Experts Say These 7 Makeup Cheat Codes Help You Look More Youthful

Anti-aging is such a hot topic these days. Everyone and their mother (literally) are calling out tips and tricks to take years off our faces. Most times, it’s innocent enough. A product recommendation here, an eye makeup trick there. But even if your goal isn’t to look younger than you actually are—whether that’s because you’re a 20-something with baby skin or because you’re a badass 50-something who wears fine lines like badges of honor (mad respect!)—you probably still don’t want to age yourself unnecessarily with rookie makeup mistakes that chip away at your most radiant reflection. Fair?

We learned from celebrity makeup artist Shannon Pezzetta and Kevyn Aucoin Beauty’s global director of artistry and education, Nick Lujan, that creating a more youthful look with makeup is actually really simple. Not surprisingly, heavy-handedly covering every single imperfection is the last thing we should do if looking younger (or at least not older) is our goal.

We love a good beauty cheat code, so we asked our pros for their top makeup tips for those looking to put their youngest looking face forward. And as a friendly reminder, we don’t believe, nor do we want you to believe, that younger equals better. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Full stop. A radiant and glowing mug is a move we can always get behind, and if our efforts leave us looking a little younger, then that’s just a bonus! Read on for the artist-approved tips and the best products to execute them IRL.

Both our experts agree that heavy, matte makeup is the thief of youth. “The best products for keeping the face young are creams and liquids,” Pezzetta tells us. “I like to stay away from heavy matte makeup [on my clients].” The artist works with a vast age range of celebrities, from Regina King and Nia Long to Alexa Demie and Marsai Martin. Judging by the glow Pezzetta imparts on each of them, independent of age, it’s clear she knows a thing or two about creating beautifully ageless looks. In terms of anti-matte foundation, anyone (especially my fellow WWW beauty editor Erin Jahns) will tell you this lightweight, dewy option from Koh Gen Do is like a dream in a bottle.

Lujan says that a pro tip for concealer is to warm it up in the back of your hand before applying to your face and to only place it on the areas of discoloration or the hollows under the eyes. “Avoid placing concealer or highlighter on the puffy part of under-eye bags as it tends to make them stand out more. By concentrating your product in just the hollows and discoloration, you are balancing out skin and creating the illusion of smoothness,” he says. We Who What Wear Beauty editors are huge fans of this blurring concealer by Charlotte Tilbury.

Pezzetta also calls out the youthful effect of full eyebrows. She says the key is creating hairlike strokes that don’t look to harsh or unnatural.

“Powder is your friend, but too much powder can be your enemy,” says Lujan. “Choose powders like the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Loose Powder, which is designed to smooth over pores and fine lines. Gently press and roll powder only into areas that are textured or have unwanted shine. Dust off excess powder from the skin with a clean powder brush,” he instructs.

Lujan also loves a good anti-aging face treatment. “This essence has liposome-encapsulated retinol, which works from the inside out, unlike other retinol products, which work from the outside in. Also, it helps draw all your other skincare product in deeper and also helps to speed up the desquamation process in adult skin,” he says.

And, as if it hasn’t been the skincare line of the year, sunscreen is an absolute must. Pezzetta says that at minimum, hydrating the body and skin by drinking lots of water and wearing sunscreen every time you leave the house are the keys to creating the best canvas on which to apply makeup. The takeaway: Take care of your skin with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, and SPF. Up next, I’m 55—these are the five fountain-of-youth makeup hacks I swear by.