Spring is here at last, and there’s no better time to enhance your appearance than now. Whether you’re a 20-something looking for simple makeup tips, a 30-something in need of rejuvenation, or a 40-something (and beyond) considering more advanced cosmetic procedures, it’s time to reveal a new and improved you.
‘Tis the season for a spring makeover and a confidence boost—our experts uncover basic tips, advanced treatments, and more in-depth procedures that will revitalize your eyes, skin, brows, lashes and lips.
The Eyes Have It
It has been said that the eyes are the window to a person’s soul. What’s more, they play a fundamental role in first impressions. As a person ages, he or she often acquires a ‘sunken eye’ appearance, which includes thinning fat pads, dark circles and crow’s feet. Droopy and sagging eyes are often associated with sadness, fatigue or even anger. The following tips will help reverse the signs of aging eyes and keep them looking well-rested and happy.
Basic Eye Care
- More Water, Less Salt – According to Robert A. Colgrove, Jr., MD, of the Vinings Surgery Center, “Drinking an adequate amount of water will help keep the skin around the eyes looking youthful.” Colgrove recommends drinking 1–2 liters of water every day. Water helps to plump the skin around the eyes and return its suppleness, thus reversing dark circles and sunken eyes. Additionally, limiting one’s salt intake can reduce water retention and decrease puffiness around the eyes.
- Get Enough Sleep – While most people recognize the benefits of getting a sufficient amount of sleep every night, they often disregard them. “The most common complaints about the appearance of one’s eyes are typically dark circles underneath the eyes and puffiness around the eyes,” says Fernando D. Burstein, MD, of Atlanta Plastic Surgery. “When not a product of genetics, this is often the result of sleep deprivation.” Burstein suggests seven to nine hours of sleep per night for the average adult.
- Bright Eyes Serum – To improve the skin’s texture around the eyes, as well as the appearance of dark circles, plastic surgeon Marisa Lawrence, MD, who practices at The Doctor’s Centre at Northside Hospital, recommends her own prescription-strength serum called Bright Eyes. “Bright Eyes contains a combination of retinol to reduce wrinkles and arnica with vitamin K to reduce discoloration. The green tea polyphenol base protects the delicate eyelid skin from free radical damage and provides anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce puffiness of the eyelids,” says Lawrence. The cost per bottle is $75 and lasts up to six months.
- Sunscreen for the Face – We’ve all done it: slathered on sunscreen that not only protected our face from the sun’s rays, but also made our eyes sting for days post application. Sunscreen is by far one of the best ways to preserve the skin underneath your eyes, but use a product that is especially formulated for the face.
- Makeup Tips – Makeup can work wonders for your eyes, making them appear brighter and more youthful. Alyson Hoag, founder and CEO of Authentic Beauty, has been a professional makeup artist and brow specialist for over 20 years. She advises women to steer clear of eye shadow that is several shades darker than their skin tone. “Darker colors have a tendency to make the eyes look even more sunken,” she notes. Hoag also suggests smiling when applying eye makeup to keep product from settling into fine lines, keeping eye liner to a minimum, and watching the amount of contour used in the crease of eyes. While concealer can help mask under-eye circles, do not mistake it for foundation. Also, the application method is just as important as the concealer itself. Using a small, flat makeup brush, softly pat the concealer underneath the eyes. (Massaging the makeup into your skin will only stretch this delicate area.)
Advanced Eye Care
- Cosmetic Injectables – If you’ve tried the aforementioned basic eye care tips but still can’t seem to get the results you want, you may want to try more advanced treatments. Injectable fillers offer a relaxed, more youthful appearance around the eyes and can last anywhere from three to six months. According to Burstein, “Botox and Dysport can be injected into wrinkles around the eyes and forehead, causing the facial muscles to relax and smoothing the appearance of undesired fine lines and wrinkles.” Lasting approximately three to four months, they also help to prevent new wrinkles from forming. Botox and Dysport cause minimal redness post treatment, and patients can resume their daily routines immediately.
- Youth Eye Complex – Marcia V. Byrd, MD, of Byrd Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Center, suggests Youth Eye Complex by iS Clinical (starting at $85). “Youth Eye Complex is a breakthrough product that rapidly reduces wrinkles, puffiness and under-eye circles. Applied daily, this cream rebuilds the skin’s structure from a cellular level. Results will be evident within minutes as it smoothes and hydrates tissues around the eyes,” she says.
