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10 Things That Are Making You Look Older

I had a male follower on Instagram (what are they doing there?) tell me I looked great! Then he added the caveat, “for your age”. Okay…so he is a total moron because that kind of backhanded compliment is insulting. It’s a clumsy way of saying I’m old and lucky to look as good as I do.

I have always wanted to look the very best I can for my age and work hard to take care of myself so I can. That doesn’t mean I want to look younger, but I do like to look as youthful as I feel.

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Here are five things I’ve discovered that can make any women look older than she is-

Outdated shoes

I have difficult feet so I keep my shoes for many years. But at a certain point, they’re making me look older, and I’m not talking about their condition. Toe shapes, heels, soles, and heel height all have an impact here. If you can teeter around on stilettos at 75, more power to you! Most of us look like we’re in pain when we wear them so we can’t walk gracefully in them. Choose shoes that allow you to go about your day in comfort and style, or risk looking like you’re trying too hard.

Also – Nine Fashion Mistakes That Make You Look Older Than You Are

Dated hairstyle

Classic hairstyles are classic for a reason…they don’t age you. A classic bob now is pretty similar to the ones worn 20, 30, or even 40 years ago. They do get updated so be aware of the nuances for the current bob. The same goes for a layered cut. The shag was awesome, but be sure you’re wearing the version for this decade. Heavily teased and sprayed styles that conjure up visions of “Mad Men” can be tricky so reexamine your hairstyle every few years to ensure your style doesn’t make you look older than you are.

Also – My Unusual Haircut

Frameless Glasses

They’re super lightweight so very comfy to wear. I have a pair and love them but I’ve relegated them to at-home only wear now because they make me look and more importantly, feel, older than I am. The truth is, glasses never look totally invisible on our face and we shouldn’t expect them to. Frameless glasses add no color and are “discreet” so they add no substance to your look.

Also – How to Choose the Best Eyeglasses

Too Much Or The Wrong Shade Makeup

I love makeup and am not planning to give it up anytime soon but there is a subtle and not so subtle way to wear a smokey eye. You don’t want to look like you’ve been in a fight so be sure to blend, blend, blend and make sure the colors aren’t too strong for your coloring. If you have warm coloring, pink makeup will jump out and make you look out of touch. Some women have never worn much makeup so it’s easy for them to lighten up to the point of wearing no makeup. Other’s will wear makeup until someone pries their lipstick from their cold dead fingers. You should decide what works for you and remember that one woman’s idea of too much makeup will be another woman’s just right.

Also – How To Navigate The Makeup Counter

Wearing Clothes That Don’t Fit Your Current Body

Every woman’s body changes over the course of her life, but at midlife, we tend to get thicker through the midsection. No matter how hard you workout, the shape of your body will be different. Cramming yourself into clothes that fit you ten pounds ago will make you look older than you are. If you opt for oversized garments, be sure a portion of your outfit is tailored enough to show some of your silhouette.

Ill-Fitting Bra

Be sure your bra fits you properly because an ill-fitting one will change the fit of your clothes and cause lumps and bumps where you don’t have them. It can also cause shoulder and neck pain as well as make you slump.

Poor Posture

This is one is a doozy and so easy to fall prey to. As we age we may lose muscle strength in our core which can cause us to slump. Hours of leaning over books or laptops leave us prone to shortened muscles in the front of our chest and lax ones across the back. Yoga and Pilates are excellent ways to improve posture. It also helps to just become aware of how you sit and stand so you can pull yourself up, pull in your tummy, and begin to strengthen those muscles.

Applying Your Blush Too Low

We were all taught to smile then apply our blush to the apples of our cheeks. It’s a great pick-me-up and helps us look fresh and flushed with good health.  As we age, the fat pads on our face (and everywhere else) move south so your blush looks wrong on the apple part. Try applying your blush along your upper cheekbone, an inch or so below your eye, being careful to sweep it outwards which gives you a subtle lift.

Outdated Trends

I’m a fan of adding a touch of trend to keep us looking current but they do have an expiration date so be sure to move on when they’re outdated. The life of a trend is short but as it evolves into a new style direction, it gets subtle tweaks you need to stay aware of.

Dry, Flakey Skin

The older we get, the dryer our skin becomes so crepiness and flaking is a common problem. Our best defense is regular exfoliation, consistent use of a great moisturizer, and making sure we drink enough water. The very best moisturizers contain lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and peptides. Be sure to treat your arms and legs with as much care as you give your complexion because lizard skin on our legs makes us look older than we are.

Also – How to Treat Crepey Skin

What could you add to this list?

