Prep & primp for the season ahead with these tips for prettier, healthier hair, skin, makeup & nails.
BY BROOKE SAGER
1. COLOR CUES
You’ll have the best chance of scoring color to dye for if you seek out a professional to do the job. Next, follow these hints from Celebrity Colorist Michael Boychuck:
Get It: The most seamless-looking color comes from a beautiful base shade (usually no more than a level or two darker or lighter than your natural one) with a few highlights woven in to add dimension.
Maintain It: Go for a color gloss in between appointments to boost shine and revive your hue. Conditionin treatments will also keep hair looking healthy and shiny, especially if you’re noticing thelingering effects of winter-induced damage. Another “must”: Always use products designed especially for color-treated locks.
2. INTO CONDITION
If the cold weather has left your strands feeling dry and brittle, Suave Professionals Celebrity Stylist Marcus Francis suggests using a leave-in conditioning product. Try: Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Strengthening Light Leave-In Cream with Awapuhi Ginger ($4.98, mass market retailers), which will help prevent breakage and encourage thicker, fuller looking hair that’s easier to style.
3. HOT AIR ALERT
Instead of blasting your locks with the blower until it’s bone-dry, Francis says you can cut down on heat damage if you blow it out till it’s 50 percent dry, then let it air-dry the rest of the way. Another plus: “This method will leave you with a natural-looking texture that would otherwise require a salt spray or other styling product to achieve.”
4. EAT RIGHT
You (and your hair) are what you eat. A balanced diet full of nutrient-rich foods is absolutely essential to healthy and beautiful locks inside and out. As suggested by Joy Bauer, NBC TODAY’s Health & Nutrition Expert, start incorporating these five super foods into your diet year-round:
Strawberries. Bursting with Vitamin C, they help boost collagen, which is a key player in optimal hair growth, strength and flexibility.
Eggs. The yolk contains biotin, Tip: Mix yolks and egg whites to reap nutritional benefits while keeping keeping calories down.)
Spinach. This green is packed with foliate, which aids in the formation of red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body, as well as iron. Lack of this mineral can cause hair loss.
Sweet Potatoes. The orange color is a dead giveaway that this super food is loaded with beta-carotene and can raise your body’s vitamin A level, which in turn will promote healthier hair and scalp. Do take caution: in supplement form, too much vitamin A can actually cause toxicity and hair loss.
Lentils. This legume is an ideal source of iron and protein, and since hair is made up of keratin, a diet rich in protein is a must for optimal growth and shine.
5. NIGHT MOVES
Take steps to protect and perfect your hair while you catch some Z’s. Celebrity Stylist Mario Russo of his namesake salon in Boston, MA suggests you:
• Opt for silk pillowcases over cotton ones, which can snag your hair and cause frizz. Silk allows your locks to smoothly glide across the pillow as you snooze.
• Turn on the humidifier at night—it will help restore moisture into the air and your hair.
SHAKE UP YOUR MAKEUP
These makeup tricks & trends will have you looking gorgeous and radiant all season.
6. FOUNDATION BASICS
“Never apply makeup onto bare skin,” says NYC-based makeup veteran Carmindy, who suggests starting with a sheer foundation and a dusting of powder to prevent makeup from slipping or changing color. Try: Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation ($64), which mimics skin’s natural texture.
7. BRUSH UP (& WASH UP)
“Clean your makeup brushes about 2-3 times a week, especially if you are acne-prone,” say Sam and Nic Cha man of Real Techniques. “Dirty brushes not only harbor bacteria and cause breakouts, but leftover makeup can clog and damage the bristles.” Here’s how to do it in four simple steps:
1. Use an alcohol-based brush cleanser that also contains conditioning ingredients to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect them. (Try: MAC Brush Cleanser; $15, department stores and maccosmetics.com.)
2. Pour a small amount of cleanser onto a towel and swirl the tips of the brush over the liquid. Be careful to not get the base of the brush hairs wet, as over time, the glue that holds them in place will loosen.
3. Once the brush is thoroughly cleaned, rinse the bristles and re-shape them with your fingers so that they lay flat.
4. Finally, hang your brush over the edge of a table so that the air can circulate throughout the hairs—it will be ready to use again once it’s completely dry.
8. LUSCIOUS LIPS TIPS
Get yourself a fab, hydrating lip product, says Celebrity Makeup Artist Houda Casablanca of Angelo David Salon in NYC (angelodavid.com). Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 ($7, kiehls.com) will help you avoid chapped, cracked lips. If you crave something with a bit of color that’s still moisturizing, try Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Lip Color ($26, bobb brown.com).
9. PURPLE REIGNS
Shades of light pink with violet undertones are perfect for transitioning from winter into spring, says Achelle Dunaway, the Creative Director of e.l.f. Cosmetics. For your eyes, try e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic ($3); for a flirty, everyday lip, opt for e.l.f. Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint in Berry.
Try these new skincare techniques & product picks to guarantee a head-to-toe glow.
10. FLAKY SKIN, BE GONE!
The newly popular dry exfoliating technique (Molly Sims and Miranda Kerr are fans) works to minimize the appearance of cellulite by removing flaky cells and revealing silkier, more radiant skin—no water or creams needed.When performed before your daily shower, it also helps to tighten and firm skin and minimize ingrown hairsJust avoid using it on sensitive areas like your face and chest. Try: BioElixia Pure Cactus Bristle Dry Body Brush ($17.95, bioelixia.com).
