These common makeup blunders can age you by 10 years

Makeup can be a great tool for boosting our confidence, showing our personality, or highlighting our best features. But, when overused or misused, makeup can also do the opposite—and even age us.

There are some extremely common makeup habits that aren’t doing us any good. To avoid aging yourself every time you apply makeup, make sure to avoid these seven blunders.

1. Applying concealer incorrectly

Lots of people apply concealer in dots below their eyes. I know I did this for years. But that method doesn’t effectively cover up all the darkness that hangs out underneath our eyes. Instead of the dots, try applying your concealer in a triangle shape, with two corners of the triangle at either end of your eye and the third corner on your cheek, in line with your pupil.

This technique gives us much fuller coverage and, as a result, a more youthful appearance.

2. One-dimensional hair color

Hair that’s all just one shade can look flat and dull, making us look older than we actually are. The best, most long-lasting solution is to get yourself to the salon, switch it up, and try out a new, more multi-dimensional hair color. Another (less expensive) solution is trying a hair gloss, which you can do at home or go to a salon for. Glosses add shine and boost the color of our hair, which instantly gives us a more vibrant look.

3. Skipping out on primer

In case you’re not already aware, primers are used as a sort of base layer before the foundation goes on. They can help to smooth out the skin, make foundation last longer, and prevent the caking that can happen when the skin leeches moisture from our foundation. Without primer, our skin is more likely to show wrinkles and draw attention to “problem” areas.

4. Using a one-size-fits-all skin routine

Everyone’s skin is different. Some have oily skin, some have dry skin, and some fall somewhere in the middle. So just buying skin products at random will never optimize your skin routine. Instead, make sure you’re aware of what your skin type is, and buy products accordingly. Get to know your skin—and it’ll look far better in the long run.

5. Eyeliner on just the lower eyelid

Pretty much all of us have dark circles under our eyes, even if some are darker than others. Applying eyeliner on just the lower lid only accentuates this area, weighing our eyes down and highlighting the dark circles. While it’s definitely okay to apply liner to the lower lid, it’s best to accompany it with liner on the upper lid. Try out lighter colors and softer lines for an even fresher, more youthful look.

6. Cakey foundation

We’ve all seen the folks who pile on foundation until it’s become a thick layer resting on top of the skin. When it comes to foundation, it is absolutely necessary to not overdo it. Adding too much foundation can actually create discoloration and highlight wrinkles—achieving the opposite of what we want. If you want to look youthful, go easy instead of overboard on the foundation.

7. Not using sunscreen

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. It’s one of the most important steps we can take in ensuring long-lasting youthful skin. Buy a daily moisturizer with SPF for everyday skin protection, and make sure that when you’re spending time out in the sun, you’re using heavier duty sunscreen to prevent excessive tanning and sunburns.

The takeaway

While it’s always great to go without makeup entirely—as many women are this year—it’s also a tool that most of us like to keep in our back pocket. For those occasions, or for everyday makeup wearers, it’s important to avoid the most common makeup blunders.

Make sure the makeup you wear is giving you a fresh, youthful, confident appearance—not the opposite.