Look Party-Perfect for the Holidays
Whether you're a high-maintenance glamour girl or a minimalist who leaves the house with just a swipe of lipstick, when the holidays roll around, it's time to kick things up a notch.
If you're a Hollywood star, it takes a village of pros to prep, primp, and prod you into shape for making an entrance. But you don't need a a glam squad to get gorgeous for holiday parties. With all the innovative beauty products available these days, it's never been easier to look great as we get older. We have a few tips to help you look your best this season.
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall
Get a super-magnifying mirror. Yes, it's depressing to see every pore, pimple, and red vein ten times larger than its normal size, but it's worth it to be able to cover every spot, sweep away mascara flakes, and make sure your makeup is always expertly blended.
Don't skimp on sleep. They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing. Getting enough rest reduces the appearance of under eye circles, perks up sallow skin, and improves your mood.
And while you're at it, snooze on a satin pillowcase. Not only will it prevent complexion creases, but it also helps preserve your hairstyle by cutting down on the friction of a cotton pillowcase, which can destroy your 'do.
Out with the Old...
Stay current. Don't keep using old, outdated products. And if you're still putting on your makeup the same way you did in college, it's time to tweak your technique and adapt your approach to your changing skin.
Less Is More
The easiest way to make your face look younger is to wear less makeup. Thick makeup sinks into lines and wrinkles and makes them more visible. If you look washed out, don't try to compensate by piling on the paint. Try a brighter lip color to give your look a lift.
All About Texture
Go for a softer, more youthful look by using blush and eye shadow in cream formulas for a dewy glow instead of powders that leave a dry, matte finish. Try light-reflecting and blurring products to help diminish the look of lines and wrinkles, but avoid glitter, which makes them more visible. Remember to blend, blend, blend!
Before beginning your makeup, use a scrub or mask to rev up circulation and freshen skin. Then layer on serum, moisturizer, eye cream, and a primer to help foundation go on more smoothly and last longer.
Ace Your Base
Choose a lightweight, moisture-rich liquid or cream foundation. For optimum results, rub a dab of foundation on your palm in a circular motion first to warm it up, then use a damp makeup sponge or foundation brush to apply. This makes it appear to melt into your skin. You can also add moisturizer or facial oil to create the perfect "no-makeup" makeup look. Or use a tinted moisturizer, then dab on a stick foundation or concealer where needed.
To open up the eye, use an eyelash curler (hold for 30 seconds to get maximum curl), then eyeshadow primer before cream shadow. Define your eyes with a creamy pencil liner instead of liquid, which can look too harsh. Soften the line even more — and make it last longer — by smudging a dark powder shadow over it with an angled brush. Instead of black, try navy liner, which brightens the whites of the eyes, or brown for a subtle look. Create long, lush, voluminous lashes with a coat of lengthening mascara followed by two coats of thickening mascara (and don't you dare go to bed without removing every bit of it!).
Fill in thinning brows with short, light, feathery strokes of a brow pencil one shade lighter than your natural color, or use an angled brow brush and powder or pomade, then blend and brush brows upward with a clean spoolie. Yes, bold brows are in fashion now, but you don't want to look like Joan Crawford.
As we age, lips get thinner too. Use a neutral lip pencil to define the natural shape of your lips, then apply lipstick with a lip brush instead of straight from the tube, working it in like a stain to give it staying power and prevent lipstick from bleeding into fine lines. If you're using a matte lipstick, slick on plenty of lip balm first for moisture. Blot with a tissue, then apply another coat of lipstick. If you're a gloss girl, go with it. Just be prepared to reapply several times throughout the evening.
For added evening oomph, accent above cheekbones, on cupid's bow, and beneath brows with a pearly cream or liquid highlighter. If you want to go all out, try contouring, using shadow and light to subtly "sculpt" your face, enhancing cheekbones and inner corners of eyes and camouflaging your least-favorite features, whatever those may be.
Contouring is not intended to give you a whole new face, but to softly accentuate the positive and minimize the unflattering. Don't overdo it. When contouring, use colors that are only a couple of shades lighter or darker than your natural skin tone and apply sparingly. It's more important than ever to blend, blend, blend, or you'll look like you have stripes on your face.
If you feel you need to set your makeup, skip powder and use a makeup setting spray, which helps to control oil and shine. Worried about getting greasy during the evening? Use blotting papers or a tissue on your T-zone.
OK, now stop looking at yourself already! Go out and have fun!