In-Depth Eye Care
- Blepharoplasty – Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, removes the excess skin and fat around the eyes to restore the shape of the eyelid and reduce puffiness, drooping and wrinkling. The result is a sharper, kinder and more relaxed look. “Blepharoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia in an outpatient setting,” Lawrence notes. “Possible side effects include temporary swelling, bruising and blurred vision.” Patients are generally able to return to their normal activities within five to seven days, and contact lenses may be worn after two weeks. “Blepharoplasty may be combined with a brow lift if sagging forehead skin is contributing to the excess upper eyelid skin,” Lawrence adds. On average, eyelid surgery costs between $4,000 and $5,000.
- Fat Grafting – Fat grafting is an eye rejuvenation procedure that provides a well-rested look. “Fat grafting fills in depressions along the bony rim of the upper and lower eyelids,” Colgrove says. “The cost ranges anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000, and the recovery process is approximately one week. While pain is minimal, patients should expect bruising for up to two weeks,” he adds. Results vary but are typically permanent
Simply Skin Care
When you think spring, you likely think of renewal. The beautiful colors and changing temperatures beckon those indoors to step out and celebrate the new season. Just as spring is like a blank canvas, so is your skin. Stay clean, fresh and soft with these skin care tips from our experts. You’ll be surprised at how a little nurturing goes a long way.
Basic Skin Care
- Remain Hydrated – Similar to the skin around your eyes, your skin greatly benefits from plenty of water. Eight, 8-ounce glasses of water is an adequate amount. Because your body is comprised of 60 percent H2O, you must continuously keep hydrated. Water has many advantages, including cleansing your body of toxins, providing nutrients to cells and improving your circulation. “Coconut water is very hydrating for those individuals who don’t like the taste of water,” says Cici Coffee, founder and CEO of Natural Body Spa & Shoppe. In essence, a healthy body reveals a flawless complexion.
- Healthy Foods for Healthy Skin – Even healthier than what you put on your body is what you put in it. There are many delicious foods that your skin loves also. “Make sure you ingest good fats, such as avocado, almonds and salmon,” Coffee says. Other beneficial foods include blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, flax seed, essential fatty acids (i.e. omega 3 and omega 6), healthy oils, whole wheat bread and green tea.
- Avoid the Sun, Use Sunscreen – The sun emits two forms of ultraviolet radiation: UVA, which accelerates the aging process, and UVB, which causes sunburn. Both types are detrimental to your skin and your health. Try to keep out of direct sunlight as much as possible, but if it is inevitable, use sunscreen. “I recommend using a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide, avobenzone or mexoryl,” notes Gabrielle Sabini, MD, of North Atlanta Dermatology.
- Anti-Aging Products – Don’t be fooled by skin care gimmicks and products that claim to stop the aging process altogether. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Still, there are many anti-aging products on the market that really do what they promise: slow the aging process. Look for creams, serums, lotions and moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, retinol, antioxidants, peptides and resveratrol. “I suggest using a topical vitamin C and vitamin A derivative,” adds Sabini.
- Microdermabrasion and Superficial Chemical Peels – Microdermabrasion and mild chemical peel applications (like glycolic peels or salicylic peels) are great tools for rejuvenating facial skin. “As you age, the skin cells’ turn-over rate slows and causes a build-up of dead cells on the surface, which can lead to a dull, tired appearance,” says Patricia Daniel, RN, co-owner of Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center. Microdermabrasion uses gentle, instrument-assisted exfoliation to slough the dead cells from the skin and stimulate growth of newer, younger-looking skin cells underneath. “Chemical peels work in much the same way, except they utilize a chemical reaction produced by a topical solution instead of the physical reaction produced by rubbing,” Daniel comments. “Both microdermabrasion treatments and chemical peels are not only effective anti-aging procedures, but they also minimize the appearance of acne, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and sun spots,” she notes.
Advanced Skin Care
- Micro-Laser Peel – If your skin shows moderate signs of aging, a micro-laser peel is worth looking into. “Stronger than microdermabrasion or a mild chemical peel, which typically only induce shedding of one epidermal layer, micro-laser peels can offer minimal-to-full epidermal exfoliation. The results include a minimized appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhanced skin elasticity, improved moderate scarring and overall radiant skin,” Daniel says. Because micro-laser peels are laser procedures, they typically require two to four days of recovery and cost between $500 and $1,000.
