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Last night, philanthropist/actress/lady-with-leg Angelina Jolie attended the premiere of The Normal Heart to support producer Brad Pitt. According to the Daily Mail, she suffered from an "unfortunate make-up fail." As you can see, it does look like she got flour — or, I don't know, something — all over her face:

Some members of The Wire staff were absolutely perplexed by this image, but as a former women's magazine beauty intern, I knew what was going on here immediately. Translucent powder. Celebrity make-up artists love using the stuff because it mattifies the skin without adding color. Unfortunately, translucent powder is really better for photo shoots, where the lighting is controlled. On the red carpet, a bunch of cameras go off at once, making huge flashes forever and ever until, like, Farrah Abraham shows up. Silica, one of the main ingredients in translucent powder, reflects light. That's why it looks white on Jolie in the photos, even though it didn't when she left the house. 

Jolie is not the only one to commit this "fail." The Daily Mail, god bless it, has recorded multiple unfortunate run-ins with translucent powder over the past couple years.

If you feel so inclined to use translucent powder, go ahead! It really does control shine, and you're unlikely to be bombarded with photographers on a red carpet anytime soon. (Sorry.) 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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