Skip Nav
9 Summer Makeup Palettes You Can Get at Sephora — All Under $50
We Need Urban Decay to Bring Back This Discontinued Lip Gloss — According to Reddit
Beauty News
Here's a Sneak Peek at Maybelline's Upcoming Wonder Woman Makeup Collection!

How to Look Older

Have You Ever Tried to Look Older?

In the Bella Community, a 21-year-old reader wants advice on how to look older. Apparently, she gets mistaken for a high schooler a lot and would like to be perceived as more of an adult. A lot of people might take that as a compliment, but looking like a kid could deleteriously impact your work or personal life.

Have you ever felt the need to look older, either so you could look your age or seem more mature than you were? Also, if you have any tips for our reader in need, please do comment either here or in the BellaSugar Q and A Group. Ask us any questions you might have while you're there, too.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
ticamorena ticamorena 7 years
i've always been perceived as being older than i am, mainly because of my character (i'm very level headed, analytical, serious) and height; at the age of 14, people routinely thought i was at least 4 years older. now in my twenties, i dress rather immaturely and try to express my quirks more - but yeah, luckily the women in my family age very very well, so i'm lookinf forward to finally being in my 30s etc
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
Shorter hair is a big one for making you look more mature. Professional clothing (no junior section!) and not over-accessorizing are good suggestions too.
FrankiLee FrankiLee 7 years
I'm 23, but am VERY petite, so it's often thought that I'm still in high school (I get many a dirty look while out with my daughter!). I wouldn't say that I try to make myself look OLDER, I just try to dress a little more maturely (I'm not talking grandma-style pantsuits or anything, I just try to shy away from jeans and flip-flops all the time). Like all of the PP's has said, in the long run it will be great, because when we're all 50, we'll hopefully still get mistaken for 30! :)
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
I am short and slight of stature. To make matters worse, I am babyfaced as well. I am also going to graduate from high school next year. Needless to say, I always feel a little crushed when I get myself into conversations like this: Girl washing my hair at salon:'re in middle school? Me: I'm actually in high school. GWMH@S: Really? Me: Yes. I'm a junior. The person will then say, "Oh, well!" or "Well you just look so young!" or my personal favorite, "Oh, um, well take it as a compliment, because when you're old like me, you'll look young!" And it's not just adults. A girl in my French class said, "I swear, if I didn't know you, I'd think you were 11." So yes, I do try to look older. I have simple hair and try to dress maturely. Of course there's an upside to this: I look just like my mother. She's 43 and gets carded sometimes!
valari valari 7 years
Yes i have tried many of times to look older, I am 21 and most people think i am either 15 or 16 it gets really annoying.
brandysbug brandysbug 7 years
When I was a teenager, yes...I tried to look older. Now, I just look how I look...which people usually mistake for younger than I actually am. I tried to buy spray paint at Wal-Mart for a DIY project when I was 24. I had been out of college and working for 2 years, I was engaged, and yet the cashier (who was probably several years younger than I was) asked if I had my ID and then said..."That's okay...we'll just pretend she's buying it" (referring to my Mom, who was with me). I told her I was actually 24 and she felt really bad for thinking I was under 18!!! I didn't care - I love getting carded - it's a little ego boost as I near the big 3-0.
vanilla19 vanilla19 7 years
^Though I think having short hair makes you look older(I cut my hair shoulder length) as does eyeliner. Also, skirts instead of jeans. And people usually think I'm older when I wear glasses rather than contacts.
vanilla19 vanilla19 7 years
Yes-I am 18 but people sometimes think I am 14 or 15.
Claudia-Lopez Claudia-Lopez 7 years
I try to look older like every single time I go out! Im 20 and people think Im like 14-15 because of my face and my height, sometimes is annoying! Even though I show my ID they dont believe. But... my mother is 50 and everybody thinks she´s like 35, so I guess that when I get older Im gonna like this kind of situations ;)
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
Always tried looking my age. I appreciate my youth, while I still have it. I'm 22 now, people either think I'm 18 or 25. I'll gladly take either, though.
weffie weffie 7 years
A hairstyle is a quick, easy way to look older, especially if you think Soccer Mom :) My friend just cut her long brown hair into a wavy layered bob and got blonde highlights, it's taken her from looking 16 (which she was always mistaken for) to looking 25 (which she actually is). She's tiny (4'11") so she tends to look young no matter what she wears, but the new 'do has made a big difference!
Marshmelly411 Marshmelly411 7 years
@juicebox07 same here...I was on vacation once when I was 21 and these ladies asked me what "grade" I was in. They were very surprised to learn I was a senior in college. haha
juicebox07 juicebox07 7 years
Yes, I try to look older sometimes. It doesn't usually work though. :P Like the OP, I am 21 and constantly get mistaken for a 15-16 year old. One time I was in WalMart, and a lady thought I was 12. I was appauled.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
God no I try to look younger usually, but at work I like to try to look professional and don't flaunt the fact that I'm mid-20s, because I'd rather be taken seriously, and in my line, it's hard for anyone to think you're nothing but a junior officer unless you're over 30.
redrover189 redrover189 7 years
I just commented this on the QA group, but here goes: The best way to be perceived as being older - or I guess in this case, looking your age - would be to think about how you comport yourself. I have the same problem; I'm 24 but because I'm short and have acne, people assume I'm in high school. Think about how you are dressing - do you still wear low-rise jeans and hoodies when it's a casual day? Does your business attire look like you purchased it in the Juniors section? Do you dress overly trendy and wear a ton of accessories? While none of these things are bad - and style is certainly personal - they can contribute to making you appear younger/less mature/less professional. A good way to look more mature would be to tone down your clothing choices - neutral clothes with a minimum of tasteful accessories and neutral makeup/hair. There's nothing wrong with expressing yourself, but neon purple eyeshadow or a crazy fascinator headband at work/school makes you look like a teenager. How do you act, in a casual/non-work environment and in a work environment? Are you clear and direct when you speak? Do you look people in the eye when you converse with them? How is your posture? There are benefits to looking younger than you are, but I can understand that, as you are entering a field of work where professionalism and maturity are extremely important to your success, this isn't reassuring. Do your best to "fake" it and hopefully people will start seeing you as a very fresh-faced and mature young lady!
linkinpark9503 linkinpark9503 7 years
i work in a salon where everyone is either 18-30 or almost 50+ ... im almost 26 but everyone is always shocked i can even buy alcohol. i dont feel like its affected me negatively i hope i stay looking young for a long time... cuz i wouldnt mind looking like i was in my 20s thru my 30s ;)
Bad Parenting Habits
Quick Weeknight Family Meals
Common Signs of ADD/ADHD
Crock-Pot BBQ Recipes
From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds