With experience comes expertise—no one proves this more than Tilda Swinton. The actress (and accidental fashion icon), who stunned in a Schiaparelli dress and a bold red lip at the 2014 Radius Holiday Party (above), shows how to own a look into your 50s and beyond.
Create a Flawless Canvas
To give Swinton a radiant glow, makeup artist James Kaliardos dotted a superthin layer of luminous foundation all over her face and blended with his fingers. "The heat allows the formula to melt into the skin, leaving a really natural finish," he says. Try Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia ($48; sephora.com).
Blur the Lines
Nothing beats bright red lips when you want to achieve instant drama, but not if they look harsh. Steal this tip from Kaliardos to make sure yours don't look overdrawn: Apply color straight from the tube, then gently swipe a cotton swab around the borders of your lips "to pick up excess color and soften the edges," he says. The pro recommends Nars Audacious Lipstick ($32; sephora.com).
Play with Print
While a classically cut dress may be flattering, it probably won't leave any jaws on the floor. Up the wow factor with a heavy dose of can't-miss-it pattern—Swinton's abstract hearts (up top) have a youthful edge.
Keep Accessories Minimal
You may be tempted to extend the fun vibe of the dress with showy shoes, but timeless dark pumps prevent sensory overload. Go for pointy toes to feel powerfully put together (extra credit for a sexy d'Orsay style that flashes your arch). Try a similar, pared-back approach when adding jewelry: One simple piece won't compete, but feel free to skip it entirely too.
For more, pick up the September issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.