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Weren't born with the perfect eyes, lips, and cheek structure? Not many of us are. Luckily, a few simple makeup techniques can help you create the features you've always wanted.
"Shaping the eyebrows is the first step to enhancing your eyes," says Eve Pearl, key makeup artist for ABC's The View and author of Plastic Surgery Without the Surgery: The Miracle of Makeup Techniques. A general rule is to create the arch of your eyebrow three-quarters of the way toward the outer part of your eye. Use an eyebrow pencil or powder one shade lighter than your natural brows so they look natural.
Gently curl your eyelashes with an eyelash curler, then apply one or two thin coats of mascara to lashes. For fine lashes, applying volumizing mascara with a thick brush will help coat lashes and make them look fuller. For straight lashes, look for curling mascara with a slightly curved brush that will help extend eyelashes upward. How to make your eyes really pop? "Using fake eyelashes will make the biggest difference in having your eyes really stand out," says Pearl.
Products we like: Try Cover Girl LashExact Mascara, $6.99, or Max Factor Lash Perfection, $7.75, both of which feature flexible rubber brush bristles that separate and coat lashes evenly. To fatten lashes, Stila Fiber Optics Mascara, $12.50, has a rich formula composed of micro fibers. It bulks up even the thinnest lashes and won't wilt a curl.Prominent Cheekbones
"Using an angled blush brush, apply a deep blush color underneath the cheekbone, then use a highlighting color on the apple of the cheek," instructs Jazzlyn Douglas, a Sephora color consultant at New York's Fifth Avenue flagship store. Highlight the upper cheekbone area with a light-colored powder or shimmer to bring out the cheekbone.
However, if your cheekbones are too prominent, apply blush all the way above the cheekbone area, almost to your eye, says Pearl. "This will take up your cheek and give you a mini facelift."
Products we like: Try Maybelline's Dream Mousse Blush, $7, a creamy sheer blush that can be applied and easily blended with you fingertips. For highlights, BeneFit High Beam, $22, is a soft pink liquid shimmer that can be mixed with foundation or worn alone.Fake a Good Night's Sleep
A long night out can mean red, sleepy eyes with dark undereye circles. To look fresh in spite of your exhaustion, find a good undereye concealer, advises Pearl. "I prefer the salmon color over light yellows. Put on lots of moisturizer, apply warm tones over the eyes, and a natural color for lips." To get the red out of eyes, hydrate them with lubricating drops.
Products we like: BeneFit's Boi-ing, $18, is an industrial-strength concealer that comes in three hues and masks even the darkest shadows. Soothe irritation with Bion Tears, $14.99.Mask a Double Chin
"Use a darker color under the chin and along the jaw line," says Douglas. "Highlight above the jaw line to draw more attention away from the chin area." Be sure to blend the shadow all the way to the back of the neck to avoid obvious stripes.
Products we like: Try Bare Escentuals i.d. bareMinerals All-Over Face Color in Warmth, $20, a bronzer that subtly darkens your skin. This is great for masking a double chin as well as for contouring a nose.
To mask acne, start with a foundation primer in a tint to mask redness and smooth skin surface, says Douglas. "Use a moderate- to full-coverage concealer, then finish it up with a powder or liquid foundation." Pick a yellow- or subtly green-tinted concealer to help neutralize redness.
To even out a blotchy complexion, use a powder foundation or moderate- to full-coverage foundation. Masking scars requires a full-coverage concealer.
Products we like: Cover Girl Advanced Radiance liquid makeup, $12, and Stila Perfecting Concealer, $20, work wonders to neutralize spot blemishes and provide a perfect matte finish.Plumper Lips
First, exfoliate your lips so you have a clean base to work with. Pearl suggests running a toothbrush and a dab of Vaseline over your lips to get rid of dead skin and encourage blood circulation, giving your lips a fuller look. Once you have a clean base to work with, apply specially formulated lip-plumping cosmetics. Many companies manufacture lipsticks and glosses with plumping agents, such as caffeine, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline (a lipoaminoacid already present in skin), or cinnamon. Basically, all plumpers contain ingredients that mildly irritate your lips, encouraging blood flow and temporarily swelling your mouth into an Angelina Jolie-worthy pucker.
A full mouth can also be faked with traditional lipstick and liner. "The best way to get your lips to look full is by outlining your entire lip with a lip pencil and filling the entire lip in," says Pearl. "Then apply lipstick or gloss, using a light shade right in the middle of the lower lip to really pop out the lip." Not into lip liner? "Use a high-shine gloss or a subtle sparkle shine, which creates a plump look," says Douglas.
Products we like: Avon Beyond Color Plumping Lipcolor, $8, and Beyond Color Plumping Lip Liner, $7, are formulated with retinol and collagen to visibly reduce lip lines and fatten lips. If you're on-the-go, try L'Oreal Volume Perfect Lipcolour, $9.99, a dual-ended stick that has a collagen-infused primer base on one end and a richly colored lipstick on the other. For a glossy look, Freeze 24-7's PlumpLips IceSticks, $24, gives lips a sheer wash of color and contains a vasodilating ingredient that causes the blood vessels in your lips to widen and swell.A Thinner Nose
Draw a thin line down each side of your nose using a shadow or cream two to three shades darker than your natural skin color, says Pearl. Blend the lines so they're not so prominent, then powder to blend it into the rest of your face. Conversely, you can also draw a thin line of highlighter down the bone in the center of your nose, stopping just short of the tip, then blend. The gradation in color gives the illusion of a thinner, more defined nose.
Another trick to try is accentuating either your eyes or your lips, which draws attention away from the center of your face.
Products we like: Bare Escentuals i.d. bareMinerals All-Over Face Color in Warmth, $20, darkens any area that needs contouring.
Originally published on LHJ.com, July 2006.