One of the best ways to support your favorite bloggers is to share their posts to Pinterest so others can find them. Please don’t keep me a secret.10 things that make you look older than you are

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

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65 Comments

  1. Lori Tate says:

    I went grey a couple of years ago (I am now 58). I waited for a long time because I have younger kids – the were still in high school. Then I figured people paid BIG money to have beautiful grey hair. I have a short “pixie” hairstyle that I put a grey wash on, and I get tons of complements. It’s easy and I LOVE it.

  2. I was wondering if you have any info on eyebrows. Yours look great. Mine are sparse and very light. I am newer to your blog so I am not sure if you already spoke about this. Have you done micro blading I am not sure what to do and wanted your insight
    Thanks!

    1. I started using a brow growth serum last year and mine have all grown back in. It’s quite miraculous! There are several brands out there but the one I use is Revita Brow here.

  3. Leslie Leigh Haws says:

    Great tips! Thanks for the reminder. I will add that keeping your handbag current and clean is a biggy. Don’t forget that wallet! Check it weekly!

    1. Yes!! The wallet gets pretty grimy if it’s a light color too.

  4. Denny McGovern says:

    Best article. Thank you for your insight and good advice. I have let my natural salt and pepper grey hair grow through this Covid experience. I love it. I have lots of very fine hair and I have been wearing it held up with a clip for fine hair. I feel good, the style is so easy. I just never imagined myself with an up hairstyle. It is so easy in the New Orleans hot, humid climate. I finally feel like I have a style that is easy and suits me at this time.

    1. I’m wearing my hair up in a clip a lot these days, too. It’s just so hot here!

  5. Best article. Thank you for your insight and good advice. I have let my natural salt and pepper grey hair grow through this Covid experience. I love it. I have lots of very fine hair and I have been wearing it held up with a clip for fine hair. I feel good, the style is so easy. I just never imagined myself with an up hairstyle. It is so easy in the New Orleans hot, humid climate. I finally feel like I have a style that is easy and suits me at this time.

  6. Lucretia Roletta says:

    Interesting post and comments. I think it basically comes down to how you feel about yourself and are comfortable in your own skin. I love your comment and I feel the same as you—I want to be the best of whatever age that I am.

  7. Jennifer- such good information!! Staying home these past months has given me more time to think about weight gain, graying hair, shorter nails and at home fashion! Reading your daily blog puts a smile on my face and the encouragement to keep moving toward whatever comes next. A little weight gain is the product of three healthy meals a day I share with a husband of 52 years-yes we are both well!! I am still not sure I recognize the person in the mirror with the grey/silver hair. I am learning to accept my new look and realize I am better off not using all the hair coloring chemicals. And the short nails are okay with some light colored polish. And as for fashion- my closet is full of fun clothes so I just wear something different every day and that puts a smile on my face! So we will all age and will look different on this journey! I am okay with that!!
    Thanks again Jennifer, your blog is a great read on this journey-I will check in again tomorrow!!

    1. I agree❤️ Wholeheartedly

  8. I would add – hair color. I have a friend who is nearly 70 and for 35 years she has been dying her hair jet black with a touch of red. I don’t like to be judgmental about personal choice, but she thinks it makes her look younger, and it doesn’t. It is just too harsh for her older skin, and a softer color or highlights or letting it go grey would make her look younger.

    1. That’s a very common choice for women and it does absolutely make them look older. Some women like it enough that they don’t mind.

    2. I have a cousin, 10 years older than me, and we used to have hair roughly the same, i.e. very dark brown, although mine always had a touch more gold to it, and hers was a cooler shade. Our eyes have faded in both cases, from very dark green, mine and very dark brown, hers, to a grey-green shade. I am now dyeing my hair a mid golden brown and getting slightly lighter even than that at 66, She at 76, still dyes her hair very dark brown, almost indistinquishable from solid black. Her friends have suggested she goes lighter, but she gets very cross with them, and they have even asked me to subtlely intervene. I do think it looks hard and ageing, but she thinks this colour makes her look younger and I simply don’t have the heart or I feel, the right to upset her further.

  9. Jennifer, this is an excellent article. Thank you so much for sharing. I had never considered some of your points but will from now on.

  10. At 70, I don’t think anyone is going to mistake me for a debutante no matter what I do. You always say to wear what makes me feel confidant. That’s what I do. If someone thinks I’m 80, well, that’s their problem. I’m old and confident and planning to get even older!

  11. patricia a gale says:

    A nice bright smile helps to look younger. Always surprised that people dont realize that yellowing , stained teeth is very aging.

    Love your hair…wish I was close enough to see your hairdresser??

