Puttin' on the Glitz

12 ways to get head-to-toe glamour in a hurry.

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on April 30, 2007
7 min read

Cooking. Cleaning. Errands. Kids. We already have too much to do in aday. As if that were not enough, we're also expected to look spectacular forany socializing that goes on.

If glamming it up seems way too time-consuming for your busy life, takeheart. Fashion and beauty experts who spoke to WebMD shared 12 tricks of thetrade that can help you put on the glitz in record time.

1. Luscious lips. Among the most popular tricks of theglamour trade: Red lipstick for instant pizzazz. "If you wear a red lipcolor, you instantly signal 'glamour' -- even if you're wearing the simplestoutfit," says Cheryl Kramer, beauty director for RedbookMagazine.

If you're thinking "oh no, not on me," Kramer says it's true -- notevery woman can wear the classic matte red. But, she says, most of us can findat least a couple of shades of glossy red that look great.

Still not convinced? Makeup artist Craig Jessup suggests wearing acaramel-color "nude" lipstick topped with a bright berry gloss for alook that is both festive and trendy.

"When choosing a gloss, look for a fine grade of pearl pigment -- onethat contains glitter, but ground very fine so that you don't actually see anyparticles. Then the look is just one of intense wetness and shine," saysJessup, resident makeup artist for the Kevyn Aucoin line of beautyproducts.

2. Maximum mascara. If you're going from a day at theoffice to night at the office party, take a tip from the stars and punch upyour look with extra mascara, says Carol Straley, beauty director of the newbeauty, fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle magazine Life and StyleWeekly.

"Most women only wear one coat of mascara, but if you put on a second orthird coat at end of the day -- concentrating on the outer edges, and makingsure to coat your lower lashes -- that definitely adds drama to your look,"Straley tells WebMD.

3. The smoky eye. If you have a few more minutes to spare,experts say the celebrity nighttime look of the moment is a smoldering, smokyeye -- and it's easier to achieve than you might think.

"The trick here is to use a very soft kohl pencil, in black for a reallydramatic look or brown for a slightly less edgy look, and outline the wholeeye," says Patty Bunch, makeup artist on the NBC TV show Will andGrace and spokeswoman for Cargo Cosmetics.

To get it right, gently lift your upper lid and use the pencil to darken therim just under your natural lash line. Then, bring the pencil down and aroundto the inside rim of your lower lash line. If you have a few seconds more,finish the look by smudging brown or grey shadow on the lid and just under thelower lash line.

Because lining the rims of the eye can be tricky -- and could make your eyeswater -- Bunch advises practicing before the big night. If you can't get thehang of it, she says, use the kohl pencil on the top of the lid only (like aliner), then smudge the brown or grey shadow under your lower lashes. You canalso soften the whole look by dusting the eye area with a shimmering goldpowder.

4. Lash out. Jessup says he gives even more allure to manya celebrity gaze by adding false lashes. While the look can easily cross theline from glitzy to ghastly, Jessup says this won't happen if you follow a fewsimple rules.

"Always buy lashes with an invisible strip, and do bypass the heavylayers of fringe and go for the sparse, separated styles instead," Jessuptells WebMD.

The trick to applying them: Choose a glue that dries clear, and don't usemore than a very thin line spread along the base of the false lashes. Let setfor 30 seconds, then gently press the strip as close to your natural lash lineas possible. "Put a coat of mascara on first, then the lashes, then anothercoat of mascara for a natural but yet full and lush look," says Jessup.

5. Let it shine. If you're looking to add shine to yourlook, nothing does it better than the new array of shimmer products, includingfoundations, blushes, eye shadows, and lip glosses.

To get it right, however, heed Kramer's golden rule of glitter glamour:"You don't ever want to wear shimmer or glimmer products on more than twoareas of your face," she says. "Don't use shimmer foundation and thenshimmer eye shadow and blush and lip gloss all at once." Instead, chooseone or two features you want to play up and apply the shine there.

"Anything beyond that and the look becomes 'Tinkerbell'," shesays.

Straley agrees: 'If you highlight your brow bone and put some sparkly glosson your lips, don't put any on your cheeks. If you wear a shimmery blush, do amatte eye with soft colors, and a sheer or neutral and not a bright redlip."

For shimmer with a minimum of fuss, she says, simply use your regulardaytime makeup, then lightly dust your whole face with a pale, shimmering, goldor silver powder.