11. EXFOLIATION NATION
Why is exfoliating your face daily so important? “You have to remove that extra layer of dead cells that accum lates in the winter so your skin will regain its luster—without exfoliation, the products you apply won’t absorb as well,” explains Sarah Swanson, New York City-based Aesthetic Expert (sarahswanson.com). At home, Swanson suggests using a gentle facial scrub every day, like her Sugar Face Scrub Me ($36). For optimal results, you should also try to schedule an appointment with your esthetician for a gentle chemical peel every 4-6 weeks.
12. CLEAN FACE CLUB
Amp up your face-washing routine! While many skincare junkies swear by devices with vibrating bristles for a clean that’s deeper than just hand washing, some experts believe that a silicone brush base is gentler and far more hygienic, since the bristles don’t harbor bacteria. Give the Foreo Luna $199; ULTA, Neiman Marcus) a try—it’s worth the splurge, because you’ll never have to buy replacement brush heads again.
As we transition into spring, a product that will help restore lost moisture is key, says Houda Casablanca. She loves Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Cream ($48), especially since it offers SPF protection. Our editors also like the feeling (and the price!) of Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer With SPF 15 ($8.99).
14. TRIPLE TREAT
L’or d’afrique 100% Organic Argan Oil (aka, Uberlube) hits the beauty trifecta all on its own, as it offers head to-toe benefits—use it to smooth out your hair, moisturize your body and even nourish your nails and cuticles; $25.95, orafrique.com.
It’s recommended that you drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day for your overall health and appearance (dehdration is not prettifying, inside or out). However, since this is not always easy to do, we suggest you infuse your water with refreshing citrus fruit, berries, watermelon, mint or cucumber (or try a combination)—the added flavor will have you thirsting for more.
16. JEEPER’S CROW!
The skin around your eye is the most delicate on your face, so it’s important to treat it with extra care to prevent unsightly crow’s feet. Follow these three skin-saving hints, courtesy of Sarah Swanson.
1. When you remove your makeup at night, take care not to pull and tug at this skin. Saturate a cotton ball with makeup remover, allowing it to dissolve your mascara and liner without using a lot of pressure.
2. Apply eye cream twice a day. Swanson recommends her Sugar Face Drench Me, which is loaded with hya uronic acid and much needed peptides.
3. Only apply creams and makeup products with your ring finger, the weakest one on your hand—that way, you won’t use too much pressure. Start your motion from the outside corner and move in toward your nose, which takes the movement.
Hot colors, cool products & DIY tips for strong, stunning nails.
17. PREP STEP
Your nails can become super dry and brittle during the winter, so be sure to hydrate them with a fortifying nail cream or cuticle treatment, says Elle, Celebrity Manicurist and Color Curator for Dermelect. Also, use a strengthening base coat, like Dermelect’s Launchpad ($18), which helps seal moisture into the nails while offering a double dose of protection from the shifting seasonal elements.
18. BEST FEET FORWARD
After shoving your feet into boots all winter long, show them some TLC by preparing your piggies for sandal season. Removing accumulated dead skin and calluses is a great place to start. The Amope Pedi Perfect Electroic Pedicure Foot File and Callus Remover (SRP $39.99) exfoliates your feet quickly, easily and gently, revealing smooth skin.
19. BLUE NOTE
When you’re over the dark, wintery burgundies but it’s still too early to rock pastel pinks, get on trend with bright, cobalt blue nails—they were all over the Spring Fashion Week runways, including Essie’s Butler Please at the Reed Krakoff show.
20. Mani Dos & Don’ts
Some girls swear by salon manicures, but others prefer the DIY route to save time and money, plus you feel so satisfied when it comes out just right. Here are some tried-and-true tips that our editors swear by:
1. Be sure your nails are totally clean before you begin. “I prefer non-acetone polish removers, even though it takes more work to get the polish off,” says Mary Greenberg. “I’ve discovered that acetone-based polishes dry out my nails.”
2. File nails to just past the tips of your fingers, unless you’re a lady of leisure and never have to cook, clean, type or text (plus, general consensus says that long stiletto nails are hideous). When you file, be sure to go in one d rection to prevent peeling and cracking.
3. Apply a base coat that’s designed to give you a strong bond. Greenberg likes OPI Chip Skip ($13.95); Brooke Sager’s fave is Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel Base Coat ($4.97).
4. To help prevent dry, discolored nails, use a brand like Dr.’s Remedy. Created by two podiatrists, the polishes are formaldehyde-free, contain lots of organic ingredients and come in 29 gorge colors ($17).
5. Apply a thin coat of nail polish on one side, then the other using a light-handed stroke. Be sure to cover the tip of each nail, which is where polish chips off first.
6. Wait 2-3 minutes, then apply another thin coat. (The operative word here is “thin”, since laying it on thick will lead to bubbles.)
7. Finish with a top coat that’s quick-drying and offers shine and a durable finish. We love: Essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat ($8.50) and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat ($10).
8. Remove polish from your fingers by tightly wrapping a bit of cotton around the end of an orange stick, then soak it in polish remover.
9. Here’s a fun tip for taking your mani the extra mile, courtesy of Crystal Fenton: “When my manicure starts growing out, instead of taking it off, I just touch up my cuticles with a contrasting metallic polish to create the trendy ‘half moon mani’ seen on the runways.”