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Heavy Eye Makeup Adds Years (Kate Winslet vs Evan Rachel Wood)

lighten up your eye makeup to look fresher and prettier
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Kate Winslet at 34; Evan Rachel Wood at 22.

Kate Winslet at 34; Evan Rachel Wood at 22.

Kate Winslet is 34. Evan Rachel Wood is 22. Both actors are wearing full, red-carpet makeup, but the differences make one look like a 50-something woman with a shiny new full facelift. And it isn't the one with the 12-year head start.

I've been meaning to make this makeup point since the 2009 Oscars. Prom season and its related makeup overload made me think of it again: Heavy, contoured eye makeup (and opaque-looking foundation) ages even a young face. I know teens want to look older, but they're thinking maybe 23, max. Ain't no high-schooler who can't wait to turn 30. Heck, few 29-year-olds enjoy turning 30.

In the above image, on the left, Kate's all polished yet fresh with pale shimmery eye shadow on her lids and a plummy shade in the crease. I want to say she's also wearing a fine line of liquid liner along the base of her upper lashes, but she's blessed with thick lashes; that could be lots of black mascara – *envy*. Soft blush and creamy lipstick finish the look, that of a beautiful woman in her early 30s.

In the centre image below, Evan Rachael Wood's dark creases, thick liner and false lashes upset me, as does the too-perfect skin (her baby skin probably is that perfect, but it looks plastic here), gleaming cheekbones and precisely glossed lips. Her pretty face is too done, and it adds the appearance of a criminal number of cosmetic-surgery years. Her sculpted up-do doesn't help. I'm actually having word trouble because all I can hear is a screaming toomuchtoomuchtoomuch! in my head. I'm a fan of fresh-faced beauty, and here Wood looks not-so-fresh. Not as pretty as she really is.

Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood at the Oscars; Evan Rachel Wood at the Golden Globes.

Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood at the Oscars; Evan Rachel Wood at the Golden Globes.

Wood wore about as much makeup for the Golden Globes a few weeks before the Academy Awards (right-most photo), but lighter lids and creases kept the look young – and prom appropriate if you're looking for something sophisticated you won't hate when you look at your photos in five years. I still think you could lighten up on the foundation (use something sheer), soften the brows and blot the shiny gloss. Also consider using a coloured liquid liner rather than black – have a bit of fun and wear colour now while you still have fresh, smooth, collagen-bouncy skin.

Damn it's a really good thing I don't have any of my prom photos. In my borrowed, drop-waist, black-white-and-red oversize-floral-print dress, clumsy dark eye makeup and pale face, I looked 35 years older than my 17 years. If only I'd known then what I know now.