Wake up Sleepy Eyes

Your eyes may be the window to your soul, but they can also give people a glimpse into how sleep-deprived you are sometimes. Dark circles and puffy eyes don’t make you feel your beautiful best. 

Of course the best remedy is to get more sleep, but until you can work that into your schedule, grab a cup of coffee and take these steps to looking wide-awake -- even when you’re not.  

1. Deflate puffy eyes.
If you already drink coffee or tea in the morning, keep it up. Did you know that caffeinated drinks can help wake up the eyes too, says Dr. Bruce Katz, a dermatologist and director of Juva Skin and Laser Center in New York City, and a clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Caffeine revs up your circulation and that helps keep fluid moving away from the eyes where it can build up. 

Also, anything cold will bring down swelling quickly. Store a jar of eye gel in the fridge. After making your coffee, gently tap it under eyes and on lids for a no-fuss fix. Eye gel that contains caffeine may also temporarily tighten skin, says Katz.

2. Choose a light and natural concealer.
Cover-up is your most important tool for looking naturally bright-eyed. Go for a cream or liquid formula that comes in a tube (instead of a thicker formula in a compact), says Heather Cummings, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles. It will blend better into delicate eye-area skin and look most like your own skin. (Heavier concealers are more prone to caking or creasing.)

Pick the shade closest to your skin tone that also has a slight peach or yellow undertone. The tints help cancel out purple, blue and reddish tones common in under-eye circles.

3. Blend away dark circles.
Here’s how to apply concealer around the eyes:

  • Place a small dot on the skin at the inner corners of your eyes.
  • Add one or two more dots under the eyes, covering any discoloration.
  • With your ring finger, lightly tap to blend, keeping the makeup on the hollow above your cheekbone. (Don’t blend it down over cheeks.) Continue until the makeup disappears into skin.
  • Finally, dab a little bit of concealer on your lids to even out skin tone.

4. Curl your lashes.
You may think curling is a skip-able step, but it instantly makes eyes look more awake, even if you don’t wear mascara. “Curled lashes emphasize the upper part of your eye so you look more alert,” says Cummings. Curling also keeps the hairs from partially covering eyes or casting a shadow. Here’s how to curl right:

  • Place the curler as close to lash roots as you can.
  • Look straight ahead and tighten the curler, holding it in place for five seconds.
  • Release your grip and repeat once more.

5. Apply a thin coat of mascara.
A dark brown or black mascara helps lengthen lashes and draws attention to the upper part of your eyes. Here’s how to apply a little bit of mascara for a natural look:

  • Pick a waterproof formula, since smudges can make the lower lids look dark.
  • Before you apply, wipe the brush with a tissue. This removes excess mascara that might otherwise cause clumps and thickness.
  • Brush through lashes once or twice to give yourself an ultralight application that helps lashes look naturally long. This also helps make eyes look pretty and open.

6. Highlight eyes.
When you use a highlighting cream, it’s like flipping on a light switch, says Cummings. The products contain light-reflecting particles, such as mica, that brighten the area and draw attention away from the shadows that make you look tired.

Cummings suggests blending a small amount of the cream just under your eyebrows, at the arch (on the center of your brow bone). Also touch a bit on the skin at the inner corners of your eyes.

If you have an extra 30 seconds, apply a slightly shimmery champagne-colored cream eye shadow on your lid, says Cummings. “Place the shadow at the inner corner and blend it out onto your eyelid with a shadow brush or your finger,” she says. “Your eyes will instantly start to sparkle.”

Photo: Corbis Images

Quick Holiday-Party-Worthy Braids

Braids are back in a big way this year! Far from the schoolgirl look you used to know, braids are a pretty and sophisticated look for office holiday parties and family gatherings alike. Best of all, it doesn’t take much time or coordination to create lovely braided updos.

Try these easy and elegant hairstyle tutorials you can create in just minutes -- leaving you plenty of time to get to the party! For even more ideas, check out our new Pocket Hairstylist  tool and mobile app .



Step 1
Divide your hair into two sections (top and bottom), and back comb a little (gently) underneath the top half. Spray with a little hairspray, and smooth over the top with a comb. This will help give you more lift from the front.

Step 2
Divide your hair in half again, this time on both sides (like you’re doing milkmaid braids). Be sure to separate the hair at the nape of your neck to avoid a severe part. Begin braiding the first side.


Step 3
Stop your braid about 4 to 5 inches down and secure with an elastic. Braid the other side, again stopping 4 to 5 inches down.

Step 4
Tug the hair out of the braids a bit for fullness: Put your fingers to your scalp facing upward and lift the hair up a bit at the roots.

Step 5
Criss-cross your braids behind your head. Pull the first braid up and over your ears to the crown of your head. Secure your braid firmly with bobby pins, placing them in towards your scalp in a downward position. (You should only need 4 to 6 pins per braid!) Bring the second braid up to pin, and simply tuck the ends of each braid underneath the other. Secure with more bobby pins.


