Let's talk about sex

TRACEY STRANGE
Last updated 05:00 13/10/2013

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LIVED IN LINER

Smudged eyes are so very obviously sexy. Not only do they scream bedroom, they are also universally flattering.

It takes a bit of practice (too much smudge? Too little?) but the look is worth perfecting. One way is to start by tracing your lashes top and bottom with a soft eye pencil such as Elizabeth Arden's Beautiful Color Smoky Eyes Powder Pencil, $44, and then softening the line with the smudger tip.

Add dark powder or cream shadow to the lids up to the crease, blending as you go. You can then get more definitionby going over the eye pencil with cream liner.

We like the glittery line created by Nars' Eye Paint in Ubangi, $52 (on counter November 1).

FIERCE LIPS

Bold lips are all very well but some shades are just a swipe away from strumpet. Glossy red is a bit...obvious. Matt orange is too in-your-face to be truly sexy. Best combine the two in an orangey red that's not overly glossy and more velvet than opaque, such as Hourglass Opaque Rouge in Riviera, $55.

TINTED LIPS

The just-bitten look for lips is almost a sexy standard. Lip stains, which will give you the necessary flat, rosy look, can be patchy, especially if your lips are in need of a good buff. Sort them out with a gentle exfoliator such as Bite Beauty's Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub, $34.95.

Add a serum, like Morroccanoil Treatment, $67, to keep your locks in matching condition.

MADAM LASH

Does sexy have a size? It does when it comes to lashes. Lash serums like LashFood's Natural Eyelash Conditioner, $129, use peptides to help stimulate lash growth over time. But if you want thick lashes in a flash you are best sticking with primers and mascara. Try Estée Lauder's Lash Primer Plus Full Treatment Formula, $45, a pre-mascara treatment that deposits a milky white formula onto the lashes (the colour disappears on contact) and leaves lashes longer and fuller, especially when teamed with a mascara like Clarins Wonder Volume, $53.

SWEET CHEEKS

A soft flush makes you look healthy. Apart from defining a very important feature (your cheekbones), it adds warmth to the skin tone and provides a pretty glow. Properly applied, cream blush makes you look like you've been lit from within. Innocent - but not quite. And few things are sexier than looking like you don't have to try very hard. To get the requisite type of glow, rub just a little cream blush into the apples of your cheeks. Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks, $52, is a great option. It comes in 10 demure shades, is easy to use and has a great texture.

SEXY SHIMMER

Metallic shadows add a burnished gleam to the skin that looks both wicked and well-to-do at the same time. But if you are a bit sick of the more common bronzes and coppers, go for gold, literally.

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Gold lids (applied from lashes to crease) can look spectacular, especially when you keep the rest of your look simple. Team with black liner, lots of mascara, a hint of blush and a nude matt or gloss lip. Try MAC Pigment in Old Gold, $48.

EASY DOES IT

Sure, red lips and tousled hair are sexy, but they don't have a lot of finesse. Looking like a true fox means looking like you haven't spent hours fussing in front of a mirror. Try this: Keep skin even-toned but breathable with a product like Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup, $98.

Add creamy definition to the apples of your cheeks with a pinky toned cream blusher. Try Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Flushed, $29.50. Fill in brows by filling in with a brow pencil a shade lighter than your hair colour.

Line upper lashes with black liquid eyeliner followed by several coats of mascara. We like the opaque line generated by Shiseido's Accentuating Cream Eyeliner, $45. Follow up with a statement lipstick; try the creamy redness of Elizabeth Arden's Color Intrigue Effects Lipstick in Poppy Cream, $48.

ALL OVER SEXY

Warm, sunkissed skin is sexy skin. Keep yours supple with an in-shower exfoliator such as Summer Tan Body Polish, $35, which employs ground walnut kernels to smooth the skin and lemon, lime, geranium and cedarwood essential oils to scent it. Products like these also prep the skin for self-tanners. Trilogy's Instant Bronzing Gel, $39.90, is an everyday lightweight tanner which provides an immediate glow and smells like warm caramel on the skin.

HOT HAIR

"What makes a woman smokin' hot?" asks Danny Pato of Auckland's D&M. "Sexy hair, of course. But it's less about the look and more about how it's worn. I personally think sexy hair does take a little bit of effort. Go for an interesting texture and some volume. And, if you're looking for inspiration, try channelling a screen siren such as Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve or Rita Hayworth."

Pato, who created the hair for Adrian Hailwood's recent Fashion Week show, provides these easy tips for achieving glam-but-still-touchable waves:

Take a low side part or a part in the middle. Curl the hair section by section using a styling wand. Once the hair is cool, brush out using a boar bristle brush. Secure with a light misting of hairspray.

- Sunday Star Times

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