How and Why You Should Wear Red This Season

This month, it’s all about red -- the color of passion and power. Whether you’re dressed in ruby, scarlet, poppy, cherry, tomato, paprika, claret, maroon or burgundy, “red always is an attention getter,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute. “There’s nothing quiet or soothing about it. It’s the color of high arousal and confidence.”

Whatever shade you choose, “the only thing that matters is that it’s vibrant,” says Joanna Schlip, celebrity makeup artist to Christina Applegate. “Even this season’s oxblood isn’t muddy, dark or tragic.” Shy about wearing red? Don’t be! You can make this dynamic color work for you with these tips from celebrity stylists and makeup artists:

Keep It in the Family

Any skin tone or hair color works with the color of love, as long as you stick with your skin’s undertone -- either pinkish (cool) or yellow/olive (warm). To figure out what your undertone is, look at your inner wrist under a good light. If the skin has a pink or blue cast, you have a cool undertone; if it’s yellow or olive, it’s warm. Still not sure? Check your jewelry. “If silver is your best friend, you’re a cool tone. If you gravitate toward gold, you’re a warm tone,” says Pilar Steinborn, a CNN wardrobe stylist.

Cool-toned women look best in cool reds like cherry, racing-car red or wine. For warm complexions, look for tomato, rust, grenadine, mandarin or poppy.

Make a Perfect Match

The freshest approach to red in 2014 is to mix and match clothes in variations of colors within your palette, says Eiseman. “Reach into peachy variations of orange-red, or pinky colors with blue undertones for blue-reds such as wine.” Other good matches for a red dress, blouse or jeans include jet, chocolate, charcoal, camel, khaki, teal or turquoise -- and you can’t go wrong with vermillion set against 2014’s trendy fuchsias and purples. “They’re a marriage made in heaven,” says Don O’Neill, the creative director behind Theia evening wear. “But avoid pairing red with green except at Christmas, or with blue unless it’s toned down with white or black.”

Accessorize for a Quieter Impact.

If you’re hesitant to wear such a confident color, limit it to accents, says Steinborn. “A red lip, patent belt or pony-hair shoe will make a black dress pop.”

Know How to Wear Red Lipstick

Want to pucker up in red? Keep the rest of your makeup simple. “You don’t want a dark eye with red lips -- and use just a hint of blush,” says Schlip. “You’ll get all the color you need via your pout.”

If you’re also firing up your nails in red, use a different texture on your lips, says Nick Barose, makeup artist for 2014’s It Girl, Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave. “Wear a matte bold red on nails and a sheer red stain on your mouth.”

To make your lipstick stay on your lips (and not your coffee mug), exfoliate your lips first with a toothbrush, says Schlip. Moisturize with balm and blot with a tissue. Then try a homemade lip stain straight from the kitchen: Add a few drops of water to a teaspoon of powdered red Kool-Aid or Jell-O to make a paste, then apply to your lips with a cotton swab. Amp up the glamour -- and avoid feathering -- by filling in your lip next with liner. Finally, apply a long-wear lipstick or a gloss-matte hybrid “liquid lipstick” with a lip brush for the most precision. Blot with a tissue and reapply, without re-blotting.

Before heading out, check your teeth for smudges and pack a lip pencil, says Schlip. After all, this is the month of romance -- and you never know when you might need a quick touch-up.

2014 Red Carpet Beauty Secrets

Wouldn’t you like to make an entrance like the stars at red-carpet  events? You can! Celeb beauty pros reveal how you can recreate the dewy skin, smoky eyes, shiny tresses and sexy curls you covet. (Getting an invite to an awards ceremony is up to you.) Here are their insider tricks:

MAKEUP

Go steamy. Open and cleanse pores -- making skin look its best -- by adding two tablespoons of an herbal laxative (such as Swiss Kriss) to a pot of boiling water. Turn off the heat, cover the pot with a moist towel, then lean over it for two minutes, says James Vincent, celebrity makeup artist to Taryn Manning.

Let it glow. Squeeze equal parts of your liquid (or cream) foundation and moisturizer on the back of your hand. Blend with a sponge, then apply to your face. “That thins out the foundation and softens skin,” says Saisha Beecham, celebrity makeup artist with Cloutier Remix for Vanessa Hudgens.