- Dermal Fillers – Contrary to popular belief, dermal fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, and Sculptra not only spot-treat fine lines, but they fill the area as well. These are a cost-effective, minimally invasive way to reduce wrinkles and replace soft tissue loss. “Fillers seem to induce production of collagen in many people, leading to much longer-lasting effects,” Sabini says.
In-Depth Skin Care
- Laser Skin Resurfacing – According to Daniel, “Fractionated CO2 laser skin resurfacing or Erbium laser resurfacing produce dramatic rejuvenation results without the downtime and enhanced risks posed by facial rejuvenation surgery.” These lasers have the ability to precisely target and treat certain problem areas like wrinkles and sunspots, without damaging the skin around them. “Depending on the size of the areas to be treated, most laser rejuvenation patients require a series of three, 15–20 minute treatments, followed by seven to 14 days of limited sun exposure,” Daniel says. Fractionated CO2 and Erbium laser treatments range anywhere from $200–$1,500.
- Tricholoracetic Acid (TCA) Chemical Peel – Much more aggressive than an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) chemical peel, a TCA chemical peel uses acetic acid to remove the outer layer of skin, or epidermis. The underlying skin, which is newer and smoother in texture, is then revealed. The recovery period of a TCA peel is approximately five to seven days, and often includes redness, swelling, crusting and lastly, peeling.
- Facial Rejuvenation – This term can cover a variety of procedures from microdermabrasion to face lifting. If you are considering a face lift, there are several options available to you. “My primary advice is to take the time to find the right surgeon,” says Mark M. Beaty, MD of Milton Hall Plastic Surgery. “Face lifting is a very individualized procedure requiring a thorough understanding of problems and goals by both the patient and the surgeon.” Beaty also points out that there have been certain advances for this procedure. “Advances in suture types, tissue sealers and laser technology have opened the door to effective face lifting through more limited incisions,” says Beaty, “Additionally, the use of injectable filler techniques to augment the results of face lift procedures can enhance results substantially.
Not everyone has the financial means or the desire to undergo plastic surgery. But, everyone has the ability to keep brows looking shapely and youthful. In fact, a few simple maintenance measures can give your brows the look of a lift. These eyebrow secrets could transform your tired eyes into ones that sparkle with energy. Just remember to follow instructions carefully—one wrong move could mean the difference between clean-cut and downright clownish.
Basic Brow Care
- Tweezing – So long as you pluck precisely, tweezing is the best way to groom the brows. “Good quality tweezers, like the ones made by Tweezerman, are an absolute must for optimum results,” says Evie Delaney, owner of The Nouveau Clinic. “Soften the skin in the brow area prior to tweezing with warm water, which makes the hair easier to remove and the process less painful,” she adds. (The ideal time to tweeze is right after you take a shower). To avoid making mistakes or over-tweezing, use a sharpened brow pencil to draw your desired brow shape prior to tweezing. Use the drawn brow as your template to guide the process. “Take your time,” advises Delaney. “Removing too much hair can make brows look skimpy and permanently damage the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.” After tweezing, calm the skin by rinsing with cool water, and then apply a light moisturizer or natural botanical skin oil to the area. Extra sensitive skin may require cold compresses to reduce redness or puffiness.
- Coloring – For further enhancement, Hoag recommends coloring your brows. “Get your brows to enhance your eyes by either coloring them to be a half shade darker than your hair or using a brow fill product such a Wonderbrow and getting them sculpted to work with the angles of your face,” Hoag says.
- Clear Brow/Lash Mascara for Unruly Brows – Train unruly eyebrows by using clear brow mascara or clear lash mascara. Delaney recommends applying at night before bedtime or immediately after drawing brows in with brow pencil. “Use the tip of the wand to comb brows in the desired direction and allow the gel to set. Brow mascara will hold brows in place without feeling sticky or looking obvious. With consistent daily use, the brow hair will eventually grow in the direction you want them to grow,” she notes.
