Blog Posts by Allure Daily Beauty Reporter

  • What Oscar Nominees Eat Before the Big Night

    Half of Hollywood relies on nutritionist Carrie Wiatt to help them avoid the Frittelli doughnuts. During award season, the stars kick it up a notch. Here's Wiatt's plan for heavy-hitters who want be lightweights:

    Three Weeks Before:
    Load up on lean protein. Four-ounce servings of chicken or fish are best, but lean skirt steak is OK, too.

    Choose low-fat yogurt instead of the fat-free stuff, which often has extra sugar added.

    Fill up on small, all-veggie salads and broth-based veggie soups.

    Get extra fiber with a few almonds or walnuts (not a handful, thank you very much), and add a sprinkle of flaxseed to yogurt.

    Cut sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. (Green tea is allowed). (And, yes, we're sorry).

    Related: 5 ways to snack healthfully.

    Three Days Before (That's NOW):
    It's pretty much just veggies and fruit.

    Choose produce loaded with water, like cucumbers, spinach, green beans, asparagus and zucchini, and avoid anything that'll bring on the bloat

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  • How to wear black lip gloss in unexpected ways

    I was in London's Selfridges, and the super-posh department store rolled out the red carpet (really-they had a red carpet in the lobby) for at a massive in-store event for makeup artist Aaron de Mey, Lancôme's Artistic Director. (Check out what he has in store for Lancome pretty pink spring collection.)

    People in the store were gawking at De Mey, who looked like an absolute rock star-slash-street-urchin. He touched up models-and even lucky customers-with Color Fever Gloss in Piha Black ($25) in hand.

    I was transfixed, too, but mostly because he used the lip gloss on the girls' eyelids. I had to ask him if he honestly was telling customers to do what he did.

    "Oh, but you shouldn't think of it as a lip gloss," he said to me, looking equal parts wounded and concerned. "It's a tool."

    Three ways to wear black lipstick---on your lips.

    De Mey revealed that he created Piha Black for several reasons:

    One, it instantly deepens any lip color (without making it look black).

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  • The Secret Behind All-Day Makeup

    Finding makeup that goes the distance can seem as grueling as running a marathon. And I know if I'm superbusy, touching up my face is about numero 99 on my priority list. Here are the products that I always reach for when I know it's going to be a long one:

    M.A.C. Face and Body Foundation, $32. Makeup artists are obsessed with this because it's a sheer foundation that stays on forever. Honestly, how many of those exist?

    Stila Cherry Crush, $24. This lip and cheek stain looks good on nearly everybody and puts up with nearly everything. They don't call it a stain for nothing.

    Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, $4.79. Do no-I repeat, do not-attempt to take this mascara off with your normal face cleanser. It's staying on your lashes unless you use eye makeup remover. (Check out more of the best waterproof mascaras.)

    Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, $17. When colored eyeliner starts to fade, it looks weak-literally and figuratively. These water-resistant, highly

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  • When Salon and Spa Add-ons Aren't Worth It

    I'd been duped.

    I'd recently popped into a well-known beauty salon to get a basic mani. What I got was a 40-minute long sales pitch, during which my nail tech tried to sell me everything from cuticle nipping and a hand massage (aren't these supposed to be included in every mani? Is this like U.S. Airways charging for pillows?) Still, I paid for them (and she sucked at them, BTW). They silently charged me extra for the quick-dry top coat.

    Tips for getting the perfect pedicure.

    The bill was nuts. Crazy. As in wrong. I managed to talk it down, but I don't want you to have to suffer the same indignity. Here's how to handle the hard sell at the salon or spa:

    Ask if it's extra. At my fave pedi place, an application of hardcore callus remover costs an extra three bucks. It's worth it, but a lot of add-ons aren't. If a therapist suggests some enticing extra step, ask for the price. You're not being tacky. You're being smart.

    Avoid the impulse buy. Don't get seduced into

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  • The Three Commandments of DIY Pedis

    I'm all for the do-it-yourself pedi, but sometimes my cheap labor looks, well, cheap.

    Surely I'm not alone in thinking that the at-home pedi leaves something to be desired. I asked Robbie Schaeffer of OPI--and owner of Studio City's Rob|b: An OPI Concept Salon--what I'm doing wrong. Here are the three commandments of DIY pedicures:

    Thou shall prep your feet. A good pedi doesn't entirely depend on your skill with a foot file. Schaeffer suggests massaging a product specifically designed to soften calluses and tough skin before you even exfoliate, just like my favorite East Village nail tech always does for me. She uses professional-grade callous remover, but OPI Soften ($30)?with AHAs and green tea?is great for at-home use. The dead skin will disappear with a lot less effort.

