Thursday, November 19, 2009

Choosing and applying mascara

To Curl or Not to Curl?
Done right, curling your lashes has the eye-opening effects of a double espresso. Make sure you’re using a lash curler that’s wide enough to cover the entire lash line and that the rubber pads are properly in place. Always curl bare lashes; if you do it after applying mascara, they’re more prone to breakage.

Applying Mascara
1. Blot the end of the brush on tissue to get rid of excess mascara.
2. Don’t pump the wand in the tube. This will push air into the mascara and cause it to dry out.
3. Holding the mascara wand parallel to the floor, work from the base to the tip of the lashes. Roll the wand as you go to separate lashes and avoid clumps.
4. Always apply mascara to upper lashes from underneath; brushing mascara over the top will weigh the lashes down. If you wear mascara on your lower lashes, use a lighter hand than you did on upper lashes.
5. To prevent clumping, allow mascara to dry in between coats. Apply one to two coats if you want a subtle look and two to three coats if you want a more dramatic effect.
6. Don’t tug or rub when removing mascara because this irritates the eye area and can make lashes fall out. Soak a cotton ball with remover, press down on lashes to dissolve mascara, then gently wipe it away.

Tip No. 1
True black mascara looks great on everyone. To check if it’s a true black, swipe it on white tissue or paper. Pass on it if it has a grayish cast. Choose brown mascara if you’re a light blonde or redhead and want a more natural look. Leave trendy colors like blue, plum and hunter to the teenagers.

Tip No. 2
Don’t share your mascara! Mascara is a potential breeding ground for bacteria that can cause eye infections. Replace your mascara about every three months.

Countdown to Great Skin

One Day: Look Brighter

The night before: Use an at-home peel or microdermabrasion kit. "These products whisk away dead cells and instantly reveal healthier skin," says Elizabeth Briden, MD, adjunct associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota. Bonus: Cosmetics glide on smoother and more evenly.

One Day: Camouflage Fine Lines

1 hour before your event: Exfoliate and add moisture; the combination offers immediate plumping that lasts several hours. "Even gentle sloughing causes skin to swell slightly, making wrinkles less noticeable," says Briden. Use a scrub with smooth, spherical beads that polish without causing redness (look for polyethylene at the top of the ingredient list). Follow with a lotion that contains GABA, a peptide that relaxes muscles and temporarily eases pesky lines.

One Day: Lessen Redness

In the morning: Wash with a mild, soap-free cleanser; pat dry to avoid inflaming skin. Spot treat ruddy areas with a soothing 1% OTC hydrocortisone cream or a calming cream.

Throughout the day: Skip flare-up items like hot beverages, alcohol, and anything spicy--they release a chemical called histamine that can turn skin red.

1 hour before your event: Apply a washcloth soaked in cold water to your face for 10 minutes; the cool compress constricts blood vessels. Follow with a lotion that boasts a greenish tint. "Green cancels out redness because it's on the opposite end of the color spectrum," says Briden.

One Week: Fade Brown Spots

Nightly: Use a peel or microdermabrasion kit to slough off the top layer of skin, making brown spots less noticeable. Any subsequent redness should be gone by morning.

One Week: Smooth Deep Lines

7 days before: Get Botox (around $500) to prevent muscle movement that causes crow's feet and forehead furrows; the smoothing effect kicks in within a few days and lasts up to 4 months.

At the same time: Instantly plump deep lines and folds with filling materials like Restylane or Juvéderm. Made with hyaluronic acid, a substance found in skin, these options offer natural-looking fullness for about 6 months. Or try Evolence, a new product derived from pig collagen. Due to its thicker consistency, results may last up to a year. Such fast results come at a price: Expect to pay about $600 per treated area. Be prepared for mild swelling and bruising that last a few days.

One Week: Clear Broken Capillaries

7 days before: Try the Pulsed Dye Laser, which emits a beam of light that targets red pigment in the skin, causing vessels to collapse. You may experience slight swelling that lingers for 24 to 48 hours; treatment starts at $300.

Nightly: Use a topical retinoid to strengthen weak vein walls (wait 2 days if you've had the laser).

Daily: Apply an SPF of at least 15 (30 is better) to maintain clearing and prevent the UV damage that often causes the problem in the first place.