    1. Some people’s teeth are not naturally Chiclet white. Certain medications (like Tetracycline) can also cause yellowing. Even with professional whitening the colour may not meet society’s high standards. I’m so tired of hearing this comment, someone always adds this to posts like this. Also, there are health reasons for not wanting to put bleach in one’s mouth. Of course, we all want perfect teeth, but it’s not always something we can achieve. I avoid smiling because of this type of harsh judgement from others. Wouldn’t this be a much better world if we could see other people’s hearts, rather than judging them based their appearance!

      1. Sadly we are judged first by our appearance before people get a chance to know us. Don’t let anyone’s opinion stop you from smiling

    2. I agree, a smile is so much better than the RBF many women wear. I sometimes catch myself with that downturned mouth and hate the way it looks on me.

  12. All great comments, especially about having a positive attitude to look your best. Another thing I find very aging is being overly judgmental. So, put a smile on your face and look at the sunny side of life!

    1. I agree Susan! Sometimes I have to remind myself to smile and always feel bette when I do.

  13. Teeth! ! I have noticed so many women with yellow teeth that feel whitening is not appropriate at their age. Also, facial hair that drags your foundation and moisturizers. Many are unaware that they have a fine “beard”, yet dress to the nines. Also, hair color “grow” out. There are some great touch up sprays out there that make a huge difference in the hair style and thinning hair.

    1. I fight that peach fuzz every day! It one of the reasons I don’t wear foundation.

      1. Over tanned skin – a tan might look healthy and exude vitality when younger, but boy, does the sun damage your skin and is incredibly ageing. My sister who lives in New Hampshire and (probably hasn’t seen sunshine for 30 years) notices how much older and weather beaten Australian women (not all of course), look when she visits here. My niece (in Switzerland) says the same thing, but more about the damage to our decolletage.

  14. For me, I am rewinding back to the late 60s and 70s to a time when many of us high school and college age women wore paisley printed maxi skirts, threw on a pair of leather sandals, wearing freshly moisturized faces with a little lip balm or sheer gloss, letting our freckles or imperfections show, definitely giving ourselves the “natural look” – think Carly Simon and Carole King when they first debuted their albums. I am done with the heavy foundation, pinky and orangey blush, taupe eye shadows that make my eyes recede. Frosted eye shadow is a big no! Now, I wear a light natural beige shadow with a flick of mascara, a sheer nude toned stick blush and believe it or not, Carmex from a tube on my lips. This plumps thin, aging lips without feeling like you have had a bee sting and gives them a nice natural dewy look that brings out the natural color of my lips. I can’t believe the makers of Carmex haven’t touted this as the number one lip product for women! Very inexpensive as well! Less is more I say. Think fresh and clean versus dated and “goopy”!

    1. I will buy Carmex next time I’m out! I had no idea. PS- I love the idea of long flowy skirts.

  15. Posture–yes! I see so many women, even in very early middle age, adding weight and years to themselves by slouching, and I want to make them look better by straightening them up. A straight back and good carriage not only project energy and confidence, they make clothes look better. And no one was ever graceful with bad posture.

    We have a friend, and older Egyptian woman, who, through her early 90’s, carried herself so beautifully that she gave the impression of vigor and grace. Her style was not young, but rather old world elegant, but she drew many, many younger women to her because of her energy and interest. So, I suppose I would add to posture, interest in others, or, to put it negatively to fit the “things that make you look older” theme, not being engaged with those around you not only ages you, but makes people ignore you.

    1. That is a wonderful point Renée! Part of being interesting is being interested in others. Feeling confident that you look you best so you can forget your appearance and focus on the people around you.

  16. Christine says:

    I love everything you’ve shared here. First off, I was struck by the woman in the bathrobe with the towel on her head. It looks just like me! I’ll be staring at her off and on during the day. I will add for those of us with very sensitive skin, hyaluronic acid and peptides can be irritating over a short period of time when used daily. I reserve those products for once a week only. TGIF!

  17. “1985! That’s when you were the happiest you’ve ever been! I can tell by your hair. Many women keep their hairstyle from the time in their life when they had it all. Honey, it’s time for an updated do.”

    Said by a character in a short story I heard on Audible last week.

    So true.

  18. One day it occurred to me that this is the face and body I have now and this is my lifestyle. I’m slowly learning to dress myself and wear or not wear make up for this time in my life. I’ve also realized that if you plan on getting older then you will look older. It’s a fact. You can’t turn back time and most of us aren’t getting a facelift. Accept yourself. You look great for this time in your life.

