Get sleek legs with a subtle shimmer lotion. (Try Jergens Soft Shimmer Skin Radiance Moisturizer, $6.99, drugstores.) "The pigments reflect light, obscuring minor stubble and veins," says Joyce Carboni, director of Skinsational Skin & Body Spa in Carlsbad, California.
Show off your shoulders. Lightly dust an icy, iridescent powder like Tarte Glistening Powder in Material Girl ($40, sephora.com) over your bare shoulders and arms, blending in circles, for an understated glow.
Boost your decolettage. A low-cut top can quickly take your outfit from the office to a big night out. Apply a drop of foundation to even out the skin tone on your chest, then add definition with a sweep of shimmery bronzer over your collarbone, says celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal.
Wake up tired hair. If you've gone flat by five, hit the ladies' room and try this minimum-effort trick: Flip your head over and blast strands with volumizing spray and the heat from a hand dryer "to create tons of lift, making your hair as bouncy as it was that morning," says Luke O'Connor, Suave expert stylist. We like Ted Gibson Build It Blow Drying Agent, $28, sephora.com.
Work the wet look. You managed to exercise and shower before your party, but now you're crunched for time. Instead of working up a sweat again with the blow-dryer on high heat, slick your hair back with a light frizz-fighting gel or cream (try Herbal Essences None of Your Frizzness Smoothing Leave-In Creme, $2.99, drugstore.com). Then, create a low side part.
Pony up. Making a ponytail is an effortless way to go from work to play — even if your only tools are an elastic band and bobby pins. Part hair deeply on one side, then pull back into a low pony, leaving out several strands on each side. Take those extra strands and crisscross them over each other, then wrap them around the pony and secure underneath with pins to conceal the elastic, says Jet Rhys, owner of the Jet Rhys Salon in San Diego.
Show curl power. Rather than straightening ringlets into submission, show off their wild side. "Gather all of your curls into a chic, easy updo by haphazardly pinning up sections of hair at the very middle of the back of your head," says Nunzio Saviano, stylist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City. (Check out this look on our model, above.) This works best on slightly dirty, day-old curls, so you can happily skip your morning shampoo.
Make waves. Braid damp locks in the morning, then simply untie your locks en route to the party.
Start fresh. Instead of cleansing and reapplying makeup from scratch, just mist your face with water or toner and blot before adding new color, says Nick Barose, celebrity makeup artist for Clarins. If your foundation needs a boost, use a dual-finish powder, like CoverGirl Simply Powder Foundation ($6.99, drugstore.com).
Hide flaws fast. Get the smoothest, sheerest look by applying cream concealer with a brush. According to Mary Schook, a makeup artist in New York City, gently tapping the tip of your brush onto spots and dark circles can create an airbrushed effect.
Play the party line. Rim your upper and lower lashes with pencil, then smudge with your finger. "You'll get definition without having to completely redo your eye makeup," says Barose. Upgrade from black to aqua or gold liner to make a stronger statement, suggests Roncal. Try Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Electric or Honey ($15 each, sephora.com).
Be a loud mouth. Shimmery gloss in a holly-berry color (try MAC Lipglass in Witty, $20, maccosmetics.com) brightens the face — and makes teeth look whiter — and takes less time and precision to apply than lipstick. To keep it from fading, first fill in your lips with a gel-based pencil. "It won't leave a scary ring," says Barose.
Make a clean sweep. Spruce up mascara by swiping a clean, damp eyelash brush (such as Sonia Kashuk Lash & Brow Groomer, $7.99, target.com) through your lashes before applying a fresh coat. Stick to lengthening formulas (like Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara Lengthening, $7, drugstore.com), recommends Barose. "Volumizing ones tend to look thick and gunky when layered over old color."
Channel classic Hollywood. Nothing says glamour like full, arched brows. Enhance yours with a bit of powdered shadow, then brush hairs up, says celebrity makeup artist Maria Verel. Complement strong brows with sheer red lips for a classic — and remarkably simple — holiday look.
Polish them off. "Bare nails are very chic when kept well groomed and on the shorter side," says Verel. After removing any remnants of polish, then filing, rub a little oil, cream, or even ChapStick into your cuticles and nail beds to add a natural luster.
Shine on, selectively. Enhance brow bones, cheekbones, and the inner corners of your eyes with a highlighting cream.
Your Perfect Party Kit
Eight carry-'em-with-you essentials to get evening-ready fast:
- Powder foundation (to perfect skin tone)
- Rosy blush with a touch of shimmer (to brighten up)
- Lengthening mascara (to make your eyes pop)
- Sheer red lip gloss (to go glam in seconds)
- Champagne highlighting cream (to add dimension)
- Gold eyeliner (to look evening-appropriate)
- Hair-styling cream (to zap frizz and add shine)
- Elastic bands (to create an instant updo)
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2007.