If you're like most of us, you've probably been using the same-color eye shadow, blush and lipstick for, well, as long as you can remember. The excuses are always the same: "I don't know what colors are right for me" or "I'm not sure how to use anything else." But, consider this: In less time than it takes to get in a good workout, you can learn some quick pro makeup tricks that can be the difference between looking glam and looking glum.
But, first, you need to get your skin in shape. New York dermatologist Dennis Gross, M.D., advises his patients to use as few skin-care products as possible on their faces during the fall and winter since the skin is prone to dryness and irritation at this time. Products that multitask (read: cleanse and tone the skin, for example, or moisturize and protect against the sun) cut down on the number of ingredients that touch the skin and can decrease the chance of irritation. Try Calvin Klein Toning Gel Cleanser ($20; 800-715-4023) and Olay Total Effects Moisturizing Vitamin Complex with UV Protection ($20; at drugstores).
Now, you're ready for some pro makeup tips. Try one, two or all of the following quick tricks to make over your look.
1. Accent your assets with a highlighter. For fall, skin has a more subtle luminous glow than the obvious bronzed face of summer, says New York City makeup artist Kimara Ahnert. To get this look, apply a cream-based highlighter on the cheekbones, outer corners of the eyes or under the brow bone. Then blend with your fingertips. But don't overdo it; you don't want to glow in the dark. What to use: Kimara Ahnert Luminizer in Candleglow ($30; kimara.com) or Chanel Aqua Blush in Perle ($35; gloss.com).
2. Get cheeky with a subtle blush. To put on a fresh face for fall, brush a sheer color on the cheekbones in one smooth motion. If you use a cream blush, apply it with your fingertip using a tapping-and-blending motion, says Cincinnati-based makeup artist Jeni Lee. Try Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Diamond Highlights ($3.15; at drugstores), L'Oréal Touch-On Colour in Go Go Gold ($8.75; at drugstores) or Origins Brush-On Color in Mulberry ($16.50; origins.com).
3. Brush your brows into place. Tame unruly brows or just sculpt them with an upward stroke of a brow-styling gel. Try L'Oréal Brow Stylist, which comes in clear, light blond and brown ($7.35; at drugstores) or Makeup! Bobbe Joy Brow Sculpt ($15; 877-22-MAKEUP).
4. Line your lids on top and bottom. If you don't already use eyeliner, now's the time to try one, says Leslie Munsell, a global makeup artist for Aveda. First sweep a neutral eye shadow over the entire lid (try Aveda eye color in Shard or Silver Patina, $10 each; aveda.com), and then apply a dark pencil close to the top and bottom lash line. (Tip: Start from the outside corner so the heaviest line appears there.) Then blend the line with your finger or the blender tip often found on the opposite end of an eye pencil. Top with pressed powder to keep the color from smudging. Best bets: Maybelline Cool Effect Cooling Shadow/Liner in Black Frost ($5.50; at drugstores) or Revlon High Dimension Eye Liner in Black Flash ($7.50; at drugstores).
5. Create shadows with deep greens, steely grays and plums. Switch from summer's pastels to deeper hues to create a smoky-looking eye for fall. To get the look: Apply shadow with an eye-shadow brush (like Jeni Lee Medium Eyeshadow Brush, $28; jenilee.com, below) in an upside-down, rounded "V" shape starting from the outside corner of your eyelid and ending on the lid just on top of the iris, Lee says. Then smudge and blend. (You can also wet the shadows for a more dramatic effect for evening.) Try Tarte Suede Compact ($62; tartecosmetics.com), Max Factor Eyeshadow in Dramatic Gray or Plum Performance ($4.10; at drugstores) or Clinique High Impact Rich Texture Eye-Shadow Trio in Foxy ($17.50; clinique.com).
6. Swipe on colored mascara. "Eyelashes are the new accessory," says Los Angeles-based Cloutier makeup artist Joanna Schlip. To help open up your eyes, first curl your lashes with a curler like Lashpro ($19; lashpro.com) and then, keeping your eye-shadow color neutral (think: beiges, warm browns or soft pinks), add one or two swipes of colored mascara. Eggplant, dark-green, dark-blue and pearl-gray mascaras work well with any complexion and eye color. Try Bourjois Aqua Volume Waterproof Mascara in Vert Tropical or in Noir Etincelle ($12; bourjois.com) or Bobbi Brown Lashtint in Blue Graphite ($18; bobbibrown.com).
7. Shelve the glosses and go matte. While lips were glossy for summer, it's all about the matte lip this fall, says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Carol Shaw, founder of Lorac Cosmetics. Matte colors wear longer than other lipsticks, but they can be drying to the lips -- which is why you should use a lip moisturizer regularly when your lipstick's not on. (Try Kiehl's Lip Balm #1, $5; 800-KIEHLS-1.) Opt for lip products like Benefit Matte Lipstick ($14; benefitcosmetics.com) or M.A.C Matte Lipstick ($13.50; maccosmetics.com). Another option: You can de-gloss your current lipstick with one swipe of The Body Shop Colourings Lip Adapter ($12; 800-263-9746).