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Smooth Your Skin -- Instantly
Any home decorator worth her chenille throw knows that before you paint the bedroom Symphony Blue, you have to prime the walls. The same goes for a fabulous fall face. "Many of us do a lot of damage to our skin in the summer, so we need as much help as possible," says Charla Krupp, author of the best-selling How Not to Look Old. "A primer will get rid of imperfections and provides a nice foundation for your makeup." For an ultrasmooth look choose a primer with silicone that will "fill in" fine lines, pores, and wrinkles, allowing your makeup to go on flawlessly.
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Raise Some Eyebrows
If summer's end has you craving a more polished look, add an instant jolt of youthful sophistication with a defined brow. How Not to Look Old author Krupp calls it "an instant facelift," visually counteracting gravity. Just don't let brows become too rounded or too thin via overplucking — both looks will age even the babiest of faces. Instead, gently shape your brows with a tinted, wax-containing brow grooming product or a soft eye shadow that matches your hair. A store-bought brow stencil can be used as a guide. (Remember: Your arch should hit above the iris.) Another option is to make an appointment to have them professionally shaped. Either way, with a well-groomed brow your eyes will look more wide open and refreshed.
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Go for the Kindest Cut
"In the summer, it was all beachy waves, but the fall season is all about straight hair," predicts stylist Riccardo Maggiore of New York City's Riccardo Maggiore Salon, who has worked on Katie Couric, Christie Brinkley, and Helena Christianson. "A few fun layers will keep your hair vibrant and fresh, and also help get rid of any brittle ends caused by the summer sun's damaging rays." Ask your stylist for a straight and bouncy haircut. "Straight hair is 'youth-ifying' because it's a polished look that emphasizes the structure of the face and will highlight your gorgeous facial features," Maggiore says.
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Buy New Mascara
Your trusty tube has traveled all summer with you to the beach, wedding receptions, and on vacation and back. Time to chuck it: Mascara should be replaced every three months or else it dries out and clumps, and "clumped lashes make you look so old," Krupp says. "You want a thick dark border to frame your eyes, like a baby." Something to consider: a prescription lash growing treatment: You typically apply it at night and can expect to notice a boost in 12 — 16 weeks. "They really do work, they're safe, and [with long lashes], you can skip makeup," she says.
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Everything Is Illuminated
Traditionally, a fall face is all about the matte look, but this season's focus is on youthful dewiness and radiance, says Jason Garner, makeup artist and national training manager for DuWop Cosmetics. The key to nabbing that glow is illuminizer, which adds dimension to your face and bounces light back out, perfecting your complexion while minimizing fine lines. Garner suggests those with lighter to medium skin tones choose a champagne-tone illuminizer; those with darker skin tones should opt for a hint of amber. Apply under or over makeup wherever light naturally hits your face: the tops of your cheekbones, slightly in front of the apples of your cheeks, and the bridge of your nose. "You can also mix it with concealer and apply under your eyes and in the inner corners for a little lift," Garner says.
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The Beauty of Bangs
Mariska Hargitay, Salma Hayek, and Anne Heche have all rocked bangs, which hide a multitude of beauty sins — including many that are amplified by a summer spent in the harsh sun. (Think wrinkles, worry lines, melasma, age spots.) "Bangs are essential to looking younger [when] your forehead is not what it used to be," Krupp says. Curly hair doesn't lend itself well to bangs, but if you have straighter locks, request bangs that are wispy, sideswept, long... anything but super short, Louise Brooks-style fringe, which can make you look more mature — not the goal!
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Choose Face-Friendly Hues
Black — our favorite go-to option for bad-body-image days — should stay below the waist this season, says organizing and lifestyle expert Dana Korey of Away With Clutter, Inc. "Black can be very harsh on your skin; it reflects upward on your face and can actually exacerbate the look of age spots and dark circles," Korey says. "Plus, think about who wears black from head to toe: Dracula. Witches. Frankenstein!" Korey isn't suggesting you purge your closet of all things noir, but add pops of youthful color on top, like an amethyst-hued sweater or fresh green scarf (both are hot colors for fall.) Bold blues and greens will make your eyes pop, while pink, peach, and lavender will warm your complexion.
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Give 'Em Some Lip
Deeper lipstick shades, like red or burgundy, are synonymous with fall, but too-dark, heavily pigmented color can seep into the fine lines surrounding lips, making you look old beyond your years. Even worse, if your lips are even the tiniest bit chapped, a heavy, dark lipstick will highlight the dryness. Instead, Krupp suggests choosing a light pink or coral lip gloss: There will be no wrinkle seepage and the shine reflects light, lending your lips a Jolie-esque juiciness. Exfoliate lips with a moistened toothbrush, slick on some balm with SPF protection, and dab on gloss, focusing on the middle of your pout.
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Plump Up Your Hair
As outdoor temperatures dip, so will hair colors, with deeper, warmer shades of brown replacing sunny blondes. Stylist Maggiore suggests deepening your hue's color and intensity with chestnut, chocolate, or walnut shades. Then bump up the vibrancy and add dimension with a few highlights, preferably two shades lighter than the hair color you've chosen. Full, rich hair screams "young!" Maggiore says.