Sporty Beauty

Gorgeous and athletic: What woman doesn’t want to be both? And with the Summer Olympics in London approaching, we’re all going to want to get our sweat on with volleyball, mountain biking, water polo or tennis. Whether you decide to try out an Olympic sport or rededicate yourself to jogging, two things you won’t have to choose between are getting fit and looking fabulous.

While you don’t want to show up on the track or court with a full-on smoky eye and matte lips, you also don’t need to reveal a blotchy complexion and lips that are so pallid they become invisible against your skin, says Belinda Moss, a New York City makeup artist who’s worked with celebs like Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, as well as with the tennis stars that compete in the U.S. Open.

“You want to look fresh, pretty and clean when you’re being active,” says Moss. “But for most of us, when we’re not wearing any makeup at all, our faces lack depth and dimension and look dull and flat.”

Leslie Munsell has been a frequent makeup artist to Dara Torres, the five-time Olympic swimmer, and tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. She says that for female athletes, “taking care of the beauty basics” means that “their complexion looks good, their eyes are beautiful and alive, and their lips soft, pliant and moist.”

Here’s how to achieve that winning look.

Protect and polish your skin with a moisturizing sunscreen. Munsell recommends trying a new kind of product called BB creams. Also known as beauty or blemish balms, these skin care and makeup hybrids go beyond the tinted moisturizers that have become a mainstay for many of us. Popular in Asia for years, the formulas combine the hydration of a moisturizer; the coverage of a foundation; the smoothing effects of a primer; an SPF of 30 or higher; and (depending on the formula) anti-aging, oil-control and pore-minimizing benefits.

Swap eye makeup for grooming maintenance. Beautifully shaped brows are the ideal frame for your eyes, magically making them appear wider and brightening your entire face. Tint your pale brows and eyelashes, and you’ll no longer panic if you leave home without a brow pencil or mascara. Munsell suggests matching your brows to your hair color and -- unless you’re alabaster pale -- dyeing your lashes black.

Skip the bronzing powder and choose a cream-based formula instead. “Creams blend with your skin rather than sitting on top of it the way powder does,” says Munsell. “Plus, when you work up a sweat, you’ll have a nice glow and not cakey makeup.” Too sweaty? Sop up extra shine with blotting papers rather than with a pressed powder. “Just roll the paper across your skin,” says Moss, “so you’re removing only the shine.”

Reconsider blush. Munsell applies bronzer just below the apples of the cheeks, skipping blush altogether. “When you’re running around, you’ll get flushed naturally, so you don’t need extra color,” she says. Moss, however, likes to apply a soft pink to make the cheeks pop. She achieves that with a crayon lip stain in place of traditional blush. “It doesn’t move the way blush does,” she says. “The trick is to have a very light touch. Just run a quick swipe across the apples of you cheeks and blend toward your ears.”

Upgrade your lip gloss. Traditional gloss feels sticky and won’t last past your first tennis or volleyball serve. A tinted lip balm or lip stain is a better choice. Or consider another new hybrid: a cross between a balm and gloss. They condition lips while depositing a translucent veil of color. You can find them in chubby pencil form or traditional twist-up bullets. Look for words like “glossy balm,” “almost lipstick” or “sheer tint” in the product’s name.

Top 7 Beauty Resolutions

Resolved: You’re going to show off your most beautiful skin and gleaming hair in 2012. And you don’t need to overhaul your entire beauty regimen or invest in a ton of new products to achieve this. Just launch the new year with these seven simple steps.

1. Make sure your daily skin-care regimen includes the three essentials: a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher; an antioxidant serum or lotion with ingredients like vitamin C, green tea or coffeeberry; and a wrinkle-reducing retinol cream or gel. “The antioxidant and sunscreen will defend and protect your skin during the day,” says New York City–based dermatologist Linda K. Franks, “and the nighttime retinol will switch your skin to the offensive mode, producing new cells and collagen to keep your complexion looking young.”

