You could do everything right for your skin, but if your makeup is wrong, your anti-aging efforts will come to naught. That's because the colors and formulas you pick to layer on immediately impact how fresh you look. "With the right products and application tricks, you'll appear younger," says Sandy Linter, a New York City celebrity makeup artist for Lancôme. Many of the new formulas are even laced with age-erasing ingredients. Try them and you just might get mistaken for a woman who lives at her derm's office (or who at least gets a lot of sleep).
2 of 11Lisa Shin
Diffuse fine lines
Who needs primer when you've already slathered on moisturizer? You do, actually. "Primers, unlike moisturizers, have smoothing silicones that fill in and soften lines, so your skin naturally reflects light and glows," explains Linter. Plus, primer helps foundation glide on more evenly. This is especially key if your skin is on the dry side. Try CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless serum primer ($14; at mass retailers), which has collagen-boosting amino peptides.
3 of 11Lisa Shin
Even out your skin
Sometimes you have only a few minor areas to cover upsun spots, dark circles or redness around the noseso your first instinct is to spot-treat with concealer, followed by foundation. But you should be doing the exact opposite: "Reach for foundation first," says Linter. Use one that's ultra-hydrating and formulated for aging skin, such as Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing foundation ($39; sephora.com). "Then go in with concealer and target what needs more coverage."
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"Once your skin is evened out, you'll be surprised at how much less cover-up you need to use," notes Linter. Look for one that's loaded with pigment (not too liquidy) so you need just a dabany more may cake in fine lines. We like Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Concealer + Treatment ($10; at mass retailers). To apply, pat it right where you need it, but don't rub. Bonus: The highly concentrated vitamin C should visibly decrease your sun spots within a month.
Swipe on a subtly dark, shimmery eye shadow; start at the outer corner of the lid and blend over crease. Origins Brightening GinZing cream eye shadow in Perkle ($19; origins.com) has pearl and revitalizing caffeine.
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Glow with bronze
Mimic the skin-perfecting effect of a soft Instagram filter with highlighter just above cheekbones. Try Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity highlighter stick ($11; at Target). Use Sparkling Sands (right) if you're fair, Persian Sunset (left) if you're medium to dark.
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Brighten with sparkly nude
"Dark circles can cast a shadow over your entire eye area," says New York dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. Use a light-reflective undereye concealer, such as the one from Temptu ($28; qvc.com).
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Give cheeks a lift with vibrant rose
Want to hang on to that fresh glow? Opt for cream blush in enlivening shades of pink. Try L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Color Lift blush in Rose Gold ($13; at mass retailers).
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Perk up lips with soft pink
"Skin on lips is thin and lacks oil glands, making lines more noticeable," says Dr. Fusco. Look for hydrating ingredients like shea butter and glycerin. Best color? Soft but punchy pink, which "flatters all skin tones," says Linter. We like Chanel Rouge Coco Shine sheer lipshine in Romance ($34; chanel.com), with moisturizing ceramides.
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Define eyes with bright blue
Swap black liner for eye-brightening teal. "Vivid shades give just a hint of color, not an obvious line," says Brian Duprey, a makeup artist in New York City. Youngblood Incredible Wear gel liner in Lagoon ($21; ybskin.com) contains vitamin E to condition lashes.
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Prettify lids with plum
"If you want to go beyond neutrals on your eyes, try a shade of purple," says Duprey. "It's hands down the most wearable color for all skin tones." One we like: Neutrogena Crease Proof eye shadow in Stay-Put Plum ($8; at mass retailers).