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Timeless Beauty

Sometimes, it seems like looking good requires abandoning most of your other pursuits while you get your hair blow-dried, legs waxed, and makeup perfected. So it's a relief to find that there are enhancement options that actually save you time. Here, a list of the newest treatments, from airbrush tanning to eyelash perming, that will allow you to emerge from the shower like Venus from the surf: fully beautified. Who ever said you were high-maintenance?


Airbrush Tanning

Airbrushing isn't just for Ocean City T-shirts and the sides of Trans-Ams. Getting a self-tanner airbrushed on (by a professional, of course) takes only twenty minutes, ensures an even glow, lasts over a week -- and allows you to toss those pesky bottles of foundation. At Acqua Beauty Bar (7 E. 14th St.; 212-620-4329), tanning liquid is applied to the face and body, and within minutes your urban pallor turns to a healthy bronze ($65 per session). The treatment at Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa (171 E. 65th St.; 212-595-0099) goes a step further, using the tanner to contour different areas, the way a makeup artist would to accentuate cheekbones, so your waist appears a bit thinner and your cleavage is deepened ($65 per session).

Eyebrow Tinting

Tinting your brows saves you the tiresome task of stenciling or filling them in with pencil. This treatment takes only seconds, and though you may feel a little Groucho Marx–ish at first, the color quickly fades, and slightly darkened brows give the face structure and contrast. Kristie Streicher of Warren Tricomi (45 Rockefeller Plaza; 212-218-8650) uses dye to extend the brows and fill them in. Tinting lasts four to six weeks ($50).

Eyelash Perm

Using a lash curler before you apply mascara gives you a wide-eyed look, but with a perm, you'll have that effect 24 hours a day -- and it lasts for six weeks. At Salon Ziba (200 W. 57th St.; 212-767-0577), a perming solution is applied and then lashes are rolled in mini-curlers to set them. Be forewarned: The process can be a bit harsh on lashes, so you might want to alternate months ($80). Ella Bache Spa (8 W. 36th St.; 212-279-0842) gives extra protection against damage by finishing the process with a conditioning moisturizer ($50 total).

Eyelash Tint

There's nothing like waking up in the morning with long, dark lashes instead of pale, puffy lids. At Lia Schorr (686 Lexington Ave., at 56th St.; 212-486-9670), a lush blue-black or brown tint, which takes less than twenty minutes to set -- and lasts about six weeks -- goes down to the lash line, doubling as liner ($35). Brigitte Mansfield European Day Spa (37 Union Square W.; 212-366-0706) customizes the colors to match your hair and skin for a natural effect ($35). But bear in mind: Eyelash dye isn't legal in New York, so you're proceeding at your own risk.

Laser Hair Removal

Avoiding monthly trips to the bikini-waxer will certainly save you time, and you won't have to deal with unpleasant in-between stages as hair grows back. Completely Bare (764 Madison Ave., near 65th St.; 212-717-9300) uses intense pulsed light to remove unwanted hair ($200 per session; six sessions are recommended for the procedure to be totally effective). The laser at Ajune (1294 Third Ave., near 74th St.; 212-628-0044) costs $300 for the first session, and $225 each for the requisite four to six follow-ups.

"Permanent'' Makeup

Tattooed cosmetics are tricky: Eyebrows can look Kabuki, and lip liner can be clownish. Tattooed eyeliner is a whole different story. A thin charcoal or dark-blue line adds definition and ensures that you don't wake up in the morning with a face like a blank slate. Fabrice Condemi -- who comes from Belgium one week a month to work at Yasmine Djerradine (30 E. 60th St.; 212-588-1771) -- is an artist, and though cosmetic pigmentation is not the most painless process, he numbs the eyelid before going to work. Results should be touched up after two years ($400 for the top lids, $300 for the bottom).

Thermal Reconditioning

These days, you can get Japanese thermal reconditioning -- that anti-perm that keeps even the frizziest locks smooth and shiny -- at practically every salon. But the real pros are (no surprise here) Japanese. The staffs at Salon Ishi (70 E. 55th St.; 212-888-4744), Shige Kosuda (141 E. 55th St.; 212-759-2397), and Momotaro (645 Fifth Ave., at 51st St.; 212-759-2392) have been doing this procedure the longest, and given how much you'll be spending -- from $350 to $1,000, depending on the length of your locks -- you want to make sure you're in the right hands. But bring a book; it takes a few hours.


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