Some friends have asked me about how to use makeup to make themselves look more mature. When I curiously asked why, they shared a similar answer – for professional reasons. Sometimes when you’re dealing with more senior folks at work, whether executives or clients, appearing more mature will win you instant credibility. As told by a former supervisor, in the busy work environment where people don’t have an extra minute to spare, perception is reality. On the flip side, there are times when you just want to appear/feel more youthful and carefree.
This question has inspired my dual-series about how to appear more mature vs. youthful. Please note that appearing “mature” or “youthful” have little to do with age, but more with the impression you give and how you feel inside.
Left: bareface / Right: wearing makeup to create a more mature look
Do not confuse the word “mature” with “old”, you can be mature even at a younger age. A “mature” look is typically more formal, polished, and appearing as if you mean business 😉 Now let’s get started…
- Occasion: a mature look is suitable for more formal settings, such as business meetings, presentations, job interviews, and formal dinners.
- Overall theme: neutral, matte finish with clean lines
- Foundation: Use a matte foundation/powder as matte tends to be more mature-looking. My holy grail matte finish foundation are Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Longwear Foundation
- Highlighting/Contouring/Strobing: Keep it subtle. Too much of these will make it seem like you’re going out. You don’t know for sure who the audience is and so better to stay middle of the road. I use Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for highlighting.
- Blush: use a neutral color that’s not too pigmented (which is more for youthful look). Application wise, you want to apply it in a streak that’s angled upwards and then swipe downwards to create a chiseled look (see above picture).
- Eye-shadow: something matte and neutral. Glitters, bright colors, or heavy smokey eye will make you seem less serious and take away from you credibility. I’m in LOVE with Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow Palette in Beige Brulee – it’s so versatile and goes with everything!!
- Eyeliner: slick, defined black liners that make you seem sharper. Add a subtle cat eye if you can do it otherwise fine leaving it as a clean line. Liquid eyeliner tends to create cleaner lines, but only do this if you can manage liquid eyeliner since it’s tricky to apply, otherwise pencil is good too. Stila’s ‘Stay All Day’ Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is my personal favorite.
- Eyebrows: go for well-groomed, arched eyebrows to create a more fierce look. I recommend Benefit’s Brow Zings Tame & Shape Kit
- Lips: use neutral or darker matte lipstick in the burgundy family. These colors are classy without looking aged. I’m wearing The Estee Edit Mattified Lipstick in the shade ‘On Point’ – it’s very flattering and long-wear. The balmy texture is an added plus.
Note that you don’t have to do ALL of the above in order to look more mature. They’re general guidelines so you can pick and choose what suits you. In addition to makeup, these are some other key elements to bring together a mature look:
Tying it together with a blazer, pearl accessories, and confidence
- Hair: Keep hair away from your face. Good options are tucking them behind your ears, pulled-back low pony tail, low bun, power bun (shown in this past post), or half-up half-down. I personally prefer slick straight hair for an important formal occasion.
- Attire: Wear something with clean lines. Solid colors or pinstripes preferred, subtle ruffles OK. Avoid exaggerated patterns, asymmetrical cuts, and excessive ruffles. You can’t go wrong with a well-fitting blazer over a crisp collared shirt or a shift dress.
- Accessories: Keep it simple and don’t over accessorize – you don’t want to distract your audience. When in doubt, pearls are your best friend as they’re timelessly classy.
- Shoes: Wear something that gives you added height. Solid-colored pumps are always a default and classic option for a polished look. Other closed-toe and structured shoes like boots or booties work too. Avoid excessive accents such as straps, buckles, zippers, etc.
- Overall demeanor: Carry yourself with poise, speak confidently, listen actively, project your voice, and stand up straight (you’d be surprised how many people miss this one!)
This concludes Part I of my dual-post on how to appear more mature vs. youthful. I’ll be posting Part II (youthful look) shortly so stay tuned! Any tips or questions on how to look more mature, comment below!