Our one-and-only son Cole came home a few weeks ago for his friend Nick's wedding. Since Nick's practically part of our family, Bob and I were thrilled to be attending. It promised to be a fun evening for the two of us considering Cole would be busy with best-man duties. So I bought a dress (thanks for the coupon WHBM!), wore the heels I fell in love with in Paris and took extra care with my makeup.
Planning a big date with your sweetie? It could be time to go glam.
Perfect when you need some OOMPH, these 15 fabulous finds can amp up your look in no time.
Few things age you more than dingy teeth. So an instant whitener like Luster's NOW! Toothpaste is something to smile about. Thanks to Bluverite Technology, it leaves teeth looking whiter after just one brushing. The brightening is an optical effect but the results last for hours. That's great news for red wine and green tea addicts like me!
This smile brightener also helps remove stains and freshen breath when used daily. But for even more of a long-term difference, check out Luster's full line of whitening products. (Luster NOW! $7.99 at Wal-Mart, Kmart and other major U.S. retailers)
A great way to prep your face for make-up, this sheer lotion includes extracts of organic iris and angelica that help correct skin irregularities. Glide it on after cleansing and before moisturizing to smooth skin, tighten pores and brighten your complexion. This fresh, first step also hydrates your complexion while making blemishes less noticeable. The velvety texture even reduces the ugly redness that often visits me when the weather cools as well as when I travel. What a relief! ($52 at Usa.loccitane.com)
Fed up with under-eye bags and pesky lines that sometimes get more noticeable under makeup? Try one of these deeply moisturizing new treatments before putting on your face:
nyakio Hydrating Eye Cream - This recently released workhorse perks up your look by helping revitalize and hydrate the skin around your eyes while softening fine lines and wrinkles. Packed with good-for-you ingredients, this multi-tasking formula contains African Kola Nut extract to invigorate skin plus four, mega-moisturizers like Manula oil, which hydrates and provides superb antioxidant benefits. This natural multi-tasker goes on easily and soaks in quickly to sooth, tone and protect skin. Plus, it does the job without parabens or sulfates. ($39 on HSN, HSN.com and nyakio.com)
Scientific Organics Eyelight Cream - Using this all-natural newbie from emerginC under your eyes helps hydrate and brighten the skin as well as fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The super-rich formula blends seven, plant-based moisturizers (including cupuacu and Shea butters) with a potent antioxidant called asthaxanthin, said to be stronger than vitamins C and E. This cream is so thick you'll need to pat it on and massage gently to get the full benefit. ($65 at spas such as The Wynn, The Trump and many more plus emerginc.com)
In addition to needing help from a serious eye cream, the raccoon-like circles under my eyes require attention from a champion concealer like one of these favorites:
Aveda Inner Light Concealer - This creamy cover-up helps hide the dreaded darkness as well as any redness under my eyes while working to minimize fine lines, puffiness, pores and other imperfections. I pat it on with the handy wand applicator; then blend with a sponge for a nice, natural look. The moisturizing, mineral- and antioxidant-based formula goes on smooth, doesn't sink into my creases and lasts for hours so you don't have to worry so much about touchups. That's one less thing in your evening bag!
Great for those on the sensitive side, it is opthalmologist tested, non-acnegenic, and paraben and fragrance free. Plus, it comes in six, light-reflecting shades that brighten skin while providing color. ($18 at Aveda salons, spas, stores and at Aveda.com)
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer - Another winner for natural-looking coverage, Laura Mercier Secret Concealer was developed specifically for use under and around the eye area. It comes in an elegant, little jar so you can put it on with your ring finger or a small brush.
I'm partial to shade 2. I'd heard it works best for fair-to-light skin with warm/yellow undertones, and it certainly does the trick for me. But this skin-conditioning must-have comes in five other shades so you can easily find a perfect match. It's also dermatologist and allergy tested to reduce the chance of irritation. ($22 at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Lauramercier.com.)
If you're stepping out with your sweetie for some fun in the sun, this light, three-in-one cream could be your BFF. It combines moisturizer, foundation and SPF 30 broad spectrum protection in one handy tube so you can save valuable time.
Since it's made with extracts of organic iris and angelica, it leaves skin super soft and even toned while helping prevent sunburn. ($39 at Usa.loccitane.com)
Although I prefer a light foundation most days, I like more coverage when planning a big night out. Either way, Laura Mercier's latest foundation does the trick. You can use this smart, new powder dry for a soft, barely there finish. Or dampen the sponge tucked in the bottom of this slick compact to whisk on a medium- to full-base.
Whether used dry or wet, this silky-smooth innovation glides on easily to camouflage problem spots while moisturizing skin with vitamin E and Shea butter. Although hydrating, it gives you a natural, matte finish free of oil and unwanted shine. And since it is waterproof, you're good to go all day or date night because the look can last up to 8 hours.
