Ten ways to look fabulous fast!

You don't have to stand on your head, but a few minutes of inversion works wonders! Photo: Jenna LefkfoffDo you feel less than fabulous? Have busy days, stress, and a hectic lifestyle left you with no time to be glamorous? Well darlings, help is here. Just in time for the holidays, here are 10 fast ways to look fabulous. They really work and won’t break the bank or take more than a few minutes. So no more excuses, it is time to look and feel fabulous. You deserve nothing less!

Wash your face
Cleaning your face is a quick pick me up. Removing grime and old makeup makes you look and feel fresh.  If you are in a hurry, use a clean washcloth or a cleansing wipe so you can leave eye makeup untouched. If you have a few more minutes, indulge in a refreshing mask to refine and moisturize your skin. You look like you’ve been to the spa!
Try Olay Daily Facials Express Wet Cleansing Cloths or L’Oreal RevitaLift Radiant Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes.
Elizabeth Grant’s Cucumber Gel Mask contains soothing botanical extracts of cucumber as well Elizabeth Grant’s anti-aging ingredient Torricelumn. I love this soothing and calming mask; it leaves my skin soft, refreshed, and dewy. 
Avène Cleanance Mask helps oily skin look fresh and clear without over-drying it. It contains Avène thermal spring water to soothe skin, botanicals to help regulate skin, zinc to purify, salicylic acid to exfoliate, and kaolin clay to absorb oil and impurities.
Also available in better pharmacies in Canada as well as dermatologists everywhere.
Single treatment Balea masks from Germany and Me-time-treats by Montagne Jeunesse are two of my favourite little indulgences. They are designed as single treatment masques or scrubs, but there is enough in one packet to share with a friend or daughter. Balea masks are found at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada and Me-treats can be found online and in many pharmacies. Both sell for about $2 per envelope.
Take a tip from the yogis and stars of the silver screen and reverse your blood flow for a few minutes. Lie down and rest your legs against a wall and rejuvenate. This is a good time to put a mask on your face.
Fluff your hair
A quick spritz of instant shampoo can perk up tired tresses. If you have a few minutes more, mist your hair with plain water and blow it back into shape. You don’t need more product in your hair; the water and the heat from the dryer will reactivate whatever you used when you originally styled your hair. Add more and your hair may become gummy or greasy looking.
If you like lots of volume, invest in electric rollers; they are the pro’s secret weapon for reviving flat hair.
René Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo is my favourite dry shampoo. Some dry shampoos make hair look good, but your hair still feels grotty. Naturia leaves hair feeling fresh to the roots! Also, try it for any style, if you have hair that collapses. It really does give very fine hair extra staying power.
Add a touch of blush to look fresh and fabulous. Blush lights up your face. Choose a blush to look more luminous and powder blush for dry skin. Get your blush on, darlings!
Here are few of our universally flattering favourites: La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Plum Glow. CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush in Royal Plum. A pretty golden bronze on your cheekbones will light up your face too. One of the prettiest powder blushes we have found is a warm golden rose by Chanel in Orchid Rose.
Whiten your teeth
There are few things more appealing than a bright, white smile. Whiten your teeth with Crest Whitestrips. They are fast, easy, safe and economical. Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips gives you a noticeably whiter smile in just two hours. I love this product because it works!
I also like Colgate Optic White toothpaste. It contains hydrogen peroxide, the ingredient in whitening strips and whitening mouthwash, and silica, to polish teeth.
Highlight your best features
A touch of highlighter can make you look glam in seconds. Add a touch of highlighter to the inner corners of your eyes or on the top of your brows to play up your eyes. Sweep a hint of “light” on the top of your cheekbones or around the bow of your lips. This how the stars get their glam glow. We love Benefit’s High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer. The shimmery pink liquid is a favourite of makeup artists. We know why – it’s magic.
You can add fresh eyeliner over your existing eye makeup to freshen it up and add drama for evening. Liquid liner can make it pop. Pencil liner is easier to smudge for a smoky look.
For evening try metallic eyeliner. DolceDolce’s Anne Gravel and I are crazy about L’Oreal HiP Color Chrome Eyeliner. We wear it over our regular black matte eyeliner. Anne, who has blue eyes, wears the Silver Lightning. I have brown eyes and wear both the Silver Lightning and Gold Charge.  Ladies who prefer like a less dramatic look may prefer to try Violet Volt or Black Shock Chrome liner. The elegant new Limited-Edition Mary Kay Redefining Elegance Luxury Liner in the slim gold tube has a built-in brush that makes application a snap. You can even draw a thin line of liner close to the lashes.
Play up your lips
If you are really rushed you need nothing more than mascara and red lipstick to look polished.  If red is not your style, then go pale and glossy. The best nudes always have a pink or peach undertone.
