How-To (beauty)

The pro's secret for evening hair and makeup: a few quick changes, a dose of drama, and a stylish departure from the everyday.

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Night Shift

It's the unexpected elements that pack a punch at night. "A little shock value is sexy," says John Sahag, the Manhattan stylist who's made goddess hair his trademark (and is arguably the coolest hairdresser on the planet—think Warren Beatty's Shampoo character come to life). "Whether it's a wedding or a cocktail party or you're simply dressing to kill, a few changes can add an edge to your whole look."

Red Lips

A crimson mouth still telegraphs Old Hollywood glamour, but its freshest incarnation is sheer, delicate, and less precise. "A gorgeous red stain smudged on with a fingertip is more modern and easier to wear than an immaculately lined mouth filled in with matte lipstick," Hollywood makeup artist Amy Holiber notes. "You want to add enough color and shine to make a stand-alone statement," she says, "but not feel as if you've painted your mouth shut."
Sheer, iridescent highlights—on cheekbones, browbones, eyelids, or lips—automatically makes you appear dressier, but not noticeably made-up. "It's feminine and flirty," says Hollywood makeup artist Kimberly Greene.

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Rosy Cheeks

"I love blush all the time, but at night you can use a little bit more," says Greene, who layers shades to add depth and interest. "The key is to blend and make it look natural."

Because you're wearing more makeup—or at the least, deeper colors—your foundation/concealer/powder should be applied with the lightest possible hand. You want luminous, and covering up too much takes you in the opposite direction.

Smoky Eyes

Instead of the traditional gray, find a variation: dark green, burgundy, or chocolaty brown. "A bronzy brown is a less intimidating way to do a smoky eye than black, but still quite glamorous," she says.

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The Sexy Updo

The key to an updo is not to try too hard, says David John, a stylist at Santa Monica's Fred Segal Beauty. "You want something touchable, not perfectly sculpted." Sahag, meanwhile, deconstructs overly "done" styles by misting sections with water. "Hair can look matronly if you have too much volume," he insists.

Glassy Shine
1. A professional blowout is worth it: "Some people can do their hair as well as their stylist, but it's fairly rare," say Sahag. "Along with a little pampering, you get a sleeker, more polished look."
2. A light, shine-boosting serum smooths flyaways, and makes your hair glossy without leaving it flat.

At night, they can project a fiercer, more sophisticated vibe. In London, pop princess Kylie Minogue set off a craze for partial braids—a narrow French braid snaking up one side of an otherwise relaxed, flirty style.

Major Volume
Fullness all comes down to the right products, adds Sahag. "We don't do that much back-combing; we just use product. You want a quick-drying product that provides cushioning and lift in strategic areas, say, on the crown or the sides."

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