Nothing looks fresher than a clear complexion. If your skin is getting a bit dull, check out these quick fixes.
1. Go for the glow the natural way. Smooth mashed strawberries or raspberries all over your face and rinse off immediately for that postfacial radiance.
2. Fight puffiness with herbal tea. Steep chamomile tea bags in a small amount of water, then chill. Use as compresses to temporarily diminish skin irritation.
3. Wash with lukewarm water. Heat can aggravate sensitive facial skin, resulting in broken capillaries or redness.
4. Skip soap. Most contain alkalines that are potentially irritating. Use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil instead.
5. Don’t scrub! Vigorous rubbing can leave skin feeling coarse and looking worn. Instead, wipe gently with a soft washcloth. And use exfoliating cleansers sparingly (no more than twice a week).
6. Stash moisturizer and toner in the fridge. The coolness helps skin look firmer–and feels good too.
7. Prime yourself. For a refreshing twist, before applying foundation, massage a drop of essential oil of rose or angelica (available at health-food stores) on your face instead of your regular moisturizer. It gives skin a dewy glow.
8. Apply moisturizer before blow-drying your hair. This will prevent the hot air from drying out your epidermis (the top layer of skin) and accentuating fine lines.
9. Vary your routine. Have you noticed how your face looks terrific for the first few months after switching to a new cream? Then your skin gets used to the product and the results seem less dramatic. Try a different cleanser, toner, and moisturizer every six months or so-when you run out of your current brand.
10. Pamper skin with a homespun facial. Combine one-half cup of sliced cucumbers with one-half teaspoon of honey in the blender. Apply all over your face; leave on for 30 minutes; then rinse with lukewarm water.
11. Cover your bases, use concealer that’s one shade lighter than your foundation. Any paler and you’ll get reverse raccoon eyes. Prep the delicate eye zone with moisturizer or eye cream.
12. Hide fine lines. Gently apply a creamy concealer (like Prescriptives Camouflage Cream) with a small, synthetic-bristled brush. Then lightly dust loose powder over the area.
13. Get the red out. Skin will look smoother if you erase any ruddiness. The easiest way is to use a yellow-based concealer pencil (sold in beauty-supply stores). After applying foundation, lightly dab pencil tip on red areas (cheeks, nose, forehead), then blend the color in with a dry makeup sponge. A wet one will cause streaking.
14. Mix foundation with moisturizer for a sheer finish. Blend together a bit of each on the back of your hand and use a makeup sponge for smooth application.
15. Switch to a replenishing formula. Water-based foundations don’t hydrate dry skin sufficiently and can highlight tiny lines. Use a moisturizing foundation with dimethicone for a dewy finish.
16. Powder lightly. Don’t pack on more in an attempt to hide your flaws. Too much will only settle into crinkles and make skin look dry and chalky.
Smart ways to buy more time
It’s not like we’re 18 anymore, when looking good was as effortless as slicking on a bit of lip gloss. You hit 30, and you need a little help from your friends-pals that come in packages, that is. Sometimes, even switching to a product with a young name can improve your outlook, put a sparkle in your eyes, make laugh lines less bothersome. Of the hundreds of brands that cross our desks, here are the youth potions and products we like:
17. Cover Girl Soft Radiants Eye Pencil in Soft Sun Kissed Smudge this butter-yellow color, below, under your lower lashes. It will counteract the blue tones in dark circles and make the whole eye area look brighter; $2.65.
18. Clinique Happy Hydrating Mist Just the name is enough to brighten your mood; the invigorating citrusy spray is laced with glycerin to keep skin soft. Spritz on after a shower or bath; 6.7-ounce pump, $30.
19. Frederic Fekkai Baby Blonde Shampoo It’s made with chamomile extract to bring out golden highlights in natural or color-treated blondes; 8 ounces, $18.50.
20. BaByliss professional straightening iron Sleek, straight hair makes anyone look younger-and using this simple tool is easier than wielding a blow-dryer for 15 minutes; $39.99.
21. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum The frizzles can add years to your look. Apply this liquid to soaking-wet hair and style as usual for a glossy effect; 1.69 ounces, $9.99.
22. Max Factor Shimmer Pan-Stik Glide this pale, ethereal highlighter on face and body to play up cheeks, decolletage, whatever; $7.75.
