You'll Never Believe These Celebs are in Their 40s

Here are the beauty tricks we can learn from them.
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Michelle Villett
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Here are the beauty tricks we can learn from them.

Well, it's official: 40 is the new 30. This week saw the return of two '80s-era celebs to the red carpet, and both are getting major beauty props from me. I can only imagine the pressure as an actress to go and pull a Kidman—i.e. go nuts on the Resty and the Botox—but from all indications, these ladies have practised major restraint. PLUS they clearly know a trick or two about fresh, youthful hair and makeup.

Should we just get right into this? First up is...

Winona Ryder, 41

Winona Ryder - Disconnect screening, April 2013

How good does she look? This was a rare red carpet appearance for the premiere of Disconnect the other night in NYC. And what's doing it for me is the combo of her skin, lips, hair and brows.

THE SKIN: It's insanely well taken care of. Looks makeup-less, and the tone is perfectly even—which is actually more important than not having wrinkles (although she doesn't seem to have any of those either). It's no accident because Winona has always done the pale-girl thing and avoided the sun. This is why we need to copy her, people. This is the payoff. Getting rid of pigmentation once it occurs is a bitch as well—you could follow Dr. Nowell Solish's advice, or just bite the bullet like I did and do some IPL. (I only did it once and even that gave me way better results than any topical.) As for fillers and Botox, maybe she's had a tiny jab of the latter between the brows, but I think that's it.

THE HAIR AND MAKEUP: Let's not underestimate the powers of a simple red lip and a simple blowout. Easy but very, very effective. The right shade of red—in Winona's case, a juicy, shiny cherry—instantly brightens up your whole face and makes it look less dull and sallow. And everyone looks better with big, bouncy, Elle Woods hair. Finally, the eyebrows. They're groomed but still full and natural, and I love how the inner edges have a little fan action.

Nice work, Winona! Next up we have...

Alyssa Milano, 40

Alyssa Milano - 42 premiere, April 2013

Whoa. Another stunner here. This shot's from the premiere of 42, which Alyssa attended in LA earlier this week. It's a totally different vibe to Winona in NYC (the two locations are totally fitting, right?). Whereas Winona is all city chic, Alyssa is sunny and beachy.

THE SKIN: Also in great shape, and I actually have to commend the correct use of the faux tan. Her face and neck match, for starters, and the tan isn't so dark that it looks too obvious; it's just giving her a nice glow. Now let's talk about the strategic injections. If she's done any tinkering with her face, then it's mega-subtle—maybe some smoothing between the brows and possibly a slight plumping of the cheeks without looking chipmunky (but I can't say for sure). The best thing, though, is that she left the crinkles around her eyes alone. THAT IS THE TRICK. Letting things be in that one area keeps your face looking authentic instead of frozen.

THE HAIR AND MAKEUP: Here's where Alyssa really knows her stuff. Look at her hair colour. It's that tone-on-tone warm base plus highlights thing that I always talk about (I'm pretty sure her natural hue is a tad darker than this). But that's the thing: to flatter your skin tone, you don't need to go lighter, just warmer. The technique and placement of the highlighting is key too. They need to be whisper-thin, and see how there's that pretty streak framing her face and bringing light to it? LOVE. The easy waves are also very youthful-looking. Check out Rikki's tips or this Olivia Wilde how-to for help. And finally, the makeup. It's barely anything: blush, shimmery eyeshadow, brown liner, mascara and lip gloss. The less you have going on in that department, the younger you look.

Now can we talk about someone who isn't following these tips so much?

Jennie Garth, age 44

Jennie Garth - Carousel of Hope Ball, 2012

This pic's from last fall (at the Carousel of Hope ball) but I've been saving it for the right time. Well, and truth be told I felt like a bit of a jerk critiquing Jennie on the heels of that thing with her husband. I can't even imagine how much that would suck to have to see and read about the dude with his new piece. Ick! No wonder beauty wasn't a priority.

But since a bit of time has passed now, and we're on the subject anyway, let's dissect this WTF-ery. Jennie, we want to help!

THE HAIR: My thing has always been that you can have bangs, and you can have curls... but rarely can you have both at once. If you attempt it, the hair needs to be big and bouncy—not these sad, lank, weird-looking waves paired with the straight bangs. Then to pull it half up with PROM TENDRILS to frame the face on either side just adds insult to injury. Why, Jennie? WHY? Also, I have another theory that some people just suit bobbed (or lobbed) hair better than trying to wear it long. My friend J. is like this, I think January Jones and Diane Kruger are like this, and most certainly Jennie Garth is like this. (Funnily enough, all of these people I speak of are blondes.) It has to do with not just the light colour but also their face shapes and most importantly, their too-fine hair texture. Shorter makes it look fuller. So if I were Ms. Garth I'd be chopping that shiz off asap!

THE MAKEUP: I think I need to lie down here. I don't know who decided to have a copper party on Jennie's face, but it's probably the least flattering colour I can think of to put all over her eyelids and lips. Maybe it would've worked if she'd just done the shade in just a eyeliner to frame the upper lash line (or lower, like I've been doing). But to put it all over the lids is criminal. Nobody likes a makeup show-off. Plus, how much better would she have looked with a face-flattering pink or peachy lip gloss? Everyone knows only 15-year-old models can pull off that Rodarte look.

Tell me:

Would you ever have guessed Winona and Alyssa were in their 40s?
What's your favourite beauty tip for looking younger?
Does Jennie Garth win for making the most beauty mistakes at one time? (Unfortunately for me it's a yes.)