No diets here! Celeb beauty gurus share how to peel off the pounds with simple hair and makeup tips.
Do the Ombre
Jessica Biel, Alexa Chung and Rachel Bilson have all recently had a torrid love affair with it — the hair color trend known as ombre hair color. With a translation that means “gradation” in French, ombre describes the fade-out of dark roots to a lighter midshaft and ends. Some test social boundaries with a shocking difference in tone, while others go the softer route of subtle burn out.
“Celebrities love to color themselves skinny,” says celebrity stylist and San Diego salon owner Jet Rhys. “When you use different hues like in ombre, it creates shading and depth, which makes you appear thinner.” This is a look best captured in the chair at the salon, though with the low-maintenance color grow-out that’s designed into the style, you could actually end up saving cash in the long run. An ombre refresher will only be needed every few months (or even longer), instead of the four to eight weeks touch-up schedule that regular color requires to look fresh.
Bangs can be a girl’s best friend; many rely on the playful style to disguise wrinkles and sunspots on the forehead, adding a sense of youthful vitality to the face. Careful, though: The way you cut your bangs can mean the difference between adding on or trimming down the pounds.
“Stay away from heavy, straight-across bangs – they make the face appear short and round,” says celebrity colorist Nicole Tresch of Rita Hazan salon, which counts Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson and Mariah Carey among its clients.
Instead of blunt Bettie Page severity, go for a soft side-swept bang that caresses the cheekbone to elongate the shape of your face and figure. Or try a whisper-light style that ends between the eyebrow and upper eyelid, and gently varies in length as it runs across the forehead.
Flash Those Pearly Whites
It’s no wonder dazzling white teeth are synonymous with the Hollywood red carpet – a bright smile can make you look slimmer by instantly drawing the viewer’s gaze to the center of the face, says celebrity cosmetic dentist, Lana Rozenberg, D.D.S., who has brightened the smiles of some today’s top performers.
If a professional Zoom Whitening – which can cost several hundred dollars at the dentist’s office – is not in your budget, white strips are an under $50 option that yield quick and noticeable results. But remember, as some glow-in-the-dark celebrities have proven (we won’t name names), there is such a thing as too white. “If your teeth become brighter than the whites of your eyes, or turn sensitive and the edges transparent, it’s time to stop!” says Rozenberg.
Smoke It Up
Nothing says glamour quite like the smoky eye. Exotic devotees from Sophia Loren to Kim Kardashian have long worked an angular “cat’s eye” version that slims the face. The trick is to keep softer shades on the inner and center lid, and work deeper colors onto the outer “v” of the eye, ending in a dramatic flair at the edge that lifts up and outwards, says celebrity makeup artist Nicole Bryl, who counts Melania Trump among her regular clients.
Also, stick to forgiving charcoal grays and earthy browns instead of black, which can make the face look swollen and round if not blended completely.
Give Good Brow
You’ll never see a celeb grace the red carpet without carefully groomed and arched brows, as these natural face framers can make a tremendous difference in how slim or round your face appears – particularly in photographs.
A note of caution: “Brows that are too thin can make your face look too full,” says New York City brow guru Robin Evans. So, always tend towards the fuller side when shaping your brows. Use brow powder to fill in sparse areas and to fill out the arch and tail so that your features appear more balanced.
Also, stay away from rounding your eyebrow too much – you’ll not only look perpetually surprised, but your face will look heavier, says Evans. To prevent rounded eyebrows, make sure your eyebrow arch hits just past the pupil. A pen or pencil acts as a nifty guide; hold it where your nostril ends, and tilt diagonally so that it crosses over the center of your pupil. Where the marker hits on your brow is the ideal spot to form your arch.
Snip It Slim
Short cuts can look and feel sexy – just take a glance at any black-and-white of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. But if going shorter, you’ll want to stay away from the style that adds the most weight to the face by making you appear wider: the boxy bob.”If you’re getting a bob that hits at the chin or higher, make sure the bottom edges are tapered, so the sides look slim and you have more volume on top,” instructs celebrity stylist and New York salon owner Mark Garrison.
Another instantly slimming short style is the shag, which elongates the face and adds sex appeal with lots of choppy movement. The shag also offers the versatility to be cut anywhere from just below the chin to the collar bone, adds Garrison.
It’s All About The Contour, Baby!
Contouring – the makeup technique that uses dark powder to create angular shadows on the face – got a bad rap in the 80’s when bronzers came in one shade: orange. Today, you can look for a taupe-toned face powder that is matte and two shades deeper than your skin tone that will blend believably to mimic a true shadow.
“In makeup, darkness recedes, while lightness brings forward. When you darken certain areas, it pulls everything back to give your face a slimmer appearance,” says Mally Roncal, who has regularly worked her makeup magic on celebrities like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey (and who we hear all love a little contour!).
Using a powder brush, blend your contour powder right onto the temples, and then sweep around the perimeter of the forehead into the hairline, for an instantly slimmer face. “To take away cheek puffiness, make a fish face and blend contour powder into the hollows of cheeks,” adds Roncal. And if a double chin has you down, start blending contour powder from behind the ear and along the jawline, blending down into the neck – a technique that Roncal uses regularly when prepping celebrities for the red carpet.
Mix Highlights with Lowlights
Hair highlights are a gorgeous way to enliven the face and make you look younger, and they can also be a powerful tool in shaving the look of pounds from your face.
In Beverly Hills, CA, where highlights abound, celebrity colorist and salon owner Michael Canale uses a specific technique. “Adding darkness around the face will add the illusion of a narrower hairline on the forehead, which makes you appear thinner by elongating the face,” says Canale. So, when placing highlights, you’ll want to make sure to add some contrasting lowlight pieces close to the face, which will sleeken your look and balance out the warmth of highlights.
Go for the Bronze
There’s a reason most people think they look better with a tan: bronze skin tone is instantly slimming, improves the look of spider veins and cellulite, and even accentuates muscle tone for a tighter, more fit appearance. Luckily, you can go tan anytime of the year (and without absorbing the sun’s dangerous UVA and UVB rays) by using one of today’s natural-looking self-tanning products.
Stylist expert Sherri Jessee prepares Miss Virginia USA to compete at Miss USA, which includes the pageant’s nationally broadcast swimsuit competition. For a slimming glow that looks like “the real deal,” she mixes equal parts Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Spray Tan with body lotion (your favorite kind will do) and smooths over a freshly exfoliated body for subtle color that spreads and sets evenly. “It can take off ten pounds!” says Jessee.
Style It Sleek
There’s one style that’s guaranteed to slim anyone’s face, regardless of hair texture or face shape: the half up, half down.
“Pull your sides away from the face towards the back and pin it, which will allow your neck to show and create an elongation effect,” says celebrity stylist and Cutler Salon owner, Rodney Cutler, who has served as personal stylist to celebrities like Fergie, Jordin Sparks and Rachael Ray. A spritz of hairspray on the sides will help set and further sleeken the style, and you can experiment with backcombing the crown to add more height, which further sleekens the shape of your style.