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Get a New Look for the New Year

A do-it-yourself makeover will help you face 2006 with style - and without breaking the bank

WebMD Feature

It's a new year, a chance for a new start, and what better way to face it than with a brand-new look?

While you may not be ready to commit to (or be able to afford) a full-fledged professional makeover, experts say, you can still recharge your spirits with a new look. And with simpler, more natural clothes and makeup in style, it won't break your budget.

"While you may be longing for an expensive head-to-toe makeover ... what you may really need is a makeunder -- a way of letting go of some dated, old-fashioned looks to let a more natural new you shine through," says Wendy Karcher, makeup artist for Make Up Forever, a professional line of cosmetic products.

The trick is to pare down your product inventory for a look that says "less is more."

"We've said goodbye to the metallics and the heavy makeup," says Karcher. "Now it's all about individual beauty."

Fashion expert Michele Weston agrees: "In the fashion world as well as in the beauty world, we are going towards more natural influences in 2006 -- that glittery, sparkly, sequin look of last year is going to be replaced with more natural elements like wooden beads and lots of shell decorations on clothes. The look is definitely more earth mother and less disco doll."

Makeup: Less Is More

Although many of the newest foundations and powders are lighter and more natural-looking, experts say you can achieve a similar look with items you already own -- just use them sparingly.

"Foundations no longer have to cover your whole face," says Karcher. "You should only use it on the areas where you have something to conceal."

The key to getting that natural look, she says, is to blend well, then skip the powder puff. Instead, use a brush to lightly dust your skin with loose powder.

"If you need to touch up during the day, never apply powder directly on top of powder," says Karcher. "Instead, use a blotting paper to remove excess oil, then touch up with pressed powder." This will keep you from developing a "pasty" look that is both aging and outdated.

When it comes to updating your eye makeup, leave the complicated four-color shadow kits in the drawer. The look going forward in 2006: A single color on the lid, one that is lighter and less intense than in recent years.

"The newest shades are brighter and fresher, like pale citrus greens, frosted sherbet colors, and crystal tints of pale aqua or coral," says Karcher.

To further soften your look, toss the heavy, voluminous mascara that gives you that clumpy "false lash" look. In its place: Long, sweeping lashes that are separated and well-defined. And, says Karcher, be sure to curl, curl, curl those lashes, using one coat of waterproof mascara to lock in the look.

Brush Up on Beauty

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