Adding a little more come-hither to your look doesn’t require a lot of time or money. Here are a few new, smoldering ideas.
SWIPE ON RED LIPS
We know what you’re thinking: Red lips are seductive? Shocking. But seriously, they will instantly make you look bold, self-assured, and up for anything. How to be sexy but understated? Keep the rest of your makeup to a minimum and find a shade that works for your skin tone. (L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in British Red for fair skin, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Pure Colour Satiny Radiance Lipstick SPF 15 in 01 for medium, Laura Mercier Crème Lip Colour in Truly Red for darker skin tones.)
BLEND YOUR BLUSH
Nothing hints at infatuation like a natural flush; fortunately, it’s easy to fake. Swirl a combo of pink and peach blush on the apples of your cheeks to create a gorgeous glow. We like M.A.C. Sheertone Blush in Peaches and M.A.C. Powder Blush in Fleur Power.
TRY BRONZE EYES WITH NUDE LIPS
If a winged-out cat-eye isn’t your thing, earth-toned metallic shadows can create an equally dramatic effect. Smudge bronze shadow all over your lids and under your eyes, then add a few coats of mascara and swipe on a nude lip (this was a huge trend on the spring 2012 runways). The finished look is both natural and unexpected. Try CoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast in Brown Bling, CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara, and L’Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge lipstick in Lingering Mocha. (Click here for a list of nude options for all skin tones.)
MAKE YOUR LIPS SHINE
Natural lips are by far the most kissable—and a hint of shine just draws attention to that fact. Apply a lipstick that matches your natural lip color, then go over it with a generous layer of clear balm or gloss. Try Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Lip Gloss.
Sun-kissed skin is warm, fresh, and healthy-looking. But don’t overdo it: The most believable hue will be about one shade darker than your natural skin tone. Guerlain has a wide range of powder bronzers to choose from, like its Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 01.
TRY FALSE LASHES
Guess what: False lashes aren’t the ordeal you might imagine them to be. Get a longer-looking set by adding individual clusters to the outermost corners of your eyes. We suggest Ardell Duralash Lashes.
GLITTER YOUR LIDS
They might sound like a school art project, but when done correctly, glittery eyes are glamorous and fun. Choose a shade of loose glitter that matches your favorite shadow and tap it lightly onto the tops of your lids. It’ll make them sparkle, but since it’s the same color as the rest of your makeup, it won’t look too flashy. A good loose glitter to try with a range of shades: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Glitter.
DRAW THE LINE
Sounds basic, but when the rest of the face is bare, expertly applied black liner draws just the right amount of attention. Make sure the pencil is extra sharp and draw your line as close to your lashes as possible. We like CoverGirl LiquilineBlast Eyeliner Pencil in Blackfire.
This was another major trend on the spring 2012 runways, specifically at Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Haider Ackermann (shown here). Dab a bit of clear gloss or moisturizer on your eye after applying shadow—the result will be a futuristic effect that’s chic and a little provocative. We like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant.