50+ Celebs: Just Like You and Me(ish!)

Sandy and Christie Brinkley

Stop turning green when you look at photos of famous people!

They have the same — OK, almost the same — body flaws, sun-damaged skin, skimpy hair and anxieties about looking good that we do.

And who am I to talk?

Well, from 1997 to 2008 I served as the beauty and fashion director of MORE magazine, a gig that introduced me to a British supermodel world-famous for her stick figure in the 1960s. Now it was 1999, the global icon was 49, and she needed shapewear to squeeze into a dress for a magazine cover shoot.

I was shocked — and secretly, shamefully pleased.

Last week I was on the set again, shooting images for AARP’ s new fashion “digi-mag” (more on that in this space soon) with four of my favorite behind-the-scenes beauty experts. They’re the A-list team responsible for making celebs and supermodels age 50-plus look magically better on camera, and their insider tips will surprise, inspire and relieve you.

Lancome Miracle Cushion Compact
Forget “flawless.” “Makeup can never duplicate faces that have been retouched by Photoshop,” says makeup artist Sandy Linter (she of “Lois Joy Johnson coauthor” fame). All women — even those who’ve had a dermatological or surgical boost — have some degree of brown spots, lines and wrinkles.

So rather than resorting to heavy coverage and layers of concealer, why not choose a light, creamy foundation — somewhere between a mousse and a balm — for all-over color? It blurs discolorations by minimizing the contrast between skin tone and brown spots, making the wearer look healthy and youthful. Sandy — whose clients include Christie Brinkley, Elizabeth Hurley, Sigourney Weaver and Bette Midler — is partial to Lancôme Miracle Cushion Liquid Cushion Compact and Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Tinted Balm. Likewise a candidate: L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Foundation.

bell-bottom-blues
Make a nail statement. “Short nails look modern on mature hands,” says manicurist Martha Fekete, “especially if you love edgy, dark shades or trendy colors — as more and more women 50-plus do these days.”

Fekete should know. Her clients include Susan Sarandon and Gloria Steinem. “Slightly longer ovals make short or stubby fingers look longer and more elegant,” she continues. “Take a look at Gloria Steinem’s nails — they are real, and surprisingly long.”

At the current moment, notes Fekete, everyone seems to be asking for rich blues. “But whatever color you love,” she adds, “make manicures routine to achieve a groomed look.” Options include Essie Bell-Bottom Blues, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Beatnik or YSL La Laque Couture in Bleu Majorelle 18.

Thin can win. Because he turns “blah” hair bountiful in minutes, hair stylist Mitch Barry is often summoned to the side of Tina Fey, Trudie Styler, Christie Brinkley and Paulina Porizkova. “Thinning hair is a very common complaint,” Barry acknowledges, “but the right cut, color and styling products can help. For [photo] shoots, I often add pieces or extensions for body and volume more than for length. Bangs, long layers around the face, textured ends or going from super long to a lob can add more movement — and make baby-fine hair look modern.”

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Proudly wear your age. “Trying to look like your daughter usually backfires,” says fashion stylist Freddie Leiba. Having dressed everyone from Sandra Bullock to Elizabeth Taylor, Leiba has cultivated something of a specialty for mature bodies.

“Whether she's 50, 60 or 70,” he declares, “every woman wants to look contemporary, slim and stylish. Dresses do all three.

“Sheaths and jersey-wrap styles flatter curves. Shifts and fit-and-flare looks, meanwhile, can give you some  chic but welcome camouflage. And prints and color always add energy and attitude!” His faves: Diane Von Furstenberg New Julian Lipstick Print Wrap Dress, Ted Baker London Abrial Mesh-Panel Sheath, Carmen by Carmen Marc Valvo Fit and Flare Dress and Michael Kors Cynthia Paisley-Print Sheath.

For more beauty and style tips for women 50-plus, check out the book Sandy and I did together: The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age.

Photos: sandylinter, sephora.com, essie.com, neimanmarcus.com

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