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Category Archives: Beauty

My First Fact-Finding Mission and Home Purchase Was Easy

My husband and I have been talking about moving to Colorado, and one day he came home and said it was now going to become a reality if I wanted it to be a reality. He said that his boss thought he would be a perfect fit at their Denver branch if he was interested in it. Boy, were we ever interested! So, my husband sent me on a fact-finding mission by flying me out to meet up with a realtor in Denver so that she could show me what types of places were available. I was so excited, yet very nervous as well. I usually have my husband with me when I do important things like that, and I hoped that I could handle it all myself.

When I married my guy, he already had a house. I had been living in an apartment for 10 years prior to meeting him. So I had absolutely zero experience when it came to purchasing any type of property. But he gave me a few tips here and there before I left. And I also checked out a couple of websites to learn a bit, too.

Basics of Hair Removal

Tweezing generally doesn’t make hair grow back darker, and it’s a perfectly adequate method of hair removal if you have only a few stray hairs on your chin. However, it can be tedious and time-consuming if you have a lot of ground to cover. To make it easier, invest in good tweezers and a high magnification mirror. Tweezing is easiest after a hot shower or bath. If the growth is a little heavier, you might try other temporary methods. (Shaving is effective on your legs, but not a good choice for your face.)

In addition to plucking, your options include waxing, bleaching, and chemical depilatories. Waxing keeps hair at bay four to six weeks. Plucking, bleaching, and depilatories last about two to three weeks or less. Each method has pros and cons. Waxing removes hair quickly and smoothly but can be painful and expensive if you get it done in a salon. You also run the risk of damaging your hair shafts and getting ingrown hairs. Bleaching is pretty easy, but it can burn and sting if you leave it on too long. Be sure to use a product made especially for the face, not the arms or legs. It’s a good option if your hair color contrasts with your skin color. The day before, test a patch on your inner wrist to make sure you don’t get redness or swelling. You should do a patch test with depilatories as well. These products, which come in aerosol, lotion, cream, and roll-on preparations, contain a chemical that dissolves the surface of the hair, separating it from the skin.

Read instructions very carefully; leaving a depilatory on too long can irritate your skin. Also, make sure you get a preparation made specifically for the part of your body you’re targeting. A product aimed at hair on your legs could well be too strong for your face. In any case, you shouldn’t use depilatories around your eyes or on inflamed or broken skin.

For longer-term hair removal, you can hit hair follicles with the more expensive options of lasers or electrolysis. Lasers work best when you’re attacking dark hair on pale skin; however, some newer methods target other skin and hair combinations. It usually takes several treatments to get at hair in different stages of growth. Electrolysis also takes several treatments and can be painful; if your technician isn’t properly trained, you could get an infection from an unsterile needle or even scarring. And both of these procedures can be costly. For either, be sure to check the credentials of the operator. Most states require people to be specially licensed to perform these procedures. If you can, get a recommendation from a dermatologist or your physician.

You may have seen ads for face creams and moisturizers that claim to slow hair growth. Try these products and see if you notice a difference. They may not actually slow growth but rather make it less obvious. That could be enough for you. If it isn’t, you might ask your doctor about prescription medications to slow hair growth. One of the newest is Vaniqa (eflornithine HCl). After about eight weeks, you may find that you need to tweeze or wax less frequently.

Ways to Conceal Blemishes Acne

It happens when you least expect it. You wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and discover a very visible pimple. Ouch! It not only hurts, it looks painful, too.

Don’t fret. There are several quick and easy beauty products that will help you hide breakouts so that you can go about your day without feeling self-conscious. Of course, serious acne needs treatment, but whether you’re waiting for it to take effect or just have to deal with the occasional zit, camouflage is as close as your foundation, concealer, and a face powder.

Shopping for Concealers: Best Advice

“Be careful in choosing your makeup,” advises Scott Gerrish, MD, a nonsurgical skincare specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland. “Some makeup contains oil or other ingredients that can make your acne worse. Make sure that you select quality makeup and consult an esthetician or dermatologist when in doubt.” Foundation can be a workhorse beauty product for you; read labels and look for formulas that provide blemish-fighting ingredients and offer better coverage.

  • Buy foundation concealer, and face powder that are meant to work together. All three should be in the right shade to match your complexion; test the color at your jawline. You don’t want to draw more attention to your flaw by wearing a shade that’s too dark or too light for you.
  • Test the foundation and concealer on a hidden spot on your face or neck to be sure there is no allergic reaction.
  • Carefully wash with your usual face cleanser, gently pat dry, and apply anyacne medication that you may be using.
  • Use a concealer first and apply with a makeup brush or sponge — don’t use your fingers, as they can transmit oil and germs that could lead to more acne. “Gently dab a small amount of concealer directly onto an acne spot and then carefully blend it with a small makeup sponge,” says Helga Surratt, president of About Faces Day Spa & Salon in Towson, Md. Let it dry thoroughly.
  • Next, use a makeup sponge to gently dab on your foundation; this technique keeps you from disturbing the concealer. If you wear foundation all over your face, apply it and take a step back to see if you need an extra dab right on the pimple. If so, blend it in very carefully at the edges. If you’re wearing foundation just to camouflage the zit, fan out the edges to avoid leaving any demarcation lines.
  • Use a large makeup brush, says Pam Messy of Mary Kay Cosmetics in Maryland, to lightly apply an oil-free powder to set the makeup and remove any traces of shine from the foundation.
  • Clean brushes thoroughly and toss the sponges or carefully clean them to avoid transferring oil and germs.