One Month: Reduce Wrinkles, Firm Skin

Nightly: Use an Rx retinoid to target wrinkles all over. "These vitamin A derivatives supercharge cell turnover, so you'll notice fewer wrinkles by the end of the month," says Arielle Kauvar, MD, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Medical School. Ask your doctor for Atralin, the most moisturizing retinoid, which you can use daily for faster results with minimal dryness or flaking. Caveat: If skin is sensitive or prone to redness, you may be able to tolerate using the cream only every second or third night, at least for the first 2 weeks.

Every morning: Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 to protect fresh cells.

One Month: Erase Brown Spots

Every other week: Alternate between using an at-home peel and a microdermabrasion product to fade splotches, reduce fine lines, and boost radiance. "Combining exfoliators is like power washing your complexion," says Briden. Follow directions on the label so you don't strip away too much of your skin's protective outer layer. You may experience some immediate redness, which should dissipate the next day.

Every morning: Use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen to keep fresh cells from repigmenting.

Nightly: Apply an Rx hydroquinone bleaching cream; top with a prescription retinoid to drive the lightener into skin for faster results. Limit use to 2 months.

2 weeks before: If you can afford to splurge, an in-office peel employing a low level of trichloroacetic acid offers more dramatic results in tone and texture, reaching deeper layers of skin. After about a week of downtime (you'll look badly sunburned), your natural healing response kicks in, replacing damaged tissue with fresh, younger-looking skin. Cost: around $700.

One Month: Relieve Redness

Immediately: Shelve aggressive anti-agers such as retinoid-containing creams and glycolic acid peels.

Nightly: Use a cream made with calming botanicals such as licorice extract or feverfew to help control unwanted redness. Try Aveeno Ultra Calming Night Cream ($14; drugstores).

Once (4 weeks ahead): If it's in your budget, try a single Intense Pulsed Light session. Experts say patients average about a 20% decrease in diffuse ruddiness after one treatment. Bonus: Because IPL employs several wavelengths of light to remove unwanted pigment, you'll likely see an improvement in brown spots as well. Side effects include mild redness and swelling that subside within a day or two.

Feeling Bloaty?

Season Food Differently

Make This Smart Swap
Add zing to your meals with salt-free seasoning blends.

Avoid These
Salt, salt-based seasonings, and highly processed foods.

You may be attracted to your saltshaker, but water is, too. When you take in higher than usual amounts of the salty stuff, you’ll temporarily retain more fluid, contributing to that sluggish feeling, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight.

Thirsty? Hit the H20

Make This Smart Swap
A nice carbonated beverage can hit the spot when you're thirsty. But you'll have to skip the bubbles while you're on mission: muffin top. Drink plain old tap water to stay hydrated--and make sure you get at least 8 glasses a day.

Avoid These
Any carbonated drinks--including diet sodas

Where do you think those tingly bubbles end up? In your belly, causing it to puff out more.

Cut the Carbs

Make This Smart Swap
Use one slice of whole grain bread for your sandwich at lunch and pack extra protein like turkey slices and low-fat string cheese. Swap your afternoon pretzels for nuts or seeds. At dinner, stick to brown rice if must have a starch.

Avoid These
High-carb foods like bagels, pasta, pretzels, and cereals

As a backup energy source, your muscles store a type of carbohydrate called glycogen. Every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3 grams of water. But unless you have a vigorous exercise routine, you don't need all this stockpiled fuel. When you decrease the carbs, you'll temporarily train your body to access this stored fuel and burn it off. At the same time, you'll drain off excess stored fluids.

Shrink Your Fruits and Veggies

Make This Smart Swap
Of course you should eat veggies, just eat them cooked--steaming is quick and easy. (Remember to skip the salt!)

Instead of fresh fruits, eat canned varieties in natural juice or small portions of dried fruit, such as raisins and dried plums.

Avoid These
Any raw vegetables and fresh fruits

A half-cup serving of cooked carrots delivers the same nutrition as one cup raw, but it takes up less room in your GI tract. The same goes for fresh fruits: Compare the size of a few grapes to a few raisins. Big difference!

Hold the Hot Sauce

Make This Smart Swap
Some people love their food four-alarm spicy! If that includes you, you'll have to lay off the barbecue sauce and garlic for a few days while debloating. Give dishes a flavor boost with in-season fresh or dried herbs like dill, basil, mint, sage, tarragon, and rosemary. You can also use curry powder, lemon or lime juice--all perfect with fish or chicken.

