Simple tips for ageless beauty

Even small changes to your makeup routine can make a dramatic difference.

Story highlights

  • Use simple makeup strategies to enhance your look and defy age
  • Use a hint of navy mascara to highlight your eyes
  • Update your eyeliner for an easy yet dramatic change
Everyone has one -- the friend who never seems to age. Good chance she's exercising and eating well, but no doubt she's also taking advantage of some insider look-great beauty tricks. "It's amazing how a few strategic tweaks in your routine can shave off years, giving you younger-looking skin and hair," says makeup artist Mally Roncal.
We rounded up the moves that really work, so you can try them for yourself. Your friends will be wondering what your secret is.
Get lush lips with gloss
While matte lipstick draws attention to imperfections on lips, gloss does the opposite: It fills in lines and makes lips look fuller, says Roncal. Go with a pink coral or blue-based pink: Both work on most skin tones and (bonus!) make your teeth look whiter. Apply, blot, then dab a little more onto the Cupid's bow and the center of your lower lip. The extra gloss acts as a highlighter, also making lips look plump, notes Roncal.
Try Rimmel London Stay Glossy 6-Hour Lip Gloss in Fuchsia Fever or Dior Lip Polish in 003. Another idea: Use a plumping gloss with ingredients like menthol or cinnamon -- they mildly irritate and thus puff up lips a bit.
Extend your eyebrows
Your brows may be your most underrated feature, because they frame your eyes, giving you a fresh, wide-awake look. Even if yours have become a bit shorter over time, it's easy to add back what you once had. All you need is a steady hand and a brow pencil.
If you're a brunette, look for a shade slightly lighter than your own brows. Blonde? Go a shade darker than your natural color. Redheads should use a softer version of their hair hue, says Gina Daddona, a makeup artist and brow expert at the Stephen Knoll salon in New York City. Her pick: Maybelline New York ExpertWear Brow & Eye Liner.
Hold the pencil's tip at a slight angle as you create short, hair-like strokes along the brows to the ends. Then blend the color into your brows with a clean toothbrush or brow brush, and set with clear brow gel, like Mac Cosmetics Brow Set in Clear.
Keep the glow
No question, bronzing powder is a makeup artist's go-to for making clients look fresh and pretty. Not only does it even out skin tone, but "it adds a natural glow, making you look more refreshed," says New York City makeup artist Troy Surratt. "The goal is to look like you spent an hour on your bike," he adds, not a day at the beach.
Find a hue that mimics the shade your skin turns with a light tan, and apply with a blush brush instead of a larger powder brush. The smaller brush lets you target areas on your face that get color in the sun (cheeks, temples, and the bridge of your nose) so it looks as natural as possible. Try Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Light Bronze Pearl.
Brighten up
As you round age 35, the pigment cells in your skin produce melanin unevenly, leaving your complexion a little...spotty. Adding a brightening serum or lotion to your skin-care routine will help even and smooth skin, says Jeannette Graf, MD, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York: "Products that contain natural extracts like soy, vitamin C, arbutin, and licorice root help reduce excess pigment for an all-over fresher appearance."
Unlike lightening serums, which often have potent bleaching ingredients such as hydroquinone, brighteners -- like Burt's Bees Radiance Serum -- are much milder and can safely be used all over the face, Dr. Graf explains. Some brightening serums also contain light-reflective particles to help soften fine lines and wrinkles.
Go bold with your nails
"Many women choose light pink or gray-ish neutrals because they think they're flattering shades, but they can make your hands look sallow," says New York--based manicurist Elle Gerstein. "Vivid shades with blue undertones put the spotlight on your nails, plus brighten up the skin."
A study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery confirms the power of polish: When bare fingers were compared to hands "dressed up" with nail polish and jewelry, hands with naked nails were perceived as older. You can't go wrong with any pink or red nail polish, but two good options are OPI nail lacquer in Malaga Wine and Orly Lacquer in Haute Red.
Discover the blue mascara trick
Don't worry, we're not suggesting you go all '80s with bright blue eye makeup. But adding a hint of navy mascara makes your eyes really pop. The secret is to not overdo the blue. Roncal's advice: Apply black mascara on your upper lashes, then swipe a single coat of navy on the bottom ones.
We like Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara in Blue Noir. "Wearing it along the lower lashes is all you need to get that whitening pop," says Roncal. Or try Physicians Formula Custom Eye Enhancing Mascara Duo in Blue Eyes, a dual-ended mascara with black on one end, cobalt on the other.
Flaunt dark roots
To get ageless hair with color, leave an inch or two of darkish roots and fade the rest so hair gets lighter at the ends. This look -- hot in Hollywood right now -- mimics the way sun-bleached hair grows out, explains Jason Stanton, creative director of Fusion Hair Salon in West Hollywood, California. "You alternate light and medium highlights, varying the placement along each strand," notes Stanton. "But go no more than two shades lighter to keep hair looking natural."
You only need to get these ombré highlights half as often as conventional ones; a root touch-up kit like Clairol Nice 'N Easy Root Touch-Up or a marker like TouchBack can hide any gray that appears at the roots between salon visits.
Update your eyeliner
Ever feel like your eyes just don't stand out the way they used to? Try this trick: Apply ultra-thin liner along the top and bottom lash lines. "It frames your eyes and makes them pop," says Surratt.
Lining right where your lashes start will make lashes look fuller, too. Then use a Q-tip to lightly smudge the color. For a softer finish, use a powder-based liner applied with a brush, like Shiseido The Makeup Eyebrow and Eyeliner Compact in Deep Brown.