2. Cleanse your skin every single night -- late Saturday nights and stressful weeknights included. Going to sleep with the day’s accumulation of grime, dead skin cells and makeup clogging your pores can lead to the growth of acne bacteria and “those nasty big red craters,” says Adam Friedman, director of dermatologic research at New York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

3. Practice good skin hygiene. If you find yourself breaking out on the side of your face where you hold your cell phone, switch to an earpiece or clean your phone with an oil-free wipe once a day to make sure you’re not transferring grime to your skin. Plus, be mindful of not touching your skin when you’re eating greasy food, like French fries or pizza. “It may not be the oils you’re ingesting that are causing breakouts,” says New York City–based dermatologist Jody Levine, “but the oils that you’re introducing to the surface of your skin with your fingertips.”

4. Choose products that are the perfect match for your skin and hair. Beauty and hair-care companies now offer lines that are formulated specially for specific skin and hair types. Take advantage of these. The acne wash that has helped clear up your best friend’s breakouts may leave you flaky if your own skin tends to dry out easily. Likewise, the ingredients that help keep medium or thick hair frizz-free can weigh down finer locks. The right hair products will not only make styling easier, but also help protect your hair against damage, such as split ends or color fading, says Jeni Thomas, a research scientist on hair and scalp health for Pantene.

5. Baby your tresses. Use a wide-tooth comb to get the tangles out of wet hair. Cut down on the brushing; those mythical 100 strokes a night can actually lead to breakage and split ends. If you wear your hair in a ponytail, use seamless elastics and ease -- don’t rip -- the elastic out when you take your pony down.

6. Cool it with hot styling tools. Switch to a lower setting when you use flat irons, curling irons and hair-dryers. “Some high settings can exceed the boiling point of water,” says Thomas, “and may be far hotter than you need to achieve your style.” Always use a heat-protectant spray, and if your hair is looking scorched, consider moisturizing versions of your favorite shampoo and conditioner.

7. Dye your hair, without killing it. If you color your hair, choose a shampoo and a conditioner that are designed especially to restore the health of chemically treated hair. Bleach can be especially tough on hair, so if you’re going lighter, focus on roots rather than pulling the color through the entire length of your strands every time you need a touch-up. Whether you color your hair in your bathroom or at the salon, it’s best to stay within a couple of shades of your natural color. Be cautious about chemically straightening your hair if you already color it. Instead, consider a cut that works with your hair’s natural texture and use products, rather then chemical treatments, to smooth your locks.

Beauty Below the Chin

Do you baby your face but neglect the rest of your skin? Dermatologists say that below-the-chin skin needs just as much TLC to remain smooth, firm and spot-free. The outcome of inattentiveness: premature aging, or even worse, skin cancer. Manhattan dermatologist Francesca Fusco points to a World Health Organization study that shows the torso is the most common location for developing melanoma in young women. The area continues to be vulnerable well beyond these years if there has been sun exposure without protection. 

Pamper and protect all of you pronto with this neck-to-toe guide!

Neck and Chest
“The skin here is delicate, so it needs treatment like the face but with a lower concentration of active ingredients,” says Dr. Fusco. Exfoliate with gentle micro-beads once a week to help treatment ingredients penetrate. Dr. Fusco recommends strengthening the skin’s collagen and elastin with an over-the-counter retinol (vitamin A) every other day, a daily application of peptides (look for the words oligopeptides, pentapeptides or tetrapeptides on the label) or the antioxidant vitamin C in cream form. “SPF 30 is still a must,” says Dr. Fusco. If freckles are already marring your decolletage, you can still change your spots by applying a moisturizer that contains a gentle bleaching agent like kojic acid twice a day.

Hands and Arms
If you don’t treat and protect from frequent washing and constant exposure, they’ll show age early in the form of dryness, discoloration and loose skin. Beverly Hills dermatologist Ilya Reyter recommends slathering on a moisturizing ingredient like petrolatum to curb dryness. “It acts like plastic wrap, locking in the moisture that’s already in your skin and preventing water loss,” says Dr. Reyter. His nighttime tip for soft, smooth hands: Soak in water for 10 minutes, coat in petroleum jelly and slip into cotton gloves.

Back-of-the-arm bumps, a common problem called keratosis pilaris, are trickier. “These are dead skin cells that have hardened into little balls inside the pores and become inflamed,” says Dr. Fusco. “You can’t scrub them away, but a drugstore moisturizer containing 10 percent urea or ammonium lactate applied when skin is damp can be effective.”