23. Bodyshine Bodybrushing Kit If you really want a bottom as touchable as a newborn’s, try this, right. The big goody bag contains 3 wood-handled exfoliating brushes (with varied shapes and bristles), 4 ounces each of Botanical Body Wash and Pure Plant Body Oil (made from avocado and primrose), a special buffing towel, and a book that tells how to do it all; $60 (call 800-749-0029 to order).
24. Revlon Age Defying Makeup and Concealer The compact holds coordinating shades of cover-up and foundation with SPF 20 to prevent sun damage. And it won’t cake in fine lines; $13.95.
25. Vincent Longo New York Odalisque Fake a tan. Earthy colors will instantly make you look like you’ve spent time in the tropics. This powder pot, above, contains a matte shade for day and a special shimmery one for night; $18.
26. Estee Lauder Futurist Full Treatment Lipstick Vitamins A, C, and E, and whey protein are blended into the formula, right. Choose Hot Fudge (if you have tawny skin) or Blazing Berry (if you’re pale); $16.
27. Biotherm Eau Vitaminee Refreshing Fragrance Milk Fortified with vitamins A, C, and E, this “citrus cocktail” (with essences of orange and grapefruit) smells fresh and clean; 8.3 fluid ounces, $24 (call 888-246-8437 to order).
28. Origins As Good As It Gets A timesaving powder with many lives: You can apply it with a powder brush for a matte finish, combine it with eye cream to use as concealer, or blend it with moisturizer to create a foundation; $20.
29. Visine This staple for stars and models comes in handy on mornings when eyes are bloodshot; $3.79. (If you wear contacts, take them out before using and wait an hour before popping them back in.)
30. Oil of Olay All Day Moisture Foundation This new liquid formula hydrates dry, cracked skin for 10 hours. The GH Institute tested it against 5 other so-called moisturizing foundations and found Olay’s to be the most effective; 1.1 ounces, $11.25.
31. Biore Fine Line Gel Patches These white undereye stick-ons deliver a continuous dose of Nutraceramide, a patented skin-repair ingredient. Leave on overnight 3 times a week (if you don’t mind looking like a goofy football player in bed), or try for as little as 30 minutes; 6 pairs, $12.49.
32. Awake Baby Pink nail polish The innocent cotton-candy shade, right, will recapture your girlhood summers; $12.
33. Lancome Touche Optim’Age Line Blurring Concentrate Apply before anything else to help soften the appearance of lines; .52 ounce, $22.50.
34. Neutrogena Healthy Skin liquid makeup This new foundation contains pro-retinol and vitamins A, C, and E. We like it because the colors look natural; 1.1 ounces, $11.75.
35. Philosophy Lipstick Uncanny but true: Vision-a wine-colored shade, left–gives lips a rosiness that only nature can replicate; $14 (call 888-263-9243 to order). Another good color pick: Maybelline Hydra Time Moisturizing Lipcolor in Sexy; $6.75.
36. N.V. Perricone M.D. Cosmeceuticals Concentrated Restorative Cream It may cost as much as a fancy French dinner, but it’s an about-face for your skin, leaving it feeling rejuvenated; 1.86 ounces, $75 (call 800-723-2889 to order).
37. BeneFit Eye Lift … for the bags, baby. Use this whipped gel to pamper the delicate eye area with algae extracts, vitamins A and E, and glycerin; I ounce, $25 (call 800-781-2336 to order).
38. Rembrandt Intense Stain Toothpaste This minty mouthful helps protect tooth enamel and gums, while brightening your whites; 4.5 ounces, $5.99.
39. A rubber ducky Float one in your bath bubbles and feel the years fade away.
Many women believe that caking it on will help hide the years. It won’t. Here’s what will.
40. Play up your best feature instead of trying to downplay your worst one. If you’ve got great cheekbones or full lips, flaunt them with a new blush shade or a sheer lipstick.
41. Think pink, says makeup maven Bobbi Brown. “Pink adds instant prettiness at any age. Choose a soft rose blush, and apply on the apples of the cheeks for a natural flush.”
42. Start to lip sync. As we age, our lips tend to get thinner. Create a fuller-looking mouth by outlining lips with a pencil in a natural tone. Then fill in with lipstick that’s one shade darker.
