How to Look Younger — Hair and Makeup Tricks

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Are Your Hairstyle and Makeup Aging You? Demi Moore in 1993

Getty Images: Barry King, Hulton Archive

Makeup and hairstylists know the truth that we sometimes ignore: The heavier your makeup, the older you look. Here, we show you some of the hottest actresses of our time and how they can look 10 years older than they are because of bad hair and makeup.

The opposite happens as well — the right hair and light touch with makeup can make older actresses appear ageless.

Witness Demi Moore, back in 1993. Here, her skin is bright white, her lips too red, her brows untamed, her eye makeup garish. Moore is one of the rare actresses who gets better as she gets older, as you'll see in the next picture.

Beware: Too much powder, heavy eyeliner and super-white skin.

A better bet: Bronzed skin, light eyes and sheer lips.

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Demi Moore in November 2014

Demi Moore
Demi Moore at an event in 2014. Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Here is Demi in 2014, 21 years later, looking ageless. She could pass for a 35-year-old, even though this picture was taken around her 52nd birthday. That's right, 52.

Although she has vehemently denied having any plastic surgery done on her face (in Elle UK's May 2010 magazine, she copped to having plastic surgery done on her body, but not her face), I would guess that Moore has definitely gone under the needle, if not the knife.

My guess is she's had fillers along the sides of her face and Botox, because when she smiles, there are very few lines. She's very, very thin, yet her square-shaped face remains full and vibrant. It is not the face of a skinny woman at age 52.

You have to be careful if you go this route, however, because we've all seen bad cosmetic dermatology. Lisa Rinna lips, anyone? If you do opt for fillers, choose a board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon and read my article Hollywood Secrets to Looking Younger first. And if you want a face lift, definitely do your research first to find the right surgeon.

So what about Moore, what will she do as she inevitably ages? She tells Elle, "You know what? Maybe one day I'll go under the knife. It just irritates me that people are constantly saying how much I've spent on plastic surgery."

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Jessica Biel in 2003

Actress Jessica Biel attends a fashion show on March 18, 2003. Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

One of the hottest celebrities today, actress Jessica Biel is beloved for her incredible body (have you seen that booty?) and is more popular than ever due to her marriage to singer Justin Timberlake. But even the hottest actresses have some fashion faux pas in their past. In this picture in 2003, Biel is appearing a bit too Dita Von Teese-like to bad effect.

No-no's to avoid:

Red lips are a timeless trend, but don't let them clash with strong eye makeup. Keep the rest of your makeup light if you opt for bright lips, lest you appear like Bozo the clown.

Heavy eye makeup is particularly aging. Heavy shadow all the way to the brows is too much, unless you are performing onstage, in which case, have at it.

Careful with the shimmer. As former model Lauren Hutton says in the November, 2007, issue of Marie Clare magazine, shimmer can act like "airport runway lights — illuminating every line, wrinkle and pore." Hutton should know, since she created her own makeup line when she couldn't find makeup that flattered her aging skin.

Pick the right outfit. Here, Biel's makeup is fighting for attention with the bow on her sweater. If you opt for dark lips, they need to be the center of attention. Keep the rest of your outfit, classy and simple.

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Jessica Biel 10 Years Later

Jessica Biel. Steve Granitz for Getty

Here, Jessica Biel is pictured in December 2013, a whopping 10 years later. Notice how she chooses to keep her makeup understated with just a hint of blush, gloss and eye makeup. It's a gorgeous, natural look and makes her look many years younger than in the previous picture.

I love Biel's hair here as well. She's sporting a length that is not too long. Hair that falls just below the shoulders is universally flattering on women of all face shapes and hair types (see The Perfect Haircut). I also love her hair color here, which is much lighter than in the previous picture. Highlights and a lighter hair color can take off years from your look. This coloring is a particular trend, called "bronde." See my photo gallery of bronde hairstyles.

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Rachel Zoe at Age 36

Rachel Zoe in 2007. Amy Sussman

The lines on her face age super stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe by at least a decade. Here she is at age 36, looking 46. So what's the problem here? First, as we age, we lose weight in our faces and the skinnier one is, the more gaunt the face will be. "When you get older, you have to be ready to trade your ass for your face," actress Catherine Deneuve famously said.

Also, Zoe's hair looks fried here and her bangs aren't as flattering on her as they are on others.

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Rachel Zoe, 7 years later

Rachel Zoe. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin for Getty

Rachel here looks younger than she did seven years before. Although she still has major lines along her mouth, they aren't as pronounced as before, likely due to filler injections like Restalyne. Her hair looks healthier and she appears to have put on some weight. When this picture was taken, she'd had two sons.

Women ask me all the time what they can do to help them age better. 

My secret is to focus on perfecting your skin, not on perfecting your makeup application. To get the healthiest skin possible, I recommend:

  1. Sunscreen. Every day. Rain or shine. And hats when out in the sun. 
  2. Wash your face every night to remove the day's makeup. No need to wash again in the morning. Too much cleansing can harm skin. See How to Wash Your Face Properly.
  3. Apply an anti-aging serum full of anti-oxidants. I share my favorite in The Best Anti-aging Serums
  4. Use a retinol cream at night. There are some lovely over-the-counter creams, which are less harsh than the more pricey prescription creams. See my list of the Best Over-the-Counter Retinol Products.

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Jennifer Lopez

October 29, 2003 in New York City. Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Ahhhh, J.Lo. Who are you aiming to be? Sophia Loren? Elizabeth Taylor circa 2007? I read recently that this is actually one of Jennifer Lopez's favorite looks on herself. I don't really get why. The head wrap ages her by about 20 years, and the heavy makeup paired with it is simply overkill. A better look for Lopez would have been a sleek chignon. One good thing: I love her dewy cheeks.

