Like many women, I've read my share of beauty tips. So when I received a copy of InStyle's recently published Ultimate Beauty Secrets, I was skeptical. The book, as expected, offers many of the suggestions commonly seen in women's and beauty magazines. But Ultimate Beauty Secrets, compiled by the magazine's editors, also has some gems. Plus, its colorful, picture-heavy layout makes the information easy -- and fun -- to digest. I not only got past the opening pages, but I also finished the book.

Here's a sampling of tips and tricks:

* Clean your cell phone with antibacterial wipes to prevent chin and cheek breakouts. Ideally, use the wipes each morning; at the least, aim for once a week.

* Don't risk a facial that can leave your complexion red and raw the day before an important event. An at-home mask made with 1 teaspoon of raw oatmeal and 1 teaspoon of honey is a safer bet.

* Fix messy, cracked eye shadow by popping it out of its tray, putting it into a makeup palette and crushing it. Add a dab of Vaseline or eye cream until you have the right consistency. Voila! Do-it-yourself cream shadow.

* Tweeze brows after showering. Hot steam opens the pores; plucking is less painful.

* Trim extra-long brow hairs for a polished look. Use a brow brush to sweep hairs straight up and brow scissors to trim hairs that extend above the natural shape. Then, brush brows down and snip the hairs that extend below them.

* If you like the shade of a lipstick as it appears in its tube, prime lips with a touch of foundation before applying; that way, you begin coloring with a blank canvas. The result will resemble what you see in the package.

* If you're unsure of which pink (lipstick) is best for you, just smile: Your perfect shade is about the same color as your gums -- no lighter.

* Give legs a light, natural glow by using a self-tanner. Mix just a dab with your regular lotion and apply.

Craving more? InStyle Ultimate Beauty Secrets: The Best Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts To Create Your Perfect Look (InStyle, 192 pages, $22.95) is available at bookstores and online.

-Kristy Eckert