Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Info Guru

Illusion is a wonderful thing. Just ask any magician, make-up artist, hairdresser or clothing stylist.

You can look skinnier than you really are if you wear the right kind of clothing, in the right colors. Additionally, you can style your hair and wear make-up in ways that highlight what is good about you and draws attention away from those areas that you wish would disappear but haven’t.

Here are the top 10 clever ways to look skinnier:

10. Study your body

Study your body. Are you bigger on top or bigger on the bottom? Are you disproportionate? What is your best feature and what areas do you want to accentuate and what body parts do you want to conceal? The objective is to balance your body by dressing in a flattering way so that you are emphasizing narrow and thinner parts and directing attention away from big parts. You can achieve this by wearing the right colors in the right combinations and choosing fabrics that don’t add bulk to your body.

9. Wear one color

This will give the illusion of length and height and will make you look skinnier. When your sweater and pants or skirt is the same color, there is no interruption of color, and this makes you look thinner. If you wear a black dress, with sheer black hosiery and sassy black heels this will make you look skinnier because you are utilizing helpful slenderizing elements: One color and high heels.

8. Choose fabric carefully

Do not buy clothing that is hard, stiff, heavy or too clingy, which is going to accentuate bulges. Heavy fabrics add bulk to your frame. Consider clothing that is made of fluid fabric that follows your curves and drapes over your body, which shows some of your body but not every square inch of it.

7. Learn makeup tricks

Learn to apply your make-up so that your face appears sculpted and less chubby and round. You are going to be amazed at what you can accomplish and the illusions you can create by using contouring powder, blush, eye shadow and the right eye make-up and an eyelash curler. It is all about creating the ability to deceive the eyes and the mind, which is what make-up is designed to do. It can conceal as well as accentuate what you wanted accentuated.

6. Fix your hairstyle

Look at your hair. Is it making your face look chubby or does it slenderize your face? Highlighting your hair may actually make your face look less full. Blunt cuts can make your face look fat. Adding layers and texture to the crown area can add height and make you look taller and skinnier. Use professional caliber hairstyling tools for the best, gentle effect.

5. High-waist pants

Pick high-waist pants. This style of pant will elongate you and hold your stomach in. Straight-cut or boot cut jeans will also make you look skinnier.

4. Be careful with skirt length

If you have heavy legs disguise them by wearing pants or skirts and dress coupled with boots. The best shape skirt for a heavy lower half is an A-line, which is slimming. Knee-length or just above knee length also slims the appearance of your legs. Put on different skirts and dresses featuring different lengths and study your body. Try the skirts on with flats, heels and boots. See which look makes you look skinniest. You will see a difference depending on the length of your skirt or dress and the shoes that you are wearing. Dark hosiery is slenderizing but don’t wear bulky tights.

3. Pay attention to stripes

Avoid wearing horizontal stripes and lines because this accentuates girth. Instead, opt for clothing that features vertical patterns and lines, which create an illusion of a slimmer body. The eye will follow the stripes up and down and not from side to side.

2. Wear heels

Wear high heels or high heel pumps and pile your hair (if you have enough of it) on top of your head. This will add about five inches to your height. If you look chunky at 5-feet-four-inches you are going to look absolutely svelte at 5-feet-nine-inches. Of course, it’s an illusion, but it works. The taller you are the more weight you can carry. Take note that you can also create the illusion of being taller and thinner than you really are by doing yoga, which lengthens your body and improves your posture.

1. Invest in shapewear

This stuff is magical. Wear control and minimizing shapewear underneath your clothing and you will be amazed at your new contours. Shapewear comfortably, discreetly and effectively nips and tucks and gives you curves where you want them and conceals bulk that you want to hide. This may be the best invention since running water.