It’s a blessing and a curse. I look really, really young, facially speaking, and I always have. But there are several ways to look older with makeup that I employ to make me appear closer to my actual age. My permanent young face is generally a good thing, but I don’t always want look 12. It’s like Dakota Fanning lamenting her young face and the fact that she knows people labor under the perpetual illusion that she is still nine, even on her new Nylon cover.

Here’s a recent true story: I was telling the techs at the nail salon across the street from my house about some kitchen and bathroom upgrades I was doing. The next day, they asked my neighbor how old I was, since they were surprised I was so responsible for being sooooo young.

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My neighbor asked how old they thought I was and they said, “20, 25 tops!” Well, I’m certainly older than that, but it’s a huge compliment when others think that and I loved my neighbor for sharing that story.

I admit, I look young because I have a fun job (music publicist) that keeps my spirit youthful and carefree. I also look young because I inherited my Italian grandmother’s oily skin, which was always wrinkle-free and moist. I take care of my skin and don’t leave the house without SPF-loaded moisturizer.

I also believe that I look young because I have bangs.

Yes, I realize that women spend millions each year on products to help them either retain or recapture their youth. So complain? Yeah, I won’t do that.

But I also rely on these beauty and fashion hacks to give me a boost and so I am not always relegated to the kids’ table on Thanksgiving.

Here are my hacks, all of which I offer all the while counting my blessings.

1. Lashing It Up

I have noticed that adding a few outer corner upper lashes, like in this photo from a wedding I recently attended, can up the sex appeal and make me look more grown up. I prefer going with the falsies on the outer corners only, since it feels so much more natural than a full row.

2. Lashing It Down

I also use a bottom lash mascara that allows me to get some separation… while posing with a Harry Styles cardboard cutout as though I were 16, of course. I think that definition of my bottom lashes gives my eye a bolder, edgier, and not-so-young look. It also shows deftness with makeup that comes from experience, so that’s an intangible.

3. Rocking Updos

I think Kate Beckinsale is the epitome of an actress who always looks younger than she is, and it’s due to the long hair. Long, lush hair is youthful. But when Becks, who is 41, goes with an updo with volume, she takes on an air of elegance. So, so sophisto and not quite so young.

4. Wearing Red Lipstick… Or Just Lipstick In General

Taylor Swift instantly transitions from girlish to siren when she swipes on a matte red lipstick. It’s her signature, yes, and she’s always sultry when she’s wearing her hallmark red. A matte red looks so much more sophisticated than pink (though I love me a good fuschia lippy).

Gloss is a very youthful product, one that I prefer, whereas lipstick is reserved for a more discerning, learned makeupista, so I tend to wear it at professional events.

5. Wearing Skirts

This doesn’t change my young face exactly, but when I want to feel feminine and adult, I opt for skirts instead of dresses. I love wearing a black leather pencil skirt, like the one Mila Kunis is rocking, to feel more mature. Dresses are fun, but skirts require more effort when pairing them tops, shoes, and other accessories, so you automatically look more put together.

6. Kontouring Like A Kardashian

Adding contours makes your face appear more defined and more definition can be a product of life lived and well, age. Young girls aren’t quite so definitive. So adding some cheekbones also adds some age.

7. Rocking Shorter Hair

Remember when Katie Holmes, who has a very girlish face, chopped her long and youthful hair into a bob during her marriage to that couch jumper Tom Cruise? She went with the chic, very French bob and she instantly transformed from Joey Potter to an inarguable glamazon.

Try some lipstick in a dark hue, contouring, lashes, or a shorter cut and see if your permanent young face gets a grown up boost!

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