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Fall brows and lips...again.

Fall forecast: Big brows and red lips. Don't tell anyone, but that was last fall's beauty forecast as well. But that's ok. Summer beauty is typically light and refreshing. The domain of the sunless tan and extra-shiny lipgloss. Fall brings out darker, more sensuous beauty. Juicy pink lips and straw hats are replaced with perfect matte red lips and houndstooth trilby hats.

But what if you are, like me, somewhat brow-impaired? Besides, after a summer of whisper thin eyesbrows, plucked to the hinterland to avoid looking heavy, suddenly you are expected to have them grow forth in perfect, bushy excess?

Myself, I have brows that are too thick and bushy at one point, then thin and stunted at the other end. And let's not forget the teensy scar on my left eyebrow where no hair grows at all, the result of walking right into a metal door as a kid. Red lips I can do, but bushy brows? Not likely.

Who says bushy is great anyway? I like strong pronounced GROOMED brows, but I don't want to look like I have two wooly worms on my head. So what to do?

Stick to what you like on you and seek help for what you want to augment.

Eyebrow stencils and the right tools to the rescue. Seriously. Judicious use of stencils will NOT result in a Joan-Crawford-Mommy-Dearest mask of make-up. Be careful also to not place a stencil too high, or you have that surprised-by-everything arch going on. Place the stencil over your natrual eyebrow growth and apply a brow powder to accentuate what you have and fill in what you don't. Soften the edges from the stencil with a cotton swab and ta-da! Perfect brows!

So far, the best source for a good selection of eyebrow stencils, brushes powders and other goodies is www.eyebrowz.com. They will take good care of you and I love them because they are a source for auburn eyebrow powder. Most places have browns and taupes for blondes, but nothing with a tinge of red. I recommend them because they have a ton of stencils, before and after pictures and plenty of clear concise instructions. They offer a little book for sale called Beautiful Brows, which I checked out of our local libaray. It's a good read, if you're interested in reading about eyebrows (and obviously, I was). They also have a large list of different celebrities and they pictures, so if you want the thin delicate brows of Kate Moss or the icon brows of Audrey Hepburn, you can find the stencil there.

Now, lips. Again, big seems to be in. You would think it was the 1980s. So what if, like me, you do not have big pouty lips? This is NOT like the eyebrows where you just fill in what you don't have. That would be a bad idea. Bad, bad, bad. You should stick to your natural lips shape and find a nice kick-ass red lipstick. The MAC Viva Glam#1 is a good choice. It's a good quality true red.

However, just because red lips are supposed to be IT right now, there's no rule you have to stick to it. Right now, right in the middle of my fall planning, I have a wonderful lipstick I love that is called Baby Gold. It's a nude baby pink with a flush of gold shimmer and quite nice. I think it makes my lips look nice. But I come from a long line of thin-lipped women. Think Carrie Ann Moss rather than Denise Richardson. So the pale color and shimmer is flattering. Not to say I don't wear red, I love red lipstick, but there's no reason you have to wear it just because a magazine said so.

So much of being stylish comes down to self-confidence. Which is one of the most attractive but hardest to acquire qualities. So what if you don't wear red lipstick or have bushy brows? If it makes you feel good to wear them good. By all means do so. But if you don't want to, there is no reason at all why one should conform to what is trendy. Besides, the "smokey eye" is also a hot look and that doesn't go so well with the big bold red lips (unless you want to look like a hooker that is). So with the pale lips I'm wearing almost ALL THE TIME right now, the smokey eye looks great. If I were to go with the red lips, I would wear some mascara and that's it. Call attention to a beautiful feature and let the rest quietly compliment it.

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