Easy Beauty Makeovers

A milestone birthday party. A wedding. A school reunion. Events like these (or any other where you’ll be photographed or come face to face with people whose opinion you value) require a take-no-chances plan for looking as great as possible. So we asked hair, skin and makeup pros to devise prepping strategies for four timelines: six months, six weeks, six days—or (silent scream) tonight. The goal?  Whether you have months or mere hours to get ready, you will look amazing

by Jennifer Laing
Photograph: By Gentl & Hyers

Your makeup
It’s a bit early to decide on cosmetic specifics, especially if you’re working to improve your complexion (which may mean you need less makeup down the road). But if you think you may want to hire a professional for the day of the event or just for learning some application tricks, begin looking for the right one now, says Sonia Kashuk, celebrity makeup artist and creator of an eponymous makeup line sold at Target. Where to start? Get referrals from friends and your hairstylist. Then meet with a few artists and ask to see photos of their work to make sure their aesthetic suits yours. You can also head to your favorite makeup brand’s beauty counter. Most offer free makeovers, which is a great way to test the products and possibly find an artist you trust. And since you have time to tackle major issues, consider your eyelashes. If you’ve noticed they’re getting sparser, think about beginning a course of lash-growth-accelerating Latisse (available only by prescription); it gives full results in 16 weeks. A nonprescription option is Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For Platinum eyelash treatment ($125; sephora.com), a lash conditioner shown to boost growth. Finally, if you’ve never had a makeup artist or brow specialist shape your eyebrows, this may be the time. “It can take up to four months to get neglected brows in good shape,” says Robyn Cosio, brow specialist at the Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger salon in New York.

Once you’ve cherry-picked the advice you want to follow for your six-month strategy, stay the course until six weeks before your event. At that point, continue with the following line of attack.

Whether you have been following the six-month strategy or are juststarting, there is still ample time to get your hair and skin in tip-top shape.

Your skin
If you are already investing in injectables (Botox, Restylane or the like)—or you feel ready to take the plunge—now is the time to schedule the appointment, since most injections require one to two weeks to take effect, with results lasting three to six months (for muscle-relaxing Botox or Dysport) or six months or more (for fillers such as Restylane, Juvéderm and Radiesse). “Scheduling a visit now gives you enough time to recover [from any bruising or swelling], evaluate the effects and tweak or top off as necessary,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a dermatologist based in Washington, D.C. Cost: $500 and up per treatment. You may also want to consider splurging on a professional peel ($50 and up) at a doctor’s office or spa to slough off dead skin and reveal a brighter, smoother complexion. This can be done now, and again two weeks before the event. You may lookred and flaky for up to a week post-peel, so plan accordingly. If the in-officeroute doesn’t, ahem, a-peel, give yourself a weekly at-home treatment (six in all) using a kit such as Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Extra-Strength Alpha-Beta Peel ($28 for 10; dgskin​car.com). The peels will reveal fresher, more radiant skin over time, guaranteeing you’ll be glowing by the big day.

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