A creamy bodywash combined with an application of shea butter moisturizer or body oil right after a shower helps this area stay supple. If your shoulders, back and bottom tend to break out, squeeze a bodywash with 2 percent salicylic acid onto a loofah sponge and shimmy on all acne-prone parts each time you shower, advises Dr. Fusco. Tinted benzoyl peroxide can simultaneously hide and treat blemishes that have already erupted. “This kind of acne or folliculitis can sometimes be caused by staph bacteria, but you should always check with your doctor to be sure,” notes Dr. Reyter. “In that case, using an OTC chlorhexidine bodywash twice a week may work best.”

Legs and Feet
Keep your gams and feet soft and sleek by buffing twice weekly with a scrub or exfoliating gloves, but always hydrate after. “The top layer of skin holds moisture in, and when you take it away, that moisture escapes,” says Dr. Reyter. He recommends dousing legs in a moisturizer that lists glycerin as one of the first few ingredients. This humectant draws water from the atmosphere. The backs of the calves are a surprisingly common melanoma site, so coat them in SPF too. Your feet will get drier if you wear sandals a lot because, again, moisture evaporates. Soothe your feet with moisturizer containing petrolatum, simethicone or mineral oil -- all these ingredients act as barriers preventing that moisture from escaping -- and slide on a pair of socks two nights a week.

Knees, Heels, Elbows
When don’t these dry spots need special attention. For extra sloughing power, apply a product with up to 20 percent of urea, ammonium lactate or glycolic acid to heels, knees and elbows, then rinse off after 10 minutes. Do this once a week. If heels are parched to the point of cracking, use a solid stick, spray or powder containing the ingredient tolnaftate. “It gets rid of fungus, which may be lurking in the fissures, preventing them from healing,” says Dr. Fusco.

Beauty Breakthroughs for the Environment

Real beauty is more than skin-deep: It also safeguards the planet. Here are five fresh ways to be an eco-chic goddess.

1. Practice once-a-day makeup application. Going from the office to a dinner date? There’s no need to waste time, product, water or energy washing off your makeup and then reapplying it. Makeup artists say that nighttime makeup looks best when it’s applied over your daytime look, rather than on a freshly scrubbed face. “It’s the makeup equivalent of second-day hair,” says Raychel Wade, owner of New York City’s Cheek to Chic beauty studio. “The makeup has a chance to settle in, so it becomes one with your skin. It’s a sexy, sultry look.” Instead, Wayde pumps up the drama with a wash of metallic eye shadow, a swipe of eyeliner and a pop of bright blush on the apples of her cheeks.

2. Choose planet-friendly packaging. Many companies are not only making their products more natural, but also helping the environment with their product packaging. Pick up a bottle of Pantene Nature Fusion shampoo or conditioner and you’ll have your hands on an ecological powerhouse. The bottle is made from Brazilian sugarcane that’s converted into plastic, so producing the bottle actually reduces greenhouse gases and creates excess energy that’s returned to the energy grid. Aveda is also reducing the carbon footprint with recycled PET packaging for skin care and hair products. Burt’s Bees products similarly use the highest levels of postconsumer recycled materials, designed to be recyclable.

3. Tote a foldable water bottle. Here’s a way to reduce your use of plastic bottles -- without having to tote those bulky water canisters: The freezable dishwasher-friendly Vapur Anti-Bottle is made out of a flexible BPA-free plastic that stands up when full but can be rolled, flattened or folded when empty, then tucked away into a pocket or purse. Take it on your next run or shopping venture and you’ll stay well-hydrated -- without being tempted by sugary, high-calorie drinks. Your waistline and the planet will thank you: Every year, 200 billion bottles of water are consumed worldwide, and only about 1 in 8 is recycled.

4. Create dazzling hair accessories from unused jewelry. We all have solo earrings, old brooches and uncomfortable clip-on earrings that are gathering dust in our jewelry box. Give them new life as hair accessories. Run the pin of a brooch through an elastic for a dazzling ponytail holder, attach vintage clip-on earrings to a headband and slip orphaned earrings onto a bobby pin, wrap the wire around the end and slide into a bun or braid. Hollywood hairstylist Janine Jarman, who’s styled the tresses of the Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears, Christina Applegate and Carmen Electra, says that you can save energy with embellished hair accessories by putting aside the hot styling tools and simply letting your hair air-dry. “You want your hair to have a soft, natural texture,” says Jarman, “so the hair accessories are the stars.”

