Breaking Down Angelina Jolie's Makeup Mishap: How Did It Happen?

Did she even look in the mirror before she left the house?

That's one question many people are asking after seeing Angelina Jolie step out Monday at the New York premiere of "The Normal Heart" with blinding white finishing powder all over her face and décolletage.

However, the Oscar-winning actress, 38, isn't the first celebrity to hit the town with a ghostly complexion and be called out for a major makeup fail.

Dozens of A-list stars from Nicole Kidman to Miley Cyrus have been the victim of loose powder malfunctions, but according to our makeup expert and La Prairie's Global Colour Ambassador, Raychel Wade, the unfortunate results are the combination of several unavoidable factors: bright powder and even brighter camera flashes.

Wade tells Yahoo that most of these women are using a special loose powder.

"It is high definition powder — a snow-white powder. When something is that white, it almost has a blueish tint to it and it is like an electric white," she explains. "Because it is so white, when you put a flash on it, it gives off what you call a flashback and you can see it clear as day."

That powder puff flashback is exactly what we see, but Wade insists that in normal light, what appears to be a makeup mishap looks quite lovely. "To the naked eye, I can promise you that they left their hotel room looking flawless."

[Related: Slideshow - Celebrity Makeup Mishaps]

Unfortunately, it's difficult to appear perfect when a million people are taking your photograph. "When a flash is on it and you have all of this light coming directly at you, as these celebrities on red carpets do, you might as well have never blended it in. It looks like you just walked out of the house with a powder puff on you," Wade notes.

High definition makeup products, which hit shelves around the time that high definition televisions became popular, are meant to give you a "soft, silky, matte finish." And if you saw the "Maleficent" actress, or any other beauty walking down the street, you'd probably never know they had the finishing powder on.

But on a red carpet it's a different story. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "the bright lights of Hollywood."