’d like to think that most of us want to appear youthful and hip.

Let’s look at some examples of what can date us or make us appear older and how to fix it.

1. Too much or the wrong color makeup.

things that make us look older - too much or wrong color make up | 40plusstyle.com

As we get older, our coloring softens and dark or bright colors that once worked for us may overwhelm us now. Know which colors suit your skin tone.

Amaris (below) opts for the perfect shades to flatter her hair color, skintone and brown eyes. She opts for a bright lip and keeps her eye shade neutral.

If you don’t know if you are warm or cool then go to a make-up counter and try on yellow and blue based lipstick and blush colors to see what suits you best.

You can view many of our make-up tips here.

Find out the best mascaras for women over 40.

How to look younger: change your make-up routine

Consider what decade you learned to apply makeup. If you are still using those techniques and colors, it is time to up-date. Here are some changes to think about:

How to look younger naturally: Don’t wear too much eyeliner

Rather than a liquid eyeliner, try an eye pencil and smudge a bit after application to soften the line.

Or apply eye shadow with a small angled brush as the liner. For more info read How to apply eyeliner after 40.

Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes | 40plusstyle.com

Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes

Don’t match your eye shadow color to your outfit

We’re not in the 1980’s anymore. Go for a softer, natural look and avoid shimmer as this will magnify any crepiness.

Look younger by saying no to thick full coverage foundation

Consider a tinted moisturizer or a lighter weight foundation and apply only to the center of the face and blend outwards. Also see: the best foundation for mature skin.

CHANEL Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF15 | 40plusstyle.com

CHANEL Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF15

Avoid too dark or matte lipsticks

Our lips thin with age and a dark or matte colour will make lips look even thinner.

Try a crème or pearl colour and rather than dark go for a brighter or lighter color. Check out some of Sylvia’s favorite lipsticks.

Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge Ruby Cream Lipstick | 40plusstyle.com

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Ruby Cream Lipstick

How to look younger at 40 or beyond: stay away from too dark a lip liner

Lip liners should match the lipstick color. You don’t want an obvious line around your lips, but a lip liner can be a useful tool to prevent lipstick from bleeding into fine lines.

Emphasizing eyes AND lips

 As with clothes, choose one star and the rest as supporting players.

If you are wearing a dramatic lipstick, keep the blush and eye shadows softer.

Too much blush and in the wrong area

things that make us look older - don't wear too much blusher | 40plusstyle.com

Apply sparingly along the cheek bone and blend, blend, blend.

Emma (above) opts for a subtle blush which gives her a healthy glow.

2. Eyeglasses or sunglasses that are years old or no longer fashionable.

Eyeglasses and sunglasses follow trends just as fashion does and should be considered just as necessary to update.

If you have prescription glasses a good reminder to change is when you get a new prescription.

COACH optical glasses | 40plusstyle.com

COACH optical glasses

If you have changed your hair color or if you go grey, you may want to consider a lighter color or a silver frame.

Also take a look at the best glasses to buy after 40.

things that make us look older - eyeglasses or sunglasses that are no longer fashionable  | 40plusstyle.com

An easy and inexpensive way to modernize your style is to pick up a few pair of sunglasses. Perhaps a sportier and an elegant pair for different outfits.

Salvatore Ferragamo 55mm Cat Eye Sunglasses | 40plusstyle.com

Salvatore Ferragamo 55mm Cat Eye Sunglasses

Oxana (above) shows that sunglasses aren’t just for summer.

Consider your face shape, skin tone and personality when selecting glasses. Our face shape and coloring will change with age, so you may need to select a different frame shape and color now.

Also see on how to find the right glasses for you.

3. Hairstyle or hair colour that hasn’t changed in years.

things that make us look older - hairstyle and color that hasn't changed in years | 40plusstyle.com

How long is too long to keep the same hairstyle or color? The running joke is whether you’ve had the same style for so long that it’s popular again.

Seriously, if your hairstyle is from another decade, it’s time to change.

Our hair changes with age. It may get thinner, coarser, less curly or frizzier. Our face shape may also change, so a hairstyle that suited us in our 30’s may not be the most flattering in our 50’s.

Brenda (above) opts for a flattering, modern, asymmetrical pixie cut.

Tips for how to stay looking young – with youthful hair

Youthful looking hair has movement

Stay away from too many styling products and too much hairspray as this will make hair look stiff and unnatural.

One overall dark color is aging

things that make us look older - one overall dark hair color | 40plusstyle.com

A few highlights around the face and crown will add softness and create a more natural look.

Highlights, lowlights, ombre or balayage will add interest, definition and a modern look with any hair colour.