What to Do When Acne Is Severe

Special products are available for camouflaging severe acne. These products contain silicone and other ingredients to help hide redness and scars. Consult your dermatologist for advice on the best beauty products to use in conjunction with the acne medications and/or topicals you’re using to combat severe acne. You want to make sure that your beauty products are enhancing, not taking away from, the effectiveness of your treatments.

The next time you have a blemish or two on your face, don’t think you have to pull down the shades and hide at home. Instead, reach for your beauty-product arsenal, and perform your best vanishing act.

Ways Make Gray Hair Gorgeous

One fine day, the inevitable may occur: You could see strands of gray in your hair. After the initial shock, you may ask yourself this question: To dye or not to dye?

But coloring is not the only gray hair treatment available. Dyed hair requires regular touch-ups and can be expensive to maintain; if covering up the grays doesn’t appeal to you, then it’s time to abandon the old and embrace the new — a fresh and flattering gray hairstyle.

What’s really important to remember, says Maurice Dadoun, creative director of the Melrose Place Fekkai Salon on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, is that hair is probably your greatest accessory. Take this opportunity to really change your style.

If you want to keep your natural gray hair color, he suggests getting a fresh, new look. “You have to have a modern style,” says Dadoun. “It could be graphic, edgy, or modern, but it cannot be something simple.” Without style, gray hair color can make you look older, he warns.

Enhancing Gray Hair Color

You have options to brighten gray hair without resorting to coloring it, says Sharon Dorram, co-founder of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City. You can opt to blend in other shades with the gray — either highlights or lowlights, depending on your natural color.

What’s most important is to balance hair color with your skin color and eye color. If you don’t, the hair color will be off.

Gray Hairstyles: Get the Right Look for You

Part of the allure of going gray is no more worrying about touching up roots and repairing the damage done by dye. With the right gray hairstyle and products, maintenance can be kept to a minimum.

Making it shine. When hair goes gray, its shine and texture are both affected. Dorram says gray hair can look dull because it doesn’t reflect light. Also, gray strands come in a little thicker, frizzier, and coarser. “That’s why grey hair strands stick out,” says Dadoun.

Both experts have recommendations for gray hair shampoos, the starting point for great gray hair treatment. In addition to their respective salons’ own brands, other gray hair shampoos to consider are Nexus Dualiste and Avon’s Lotus Shield.

If you have fine hair, Dorram says, use a volumizing shampoo and skip the conditioner, which can weigh hair down.

Styling tips. For gray hair that looks glam, it’s all about the style, and that often depends on texture.

  • With fine hair in particular, keep it short. Fine hair that’s allowed to grow long will end up looking unhealthy, says Dorram. Dadoun suggests an above-the-shoulder length for all women who want to stay gray — in his opinion, even if your hair has good texture, wearing it long will age you. Protect your strands by using a low setting on your hair dryer, and don’t ever pull hair.
  • If you have curly hair, don’t try to fight it. Use a shea butter shampoo, style hair while it is still wet, and let it dry naturally. Use a finishing product with olive oil to give the curl definition and shine.
  • If you have thick hair, Dadoun says, don’t wash too frequently — if you wash too often, your hair will become brittle and dry. Shampooing once a week is fine. A shea butter-based shampoo is good for thick hair, he says. “The concentration of shea is so rich; you feel intense moisturizing.”

Dadoun also recommends that women who want to use products to enhance gray hair color talk to their hairdresser about the right choices to make.

Special treatments. Dorram says vitamin E oil, available at your local drugstore, will improve the shine and health of damaged gray hair. If your hair is really damaged, she suggests leaving it on overnight. Apply the vitamin E oil to your hair, wrap your hair up with a bandana, and then go to sleep. In the morning, wash the oil out.

Dorram also recommends a conditioner called Phytobaume by Phyto: “It’s natural and has no harsh agents — you’ll see good results. I love their detangler.”

Dadoun says the outer covering, or cuticle, of gray hair is very porous. This means gray hair can attract pollution which may turn hair yellow or orange. To keep hair perfectly silver gray, use purple or violet-colored products to take out the yellow and an apple cider shampoo on occasion to rebalance the hair’s natural pH. Dadoun also recommends taking vitamins B6 and B12 and fish oils, which are good for the skin and hair.

