The five make-up mistakes that make you look older PLUS an exclusive video tutorial showing you EXACTLY how to look younger, by beauty expert HANNAH BETTS

If I could erase every edict that tells women what to do and what not to do based on age and decency, I would. If something makes you happy, knock yourself out.

However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I encouraged you to start using makeup methods that would make you look worse, out-of-touch, or older than you actually are.

And using the products and techniques we cherished in the 1970s, 1980s, and even 20s can make us look like extras in a historical drama, rather than the switched-on, culturally relevant individuals that we are.

Fashions change, technology advances and faces evolve, which means that neat trick you perfected in 1994 now looks not only dated, but like you’ve lost the plot.

Here are the things you should avoid.

Hannah Betts: Young women tell me all the time that they love my makeup, and I take this as the biggest compliment. It doesn’t mean I’m ‘mutton dressed as a lamb’ – banish this idea!

The mask

The most obvious representation of the mask was the flight attendant’s in-flight make-up: an exaggeratedly bold face in which every feature was given equal emphasis. Some women are now coming up with a heavy-handed equivalent with cartoon outlines and blocky neutrals. Whether you’re 19 or 90, a mask makes you look years – possibly decades – older and strangely inhuman.

How to break the habit? Start by taking something away, at least for a while. Lock your eyeliner in a drawer and just opt ​​for mascara, or ditch the mascara and apply a brown liner to the roots of your lashes. Swap lipstick for balm. Dilute your foundation with moisturizer and remove the bronzer.

Invest in nuanced tools. ELF Professional Set of 12 Makeup Brushes (£14.50, is a good start to working out what you want to use and what you don’t want to use. I’d add a Charlotte Tilbury Eye Liner Brush (£22, to blend out kohl; a Jones Road Blush Brush (£34, for blush; plus a Morphe M101 Lightform Dual-Ended Foundation Brush (£16, And work with subtlety, not with the proverbial trowel.

Tired texture

We’re often advised to avoid shine with age, but it’s a flat, overly matte look that can build up over the years; a touch of purity that looks dewy youthful.

Race there!

Competition to get your hands on Beauty Egg (£50 for subscribers; £60 for non-subscribers, is fierce.

Its contents are valued at over £206, including a Medik8 Retinal Ceramide Eye Cream and Philip Kingsley Elasti-Styler 5-in-1 Hair Treatment).

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If you’re going to throw money at something, make it your foundation. The best ones not only simulate a radiant complexion, they also provide skincare benefits. Names to try include Glossier, Shiseido, Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath.

Apply while your SPF still provides some slip, apply a layer sparingly and stop once the skin still looks like skin. Add dimension with the highlighter of your choice. Then set with a tiny layer of the brightening Revolution Y2K Cherry Bake Loose Powder & Puff (£5.99,

Horror eyebrows

I know thin eyebrows are back in high-fashion circles – and I still say don’t do it. Eyebrows shrink with age anyway, meaning we can look medievally bald by our late 30s.

Fill in gaps with the glossy hair-like Ilia In-full Micro Tip Brow Pencil (£24,, then make it bigger with Glossier Boy Brow (£20,

A good eye

It’s so easy to get our eyes wrong—old-fashioned shadows, too-heavy mascara—and that’s why I’m a big fan of YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok phenomenon Erica Taylor. The New York-based makeup artist, in her late 40s, has become famous for showcasing old-school aging versus brilliant new techniques.

I particularly recommend her showing how a heavily black-lined ’80s look causes the entire face to sink, while her 2024 ‘sunrise’ version only rises. I adore her, so I’m thrilled that she made an exclusive video for the readers of my column!

Too safe a sight

Erica and I also agree that “safe face” can be classic and boring: we all need to experiment, modernize and bring joy.

Open your eyes – and your mind. Get a Jones Road, Space NK and/or MAC makeover; search Superdrug for ELF glitters; and hit Kiko for breaking pigment. Check out TikTok and introduce yourself to Gen Z brands and viral trends.

Young women tell me all the time that they love my makeup, and I take this as the biggest compliment. It doesn’t mean I’m ‘mutton dressed as a lamb’. Banish this anachronistic idea once and for all. It means I beat them alive. And this, more than anything, is the goal.

Cosmetic desire

The dangers of the cost of living crisis are so great that I have been amazed by the price increases every week since I last wrote about a product.

That doesn’t apply to my trusty Philips epilator: Satinelle Essential BRE225 (£31.63,

In 2017, when I bought my latest model, it cost around £30, and I’m left with around £30 – less than the cost of a single waxing session at my local salon for over seven years of hair removal.

It’s easy, painless (you just need to shave beforehand, keep your hair short and stretch the skin), it can be used anywhere (including my armpits and bikini line), while the regrowth is gentle and subtle. It must have saved me thousands of dollars over the years.

My icon of the week…

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Penelope Cruz

The star celebrates her upcoming 50th birthday wearing a PVC Mugler corset on the cover of Elle. She likes Lancôme Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Moisturizing Cream-Gel (£47), ‘perfect for when your skin needs extra hydration’ and Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara (£29). She has been wearing the Lancôme Trésor fragrance since her teens (from £67,