Sonia Kashuk’s Matte Lip Crayon in Berry Nude are big crayons that go on fast and stay on. You can buy pricier versions, but I love these for under $10.
Berry Nude is an easy red to wear.  It is clear and soft. Find it at Target stores for less than $8. There is also a pretty pink nude. These crayons are a foolproof fast way to wear red lipstick.
Another trick for quick red lips is to find a flattering red lip liner. Use it to line and fill your lips. Blot and top with balm or gloss. This pro trick also works well with a nude liner, and often looks less flat than many nude lip shades.
Wear colour
Ditch the black and grey! A dress or top in a pretty flattering colour will light up your face and make you look fabulous. Try it.

The foundation report – find a fabulous foundation

Skin like a gardenia petalSummer might seem like a strange time to write about foundation, but it’s really not. Foundation can make your skin look fabulous in summer’s unforgiving light, especially when you learn to pick the perfect shade for your skin and how to apply it. 
Never apply foundation to your entire face. Put it only where you need it; where you have shadows, redness, or other slight blemishes. Never follow the advice of some experts and apply foundation down to your collar. You will only stain your clothes. Some women have more colour on their faces than on their necks and décolleté. If this is your issue you will need to use a slightly yellower foundation to tone down the redness. Some experts use a green or mauve colour corrector under foundation for this problem. But most women find this too much trouble — and too heavy for every day. If you can not figure out the colour, go to department store. Or use a line the labels colours cool and warm. L’Oreal True Match is a drugstore line that does this. The warm tone will usually cover red best, but check the shade on your own skin. The best place to match your foundation is along your jaw bone. Always check the match in daylight. If you can not test the colour directly on your skin – as in a drugstore – walk to window with the tester or package. In a department store, apply the colour to your skin and go outside.
Buying online is tricky, but they offer help online and accept returns. Also never buy make-up any place that does not offer a full return policy with the package and sale slip, after you try it. Too many women think they can not return a product after they try it. That is the point of the policy, to be able to try it!
The new foundations can also make your skin look more luminous and brighter. They also add a layer of protection between your skin and aging rays of the sun, and damaging free radicals from pollution. And unless you are in clean country air, foundation acts as a barrier between your skin and dirty city air. It will not clog your pores as some old fashioned and misguided thinkers would have you believe.
One of my mentors, now in her 80’s, has fabulous skin. She credits it in part to always having worn foundation.
In the past year we have tested many different foundations to find the very best. They have been tried by our DolceDolceteam who ranges in age from 16 to 70-plus. I have personally tried them all.
I have divided them in to three categories: department store luxe, boutique, and drugstore. Don’t assume that the more expensive foundations are the best; all the products we are going to mention here are fabulous in some way. We have decided not to waste space on products we didn’t like. Also do not expect our list to match any "reader’s best or reader’s choice" you may find in other magazines. Those lists are good, but many readers use the first or second foundation they buy. We used exacting criteria for appearance, feel, and value.
Foundation often looks better when worn over primer or moisturizer. However, in the daytime it can be too heavy to add a primer over sun block, and the SPF 15 in foundation is not strong enough for outside wear! (Manufacturers please note, higher SPF please!) All of our foundations look good over sun block alone. A couple of the best foundation primers we have tried are: Laura Mercier Flawless Face Oil-Free Primer and Bioelements Oxygen Cocktail. Both of these products are good value and very hydrating. Oxygen Cocktail is not actually a primer but super-hydrating under make-up and used as one by make-up artists. A little goes a long way.
When it comes to luxurious department store foundations, Chanel Pro Lumiere Professional Finish Make-up is one of the best. The texture is gorgeous as is the finish. The shades are fabulous too. They are not too yellow or pink. This a pricey foundation at $54 US and $68 CND, but a little goes along way. It is essential to apply it with a light hand. I adore this foundation as it covers small flaws, but does not look heavy. It stays in place for hours. Make-up artists love it too. They also love its new incarnation Chanel Lift Lumiere. This foundation has special polymers to lift and tighten” but is basically a dewier version of demi-mat Pro-Lumiere.
Chanel foundation is definitely the crème de la crème of department store foundation. The coverage and the finish are superb. Their cream foundation Teint Innocence is also very soft and provides good coverage.
Other big make-up companies make very good foundations. Our goal was to find the best. We found Chanel has the edge with texture, shades, and overall appearance. There are new and interesting products made by smaller make-up companies sold in smaller exclusive smaller department stores and at beauty boutiques such as Ulta. But as they are not easy for all our reader to find and try, we did not include them in our report.
In the boutique or smaller online category there were two clear winners: Motives by Loren Ridigner Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation and Redpoint Transformative Dual foundation.
