MISTAKE NO. 1: Fixing Your “Flaws”
WHY EXPERTS ARE FROWNING: Applying concealer and foundation incorrectly and in the wrong shade can make you look older, not younger. It’s called the “reverse raccoon,” and it must be stopped: When you apply a concealer that’s lighter than your skin tone to under-eye circles, not only does it not conceal them, it actually highlights the area. “You’ve drawn attention to the very area you’re trying to downplay,” says eco-friendly makeup artist Tina Turnbow. Choose a concealer that is the same shade as your cheek—not your undereye skin—and, as always, be sure to blend well with a synthetic bristle brush. And forget trying to cover up your fine lines and wrinkles with concealer or foundation. Typical formulations will actually settle in these creases, making them more visually pronounced, especially as the day goes on. Instead, spot-cover areas with a light layer of moisturizing foundation or powder. Again, the goal is to draw the eye away from the areas you like less; a pop of bright pink blush is often a great distraction!
TRY: bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation ($26; bareescentuals.com) covers scars, blemishes, rosacea and wrinkles with a texture that blends well. /Laura Mercier Undercover Pot ($34; lauramercier.com) makes matching your skin tone effortless with two shades of concealer and a setting powder.
MISTAKE NO. 2: Forgoing Toner
WHY EXPERTS ARE FROWNING: If you delete this post-cleansing step because you think toner is too drying, you’re missing out on extra-clean, hydrated skin. Although it used to enjoy more popularity, toner has become the outcast of skin-care products—and the experts we talked to think it should make a major comeback. “Toner definitely has a bad rap,” says Dallas skin-care expert and celebrity aesthetician Reneé Rouleau. “People think it dries out and strips your skin, and lots of companies still put dehydrating alcohol in their toners. But many don’t, and these are a must for smooth, hydrated skin.” Look for ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and rose water, says Rouleau. “Using a toner with these ingredients is like giving your skin a drink of water, adding much-needed moisture to the deeper layers,” she says. Apply enough hydrating toner to leave your skin damp. This makes it 10 times more permeable than dry skin so it will better absorb the active ingredients in the serum or moisturizer you apply next.
TRY: Weleda Refining Toner ($17; weleda .com) contains a blend of iris root, organic wild rose leaf extract and lemon juice to balance and clarify the skin. Ling Skincare Replenishing Hydrator ($38; lingskincare.com) eases breakouts and redness, and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles.
MISTAKE NO. 3: Skipping Sunscreen in Key Areas
WHY EXPERTS ARE FROWNING: You’re inviting telltale signs of sun damage in the form of dark spots and dry patches. Even worse, you’ll increase your risk of skin cancer. The good news? We’re finally on board with wearing sunscreen every day, all year-round. But unfortunately, dermatologists report that we’re still not hitting areas crucial to preventing skin cancer. Plus, over time, these unprotected spots become visibly damaged. “I see a lot of women with hyperpigmentation and obvious sun damage around their hairlines and on their ears,” says skin-care expert Rouleau. The simple fix? Make sure you’re not skimping on sunscreen, even on those hard-to-remember places. Rouleau’s rule of thumb: Squeeze a line of product down your two longest fingers; this is the correct amount for your face and neck. Then rub the product between your hands, and apply from the top of your face down, taking care to blend the sunscreen into your hairline (and even into your part). And while you’re at it, don’t forget your neck and chest!
TRY: Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45 ($30; sephora.com) is talc-free and ultraportable for touchups anytime, anywhere. John Masters Organics SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen ($32; johnmasters.com) is a physical block that contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are natural mineral sunscreens.
MISTAKE NO. 1: Fixing Your “Flaws”