6. Down with dark circles. To bring light to your facewithout glitter, use concealer, Jessup says. This is especially importantduring the holiday season, when too much eggnog and too little sleep can leaveus with dark, aging under-eye circles. The trick to making your eyes pop:Choose a concealer in the same shade as your foundation -- or even one or twoshades darker.

"Somewhere along the line, a trend started that involved the use of verylight concealer around the eyes," says Jessup, "but all that does ismake puffy tired eyes look puffier and more tired, by drawing attention tothem."

To do it right, apply a darker concealer to puffy areas to reduce theirappearance, then use a concealer in the same shade as your foundation to blendin the darker circles.

Dressing the Part

Of course, once you're made up to perfection, you've still got one morething on your to-do list: getting dressed. But if you follow a few rules ofclassic style, it's easy to look chic quick -- even if you've got a few poundsto lose.

7. From basic to beautiful. Tall or short, fat or thin, allour experts say nothing is safer -- or more glamorous -- than the little blackdress. But to turn it into a festive fashion statement, fashionistas say, turnto "of the moment" accessories. Among the biggest trends this year areshort capes, shrugs, and evening wraps in faux fur, velvet, and sparklyknits.

"Not only are they instant 'now', but they can also cover up manytrouble spots, like upper arms, or even a bulging midriff," says NathanCooper, executive editor of Life and Style Weekly.

The only caveat for wearing these shoulder-covering wraps, he says, is tokeep your skirt narrow rather than full to get a balanced look.

8. Accentuate the positive. If you want to detract fromfigure flaws, Kramer says, be sure to choose clothing that plays up yourassets.

"If you have great shoulders, choose an off-the-shoulder style; ifyou're got great legs, choose a short red skirt, but wear it with a black topto help detract from your hips or tummy area," says Kramer.

The eye always goes straight to color, Kramer says, so use it to bringattention where you want it.

9. The power of the pin. Cooper suggests pulling the sametomfoolery with jewelry, using the new brooch/pin sensation not only to focusattention where you want it, but to add a quick hit of glamour to anyoutfit.

"If you're in your office wearing a dark suit, just pin on a couple ofvery sparkly brooches and you can make your outfit cocktail-ready in notime," he says. He advises bypassing the standard one-pin-on-the-lapellook, and instead opting for a cluster of three -- two smaller pins and onedominant one nearer the shoulder.

"Or try them in unexpected places like at your waist, where the pincovers a belt buckle, or use it to close a cardigan or to give a new look to aplain black silk clutch bag," says Cooper.

A favorite evening look for Kramer is to pin the brooch in your hair."Just close and lock the pin, slip in a bobby pin, and slide it in whereyou want the sparkle and shine," she says.

She advises keeping your holiday hairstyle simple, concentrating more onshiny, sleek tresses than oversized up-dos.

10. The joy of jewelry. If pins are not your thing, Coopersays another hot jewelry choice this year is the classic strand of pearls.

"We're seeing a lot of pearls on celebrities again, from dark grey orblack pearls to classic white or champagne, in all lengths," says Cooper."A lot of young celebrities are embracing this '50s classic look, and it'svery chic and very now."

And still important this season: chandelier earrings. Kramer says they addglamour to any outfit. But do pair them with a simple, small necklace, or nonecklace at all.

11. Fancy footwork. Nothing says sexy more than a greatpair of stilettos. Add them to any outfit and voila, you're dressed up! Butbeing fashionable doesn't have to mean being uncomfortable.

Experts say you can avoid some of the pain of wearing high heels --particularly those sexy, strappy sandals that can cut into feet -- with"Glide," a lubricant used by bikers and runners to avoid chafing.Applied on the instep, toes and heels, it can help you dance the night awaymore comfortably, Kramer says.

For style that is both glamorous and comfortable, don't overlook this year'ssexy ballerina flat or jeweled velvet low-heeled mule, Cooper says.

No glitzy shoes in your closet? Cooper suggests dressing up simple blackpumps with buckles in rhinestone or velvet.

And, he says, do opt for a pair of fancy hose. A light texture with a lacyor fishnet pattern in black or a dark smoky grey adds glamour andup-to-the-minute style to that little black dress.

12. A fragrant finale. For a finishing touch that sends youout the door in a totally glamorous state of mind, nothing does it better thana whoosh of nighttime fragrance.

"You even walk different when you know you smell irresistible,"Straley says. "A fragrance can not only make you feel more glamorous, it'sthe quickest way to convey the glamour signal to everyone around you,regardless of what you're wearing."