Makeup Time Machine: 8 Easy Ways to Turn Back the Clock

Embrace a youthful exuberance at any age! While “more is better” applies to many joys in life (like coffee and gift cards), your makeup is another story entirely. Too much makeup can settle into fine lines and wrinkles, magnifying rather than diminishing their appearance. By simply choosing forgiving formulas and switching up your product selection, you can put your best face forward. Brush up (pun intended!) on these quick tricks to discover that turning back the hands of time can be as easy as opening your makeup bag!

1. Pass on the Powder

You may think that a lightweight and non-greasy powder is a mature skin’s must-have, but that’s not always the case. Powder can easily sink into and exaggerate facial fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes. As we age, our skin loses some of its natural brilliance, and powder can make the skin look cake-y and chalky. Instead, choose a light coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer to help even out your skin tone and add some radiance back into the skin.

MUG Must-Have: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (Amazon) (Nordstrom)

2. Pretty in Pink

Like face powder, a powder blush tries to sneak into those fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin appear dull or flat. A cream blush imparts a gorgeous glow to the cheeks while still looking natural and effortless. To add a youthful flush to your cheeks, choose a shade that complements your skin tone, and build up the color to your desired intensity. Remember to apply your cream blush with clean fingers to keep icky bacteria at bay!

MUG Must-Have: NYX Cream Blush in Boho Chic (Amazon)

3. Disguise Dark Circles

Whether those dark circles are hereditary, age related or simply due to a lack of sleep, they can draw your face downward, making you appear older than your years. The trick to effectively conceal those dark demons is to use a color correcting concealer that’s peach or salmon in hue. The warm tones counteract and neutralize the blue color characteristic of most under-eye circles. For an added youthful brightness, gently pat on a concealer (one shade lighter than your natural skin color) over the correcting concealer.

MUG Must-Have: Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach (Amazon) (Sephora) (Nordstrom) or Makeup Forever Concealer Palette (Amazon)

4. Keep it Light

In the spirit of keeping things light, a luminous shimmery eyeshadow (like Makeup Geek’s Shimma Shimma or Bling) applied to the inner corner of your eyes gives you that well rested, youthful, bright-eyed look. You can also add a small amount of your highlighting shadow under the brow to further brighten the eye. Note: When using an eyeshadow with shimmer, don’t go rogue! Stick to the inner corner (near the tear duct) and under the brow.

MUG Must-Have: Makeup Geek Eyeshadows in Shimma Shimma or Bling

5. Just Wing It

Winging out your liner pulls the eye upward to create an instant lift that’s perfect for combating tired or aging eyes. While executing a winged eye can be a daunting task, the proper tools and product can make all the difference. We recommend using gel eyeliner with an angled brush like Makeup Geek’s Bent Liner Brush. Unfamiliar with how these items can achieve a cat eye or winged liner effect? Just check out our video, “How To Use an Angled Liner Brush”.

MUG Must-Have: Makeup Geek Gel Liner in Immortal and Makeup Geek Bent Liner Brush or Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black (Amazon) (Nordstrom)

6. Eyes on the Skies

Curling your eyelashes is a quick and easy way to instantly make your eyes pop! Over time, eyelids are likely to start drooping and eyelashes can begin to flatten. Redirecting your lashes upward makes your eyes appear more open, wide, and therefore, more fresh and youthful looking. Give your lashes the pick-me-up they need and finish off the look with a couple coats of mascara.

MUG Must-Have: Shu Uemura Lash Curler (Amazon) or Tarte Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler (Amazon)

7. Plump up Your Pout

Thinning lips is another common sign of aging. While your lips may not be as voluminous as they once were, you can use a plumping lip gloss to temporarily achieve the feeling and appearance of fuller, more supple-looking lips. The telltale sign of a good plumping gloss is a mild tingling sensation on the lips—that means it’s working! Pro Tip: Avoid using dark lip colors as they can create a shadowed effect and inadvertently make your lips appear smaller.

MUG Must-Have: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lipgloss in Bambi (Amazon) or NYX Plump It Up Lip Plumper (Amazon)

8. Bolster Your Brows

As we age, our eyebrows can become both lighter and thinner, especially near the tail. Full, thick brows communicate youth, so fearlessly fill them in! This is one case in which powder is a mature gal’s friend. Ditch the brow gel or pencil and grab a brow powder or matte finish eyeshadow for a softer, more natural finish. Keep the outer portion of your brow the darkest and the inner portion of your brow the lightest. For the most realistic results, choose a brow color that either matches or is no more than two shades off your hair color.

MUG Must-Have: Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Mocha

With just a little makeup magic, you can look fresh and beautiful at any age. Incorporate these eight easy tips into your makeup routine to feel younger, more vibrant, and bring out your inner Makeup Geek!

Profile photo of Marlena

CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


Comments are now closed on this article.

How timely Marlena! I was just looking at photos taken yesterday and thought…I need to get some help on looking younger….mother time is marching on! Thanks for the info…going out to get the BB concealer…

If you’re in your 20’s and reading this….be grateful! And take good care of your skin!