Step 6
Once both your braids are secured, you may wish to ‘fluff’ up your volume again using your fingertips.


Step 7
Spritz on another coating of hairspray. Take a hand mirror or use a two-way mirror to check the back of your lovely new ’do! If you find your hair to be a little frizzy or unkempt, use a comb to fine-tune the back. 



Step 1

First, leave out the front portion of your hair on both sides, securing the pieces out of the way. Brush out the back of your hair, teasing just the top part to give it some volume.

Step 2

Start Dutch braiding the back of your hair (this is similar to a French braid but you braid the pieces under instead of over). When you’re done, secure with an elastic.

Step 3

Pull the braid out a bit to loosen it up. Then roll the braid in toward your head and secure with bobby pins.

Step 4
Take the front pieces of your hair down and divide them in half, so you have four separate pieces. Take the back piece from one side of your head and twist it slightly toward the braid, leaving it loose. Bring the piece over the braid to the other side of your head and pin in place (we’ll deal with the ends in a second). Repeat this step for the back piece on the other side of your head.

Step 5
Using bobby pins, hide the ends of the first two pieces in or underneath your braid. Smooth the second piece of hair from one side of your head out with a brush. Pull it toward the back of your head, twisting it slightly, and tuck it into the last piece you took around from the side. Pin in place.

Step 6
Repeat for the other side. If your front pieces won’t stay in the back, you can leave pieces out in front. Pull the hairstyle out a bit to get the placement you want.



Step 1

Take the front section of hair on the right side of your head and divide it into two equal pieces. Begin twisting the pieces around each other. 


Step 2
Add in the section of hair directly below those first two pieces, incorporating it into the twist. Continue adding sections of hair as you go, twisting across the head until you get to the opposite side. Once you’ve reached the back left side of your head, pin the twist in place with bobby pins, leaving the remaining hair in the twist loose.


Step 4

Repeat this process on the opposite side. Place your second twist directly above and across your first one. Continue twisting the hair until you reach the nape of your neck on your right side. Pin the twist at the nape of your neck to hold it in place.


Step 6

Take a small piece of loose hair from the left side of your head and bring it over into the right twist, rolling it in. This is going to help you change the direction that your twist is going (from right to left). The piece should be diagonally parted, so that when you twist it in, your hair will begin to go in the opposite direction. The goal is to create an S-shape with your hair.



Step 7

Once this twist has made its way back over to the left side of your head, grab all the remaining hair in your other hand. Roll those pieces over each other to create one giant twist. 


Step 8
Take your finger and hook it in the middle of the twist. Twist the hair around your finger to create a big figure eight at the back of the head, then pin it in place. If any pieces fall out, just tuck them up and under the hair, then pin them to secure. Spray the style to set it.



Your Day-to-Night Holiday Wear

‘Tis the season to celebrate -- which often requires a speedy switch from work to wow. Fortunately, it’s easy to transition seamlessly from day to night with minimum of fuss.

“The rest of the year, less is more,” says Sam Saboura, style expert and host of TLC’s Something Borrowed, Something New. “At the holidays, more is more. When it’s time to play, piling on that third and fourth piece takes your look to another level.” Here are day-to-night holiday wear tips from Saboura and other top celebrity stylists:

Plan a big reveal.

For an easy office-to-party look, wear a festive top under a work-appropriate jacket. “This season’s ‘date tops’ often reveal drama in the back -- with sheer lace, cut-outs and open shoulders, that remain unseen until you take off your blazer or cardigan,” says Roseanne Morrison, fashion director for retail consultancy Tobe.


Wear one embellished piece that sparkles or shines during the day, such as a matte sequin tank, beaded cardigan, or boucle jacket with chain details or Lurex threads. “At night, add extra jewelry and accessories in rich metallic: pewter, gold or bronze,” Saboura says. “They’re an instant nod to the holidays -- and a great investment for spring, since they’re on trend.”

 Evoke Audrey Hepburn.

“The Little Black Dress is so cliché, but it’s a great blank canvas,” Saboura says. He suggests wearing an interesting knit or textured top over a jersey dress to give it party flair. Or use a simple jewel-toned sheath dress as your base: “That ups your style game.” You also can transform your daytime LBD by adding lacy hose or a shimmering wrap, bold printed scarf or satin jacket, says Julie Matos, Alyssa Milano’s fashion stylist.

 Fake it!

Throw a faux-fur stole around your neck -- as designer Marc Jacobs did on fall runways -- and a sweater and pencil skirt or a blouse and trousers instantly go from desk to party. “It brings anything to a luxurious level,” says Saboura.

Denim will do.

Dark, wax-coated or brocaded denim pants worn with a tunic or cable knit are fashionable both during and after work hours. Come sunset, throw on heels and an embellished or sequined cardigan or velvet blazer in hunter green, claret or teal, Saboura says. “Not only will it make most underpinnings very dressy, but it’s a nod to the holidays -- and it’s on trend,” he says. “Or add a statement necklace and clutch (tucked in your office tote), and even a tank top and skinny jeans becomes appropriate for evening.”

