What makeup can and can’t do
Can concealers and creams help you mimic the effects of surgery? If you’ve been wanting to turn back the clock, but haven’t quite committed to the idea of plastic surgery, you may be searching for a less-invasive alternative.
The good news is, yes – you can look younger with a few makeup tips and tricks. The bad news is, you might not get the dramatic changes you are looking for.
To figure out which path is right for you, it’s important to understand what cosmetics can and can’t do. Read on to find out.
What Cosmetics Can Do
- Reduce fine lines
Smooth, supple skin is the hallmark of a youthful complexion. A regular skincare regimen that includes a hydrating moisturizer and chemical exfoliator (such as Retin-A) can soften minor creases and improve your overall skin tone and texture. Using a foundation with light-reflecting particles can also create an optical illusion to “blur” the look of lines.
- Create a minor lifting effective
The keyword here is “minor.” When applied correctly, makeup can give you a little lift. This is especially true for the eye area. Carefully arched brows or winged liner can create a subtle lifting effect that opens up the eyes, making you look more refreshed and alert.
Not sure how to get started? Try these beauty tips.
- Contour your features
Contouring is the art of adding shadows and highlights to your face with foundation and/or concealer. This technique can accentuate your bone structure and add definition to areas that lose it with age, such as the jawline and cheekbones. This is definitely a more advanced makeup application, so if your contouring skills aren’t quite Kim Kardashian status, read this 4-step tutorial.
What Cosmetics Can’t Do
- Tighten sagging skin
Sadly, no skincare product or makeup technique is sophisticated enough to tighten sagging skin. Even products that claim to firm the skin provide minimal improvement. That’s because skin that has lost elasticity due to aging won’t magically spring back into place. Some medical spa procedures, such as laser skin tightening, can help – but they can’t create the effects of a facelift.
During facelift surgery, sagging skin is removed and the underlying facial muscles are tightened. Some surgeons even reposition pockets of fat or perform a fat transfer to areas of the face that appear flat or sunken. This helps avoid a “pulled” look and creates a more natural appearance.
- Remove deep wrinkles
No amount of makeup can fill in deep wrinkles. Wrinkles are a natural part of aging and their formation can be postponed (but not prevented) with good lifestyle choices and proper skincare. However, they can’t be reversed with topical products like creams or lotions.
A facelift firms and tightens the skin, thereby smoothing deeper wrinkles that skincare and makeup can’t. It’s especially effective for prominent laugh lines around the mouth. Some people also use dermal fillers after their facelift to prolong their results and keep their skin smooth and wrinkle-free.
- Correct a “turkey neck”
Sagging skin on the neck is all too common in our later years. This is because:
- Skin on the neck becomes thinner and less elastic
- The neck muscles tend to loosen and become lax over time
- Gravity causes fat to migrate from the face to the lower jaw and chin
Facing the Facelift Facts
Once you’re experiencing deep wrinkles, sagging and jowls, no amount of contouring can help – but a facelift can. According to the website of Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, a facelift surgeon in Dallas, facelift surgery specifically targets the lower 2/3 of the face to improve issues like:
- Loss of definition along the jawline
- Sagging cheeks and jowls
- Double chin or a turkey neck
- Marionette lines, nasolabial folds, and other wrinkles around the mouth
Dr. Kenkel explains that liposuction is used to remove fat under the chin, and extra skin is trimmed away and re-draped to create a smoother, more youthful-looking profile.
Facelift techniques have improved drastically in the past decade or so, offering more and better options for people starting in their 40s, including shorter incisions and subtler, more natural-looking results.
If cosmetics just aren’t cutting it anymore, it may be time to visit a plastic surgeon. Just be sure to pick one who’s board certified, and who specializes in modern techniques for facial procedures.