- Small Cuticle Scissors to Trim Brows – To tame wild hairs that grow outward or upward, Delaney suggests using small cuticle scissors. “The curved shape of the scissors permits you to follow the natural shape of the eyebrow without making mistakes, and their small size makes them easy to maneuver around the eye area,” she says. Prior to trimming, comb brows backward and then upward with a brow brush. Trim just the hair that extends beyond the natural brow line. (Tip: use a touch of hair spray to hold unruly hair up while you are trimming.)
Advanced Brow Care
- Permanent Eyebrow Enhancement – Permanent eyebrow enhancement is the perfect cosmetic solution for men and women who struggle with thinning or uncontrollable brows due to aging, illness or over-tweezing. A trained, permanent makeup artist can restore and restyle the eyebrows in just one hour—and the results can last anywhere from 18 months to three years. “Professionally applied, permanent brow artistry mimics naturally growing brow hair and eliminates the need for daily eyebrow cosmetics. Results are immediate and the procedure requires no downtime,” Delaney says. The healed brows look completely natural and remain in perfect shape. Cost for this service ranges between $395 for spot fills, $495–$595 for medium fills, and up to $695 for a full eyebrow restoration. Permanent eyebrow enhancement is also ideal for individuals with complete brow loss from chemotherapy treatment, illness or hormone imbalance. Another way to enhance disappearing brows is Micropigmentation, or a cosmetic tattoo, recommends Morgan. “This procedure can redefine your brows with the color and shape you want.”
In-Depth Brow Care
- Brow Lift – To replace your troubled look with a more refreshed appearance, a brow lift could be your best bet. “An endoscopic, minimally invasive brow lift involves making small incisions in the scalp and lifting excess skin and muscles to raise the brows and smooth forehead wrinkles. Also referred to as a forehead lift, a brow lift provides the eyes with a more youthful, alert appearance,” Burstein says. The recovery process for a brow lift is typically quick and easy, with slight swelling, bruising and minor discomfort
Most women long for lush lashes, and will go to great lengths to get them. Because the eyes are generally the first feature people notice when they first meet you, it’s important to nurture them. And your lashes are no exception. Full, lush lashes—like the ones Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba flaunt—exude sex appeal and youthfulness. Additionally, they make your eyes appear more alert. The following tips reveal how to get the luring lashes you so desire.
Basic Lash Tips
- Remove Makeup Every Night – “The tip to full lashes is to take care of them by properly removing eye makeup each night before bedtime,” says Feleshia Sams, owner of Atlanta Ink and Lash. “Only use cleansers that are intended for the eye area.” Natural makeup removers are gentler on the skin. For example, take off eye makeup by dipping a cotton ball or Q-tip into Burt’s Bees baby oil. Try to avoid harsh rubbing and tugging on the lashes.
- Lash Conditioner – A lash conditioner will help keep your eyelashes strong and healthy in between mascara applications. Sams notes, “Use a clean mascara brush to apply either almond oil, castor oil or extra virgin olive oil to your lashes. Or, apply an eyelash conditioner to your fingertips and massage it into your eyelashes.” RevitaLash Eye Conditioner’s proprietary blend of proven cosmetic ingredients, powerful peptides and calming botanicals help nourish and grow the lashes.
- Lash Curler – Open your eyes significantly by simply curling the lashes with an eyelash curler. “First, make sure the pads of the lash curler are not loose, as it will place extra pressure on your lashes. Place your top lashes in between the opening of the curler and get close to the base of your lashes (without touching your skin). Gently close and release the lash curler. Then, move toward the end of your lashes and repeat the opening-and-closing method,” advises Sams. Finally, apply mascara to help freeze the curl.
Advanced Lash Care
- Eyelash Perming – Eyelash perming is a safe, quick and simple process that takes about 45 minutes and lasts up to two months (or the natural growth cycle of your eyelashes). “Using chemicals to keep your curled eyelashes in place, eyelash perming can dramatically open up the eyes and give the appearance of longer, fuller lashes,” Sams says. Perming is beneficial for both men and women who experience random lash growth, or whose lashes are too curly or too straight.
- Eyelash Tinting – Eyelash tinting is a safe and quick procedure that involves vegetable dye. “Compared to mascara, eyelash tinting looks very natural. It is ideal for individuals with light brows and lashes, or for those who have altered their natural hair color and want their eyebrows and eyelashes to match,” Sams comments. Eyelash tinting lasts between four to six weeks.
