Instant Hair and Makeup Makeover

Ready for a hair and makeup makeover, but don’t want to commit to a major change? No worries. Subtle tweaks can have a surprisingly big impact. Here are six baby-steps that will give you a whole new look.

Bring Back Eyeliner
If you stopped using eyeliner years ago, it’s time to reconsider. “Eyeliner is a tried-and-true way to make anyone’s eyes pop -- and it doesn’t have to be heavy or harsh,” says New York City makeup artist Kimara Ahnert, whose clients include Catherine Zeta-Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow and Isabella Rossellini. For a soft look, skip the liquid liners or pencils and apply eye shadow along your upper lash-line with a stiff eyeliner brush. This will create a forgiving natural line that won’t run or smudge. For the most flattering look, you can accent blue eyes with dark brown liner, hazel eyes with wine shades, or green eyes with bronze. Add depth and shine to brown eyes with emerald and purple jewel tones.

Define Your Brow
Embrace a fuller eyebrow shape with a little help from a professional. “Women tend to over-tweeze their brows,” says celebrity brow expert Ramy, whose motto is, “when in doubt, don’t pluck it out.” A well-groomed, professionally shaped arch can almost have the effect of an eyelift: Eyes look more refreshed, under-eye bags less noticeable. Brow artists do more than remove straggly hairs; they also carefully trim the hairs that remain with small grooming scissors -- something that can create bald spots if you try it on your own -- and they can tint pale, barely visible brows.

Roll up in Velcro
If you’ve been considering a professional straightening treatment or a permanent wave to add sleekness or volume to your hair, you can get the same effect by using medium-sized Velcro rollers. “It works well on both freshly shampooed, towel-dried hair and day-old hair,” says stylist Domingo Serquinia, co-owner of the Paint Shop in Los Angeles. “You’ll look like you just got a blowout.” The effects won’t last as long as expensive chemical treatments, of course, but you can get a good two days out of the few minutes you spend putting your hair in rollers if you avoid mousse and oil-based styling products. Finish your hair with a light-hold spray instead.

Add Some Highlights
Got the color blahs, but don’t want the bother of maintaining dyed hair? Talk to a colorist about highlights. They can create just as much pizzazz, but because they don’t lead to visible roots, highlights can be maintained with just three salon appointments a year. What’s more, says Los Angeles colorist Shanice Felix, “a few highlights placed around the face bring a brightness to the complexion that you can’t achieve with monochromatic color.”

Go for Red Lips
Expand your repertory of looks in 10 seconds flat by swapping your nude or neutral lip color for a sophisticated, bold red mouth. Yes, it may feel like a scary change, but you can ease into it by starting with a sheer berry or red lipstick or gloss, says Ahnert. Ahnert points out that today’s options go far beyond the old blue-red that could be difficult to pull off for anyone but women with pink undertones to their skin. Try brick reds if you’re olive-skinned, or deep purple or berry reds if you have a dark skin tone.

Bring on the Bangs
You want a radical new ’do but you don’t want to cut 6 inches from your long tresses. Done! Bangs can give you the head-turning shake-up you’re seeking -- without sacrificing length. Serquinia suggests skipping the full-on fringe and asking for softer, longer layers that you can sweep to the side. “Straight horizontal lines are too severe-looking,” he says. “Go for movement and the soft pretty haze of layered edges.”

Steal the Celebrity Style

Want to look like your favourite stars or at least know what style they’re sporting? We check out who’s wearing what and show you how you can channel a little DIY celeb style.

The Ballet Bun
The bun has been a runway regular for the past two seasons, and celebs are now rocking it with pride, all-be-it in varying forms. At “The Hills” wrap party, Whitney Port opted for an ultra-chic updo perched on the highest part of her crown, and Kim Kardashian worked downtown style with a messy topknot. But you know it’s fashion gospel when Victoria Beckham dabbles in the trend; she was spotted at’s 10th birthday bash with an elegant bun at the nape of her neck.

This is a relatively simple look to replicate. Brush your hair back off your face and tie into a ponytail on the top part of your crown, base of your neck or to the side -- just behind your ear. Backcomb to add texture and swirl the ponytail around the base, securing with grips as you work your way around. For additional hold, spray a generous amount of hair spray to lock in stray strands.

Lip Service
The beautiful and bold alike have been inspired by Miuccia Prada’s spring/summer 2010 wet-look orange lips and are braving the look on and off the red carpet. Pop princess Pixie Lott often vamps up her angelic style with a slick of orange lipstick, and retro chanteuse Paloma Faith packs a tropical punch with her coiffed red hair and matte chili-coloured lippie. Renee Zellweger and “Mad Men” actress January Jones keep their eye makeup natural to let the acid-bright hue do all the talking.

Lipstick novices should trace lips with lip liner first to define and prevent smudging. Apply a coral lip colour, preferably with a lip brush and layer with an ultra-shiny orange lip gloss for a knockout pout.

