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Liz Washer

Gettin’ Squinty with It: Reducing the Appearance of Fine Lines

By: Liz Washer

One of the most common questions I get from clients has to do with their perceived “flaws,” and fine lines/crow’s feet rank high on that list. What’s worse, many clients have already had a bad experience:

“I have very fine lines (crow’s feet) and the last makeover I had accentuated them. I’m sure there is something to do to not have fine lines show up like that?”

There sure is! Read on…

1. Moisturize & (GENTLY) exfoliate. Fine lines can be accentuated by products that are too dry or inflexible – the skin around the eyes moves a lot as we speak, smile, and emote in general, so the products have to be able to move with the skin without cracking. And the better moisturized the skin, the better the makeup will apply. As for dry skin that’s gotten flaky, you can very, very gently exfoliate with a cotton swab (I like to soften my skin first with Vaseline and then gently wipe it off in the shower, followed by moisturizer). Better yet, make sure you’re not using any harsh soaps or makeup removers in this delicate area, as that can contribute to dryness.

Liz’s product picks: Embryolisse Eye Contour Cream, Murad Ultimate Moisture for Eyes

2. Start Smooth. The bride quoted above noticed her fine lines were more noticeable after an unsuccessful airbrush makeup trial with another artist. Fine lines will be accentuated by concealer (particularly airbrush) if the subject tightens her face during application, preventing the color from reaching all parts of the skin. I usually suggest that clients close their eyes lightly (no squinting) and raise their eyebrows to smooth the skin, or I do it myself by gently stretching the skin flat with my fingers. Whether you’re doing your own makeup or seeing a pro, be sure the skin around your eyes is smoothed out so that you don’t leave any “gaps.”

3. Proper texture. The undereye area calls for a product that is flexible enough to move with your skin, and neither too dry to be flexible nor too slippery to stay put. You’ll almost certainly need to set the product with a light loose powder to make it last and minimize creasing over time – dust it on lightly with a very soft brush.

Liz’s product picks: Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer, Temptu S/B Neutralizer Wheel, Graftobian HD Glamour Crème, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

4. Lighten Up. Got a line on your face that just won’t quit? Experiment with using a slightly lighter shade in the crease to “lift” it a bit. Don’t go drawing white lines all over your face, though – keep it subtle.

Liz’s product picks: Three Custom Color clarifying pencils

5. Embrace Your Face. While proper makeup application techniques and products can greatly reduce the appearance of fine lines, it will not disguise them fully or “fill them in” in a lasting way (and you can guarantee that the lineless, poreless skin you see in magazines has been digitally retouched!) Do what I do: call them “smile lines” and embrace a life lived with plenty of laughter!