You’re on the couch, remote in hand, settling in for a long night of channel surfing when the phone rings. That extra ticket came through and you’d really like to go. The only thing stopping you is you should have been out the door 10 minutes ago.
A last-minute invite doesn’t have to be declined just because you’re sitting in sweats, with undone hair and not a stitch of makeup on. If it’s really something you’d like to attend, by all means say yes, take a deep breath and follow these tips for getting ready and out the door in a flash.
Dirty hair is the holy grail when it comes to creating an updo with some staying power — it puts some friction between you and your style so it lasts a lot longer. Simply pull hair back into a sleek ponytail and finish with a quick spritz of finishing spray. Another option is an easy-to-do top knot, courtesy of Jenny Balding, an NYC based Cutler/Redken Stylist:
- Start with dirty hair or mist hair with a dry shampoo followed by a light hold hairspray.
- Sweep your hair into high ponytail and secure with a band.
- Back-brush the underside of the tail to create a slightly disheveled texture.
- Sweep tail around the base of the ponytail and pin using 2-3 U-shaped hairpins.
Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender & Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo ($19) has a light, clean scent and it brushes out easily with no residue left behind.
John Frieda Keraflex Flexible Hold Hairspray ($10) is formulated with special, flexible polymers so hair has movement and unbeatable hold.
Clear skin, defined eyes, and a bright smile can take you very far. Start with a beauty balm, the ultimate multi-tasker — it’s an all-in-one moisturizer, primer, SPF, and light coverage foundation. Spot apply concealer if necessary. Give yourself two coats of mascara to draw attention to your eyes and finish with a swipe of your favorite bright lipstick, the consummate mood-lifter.
MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 ($30) is available in 12 shades so you can easily find your perfect match. It moisturizes, protects, primes, and perfects your complexion so you look fresh.
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara ($23) instantly makes your eyes look larger, more open, and wide-awake. Besides a smudge-free, clump-free jet-black formula, this mascara features a specially designed brush with staggered bristles that grab close to the root so lashes are lifted, longer, and fuller.
NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Heat Wave ($26) is a bold orange-red in a full-coverage, vitamin E-enriched formula.
I bet you have at least one foolproof outfit hanging in your closet that always works and makes you feel on top of the world. Mine is a little black dress that can be dressed up or down. Yours might also be a little black dress, a smart jacket that upgrades whatever it’s paired with or something with lace, sequins, or leather. Only you know what it is and now is the time to wear it!
A SPRITZ OF SCENT
On your way out the door, give yourself a quick spritz to feel fresh, confident, sexy or all of the above. The sense of smell is plugged into the human limbic system of the brain where emotions and memories reside, giving fragrance the ability to elicit a strong emotional response that can affect your mood, making it a very personal choice.
A little bit of adornment goes a long way when it’s shimmery, shiny gold. A flash of it — or any other metallic — on eyes, lips, face or body, adds instant glam, especially when it’s executed right. Kristina Magovac, National Makeup Artist for Japonesque says “gold can work for anyone, regardless of age.” Her 5 makeup tips will guarantee you get that Midas touch, without breaking the bank.
GO FOR THE GOLD
- Go subtle by using a fluffy blending brush for a light wash of color on the lids. If you prefer an intense gold color payoff instead, balance it with a light, neutral lip.
- Use a large powder brush with just a hint of gold powder to give cheeks an understated hit of radiance.
- When applying gold to the lips, lightly highlight the cupid’s bow or add a touch to the middle of the bottom lip for a fuller pout.
- Just a hit of gold picks up light and will have you glowing for the camera. Add highlighting powder to your shoulders, décolletage or legs for a gorgeous sheen.
