Plump up your best beauty assets
By Michele Bender
With each passing birthday, our lips lose a little volume and our hair -- on our heads and lashes -- tends to get thinner. Plus, as we age, our eyelashes begin to straighten, which also makes them look less lush. But you don’t have to feel deflated about these changes. Instead, you can fatten up your best beauty assets with a few fast, simple tips.
Plump it up: Get lush lashes
Choose the correct product. Stroll the makeup aisles at any drugstore or department store and you can easily become overwhelmed by what seems to be a thousand mascaras in an array of categories from lengthening to curling -- and everything in between. “For fuller lashes, choose volumizing mascara,” says Mari Shten, a NYC-based makeup artist.
Be a curly girl. “An eyelash curler is the key to taking your mascara the extra mile and really giving your lashes that ‘wow’ factor,” says Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty. For best results, try this trick: “Heat your lash curler up with a blow dryer, let it cool for five seconds, and then curl,” suggests Stephanie Flor, celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist whose clients include Mariah Carey and Kathy Griffin.
Prep before you swipe. Apply loose powder before putting on mascara. “This will prevent the lashes from sticking together so you can more evenly apply the mascara,” says Flor. Or try using a mascara primer. “It has extra fibers that stay on your lashes and make them fuller and longer,” explains Shten. Apply one coat of a primer. Then, while the primer is still wet, apply a coat of mascara on top of it.
Rework your wand. Bend your wand sideways to create an easier application. “The wand doesn't come with the natural eye shape,” explains Flor. “By bending it sideways you're able to get really close to your lash line. This is my secret and everyone loves it!” How to: Use a napkin to hold the brush; then, bend the area where the mascara brush connects with the stick part of the wand.
Wiggle while you work. Start with the mascara wand as close to the roots as you can get and then wiggle it upward toward the tip. “That will lift lashes up and give the effect of longer lashes,” says Shten. Start at the outermost corner of your eye going inward toward the nose. By coating the ends with the most mascara, it gives lashes a thicker look.
Brush it out. For a more dramatic effect, brush lashes to separate them. Kashuk suggests a metal-toothed lash comb. Then, apply a second coat of mascara. “Don't forget lower lashes. It creates extra dimension,” says Shten.
Top it off with liner. Take a soft black or black/brown eyeliner (depending on your coloring) and apply it on the upper lid really close to lashes. Use an angled brush to blend the line into the lashes. “This will instantly add fullness,” says Kashuk.
Plump it up: Fake fuller lips
Ban dry flakes. Gently brush your lips with a toothbrush (or rub with a washcloth). “Exfoliating will remove the dead skin and stimulate blood circulation,” says Galit Strugano Wigdor, founder of the makeup line Girlactik Beauty. “This will plump your lips up and smooth them for a healthy-looking pout.”
Line right. Start by using a nude lip pencil that’s as close to the color of your own lips as possible. “Slightly overdraw and extend the lip line to make your lips look fuller,” says Kashuk. Also, stay away from dark lip colors because they tend to make lips look smaller.
Grab the gloss. “Gloss will always make lips look fuller because it reflects light,” explains Strugano Wigdor. This is especially the case with glosses that have shimmer or sparkle. “You can also apply a shimmering gloss just in the middle of your pout, on the top and bottom lips,” she adds. Again, this attracts light to these areas, pulling them out so lips look fuller. Another option? “Glosses made to have a lip plumping effect,” adds Shten.
Make it just an illusion. After applying your gloss, take a white eyeliner and apply it just around the cupid's bow of the lip (the little indent on the top lip) and slightly on the bottom middle part of your lip. “Blend it inward and it will give the illusion of your lips looking fuller,” says Strugano Wigdor. If you don’t have white eyeliner, use a frosty, light pigment eyeshadow.
Plump it up: Create fuller hair
Degrease your strands. You don’t need to wash your hair daily. In fact, doing so just strips it of its natural oils. Instead, opt for a dry shampoo product, which contains powder. “By taking some of the oil out of your hair, you’ll get more volume instantly,” explains Flor.
Pull out the hot rollers. Yes, you read that correctly. They’re not for housewives anymore! “Put hot rollers in your hair before you start applying your makeup and then remove them for fuller hair,” says Flor.
Tease it. Tease the crown of your head. “Grab a teasing comb and back-comb the top area of your head,” explains Flor. “Using a softer brush, comb it down softly to take away the frizz but leave the teased area hidden for volume.” Flip over your hair and spritz with hairspray. “Then flip it over to get that va va voom movie hair,” says Flor.
Embrace your hair’s natural texture. “You may not realize it because you’ve been styling your hair into submission for so long, but you may have your own natural waves, curls, and fullness,” says Lorraine Massey, co-author of Curly Girl: The Handbook. Forget the blow dryer and flat iron. Instead, wash hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, and then apply conditioner. Leave a little conditioner in hair rather than rinsing it all out. Once out of the shower, apply an alcohol-free, silicone free gel to the palms of your hands, flip you head over and scrunch hair gently upwards. Let hair air dry without touching it. That may be hard, but you’ll be surprised by the fullness that emerges.
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