Beecham then dusts loose pearlescent eye shadows to add strategic shimmer in a vertical line down the ridge at the center of the nose, on top of the cheekbones and at the Cupid’s bow at the center of the upper lip. Or try Vincent’s technique: Apply blush or bronzer to cheeks before putting on foundation for “a natural flushed glow.” When you’re done, set with a dusting of loose translucent powder on the forehead, under the eyes and down the sides of the nose. “Never cover up where you put shimmer,” says Beecham.

Erase fatigue. For everyday, use a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly. For special events and photography, use one that’s barely lighter than your skin if you’re really fair, and two shades lighter if you’re dark complected. Dab on lightly with your finger on the darker areas underneath your eyes.

Amp up your eyes. For eyes that pop, start with a thin line of waterproof eyeliner, starting at the outer edge and moving inward. For a smoky eye, use a gold or bronze liner and blend outward and upward.

Pump up your lashes. Once you apply your mascara, run a fine metal lash comb through to remove clumps. Apply two more coats, letting the mascara dry between coats. Finally, run the tip of the mascara wand along the outer ends of lashes.

Get primed. For perfect Hollywood lips, exfoliate first with a soft-bristle toothbrush on which you’ve applied the contents of a vitamin E capsule. Follow with a lip stain or liner. After applying a matte lipstick, dust loose translucent power along the lip’s outer border.

When in doubt, use restraint, says Vincent. “Nothing is as unflattering as overdone makeup!”

HAIR

Extend yourself. If your hair isn’t movie-star perfect, consider getting a little help. “There isn’t one woman on the red carpet without extensions,” says Gregory Patterson, hair stylist to Anne Hathaway. “They add volume, hold a curl, and add highlights and dimension that deflects light on camera, which reads shiny.”

Go for the shine.  A dry scalp in the winter months is common, but who wants dandruff dusting the shoulders of your favorite party dress? For glossy flake-free locks try using an anti-dandruff shampoo in place of your ordinary bottle. Lightly spray your hair with dry texturizing spray before using a flat iron. Starch-and-silica combos are best because they absorb oil while still adding shine. When you do wash your hair, use leave-in conditioner and at most a nickel’s worth of light oil while hair is still wet, says Michael Dueñas, founder of Hair Room Service and stylist to Mariah Carey. 

When you use your dryer, point the nozzle down, which will make the hair cuticles lie flat and reflect light, says Jenny Balding, senior stylist at New York City’s Cutler Salon and backstage for Marc Jacobs runway shows. Finish with a blast of cool air, then a spritz of light hairspray, followed by a little shine spray and a final pump of hairspray, Hold spray canisters 8-12 inches from your hair to avoid adding too much product.

Get star curls. The trick to waves is to spray hair lightly with texturizing spray, says Patterson. Then hold the curling iron vertically, wrapping hair in 1-2 inch sections and curling in the same direction each time. Brush your hair (use a little hairspray on the brush first), then spray your ‘do lightly. “Add an ornate headband, a metal brooch and you’ve got magazine-worthy hair.” If you prefer a braid or bun, try weaving or wrapping a necklace through the style, securing it with pins. Voila -- you’re best-tressed!

Fast Fixes for Fashion Fails

Murphy’s Law gets us every time: The farther you are from a sewing kit and tool drawer, the more likely it is that you’ll be in need of a fashion fix. Whether it’s a dangling hem, broken heel or loose button, the key is to “stay calm and be creative about a temporary solution,” says Lilliana Vazquez, author of The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style: Your Guide to Shopping Cheap and Looking Chic. “And take comfort: No one’s looking that closely.”

Here’s how Vazquez and stylist Ruthanne Rosen handle fashion fails:

Fashion Fail: The back clip of your earring falls off, never to be seen again.
Fashion Fix: “Rip the eraser off a pencil, snap it in half and stick it on the earring post. Just make sure you wear your hair down that day, and no one will notice,” says Rosen. “Office supplies are a huge fashion-industry secret.”

Fashion Fail: Your skirt or pants are wrinkled, and there’s no time to set up the ironing board.
Fashion Fix: Your flat hair iron makes a great substitute -- no board needed. If your collar needs an extra perk-up, stiffen the fabric with a spritz of firm-hold hair spray.

