Sunday, October 5, 2008

Give Yourself a Makeover in 10 Minutes or Less

Why should looking fabulous take so much time and effort? Here, the busy girl's guide to looking good in a flash.

1. Create Dangerous Curves
Time: 2 minutes

Wish your peaches were more like melons? Super-model Elle Macpherson, creative director of Elle Macpherson Intimates, has some suggestions.

Maximize Cleavage
Invest in a contour bra. She recommends choosing one that has thin padding, provides upward support and doesn't have unnecessary fabric, which can add bulges under clothes. And make sure the bra fits. "A bra that is too small or too tight creates unflattering lines around the back, under the arms and on top of the bust," says Macpherson.

Get a Great Backside
Her solution for adding instant curves to your bottom half: Wear boy-leg undies. "They sit low on the hips and have more fabric to cover the upper thighs," says Macpherson. This will enhance narrow hips and create a tighter-looking, more rounded derrière.

2. Fake a French Manicure
Time: 5 minutes

Manicurist Lisa Postma may spend an hour polishing clients like Katherine Heigl, but when it comes to her own nails, she's snappier. She massages cuticle oil onto her nail beds to camouflage dry skin before running a white nail pencil under the rims of her nails. "I look like I have a French manicure," she says.

3. Score Saucer-Size Eyes
7 minutes

Wide eyes can make you look younger, more energetic and even more approachable. To get them, celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who works with Jennifer Aniston, Kate Bosworth and Drew Barrymore, swears by this trick:

  • Use short, individual lashes rather than full strips -- they look much more realistic.
  • Instead of attaching them at the outer corners, place the lash clusters in the center of the top lids. "This will open your eyes up amazingly," she says.
  • Apply two coats of mascara, then glue on the faux lashes one at a time. "Don't curl them afterward, or there's a chance they'll break off," she cautions.

4. Feign Sculpted Arms
Time: 4 minutes

"Make like models at a photo shoot. Do three sets of 10 push-ups and rest 60 seconds between each set. This increases blood flow so your arms appear firmer and tighter temporarily." -- Joe Dowdell, founder and co-owner of NYC's Peak Performance.

5. Log on for Mile-Long Legs
9 minutes

If your parents didn't pass on good genes in the leg department, Scott Morrison, founder of Earnest Sewn, will -- though his specialty is blue jeans. "We pitch our side seams forward to create a narrower front panel, making legs appear leaner and longer," he explains. Log on to and buy yourself a great pair of jeans for your body type.

  • If You're Short: Choose a high-rise style that adds inches to the upper portion of your legs and waist.
  • If You're Curvy: A flare or boot-cut style will balance the proportions of your shape.
  • If You're Petite: Straight- or tapered-leg cuts work best because they can be easily shortened without disrupting the silhouette.
  • If You Have A Boyish Body: Go for tapered, fitted jeans, which accentuate the curves you do have.

6. Get Ultra-Glossy Locks
Time: 10 minutes

If your do is looking dull, amp up the luster with a quick at-home hair glaze, says hairstylist Adir Abergel of Frédéric Fekkai, whose star clients include Jennifer Garner, Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller.

Get Ready
For best results, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo first so it will be primed to soak up the silicone-based treatment.

Get Set
Apply the glaze, let it penetrate your strands for 10 minutes, rinse and voila! "It makes your hair really gleam -- I'm obsessed with it," says Abergel.

7. Look Taller Instantly
Less than a minute

Your mom was right -- hunching over makes you look schlumpy. "When you see someone who has good posture, you take notice," says trainer Dowdell. The easiest (and fastest) way to improve the appearance of your entire body: practice perfect carriage. "Standing up straight makes you appear both taller and slimmer." And it isn't that hard to maintain all day long. "Be conscious of keeping your shoulder blades back and drawing your belly button in," he says.

8. Achieve Insta-Zen
7 minutes

A quick meditation session can cause a stressed-out brain to do a U-turn. Not only will you feel the benefits on the inside but you'll look more relaxed too.

  1. Sit up tall at the edge of a chair and situate your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Place your hands on your thighs, palms facing down, and close your eyes.
  3. Inhale and exhale deeply while mentally repeating the phrases: "Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile." Allow yourself to smile if it feels natural.
  4. After about six minutes, let go of the phrases and observe your breath for a minute until you bring yourself back to reality -- but with a positive attitude. -- Jason Brown, instructor at Pure Yoga, where Kate Beckinsale blisses out.

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