Avoid These
Black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, Chili powder, hot sauces, onions, garlic, mustard, barbecue sauce, horseradish, catsup, tomato sauce, vinegar

Spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation.

Chuck the Chewing Gum

Make This Smart Swap
If you chew gum by habit or just like to bite down on something crunchy, reach for some nuts, like roasted or raw unsalted sunflower seeds.

Avoid These

You probably don't realize this, but when you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract and causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion--none of which help flatten your middle.

Fried Food Fiasco

Make This Smart Swap
There really isn't a healthy substitute for French fries, fried calamari, and onion rings! So try to take your mind off them altogether. Take a quick 5-minute walk after your fry-less healthy meal. Moving your body helps release air that has been trapped in your GI tract, relieving pressure and--you guessed it--bloating. Naturally you can stroll longer, but you need to walk at least 5 minutes to help get things moving inside your belly.

Avoid These
Anything fried in any way, shape, or form

Fried foods are digested more slowly, causing you to feel way too full. Not to mention unable to zip up your favorite jeans.

Gassy Veggies

Make This Smart Swap
As mentioned earlier, you should eat your veggies cooked--but there are a few to take off your shopping list while debloating. Skip gas-producing veggies like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and legumes; instead cook up green beans, mushrooms, and squash for a delicious dinner side.

Avoid These
Legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, peppers, and citrus fruits

Certain foods simply create more gas in your GI tract (think: blown-up balloon inside your stomach).

Ditch Diet Foods

Make This Smart Swap
Swear off low-calorie or low-carb products containing sugar alcohols. These sugar substitutes go by the names xylitol or maltitol. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth by eating any of the fresh fruit substitutes mentioned earlier. Or mix up a refreshing Flat Belly Diet smoothie--each recipe packs a MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids), the Flat Belly Diet powerhouse ingredient that targets belly fat.

Avoid These
Sugar alcohols

Your GI tract can’t absorb most sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Steer Clear of Acidic Drinks

Make This Smart Swap
Drink plain tap water instead of coffee, tea, juice and alcohol. Think of it as tough love for your tummy.

Avoid These
Alcohol, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and acidic fruit juices

We realize that giving up your morning cup of joe may be tough to swallow (pun intended!), but it's only for four days. Coffee and the other bad guys of bloat on the "avoid" list are all high-acid beverages that can irritate your GI tract, causing swelling.

10 Hairstyles That Make You Look 10 Years Younger

Pinned up, but not prim—this look has got swing.

Big, bouncy waves turn back the clock.

Long, tousled layers are more modern—and less matronly.

Side-swept bangs instantly soften her whole look.

A little volume (not too much) at the crown is a spritz from the fountain of youth.

She's young and fresh with a deep side part and clean-cut ends.

A lighter shade of brown is less austere and more flattering.

A warm, flattering blonde shade brings her face back in line with the date on her passport.

She's both more sophisticated and younger-looking with a cute, layered bob.

Sometimes all it takes to update to a younger look is a quick snip or flip, like the center part here.

Scarlett Johansson

YOUNGER: Sunny blonde hair color can warm up a fair complexion—especially when it's enhanced with light, peach-tone makeup on cheeks and lips.

OLDER: Heavy eye makeup and vibrant red lipstick, on the other hand, can make fair skin look almost ghostly. Overly shaped waves make the look even harder.

Gwyneth Paltrow's shoulder length hair

Not all haircuts are meant to look brand-new; Paltrow's style resembles a bob that's been growing out for a few months. To get that effect, "ask for a blunt cut that falls just above the shoulders and has absolutely no layers," says hairstylist Sally Hershberger of the Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City. Then, ask her to "thin out the ends with scissors or a razor so they look slightly jagged." A cut like this can be worn wavy or flatironed pin-straight.

Hair and Makeup From D&G's Spring 2010 Runway Show

Rough hair, lined eyes, and natural lips. (The models paraded down the runway to a dance remix of the Doors's song "People Are Strange.")

"It's meant to look like the girl did her own makeup, and now it's slightly worn off," said makeup artist Pat McGrath of the look.
Every model got her hair blown straight before any styling products were used. Then her hair was twisted into a low bun and spritzed with Wella Ocean Spritz "for a little bit of grittiness," said hairstylist Eugene Souleiman.