Fashion Fail: Static cling makes your skirt tangle around your legs.
Fashion Fix: Once again, hair spray comes to the rescue. Spray inside the skirt and add a couple of spritzes to your tights, says Vazquez.

Fashion Fail: A rushed morning leaves makeup stains on your blouse.
Fashion Fix: “Baby wipes can remove smaller stains,” says Vazquez. “So can a damp warm cloth with hand soap. For ink stains, use a portable detergent pen; for deodorant stains, try baby wipes or a dry sponge.

Fashion Fail: Your bra strap breaks -- at the office, naturally.
Fashion Fix: Pull a safety pin through the strap ring and attach to the fabric. No safety pin? Try a paper clip or a key ring.

Fashion Fail: Your furry friend leaves hair all over your outfit -- and you don’t notice it till you’re at your desk.
Fashion Fix: Reach for anything sticky to lift the hair off -- Scotch tape, masking tape or even the rubbery adhesive on a large mailing envelope.

Fashion Fail: You take out a pair of shoes you haven’t worn since last winter -- and they’re badly scuffed.
Fashion Fix: Rub with the inside of a banana peel. “Something about it smooths out scuffs,” says Vazquez. (Color-matching markers also work.)

Fashion Fail: Your hem comes undone, and you can’t find your sewing kit.
Fashion Fix:  Keep a roll of double-sided fabric “fashion” tape handy, which keeps the hem up until you have time to sew. (This tape is handy for blouse gaps, too!) In a pinch, you can also use whatever tape is lying around: masking, duct, gaffers’ -- but avoid staples: “They damage the fabric,” says Vazquez.

Fashion Fail: Your zipper sticks -- or worse, breaks.
Fashion Fix: “Soap or orthodontic wax works like magic” on stuck zippers, says Vazquez -- or try rubbing a candle over the spot. For a broken zipper, use an adhesive Velcro strip to close the fly temporarily until you can get a replacement.

Fashion Fail: Your button is dangling by a thread.
Fashion Fix: Take a twist-tie from a bag of bread and remove the paper coating. Thread the wire through the button and tie at the back of the cloth.

Fashion Fail: Your belt breaks -- or perhaps you can’t find it at all.
Fashion Fix: Replace it with a ribbon! “It adds an instant update and looks pretty,” says Vazquez.

Fashion Fail: Your favorite sweater snags on a sharp corner.
Fashion Fix: Take the top of a closed pen and push the loop through to the inside of the sweater. Then knot the snag inside and secure with a dab of clear nail polish.

Fashion Fail: Your heel is coming loose -- yikes!
Fashion Fix: Wood glue or even chewing gum will keep the heel secure until you can get to a shoe repair shop.

Dress 10 Pounds Slimmer

Wish there was a way to get slimmer quickly? There is, and it’s closer than you think: in your closet. Wearing the right styles, fit and colors can take off pounds instantly -- without dieting (and you don’t have to wear head-to-toe black, either)! Discover how to look thinner with these dress-skinny guidelines:

Choose firm fabrics.

Clothes made of stretchy-but-firm material, such as cotton and Ponte with a bit of Spandex, hold you in, says Roseanne Morrison, fashion director at retail consultancy The Doneger Group. In contrast, silks, satins and shiny fabrics reflect light, making you seem broader, while hefty tweeds and cables add too much padding.

Plunge ahead.

V-necked and scoop necklines pull eyes away from a fuller chin while appearing to lengthen your torso. Ditto for wrap dresses, chains and elongated scarves with low knots. Heart-shaped necklines help make your shoulders appear wider, in turn helping your waist look smaller.

“Reveal your clavicle. It’s a part of the body that always looks good,” says Morrison. By contrast, chokers draw eyes to your chin, while square, crew and boat necks overemphasize your upper body.

Go rich and dark.

Black is a traditional slimming color because it absorbs light and softens your curves. But other dark colors have the same effect: chocolate, wine, eggplant, charcoal, navy and even jewel tones such as ruby, emerald and sapphire. Surprisingly, prints -- marbles and wood grain -- hide bulges, as do ruffles and textures, says Julie Matos, Alyssa Milano’s stylist. Skip solid pastels and neon shades, which tend to add pounds.

