Makeup used to promise to add a flush to your cheeks, a rosy hue to your lips. Today it aims to do much more — hydrate skin, minimize wrinkles, diminish lines on lips. And, like lotions and serums, anti-aging makeup vows to deliver skin benefits over time, so you’ll eventually look better even when you don’t have it on.
Skeptical? Good Housekeeping was, too, so it began a yearlong project to determine, scientifically, if any of the myriad anti-aging cosmetics lived up to their claims — eye shadows that don’t crease, lipliners that are supposedly anti-feathering and primers that promise to hide lines. It enlisted 661 women, ages 35 to 79, to try them, in some cases for as long as eight weeks. Here are some highlights from its findings.
The contenders disguise dark circles, while moisturizing, firming and improving the look of lines and wrinkles over time.
Testing time • Four weeks
Gold winner • Testers found that Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer ($10, drugstores; six shades) lived up to its name. It excelled at hiding under-eye circles, as well as going on smoothly and provided lasting coverage. In the lab, it earned one of the highest scores for moisturization, quite a feat given that most of the competition was drying. Testers said, “Good coverage, not greasy or heavy.”
Silver winner • The lab gave Avon Anew Age-Transforming Concealer SPF 15 ($10, avon.com; six shades) high marks for firming. Although some shades had peachy undertones, consumers liked how well the product matched their skin tone.
Tip • Apply concealer after foundation. You’ll use less, thereby helping to prevent caking and creasing.
The contenders have an SPF of 15 or higher, instantly moisturize and firm skin, and, over time, reduce the look of fine lines and even out skin tone.
Testing time • Eight weeks
Gold winner • The luxe Chanel Lift Lumiere Firming and Smoothing Fluid makeup SPF 15 ($65, chanel.com, eight shades) earned the only perfect lab score for firming, as well as high marks for moisturizing. Women raved about its natural, subtle coverage and smooth texture. Testers said, “I loved everything about this foundation — color, coverage, the dewy, youthful look of my skin. I’ve fallen in love with this foundation.”
Silver winner • Women favored Avon Anew Age-Transforming foundation SPF 15 ($16, avon.com; 14 shades) for going on smoothly, as well as for producing just the right amount of coverage. It also earned high moisturizing and firming scores in the lab. Testers said, “It gave my skin a great glow, and I felt like I wasn’t wearing anything.”
The contenders promise to increase lips’ fullness, smoothness and softness, and reduce lines over time.
Testing time • Four weeks
Gold winner • Acing the consumer tests, Dior Rouge Serum SPF 20 ($34, department stores; 10 shades) was the standout, with women raving about its moisturizing and smoothing qualities. Testers said, “I absolutely loved this lipstick. I adored the color, and it was so silky. It kept my lips moisturized the entire time I was wearing it.”
Silver winner • A close second — and even pricier — Terry Rouge Terrybly Age-Defense Lipstick ($49, department stores; 15 shades) ranked high with women for its creamy texture. Lab tests showed that it made lips look ever so slightly fuller. Testers said, “I love the texture and color. It feels very moisturizing and soothing on my lips.”