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| Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Strapless requires skin care

The most important part of a strapless dress is rarely the dress. It's glowing skin. Makeup artist Quinn Murphy offers tips in Allure magazine:

Scrub away dead skin: If you don't have a good store-bought scrub on hand, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your shower gel for an instant exfoliator.

Get professional help: Unless you just returned from a week in the Bahamas, schedule an air-brush tan two days prior to the event and give it a chance to fade slightly. If you need more color, build it with gradual tanning lotion.

Let it shine: On the day of, smooth on an oil-based moisturizer.

Apply shimmer judiciously: Blend a highlighter over collarbones, the sides of your shoulders, and — if you're showing them — the front of your legs. If you have fair or medium skin, pick a champagne shade. Those with dark skin look better in gold.

Trunk show

Larrimor's is having an Oxxford trunk show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at its Downtown store. Oxxford creates made-to-measure suits out of Chicago for men. Meet the designer's representative Don Deich. Details: 412-471-5727 or

Spring trends

Ladies' Home Journal editors answer questions about spring style:

Lace seems to be prevalent everywhere. Is it too dressy for daytime?: Not at all. You'll find tons of options you can wear to work, lunch or wherever. Our favorite look is a pretty off-white blouse with a colored cami beneath to make the pattern pop.

What's the biggest trend for spring?: Go floral or go home! This season's blooms are big, bold and on everything from blouses to purses to sexy pumps.

What's the cool shape for handbags right now?: It's all about structured lady-like bags (so put that droopy hobo purse you've been carrying in storage). Go with anything from a bright color to a neutral.

What's the best skirt to wear to work?: Pencil skirts look polished, flatter every body type and never go out of style. Getting the length right is key, because if you buy too short, you'll show off more leg than you should — and if you go too long, you'll just look dowdy. Pick a skirt that hits right at the knee.

How do I wear colored jeans without looking like I'm trying too hard?: Three rules to follow: If you're even a little self-conscious about your thighs, say no to pastels. Go for darker shades like cobalt blue, purple or deep red. Pair them with a neutral top: White and black always work, but so do gray, beige and navy.

Navy and white stripes have been big for the past few years. Are they still cool?: That's a classic, always-cool combo, but we're going to steer you toward black-and-white stripes for spring, which we think is a smidge more sophisticated. Skip the T-shirt and buy a more substantial striped piece like a dress or blazer.

Please tell me that platforms and sky-high stilettos are over: You're in luck. Heels are definitely going shorter this season: You'll see cute, little kitten heels and funky block heels, both completely walkable. We like a pointy toe, which keeps the shoe super-feminine.

— Staff reports

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