Nail Bling
We may be living in the stealth-wealth era, but the stars are still flashing their cash -- and this time it’s on statement talons. Stars are taking manicures to a whole new level.

Across the pond, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Serena Williams are all huge fans of metallic and gem-coloured nails. And it doesn’t draw the line at cheetah prints and decadent embellishment -- slogans are de rigeur too.

In London, creative nail salon WAH Nails also uses Minx and provides retro and avant-garde nail art for discerning celeb clients, such as Daisy Lowe and MIA. Our favourite WAH design is the fierce pink-and-grey leopard-print manicure to achieve a sprinkling of star style.

The Top 7 Multitasking Beauty Products

Here’s a no-brainer: If you could tweak your beauty regimen to clear the clutter out of your bathroom cabinets, spend less time getting ready in the morning, and trim some dollars from your budget -- all the while helping the environment -- would you be willing to give it a go?

Well, all that’s possible by following a concept we’ve become very familiar with: multitasking. Choosing products that perform double -- or triple -- duty is a way to make your beauty regimen more eco-conscious, says Jenny Rushmore, global sustainability leader for Procter & Gamble’s beauty and grooming division. The three R’s of sustainability -- reduce, reuse, recycle -- is a catchy reminder of what our priorities should be when it comes to cutting back on waste. “What this means is that recycling is what you do after you’ve already reduced and reused,” says Rushmore. “It’s better not to buy bottled water than to recycle the water bottle, and that same idea applies to beauty products. Reducing the number of products you buy is the best place to start a more eco-friendly beauty regimen.”

Here are seven hardworking beauty products you can easily find on your drugstore shelves.

1. Shampoo-conditioners
These two-in-one formulas will help speed up your showers -- saving an average of 5 gallons of water for every minute you cut from your shower time -- and cut down on packaging. Best of all: Now you can find these double-duty wonders in formulas customized to add volume to fine hair, smooth frizz-prone locks or manage curls.

2. Razors With Built-in Shave Gel
All you’ll need to add is water to get your legs silky smooth. As convenient as that is at home, it’s especially helpful when it comes to getting a close shave when you’re traveling. No need to pack the shave cream: Simply toss a razor with a shave gel bar in your toiletry case.

3. Self-tanning Moisturizing Lotions
Add a glow to your skin as you soften and hydrate it -- without the orange streaks that conventional self-tanners can sometimes leave. To maximize multitasking, choose a facial or body formula with SPF 15.

4. Makeup Foundation With Benefits
Slash your beauty budget and your get-beautiful prep time with a foundation that also treats your skin with anti-acne or anti-aging ingredients, such as youth-restoring antioxidants, peptides, retinols and breakout-busters like salicylic acid.

5. Moisturizing Body Washes
Try these lathering marvels and you can step right out of the shower and into your clothes without having to pause to slather on a hydrating lotion. (Okay, a few seconds spent patting yourself dry with a towel is advisable.) Some advanced products also contain anti-aging ingredients that make fine lines less visible by improving skin’s elasticity, tone and texture.

6. Facial and Body Moisturizers With Sunscreen
With broad-spectrum SPF 15 or 30, these lotions provide the daily sun-shielding protection that dermatologists recommend. You can find formulas that are fast-absorbing and have a lightweight texture, so you’ll never be tempted to skip the sunscreen again. In fact, some facial UV moisturizers are so silky they provide the perfect canvas for your foundation, allowing you to skip the primer. Another step saved!

7. Baby Wipes
If these aren’t in your beauty arsenal, they should be. Unscented, hypoallergenic wipes are a gentle, portable and low-priced makeup remover that will baby your sensitive skin. Cold-weather tip: Stash a packet in your purse or toiletry case during cold and flu season so it’ll be within easy reach for on-the-go hand cleansing.

Karina Smirnoff: The Beautiful Dancing Star

Best known for her fancy footwork on “Dancing with the Stars,” Karina Smirnoff has also had several small acting roles, something she hopes to pursue. But as a five time U.S. National Ballroom Champion, and the first woman to make the British Professional Final (Dance Competition) with three different partners, dancing is in her blood.

Ukraine-born Smirnoff started ballet lessons when she was 5 years old. She also studied gymnastics, aerobics, figure skating, ballroom dancing and piano. “I think I am a little ADD,” she said.

Karina credits her early training with helping her to develop the steely discipline she needs to win so many ballroom competitions. It is also the discipline she uses on “Dancing with the Stars”, a show that by all accounts is rigorous for both the professional dancers and the celebrity contestants. We spoke to Karina about everything from her fitness and beauty tips, to how she balances all aspects of her life.

Fitness and Exercise

On the show, the dancers have to train their celebrity partners, many of whom have little or no dance training. “None of the celebrities know what they are getting into when they agree to the show,” she said. “They have no idea how difficult it will be. There are injuries. Marie Osmond fainted, and Christian de la Fuente hurt his arm. You have to gauge what you do depending on their age and what shape they’re in. Steve Guttenberg was 49, but he was in very good shape. But Shannon (Elizabeth) was not, and she was often out of breath. It depends on the person.”

