Turn back the clock with these tips to help you look your age… or even younger, if you’re lucky.

Look, normally I’m not the sort of person to get all up in anyone’s business about their age. And I would certainly never say this to your face, but honey, you could be making some big mistakes with your makeup that make you look WAY older than you are.

1. Using too much foundation

Think that foundation will hide all your ageing imperfections? Think again.

Sadly, slapping on the coverage so thick it looks like it was applied with a trowel will only serve to enhance all the stuff you were trying to banish. Heavy foundation has the double whammy effect of making your bumps stand out, and settling into any facial lines so that tiny cracks look like the Grand Canyon. It also zaps all the dewy youth out of your skin, leaving it look like you’re wearing a mask.

If you’re worried about your age, stay clear of any foundations that aim to bring out a velvet or matte effect. Instead, go for formulas with light reflecting particles and use a light hand when applying. Or try finishing your look off with a light dusting of light-reflecting powder.

Try Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($67 at Mecca Maxima) or Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector ($60 at Sephora).

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Image: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

2. Skipping primer

Once upon a time we didn’t even know about primer, but now, no makeup kit should be without it.

A good primer is like sealing a wall properly before you paint it… except, you know, in a breathable, not really sealed but just smoothed over kind of way.

Silicone-based primers are particularly good at turning back the ol’ clock hands, because they fill in fine lines, enlarged pores, and smooth everything over so you can slick on a bit of foundation (lightly) without highlighting all the stuff you hate. Plus, it makes your makeup last WAY longer.

My go-to is Napoleon Perdis’ classic Auto-Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer for $59, or one of his colour correcting primers for that extra oomph ($39).

Napoleon Perdis’ classic Auto-Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer

Image: Napoleon Perdis’ Auto-Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer

3. Not exfoliating often enough

“But what does exfoliating have to do with age?” I hear you ask. “I’m just rubbing off a bunch of dead skin cells!”

Wrong… Well, right, but that’s not the only benefit.

As well as getting rid of flaky skin (which heavy-handed foundation will draw attention to, remember?), exfoliation stimulates new cell growth. New cell growth means more collagen production, and more collagen production means that youthful, springy skin we all know and love. Exfoliate your face and body at least twice a week for max cell turnover.

Even better? A chemical exfoliant (such as Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Skin Peel, $24-$223 at Mecca Maxima) used regularly will reduce wrinkles and get rid of pigmentation. For real.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Skin Peel

Image: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Skin Peel

4. Over-concealing those dark circles under your eyes

You think you’re doing a good thing by using a sturdy concealer to… well… conceal that ever-darkening blackness around your peepers.

But if you’re using the wrong colour, or formula, it’s like painting a massive neon sign under your eyes that says: “No, I’m not sick, yes I’m fine, I just haven’t slept in, like, three goddamn years, OK?!”

Yet again, it’s usually those pesky thick formulas we’ve talked about doing their damage again. It might draw those shadows away a little, but it will settle into the fine lines that usually show up in that area of the face. (Try IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Under Eye Anti -Aging Concealer, $38 at Sephora, or Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $43 at Mecca Maxima).

Similarly, choosing your perfect colour match is super important. Too dark and you’re making the problem worse or looking like you have serious sun damage. Too light and you look like you’re trying to reclaim your youth in the bad, mutton-dressed-as-lamb way. And no one wants that.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Image: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

5. Skipping blush

If you’re missing out on blush, you don’t know what you’re missing. So I’ll tell you.

You’re missing out on YOUTH.

Seriously, nothing make you look younger than a rosy flush on those cheeks. Come ON, it’s a literal youthful glow! Just be careful you don’t get too heavy-handed (yes, I know I sound like a broken record).

Make sure you swipe it out towards your ear and blend; only clowns wear blush right on the apples of their cheeks. Try Benefit Posietint Lip and Cheek Stain ($30), for the ultimate two-in-one; or if you’re feeling like a big spender, get your hands on the Jaclyn Hill x Becca Cosmetics Limited Edition Blush Palette ($89 at Sephora) for all the blush colours and illuminating powders you’ll ever need, all in an Insta-worthy white and gold compact.

Jaclyn Hill x Becca Cosmetics Limited Edition Blush Palette

Image: Jaclyn Hill x Becca Cosmetics Limited Edition Blush Palette

What’s your secret to looking great? Share your tips in the comments below!