In-Depth Lash Care
- Eyelash Extensions – Unlike traditional false eyelashes that only last one day and are applied by a strip, synthetic eyelash extensions are glued to a person’s eyelash hairs one-by-one using tweezers. The process takes approximately two hours, and the extensions last about two months. “Semi-permanent eyelash extensions are the most natural-looking faux lashes. Because they are water-resistant, wearers may swim, exercise and shower without worry,” says Sams.
- Eyelash Growth Serum – Eyelash growth serums are unique eyelash conditioners that help you achieve beautiful lashes. “Latisse is the first and only FDA-approved prescription treatment for fuller, thicker and longer eyelashes. Latisse is applied nightly and works gradually to produce desired results in just 16 weeks. The solution must be used continually to maintain lash length and texture, and the cost is $99 per two-month supply,” Lawrence says.
The Perfect Pout
Beautiful, sexy lips typically do not come naturally, unless you’re Angelina Jolie. But thanks to plumping products, injectable fillers, lip implants and more, we can look as if they’re ‘au natural.’ As we age, our lips lose their fullness and vigor, and laugh lines begin to set in. The cosmetic industry has made great strides to reverse the signs of aging lips—find out how you, too, can get that perfect pout.
Basic Lip Care
- Quit Smoking – Need we say more?
- Keep Hydrated – As with the eyes and the skin, your lips benefit from adequate water intake. Drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day will keep your lips supple and soft.
- Lip Moisturizer with an SPF – “Because we can’t avoid sun all the time, it helps to use a lip moisturizer with an SPF of 15, and then put on your lipstick or lip gloss over it. I recommend Burt’s Bees Res-Q Lip Balm SPF 15, which protects your lips from sun, wind and snow,” says Elizabeth Morgan, MD.
Advanced Lip Care
- Lip Plumpers – Lip plumpers cause the lips to swell temporarily by irritating them and thus, increasing the blood flow. Many also contain collagen and hyaluronic acid (found in injectable fillers), but there is no evidence these have any effect in this form. “A lip plumper is applied like a lipstick, smoothing it onto your lips. However, some people are allergic to these products, so test it out on your hand before you buy,” Morgan says.
- Dermal Fillers – If you’re looking for a subtle lip enhancement, dermal fillers help plump the lip tissue and provide the desired aesthetic. According to David M. Whiteman, MD, of Southern Plastic Surgery, “The most common dermal injectables used for lip enhancement include hyaluronic acid-based products like Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane. These treatments involve simple, 15-minute symmetrical injections into the lips after preparation with a local anesthetic, if needed. Most lip rejuvenation patients notice positive lip enhancement for up to a year following their initial treatment.” Adds Morgan, “Dermal fillers should look completely natural—the ‘overdone’ look is the result of having too much filler injected. In the lips, a little goes a long way.”
In-Depth Lip Care
- Lip Implants – “Lip implant surgery is appropriate for lip enhancement patients who desire a permanent change to their lips instead of the temporary change injectables produce. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will typically use localized anesthesia to numb the area. Next, he or she will make a series of small incisions on either side of the lip and insert a synthetic material that emulates the texture of collagen (without the allergy implications of naturally derived collagen),” says Whiteman. Patients may experience mild discomfort for the first couple of days following treatment, and swelling and bruising for up to one week. Editorial Resources
Robert A. Colgrove, Jr., MD, The Vinings Surgery Center, (770) 955-9000
Fernando D. Burstein, MD, FACS, FAAP, (404) 256-1311
Marisa Lawrence, MD, (404) 303-7004
Alyson Hoag, Authentic Beauty, (404) 849-0443
Marcia V. Byrd, MD, Byrd Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Center, (770) 587-1711
Gabrielle Sabini, MD, North Atlanta Dermatology, (770) 814-8222
Patricia Daniel, RN, Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center, (770) 495-9322
Evie Delaney, The Nouveau Clinic, (404) 936-6931
Feleshia Sams, Atlanta Ink and Lash, (678) 615-0497
David M. Whiteman, MD, Southern Plastic Surgery, (770) 622-9100
Mark M. Beaty, MD, Milton Hall Plastic Surgery, (770) 753-0053,