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 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

Party Makeup in 3 Minutes or Less

Your schedule is packed enough as it is. But when you add the extra to-do’s required before a party -- finding a baby sitter, buying a gift for the hostess, etc. -- things can get as hectic as Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Who has time for makeup?

Actually, you do! A festive party calls for a little more makeup than your everyday swipe of lip gloss, and it’s surprisingly easy to liven up your look and still be out the door in a flash.

The trick: Stick with the natural look you usually have but use makeup to play up your best feature -- either your lips, cheeks or eyes.

“Enhancing one part helps you look polished, refreshed, beautiful and not overly made up,” says Maria Verel, a celebrity makeup artist in New York City.

Pick the one feature that people have always complimented, suggests Verel. Then follow these steps to create a simple, pretty look in less time than it took to choose your outfit.

Holiday Lips

1. Go for a bright shade of lipstick.
“A bright color highlights lips,” says Joette Balsamo, a makeup artist based in New York City. “Bright colors pull things forward; dark colors hide and shrink.” For a safe bet, pick one that’s one or two shades brighter than your lips’ natural tone.

If you’re feeling more daring, branch out from the pinks. Soft coral shades compliment fair skin, cherry reds pop next to medium-toned complexion and cranberry is best for darker skin tones, says Balsamo.

2. Dust on pressed powder.
To help your color stay on (and stay true), apply powder to lips before applying lipstick, says Verel.

3. Use a lip brush.
A brush gives you more control than swiping straight from the tube. That means you’ll achieve an even application and a neater lip line, which are especially important with brighter shades.

4. Go with light makeup elsewhere.
To keep lips in the spotlight, apply a neutral, shimmery eye shadow, curl lashes and swipe on mascara. Dust bronzer all over your face for a warm complexion.

Cheerful Cheeks

1. Pinch cheeks to determine your shade.
Your most flattering blush color mimics a natural flush, says Balsamo. If skin is dark and you don’t see skin flush, pick a bright-fuchsia blush, which appears subtle and rosy on cheeks. Opt for a powder formula versus a cream because powders blend more quickly and easily.

2. Apply blush to the apples of cheeks.
Dip a fluffy blush brush into the powder, tap the handle on the back of your hand to shake off excess and smile. Place the brush on the apples of cheeks and swirl it in a circular motion.

3. Add a little shimmer.
Using your finger, tap shimmery powder highlighter on the skin above the apples of your cheeks (below your under-eyes, where you would apply concealer). This adds a soft glow and highlights cheekbones, which can make your face look slimmer, says Balsamo.

4. Give lips and eyes subtle shine.
A soft-pink lip gloss or balm gives definition without stealing the focus from cheeks. For eyes, dab on shimmery beige shadow, curl your lashes and apply mascara.

Festive Eyes

1. Apply a neutral shimmer shadow.
With a fluffy brush, sweep a shimmery beige-gold or peach eye shadow over your entire lid. The soft sparkle makes eyes look brighter.

2. Line eyes with shadow to emphasize shape.
Dampen a small eyeliner brush and press it into a black matte eye shadow. (Wet shadow glides over lids more easily and looks more natural than pencil liner.) Starting at the inner corner of your eye, drag the brush along your upper lash line. Push the shadow into eyelash roots to make lashes look thicker. Don’t bother lining the bottom lid, says Verel. It may make eyes seem smaller.

3. Smudge and blend.
Using a cotton swab, gently smudge the line for a more natural effect.

4. Curl and lengthen lashes.
Curl your lashes to open and brighten eyes. Press the wand of a black mascara into lash roots, then wiggle the brush from side to side as you brush through. Next, hold the wand vertically, and lightly feather along the tips of lashes to bring out more fullness and length.

5. Think pink for lips and cheeks.
Balance dramatic lashes and defined eyes with sheer pink lip gloss or balm and sheer cream blush. This keeps your face bright and won’t seem overdone next to your festive eyes. 

Stop Oily Skin This Summer

Summer and warm weather bring countless seasonal delights: sundresses, ice-cream trucks and picnics, to name a few. Unfortunately, a few bummers usually tag along, including oily skin and melting makeup.

Even if you usually have normal or dry skin, hot weather can mean shiny, oily complexions and makeup that slip-slides away. During summer, “there’s more humidity in the air, so even though skin doesn’t actually produce more oil, the oil sits on the surface longer and may mix with sweat so your face feels greasier,” explains Heidi Waldorf, a dermatologist and the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Fortunately, you don’t need to set up camp in front of the AC to stay looking fresh. Follow these easy tips to keep shine and makeup under control:

1. Lighten up your skin care.
With more moisture in the air, you don’t need as much on your skin. Switch to lighter lotions or skip moisturizer altogether and just use a light sunblock, says Waldorf. At night, only apply moisturizer where skin seems dry. “You may need it on your cheeks and neck, but not on your nose or forehead, where you have more oil glands,” she adds.

To prevent excess oil from clogging pores, use a salicylic acid or exfoliating cleanser every other day, suggests Waldorf. Just don’t overdo it. If your skin feels dry or tight, you may have stripped away all the natural oils, and your body could start compensating by producing more oil.