43. Pick muted eye shadows. Try peach, beige, brown, or lavender in a matte finish (frosted or metallic colors accentuate crepey eyelids). And stick to powders; cream formulas collect in the folds of your eyelids.
44. Apply mascara only to upper lashes. If it’s not on lower ones, it’s far less likely to run down, smudge, and accentuate fine lines you’d rather forget about.
45. Keep lip color sheer and natural. An intense shade or excessive amount will make you look like you’re trying too hard. Use just a little kissable color or shine to accent lips. A classic (and cheap!) gloss: Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.
46. Outsmart the camera. “If someone is photographing you,” says actress Cybill Shepherd, “dab brightening cream [she swears by Ultima II Brighten Up, Tighten Up] under your eyes, avoid `monster lighting’ from directly above or below (especially below) your face, and keep that chin up.”
47. Get the blues. To make your smile brighter, opt for lipsticks with blue undertones. Yellow- and orange-based colors bring out the yellowness in teeth. For a soft pucker, celebrity makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin first applies a dab of petroleum jelly to dry, flaky lips, then lightly buffs them with a baby toothbrush.
48. Go for an eyebrow wax. It’s like a mini face-lift, but a lot faster. It opens up your eyes and takes a couple of birthdays off your face.
49. Take care of your pearly whites. Have a glass or two of water after drinking liquids like red wine, cola, and coffee that can darken tooth enamel. If there’s no water around, chew sugarless gum. “It has the same effect,” says Lana Rozenberg, D.D.S., of New York City.
50. Help for thinning brows: Fill them in with brow powder or eye shadow using a slant-tip brush.
51. Schedule regular manicures. Keep nails on the short side, because very long or unkempt nails draw more attention to older hands. And stay away from bright red, orange, and fuchsia polish. Mauve, beige, and pink with blue undertones complement all skin tones.
52. Doctor your foundation so it does more. Mix a dab with a shimmery highlighting product like Clinique Zero Base before applying. It will soften the color and give your skin an unbelievable boost.
53. Apply your makeup in the right light. Reduce glare by aiming lights away from mirrors and avoiding clear bulbs. Intense light causes your pupils to close, making it even harder to see. Opt for 25- or 40-watt frosted (soft white) bulbs instead. And, because overhead lighting can cause unflattering shadows, light both sides of the mirror so that your face will be evenly lit.
54. No time for makeup tricks? Wear pastel clothing (pink, blue, celery, and lavender) to brighten your complexion. Depending on your skin tone, you may want to avoid pale yellow and gray, which can make some women look sallow.
Pamper your birthday suit with tips from top skin-care experts, fitness pros, and a screen legend.
55. Fade out dark spots. Hands are one of the first places a woman’s age shows, so keep yours youthful and pretty. If you have age spots, which are usually caused by the sun, dermatologists suggest trying a gentle bleaching cream like Esoterica to lighten them.
56. Defy gravity with a push-up bra. Just make sure you feel comfortable in it. Our new favorite: The Miracle Bra from Victoria’s Secret has the right amount of uplift without looking trashy.
57. Bag the sag and build bone density. Stretching, lifting light weights, and walking will build muscle and strengthen bones.
58. Make exercise a habit. No matter what your age, you can increase your strength, boost your aerobic fitness, and improve circulation-which will also make your skin look energized. Try to work out for 25 to 30 minutes, at least three or four times a week. It may seem like drudgery at first, but after six weeks, exercise will become part of your routine.
59. Walk tall–just like your mom always said. Hold your shoulder blades together. Good posture will push your chest out and automatically make you stand a couple of inches taller–and look ten years younger.
60. Be a softie. About once a week, make a paste from one-third cup of sea salt and one cup of your favorite lotion. Rub on hands, elbows, and heels, then rinse with warm water. This will exfoliate rough skin and keep you smooth and silky.
61. Take vitamins. They can enhance the skin because vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help inhibit the aging process, says Roger Ceilley, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Iowa.
62. Keep feet pretty. When you’re in the shower, brush skin with upward, circular strokes using a vegetable brush (the kind you would use on a potato) and a creamy cleanser. This exfoliates dry skin and stimulates circulation.