By show time, the hair was let loose: "It's controlled but a little bit wild," Souleiman said. "It's like supermodel-at-the-beach hair."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How to Look 10 Pounds Thinner in Photos

The secret is in the pose. Here are five secrets to appearing 10 pounds thinner in photos.

Secret No. 1: Turn partially sideways to the camera, planting one foot in front of the other. Point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back foot.

Secret No. 2: Pull head forward slightly to minimize any appearance of a double chin.

Secret No. 3: Hold arms slightly away from your body. This keeps upper arm flab from flattening out and therefore appearing flabbier (much like thighs do when one sits on a couch).

Secret No. 4: Pull shoulders back, chest forward and gently suck stomach in. Be careful not to suck stomach so far in that your ribs show, thereby causing those who later see the photo to cluck to themselves in a bemused, sing-song voice, "She's sucking i-in."

Secret No. 5: If you can get away with it without looking like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Girl wannabe, try the look away trick. To do this, look away from the camera, then turn towards it, breaking into a smile just before the camera clicks. Your smile will appear fresh, not frozen. This trick takes practice behind closed, locked doors.

More tips on looking 10 pounds thinner in photos:

Use objects you are holding to your advantage by placing them in front of parts of you you'd prefer to hide. A purse or corsage in front of your belly. A jacket slung over the shoulder. (Gwyneth Paltrow used a perfectly placed purse to hide her baby bump before she announced her pregnancy with Apple).

Check out Spanx hosiery. The very modern version of the corset, Spanx are famous for making women all over the world appear 10 pounds thinner.

Fake tans will make you look and feel skinnier.

It's not just black that makes you look thinner. Wearing an entire outfit of just one color will do the trick as well, whether it be white, beige, brown, blue or red. One color tends to elongate your figure. Avoid entire outfits in pink, however, unless you are four years old or younger.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Even women who know a lot about staying healthy tend to make these mistakes

You Always Order a Salad
Don't assume that bowl of lettuce is always the healthiest menu pick.
The Fix: Don't scratch take-out salad off your menu; just use a few commonsense rules before you order. Avoid high-fat add-ons such as sour cream, extra cheese, croutons, bacon bits, and creamy dressings like Caesar and ranch. Opt for salads that aren't just a fiber-free mound of iceberg lettuce dotted with a few carrot and red cabbage shavings. And plan ahead: Most fast-food chains supply nutritional info online so you can scout out the best options before you leave.

You Rock Out While You Work Out
Do your ears ring after a long iPod-powered workout?
The Fix: To protect your ears, try to listen at 10 to 50% of the full volume. Some MP3 player models let you lock in a range. Or switch over to a pair of sound-isolating earphones; they drown out background noise so your music doesn't have to.

You Avoid the Scale
For some women, this is the only thing in the house gathering more dust than the treadmill.
The Fix: If you're trying to lose weight, get on the scale monthly. Do it first thing in the morning, naked, after you use the bathroom, and at the same time in your menstrual cycle—not when you're likely to have water-weight gain. If you're maintaining weight you've recently lost, hop on at least once a week. That's how the biggest "losers" in the National Weight Control Registry—the largest study of people who've been successful at long-term weight loss—stay slim. Don't freak out over anything less than a 5-pound gain; that's a normal fluctuation. But if you find yourself drifting higher than that, it's time to rein yourself in.

You're Sloppy with Sunscreen
Think you're sunscreen savvy? Maybe not
The Fix: To apply the right way, focus on one area at a time, careful not to miss spots like feet, tops of ears, temples, and the back of the neck. Be sure to use enough: You'll need at least 1 ounce of sunscreen to cover your entire body. If your bottle is 4 ounces, it should not last for more than 4 applications. Squeeze the lotion directly onto your body skin and rub it in with your fingertips; putting it on your hands first makes most of the lotion stick to your palms.

You Forget to Floss
We spend millions a year on procedures that bleach our teeth whiter than pearls, but many don't put in the less than 5 minutes a day it takes to floss.
The Fix: Floss at least once a day. Treat it like any other part of your routine you'd never skip, like brushing your teeth or showering. Here's a reminder how-to from the American Dental Association: Take about 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers. Hold a few inches of the floss tightly between thumbs and forefingers. Guide the floss between your teeth, using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth, and gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with an up-and-down motion. Repeat this for every tooth.

