Some of you might be wondering ‘why on earth would someone want to make themselves look older?’, and while that may come as an understandable reaction in some cases, in other times, looking older than you actually are can also be seen as helpful. As someone who’s always looked younger than my age—be that because of my ‘good’ genes or simply because of my obsession with childish accessories—I have tried many times to alter my makeup routine in order to look older.
Unfortunately, when you’re a woman, looking older can help you seem wiser and, dare I say, more professional. As most of you know, the persistent gender wage gap, the lack of top female executives, and the dearth of mentorship present unique challenges for women. We live in a society that worships youth, and yet sometimes, looking older (or should I say more ‘mature’) can really pay off in professional settings—or if you’re underage and trying to get into a club, no judgement here.
From the way you dress and speak to your posture, here are some tips on how to make yourself look older.
As Nylon explains, “Young women often end their sentences with a higher tone of voice, as if they are asking a question.” This is called upspeaking, and according to a survey, it can put you at risk of looking insecure or less credible. If you find yourself doing this, read aloud to yourself to start breaking the habit.
Slumping shows zero confidence, and on top of that, it will really mess you up when you actually are older! But don’t look like a toy soldier either. Keep your back straight but stay relaxed—you’ve got this.
A study found that people prefer lower-pitched voices in both men and women. “Overall,” the authors note, “the influence of voice pitch on perceptions of leadership capacity is largely consistent across different domains of leadership.”
This doesn’t mean that you should walk around trying to talk like Vin Diesel—just that you should speak with authority.
Of course, this tip only applies to those of you who are trying to look more professional and authoritative in their workplaces. In other words, do not wear a suit if you’re planning on looking older to some bouncers outside a club.
I won’t lie, I’ve always been a big fan of fluffy pastel coats, however, they’re not the best thing to wear when you’re trying to look more mature. Instead, try going for more fitted shapes, longer if possible, and in dark colours such as navy, black, grey, dark green or camel.
Try to wear makeup in a more subtle way—you want to do that thing where you’re wearing makeup but in a natural, you-still-look-like-you way. Then again, if you like wearing a lot of makeup, you should be able to do as you please!
As mentioned previously, I love accessories—from sparkly hair clips and studded earrings to chokers and golden pendants, you name it, I have it! But I’ve recently learned that picking only one accessory helps you look less childish (and less fun if you ask me).
My grandmother always told me that no one likes a weak handshake, but then again, the same can be said about an excessively strong one. Make sure you have a firm handshake without going full Hulk on people.
Making eye contact with people you want to impress is very important. Meeting someone’s eyes not only shows that you aren’t afraid but, over time, it also builds trust.
That’s just what adults do…
Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at George Washington University, told Levo, “Smiling not only makes your voice more pleasant to listen to, it also conveys confidence. You will appear friendly, approachable, and composed.” Why not, huh?
Lipstick is really not for me and my tiny lips, but a 2013 poll by the British Heart Association showed that 26 per cent of women had felt like red lipstick boosted their confidence.
Okay, this one sounds obvious, but believing in yourself can improve your composure in no time! Sometimes, you’ve just gotta fake it ’til you make it.
As cute as they can be, t-shirts with logos, funny sayings and other patterns are a clear sign that you’re still young. This includes band t-shirts, brand names, and logos. If you want people to think you are older, skip the t-shirts altogether.
I mean…duh, schoolboy!
If someone disrespects you, feel free to tell them to stop without throwing a complete tantrum. After all, part of maturity is commanding respect.
That doesn’t mean bragging a thoroughly unintelligible vocabulary, okay? No one really needs words that are ridiculously hard to pronounce or understand in any conversation, just cut out childish words and replace them with carefully chosen and clear ones.
Remember that these 17 steps are superficial pieces of advice that could potentially help you out. Don’t think that wearing bright colours and having a high-pitched voice makes you any less mature than you already are, or need to be for that matter.