Highlights Cheeks Like the perfect shade of blush, a layered cut accents your cheekbones and “adds fullness to long, thin faces,” according to Patrick Melville, owner of New York City’s Patrick Melville Salon & Spa. To get the look, ask for layers that start at the same level as the apples of your cheeks. As for the overall length, keep it between your chin and shoulders—anything longer will seem like a disconnect with the short layers.
Quick Styling Trick: Add texture so layers work to your full advantage. If you have straight or wavy hair, scrunch a frizz-fighting volumizer like Redken Aerate 08 Bodifying Cream-Mousse ($16) onto damp hair, let it air dry, then wrap the top layers around a curling iron held vertically to create waves. Curly hair? Distribute a straightening cream, such as Marc Anthony Instant Straightening Cream ($7.99), throughout damp hair, then blow-dry it by wrapping small sections around a round brush to coax the curls into softer waves.
Defines a Soft Chin A short bob that’s longer in front and shorter in back firms the bottom half of your face, “creating the illusion of a sculpted jaw line,” Melville explains. Ask your stylist to snip soft layers that curve toward the center of your face for the ultimate flattering look.
Quick Styling Trick: Create sleek, shiny strands; they show off the lines of the cut (and won’t add unwanted width to the bottom of your face). If your hair has some curl, apply a smoothing cream, like Aveeno Nourish + Style Smoothing Shine Crème ($6.49), then straighten your strands with a large round brush as you blow-dry. To prevent straight hair from going limp, mist your roots with a volumizer before blow-drying; try Pantene Pro-V Volume Root Lifter Spray Gel ($3.99).
Erases Lines “Bangs soften up the area around your eyes and take the focus off any wrinkles,” Melville says. Request brow-skimming fringe and ask your stylist to make tiny vertical snips up into the bangs to create a soft, wispy texture. “It’s more flattering than heavy blunt bangs cut straight across,” Melville adds. And don’t think you have to cut your hair shorter as you get older; long, layered hair is always gorgeous.
Quick Styling Trick: Give your bangs special attention. Apply a tiny dab of styling cream, like Dove Frizz Control Therapy Taming Cream ($3.76), for light hold and frizz control. Then point a blow-dryer down at bangs from above and use a paddle brush or your fingers to straighten out any cowlicks and smooth your strands. Avoid the round brush; you want to turn the clock back a few years—not all the way to the ’80s.
“Layers, fringe, and wispy ends soften your features and make you look younger. Skip cuts with sharp angles; they generally do less for your looks” —Patrick Melville, hairstylist, New York City
The right shade can perfect your complexion even better than a fancy foundation. “If you’re one of those women whose skin tends to look red, you want a cool, neutral shade for balance,” says Eva Scrivo, owner of Eva Scrivo, a salon in New York City. If your skin is more likely to look sallow or dull, “warm colors like golds, reds, and caramels add back the glow.”
If you’re not sure or you just want an antiaging boost, try adding high-lights to brighten up or use a permanent dye to lift your color one shade (say, from medium brown to light brown).