You Don't Lift Weights
Some women avoid lifting weights because they think they'll end up looking like a female version of The Rock.
The Fix: You don't have to spend a lot of time pumping iron to reap the benefits—2 or 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days for about 30 minutes per session should do the trick. The American Council on Exercise says that light weights and multiple reps tend to help build endurance and muscle tone, while using heavier weights generally produces stronger muscles.

You Ignore Aches and Pains
If you're knee-deep in caring for kids, managing a household, and holding down a job, you may be quick to brush off a nagging cough, back twinge, or bout of indigestion. You may think fatigue is your natural state.
The Fix: Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of serious illness, know your risk factors, report anything unusual immediately, and don't let anything get in the way of regular screening tests, which can often detect problems when they're still small and treatable.

You Wear Contacts No Matter What
It's safer to switch to glasses when you're under the weather.
The Fix: Wear your specs until you're feeling better, experts advise, or switch to daily-wear disposable lenses to avoid infection.

You Don't Get Enough Sleep
Scrimping on sleep may seem like a smart way to squeeze a few more productive hours into the day, but busy women who do it can pay a heavy price with their health.
The Fix: Acknowledge the futility of trying to fit 26 hours' worth of activities into 24. Cut back on your commitments. Divvy up family responsibilities with your partner and children. Establish a bedtime for yourself, and stick to it every night. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. And don't use alcohol as a sleep inducer; it can actually interfere with a full night's rest. Your sleep may improve if you adhere to the same relaxing bedtime rituals you've started for your kids, such as reading, listening to music, or taking a warm bath.

You Assume Home Cooking Is Always Healthier
Making your own meals is usually healthier than takeout, but your cookbook may not be as slimming as you think.
The Fix: Use our portion control finder to make sure you can gauge realistic meal sizes; then freeze leftovers in individual containers so you eat one portion at a time, not two or three.

Your Faucet's Always at the Same Temp
When you cook or drink, keep it cool. When you wash your hands, turn up the heat.

The Fix: If you haven't turned on the faucet for 6 hours or more, let it run cold for a minute before using, the EPA advises—and use only water filters bearing a seal from NSF International, a company that certifies products' lead-removing abilities

Your Friends Have Bad Health Habits
With friends like these, you may need to watch your waistline.
The Fix: Maintain your own beliefs about what is healthy—and avoid being swayed by friends and their weight gain. "Those around us can influence us in ways we don't realize," says Christakis. If your friends are sharing unhealthy apps at dinner, order the usual healthy choice you would have with a different crowd.

You Drive With the Windows Down
Commuting may be hazardous to your lungs.
The Fix: During a trafficky commute, driving with windows shut and air recirculating helps somewhat, say researchers; taking a train or biking on less busy roads can have an even healthier impact.

You Don't Check Your Doc's Track Record
Having an operation? An overachieving surgeon could save your life.
The Fix: To check your surgeon's experience, call her office and ask: Is she board certified in her specialty? How many surgeries of the type you need has she performed in the past year? How does her success rate compare with the national average? Has she ever had to pay to settle a malpractice claim or been disciplined by a hospital or a state medical licensing board?

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Good Health

Fruits & Vegetables
The gold standard: Up to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
Good Enough: 5 a day

The gold standard: 30 minutes of cardio 5 or more days a week
Good Enough: 17 minutes a day

The gold standard: Apply SPF 30 or higher several times a day
Good Enough: Use SPF 15

Staying Hydrated
The gold standard: Eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily
Good Enough: Drink with meals and when you're thirsty

The gold standard: 8 hours a night
Good Enough: 7 hours

Portion Sizes
The gold standard: Measure everything you eat
Good Enough: Size up grains and fats only

The gold standard: 2 or 3 times a week
Good Enough: Once a week

Hand Washing
The gold standard: Lather for at least 15 to 20 seconds before rinsing
Good Enough: Wash for 10 seconds, then rinse

Healthy Weight
The gold standard: BMI between 19 and 25
Good Enough: Aim to lose 5 to 7% of your current body weight

Sexiest Hair Styles

Straight hair
For a smooth blowout that still has some bounce, prep hair with the right product: volumizer on fine hair; a nickel-size drop of gel throughout curly hair; and on thick hair, a heat-protecting spray from mid-length to the ends. Blow-dry hair in sections using a large round brush; when finished, rub of drop of shine serum between your palms and skim them over the hair just from the ears down.