Dresses with darker vertical panels at the sides and lighter shades at your center trim your torso and are totally in right now. Skirts and slacks with dark tuxedo stripes on the sides achieve the same effect. And forget that old advice about never wearing horizontal stripes. They can actually create an illusion of thinness if they’re varied, with wider dark stripes at the waist and narrow, lighter lines up top.

Choose the right sleeve length.

Go for tops with sleeves ending at the wrist, or try today’s trendy three-quarter length, says Jeff K. Kim, stylist to Rosario Dawson and Lauren Graham. “Our first instinct is to go with something super-loose, but that just looks bulky.” Avoid cap sleeves, which emphasize the plumpest part of your arms, as well as sleeveless and strapless dresses.

Skim your curves.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but baggy isn’t better. Instead, flaunt your figure with fitted dresses and nipped-in blazers. Also look for clothes cut on a bias, or with diagonal seams, which cling to the right places. “Italian movie stars of the ‘50s and ‘60s were curvy and sexy -- and men love that look.” Morrison says.

Watch your waistline.

Natural waistlines are best to maintain a slender silhouette. An empire waist can hide a rounded tummy, but it can also overemphasize your bust. “Drop waists are the worst, unless you’re a stick. Even then it can be difficult, because you look boxy,” Kim says. As for pants, stick with natural-waistline styles; low-rise cuts create muffin tops. Avoid pants with tiny pockets on the rear -- either go big, or go without.

Longer is better.

Cropped tops and blazers and cuffed and Capri pants -- especially trendy full versions make you look wider. Pants should reach the ankle, or longer, while pencil skirts slim more than minis, Matos says.

Appreciate yourself.

In the end, it’s all about attitude. “When you look in the mirror, what makes you feel sexy?” Kim says. “Accentuate that, tastefully. If it’s your bust, go with a scoop neck and suggest an hourglass. If it’s your feet, wear beautiful heels and keep everything else simple. Embrace your body. Confidence is the most slimming

Gorgeous, Look-Younger Hair in an Instant!

Your hair is your crowning glory -- but it’s not so glorious when an outdated style, a too-harsh color or stubborn grays add years to your face. Along with moisturizer and makeup, your hair goes a long way toward helping you look younger and more vibrant. For tips on helping your do get you looking younger, we talked to Raphael Reboh, a celebrity stylist and owner of the Femme Coiffure Hair Spa in Miami. Here’s what he said:

1. Contrast your color.
Hair color can make you look younger and more vibrant -- or just the opposite. “When a woman’s hair color is the same tone as her skin or eyes, it makes her look older, pale and tired,” says Reboh. Going too dark when your skin is light can also look too stark. Instead, go with a subtle contrast -- a warm medium chocolate brown or dark blond if you have pale skin or light eyes; lighter blond or red highlights for brown eyes or darker skin.

2. Stay on top of the gray.
Taking the time to maintain your roots can make all the difference when it comes to looking younger. Reboh recommends talking to your stylist about ways to hide the gray for longer periods. “If your hair is lighter, putting blond highlights into the gray mixes up beautifully and looks natural,” he says. “For darker hair, regular root touchups are essential, plus a gloss to help maintain the color.” Between salon visits, keep a root touchup wand handy for a temporary fix.

3. Get the right cut.
A shorter do or better layering can take years off your face by adding youthful movement. “If your face is long, a bob a little higher than your shoulders will make you look amazing,” says Reboh. “On the other hand, if you have strong cheekbones, you can get away with long hair with bangs, and round faces can look good with any cut that elongates the face.” Layering is important too, says Reboh: Go with “shorter layers for shoulder-length hair, longer ones for longer lengths. Hair needs to move.”

4. Consider extensions.
Fine, straight hair tends to go flat, creating an older appearance. Adding extensions makes your do fuller and livelier. “I use tape-on extensions that don’t break the hair,” says Reboh. “Then I can add highlights or even an ombre effect that’s lighter on the bottom.”

5. Trust your instincts.
If you feel that your stylist isn’t invested in de-aging your look, don’t be afraid to find someone who will. “Your stylist should check your hair and discuss your lifestyle before starting to work,” says Reboh. “If you don’t feel that he is really into it, don’t let him do your hair.”