A foundation that's too thick will settle into fine lines and sap the luminosity from your skin. "Only use foundation where you need it to even out discoloration," says makeup artist Frances Hathaway. "You don't have to cover every inch of your skin." When buying a foundation, avoid those described as "matte," "velvet," and "long-wearing"; look for sheer liquid formulas with light-diffusing pigments. If you have dry skin, foundation can look patchy and accentuate discoloration, so exfoliate two to three times a week and always apply a moisturizer after cleansing. Hathaway favorite moisturizers to use under foundation:
Over-Concealing Your Under-Eye CirclesA thick concealer that comes in a stick or pot will eradicate the shadows under your eyes, but it will also draw attention to the crepiness and fine lines that usually show up in that area first (because the skin there is thin). A better option: A brush-on highlighter pen drugstores) that uses illuminating particles, not opaque color, to camouflage dark circles. Apply it only near the inner corners of your under-eye area, where shadows are most prominent (and lines least).
A dark color makes any surface look smaller--a welcome illusion perhaps on your hips but not your lips. To make your mouth look fuller (one hallmark of a youthful face), choose bright lipsticks and glosses (peaches, pinks, vibrant reds) over deep shades (burgundies, wines, browns). Makeup artists use another trick to create the illusion of luscious lips: Before applying color, trace a highlighter pencil along your upper lip line, then buff it out with your finger. (Try Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland, $24;
Mistake #5: Wearing Black Eyeliner
Don't skip eyeliner altogether--it's a great way to make your eyes look more open--but choose brown over black, which can be harsh. And keep the color diffuse. "You want to define the eyes with softness and blending, not strict lines," says makeup artist Troy Surratt. "A thick liner can leave the upper lids looking heavier than they are." The best technique: Trace a brown pencil liner along the upper lash line (into the roots of the lashes), focusing on the outer corners; smudge it with a Q-tip.
Mistake #6: Going Overboard with Lip Liner
A lip liner can define your lips and prevent color from feathering into any lines around the mouth--but choose one very carefully. If you line your lips too heavily, or with a color that's too dark, they'll look tight and pursed. For the most natural effect, your lip liner should match the color of your lips, not the color of your lipstick. Choose a creamy formula that won't adhere to any dry patches, and use it to fill in your lips entirely, so it wears evenly.