  19. This was a great post for me. It’s recognizing that something is a bit dated that is hard sometimes. Your blog helps me to stay current. (However right now I am walking around with too long hair since I’m still not going to see my hair stylist.)
    Thank you!

  20. Gayle Murphy says:

    Great post. ANd great comments from your readers too. I clicked on the link about crepey skin – terrifically informative — and found the link to the Paula’s Choice Resist is broken.

    1. I didn’t read the crepey skin link, but I have used Paula’s Choice products for nearly a decade and they are great. The site frequently runs sales and free shipping. I highly recommend.

  21. Yes, anythink “dated” or “outdated” can make one look older. The trick is knowing when somethng is dated or outdated. I think it is sometimes difficult to realize your favorite shirt has an outdated collar, or your most comfortable pants are an outdated length. Or what are the nuances for a current bob? That’s what I read your newsletter for……how to avoid being dated. I never want to get stuck somewhere, just sometimes need reminding that I am. Thanks…..

  22. I love this edition! Today you packed it full of just about everything that I could need to know about! Thank you!!!!!

    I would still like some of your thoughts on super soft and fitting socks from the kind that hide inside our shoes to the kind that go clear up to our knees!

    I have cold feet due to Rheumatoid Arthritis complications, do I seldom am without socks even when going to bed. I have often put them on y hands at night too in an attempt to keep my hands warm while sleeping to avoid morning stiffness in them.

    I need advice about well fitting and extremely soft socks

      1. Thank you!❤️

  23. Linda Simpson says:

    The “you look good…for your age” comment had me smiling. When my daughter tells me this, I ask her “how else should I look?” I, too, find the comment insulting. Why can’t they say simply, “you look good?” Fortunately, I have you and other blogs to follow to keep me up to date on aging gracefully. I know I’m not 20, so I don’t try to look it. Thanks, Jennifer!

    1. A young man gave me that “compliment” at the cashiers counter. I replied with a smile, “and you look intelligent for your age!” He immediately apologized and thanked me for bringing the flaw in the compliment to to his attention.

  24. Good post; I would add: matching sets of jewelry and flesh-colored hosiery…both are definitely dating.

  25. Joyce Reardon says:

    Good list. I’ve always worn my hair short, really short. Since we’ve been quarantined, I haven’t had my hair colored since February. It’s blinding and grey. Longer too, which my immediate family likes, my sisters not so much. Attitude!! I have a tendency to wear loose linen tops and pants, should probably look for a slimmer pant. Thanks Jennifer!!

    1. I wonder if it makes your sisters feel older. It’s funny how people’s perception changes.

  26. So when I get those “you look good for your age” comments, I can’t help but wonder, what am I supposed to look like?
    For me, this whole aging process requires a light hand. Sometimes I think trying too hard can show up with over processed hair, too many accessories and ultimately an unnatural finished product.
    Our eyes, our smile and our attitude are the first to greet the world. All the rest is the frosting on the cake. I try to keep that layer light and fresh. The term “one size fits all” does not apply to me anymore.
    I’m planning to have a great day, that will be my first layer of defense against this whole anti aging question! 😆

  27. Wear a smile and project a positive attitude about the world. This isn’t always easy (especially nowadays!) but nothing makes a person look older than being a grump and pessimist.

    1. I couldn’t agree more!!

  28. Helpful tips! It had me thinking about each area. Thank you, thank you for the hair story! I have the same hair and face shape and I’m struggling like crazy between too short and too long. Very helpful. I’ve just set up a new board on Pinterest just for your posts!

    1. Good luck with your hair Janet! Mine seems to have lost all of its shape since this lockdown. It began thinning again too which I’m pretty sure is because of all the stress with my husbands cancer diagnosis.

      1. maryellen walsh small says:

        I know this issue too: Thinning hair because of stress and cancer diagnosis for my husband, myself and a son…three of us, three times the stress, three times the hair loss. My daughter says taking Biotin helps and it has helped her at a time she was losing lots of hair. Also, doing relaxation exercises every day helps.

        Of course getting treatment which all three of us are doing with a definite measure of success.
        Paying attention to how you look at a time when you don’t even want to get dressed in the morning…that is an upper as is looking forward to this blog every day. Gets the mind off the negative. Thanks.

      2. Prayers for healing for you and your family, Maryellen.

      3. Sending prayers for your family.

      4. Valorie McClelland says:

        Just prayed for your family, MaryEllen.

      5. MadyEllen my heart goes out to you. Sending you love across the miles.

      6. You’ve got your hands way more than full. Sending hugs and prayers your way Maryellen! You have a fabulous attitude! xx

  29. Thanks for keeping us up tomcats on things! Great job !