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Look Pretty and Polished: 7 Makeup Essentials

You're busy—we get it! Nobody (not even a gorgeous model) wakes up looking this perfect. But that doesn't mean you can't look totally put together despite your jam-packed schedule. Our seven simple tweaks will upgrade your grooming game, for good!
Give Your Skin Some Glow
Keep Your Nails Clean and Neat
Get a Regular Trim
Wear Black Mascara
Put On Lipstick
Define Your Brows
Whiten Your Teeth
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Give Your Skin Some Glow

You know how Jennifer Aniston's skin always looks so healthy and natural? Channel her glow with a brightening moisturizer or a CC (color correcting) cream that combines sunscreen, light coverage, and anti-aging ingredients in one tube.

Try Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30, $17, or Revlon Age Defying CC Cream, $14.

Keep Your Nails Clean and Neat

Nothing screams "I don't care" like a chipped old manicure or scruffy nails. Take a few minutes each week to file, buff, and apply oil to your cuticles.

If you've got time for polish, pick a neutral, slightly milky shade or one with a subtle shimmer. "A little opacity hides any nail imperfections and makes you look more groomed," says Michelle Saunders, an L.A.-based celebrity manicurist.

Try Essie Cocktails & Coconuts, $8.50; Butter London Trout Pout, $15; Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Sweet Tooth, $12.50; Deborah Lippmann La Vie En Rose, $18; and Jin Soon Dolly Pink, $18.

 

Check out how to make your nailpolish last longer.

Get a Regular Trim

Never underestimate the power of a great, well-maintained hairstyle (think Kate Middleton and Kerry Washington). Find a cut—and products—that work for you and then make a standing six-week date with your stylist to keep it in shape.

"Scraggly ends and overgrown layers not only look bad, but they also usually lead to more damage since you need to spend more time with a blow dryer or flatiron," says Tommy Buckett, Garnier Fructis celebrity stylist.

Wear Black Mascara

Mascara is a must every single day, even if you don't have the energy to put on any other eye makeup. "Mascara makes you look more perky and pulled together, period," says Amanda Shackleton, a celebrity makeup artist based in New York City. For the maximum pop, use a lash curler to give your fringe extra lift and apply a few coats of a glossy, thickening mascara.

Try CoverGirl LashBlast Bombshell Volume mascara, $12.00, or L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Mascara, $8.

 

Put On Lipstick

Swiping color on your lips takes practically no effort and has a huge payoff. "Lipstick brightens up your face and gives you a finished look in five seconds," says Shackleton. Pick a neutral shade that's slightly bolder than your natural lip color—you'll be able to apply it without a mirror. (And don't forget to reapply after lunch.)

Try Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick in Rosy Shimmer, $25; Avon Ultra Color Absolute Lipstick in tender mauve, $9; and Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in intense nude, $30.

Define Your Brows

Well-groomed arches are always on trend. "You need to keep the shape balanced and the arch soft and clean," says Sania Vucetaj, owner of Sania's Brow Bar, in New York City. Trim and pluck carefully, then use a pencil each morning to fill in brows and add definition. Try Pixi Natural Brow Duo, $16.

Whiten Your Teeth

Let's face it, yellow teeth aren't pretty (and they make you look older), so this is an easy fix that's well worth the effort. Professional bleaching services at the dentist run $250 to $1,000, but you can also get good results from at-home strips.

"They're safe, effective, and contain a milder version of what we use in the office so your teeth can get about six shades lighter," says Emanuel Layliev, DDS, director of New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry.

Try Crest 3D White Whitestrips Luxe Supreme FlexFit, $65 for kit.

 

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