63. Treat yourself to a massage. If you can, make time for this in your schedule; it’s the most effective way to look like you just slept nine hours–or came back from a vacation!
64. Create a spa at home. It isn’t always possible to get away to a spa. Solution: Tara Jamu aromatherapy lotions in luscious scents, made on the island of Bali, to smooth on after a relaxing bath and moisturizing facial (available at Away Spa, New York City; 212-407-2970; $28 for three small bottles).
65. Get your legs in shape. Today show fitness consultant Kathy Kaehler says it’s a snap with a deck of playing cards. Place ten cards end to end on the ground in front of you. Squat down in front of the first one. Keeping your chin up and your back straight, pick up the card. Stand up, step forward, then squat down again, and repeat the drill until you’ve picked up all of the cards. It sounds simplistic, but it will strengthen and define your quads and glutes (your butt!). For more ideas, see Kaehler’s book Real-World Fitness (Golden Books, 1999).
66. Do the hand jive. Slather on Vaseline Intensive Care Solutions Young Hands. This rich SPF-15 cream contains alpha-hydroxy acids to keep skin supple ($3.16 for 2.5 fluid ounces).
67. Tackle elbow crinkles. Because elbows have almost no oil glands, you need to add as much moisture as possible. Scrub them when you’re in the tub, and when you’re applying hand cream, do your elbows too.
68. Mangia! Take the advice of one of the most beautiful women of all time: “Don’t go crazy counting calories,” says Sophia Loren, who just came out with a great cookbook–Sophia Loren Recipes & Memories (GT Publishing Corporation, 1998).
Healthy hair forever
Frizzy, dry, limp, or overstyled locks look old but you can take care of the damage in no time flat.
69. Frame your face in gold. When your hair is light brown to blond, sunny highlights painted on strands around your face warm up the skin and instantly subtract a few years.
70. Practice protection. Leave-in conditioners, styling lotions, or mousses with ingredients such as sesame oil and panthenol moisturize hair. Try Rene Furterer Sun Mousse and Pantene Ultra-V Hair Strengthening Complex. Apply before you go in the sun; the heat activates the moisturizing process. They’re great for curly hair.
71. Get a good cut. Overdone, stiff hairstyles will age you, while the right choice can slice at least ten years off your image. If you like hairspray, opt for one like Vidal Sassoon Flexible Hold Hair Spray with Formesilk. It keeps strands in place, but feels smooth to the touch.
72. Gloss over the frizzles. Coarse hair can make you look haggard. Slick on a styling gel or gloss, such as Sebastian Laminates gel, to keep things under control.
73. Invest in a color-enhancing shampoo or conditioner. These easy-to-use products enhance natural color to give it a youthful glow. To keep gray hair shiny, try Silver Brights Shampoo or Artec Colorist Collection Color Depositing Shampoo.
74. Stick close to your natural shade. You may look washed out if you dye hair too dark. Stay within one or two shades of your base color.
75. Pull hair back. For an instant face-lift, wear hair off your face. Twist hair one full turn and secure it with a big clip or barrette in tortoiseshell, matte silver, or gold finish.
76. Let your colorist create an illusion. If hair is thinning (which it does as we get older), try adding lowlights or going slightly darker; either will create an illusion of depth and fullness.
77. Keep bangs light and wispy. A heavy, blunt fringe can emphasize shadows under the eyes and draw attention to crow’s-feet.
Olive Oil: A Best-Kept Secret
78. Hair treatment. “Once a month, I heat up a shot glass (one and a half ounces) of olive oil in a pot of just-boiled water, work it into clean hair, and then wrap my head in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to keep the heat in. Once the oil cools, I rinse it out. It makes my hair shiny and soft!” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City.
79. Undereye softener. “I dab a few drops of olive oil around my eyes each night. It’s kept the crow’s-feet away for years!” says Consuelo Cali of Cali Cosmetics.
80. Hand smoother. “My Sicilian grandmother had the most beautiful hands. Her secret? She rubbed a few drops of olive oil into them every night when she sat down to watch TV,” says Allison Rao, GH Beauty Assistant.
Dermatologists from Connecticut to California recommend these key steps in the fight against aging.