I’ve been using the Nars Orgasm blush with the MAC highlighting powder that was suggested in the Kim Kardashian tutorial and I think that also gives a nice youthful glow. I LOVE your website. Thank you for all the fun & fabulous ideas. I am a MAC addict so I love the older videos with almost all MAC but a good product is a good product & I’m willing to try new things.

Hi Marlena!I love the tips!! Just a couple question, most of my clients are younger so when I get an older client I sometimes get lost. I use matt shadows but how would you create a smoikey eye for an older woman with droopy lids? Also I’ve noticed when I use gel liner on women with wrinkly lids its extremely difficult to get a straight line.

Thanks for the help!

Hi Marlena,

Thank you for these tips, i am getting old too :(
Me personally wouldn’t use black eye liner anymore at my age (37),
i would rather use brown or dark blue.

Hope you will do a tutorial once, with all MUG store items used :o)

Love your website !

Marlena-love your website! Look forward to any new tutorials you offer-have tried different products with success thanks to your suggestions! Please keep it up! Thanks so much!

So excited you’re back! I’m glad because I’m kinda in a weird place with what kind of makeup is appropriate for my age and look. I’ll be 37 tomarrow ( woohoo!) and makeup is a passionate hobby of mine. I can pull off many looks for work and nights out on the town, but for a day to day routine I feel as though it’s either too much of a production or too little. I hear alot about this NARS orgasm color, do you suggest any dupes for a plain face spruce-up?

Love the vanilla and naked pigments from MAC. They are the best neitrals. I also think that just applying a great face lotion with sunscreen would do the trick for these hot days with some mascara, eyeliner and lipgloss….keeping it natural!

Ok, a couple of you have named 37 as some sort of point of no return. I’m 37 and will be 38 in August. I LOVE make up and Marlena, and I’ve tried just about everything she’s shown on her website. I even wear glitter eyeliner–to work. I get tons of compliments and feel so much younger than my young 37 years, especially when I have my makeup on. I’ve got 60 year old women asking me where I got the glitter and how hard is it to put on– So go ahead ditch the old ideas about “appropriate for your age” and just have fun.

Thanks for the boost, I too feel much younger,& I agree that 37 is not a tipping point, you are as young as your heart is. I should have said that I’d like my look to evolve into something more fresh faced and polished for day to day. This website has inspired my love for cosmetics into a new hobby and I too have tried and tested and been pleased with much of her recommendations, which is why I hav an arsenal of glitter liners now!

I too am in total agreement with ‘age appropriate’ makeup. I have seen many, many older ladies who try too hard to use makeup to make themselves look younger. Yes, that is acceptable, but not caked on and too gaudy. The first thing I think of is 1) you need to watch more Makeup Geek, and 2) you are taking an issue and making it more of an issue. I myself am 43, with 44 only 2 months away. Using makeup correctly to accentuate and hide certain features as well as creating that youthful glow, is a definite advantage if done tastefully. Trying to wear the makeup I did in the 80’s, ah hem-clearing throat, when I was a teenager is too gaudy. Look how far we have come since those days on styles, applications, and formulations for different types of makeup and skin sensitivies. All this aside, let us not forget, sure we can wear all the makeup we want in our own individual ways, and we can buy all the clothes we want which promise to nip, tuck, contour and suck in those middle age fluffies, but, as I have had to remind myself of each day, that not only is outer beauty necessary, but INNER beauty is most important. If you dont feel good on the inside, it wont help the outside. So, chin up, smile, and makeup as you may, take that deep breath, stretch and have a positive day!

Hi everyone,

After reading this article, I went straight to Sephora for the NARS foundation. BTW, I’ll be 37 in October and I’m loving Adriana’s feedback…hee hee… Anyway, the Sephora employee suggested I use a loose mineral powder instead of liquid foundation. I have suuuuuper oily skin and she said liquid would create a hot mess… :(

Has anyone experienced the “hot mess” she mentioned? Is there an exception to the powder rule??/

I love Marlena too, and she’s shown me how to apply makeup at age 38! One thing tho, My skin is oily so I’m hesitant to use anything shimmery on my cheeks or cream blush. I feel like it emphasizes the problem and looks like and oil slick.?

You could also try a cheek stain like Posietint or Benetint by Benefit. Tarte I believe also has stains available.

I will be 42 this year and have been investing a lot of time and money in slowing down the clock. Here is what I have found works for me.
1.Clinique anti gravity eye cream. It has helped tremendously with the drooping eyes. ( I don’t have dark circles but the skin under my eyes has thinned so some of the blue in my skin tone shows more there so I apply the smallest amount of a concealer called Amazing Concealer.) I also use Marlena’s tricks with the eyelinerwing on the outer corners and using a bit of light shimmer in the tear ducts and under the arch of my eyebrow. It brightens and brings the focus up to your eyes and away from flaws!
2. Use a primer after moisturizing and before foundation. It will make your makeup glide over imperfections and will also stretch you foundation. (You’ll find you will invest in better products as you get older and will want to make the most of it.) A really good primer that sounds crazybut works great and is super cheap is Monistat Anti Chaffing gel. Marlena has mentioned it as well. I have combination dry skin and the pores on my nose and cheeks are bigger so I also use Clinique Pore Minimizer in my t-zone to take down the shine there.
3. The biggest difference I have found in looker younger and applying makeup is really taking care of your skin. Cleanse your face gently every morning and night, exfoliate well every 3 days and above all MOISTURIZE! Even if your skin is oily. If you don’t keep moisturized your skin will over compensate but making your skin oily. Moisture will keep your skin balanced. Oh and use SPF every single day! Don’t tan your face!! You will regret it when all those sun spots start showing.
I’m only speaking from my own experience. Please correct me on anything that is not accurate, Marlena!

