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Get Party-Ready in Seconds
Show Off Those Legs!
Tights are ideal for the office — but not for a sexy night out. (And panty hose are always a no-no. Period.) When it's best to go bare, slather on a glistening, tinted body oil. The hint of pigment conceals imperfections such as stretch marks or veins, while the reflective quality of the oil helps bounce light off skin, further diffusing any issues. Sephora Beach Glow Shimmering Oil Spray, $18, sephora.com, absorbs quickly and is great for fair to medium skin tones. (For darker coverage, we like NARS Body Glow, $59, beauty.com.)
Give Yourself a Showstopping Blow-Out
No need to run to the salon — use these goof-proof tips at home.
Grab a round brush. "The tightly spaced bristles pull hair taut, so every drop of water evaporates with the dryer," stylist Mario Russo says. (Left-behind moisture leads to frizz.) And consider an 1,800-watt blower (such as Supersolano X, $109, beautysak.com); it can cut drying time by at least five minutes.
Style strategically. Apply products to towel-dried hair. "Sopping-wet strands can't absorb the ingredients," Russo says. Boost fine roots with a volumizer like Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray, $26.99, drugstore.com. Or tame coarse hair with straightening gel (try Phyto Phytodefrisant Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm, $26, sephora.com).
Brush with greatness. Blow hair until it's 80 percent dry (use fingers, not a brush). Then wrap one-inch sections around the brush and pull it from roots to ends. Follow with the dryer's nozzle pointed down to flatten the cuticle.
Refresh Your Hairstyle in Seconds
Go glam in a snap with these easy, feminine accessories.
- Secure a clip. Silver, sapphires, sparkles — oh my! A barrette from Goody's Luxe collection, $2.99 to $6.99, drugstores, beautifully holds back frizzy layers or overgrown bangs.
- Slide on a headband. Gossip Girl fans know that bands are back in a big way. Look stylish, not schoolgirlish, by "positioning one an inch behind your hairline, not across the middle of your head," Russo says.
- Tie on an elastic. Glam up this gym staple by choosing one encrusted with jewels or stones. Avoid securing it at the crown. "Try it low at the nape for a sophisticated, night-out style" Russo says.
Fake a Good Night's Sleep
Not logging enough pillow time? Hide the evidence in two steps:
Get a Glow
Illuminated skin helps you look perky even when you're zonked. To shed dull, dry skin cells, "mix a dime-size drop of exfoliator with your cleanser," says Kimara Ahnert, a makeup artist in New York City. Pat skin dry and immediately apply moisturizer. Finally, swipe a dewy cream blush on the apples of cheeks (the fullest areas, near your nostrils), where skin naturally flushes.
Look Bright-Eyed (Even When You're Not)
- Nix tired, bloodshot eyes with anti-red eyedrops. Apply pre-eye makeup to avoid streaks.
- Dot concealer on upper lids, where blood vessels swell. Then dab a thin layer from inner corners to just under the iris. "The bridge of the nose casts a shadow here," makeup artist Tina Turnbow says.
- Plump up lines around the eyes with Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate, $76, sephora.com, so concealer doesn't settle.
- Like an afternoon run, DuWop Blush Therapy in Hug, $22, sephora.com, gives your skin a quick burst of natural, healthy-looking color.
- The vitamin E in Pur-lisse Pur-Moist Hydra-Balance Moisturizer, $65, beauty.com, hydrates without a greasy feel.
- Neutralize redness with a peachy lotion; try Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 in Shade 02, $32, stilacosmetics.com.
- Make eyes look their brightest with this pro secret: Run a flesh-toned pencil like Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Topaz, $16.50, beauty.com, on lower lid rims.
The one-step wake-up wonder: Curl your lashes! Achieve an instant, up-and-at-'em effect by squeezing your lashes with a curler from roots to tips. Pinch three times along the way.
Get the Perfect Pout
One swipe of a rich, red lip color is your ticket to looking party-ready pronto. Here are a few secrets to being beautiful, not Bozo-ish:
- Target your tone. Pick a color that complements your complexion, Ahnert says. Her foolproof suggestion: Let your blush and eyeshadow colors be your guide. "If you usually go for plums, berries, or mauve tones — shades with blue undertones, which suit cool, pinkish skin — choose a similarly toned ruby or brick red," Ahnert says. (A good one: Bourjois So Rouge lipstick in 31 Trendy Rouge, $15, ulta.com, left.) If, however, you gravitate toward bronzy, gold, or peach tones (yellow-based shades that work best on warm, more golden skin tones), apply an orange or coral-toned red to lips.
- Test like a pro. When shopping for a shade, narrow your search to three reds, then put each to the test. "When possible, apply directly to your lips," Ahnert says. If you're in a hurry (or a new, sterile sample isn't available), use the pad of your thumb; the skin color there most resembles that of lips.
Tone Your Arms in 20 Minutes
So you're going sleeveless and the only thing you've lifted lately is a few shopping bags? No worries. A quick pre-party workout will send blood to your arm and shoulder muscles, giving them a temporary swelling and sculpting effect that can last close to an hour, says Michele Olson, PhD, a professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, and a FITNESS advisory board member. The speedy secret: doing four sets of the following sequence (for long-term results, do this routine three or four times a week).
- 15 push-ups. Do as many as you can in the traditional pose; then, if necessary, switch to the modified version.
- 15 triceps dips. Pumping up in the office or at home? Use a stationary chair as a makeshift workout bench.
- 15 isometric contractions. Press your palms together in front of you; hold for 10 seconds, then release.
- 15 biceps lifts. Reach under a desk, table or counter, palms against the underside, and pretend you're lifting it off the floor. Hold for 10 counts. Back to push-ups!
Buff up instantly. Apply bronzer along your biceps, triceps, and deltoids. "The deeper shade of powder contrasts against your natural skin tone, making muscles look more defined," says makeup artist Tanya Cropse. One to try: PerriconeMD ALA Body Toning Lotion SPF 15 with DMAE, $75, perriconemd.com.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2008.