You are currently viewing 79 Beauty Mistakes that Make You Look Old

As you know I love to hear from you about your fashion and style challenges by email. Last weekend, I received an email from a reader asking me about the worst beauty mistakes in fashion over 50. Immediately, a couple of common mistakes popped up in my mind. However, I won’t want to rank them in their harm for our look. Any of them can make us look a couple of years to a decade older than we actually are. Read on so you can avoid them.



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Aging Is Not the Problem – The Worst Beauty Mistakes Are

The problem is not the age, we all want to live long. Consequently, we are all fine with looking a couple of years older in a couple of years or a decade older in a decade, two decades older in two decades, you get the idea. 😉 And, aging is not a crime.


It’s a Mistake not to Look Your Best at Any Age

The actual problem of any beauty, style and fashion mistakes is to not to look our best at any age. While I was answering the email, the list of mistakes and tips to avoid them got longer and longer. Since this reader’s question is of general interest to all women interested in beauty and fashion over 50, I thought you would appreciate my sharing it with you.


The Worst Beauty Mistakes Regarding Your Hair

  1. Gray hair that obviously is just growing by nature.
  2. Too dark dyed hair. It emphasizes fine lines and wrinkles.
  3. A solid block of hair color.
  4. Visible gray roots. Use root touch-up or a similar product or temporary root spray or root make-up between salon visits.

    Tip: When you don’t have these handy, apply eyeshadow that matches the color of your dyed hair.

  5. Gray hair that looks like it was treated with butter. Instead learn how to look awesome with gray hair.
  6. Dyed hair that looks brassy.
  7. Patchy gray hair.
  8. Hair color in any unnatural color unless you made a life around a statement bright/bold hair color, i.e. it is your personal style.
  9. Too short bangs – short bangs are for kids.
  10. Bangs that look like being trimmed by a non-professional.
  11. Long hair parted in the middle. It looks like a leftover from the late 1960s, early 1970s, and hence plain irony on any baby-boomer.
  12. Long, thin hair. A lob is still long, but might look better.
  13. Long hair with uneven or split ends.
  14. Oily, dandruff and/or uncombed hair. See these scalp treatments you can do from home
  15. Grown-out perm.
  16. Any perm that looks similar to the hair style on British coins.
  17. Too much hair spray or gel.
  18. A matronly or old-fashioned up-do.
  19. Wearing the same haircut since more than two decades.
  20. Plastic or cheap hair jewelry. Instead go for grown-up chic hair jewelry for mature women with long hair.


Eyes and Eyebrows

  1. Eyebrows several shades darker than your blond (dyed) hair.
  2. Dark (read black or espresso) eyebrows with white or gray hair.
  3. Too thin or over-tweezed eyebrows.
  4. A unibrow. It didn’t even look good on Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev. 😉
  5. Caked-on/overly done eyebrows.
  6. Not filling in your brows when they are thinning. Better, try a brow regrowth serum. See for instance my review of Vegamour’s lash and brow serums.
  7. A full row of fake lashes. Go either for little pieces here and there or apply a lash serum to enhance the growths.
  8. A full strip of false lashes. Keep people guessing. Go for single clusters of lashes placed strategically instead.
  9. Too dark eyeliner. Instead, go for barely there.
  10. Too thick eyeliner. Thin is always better than thick eyeliner. See how to do makeup right over 40 for tips and tricks.
  11. Eyeliner in odd/weird colors. It didn’t even look chic in high school. So where is the point to repeat it?
  12. A full circle of eyeliner. So yesterday or better yester-decade! We have already dark undereye circles and a racoon looks better with them than we do.
  13. Dark undereye circles.
  14. Undereye bags.
  15. Lining the inner lids. So 1970s!
  16. Any retro style on eye makeup. It’s just plain ironic when you have been around for a while.
  17. Glittery or too matte eye shadow.
  18. Crayon shades of colors as eyeshadow.
  19. Obvious, eye shadow, especially in green, blue, purple. It looks like you are a victim of domestic violence. You won’t want do that to your significant other.
  20. Clumpy mascara. So middle school gal.
  21. Mascara in any unnatural color or a color that is too dark. So high school!
  22. Wrong eyebrow shape for your face type.


Lips and Teeth

  1. Overly matte lipstick. Go for a dewy look instead.
  2. Too dark lipstick.
  3. Lipstick bleeding into fine lines.
  4. Visible lip liner.
  5. Lip liner in a color different from your lipstick.
  6. Lipstick on your teeth. Check in a mirror after any re-application of lipstick.
  7. Missing teeth. It is quite easy to get them replaced nowadays. For instance, you can check out this dentist in Tewksbury now to get started, and learn about the many options.
  8. Yellow or gray teeth.
  9. Stained teeth. Check whether your health insurance pays for teeth cleanings. If not try whitening stripes.
  10. Too white teeth or veneers.
  11. Teeth (dental veneers) that go straight across. It looks fake at any age.
  12. Chipped teeth.
  13. Silver fillings. How long ago is it that they stopped doing them? Twenty years? Thirty years? I can’t even remember!
  14. Receding gums.

Facial Care Neglections

  1. A mustache or other facial hair in odd places. Shave or wax them or do whatever to get rid of them. You are not Bigfoot’s sister.
  2. Skipping exfoliation.
  3. Too few or too much makeup.
  4. Not using a primer. The primer creates a smooth surface so the foundation and makeup can be applied evenly.
  5. Foundation that is too thick, cakey and/or overly matte. Instead, go for a dewy look.
  6. A foundation demarcation line between your chin and neck. So middle school first makeup trials!
  7. A makeup that doesn’t match your skin tone. Not even in Alaska!
  8. Using powder blush or foundation. It settles in the lines and makes you look just old.


Tan and Skin Care Don’ts to Avoid

  1. Looking too tanned.
  2. Not looking tanned at all, i.e. unhealthy.
  3. Uneven streaky tan from self-tanning lotion.
  4. The bright orange of self-tanning lotion on the inside of your palms.


Arms, Hands, Legs, Feet and Nails

  1. Matching finger and toe polish. So 1960s.
  2. Nail art.
  3. Bright red nail polish.
  4. Discolored nails.
  5. Chipped nail polish.
  6. Dragon-like artificial nails.
  7. Spider veins, bumps and lumps. Use a leg spray to hide them when you don’t want to wear nude or sheer black pantyhose. Go for nude pantyhose because it looks the most natural. Donna Karan The Nudes, Leggs and Hipstik do the trick on me. Nude fishnets are also great to hide flaws. Further benefit, they are It now. See my No nonsense fishnet review.
  8. Hairy legs or arms. You are not Godzilla‘s sister.
  9. Obvious regrowth in your armpits. Either go for underarm hair or shave.
  10. Callus on your feet.
  11. Wearing sandals without toe polish. Paint them in any color, have them painted at the nail saloon or DIY with Spray PerfectNail Polish.


Closing Remarks

By all means this list of common beauty mistakes is probably just the top of the iceberg of beauty mistakes. However, it is a start and great cheat sheet to pin at your bathroom mirror as a reminder.

What would you add to this list of beauty mistakes?


Interested in “how to Dress for Success in Midlife”? Buy the book now to never worry about what to wear when.

What are you wearing these days? Just curious.


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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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