2. Adjust your makeup routine.
As with skin care, a few simple tweaks can fight oily skin and deliver stay-put makeup:

  • Try primer. Primers are translucent, lightweight gels or lotions that deliver a smooth, matte canvas that makeup adheres to better than it does to bare skin. Find an oil-free product that contains silicone or dimethicone, plus oil-absorbing particles. (Look for the term “mattifying.”) To apply, spread a thin layer over your skin, making sure to cover your T-zone, says Coleen Campbell-Olwell, a makeup artist in Los Angeles who’s worked with Patricia Clarkson, Kate Mara and Betty White.
  • Forget foundation. When the mercury rises, take a less-is-more approach. Since primer helps even out your skin tone, finish the job with a highly pigmented concealer versus an all-over, heavy foundation. Tap and blend it only in spots you need coverage -- usually under the eyes, around your nose and on your chin.
  • Bronze and blush. Bronzer and blush give skin a natural glow, and powder formulas will thwart excess oil, says Campbell-Olwell. Just avoid shimmery formulas: The iridescent particles can make skin look extra shiny.

3. Touch up throughout the day.
In spite of your best efforts, skin may become a bit oily by midday. Pick up excess shine by pressing a tissue or blotting paper on oily spots, then follow with a light dusting of translucent mineral powder, says Campbell-Olwell. If you don’t remove the oil first, the powder may look cakey or darker in the oiliest areas. For an easy-to-use, portable powder, choose a one-step package that holds the powder in the handle of the brush and dispenses it through the bristles.

If your concealer has migrated into fine lines, redistribute it with your fingers. Always wash and dry your hands first to avoid adding more oil or dirt to your face. Then, carefully glide and tap your finger under and around your eyes. Reset the makeup with mineral powder, and you’ll be good to go!

Find the Right Foundation for You

When you’re rushing to get out of the house, a quick swipe of lipstick or mascara is probably all the makeup you have time for. But for a special occasion -- or whenever you want to look your best -- foundation is the secret to a polished appearance that still looks soft and natural.

No one wants a look that seems fake and heavy, so it’s essential to choose the right formula and shade. If applied with a light touch, a foundation can subtly hide redness and even out your skin tone naturally.

To achieve pretty, glowing skin that looks like it’s your own, not a mask, try these simple tips from Ildiko, a well-known makeup artist in New York City.

1. Choose the right formula for your skin type.
First, look for a foundation that provides sheer, light or medium coverage. (Check the label for those terms.) These give enough coverage to blend away blotchiness and make skin look brighter, but not so much so the makeup won’t blend into skin.

The best formula for you depends on your skin type:

  • Dry or normal skin: Choose a liquid or cream formula whose label indicates it’s moisturizing or anti-aging. These types typically contain extra hydrating ingredients, such as glycerin, niacinamide or vitamin E to keep skin soft and smooth.
  • Oily skin: Unlike dry skin, your complexion has too much moisture. Avoid extra in your makeup by choosing a liquid foundation that is oil-free and mattifying. Or pick a mineral powder foundation. Both absorb excess oil, keeping your skin shine-free and your makeup in place. 
  • Sensitive, blotchy skin: If skin needs a little extra coverage to hide redness or other pigmentation, opt for foundation that comes in a stick. A concealer-foundation hybrid, this formula delivers extra pigment.

2. Find the right shade.
Most makeup lines offer more colors of foundation than your local pizza place has toppings. To find your perfect match, pick out two or three and compare them on or against your skin.

“You can’t rely on the back of your hand since it’s rarely the same shade as your face,” says Ildiko. Instead, use your jaw and neck area. If you’re shopping at a department store or beauty chain, test each directly on your skin. “At the drugstore, hold each of the bottles up to your face and neck,” says Ildiko. Then buy the closest match.

Regardless of where you shop, save the receipt until you’ve worn the makeup and are happy with the results. The majority of stores -- including drugstores and online retailers -- allow an exchange or refund if you decide the shade isn’t right, even if the package has been opened.

3. Apply for natural results.
Although most foundation rookies run into trouble when it comes to shade or formula, how you apply the makeup can mean the difference between looking good and looking so good your friends and spouse shower you with compliments. Follow these easy steps:

  • Start with fresh skin. Always wash and moisturize your skin first. Give your moisturizer about a minute to absorb before applying foundation.
  • Use only where needed. With liquid or stick foundation, place a few dots where you see discoloration. If you use powder, concentrate only on the parts where skin seems uneven. The most common spots are cheeks, around your nose and on your chin. “If any area doesn’t need coverage, such as your forehead, skip it,” says Ildiko. “Targeted spot application looks the most natural.” Then, blend it outward toward your hairline and jaw.
  • Blend liquid and stick foundation. You can use your fingers, but a damp sponge dilutes the makeup slightly, giving you sheerer, lighter coverage.
  • Use a Kabuki brush for powder formulas. Kabuki brushes are soft and fluffy, similar in shape to a men’s shaving cream brush. To use it, dip the tips of bristles into the powder, then tap them against the jar’s edge to shake off excess. Next, press the bristle tips flat against skin and blend in the foundation using a circular motion.

  • Add more if necessary. Always apply less makeup than you think you need and build up to the coverage that looks best. It’s easy to apply more; removing excess is time-consuming and frustrating.

4. Set your makeup.
Lightly dust on translucent powder to help the foundation stay in place. However, skip this step if you have very dry skin or use a powder foundation: Your makeup is less likely to shift or wear off, so you don’t need powder.