Age gracefully girls :)

Great tips as usual Marlena! I particularly agree with the point about wearing pink cheek colour…another little tip is to (very) lightly apply a bit to the tip of your nose – it helps to give a ‘youthful glow’. But only a touch – you don’t want to end up looking like Bozo the Clown!

hello marlena, hello everyone! very great site i really do enjoy watching your tutorials, you are really fresh an talented, keep up the good work!
i will be 35 in november but i do look much younger (people still think i am 25); and it’s true the best secret is to keep the skin moisturized. i have sensitive skin with casual breakouts; i use pure aloe vera gel mixed with a few drop jojoba oil (or argan oil) and for the makeup i use a moisturizing, soothing, light tinted cream and a bit of rice powder if needed, for a matte finish (my skin is very fair and translucent).
as a blush i simply use dark chocolate powder… i mix a bit of chocolate with the rice powder to lighten up the shade; it doesn’t dry or irritate my, smells heavenly and brings me in a good mood in the morning :-)
for eyes and lip makeup, it depends… i like goth style and it’s perfect with my naturally white skin and dark hair, but for the everyday makeup i like a lighter pin up style (sheer cherry red lips – gloss and benetint; white pearly eye shadow and apricot for the crease and black liner and mascara.. or i do enjoy natural lips and white/lavender/purple for the pinup eye makeup (my eyes are green).
but that is what works for me and it’s true it’s how we feel inside and how good we feel in our own skin, no matter what we look like, that matters the most
take care
a fan from luxembourg

Great tips. Has anyone else been overcharged by and if so how did you fix it? They charged me the 29.95 yearly fee THREE times. I have emailed them repeatedly but no answer and no way to call them. I am glad my checking account had enough money in it.

OH MARLENA!!!!! I am so happy to have found you. You have brought out my inner makeup geek and I love you for it. So, I am 36 and have used drugstore products since the age of 14. I am ready to ditch the duds and go for the good stuff. The only problem is…WHAT BRAND DO I GO FOR???? WHERE DO I START???? (I plan on purchasing the essential brushes as well).WHAT DO I NEED???? I AM OVERWHELMED!!!! I work in my home and I only wear makeup when I go out, although mascara is an everyday wear–it is part of me, so I don’t count that. Basically, I am looking for advice on what brand is best suited for dull, flat, slightly dry and maturing skin. Unfortunately, I am seeing the fine lines and wrinkles. I have never stepped foot into Sephora or any store equivalent. Would they be able to help me determine the colors best suited for me? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and all the great tutorials. Now, I need to go and jot down those essential makeup brushes and keep them in my bag for the big day.

That’s awesome, I’ve always been a huge fan of the Voluminous stuff, too. I can’t wait to try the Fiberwig!

hi marlena thanks for your advice im 32 and have noticed how pale and dull looking my skin is i have tried different foundation n bronzers and nothing can give me my glow back that i had in my 20’s so i ve started to use fake tan to help me looking pale but i think i will try that nars foundation is there any shade that you can recommend for me ?

ty x

B_ U _TEE_FULL Ladies,
U are up lifting for me to have such positive looks on life, 37 isn’t old. You are only as old as you feel. Try 57 I don’t feel old I must say don’t look it I am grateful to my parents(dad) for being American Indian and Marlena for getting me hooked on MU. THANKS Marlena I love make up and i agree with the ladies that gave positive feed back. Its has been my daily ritual to check out your site. I had no idea how to apply Mu but i have learned so much. Thanks Marlena.

Hi, I’m 52 and look like 35, light on the makeup is key, but exercise and water will help a lot too!

Hi Marlena and Crew!
So I know this is an old article, but I’m reallly hoping you see this- I know the article says no powder (for the dewy finish), so what do you do to ensure the makeup lasts? I’m thinking like for bridal- do you still use powder, then use a setting spray to help soften it back down? Thanks!

Hi Marlena they sound like great tips Will try them out and let you know am 44 years old and my eye lids that droop down as you can see on my profile pic if you have any tips for me i would be most great full I love to wear make up and try new things but i do keep it simple its a age thing lol

Take care And I hope to hear from you or your team soon please help :-)

Karen x

This is going to SO help my mom haha. She has SERIOUS dark under eye circles. She’s tried all the concealers, but all it does it highlight it even more! Can someone PLEASE help my mom find something that will really help her under eye dark, puffy circles? Me and her would be so greatful.