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Beauty Habits to Break Right Now

Posted by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 5:59 PM
  • 8 Replies


Don't Try to Mask the Scent of Self-Tanner with Perfume

If you've ever spritzed yourself with your favorite fragrance soon after applying a self-tanner, you probably learned the hard way that the combination can temporarily give your skin an eerie and otherworldly green tint. The likely reason? Some antioxidants used in fragrances chemically react with DHA—the ingredient in sunless-tan products that darkens your skin—causing patches of your tan to turn a light shade of green, says Ni'Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist and vice president of Englewood Lab in Englewood, New Jersey. To avoid a sci-fi pallor, resist the urge to apply fragrance (and other body products like deodorant and lotion) for at least six hours after self-tanning.

Don't Replace Shaving Cream with Body Wash

Shaving creams provide a better cushion between the razor and your skin than the foam left behind by body wash, says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson. The rich texture of shaving creams reduces friction, preventing nicks and cuts. If your skin is very dry or tends to get irritated, try a shaving gel—it's thicker than a cream.


Don't Apply Products to Sopping-Wet Hair

If you want to get the most out of your favorite mousse, shine spray, or gel, use it when your hair is damp or dry, says Mara Roszak, a Tresemmé celebrity stylist. "Wet hair is less porous, so it's harder for styling ingredients to attach to the strands


by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 5:59 PM
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by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 6:01 PM


Make Sure to Rinse After White Wine

You already know that the pigments in a glass of Pinot Noir will almost instantly give a dark purple cast to your teeth (and lips and, on a very bad day, your blouse). But a crisp white wine also poses a risk to your smile. "White wines are generally more acidic than reds; the high acid content erodes tooth enamel, which leaves teeth vulnerable to stains," says New York City dentist Irwin Smigel, creator of Supersmile. In other words: While you're enjoying a Riesling, steer clear of the marinara sauce. And afterward, or between sips, have some water and bread to reduce the acidity in your mouth

Don't Wear Too Much Makeup on Your Forehead

With every expression, your forehead moves. (Or, at least, it should.) So if it's covered with more than a very thin layer of foundation, the makeup will crease—an "undesirable look," as makeup artist Napoleon Perdis delicately puts it. His solution: Dot foundation only on your cheeks, chin, and nose; then blend any extra product up to your hairline.


Don't Rub Your Hair Dry with a Towel

The back-and-forth motion can disrupt the cuticle (the strand's outer layer), causing frizz and making hair harder to style. Instead, wrap hair in a towel, lightly press with your palms to help it absorb as much water as possible, and then use a wide-tooth comb to eliminate tangles, says trichologist Philip Kingsley.


by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 6:06 PM


Matching Your Brows to Your Haircolor

But, a slight tweak might be in order. If you take your hair two or three shades lighter all over, you want to lighten your brows just a bit, says Sharon Dorram of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger in New York City. If you dye your hair darker than your natural color, you can deepen your brows a shade or two. Use a Q-tip or small toothbrush to apply the same dye you use on your hair. (If you go blonder, though, make sure you use an ash shade—a golden blonde may turn brows brassy.) Wipe off the dye every five minutes to see how you like the color; you can always reapply if you need more time (but once your brows are orange, or inky black, you can't go back). If you're also covering grays, you'll probably need to leave the dye on for ten to 15 minutes

Misting Your Face on a Long Flight

Whether you're in the air or on the ground, spritzing actually dries out your skin after the water evaporates. If you like using a facial mist, make sure it contains a humectant, such as glycerin or aloe vera, which locks on moisture and keeps your skin hydrated. —from Simple Skin Beauty, by Ellen Marmur, MD


Don't Freak Out if Your Hair Clogs the Drain

Have you noticed more of your hair in the shower drain or on your brush lately? It's normal to shed about 100 strands of hair a day, except at the end of summer, when you lose more hair than at any other time of year. "When the weather's hot, our metabolism speeds up, making hair grow faster," says New York City trichologist Philip Kingsley. When temperatures start to cool in September, hair reaches the end of its growth phase and falls out. You might be experiencing more breakage right now from exposure to sun, wind, chlorine, and saltwater, too

Don't Shave Your Legs After a Long Soak in the Tub

"After 15 to 20 minutes, water causes skin to wrinkle and swell, which means that a razor can't glide as easily or reach the base of the hair," says Kristina Vanoosthuyze, senior scientist for Gillette's Venus razor brand. For the smoothest result: Shave within five to ten minutes after stepping into the shower, when the warm water has softened your skin and hair.


