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June to September weddings are now like extended photo shoots, with hired pros and guests on smartphones stalking everyone from the bride to guests paparazzi-style. In a snap, your image will be all over social media — even before the "I do's." Here's how to photo-proof your look my way.
Relax and be real
You're not a celeb or model. If you were, a makeup artist, hair pro and stylist would jump in at every move to ensure perfection. Truly, only five things matter:
Match all exposed skin — including face, neck, chest, arms and legs — for seamless head-to-toe color. Apply a combo of warm yellow or golden-based foundation, bronzer, body makeup or self-tanner as needed. Regardless of skin tone, a sunny glow benefits all in photos.
Brighten your lips and blush. Clear pink, peach, coral, red or berry lipstick and fresh, rosy cream blush applied high on the cheekbones energize your face and ensure you don't look washed out. (FYI: Nude, beige lips do!)
Let your hair move. An upside-down blow-dry and shake of the head loosen layers and texture for a slightly tousled, youthful look. Why do you think top photographers use wind machines on film sets?
Define and contour eyes with a neutral palette. Smoky eyes with a water-resistant gel liner and waterproof black mascara will stay put till the last dance, dessert or Champagne flute.
Dress for photo ops. Show your shape, especially waist up, because you never know how photos will be cropped. Wear color to stand out in the crowd or against dark or busy backgrounds ... and a great support bra for a sleek front and side view.
Have a plan B
The event day arrives, and so do rain and humidity, a red runny nose and puffy eyes, a stress headache, a hormonal zit or intense hot flashes. Here are three fixes:
Ear candy. Attract and distract with colorful beaded tassels or pom-pom drops — the long, lightweight statement earring of the summer or sparkly whopper-size drops in jelly bean hues.
Sleek chic. A movie star standby for frizz is a smooth low ponytail knot at the nape. Carry a hair-color-matching elastic band in your clutch purse.
Repel and retouch. Apply an oil-absorbing primer before makeup to prevent creasing and sweat smears, and carry a Q-tip to clean up under-eye smudges, makeup blotting papers (try Clean & Clear, NYX and MAC) to suck up excess shine, and a creamy but not greasy high-pigment stick foundation, such as Maybelline Fit Me! Shine-Free Foundation or Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick, to cover redness.
Work your "best" side, angles and light
The most flattering light is near a window or an open door, outdoors at sunset or in the shade — and under a canopy, tree or awning during a cloudy moment.
Tilt your face three-quarters to the left (it's usually your better side), push your head forward to stretch your neck and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Say "money" (not "cheese") to smile. It sounds strange, but it works.
Angle your torso so that one shoulder is toward the camera and place your hand on your waist or hip. Keep the elbow back and down for a little space between your arm and body, and roll your shoulders back and down (imagine squeezing them together).
Elongate your legs by placing one foot in front of the other (weight on back leg), crossing ankles or bending one knee inward.
In group shots, lean in, tilt your head, pretend to laugh and connect — and put your arm around someone.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50+, check out The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life and Love After 50 by Lois Joy Johnson and AARP's Beauty & Style issue.