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Get naked (skin) on New Year’s Eve

Leave the pile of makeup to Lady Gaga this New Year's Eve

Even Dr. Bronner beauties suddenly enroll in the Pamela Anderson School of Makeup when New Year’s Eve rolls around.

It’s not entirely their fault: As the biggest party (or let down) of the year approaches, New York women are barraged with makeup tips. Unfortunately this special event advice for lining lips, filling in brows, and layering on shimmering shadows often seems more suited for a Lady Gaga video, covering a case of poison ivy, or table dancing at Lucky Cheng’s.

Your resolution for the last night of 2009? Ease up on the makeup, and get your skin in excellent order instead. Think kid gloves, not a heavy hand. Here’s the Well+Good way to understated glamour.

Don’t put it off till 2010. We at Well+Good look our most radiant after a great yoga class, a workout, or a run. The immediate huff-and-puff redness fades. But the glow you get from starting your resolution early doesn’t. (Nor does the feeling of superiority.)

Practice slough love and use an exfoliating facial scrub followed by a gentle peel with fruit acids, AHAs, or, if you’re a DIY kind of person, honey. The two-step exfoliation quadruples the radiance, as any good facialist will tell you.

You know that skin-perfecting facial mask in your medicine cabinet? It doesn’t work unless you use it. Unscrew the lid and apply. If your T-zone is oily, use a mud mask here, and something hydrating on your cheeks. Otherwise, just use a nourishing mask all over. Aloe is fine if that’s all you’ve got. The point here is to give your skin a supercharge dose of ingredients, right after it’s been exfoliated. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes.

Oil up
Get the Neutrogena ads out of your head: Your skin needs naturally nourishing oils or “serums,” the term used to trick you into using face oils. Their tiny molecules penetrate skin while most moisturizers just skim the surface.

The rapture of the natural look

Reflect light
Mica is a mineral that’s added to eye cream, tinted moisturizers, and makeup to reflect light. It gives skin the illusion of Photoshopped porelessness, not unlike the trick of using Vaseline on the camera lens.

Instead of a totally uncharacteristically wild eye color, let your fingers do the talking with navy, orange, gray, black, or mint nails. This says you’re a grown-up willing to experiment with color, not “Please somebody look at me.”

Instead of layering on your makeup to make it last past midnight, set it with a hydrating toner, which also gives skin a natural look. Keep spritzing all night. (And share it with others who need it more.)

Got a make-under tip we didn’t include? Tell us, here?