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Jennifer Lopez 12 Years Later

Jennifer Lopez. Steve Granitz for Getty

Here is Jennifer Lopez in May 2015 at age 45 looking much younger. Her hair is long and flowing and a gorgeous bronde color (see a photo gallery of bronde hairstyles).

Usually, less makeup is more. The older you get the less makeup you should cake on your face.

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Paula Deen in October 2005

Paula Deen. Evan Agostini for Getty

Here's Paula Deen in 2005 before she got her teeth done and lost a lot of weight. I do like her hair here, she hasn't changed it that much over the years, but wait until you see her new teeth and how much younger she looks with a brighter smile.

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Paula Deen a Decade Later: February 2015

Paula Deen. Larry Marano for Getty

Usually losing a lot of weight can make you appear older because we tend to lose fat in our cheeks, resulting sometimes in a gaunt look. But 10 years later and who knows how many pounds lost, Paula Deen looks amazing. Her hair is longer, her skin appears more youthful (likely due to a facelift or fillers in her cheeks and along her mouth) and her new teeth are much brighter than her original ones.

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Angelina Jolie in June 2007

Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Considered the most beautiful woman of today, Angelina Jolie has it all -- bee-stung lips, huge eyes and Brad Pitt. A friend in the media industry who has interviewed more than 1000 celebrities admitted to me recently that of all the actresses she's interviewed over the years, Jolie was the one who's beauty she found most enthralling. So why is it that Jolie continues to go out in public with matronly old lady hair? And when she's not sporting a bad updo, she's usually got tendrils flowing down the side of her face like a prom queen circa 1987.

Updos are incredibly flattering but can also age you. Be careful with the tendrils, which went out of style more than a decade ago and remember: while unfussy is always good, messy is never flattering.

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Angelina Jolie 7 Years Later

Jon Kopaloff for Getty

A famous French actress once said that the secret to looking young as an older woman is to be in love. I might also add that you will look younger if your guy is more than 10 years your senior, as Brad Pitt is to Angelina Jolie. But seriously, Angelina Jolie is pictured here 7 years later looking younger, fresher, happier.

Her makeup is picture perfect. With a hint of gloss, her huge lips don't compete with her enormous eyes.

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Vanessa Williams

Photo: Planet Vanessa fansite

This hairstyle ages Vanessa Williams by more than 10 years in our opinion. While short bobs and haircuts can be flattering and trendy on women of all ages, some cuts can be aging.

Here, Vanessa would look much better with longer hair, even just to her shoulders.

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Vanessa Williams at Age 50

Vanessa Williams in April 2012. Valerie Macon for Getty

Vanessa Williams knows a makeup artist's secret: Play up your best asset. In this case, Williams's best asset is her eyes and here she plays them up at age 50 with her makeup (focusing on the eyes, not the mouth) and in the color of her outfit.

Wavy, shoulder-length hair is more flattering on Williams than the previous short 'do.

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Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine

Florence Welch, November 2010. Jason Kempin // Getty Images

Guess how old singer Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine is? She looks about 40 here, but she was born in 1986 making her only 24 in this picture, taken in November 2010.

So why does Welch (who happens to be one of my favorite singers) look older than her years? Aside from the fact that this is an unflattering photo of her, Welch looks older than her years in most pictures I see of her. The harsh hair color combined with pale, pale skin ages her. If she wanted to look younger, she should tone down that hair color and get some healthy pink in her skin.

Those clothes aren't helping her, either. She needs to dress her age, not her mother's.

And smiling. Smiling can make someone look 10 years younger.

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Florence Welch in 2013

Florence Welch. Vittorio Zunino Celotto for Getty

Here's singer Florence Welch in 2013 looking much younger. It's as if she finally hired a stylist.

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Natalie Portman at Age 24

Natalie Portman. Koichi Kamoshida // Getty

Short hair doesn't make everyone look older and Natalie Portman made an adorable pixie, but when the hair is at an odd growing out stage (Portman had famously shaved her head the year before), you don't want to pair the whole look with a frumpy shirt. The color washes out Portman's pale skin and just makes her appear ... blah and a few years older than she is.

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Natalie Portman at Age 23

Well, she doesn't look old here, per se, but Natalie Portman does look a bit frumpy. The frizzy hair and no makeup isn't becoming on this gorgeous woman. She looks like a pretty girl who needs a lot of help, kinda like an average Jane, which Portman absolutely is not.

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Natalie Looking Younger at Age 29

Natalie Portman. Alberto E. Rodriguez

Natalie looks youthful with long locks and smoky eyes. The highlights look great here as well.

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Kate Hudson, Age 21, At the 2001 Oscars

Getty Images

This was so not a good look for Kate Hudson, then 21, at the 2001 Oscars.

In fact, it made my list of the Worst Beauty Moments in Oscars History.

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Kate Hudson, 14 Years Later, in January, 2015

Michel Dufour for Getty

Two kids and a whole career later, Kate Hudson looks 10 years younger than her 35 years thanks to her long, blonde hair, perfect makeup and maybe some Botox.

She told British magazine Hello! that she had nothing against Botox:

"Why not? Right now, it's not something I feel I need but I think it's great that it's available," she reportedly said.

Hudson mentioned that some of her friends have had Botox, referring to procedure as "Boty."

"The other day, my girlfriend called me and said, 'I'm going to get a little Boty.' So I think there's nothing wrong with a little Boty call if you feel you want it," Hello! reported Hudson as saying.

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