- Smoky eyes
Give eye makeup a bedroom-y kind of sex appeal by working in layers and smudging it along the way. First up, creamy black pencil—wedged into the upper and lower lashes and softened by gently rubbing with your finger or cotton swab. Trace over that with black shadow and smudge with the swab. Then sweep shimmery gray shadow over the upper lids and blend it up beyond the crease (the more tangled it is with the black, the better).
- Glossy nude lips
There’s no simpler way to get a sex-kittenish pout. Choose a nude that’s slightly pink or flecked with shimmer (they’re the most flattering), and concentrate the gloss on the center of the lips (that’s the most fattening).
- Dewy skin
Fake a glow with powder highlighter: a champagne shade if you have fair skin, a golden tone for medium or olive skin, or copper for dark skin. Dust it over your cheekbones, then dab some at the inner corners of your eyes, on the centers of your lids, and on the bow of your lips.
- Red lips
The trick here is to pick a formula that looks moist (that’s sexy), but not superglossy (that can verge into slutty territory). Look for lipsticks with “moisturizing,” “creamy,” or “butter” in their names, and select one that has a little brown in it.
- Gold shadow
The key to making eyes glisten with gold: Choose a shimmery shade, and don’t be skimpy with it. Spread a layer or two of gold over the lids and up beyond the creases, and don’t forget to dab some at the inner corners of the eyes. When it comes to adding liner to the look, a smudgy chocolate brown looks way better than your usual black.
- Full lashes
Create the effect of huge doe eyes by gluing on a few clusters of fake lashes before you layer on the mascara. Grab each cluster at its base with tweezers, dip the root in glue, wedge it into the outer corner of the upper lash line, and hold it in place for 15 seconds so it stays put.
- Flushed cheeks
We all know what a vibrant pink glow evokes. What we don’t all know is how to duplicate one believably: First, brighten skin all over with a slightly shimmery foundation—you can make it yourself by adding a few drops of liquid bronzer to your normal base. Then rub rosy cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend it back along your cheekbones using a few fingers—the heat of that skin-on-skin contact will cause the blush to melt beautifully.
- Rose-bitten lips
Give lips a juicy, just-been-kissed look by dabbing them with sheer strawberry-colored lipstick or balm. Concentrate the color in the middle of the mouth and blend outward—that gives the most natural effect.
- Strong brows
Think Brooke Shields next time you tweeze your brows. Pull out only the strays that fall well outside your brow line, and then get to work filling with brow pencil and powder. The pencil is for bald spots: Use short, light strokes to draw in missing hairs. The powder is to make brows look thicker: Load some on an angled brush and gently stroke through the entire brow. Finish by running a spooley brush through to blend all your handiwork.
- Kohl-rimmed eyes
It’s the signature look of vixens and rock goddesses—and all it takes is black liner and some subtle blending.
- Choose a waterproof pencil, so you can darken even the inner rims. Run the liner just inside the upper lids, then close your eyes tightly—this will smudge just the right amount of liner on the inner lids on the bottom.
- Trace the upper and lower lashes with more black liner, and don’t worry about neatness—your mistakes will disappear once you start blending.
- Smudge the pencil outward with a dense eye-shadow brush or sponge—softening all that black liner will create the illusion of larger, deeper-set eyes.
- Bronzed skin
The first trick to using bronzer: Choose powder (it’s actually easier to apply than cream), and be sure the shade is more golden than brown and without a speck of shimmer. Second trick: Swirl the brush not just over your cheeks, but along your hairline and jawline and down the bridge of the nose. Make it look authentic by topping it with rosy blush on the apples of the cheeks.
- Winged liner
Flicking liner just past the corners of your eyes creates a flirty effect. For the least theatrical take on the look, extend the line just a quarter inch past the corners and give it a soft curve upward.
- Soft peach makeup
Peach may not spring to mind when you think “sexy,” but consider this: It combines the warmth of bronzer with all the innocence and ease of pink. The best peach shades have hints of pink (when you’re talking lipstick and blush) or tones of brown (for eye shadow).
- Contoured cheeks
If you weren’t born with sculpted cheeks, you can paint them on (trust us, you won’t look like a Falcon Crest throwback). First, sweep a matte powder blush under your cheekbones. (Suck in your cheeks to find the spot we’re talking about.) If you’re fair, use a soft beige blush; for medium skin, try a bronze shade; on dark skin, go with a brown one. Then, blend a powder highlighter along your cheekbones—pick one that nearly matches your natural skin tone.
- Shimmery brown shadow
Blended along the lids and under the lower lashes, this spicy shade adds just enough color to enhance eyes, without screaming “I’m wearing makeup.” Stick with warm shades—think anything in the toffee, caramel, or tobacco families. For night, brush the color over the lids and up above the creases of the eyes.