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"She looks the most beautiful when she's in the field – natural, no makeup, nothing," says Wyclef Jean of the actress-activist, 31. Indeed, her beauty needs are decidedly practical: a dusting of powder, a few strokes of mascara, a dab of Vaseline on her world-famous lips and – voilà! – she's ready to meet the president of Pakistan. "She wants to make a difference," says U.N. representative Guebre-Christos. "She does it with a lot of simplicity."
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Here's how Alba, 26, keeps that fresh vibe. Always wears: "Moisturizer." Barely wears: "Powder. I have kind of a round nose, and too much powder makes it look rounder." Washes hair: "Most days, unfortunately. I don't think it's good for your hair." Smells like: "Gardenia and candy."
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Longoria, 32, packed heat as a secret service agent in The Sentinel – and she shoots from the hip. She isn't vain: "Makeup artists always want to fill in the scar on my left eyebrow, but I never let them." She's a trendsetter: "She's really changed the way women on the red carpet look at color," says stylist Robert Verdi. She's practical: "I go to work in my pj's. I just have to get undressed again."
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Before his earnest falsetto topped the charts with "You're Beautiful," Blunt, 33, was a captain in the British army, even escorting the Queen. What he brings on the road: "A bar of soap." Why so basic? "In the army
you carry as little as possible. Most touring bands do the same." Beauty icon: "My father's in the army. He doesn't facial himself either."
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To play the lead Dreamgirls, Knowles, 25, subjected herself to bushy eyebrows and frumpy suits. The result: Total transformation ("Very not cute," she told reporters) – and a taste of what life might have been like if she hadn't been born beautiful. "To be honest," she said, "I feel people would have acknowledged my talent a lot more."
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"Maybe 40 is the new 30," says TV's consummate California girl, 45. After splitting from husband Richie Sambora (their divorce was just finalized), the mom of daughter Ava, 9, just keeps getting hotter. So – the secret? Run, sun (strictly the fake variety) and fun. "I don't say, 'No more bread or pasta.' I just don't have five platefuls. I've always been a red-meat eater. I try to eat a little less and be aware."
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The Oscar nominee, 38, describes himself as "extra-medium maintenance."
Sweat equity: He's up at 4:30 doing 500 push-ups, 1,000 sit-ups and a three-mile run before taking his three kids to school.
Sacrificed for art: Shoulder-length hair.
Man pampering: Regular manicures plus spa weekends "with a number of massages. That's when I allow myself to be high-maintenance."
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In 2005 the 5'2" IndyCar Rookie of the Year, 25, led the Indianapolis 500 for 19 laps – a first for a female driver. And there's buzz about an even better showing at Indy this month. Still, racing can get bumpy. "You sweat so much," Patrick says. "We have a helmet and this head sock; the sun's on you. The skin takes a beating. I do MicroDermabrasion every month. And facials – they hurt so good."
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Although her last role in Memoirs of a Geisha required hours of heavy makeup, Zhang, 28, prefers a more minimal approach: "I like a natural and clean look. Having makeup on, I cannot recognize myself. It changes my feelings in my heart."
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Her new single "Girlfriend" is a hit. She's a newlywed (having married Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, 27, last year). So for Lavigne, 22, her "new" image is just the latest, natural next step. "Being a girl is awesome. There's so much – bags, shoes, makeup, accessories," she says. "I love putting lotion on – I'm obsessed with lavender. It's a lot of fun, and I think the older you get, the more you get into it."
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You first knew him from a year-long sting as Seth on One Life to Live and a guest spot on Will amp Grace. But now he's best known for leaping tall buildings to star with Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns. So, what about the costume? "I got used to the tights pretty fast," says Routh, 27. "And when you wear a cape, you glide and flow; you become regal. I'd recommend it."
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Voted sexiest in her senior class, Bilson, 26, figured out her formula early on. Drugstore deal: 99a Wet 'n' Wild white eyeliner. "I've always used Wet 'n' Wild! A light liner on the inside of your eyes really opens them up." Biggest don't: "The brown lip liner with pink lipstick phase in junior high."
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Looking like he's been stranded on an island for months doesn't come easily to Lost's Andrews, 38. He hates the required growth of stubble and laments his limited wardrobe. But at least his hair-care routine hasn't had to change: "I can go two or three weeks without washing it. If I wash it more, it tends to turn into Sly and the Family Stone."
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The world-class beauty, 39, shares three simple beauty rules:
1. "Don't wear too much makeup."
2. "Stay clean and fresh, and try not to smoke."
3. "If you have fair skin, stay out of the sun and wear a hat. I couldn't live without sunscreen."