Feb 17, 2009

5 Beauty Dos & 5 Don'ts

Trends come and trends go and this season you don't want to be caught in public looking like last year (or worse, last ... decade). While we think it's cool to follow some trends, there are some timeless beauty rules that will get you through every season looking classy, no matter what coast you live on (or plain in between).

Beauty Do #1: Goodbye Helmet Head

No matter the trends, the less done your hair looks, the more fresh you'll look. If you curl your hair, brush out the curls ala 50s pinups. If you opt for a bun on the back of the head, set it at the nape of the neck and let it get messy. If you're off to a formal event, spend more time on your makeup and accessories and leave hair loose and sexy. Remember: Fancy, hairsprayed 'dos are terribly matronly and best left to your grandmother's set.

Beauty Do #2: Contrasting eyes and mouth

Nude lips and smokey eyes, red lips and light eyes -- whether you opt to play up the eyes or the mouth, remember they are never to compete for attention. We love red lips and porcelein skin with nude eyes brightened with a bit of mascara. Smokey eyes and nude lips are always a classy look as each season comes up with its own special smokey-lidded look.

Beauty Do #3: Apply sunscreen every day no matter the weather

You've heard this preached enough, but it's true. If you get into the habit of sunscreen application daily, you will thank yourself when you're older and relatively lineless.

Can't bother with too many lotions and potions? Consider a tinted moisturizer with SPF of at least 15. If you can't stand looking pale, brush on a bronzer. At least it doesn't smell like fake tanners.

Beauty Do #4: Layer fragrances and lipsticks

Sophisticated women know how to properly layer fragrances to create their own signature blends. How to do it? Take your favorite scent and layer a new one atop it. Try out several versions until you find your favorite blend.

According to French Elle (via blogger boisdejasmine), the safest way to blend is via citrus notes, which can be layered with floral, woodsy and amber-y fragrances. For more a more detailed discussion and for fragrance suggestions, check out this blog from the Sartorialist. The comments below offer many insights.

You can do the same with lipsticks. Create your own shades with mattes and glosses. If you don't like a shade, don't throw it out, perfect one with other colors in your beauty drawer.

Beauty Do #5: Moisturize after every shower

Skin left unmoisturized will itch, and itching (especially done when you're not paying complete attention) can cause scabs, which in turn can scar. In the shower, make sure you exfoliate your body thoroughly with a loofah. I like wearing those loofah gloves. Then when you get out and dry off, slather on the moisturizer. My favorite? Kiehl's.

Beauty Don't #1: French manis and pedis

Short, round nails are universally preferred over long talons. While we prefer light pearl-colored manis (always classy), dark polishes are uber trendy (though one that we believe won't last many seasons).

For feet, please, skip the French pedicure, which we agree with a reader 'looks like you have fingers on your feet.' Another no-no: Nail art on your fake fingernails, although we find the occasional flower painted on your big toe adorable.

Beauty Don't #2: Layer on the foundation

So many beauty faux pas can be attributed to foundation misuse: Tell-tale lines along the jaw, a mask-like appearance, too-dark colors or raccoon eyes.

To achieve the always classy fresh face, stick to foundation use only on the areas that need it, typically around your eyes, along your your nose and on your cheeks. You don't need foundation on your forehead or even neck. Remember to blend and consider different colors for winter vs. summer, when your skin is naturally lighter.

Beauty Don't #3: Scaly anything

Keep your complexion fresh and vibrant all year long by exfoliating your face weekly. Your body needs exfoliating as well, so invest in scrubs in your bathtub or shower. (We also recommend showering with exfoliating gloves). A quick pumicing on the soles of your feet during every shower will keep feet soft between pedicures. As for lips, try this tip to keep lips from excessive scaling in winter.

Beauty Don't #4: Hair that grows below your breasts

There is such a thing as hair that's too long no matter your face shape. Long hair can weigh your face down and once it grows below your breasts it's just plain tacky.

Beauty Don't #5: Pooh-pooh fake eyelashes

Trust us, celebrities with gorgeous eyes ook that way because they slap on the falsies. There are all sorts of false eyelashes to try these days. Don't want to be too obvious? Try the individual lashes.

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