Ask Jessica!

Q: I’ve been looking at all of the fashion and beauty magazines, and although I love keeping my look fresh season after season, this fall’s darker eye shadows, lip colors, and nail shades worn all together might be too much for me. How can I stay modern and not appear overdone?

Jessica: You’ve noticed! We’re not seeing that strong eye, light lip/strong lip, light eye that’s been so popular these last few seasons. Stronger, bolder, (dare we say 80’s-inspired?) beauty has come front and center just like its fashion counterpart. But the difference between now and then is “less is more” rather than “more being more.” The textures in traditional face makeup (foundation and powder) are sheerer and more glowing, offering women a more natural-looking finish. Bushy brows have also taken shape to be more beautiful-looking. With two once very strong statements being eliminated from the old beauty equation, we’re already deconstructing the appearance of overdone makeup and paving the way for a fresh, more modern-looking beauty.

To get eyes that stand out without appearing overpowering, take a light color all over the eye from the lash line to the brow bone and apply a medium-toned shade on the lower lid. Instead of going for the gusto and experimenting with a liner as intense as espresso or as dark as chocolate, try to soften it with a simple rich brown shade. Finish with your favorite black or dark brown mascara.

Creating lips that are bold can also be beautiful. Try layering your favorite deep-toned creamy matte lip color with a touch of pretty shimmer by adding a sparkling peach or golden gloss.

And as for this seasons’ ultimate beauty accessory: black nail polish! For most of us this is going to feel like a fashion don’t; but a way to make it more of a do is to take notice that the trend is about, deep, dark shades. Find a favorite fall color and wear it boldly. Blackberry, chocolate cherry, and rich ruby tones all maintain that rich, luxe, look that this style statement is about, without taking you out of your comfort zone.

Q: I don’t like to wear much makeup, but I am comfortable wearing lipstick. How do I go about choosing the right shade for me?

Jessica: The best way to find your perfect lip shade is to look at the existing color already found in your lips. Without wearing any other make-up, experiment at your favorite cosmetics counter and play with a collection of shades. The one that matches your lip color exactly is the perfect shade for you. It will be your go-to color when you’re not wearing any other make-up and will also give your face the lift and strength it needs. Now, if you want to kick it up a notch, find another option or two in that exact same color family. Perhaps you might want to look at a lip gloss with some shimmer or even another lip color that’s slightly deeper for more of an evening look. Forget finding that perfect little black dress — go out and find your perfect lip color instead — it will be less expensive, and you won’t need another pair of shoes to match!

Q: Please help! I’m constantly in the mirror tweezing my brows, trying to find the perfect shape, only to discover that they’re too thin and uneven. Do you have any tips on how to keep sparse brows looking full and nice?

Jessica: Stop, stop, stop. Just stop tweezing. Thick, well-groomed brows that frame your face take time to grow, especially if you’ve overdone it. The best way to make thinner brows fat again is to put down the mirror and to stop touching. Let them grow. Let them get so prickly, you can’t even stand it. Let them appear so patchy it makes you sick. Let them be. And in three months time of not touching (I mean not touching), go to a very reputable salon and let the brow specialist know that you are growing them out. She’ll happily trim, wax, tweeze, or thread the un-necessary strays leaving you with some very pretty arches.

For added pop, take a brow brush and an eye shadow that matches your brow color exactly. Fill in the slight gaps in the brow, making them appear thicker and fuller. Top off with a clear brow gel to keep those perfect brows in perfect shape.

P.S. Don’t forget to visit your brow specialist every month, and only use your tweezers for the “occasional” stray hair.

Comment: I just wanted to say thank you! I really enjoyed watching your last segment on "Back-To-School Beauty" with my eighteen-year-old daughter. She’s going into her freshman year of college, and together we agreed on all of the make-up choices that you selected. It’s not often that young women share with other young women that “looking simple is looking smart.” We’re bombarded with images in the media that you need to look sexy and overly made-up in order to look beautiful. I applaud you for encouraging women to enhance their natural beauty by discovering their favorite features as opposed to covering them up. My daughter and I had a great time going make-up shopping before she went off to school…we agreed on everything! Thank you, Jessica.

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