Karina is careful to stay in shape herself. “When I am not working on the show, I like to go to the gym for a couple of hours. I do a little cardio and some light weights. I also do a lot of forward lunges because that is the most important thing for dance. I work out all the time between the seasons and during the seasons to maintain strong stamina. Dancing is physically demanding, so you can’t lack stamina.” Smirnoff also credits eating right, sleeping well and knowing when to take short two minutes breaks to helping maintain her stamina throughout the day.

Beauty Tricks

Smirnoff picked up some beauty tricks from the professionals on the show. “I always watch how they line our eyes, and then I practice at home.” But when it comes to beauty secrets, Smirnoff is a down-to-earth girl who depends on common sense. “When get nine hours of sleep, I look and feel my best.”

Smirnoff is also writing a book to share some of her natural beauty secrets. She is a big believer in the benefits of olive oil, aloe vera and fresh lemons for beautiful skin. She likes the healing properties of aloe and uses olive oil for everything from taking off eye makeup to moisturizing.

She credits her love for a natural approach to beauty to her family Russian-Greek family background.

Balancing Life and Fame

Karina has been linked romantically to her dancing partners, from Mario Lopez to Maksim Chmerkovskiy. It comes with the territory; dancing is romantic, especially when the dancer is as attractive as Smirnoff. “It is complicated because there is always chemistry in dancing. We have to create chemistry,” she says. “You need to tell the story between a man and a woman. And it’s flattering that we act so well that they always want to believe it.”

Although she is still surprised at how popular, the show is, Karina is taking it all in stride.

Skin Care Smarts

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that you need to cleanse, nourish and protect your skin. But some skin care facts haven’t made it into conventional wisdom. Top dermatologists share five ways to tweak your skin care regimen to get your most radiant complexion ever.

Moisturize Frequently  
To fight acne, don’t forget the moisturizer, which improves skin’s ability to keep bacteria out and water in. Why is water important? Flaky, dehydrated skin is irritated skin, which sends distress signals to our immune cells, distracting them from healing the inflammation that can accompany acne. Making things worse, the blemish-prone often overcleanse to the point of dryness, which adds more dead skin cells to those already clogging the pores.

To properly keep skin hydrated, wear a light, oil-free, water-based moisturizer. For extra oomph, choose one laced with a zit-fighting ingredient such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinol (nighttime use only) or azelaic acid.

Find the Right Retinoid
Vitamin A creams, known as retinoids, are scientifically proven to help unclog pores, smooth wrinkles, lighten brown spots and improve skin texture. The only hitch is that retinoids in prescription-strength form (which deliver the fastest results) can irritate the skin of first-time users and cause stinging, redness and peeling.  

Acclimate your skin by using a retinoid just twice a week, with the eventual goal of applying it every night.  Or build tolerance by starting with a less potent, over-the-counter form of retinoid: look for the words retinol, retinal, retinaldehyde or retinyl palmitate on the label. Pumped into gels, serums and creams, these ingredients take a little longer to show benefits -- up to six months. But by then you’ll be more than ready to graduate to their Rx cousins.

Load up on Vitamins
Like an alphabet soup, vitamins A, B, C and E call out from the labels of skin-care products. These antioxidant vitamins are naturally present in our skin, but they need replenishment to keep our collagen from being gobbled up by free radicals caused by UV light and pollution. Each excels at something: vitamin A builds collagen and quells enzymes that destroy it; vitamin B (which includes B12, B3 or niacinamide, and folic acid) reduces inflammation, water loss and uneven pigmentation; vitamin C protects against UV damage and improves skin texture; and vitamin E is an emollient that fights redness. 

To cover all the bases, make your products multitask by using a serum containing some of the vitamins and a moisturizer pumped with the others.

Look for Botanical Ingredients
By switching to cleansers and creams containing certain key botanicals, those of us with sensitive skin (a propensity to become blotched, red and irritated) might never have to reach for another tube of greasy hydrocortisone to calm an angry eruption. The top six botanical ingredients that get the nod from doctors because of their anti-inflammatory, antiredness and anti-irritant properties include: colloidal oatmeal, feverfew, licorice, aloe vera, chamomile and turmeric. Not only are these safe for sensitive skin and sufferers of chronic conditions like rosacea, their daily use will help prevent future flare-ups.

Say Yes to Ceramides
A natural component of the top layer of our skin, ceramides are fats that act like mortar to the bricks (cells) that form a wall to keep water inside the skin. When this brick wall is well-preserved, the result is a glowing, well-hydrated complexion. During the winter and as we age, ceramide levels start to drop, shrinking the mortar and causing dry, inflamed skin. Fortunately, we can replenish lost ceramides with synthetic or natural forms, both of which are found in moisturizers. To get your money’s worth, look for ceramides in the top half of the ingredients list.