Don't Apply Powder Eyeshadow After Mascara

If you do, the shadow can drift onto your still-wet lashes, making them look dusty. There is an exception to this rule, though, says Michael Pierce, lead makeup artist for Hourglass Cosmetics. "If you have very deep-set eyes or droopy lids, you need to lift the eyelid with your finger in order to apply mascara. You wouldn't want to ruin your perfect shadow application with a smudgy fingerprint. Instead, apply one coat of mascara first, then do your eyeshadow, and finish with a light second coat on the ends to cover any of the powder that may have stuck to lashes." 


by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 6:10 PM


Don't Overdo Skin Treatments

How do you know if a new cleanser, lotion, cream, scrub, or peel is working? It's simple: Your skin looks better, not worse. "I see many women who think that if a product makes their skin pink or flaky, that means it's doing its job," says Jeffrey Dover, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and author of The Youth Equation. "But a red, peeling complexion means that skin is inflamed." And inflamed skin has a hard time retaining moisture and fighting off free-radical damage. Dover recommends using a scrub (whether physical, which uses tiny beads to exfoliate the skin, or chemical, which contains a skin-sloughing alpha or beta hydroxy acid) no more than once a week. And if your prescription retinoid has your skin in a constant state of irritation, cut back to every other day. When even a basic cleanser or lotion leaves your cheeks rosy, you might have an allergy, most commonly to fragrance; so look for products labeled "fragrance-free." 

Don't Spritz Fragrance Directly on Your Hair

Most perfume contains alcohol, which is drying to the hair, says Sarah Horowitz-Thran, creator of Sarah Horowitz Parfums. If you want a halo of your favorite scent, spray some into the palm of your hand, clap a few times to make the alcohol evaporate, then run your fingers through your hair. With a roll-on bottle, dab the fragrance on the tip of each finger, wave your hands for a few seconds, and then pat your head. 

Don't Line Your Lips Before Applying Lipstick

After recently clearing up the "Which comes first?" debate over mascara and lash curling (for those who missed it: curling), we posed the same question to makeup artist Napoleon Perdis about lip liner and lipstick. "Apply your lipstick; then use a lip liner to trace around the edges," he said. "The liner will glide on more smoothly than it does on a bare mouth, leaving a more natural outline but still creating a barrier against bleeding." To avoid ring-around-the-mouth, use a pencil that matches your lipstick shade, nothing darker. 


Don't Get Too Close to the Mirror When You Pluck Your Brows

"You lose perspective and can end up creating too much space between them," says Sania Vucetaj, of Sania's Brow Bar in New York City. The most flattering brow shape starts directly above the inner corners of your eyes; an exaggerated gap can create a perpetual scowling effect. So keep your distance from the mirror—at least one foot—and preserve your eyebrow symmetry. 


Are You Pumping Your Mascara Wand to Get More Product?

It won't. Every mascara tube has a built-in wiper that cleans the same amount of product off the wand each time you pull it out, says cosmetic chemist Jerry Bisram. But, more important, pumping the wand forces air into the chamber of the mascara tube, which mixes with the formula, causing the mascara to deposit unevenly on your lashes. Pumping also may be the reason your mascara smudges; friction softens the formula, so it takes longer to set. 


by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 10:35 PM

tfs there's a few I didn't know!

by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM


by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I knew about half of them. Those are good tips. Thank you!!

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Great tips. Thank you.

by Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Great tips! I knew a few of them. But some I didn't and won't be doing that anymore. 

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