Even better for Boomers, it blurs fine lines instead of settling into them. Dermatologist and allergy-tested, this must-have complexion charmer works for all skin types and, thanks to a choice of 20 shades, all skin tones. ($45 at Laura Mercier retailers like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sephora)
Nice anytime but especially when you're in party mode, this pretty powder can rev up your look in a flash. I adore brushing pearly pink Flush on the apples of my cheeks. But there are eight gorgeous shades, including soft, dusty rose Bare, cool raspberry Crush and more, each designed to work with every skin tone.
Whatever your choice, this vitamin A- and E-infused hue booster leaves skin soft, smooth and highlighted with healthy color. And thanks to the built-in swivel mirror, it's simple to use anytime, anywhere. ($24 at Nordstrom, Sephora and Smashbox.com)
Although date night demands a sexy, smokey eye, getting it right can be troublesome unless you've had plenty of practice. And even then, an all-in-one palette containing everything needed to pull it off can be a lifesaver. Two to try:
Mally Beauty Citychick Smokey Eye Kit - Includes an all-over base that preps lids for color, a brow lighter, lid color and crease color along with an eyeliner pencil. A helpful diagram on the case's flipside shows what's what.
Of the seven, color-coordinated Citychick mirrored compacts, Mally Beauty creator Mally Roncal suggests starting with her Brownstone palette if you're new to the look. These browns flatter everyone. ($40 at MallyBeauty.com)
Kanebo Sensai Eye Shadow Palette - Contains three, go-together shadows, a matching gel liner and two applicators with four different tips. Great for Boomers, the shadows are made with Crystal Veil Powder so they layer easily and minimize fine lines. Yes!
Although there are four, attractive color combos, I'm wild about the blues in the Sensai ES 12 mirrored compact. The brow highlighter, subtle lid color and so-deep-blue-it's-practically-black crease color bring out a cool blue hue in my oh-so-ordinary eyes. (Who knew that was there!) Finally, I can forget that suppressed desire to heighten their color with blue contacts!
And with the included gel liner and small angle brush, defining your eyes so they look bigger not to mention younger is a piece of cake. The task gets even easier if you have a full-size angle brush. ($50 at BergdorfGoodman.com and Neiman Marcus.com.)
Long, lush lashes are requirement #1 for a night on the town. With skimpy fringe like mine, make that ANYTIME I leave the house. Since my brother got the best lashes in our family (naturally!), I like to beef mine up with a primer followed by mascara like:
Smashbox Layer Lash Primer - Brushing on this white prep before mascara helps condition, strengthen and thicken lashes. After losing every last lash following chemotherapy four years ago (talk about depressing), I love the look I get from this primer almost as much as I love knowing the panthenol-powered formula is helping keep my lashes healthy. ($18 at Nordstorm, Sephora and Smashbox.com)
Avon Mega Effects Mascara - When designing their Mega Effects Mascara, the folks at Avon must have thought, "Let's try something TOTALLY different."
Instead of a standard wand, this crazy, new mascara includes what they call a Wonderbrush. It's kind of flat and has a bristle area about as wide as your eye so it's much bigger than the norm. The bristles themselves are a mixture of all sorts of long and short fibers that shoot out in different directions and the brush handle bends to help you get the perfect angle for applying mascara, combing through lashes and preventing clumping.
If you're anything like me, it'll take practice, patience and a supply of mistake-correcting cotton swabs to get used to this radical new concept. And the adjustment will be easier with your upper lashes than with the baby fine hairs under your eyes.
But once you're comfortable, you'll reach for this insane lash builder whenever you want extra length. Thanks to the bigger bristle area, each swipe of the brush delivers about 40% more mascara than Avon's standard wire wand so lashes look quite dramatic. And the sweat-proof, ophthalmologist-tested formula stays with you all day without flaking or smearing. ($10 through Avon representatives and at Avon.com)
As if wrinkles and weight gain weren't enough, we Boomer babes often have to deal with thinning brows. Mine have been doing a vanishing act for ages!
But Aveda's Petal Essence Eye Definer can help them appear thicker. Just use this creamy pencil to make short strokes in the sparse areas, blend with a brow brush and no one will guess your secret. The color goes on easily thanks to moisturizing floral waxes in the formula and looks natural for hours.
I like the ash blonde Sepia shade because it's close to my hair color. You can also choose deep brown Cacao or Black Orchid. And since this handy pencil doubles as an eye liner or shadow, there's also a beautiful, navy-inspired Wild Indigo shade. ($16 at Aveda salons, spas, stores and at Aveda.com)
A sexy, red lip color like Laura Mercier's Rouge Nouveau Mink is an evening essential. You'll have fun with this tawny, matte red because, although right on trend, it's not overpowering. Plus, this wax-free finishing touch glides on evenly, feels completely comfortable and has staying power.
As a rule, I normally apply a balm before using any lip color but that's not necessary with this fab, hydrating formula. Packed with vitamin E and a breathable film that locks in moisture, it conditions and colors all in one step.
Not ready for red? There are 14 other Rouge Nouveau shades with a big color payoff. ($24 at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Lauramercier.com.)
We'd like to shout out a big "Thank You" to the brands in this post
for providing free samples for review and testing.
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