- With gold, less is more. Steer clear of it if you have a heavy hand with makeup as it’s very easy to take the look from subtle glow to a gold goddess costume.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
Dolce & Gabbana The Lipgloss Ultra-Shine Lipgloss in Gold ($31) gives your lips a glass-like sheen of sheer reflective shine. Use to highlight the center of your lips for a fuller-looking pout or warm up your lipstick shade by topping it with this subtle golden glow.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Mari(Gold)($25) is formulated with vitamin E and Rosa Canina Seed Extract to help soothe, and protect the delicate eye area, plus it has a high-color payoff that sets in 15 seconds for a stay-put-all-day long-wearing, waterproof finish.
Japonesque Color Liquid Light in Shade 2 ($28) imparts a lit-from-within glow. It's a light-reflecting liquid that illuminates on contact so you look radiant, glowing, beautiful. Use as a make-up base or apply wherever you'd like to highlight.
Mehron Gold Metallic Powder and Mixing Liquid ($12.95) combines the ultra fine Metallic Powder Makeup (which can be used dry) or mixed with the liquid for a bolder statement. Ideal for body painting, face painting, and makeup plus it washes off easily with soap and water.
Nailtini Lacquer in Millionaire ($13) is a decadent, rich gold with emerald multi-shaped glitter that can be worn full coverage (takes 2 coats) or layered over any other shade.
Shimmer Jewelry Tattoos ($10 for 50 Designs) is a way to have fun with the gold trend. You can go all out but it's more on trend to do the less is more thing here. A smaller design on the inside of your wrist, your ankle or behind your ear will add a hint of sexy without looking like you're trying to hard.
With so many years in this business I’ve collected quite an assortment of the most gorgeous nail polishes you could ever imagine, which gives my tween daughter some extra beauty cred when her friends come to call, and lots of bonding time between the two of us as well. It got me thinking…how cool would it be to stuff someone’s stocking sky high with every shade under the sun? I think VERY!
Here, some nail know-how and the perfect polishes to get you started:
10 NAIL TIPS
- Never cut or file nails when wet as this is when they’re most prone to breaking.
- To flatter your hands, the shape of your nail should mimic your cuticle shape.
- Always use nail polish remover and a cotton-wrapped orange wood stick to clean off nails completely before applying your polish. It will prevent any oil residue from hand cream or makeup from causing your polish to peel prematurely.
- Prevent dry, stained nails by always using a base coat specifically formulated for your nail type before applying polish.
- Create your own version of the French Manicure by using unexpected colors.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Design your own signature shade by layering two different coats of polish.
- To make your mani last, re-apply your favorite top coat every day.
- To be sure nails are really dry, lightly touch your pinky nails together. If you can feel it slightly sticking, you need more drying time.
- You can fix a smudge by using the tip of another finger. Dab a tiny bit of nail polish remover over the smudge so the remover thins out the surrounding polish. Then, wait a minute and reapply a thin coat of color.
- Apply a bit of cuticle oil morning and evening to seal in moisture, keeping cuticles and nails hydrated and healthy.
Kryolan Nail Color in Magical ($13.50) is reminiscent of a deep night sky, more flattering for most than black and does actually feel magical. The professional quality, hardwearing and chip-resistant formula is available in 36 gorgeous shades.
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Alchimie ($27) is the new neutral with a twist and will look as gorgeous on your vanity as it will on your nails.
Deborah Lippmann Magic Carpet Ride‘s ($20) limited edition polish isn’t described as an eccentric ebony glitter explosion for nothing!
Zoya Nail Polish in Margo ($9) is ultra long-wearing and the perfect cool, creamy plum for fingers and toes.
JINsoon Nail Polish in Heirloom ($18) has a retro chrome (think the paint job on a vintage car), rich-blue turquoise, high-shine finish.
Dior Vernis in Pandore ($25) applies and dries as smooth and shiny as glass, and the tech-advanced formula creates a seamless bond between the nail and the lacquer for extra long wear.
Hot Designs 2-in-1 Nail Art Pen ($10) has a nail polish on one side and a polish pen on the other, making it easy to create any design you could imagine. The packaging might not be up to par but this little beauty can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.