5. Cook up lipstick-case crayons.
If you’re a lipstick fiend (and really, what woman isn’t?), you might find yourself with a collection of cases that are too pretty to toss. In his new book, Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things With the Stuff You Already Have, green lifestyle expert Danny Seo offers a great way to give these chic capsules a second life. He calls them “lipstick-case crayons,” which will thrill that kindergarten-age girl who can’t wait to start playing with makeup. Melt old crayons in a double boiler, and then pour the colorful wax into a clean, empty lipstick case. Allow the crayons to cool, twist up and draw with your favorite budding beauty.

Beauty and the Feast: How to get Gorgeous, Smooth Skin from your Diet

Does your daily regimen include wash, toner and an $80 night cream? That doesn’t mean you’re on track for getting silky, smooth skin. Ingredients in food -- including vitamins A, C and E, and less well-known chemicals such as lycopene and linoleic acid -- create smooth skin and keep from sagging, fight pimples and rashes, and even offer natural sun protection.

“Our skin must contend against harsh aspects of the outside world -- the sun, microorganisms, and toxins such as air pollutants,” says Wilhelm Stahl, a biochemist at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany. “Nutrients from the diet travel to the skin, where they help cells fight off these assaults.”

Here’s what to eat and what to avoid for a complexion and smooth skin that radiates health.

Starve acne Doctors recently learned that acne culprits are sweet or starchy foods that are quickly digested, sending a jolt of sugar to the bloodstream. The body responds to the sugar high by making more insulin, which spurs skin glands to ooze their oily stuff. In 2007, an Australian team, led by nutritional biochemist Robyn Smith, became the first to show, in a small group of young men, that eating whole grains, fresh produce and lean meat and fish instead of processed carbs may help alleviate acne and contributes to smooth skin.
Trade baguettes for multi-grain bread, and pretzels for peanuts.

Sunscreen you swallow Why do Italians love their spaghetti marinara? It’s delicious, but it may also shield Mediterraneans from the intensity of the sun’s rays. Eating fruits and vegetables containing vitamins C and E -- along with a few other less well-known natural chemicals -- reduces one’s susceptibility to sunburn. One of the most effective natural sunscreens is lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit. Chemicals in cocoa, called flavanols, as well as polyphenols in green tea also grant UV protection, which leads to smooth skin. All this may sound weird until you consider that plants can’t duck for shade at high noon, so some have developed other protective strategies. Use sunscreen, by all means, but munch on these foods to enhance its benefits.
Tip: Trade diet soda for tomato juice, gummy bears for chocolate with high cocoa content.

Edible Botox The key to looking younger? Skip cigarettes and the sun, and bring on fruits and veggies. Vitamin A -- found in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale -- is essential for normal skin-functioning. Vitamin C -- found in red and green peppers, citrus fruits and strawberries -- helps make collagen, an elastic substance that plumps skin. A 2007 study of more than 4,000 women (one of the first studies to examine how nutrient intake from foods as opposed to vitamin supplements affects skin) yielded surprising results. Epidemiologist Maeve C. Cosgrove and colleagues found that women who ate foods rich in vitamin C and linoleic acid -- found in soybean oil, green leafy vegetables, and nuts -- had fewer wrinkles and smoother skin as well as fuller, more youthful complexions.
Trade doughnuts for walnuts, and breakfast sausage for orange and strawberry slices.

Purge eczema Eczema -- a painful, itchy, scaly skin condition -- is on the rise. No one knows why, but some doctors believe that an effective treatment includes eating foods rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid found in some seed oils. Scientists suspect that lower levels of GLA in the blood make it harder for skin to hold on to water, so it becomes drier and eczema-prone. Some studies have shown that ingesting foods containing GLA, such as evening-primrose oil, blackcurrant-seed oil or borage oil, can help. Even consuming modest amounts of hempseed oil (1-2 tablespoons per day) can rid the irritable symptoms of eczema with smooth skin.

Tip: Supplement a diet rich in fish with evening-primrose, blackcurrant-seed, borage or hempseed oil.