Sara (above) keeps her roots darker for a modern look and makes sure her hair has movement.

Grey hair can be dry, frizzy or coarse

If you’ve let your hair go naturally grey, you should use specialized products for grey hair to keep it moisturized and prevent yellowing.

If you’re wondering whether you should go gray or not, you may enjoy the discussion in our article: To grey or not to grey.

L'Oréal Serie Expert Magnesium Silver Neutralising Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

 L’Oréal Serie Expert Magnesium Silver Neutralising Shampoo

Check this article for more fabulous gray hairstyles.

Consider your hair texture

things that make us look older - not embracing our natural hair texture | 40plusstyle.com

If you have curly hair and fought with it all your life you may want to go with your natural curls now. 

Net (below) is wearing her curls in full glory.

You may like to check our article on how to manage curly hair.

Take the advice from your hairdresser

When you get a new haircut, have your hairstylist show you how to style it. Styling techniques and products have changed over the years.

Tweak your classic style

things that make us look older - plain hairstyle // tweak it with layers and bangs | 40plusstyle.com

Even if a classic haircut such as a bob is your style of choice, you can tweak it with more layers, less layers, angled or longer or shorter. Even subtle changes make a difference.

Kim (above) shows how a classic cut can look modern and hip.

4. Wearing too much black

There’s no denying that black outfits can be effortlessly cool. They can also be slimming.

However wearing black close to your face can also have a draining effect, making wrinkles and dark circles appear more prominent.

That doesn’t mean you have to give up on black completely.

You can always wear a scarf or statement jewelry next to your face over your black to make your complexion look brighter and more youthful.

Nordstrom Cashmere & Silk Scarf | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom Cashmere & Silk Scarf

Or you could keep your black on your bottom half and wear a more flattering color on your top half.

things that make us look older - wearing too much black // mix black with patterns | 40plusstyle.com

Jeanne (above) opts to wear black, but chooses a face-framing statement necklace (check similar pice here) to flatter her skin tone, as well as bright lipstick.

5. Over plucking your eyebrows

Just like clothing trends, eyebrow trends change. While full brows were on trend in the 60s, by the time the 90s and 2000s came around, thinner brows were the way to go, meaning many of us overplucked our brows.

If you are still plucking your eyebrows to create a thin shape, you might want to let your natural brows grow as the current trend is definitely about bigger brows.

As most of us have found out, however, our eyebrows may not grow back. To compensate, use a powder or pencil to fill in the sparse areas. Also check: how to get the perfect eyebrows.

Benefit The Great Brow Kit | 40plusstyle.com

Benefit The Great Brow Kit

This is a positive trend for women over 40 as a well-defined brow can definitely give a youthful appearance as well as creating definition for the rest of your face.

6. Wearing shapeless outfits can prevent you from looking younger than your age

Too often, as we age we end up trying to disguise parts of our body that we don’t like. And, that is, of course, fine up to a point.

But the idea is to play down the areas you aren’t so keen on, and emphasize the areas you like, rather than to hide your whole figure.

For ideas on what will flatter your, take a look at the guidelines on how to dress your body shape – whether you are an hourglass, a pear shape, rectangle, inverted triangle or apple.

7. Wearing the wrong size bra

There’s no doubt that gravity can have an effect when we get older. Sagging is just part of the natural aging process. After menopause, a natural drop in oestrogen can make breast tissue less elastic.

If you’ve been wearing the same size bra for decades, it could be time to change.

Not only will you be more comfortable, but you will have a more youthful silhouette.

Wacoal Lace Underwire Bra | 40plusstyle.com

Wacoal lace underwire bra

Plus, by making sure that there is a clear division between where your bust ends and the rest of your torso begins, you can ensure that you don’t look bigger than you really are.

Also take a look at the best bras for big busts.

8. Not taking care of your hands

While you may have an established skincare routine for your face, how about for your hands?

Hands are often one of the first places that we start to show our age. Making sure that you protect your hands from the sun, and that you give them the nourishment they need can ensure that your hands don’t age prematurely.

Aveda Hand Relief Hand Cream | 40plusstyle.com

Aveda Hand Relief Hand Cream

Change is good!

Remember change is good and think of all the possibilities and fun you’ll have making those changes.

For more tips on staying youthful after 40, check out our tips on how to dress after 40 and still look hip.

How do you keep yourself modern and hip and what do you think will date us and make us look older?

Continue reading:

  1. How To Look Hip And Beautiful With The Right Glasses
  2. How To Apply Eyeliner After 40 & The Best Ones To Use!
  3. How To Dress After 40 And Look Hip?

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8 things that date us or make us look older | 40plusstyle.com

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