The 89th Academy Awards are Sunday. Roll out the red carpets!
Even if, like me, you've seen very few of the nominated films (Moana was fabulous, says this mom of young children), the dresses! the glitz! make the Oscars an event worthy of getting glammed up.
Here's how to get yourself va-va-voomed -- if not for the Oscars, then for your next big night out.
Carve out those cheekbones. The secret to looking like you have perfect bone structure is contouring. Use a dense, flat brush (try the e.l.f. Contouring Brush, $5.99 at Target) to apply a cool-toned powder (try the one from the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette, $46 at Sephora) to the hollow of your cheek. (Don’t have a hollow? Use the powder to fake one where you’d like one to slim the face.) The faux shadow will create the illusion of jutting cheekbones.
Highlight to high heaven. Turn up the glow and the wow factor with a serious highlighter like the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter ($38 at Sephora). This highlighter will make your skin shine, and comes in a shade range that will have you glowing no matter your skin tone. Dust it across your cheekbones, upper lip, and the tip of your nose.
Define the brows. Bold brows frame the face, but many of us (guilty) overplucked in years past, leaving less brow than we’d like. Fill in sparse areas with a pencil (try the NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil, $9.99 at Ulta), and finish with a tinted brow gel (NYX Cosmetics Tinted Brow Mascara, $6.99 at Ulta) to hold things in place and add a little extra color.
Smoke, smoke, smoke. A smoky eye is the little black dress of evening eye makeup. Grab the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette ($54 at Sephora), which includes a step-by-step color-placement guide, and blend blend blend. Use the included brush and go back and forth in windshield-wiper motions in the crease of your eyelid until you think your arm may fall off, and then blend for another minute more. Your reward for all that effort? That perfectly effortless look.
Put on a pout-plumping gloss. A nude gloss in a plumping formula is always a winner. Try the Buxom Full-On Lip Polish ($20 at Sephora) in Bunny, a universally flattering peach. The Buxom formula has a tingling effect that really will make your pout appear plumper.
Lock it in. Finish with a setting spray to ensure your Oscar effort isn’t wasted. Spritz on NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray ($7.99 at Ulta) to keep your look red-carpet ready all night long.
Look for full coverage of the 89th Academy Awards on philly.com and in Monday’s Inquirer.Alison Smith treats life like a red carpet. Got a burning beauty question? Email email@example.com.