Natural Beauty for All Seasons

The best look is fresh and clean: lightly stained lips, full brows, perfect skin.

December 7, 2010

After experimenting with both super-shiny and totally matte finishes, makeup companies have realized what you've known all along: that foundation should mimic the bare, flawless beauty of your best skin days. To follow suit, theyre using high-tech ingredients that make your daily beauty regimen more low maintenance. The new formulas even out your texture and make pores and lines look smaller, but they dont completely cover up your innate glow.

Balance is the key to simple beauty, so when it comes to brows, you don't have to go far from what nature gave you. Full (but still groomed) brows look classic and sophisticated and are far more flattering on most people than overplucked arches, says New York expert plucker Ramy Gafni. He recommends starting with a professional shaping but offers these tips if you decide to go it alone: Standing in front of a mirror in natural light (which will allow you to see every last hair), clean up obvious strays, then remove a second row of hairs from just under your arch (the highest point of your brows) to open it up.

The quickest, easiest way to make your eyes stand out is still the age-old trick: two coats of black mascara. (Choose one with a thickening or lengthening formula to get more bang for your buck.) If you want a little color for a special occasion or night out, use your fingertips to apply a rose-hued powder eye shadow from lash line to crease, smudging it as you blend upward, says Bianca Alexander, a M.A.C Cosmetics makeup artist. With a cotton swab or small makeup brush, swipe a gray or taupe-colored shadow under your lower lashes.

Pink may be the color of your girlhood, but when applied right, it can look soft and elegant, says Alexander. To create the most real-looking flush, skip powder blush and opt instead for a gel-based one. The color may seem scarily bright in the package, but when you blend it in with your fingers (do this immediately after applying, before it sets), it will look sheer and dewy.

Since gloss doesn't always pack enough color punch when you're pale, dot a wine-colored lipstick on your bottom lip only, then press your lips together to blot. You'll achieve a stained effect with a nice, but not overdone, amount of color.