Motives by Loren Ridigner Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation is an all-in-one product containing primer, antioxidants, foundation and power, all in one tube. I am crazy about this foundation. It feels weightless and makes my skin look luminous and flawless. It has an SPF of 15, but I wear it over sun block as SPF is inadequate for anything but indoor wear. It is nice not to bother with a primer and still have the make-up go on smooth as glass. Every time I wear this, people tell me I look fabulous. At just under $25 this is good value for money.
Redpoint Transformative Dual Foundation comes with two blendable shades that create the shade you need or can be used to highlight and conceal certain areas of the face. It contains a peptide blend and light diffusing pigments that combine to help fill in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so skin looks and feels more youthful. The make-up glides on and is light as a feather, but still provides fabulous coverage. At $42, it isn’t cheap, but it may be great choice if you have issues with make-up settling into lines and creases. It’s offered in three dual shade compacts from light to dark that are truly flattering. We can not recommend their Airbrush Blush as it streaks.
If you are on a tight budget, don’t despair, there are truly beautiful foundations at the drugstore. One of my favourite foundations for years has been L’Oreal Paris True Match. I like the entire line. When it was first introduced it was a fabulous liquid make-up in 27 shades. There is still a wide range of shades. An easy-to-use system of warm and cool coding makes it possible for even a novice to get a “true match”. Finally, I could send my Indian and Asian friends to the drugstore, confident they too could find a good make-up! They could even buy the same brand as I did – and I wear porcelain. How fabulous is that?
Now it has been improved with the addition of True Match Super Blendale Compact Make-up. This is an easy-to-apply make-up in 24 shades that uses the same easy-
The entire True Match range of concealer, powder, and bronze glow are great value. They work well for almost any skin tone or age and you can always find your shade. You can usually buy True Match for under $10 US and $12 CND. 
Cover Girl Simply Ageless with Olay Regenerist and SPF 15 is different type of foundation. It is designed to float over fine lines and give good coverage. I wear very sheer foundation and always have, but women who want and need a bit more coverage love this foundation. It has a creamy texture, and it does not cake. The shades are lovely; not too yellow or pink. This is an excellent option for any woman looking for more coverage at an excellent price.
At the opposite end of the spectrum some of us only want a more hint of colour and coverage; for us tinted moisturizer is the way to go.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer comes in both a regular and oil-free formula. I prefer the oil-free. It comes in a range of shades and looks dewy and natural. It provides a hint of coverage. It has an SPF of 20 and is packed with anti-oxidants. Make-up artists, fashion editors, and socialites adore this product for its natural look. It costs $42 US and $57 CND.
Olay Definity Colour Recapture has an SPF of 15 combines Definity’s anti-aging complexion brightening qualities with a touch of colour. The lightweight moisturizer gives faces definite luminosity. This product left skin soft, moist, and lovely. Even ladies who only use higher-priced cosmetics liked this one. 
I have worn both products and like both equally. I am a dedicated foundation wearer, but I like to have tinted moistener on hand. It the only thing I can wear during a bad cold when my skin is ultra sensitive. I also mix it into my foundation during the winter, when my skin can be overly dry. Give this a try; it stands up well to the higher-priced product.
We also tested and tried the now popular mineral make-ups. Minerals are popular with acne sufferers as well as those who have sensitivities, and women who find it settles less into lines. To do this, we enlisted a few die-hard mineral lovers. Their conclusion: the best-selling and best-known brands are not the best-looking or -wearing. And one of our testers had been wearing it for years – and paying a top price for it.
Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics was very popular with our mineral make-up aficionados. The line has luminous colours and stays on really well. They aren’t inexpensive, buy they are fabulous.
E.l.f. or eyes, lips, and face is an inexpensive line of mineral make-up that some of our testers loved. For $15 you can buy enough make-up to do your entire face.
According to our test group, mineral make-up from the Body Shop, Sonia Kushuk for Target, Cover Girl and L’Oreal Paris are all fabulous. You do not have pay a premium for good mineral make-up.
Darlings, foundation make-up is a beautiful thing. It smoothes out all the little flaws and make some thing fabulous – you even more so! Many women use tons of concealer when a little properly-chosen and applied foundation would do the trick. Light reflecting foundations can banish dark circles better than layers of stuff! Others go bare faced when a touch of make-up is magic.
Darlings, no one says you need to paint your face to be loved or successful. Beauty and artistry (that is why they call them make-up artists) is – and should be — a joy! It’s fun to sparkle and shine. I have never believed that fashion, beauty, or any of the good things in life should be aspirational. No darlings, beauty is attainable and we are here to help you get it all! Remember, beauty has never been more economical or attainable! Isn’t that fabulous?