You may have a beautiful smile, but over the years, repetitive facial movements like smiling and frowning create permanent expression lines. Marionette lines -- so-called because they resemble the cuts that allow the mouth of a puppet to move -- are a common sign of aging due to loss of the skin’s elasticity. Unlike nasolabial folds -- the vertical wrinkles that run from the corners of your nose to the edges of your lips -- marionette lines extend from the outer corners of your lower lip down your chin. Smoking and sun exposure can also lead to marionette wrinkles. Facelifts and a variety of injectable cosmetic soft-tissue facial fillers can flatten these lines, but makeup touchups can help for much lower cost.
Conceal lines with -- yes -- a concealer. Choose a concealer one shade lighter than your regular foundation. After you apply your regular makeup, apply concealer along your marionette lines, tapping it gently with a finger to blend it.
Pencil in the lines. Instead of using a concealer, shop for a white eyeliner or a white manicure pencil. With a steady hand, trace over the lines with the pencil after applying foundation makeup. Tap the lines gently with your finger to soften them and then set them with a light touch of powder. If the whitened lines look too obvious, try applying them before foundation, but be careful not to smear them when you put on your foundation.
Use eye makeup on your chin. For another touchup method, buy white or light pink eye makeup and use a tiny makeup brush to apply it to your marionette lines. If you apply it before your foundation, be sure not to smear it when you put on your makeup. You can wait until after your put on your foundation to touch up the lines, but make sure to blend them slightly so that they are not too obvious.
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- Start with a moisturizer and a primer. Apply a moisturizer containing sunscreen to your clean face. Allow the moisturizer to settle for a few minutes, then apply a primer to prepare your skin for foundation. Some primers claim they can help fill in wrinkles.
- To help lighten up the nasolabial folds, tracing the entire length of the folds is too conspicuous; simply touch concealer, in a lighter shade than your foundation, to the tops of the folds, next to your nose.
- When using foundation, concealer and powder, less is more on aging skin. Cosmetics tend to sink into and accentuate lines, so use a light touch.
As a long-time newspaper reporter and staff writer, Kay Bosworth covered real estate development and business for publications in northern New Jersey. Her extensive career included serving as editor of a business education magazine for the McGraw-Hill Book Company. The Kentucky native earned a BA from Transylvania University in Lexington.