Split your tuxedo.

A tailored women’s tux makes a great holiday look when you use the pieces as separates. Wear the slender slacks to work with a blouse or sweater. Add dramatic heels plus the tux jacket, a sequined vest or showy earrings “and you’re instantly holiday chic and super on-trend,” Saboura says.

Step it up.

When it comes to footwear, don’t be afraid to go beyond gold, silver and black. Keep leopard-spotted or tiger-striped strappy stiletto sandals in your desk for fashion emergencies. Another good option, says Saboura: “Burgundy or deep green suede pointy-toe pumps will take anything into the holidays without

3 Special Occasion Hairstyles -- in 10 Minutes or Less!

The holidays are coming up fast, which means your calendar will soon fill up with office parties, dinner invites and other special events. No doubt you’re looking for a new and fun hairstyle to try out for these occasions -- but between shopping, cleaning, decorating and school activities, who has time to spend on a fancy ‘do?

You do! We’ve found three great styles for you that are elegant and take just minutes to put together. All you need are the basics: elastics and a few bobby pins. Wow the crowd with these easy hairstyles -- and find more great styles in our new Pocket Hairstylist tool.


Step 1

Starting with a side part, gather hair into a medium ponytail. Secure with elastic.

Step 2

Braid the ponytail in a normal braid.

Step 3

Wrap hair clock-wise into a bun. Secure with bobby pins.



Step 1

Gather the hair above your ears from both sides of your face.


Step 2

Twist your hair slightly in the back and secure with a bobby pin, placing the pin vertically so it pins up into your hair.

Step 3

Pull all your hair into a low ponytail and start twisting. Twist the whole ponytail with one hand, then grab the twist halfway down with the index finger of your other hand. Use this finger to loop the ponytail so it snakes around itself.


Step 4

Pin in place and spray to secure. If you want some volume at the front, use the handle of a teasing comb or eye shadow brush to lift and loosen your hair.



Step 1

Place a circular elastic headband around your head, placing it a half-inch or so behind your hair.


Step 2

Starting with the hair behind your ears, start tucking your hair into the headband. Use bobby pins to secure sections if needed.


Step 3

Work your way around your hair, tucking sections into the headband as you go. Use

Quick Beauty Tips

It never fails: You’re hurrying to get your makeup on in the morning and your eyeliner comes out crooked. Or you touch up your lipstick after a business lunch and it smears past your lip line. Whatever the problem, there’s sure to be an easy, quick beauty tip to fix it, says Rona Berg, author of Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes.

“The key is not to panic -- and don’t just rub at whatever it is, which will usually make the problem worse,” says Berg. “Frankly, the worst that can happen is that you’ll have to wash it all off and start again.” Fortunately, correcting most beauty errors takes less than five minutes.

Try these quick beauty tips next time you make one of these blunders -- after taking a calming breath, of course.

Crooked Eyeliner
To achieve a clean look, apply eyeliner in a series of tightly spaced dots right along your lash line. But if it ends up uneven or too high, Berg recommends smudging it gently with a small brush or cotton swab dipped in a bit of moisturizer or petroleum jelly. This will make a softer, smoky line. Don’t try to add more liner -- unless you want to end up with raccoon eyes.

Smeared Lipstick
Taking a little extra time to anchor your lipstick will help keep it from smearing or feathering outside the lip line. Berg recommends using a lip pencil or a bit of powder around the outside edges of the lip before applying your lipstick. But if your color does smudge, here’s a quick beauty tip: Dab a clean lip brush or cotton swab with a little moisturizer and gently rub it over the problem area.

Clumpy Mascara
Lumpy lashes can be made smooth in minutes. “One of the most indispensible tools I have is a clean toothbrush,” says Berg. “Brush it through your lashes to de-clump the clumps.” And what if rain or tears make your mascara run? Get rid of the streaks with a cotton swab dabbed in a little moisturizer or an oil-based cleanser. If you’re prone to smudges, try using mascara only on your upper lashes, wiping the wand on the side of the tube first and applying with a gentle back-and-forth motion.

Uneven Blush
Using too heavy a hand with blush can make you look unnatural -- or embarrassed. “A clean blush-brush is a great way to remove excess blush or powder,” says Berg. Wipe your brush clean, and then sweep it over your cheeks until you’ve taken off as much as needed. Don’t make the mistake of trying to scrub off the extra color with a tissue: “You’ll irritate your skin and get that clown look,” says Berg.

Caked Foundation
To avoid looking as though you’re wearing a mask, try this quick beauty tip. “Mix a little bit of moisturizer in with your foundation when you apply it so your skin doesn’t get that tight, cakey kind of finish,” says Berg. Apply it lightly -- it’s not spackle -- and make sure it’s the right tone for your skin (it should match the color of your jaw line). If you notice any caking, Berg suggests spraying your face lightly with water, then using a makeup sponge to smooth out the rough spots.

Photo: Corbis Images