Beauty products have a lot of power. Applied expertly, they can make you look vibrant, gorgeous and at least five years younger. If you aren't using them correctly, though, the same products can add a few years to your gorgeous visage. But before mothers of the bride go into panic mode, read on. We asked makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen, who's worked with the likes of Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rachel Weisz, to divulge common beauty mistakes that you can nip in the bud before your daughter's wedding.
1. Wearing too much makeup.
"Sometimes people try much harder than they need to," Reiss-Andersen says. "It doesn't mean you shouldn't make an effort, but doing too much can make you look like a different person. Little things can make a big difference." Stick to the classics and use subtle colors. Match liquid foundation to your body, not your face, so that your color is uniform from head to toe. Cream blush will add warmth to your complexion, and, if you're partial to bronzer, blend it in the hollows of your cheeks to create a bit of contouring. Go for taupe, satin eye shadow that has a discreet sheen and pencil in your eyebrows with one that's a shade or two lighter than your hair. As for lipstick, the most flattering shade is one that's closest to your natural lip color.
2. Maintaining a harsh contrast between the color of your hair and skin.
"As you age, you lose pigment and your hair turns ashy," Reiss-Andersen says. "The contrast between your skin and hair should lessen as you age. Amp up your color a little bit and go for warm highlights or try a rinse." In other words, if you have really pale skin, make sure your hair isn't jet black. That goes for lips, too. Stay away from harsh, red tones in favor of those in a soft, warm palette.
3. Keeping your hair long.
"It should be above your collarbone," Reiss-Andersen says. The good news? There are a plethora of chic, short haircuts that celebrities of all ages have been sporting lately. Get inspired by a celeb who you look like in terms of face shape and hair texture and bring a few pictures with you to the salon. Want to try bangs? Go for a wispy, side-swept style instead of a blunt bang, which can make you look drawn out, Reiss-Andersen says.
4. Skipping powder.
If you apply it too heavily, it can look caked on, but that doesn't mean you should avoid it altogether. Opt for a translucent loose powder to set your makeup. "Make sure the formula is really sheer and colorless," Reiss-Andersen says. "If I'm working a wedding or a red carpet event and don't have time for touch-ups, I apply it with a powder puff. It deposits just the right amount of product." Reiss-Andersen swears by MAC Set Powder.
5. Applying eyeliner incorrectly.
"If you're maturing, sometimes your eyeliner can end up about half an inch above where it needs to be," Reiss-Andersen says. "Lift your eyelid and run a brown, slate gray or navy eye pencil in between your lashes. Using eyeliner to emphasize your lash line will make you look perky and young." She also recommends dipping an eyeliner brush in taupe eye shadow to lightly emphasize your lower lash line. Finish by curling your lashes — a must — and apply waterproof mascara to ensure it doesn't run down your face when you start tearing up during the vows.