    Thou shall know when to moisturize. I always put foot cream on right before bed, because I hate the feeling of walking on the floor with lubed-up feet. My approach is dead wrong. "Apply foot cream as soon

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  • How to Get Shampoo-Ad Hair

    Confession: I have major hair envy of Isla Fisher on the cover of Allure. (Check out the behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot.)

    Her hair looks so full, shiny, and bouncy, you know, in that shampoo-ad way. Can't you picture her just swinging those long locks around in slo-mo? Can't you imagine the just-washed scent?

    Here's a primer for getting gorgeous shampoo-ad hair:

    Wash with a conditioning shampoo. It removes excess oil while adding softening ingredients that leave hair shiny and manageable. Here's a trick: the shampoo itself should be white or oatmeal in color (a sign of added hydrators) and have a pearly or metallic finish (which indicates light-reflectors). Skip clear formulas, which are usually supercleansing (meaning super stripping).

    Related: Revive your dry, flaky skin with these winter weather beauty fixes.

    Hydrate strategically. Conditioner can weigh your roots down. In the shower, hold your hair as if it's in a ponytail. The hanging section is the only

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  • How to Look Great Even When You've Got a Cold

    When I'm puffy-faced and congested with a cold, I can hardly muster up the energy to get out of bed, let alone start fussing with the eyelash curler, lip gloss, and all of that other stuff.

    But makeup artist Matin assured me there's a happy medium between going full-on and completely barefaced. Here are his makeup tips when you're feeling gross:

    Go easy with foundation. When you're blowing your nose 20 times a minute and your eyes are watery, all of that effort--and pigment--is going to end up on your tissue, says Matin. Just use it where you need it. (Check out our top picks for the best concealers and foundations.)

    Depuff. Watery, swollen eyes are not cute. Ever. For that reason, Matin likes to prep with Yonka Phyto Eye Contour Balm-Cream ($42). (I like Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology Instant De-Puff Eye Gel, $19.50.) He follows with Neutrogena 3-in-1 Concealer For Eyes ($9.99), a soothing combo of aloe and green tea.

    Go for a glow. Matin combats 'blah' skin with

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  • How to Look Sexy Without Trying

    Call me a cynic, but I can't think of anything less sexy than rhinestone-encrusted push-up bras, undies with naughty phrases on the butt, or any other Valentine's Day smut. If it's not hot the 364 other days of the year, then February 14 should be no exception.

    If you want to look sexy--and not in the desperate way--just follow makeup artist Susan Giordano's advice.

    Giordano Beauty Satin Skin. "This liquid moisturizer immediately enhances your skin and adds a subtle touchable glow." she says about this pick from her namesake product line. "It's the first thing that goes on anyone who sits in my makeup chair."

    Mary Kay Cream and Sugar NouriShine Lip Gloss. "There's something pouty and kissable about a nude, glossy lip." And the applicator lets you reapply without a mirror. $17.50

    Shu Uemura Mini Eyelash Curler. "Use it to add extra curl to the outer corners of your lashes for a sexy feline look." Angelina Jolie, watch out!

    Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Liner in Black. "It

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  • Barack Obama's Makeup

    This week, Linda Wells, Allure's editor in chief, will be guest blogging about beauty and style at the Inaugural events in Washington, D.C. Look for her Inaugural Beauty Bulletins Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

    Yes, he's wearing it.

    All the presidents do. And they'd be nuts not to.

    We talked to Lois Cassano, who's made up every U.S. President from Richard Nixon to Bush 43.

    She told Allure that the President uses makeup to "even out his skin tone"-meaning no mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, lipstick, gloss, or blush; just foundation, concealer, and powder.

    The big coverup: The most-trusted concealers out on the market.

    Here's what she told Allure about being about the second most intimate woman to a President (we'll skip the cheap Clinton jokes today):

    Why do the Presidents wear makeup?
    "Anyone who has ever seen himself on television without makeup will never do that again. Presidents understand that being made up is part of the job."

    Do they ever wear

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  • Michelle Obama's hairstylist on her hair makeover

    This week, Linda Wells, Allure's editor in chief, will be guest blogging about beauty and style at the Inaugural events in Washington, D.C. Look for her Inaugural Beauty Bulletins Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

    She's a dream client, that Michelle Obama. The very definition of loyal.

    When Mrs. O was 18 years old, she went to Rahni Flowers, owner and stylist at Van Cleef Hair Studio in Chicago. She hasn't budged since.

    But her hair has.

    I watched Steve Kroft's 60 Minutes interview with the Obamas back in February 2007. Michelle wore her hair in a stiff flip, high on top, and more Jackie Kennedy than Condoleezza in style. It didn't really fit with her clothes (a basic ivory top and faded jeans) or the time.

    Not any more. Michelle O's hair looks full First Lady in the best possible way. It says she's confident, strong, forthright, not stiff or afraid (yes, I think hair can say a lot. But I would).

    Allure talked to Rahni Flowers, who did Mrs. O's hair for her

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