Beauty is as beauty does, and if you want your beauty to do more for you, make sure to enhance rather than detract when you get your gorgeous game on.
Pink Twice DON’T get too frosty with the season’s new pink palettes. If you go pink-heavy on the lips, use it sparingly on the eyes, and vice-versa. It’s also best to skip shades with names like “bubblegum” or “princess.” DO seek out the more delicate variations on this hue — subtle glimmer is better than glitter and girlish nicer than garish. Shades mixed with nude, peach and mauve, and applied in soft washes rather than bold swatches, work beautifully. Don’t shout, whisper.
The Shadow Knows DON’T let the resurgence of vibrant and glittery eye shadows give you carte blanch to transform yourself into an extra from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Leave that solid expanse of lash-to-brow shimmer to the girls on the catwalk. DO use the hottest new color — green — in a more gentle, almost translucent way. A non-opaque wash just on the lid will compliment all eye colors, while a liner in dark green will look less harsh than your typical brown or black. If you want a more glamorous glimmer, show it off at night, and think accent for the day.
At First Blush DON’T brush on your blush with a heavy hand, nor expect it to re-shape your face. Too much pigment and overly directional placement and you risk looking either clownish or vaguely Cruella de Ville. DO use a little color on your cheeks for an innocent glow — and this year that could mean anything from “healthy” to “slightly flushed” or even “exuberant.” Peach shades dusted on the apples of your cheeks look light and bright and impart a “just in from outside” effect.
Plump Up the Volume DON’T lay down a heavy line looking for lush lip nirvana. You won’t successfully mimic a fuller mouth when the color inside the dark liner fades, leaving you with all smile and no substance. DO try a new generation color and plumper in one. With the smacker-boosting ingredients built into the tint, you’ll save time and trouble, and look gorgeous. Some glosses and lipsticks also include smoothing agents to reduce the appearance of lip lines. Pucker up.
White Hot DON’T combine the two boldest makeup trends of spring — a strong mouth and a smoky eye. Choose one over the other or you’ll end up cancelling out both vivid features. Unless you’re the lead in a raucous Broadway musical, less is more. DO subtly enhance your eyes if you go for darker lips, so you don’t look washed-out. Use a neutral matte color on the lids, go light on the mascara, and glide a soft white liner on your inner lower lashline. You’ll look dewy, doe-eyed and definitely awake.
A Light Sweeper DON’T go all the way back to nature. Sure, the fashionistas have declared the bare, no-makeup look to be an uber-chic choice, but that doesn’t mean you have to arrive at the office looking like you just rolled out of bed, or show up for a date decidedly drab. DO even out your imperfections the weightless way. Mineral foundations lay lightly on your face, letting your skin breathe and your complexion show through, with no talc, oils or dyes to block the way. Add a sweep of mascara and a swipe of gloss and you’ll feel like a natural woman.
Here Comes the Groom DON’T let your desire to grow those fashionably natural eyebrows get out of hand. You want to elegantly frame your eyes, not join the bush league. DO tidy your brows by judiciously plucking and lightly filling in bare spots with a color that matches your hair or just one shade darker. Keep your arch visible, but not overdone, and don’t clear too much away at the tail-end. Powder usually blends more easily than pencils, and a final stroke of brow gel holds your shape for hours.
Don’t Let Your Hair Down DON’T go for a glut of gels, mousses, serums and sprays when designing your mane event. While we’d all like volume, body and sexy bounce in our hair, too much “product” is more likely to leave us with limp locks, not weightless waves. DO go easy on the styling potions. A good rule of thumb is to add bodifying ingredients before you blow dry. After that, apply any balms just to the tips of your hair to seal split ends, and never spray glossy shine finishers on directly. Spritz a little in your palms and lightly glide your hands over your ‘do.
Cool, Calm and Corrected DON’T overdo your exfoliation. Sloughing your skin with scrubs and polishing it with peels will speed cell turnover, but resist the temptation to use these treatments more than once or twice a week. And going scour-happy is especially rough on dry skin. DO tranquilize your skin with a balm made to calm. Look for ingredients like chamomile, white or green tea, aloe vera and feverfew. Not only do these soothers make a good tonic for overstressed skin, but they also work wonders for super sensitive or ruddy complexions.
Going South DON’T forget the expanse of territory below your face. The skin on the neck is more delicate than that above, so signs of aging can appear here early, and your décolleté is especially prone to showing evidence of youthful sun indiscretions. DO pay attention to places some women neglect. Your faithful skincare routine shouldn’t end at your chin, so do make sure to continue it further down — and use goods designed just for that more sensitive area. You’re bound to look better in strappy styles and bare bodices.