The simplest look for your eyes, and universally flattering: a transparent wash of brown. To do: First, use the shadow as eyeliner, smudging it along the lash line with a sponge applicator. (Or use a soft pencil in a similar shade.) Then use a brush to sweep a sheer layer of shadow over the lid up to the crease; blend softly. You won't need highlighter on the brow bone — the natural contours of the eye create their own highlights. Finish with a light coat of mascara.

Use pink, blue, or lavender eye shadow as an accent only, layered over a neutral base color of beige or pale mushroom. Brush the neutral over the whole lid, then apply the accent color from lash line to crease.

To open up your eyes and enhance their natural shape, try using three shades of eye shadow this way: Apply the lighter shade all over the eye, with the medium shade in the crease for contouring and the darker shade alone as a soft eyeliner, or at the outer corner of your eyes. For a mistake-proof application, put one coat of mascara on before your shadow and one coat after. That'll give you a better sense of the eye's shape, and the second coat will cover any powder that's landed on lashes.

You can try a pearlescent eye shadow for an evening look, but limit shimmer to lids only. If it's worn all over the eye, the sparkle can highlight fine lines. Look for soft, shimmer browns, or brighten matte eye shades you already have by applying a touch of silver or white shimmer to the center of the lid.

To add drama and depth to your eyes, use dark brown or brown/charcoal eye pencil — gently smudged — and apply it first, before shadow, to keep the look soft. Or you can use a black eye shadow as a liner — a softer, smokier look than liquid liner. For all-out glamour, use it to add a thin line right as the lash line, and the same under lower lashes (but doing just the outer third of the eye).

Using a little foundation on your lids helps makeup colors stay truer and last longer.

When you shop for eye shadow, don't match the color of your eyes, or go brighter than your own eye color.

Here's how you can draw a straight line with liquid eyeliner: Prop the elbow of the hand you're drawing with on a table for extra stability. Gently stretching your skin with the other hand also keeps you on the straight and narrow.



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Apply Mascara Like a Pro

First, curl lashes with one firm squeeze of a lash curler.
Dip the mascara wand into the tube just once for both upper and lower lashes. More, and you'll load too much mascara onto the wand. Note: If your lashes always look gloppy, use a tissue to wipe excess mascara from the brush before applying.
Working from the outer corner inward, place the brush at the lash base and sweep upward to the tips. To minimize clumping, use as few strokes as possible. (It's unnecessary to do the topside of lashes.)
For lower lashes, hold the wand vertically and sweep lashes from side to side with the tip of the brush. Or for a face-brightening look, skip lower lashes altogether.

You can create an eye-widening effect by applying a second coat of mascara to upper lashes' outer corners.

If you're over 30, it's generally best to avoid black mascara (unless your coloring is very dark). Brown or brown-black shades look softer and more flattering on most everyone.


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Here's the best way to define and shape brows: Place a pencil alongside your nose, up past your eye — that's where the brow should start. Then move the pencil across the eye, to its outer corner — that's where the brow should end. (This is just a guideline: don't obsess over a little more or a little less.) Tweeze only one hair at a time, and don't be afraid to pluck strays above the brow line.

Here's how you can fill in tiny gaps in eyebrows: Choose an eyebrow pencil or powder in a shade slightly lighter than your natural brow color. When in doubt, use taupe — it suits nearly everyone. Starting in the center of the brow — the part that should appear darkest — apply the product to any gaps. Then use a brush (most brow products come with them) to smudge the color outward in both directions. The closer you get to either end, the lighter the color should appear. Optional finishing touch: a clear brow fixer — the brow equivalent of hair spray.

You can get more impact for evening by using an eyebrow pencil in a shade that matches your own brows (going too dark can age you). Using hair-fine strokes, fill any gaps, then extend brows at the outer ends — no more that an eighth of an inch — to frame the face. Blend with a brow brush.

Scaly red patches on your eyebrows may be seborrheic dermatitis (like dandruff, but on your face). To treat it, wash with a mild soap-free cleanser. Don't moisturize; instead, use an AHA gel or liquid and an over-the-counter one percent cortisone cream once a day. If the flakes don't disappear after two weeks, see a dermatologist.


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Tension Tamer Tip Try this minimassage to relieve tension around the eyes — and help you feel calmer all over:
Cup your face in your palms. Breathe deeply a few times, then rub your cheeks up and down until they feel warm.
Place palms over your closed eyes and take a few calming breaths.
With eyes closed, press your fingertips on the browbone, moving outward from the eyes' inner corners. Do the same on the bones just underneath the eyes. Repeat three times.
Pinch the bridge of your nose between your thumb and index finger. Hold for ten seconds, then pull fingers away; repeat three times.
Massage your temples in a circular motion, gradually increasing the pressure, then hold your fingers against your temples and take a few more relaxing breaths.



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A Bit About foundation and Lipsticks For the smoothest, sheerest look, use translucent loose powder. Keep formulas consistent: If you use oil-controlling foundation, for instance, use an oil-free powder. Save pressed powder for touch-ups or wear it solo, since it can look heavy when applied directly over foundation.

Tip: Limit touch-ups to twice a day; too much powder buildup can leave you looking masky. Instead, carry linen blotting papers to lift away excess oil.



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Keep your blush in the same color family as your lipstick — warm (peaches, corals, terra-cottas) or cool (plums, pinks, wines). Don't apply stripes of color up to your temples. Use blush sparingly and apply it only on the apples of your cheeks, blending slightly outward and upward.

Tip: To avoid streaky-looking blush when the weather's warm, use a cream-to-powder formula or a sheer gel.