Teased crown
Adding just a little height at the crown injects some Bardot-style sex appeal. Gently tease just your roots until there is lift, but not so much that it looks like you have a lump on your head. Smooth over the teased hair with your hands, then leave your hair down or pull it into a low, loose ponytail.

Messy low ponytail
The key here is a slightly frizzy texture. Before pulling your back hair, lightly massage your scalp with your fingertips—this creates a bit of volume and the fuzziness you want. Then, loosely gather your hair at the nape of your neck and wrap an elastic around it so the band is about a half-inch away from your scalp. For extra oomph, lightly tease the underside of the tail with a paddle brush.

Spiky knot
There's nothing attractive about a two-minute man. But this two-minute hairstyle? We love. Make a ponytail just above the center of the back of your head and lightly tease the tail, then haphazardly twist it around into a bun and pin in place—but leave the ends sprouting out so it seems more casual. (Feel free to pull a few pieces out of the twist.)

Half-up hair
To keep this style from looking too prim (or preschool), mist your roots when they're dry with a bit of texturizing spray, which makes them slightly fuzzy, and create a messy center part. Then, pull back just the top layer of hair on each side of your face—the bottom layers should fall over your ears. Fasten the pulled-back pieces into a small ponytail just below your crown with a thin elastic—barrettes are too girlish—and don't worry about any strays.

Bouncy ponytail
OK, this one's really simple—but it makes even fine hair look flirty in a ponytail. First, run a large drop of thickening cream through damp hair before blow-drying. Then, use your fingers, not a brush, to gather your hair back (not too tightly, though—you want there to be some wisps around your face). Place the ponytail about two inches below your crown—any higher and you'll look like a genie. Finally, tease the underside of the ponytail with a paddle brush for extra bushiness. (The brush won't tangle the hair the way a teasing comb can.)

Natural texture
This look turns out best when you put in a smidgen of effort while hair is still damp. Run a tiny drop of leave-in conditioner through hair (this will control any frizz), part your hair as you normally would, tuck it behind your ears, and leave it that way until it's dry. You'll end up with a gentle wave in front.

Choppy bangs
The appeal here is the way they hide your eyes a bit. Be sure the bangs are long and thick, with choppy ends that skim the bottom of your brows. And keep the rest of your style in mind—this fringe is most flattering with a bob or hair that falls below your shoulders and is nearly all one length.

Wispy updo
The trick to making an updo sexy: Give it some rumpled texture. Use your fingers instead of a comb to rake back your hair so it's not tight against your head. Twirl your hair loosely into a bun, then use bobby pins—not an elastic—to anchor it in place, which will make the twist look slack, in a good way.

Tousled waves
Ditch the curling iron, and instead spritz your hair with a setting spray (if hair is thick or wavy) or thickening spray (if it's fine). Dry it until it's only slightly damp, then part your hair in the middle all the way back to the nape of your neck. Gather one of the two sections of hair at ear level, twirl it around on itself to form a loose bun, and pin it behind your ear. Repeat on the other side. Blast your whole head with a diffuser for five minutes, leave the buns in for another 10 to 15 minutes, then take them out and shake everything out with your fingers.

Sexiest Makeup Looks of All Time

Smoky eyes
Give eye makeup a bedroom-y kind of sex appeal by working in layers and smudging it along the way. First up, creamy black pencil—wedged into the upper and lower lashes and softened by gently rubbing with your finger or cotton swab. Trace over that with black shadow and smudge with the swab. Then sweep shimmery gray shadow over the upper lids and blend it up beyond the crease (the more tangled it is with the black, the better).

Glossy nude lips
There's no simpler way to get a sex-kittenish pout. Choose a nude that's slightly pink or flecked with shimmer (they're the most flattering), and concentrate the gloss on the center of the lips (that's the most fattening).

Dewy skin
Fake a glow with powder highlighter: a champagne shade if you have fair skin, a golden tone for medium or olive skin, or copper for dark skin. Dust it over your cheekbones, then dab some at the inner corners of your eyes, on the centers of your lids, and on the bow of your lips.

Red lips
The trick here is to pick a formula that looks moist (that's sexy), but not superglossy (that can verge into slutty territory). Look for lipsticks with "moisturizing," "creamy," or "butter" in their names, and select one that has a little brown in it.

