Saturday, March 5, 2016



Your choice of clothing and cosmetics can highlight your sense of style, compliment your best features, and keep you looking fresh and full of life. But sometimes these decisions can backfire: an ill-fitting dress that stretches and sags in all the wrong places, or a shade of makeup that accentuates fine lines and wrinkles. Women don't always update their fashion and beauty routines as they get older, says Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist Jan Ping, but they should; otherwise, the same products and pieces that once worked so well for them could suddenly give away their real age—or worse, make them look even older than they really are. Here are 18 common beauty blunders, and anti-aging advice from the pros on how to fix them.

Dressing too trendy

Unless you're on an unlimited budget, steer clear of fashions that seem very in-the-moment, advises New York City-based celebrity wardrobe stylist Alana Kelen; you won't be able to wear them for very long before they (and you) look dated and behind the times. "Rather than invest in pieces that may be passé by next season, stick to classic, sophisticated items that will stand the test of time," she says. That doesn't mean you can't infuse some edgier styles into your wardrobe, though. "Look to trends that are here to stay: leather, military, dark florals, plaid, and slimmer cuts such as tailored pants and pencil skirts."

Being nostalgic about clothes

"When giving private clients a fashion overhaul, I find they tend to hang onto things that just don't fit right," says Kelen. "Some are way too big and boxy; some are so small you can barely button them—but they keep them, either because they spent a lot of money on them or because they have sentimental value." Consider having these pieces tailored, if possible, so you can continue to wear them with confidence, she suggest. Otherwise, donate them, sell them to a second-hand store, or take them out of your closet and store them as memories—not as part of your current wardrobe.

Wearing your hair too long

Many women associate flowing locks with youth, and short styles—i.e. "mom haircuts"—with maturity. "But as you get older and begin to lose fat in your face, really long, straight hair can actually make you look more drawn," says New York City-based dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Melanie Grossman, MD. Choosing a cut with face-framing layers and lots of body, on the other hand, can help your face appear rounder and more youthful.

Using heavy black eye liner

Dark, dramatic eyes can be tricky to pull off, says Ping, and they tend to be less and less flattering on most women as they age. "Our eyelashes thin out as we get older, and women sometimes try to overcompensate for that with lots of black makeup," she says. "All that does, though, is draw attention to the wrinkles around your eyes." Instead of a black liner, choose a dark brown or grey, she says—and remember that less is more. Skip liquid liners, too, which can be too heavy, and opt for a soft, easy-to-apply pencil.

Getting a tan

Spending time in the sun may give you a temporary youthful glow, but in reality, it's a fast track to premature aging, says Dr. Grossman. Ultraviolet rays from the sun wreak havoc at the cellular level, breaking down the collagen fibers that help skin retain its elasticity and supple appearance; they can also cause pigment changes and permanent dark spots. Research shows that this type of damage can begin after just a few days of exposure without protection, Dr. Grossman adds, so it's important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, without exception. One way you won't forget? Look for a daily moisturizer with built-in SPF.

Ignoring your hands and chest

Of course, even if you're wearing sunscreen on your face every day, chances are you may be neglecting other parts of your body. "Your hands, neck, and chest are also exposed to sun on a daily basis, and women tend to forget about protecting them the same way they do their face," says Dr. Grossman. "But these are the areas we tend to see a lot of brown spots and wrinkles—they can be a dead giveaway, even if your face looks really youthful." (In fact, a 2013 Australian study found that women who used sunscreen on their hands every day showed no signs of aging after four years.) Along with a regular SPF, a daily moisturizer can also keep skin looking and feeling smooth and baby soft skin.