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Staring Winter Right in the Face : Skin care: For the look that’s perfect for the season, beware of smoke, oily makeup and blush overload.

From Associated Press

If you want that shimmering look that’s fashionable this winter, start with your skin--and reserve a seat in the no-smoking section.

It’s known that smoking causes wrinkles, Marcia Menter wrote in an article in a recent issue of Redbook, but it appears passive smoking may have the same effect.

A recent study compared wrinkles and moisture loss in heavy smokers and passive smokers--people who have lived or worked with heavy smokers for 20 years. Passive and heavy smokers had similar skin damage.

It’s not known exactly how smoke ages skin. One possible cause--toxins in smoke interact with the skin’s surface to create free radicals that attack skin the way rust attacks metal. But inhaling smoke also is believed to contribute to wrinkles--and the best way to avoid that is to seek a smoke-free environment.

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If your skin problem is pimples, your first instinct may be to cover them--but not with an oil-based makeup. Dr. Susan Perry, a Davenport, Iowa, dermatologist, advised dabbing on a mild benzoyl peroxide cream--but avoid concentrations above 5% because peroxide is drying. Cover with oil-free, water-based foundation.

You’ll want blush for winter to look sheer and even, and the best way to avoid blush overload is to dump the too-small brush that comes in your compact and substitute a fluffy brush that blends color evenly.

If you accidentally apply too much, the best way to remove it is with a clean, dry makeup sponge.

For today’s natural look, try eyelash curlers. On dark lashes, a curler can eliminate the need for mascara--just squeeze it over top lashes and hold for 20 seconds, advised New York makeup artist Nadiya Nottingham. For drama, apply a light coat of mascara.

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After a decade of matte, makeup is sparkling again, but the prettiest new colors for eyes, lips and cheeks have a softer shimmer that’s more subtle than the heavy frosts of the past. And the sheer iridescent powders of the ‘70s are making a comeback.

Since shimmery makeup tends to emphasize fine lines, a little goes a long way. Add just one or two touches to an otherwise matte face--a gold-kissed lip or a burnished metallic eyelid. This is basically an evening look--potentially too much in the harsh light of day.

The effect you’re after is a subtle glow, not all-out glitter, said New York makeup artist Bobbi Brown.

Her advice:

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* Don’t apply shimmery makeup over heavy foundation; try it over tinted moisturizer instead. The look should be sheer and dewy. Choose gold, bronze, peach and other near-neutral colors; avoid bright fuchsias and peacock blues.

* Use sparkly eye shadow sparingly, keeping it below the crease; finish with matte neutral shadow on the brow bone and a matte liner.

* Iridescent face powders should be applied with a light hand. Swirl a big fluffy brush in the powder, knock off the excess, then swish it around in your palm so there’s just a faint dusting of powder on the brush. Layer on a little at a time; you can always add more.

* To keep warm in winter, fashion decrees longer coats--mid-calf to ankle--that work with pants and the new longer skirts.

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* And layer up when you are outdoors and active. When DeeDee Jonrowe suits up for the 1,200-mile Iditarod trans-Alaska dog sled race, she layers to the max--21 separate garments to beat 50-below temperatures. She placed second this year--with the fastest women’s time ever.


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