Gold shadow
The key to making eyes glisten with gold: Choose a shimmery shade, and don't be skimpy with it. Spread a layer or two of gold over the lids and up beyond the creases, and don't forget to dab some at the inner corners of the eyes. When it comes to adding liner to the look, a smudgy chocolate brown looks way better than your usual black.

Full lashes
Create the effect of huge doe eyes by gluing on a few clusters of fake lashes before you layer on the mascara. Grab each cluster at its base with tweezers, dip the root in glue, wedge it into the outer corner of the upper lash line, and hold it in place for 15 seconds so it stays put.

Flushed cheeks
We all know what a vibrant pink glow evokes. What we don't all know is how to duplicate one believably: First, brighten skin all over with a slightly shimmery foundation—you can make it yourself by adding a few drops of liquid bronzer to your normal base. Then rub rosy cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend it back along your cheekbones using a few fingers—the heat of that skin-on-skin contact will cause the blush to melt beautifully.

Rose-bitten lips
Give lips a juicy, just-been-kissed look by dabbing them with sheer strawberry-colored lipstick or balm. Concentrate the color in the middle of the mouth and blend outward—that gives the most natural effect.

Strong brows
Think Brooke Shields next time you tweeze your brows. Pull out only the strays that fall well outside your brow line, and then get to work filling with brow pencil and powder. The pencil is for bald spots: Use short, light strokes to draw in missing hairs. The powder is to make brows look thicker: Load some on an angled brush and gently stroke through the entire brow. Finish by running a spooley brush through to blend all your handiwork.

Kohl-rimmed eyes
It's the signature look of vixens and rock goddesses—and all it takes is black liner and some subtle blending.

1. Choose a waterproof pencil, so you can darken even the inner rims. Run the liner just inside the upper lids, then close your eyes tightly—this will smudge just the right amount of liner on the inner lids on the bottom.

2. Trace the upper and lower lashes with more black liner, and don't worry about neatness—your mistakes will disappear once you start blending.

3. Smudge the pencil outward with a dense eye-shadow brush or sponge—softening all that black liner will create the illusion of larger, deeper-set eyes.

Bronzed skin
The first trick to using bronzer: Choose powder (it's actually easier to apply than cream), and be sure the shade is more golden than brown and without a speck of shimmer. Second trick: Swirl the brush not just over your cheeks, but along your hairline and jawline and down the bridge of the nose. Make it look authentic by topping it with rosy blush on the apples of the cheeks.

Winged liner
Flicking liner just past the corners of your eyes creates a flirty effect. For the least theatrical take on the look, extend the line just a quarter inch past the corners and give it a soft curve upward.

Soft peach makeup
Peach may not spring to mind when you think "sexy," but consider this: It combines the warmth of bronzer with all the innocence and ease of pink. The best peach shades have hints of pink (when you're talking lipstick and blush) or tones of brown (for eye shadow).

Contoured cheeks
If you weren't born with sculpted cheeks, you can paint them on (trust us, you won't look like a Falcon Crest throwback). First, sweep a matte powder blush under your cheekbones. (Suck in your cheeks to find the spot we're talking about.) If you're fair, use a soft beige blush; for medium skin, try a bronze shade; on dark skin, go with a brown one. Then, blend a powder highlighter along your cheekbones—pick one that nearly matches your natural skin tone.

Shimmery brown shadow
Blended along the lids and under the lower lashes, this spicy shade adds just enough color to enhance eyes, without screaming "I'm wearing makeup." Stick with warm shades—think anything in the toffee, caramel, or tobacco families. For night, brush the color over the lids and up above the creases of the eyes.

Pretty Plum

Since aburgine is a universall flattering color,it's a great color to wear on the eye can easily achieve it at home.

Aubergine Powder Eye Shadow.
Brush it on your lids from your upper lash lines to your brow bones, extending the shadow around the inner corners of your lids.

Black Eye Liner.
Rim your upper and lower lashes. Add black mascara just on the top lashes.

Peach Powder Blush.
Swirl it on the apples of your cheeks and blend out.

Shimmery Pink Lip Gloss.
Apply a coat for fullness and shine.


YOUNGER: Full, loose waves and candy pink lip gloss are dramatic, but in a sweet way. A side part gives the hair the ideal amount of volume at the crown.

OLDER: Teased hair still has its place—but raised more than two inches from the hairline, it's best left in the '80s. A hint of frost on the lips doesn't exactly help, either.
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