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 hairHave you booked an appointment with your stylist to test-drive various ’dos? If not, please do so, especially if you’re going for a look that’s different from your everyday one. The condition of your hair is also important now. “Healthy hair reflects more light, and shine is a must-have for those Kodak moments,” says White. Besides the basics, like investing in a good shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair and using a deep conditioner weekly (moisturizing for dry hair, strengthening for weak hair), White suggests adding a water filter to your shower-head to reduce the presence of the shine-zapping chlorine and heavy metals present in most tap water. For your shopping list: Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal 2-Minute Masque ($7; drugstores), for hair that needs moisture; Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment ($31; aveda.com), for strands that seem fragile and breakage-prone; and the Slim-Line Universal Shower Filter ($25; bedbathandbeyond.com), for all hair types. It is also time to get your strands cut in the style you intend to wear for the event. (The week before the date, schedule a clean-up trim to be sure the style looks fresh, but don’t do anything major inside of the six-week mark, advises celebrity stylist Oscar Blandi.) Tip: If you’re interested in adding density or a little length, discuss extension options with a stylist soon. Two popular versions: Bonded extensions (like GreatLengths; hairu​wear.com for salon locations) can take four to six hours to apply and will last up to three months. Cost: $700 to $4,000. A less expensive alternative is long-term, tape-on extensions like Hotheads Hair (800-327-7971 for salon
locations), which can be applied in one to two hours and will last up to eight weeks. Cost: $30 to $1,500.

Your makeup
If you’re planning to hire a makeup artist, schedule a consultation or lesson. If your lashes are looking skimpy (and you aren’t already using a growth-boosting serum like Latisse), you can consider getting lash extensions. “They’re ideal for sprucing up your look for a special occasion and can shave off a few years by creating the illusion of an eye-lift,” says Courtney Akai of Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in New York. You should know in advance, however, that extensions—in which individual synthetic lashes are fused with glue onto your natural lashes—can take one to two hours to apply and will last six to eight weeks. So if you love the effect, plan to schedule a touch-up appointment a week before your event. If you’ve had extensions before and already know that you like them, arrange to have them applied within two weeks of your occasion. To find a salon near you that does lash extensions, go to novalash.com. Cost: $125 and up.

Once you’ve selected some tips from the six-week strategy, you’re in good shape until six days before your event. At that point, transition to the six-day countdown, below.

OK, let’s get down to business. To up the odds that your hair and makeup will look stellar, follow as much of the routine below as you can.

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