Beauty & Style Makeup

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    As a general rule, I don't do eye shadow. The idea of spending 30 minutes every morning contouring my eyes a la the Kardashians sounds like overkill. Who has the time? I certainly don't.

    But then I heard Hollywood makeup artist Pati Dubroff mention how to create bigger eyes with a few simple makeup tricks, and I was hooked. Would I like my eyes to look bigger and brighter? You bet. Especially if it doesn't take me all morning.

    The Stir tapped Dubroff to get her tips on natural-looking, eye-enlarging makeup. Yes, you'll have to use more than one product. But this is a quick, four-step process that should take just a couple of minutes, once you get the hang of it. Here's your new fast, perfect eye makeup routine.

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    I got my first gel manicure a couple summers ago. As someone whose manicures typically last about two days I was thrilled that the new treatment lasted a whole month. But when I showed my sister she said, "Lovely! Promise me you'll never do it again."

    Why? Because the downside of gel manicures is that removing the enamel is rough on your nails. Plus, the in-salon curing process exposes you to UV rays, which are a slight skin cancer risk. And finally, the manicures are pretty dang expensive.

    It was just a matter of time before smart beauty companies came up with the ultimate compromise: At-home gel manicures that don't require a special UV lamp. Here's how they work.

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    Back in my day, only the wild, punky girls with dyed black hair and -- gasp! -- double-pierced ears! at my junior high wore blue nail polish. Oh the times, they have a-changed. Blue polish is totally mainstream and is, in fact, tres on trend. You can't throw a bottle of nail polish remover without hitting a celeb sporting a blue manicure.

    Now, I'm all for wearing whatever darn color of nail polish you want, no matter how old you are! But, if you're feeling a little unsure about straying into the blue zone, I've got some starter steps you can take. With these looks, you'll be stylish and hip but feel like a grown-up person (versus the girl in detention coloring the ends of her hair with a black Sharpie).

    Come on in, the water's blue!

    Do you wear blue nail polish?


    Image via EssiePolish/Instagram

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    With all the plastic surgeons, cosmetic treatments, and HD-ready FLAWLESS! makeup out there, it's almost like we don't have an excuse for looking like a regular human being. And yet, I am a regular human being who doesn't want to get plastic surgery and does not have time for elaborate contouring. If only there were a mask that would make me beautiful in a snap. But not just beautiful in my own, unique way: No, beautiful in the same way everyone on TV and the tabloids are. Oh wait, there is! The new Ideal-Woman Rubber Mask!

    Okay, I'm joking of course -- and so is The Onion, who made this parody video for a mask that lets you literally "put on your face." It's supposed to be a critique of beauty standards. You know, how our culture pushes this "ideal" image? High cheekbones, white flawless skin, full lips, wide-set eyes, etc. But they've also tapped into something a lot of us find strangely appealing.

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    You know how when you're, like, a teenager, and you see something that say, your step-mom does, and you're all I WILL NEVER DO THAT because it looks so goofy and suburban and will totally never fit in to your future jet-setting life of glamour and mystery?

    Yeah, so ... about that. Turns out, something I used to snicker at in that way only teen girls can do, is now something I can't live without. Why? Vanity, obviously. Because these babies are the secret to your manicure lasting more than a day. Three words:

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    You say Rachel McAdams and I think two things: The Notebook movie and eyeliner. That sharply defined eye is practically her signature look. And it's fine -- it's been working for her. But in her latest magazine cover, she took it all off -- and we barely recognize her! McAdams is gorgeously eyeliner-free on Allure. She positively glows with a no-makeup look -- well, of course she's still wearing some makeup. But it's a fresh, barely there look that's perfect for summer. Is this something the rest of us could pull off?

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    Fake eyelashes, fake highlights, fake tans, and now ... fake freckles? Yep! Freckles, like the pretty (and real) ones Demi Lovato showed off on Instagram recently, are apparently "in" these days. Hooray for freckles! But the new beauty trend (as with most beauty trends) is to fake it if Mother Nature didn’t make it.

    And yes, you can purchase a special beauty product just for this purpose ...

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    Independence Day is coming up, so obviously, it's time to start thinking about ... beauty products! Ha. No, but seriously folks, July 4th is one of these holidays when it's just darn fun to go all out, right? I've rounded up some of my favorites in the colors of our flag, from classic, glam red lipstick to a bold blue streak for your hair.

    Mix and match these red, white, and blue beauty picks for a pretty and festive Fourth of July.

    More From The Stir: 11 Red, White & Blue Desserts for a Very Patriotic July 4

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    Take a look at this Instagram of Katy Perry and see if you notice anything missing ... Crazy hair, check; wild manicure, check; huge blue eyes, check ... OMG her eyebrows! What the hell did she do with them? Or I should say what did she do TO them. Perry's brows are still there, but they're so pale, you can barely see them. And you know what that means. Friends, we have ourselves a "no eyebrow" trend, and it's not just for Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus. 

    Curious? We talked with eyebrow stylist Joey Healy to explain this no-brow look and how you -- yes, YOU -- can try it out.

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    Every summer, the beauty world abounds with tips for getting that beautiful "summer glow." Now, I love a pretty sunkissed look as much as the next girl, but in the heat, sometimes what I really need to do is CONTROL THE GLOW. You know what I mean? I'm talking about the kind that, thanks to the hot weather and humidity, turns into a shiny, melty mess ... right there on your face for all the world to see!

    Not a good look, people.

    More From The Stir: 4 Steps for Getting That Sexy Sun-Kissed Look Without Frying Your Face

    So I've rounded up some of my favorite beauty products, natural remedies, and tips for controlling shine and sweat and keeping your makeup melt-proof and looking great all summer long.

    Images ©; © 

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