81. Remember that it’s never too late for sunscreen. You can still protect your face, hands, and the rest of your body from damaging rays. Use an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply often.
82. Check out creams with topical vitamins. Ask your dermatologist about prescription-strength retinoid treatments (a vitamin A derivative) like Retin-A, gentler Retin-A Micro gel, and Renova. Vitamin A encourages cell turnover, improves elasticity, helps even out pigmentation, and can stimulate collagen growth, especially in sun-damaged skin. Over-the-counter creams containing the antioxidant vitamin C are also good; they can neutralize environmental stresses that put wear and tear on the skin.
83. Try an alpha-hydroxy acid lotion. Now available in over-the-counter products-from SPF-fortified daytime moisturizers to soothing night creams–these fruit acids slough off dead, dry skin and reveal a fresher layer.
84. Don’t smoke! You know the health hazards involved, but all that inhaling also causes lipstick “bleed” lines around the mouth and makes your skin look sallow.
85. Don’t trim all the fat. For younger-looking skin, it’s important to eat enough essential fatty acids-available in salmon, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, avocados, and nuts.
86. Cut back on cocktail hour. Alcohol dilates capillaries and causes skin to flush, according to New York City dermatologist Deborah Sarnoff, M.D. And drinking can disrupt your sleep, cutting into the beauty rest you need.
87. Skip foods that irritate your skin. If you’re prone to rosacea, a condition characterized by redness and sometimes pimples on the cheeks, forehead, and nose (more than 13 million Americans are), avoid dietary triggers, including red wine, spicy foods, bananas, and chocolate, suggests dermatologist Kathy Fields, M.D., of San Francisco.
88. Get your calcium. It staves off osteoporosis (think dowager’s hump) and plays a role in keeping teeth healthy and attractive. Women up to age 50 need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of the mineral daily; those over 50 should get 1,200 mg. Fat-free milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, and hard cheeses are all good sources.
89. Limit coffee and doughnuts. Tension makes you look older, so cut down on dietary stressors, such as refined sugar and caffeine, which can cause dramatic ups and downs in your energy level during the day, says internist and nutrition consultant David S. Seres, M.D., at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, in New York City.
90. Pay attention to what your body needs. Your skin reflects your lifestyle. If you don’t get enough rest and eat a healthy diet, it will show up on your skin, says dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, M.D., from Yale University.
How celebrities stay young
Sure, the famous get help-from hairstylists, makeup artists, and even cosmetic surgeons.
But it’s amazing to see how many look better now than they did years ago!
Whitney Houston Then: Between the untamed eyebrows, purple eye shadow, and red lipstick that would date even a young woman, the singer didn’t exactly have The Greatest Look of All in 1990. Now: An elegant arch, black eyeliner, berry-stained lips, and a sophisticated bob make her look like a sexy diva, not a busy mom.
Sarah Ferguson Then: Back in 1991, Fergie looked more Queen Mother than young Duchess. Dowdy bangs dragged down her features, and a ruddy complexion made her appear perpetually windburned. Now: With hair blown straight, she’s the picture of regal glamour. And since foundation hides her freckles, all we notice are her baby blues.
Hillary Rodham Clinton Then: The First Lady has always experimented with her hair. She wore it long with a headband; tried bangs; and, in 1993, chose this stiff coif that made her look like a professor. Now: While her cut is still structured, it’s longer, looser, and lighter-all the winning signs of a youthful spirit.
Sally Field Then: Heavy bangs, pasty foundation, and salmon-colored lipstick gave the actress a matronly appearance back in 1982. Now: This 50-something star stays young by keeping up with trends. Short strands frame her face, and minimal makeup in an earthy palette gives her that Gidget glow.
Barbra Streisand Then: The curly poodle cut that Babs wore back in 1984 complemented her Funny Girl attitude, but not her looks. Now: Straight, smooth hair takes years off her face. Downplaying her brows and going with pale, shiny lips has shifted the focus to her blue eyes and great skin.
Joan Lunden Then: In 1990, Joan Lunden worked hard to cultivate the Dynasty image with tons of blush and dangly earrings. Her blond hair was frizzy and over-processed. Now: Lunden’s natural good looks are allowed to shine through. Her shorter cut not only highlights her features, but it’s also easy to care for.