Is it possible that there is one beginner’s technique to incorporate into your makeup routine that could take years off of your appearance? Science says: YES!
According to a recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers have found a link between high contrast in the face and a more youthful appearance.
The study went like this: The researchers had objective observers look at photographs of women’s faces, ages 20 to 80 and from four different ethnic groups. These observers saw two versions of each photo—one that was edited to be high contrast, and one that was edited to be low contrast.
The results? Around 80 percent of the time, even when presented with two photos of the same woman, the observers speculated that the high-contrast faces appeared younger than the low-contrast ones.
“People of different cultures use facial contrast as a cue for perceiving age from the face, even though they are not consciously aware of it,” explains researcher Aurélie Porcheron. “The results also suggest that people could actively modify how old they look, by altering how much their facial features stand out, for example, by darkening or coloring their features.”
In the study, facial contrast was defined by how much the eyes, lips, and eyebrows stood out from the rest of the face. These three features were chosen deliberately because they tend to become less discrete from the rest of the face through the aging process.
So forget the botox, the complex makeup routine, and the futile anti-aging serums and supplements. Instead, use cosmetics and techniques that will amp up the contrast on your face—and have you looking younger in seconds.
Choose lipsticks in colors that contrast with your skin tone. If you are trying to look more youthful, skip the nude hues and test out a bold red lip that will pop right off your face. I also recommend investing in lip liner that will augment the divergence even more. You’ll be looking fresh-faced in no time!
Same advice here: Contrast, contrast, contrast. Consider investing in eyeshadow primer to keep your eyes popping all day long. Next comes the shadow itself. Take time off your biological clock by choosing a shade that sits opposite your eye color on the color wheel. For blue eyes, that means bronze and copper colors, while for green, hazel and brown eyes it’s best to use colors in the purple and taupe families. Skin tone here is important, too. Experts recommend that the darker your skin tone, the warmer your eyeshadow should be, and the lighter your skin tone, the cooler your shadow should be. Afterward, don’t skip out on the eyeliner. Apply a gel, pencil, or liquid liner on your top lash line, or maybe the bottom too if you’re going for a smokier look. Lastly, always include mascara to make your eyelashes look long, thick, and black.
Make your brows stand out by filling them in with a brown eyebrow pencil. A rule of thumb is that brunettes go one shade lighter than your hair color, blondes go one or two shades darker, and redheads match your hair color. For the last step, swipe your eyebrows with a clear brow gel to keep them in place all day long.