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Sunday, 8 January 2012

How To Get Holiday Glow

Somewhere between making your list and checking it twice, hair and makeup get lost in the shuffle. Who has time to worry about either when there are cookies to bake, trees to trim and gifts to wrap? Take another sip of eggnog, and try these beauty shortcuts on for size. They'll keep you looking chic well into the new year.

1. Glow with the flow: When strategically placed, shimmer creates a flawless, can't-put-their-finger-on-it radiance. Swipe a liquid highlighter (MAC Strobe Cream, $15) on your brow bones or cheekbones for a light-reflecting lift. Treat imperfections and pastiness on exposed limbs to tinted moisturizer like Miracle Skin Transformer Body ($34), or mix a bit of bronzer with your favorite lotion.

2. Ride the crimson tide: The poster child for party makeup, red lipstick can take you from office drab to soiree fab in seconds. But it's so high-maintenance. To keep your scarlet pucker in place, not on your champagne flute, Julie Swenson of St. Paul Beauty Lounge (612-741-0288) recommends applying foundation to your lips first, then lining with a nude pencil.

3. Bun your braids: Try this five-minute (yes, five) twist on the braid from Charlie Brackney, founder and creative director at HAUS Salon in Minneapolis. Step one: Braid dry hair into four large braids, two in the front and two in the back. Step two: Gently pull the braids apart with your fingers. "Don't be afraid if they get a little fuzzy, say Brackney. "That's texture, and texture is modern!" Step three: Gather the braids into a loose formation at the nape of your neck - either centered or off to the side - and start pinning. Voila! Effortless glamour for any occasion.

4. Blot, spray and go: Instead of adding another layer of makeup, bring what's left back to life by blotting away shine with Tatcha blotting papers ($12), then misting skin with a hydrating toner like Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($7). Give locks a lift with a spritz of dry shampoo at the roots to sop up scalp oil and add volume. Try Batiste Dry Shampoo ($8).

5. Get cheeky: There's nothing like flushed cheeks to brighten up your entire face. "If you only have time for one change, choose your cheeks," says Emily Koski of Emily J Hair & Makeup (612-590-8174). "Use a cream blush for a more dramatic look, and blend well into the apples of your cheeks." Koski likes Nars the Multiple in Orgasm ($39), which can also be used on eyes and lips.

6. Take a smoky eye shortcut: They're glamorous to be sure, but smoky eyes present a major time and technique barrier. Swenson prefers a modified smoky eye: Simply smudge a dark charcoal shadow into top and bottom lash lines using your finger or a brush. That's it! Try Laura Mercier Sequin Eye Color in Black Ice, $22.

7. Get balmed: Moisturizing, smoothing and portable, balms are the ultimate multi-tasker. Tame frizzy, flyaway hair; groom unruly brows; add gleam to eyelids, shins and cheekbones, and soften lips and cuticles. The possibilities are endless, and can be executed while slipping on your party shoes. For best results, choose a balm containing natural waxes and plant oils, such as Josie Maran Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick ($22).

8. Don't do your hair: For festive tresses without the intricate updo or complicated curls, just add one of the season's vintage-inspired hair accessories. "A slim jeweled headband will instantly dress up your look," says Koski. "If you don't own one, rifle through your grandmother's jewelry box for costume jewelry that could be pinned or tucked into a hair band."

9. Nail it in one step: Manicure? In your dreams! Local manicurist Rhonda Hansford's one-trick pony: Apply Smith's Rosebud Salve ($6) to your lips, then massage any remaining product into clean nails and cuticles for a just-buffed shine. If you still want polish, paint on one coat of the season's blingy gold or silver shades - the only accessory you'll need for that LBD.

10. Hire a pro: If you have a little more time to spare, have the pros come to you. Jon Charles Salon (612-724-2444 or 952-767-9977) will pull up in an Airstream and give you and your besties blow-outs ($75 hourly/five-person minimum). Koski's team will do your hair and makeup while you lounge in a robe (from $60; group discounts available). When a cocktail dress calls for a bit of color, Glow (952-500-0458) mobile airbrush tanning can customize a sunless tan or help you host a "Tantini" party ($45 and up).

(Minneapolis-based lifestyle writer Elizabeth Dehn is the founder of beautybets.com.)

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