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The new look of natural

By Ilana Blitzer, Health.com
updated 7:27 AM EST, Wed February 1, 2012
Show off your freckles rather than trying to hide them behind foundation and powder.
Show off your freckles rather than trying to hide them behind foundation and powder.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Instead of hiding or fighting natural beauty, embrace and flaunt it
  • Showcase freckles and natural eyebrows and accentuate them with light makeup
  • Let your curls speak for themselves, rather than trying to tame them

(Health.com) -- We're not usually the type to follow every beauty trend, but this spring we found one we just adore: "Looking imperfect is in," says Eva Scrivo, a New York City salon owner and author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty, "because it shows off what makes us individuals, and unique."

And, she points out, when you work with -- not against -- your own features, you get better (read: more beautiful) results. Here are the freshest ways to look amazing with the skin and hair you're in.

Flaunt your freckles

What's hot: Freckles for all ages. Just take a look at all the A-list beauties -- Julianne Moore, Sienna Miller, Giselle Bündchen -- who show off their sweet spots. "Freckles make you look youthful -- in a good way," says New York City-based makeup artist Suzanne Katz, who wears her own freckles (compliments of her Irish genes) proudly.

Play yours up: Go for tinted moisturizer instead of a full-coverage foundation, Katz says. Dab it on to even out your tone, while letting your lovely freckles show through. Then, dust a peach-colored blush across your cheekbones. "There's something about the shade that looks so fresh on freckle-dotted skin," Katz says. For extra oomph, top with a little glistening highlighter. It gives a glow and acts like a spotlight on cheeks.

Health.com: 15 ways to be a natural beauty

Celebrate your curls

What's hot: Naturally sexy waves -- the keyword being natural, Scrivo says. Think Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyoncé, Shakira.

Play yours up: "Almost all of us have some natural wave in our hair," Scrivo explains. To encourage yours, skip daily washing -- it can rob your hair of moisture -- and shampoo every other day instead. (On off days, just use a lightweight conditioner and rinse with cool water.)

Next, blow off the blow-dryer. Simply air dry and rake your fingertips through wet strands to separate curls. Add a drop of moisturizing curl cream to ends. To keep your locks incredibly shiny, run a boar-bristle brush through your hair nightly to distribute natural oils from your scalp to moisture-lacking ends, where frizz starts forming. "Over time, you'll experience a whole lot less frizz and breakage," Scrivo says.

When you're at the salon, have your stylist layer only the last three to four inches of your hair. Otherwise, curls will spring up and pouf out. Also, let your hair dry under a lamp for 20 minutes, so she can see how your hair falls (top too flat? sides too poufy?), and tweak the cut accordingly. If you color your hair, avoid frizzies by asking your colorist not to run ammonia-based formulas all the way through to the ends.

Health.com: Bobbi Brown's hair rehab

Play up wow brows

What's hot: Seriously low-maintenance arches. Check out Sofía Vergara and Anne Hathaway's full and natural brows -- gorgeous! When bold brows are well-groomed, they open up your eyes and make you look put together. Translation: You can get away with a lot less primping.

Play yours up: Less is more when it comes to tweezing. "Brows look their best when you stick to your natural shape," says Malynda Vigliotti (a.k.a. Boom Boom) of the Boom Boom Brow Bar in New York City.

So step away from the magnifying mirror. When you're plucking in front of it, one stray can easily turn into 20. "While you're looking into a regular mirror, snag only the stragglers that lie clearly above or below the lines of the natural brow," Vigliotti notes.

If you've already overtweezed, fill in sparse spots with an angled brush dipped in brow powder -- unlike pencils, powder glides on easily, without a waxy finish. Stay as close to your natural hair color as possible -- never go lighter.

Health.com: Shape up your brows

Flash your signature smile

What's hot: A smile that shows your personality. "Right now, there's a backlash against Hollywood teeth," says Timothy Chase, D.M.D., a cosmetic dentist in New York City. (You know the type: straight and bleach-white.)

Even A-listers are choosing to flaunt their not-so-perfect pearlies. Madonna has always rocked the trend, making her natural gap a trademark. Eva Mendes also maintains her asymmetrical -- albeit gorgeous -- smile; and Anna Paquin's front-and-center space only adds to her beauty. "I never thought I'd hear patients saying, 'I like that this one's crooked or that there's a space here,'" Chase says.

Play yours up: Having bright teeth is the key to making your signature smile look like a beauty statement, not an oversight. If your bite needs a boost, try an over-the-counter whitener -- the latest ones will get you gleaming in just two hours. And keep your teeth healthy by keeping up with that twice-a-day, full two-minute brushing routine.

Don't skimp on flossing either. Besides the associated health benefits (the simple act may actually help keep your heart healthy), it makes your grin look prettier, too. Flossing removes stain-causing bacteria. Finally, break out the makeup bag: Pink gloss visually whitens what you've got.

Health.com: 20 things that can ruin your smile

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

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