Growing Out Dyed Hair

If you’ve colored your hair in the past, but are ready to go natural, you have options. Dorram suggests using highlights or lowlights to blend with your natural hair color, an option that won’t give you roots. Dadoun suggests taking a more drastic step: Cut your hair off — the only way to really remove color. You’ll also want that new style to go with your “new” shade.

Chemical Peels For Younger and Smoother Skin

The effects of a chemical peel range from simply making skin look brighter and fresher to literally peeling years off your skin. Collectively, chemical peels are among the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Chemicals peels use varying strengths of acids to lift away the top portions of your skin, says Mohiba Tareen, MD, a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology, P.C./Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and clinical instructor of dermatology at Columbia University, both in New York City. The goal is to reveal younger, smoother-looking skin.

And there are plenty of options to choose from, starting with a mild glycolic chemical peel you can give yourself at home to a deeper trichloroacetic acid or TCA chemical peel available at a doctor’s office. Consider the pros and cons and healing time of each type to help you decide if a professional chemical peel is right for you.

At Home Chemical Peel

Home chemical peels won’t give you the significant results you can get from professional chemical peels, but they can help your skin look brighter and fresher, Dr. Tareen says. You can choose from salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid chemical peels.

  • Pros: For most people, home chemical peels are safe and can make your skin look better. They’re also very affordable. Most cost under $50, and some are even under $20.
  • Cons: The results won’t be as significant as what you would get at a spa or doctor’s office. Also, peels that are higher than 50 percent acid can cause scarring, especially if you have darker skin, so be sure to buy a peel that’s a lower percentage of acid, Tareen says. If you’re a woman of color, read the label and search for a chemical peel specifically made for your skin tone.

Chemical Peels at a Spa

The professional chemical peels you get at a spa tend to be mild to medium peels, which can help you look brighter and fresher and help with wrinkles and scarring, Tareen says. How much skin is lifted away depends on the strength of the peel being used, how heavily the chemicals are applied to the skin, and how long the chemicals stay on the skin’s surface.

The mildest peels used at a spa will probably contain glycolic acid or another alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). A TCA chemical peel will penetrate more deeply than AHAs.

Although prices vary, chemical peels at a spa may cost $70 to $400, depending on how deep it is and where you’re getting it done.

  • Pros: Light and medium peels are safe and fairly painless. You may only feel slight stinging or tingling from the chemicals. You can also leave the spa and go about your normal day after getting a light or medium chemical peel, but be sure to use sunscreen.
  • Cons: Because of the risk of scarring, Tareen doesn’t recommend getting a peel that’s higher than 50 to 60 percent acid at a spa. And if you’re a woman of color, she recommends going to a dermatologist for a chemical peel to lower your risk of scarring.

Chemical Peels at the Doctor’s Office

Dermatologists and plastic surgeons offer light, medium, and deep peels. If you’re looking for a deep peel that will make your skin look significantly younger, Tareen recommends going to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon rather than a spa.

  • Pros: A trained doctor or surgeon will know what type of peels to use that are best for your skin tone, lowering your risk of complications like scarring, changes in pigmentation, or infection. A doctor is also the most qualified practitioner to give a deep peel, which involves treating the skin with a high concentration of acid for about an hour, then covering the area with petroleum jelly or adhesive coverings that stay on for one or two days. You’ll need to have your heart rate monitored during the procedure. And you’ll have to go back every day for dressing changes, Tareen says.
  • Cons: A doctor’s office will be the most costly option, depending on how deep a chemical peel you choose. A light peel may cost up to $300, while a medium peel may cost between $500 and $1,000 at a doctor’s office, Tareen says. A deep peel can be as much as $3,000, but the effects can last for up to 20 years. Keep in mind that the deeper the peel, the longer the recovery time.

Treating your skin with an acidic solution can cause some serious complications, so it’s important to know the risks of doing it at home, at a spa, and at a doctor’s office. Following these guidelines will help you decide what’s best for you.

Ways Get a Natural Look With Makeup

With today’s on-the-go lifestyle, many women want face makeup tips to help them achieve a natural look that’s easy and fast, yet with enough polish to make it perfect for any business or personal daytime occasion. Natural face makeup is all about the colors you choose and where you put them.

Makeup Tips for the Natural Look

As Helga Surratt, President of about Faces Day Spa & Salon of Towson, Md., says, “Applying makeup for a natural look is easy with practice.” Follow these face makeup tips for a flawless finish to your makeup application:

  • Start with a clean and moisturized face. This is your canvas.
  • Use concealer for coverage. “To hide imperfections without adding color, use a concealer that has a yellow undertone,” Surratt says. Your concealer should be one shade lighter than your foundation or tinted moisturizer. Dot the concealer wherever you have a spot to cover and carefully blend it in with the rest of your skin using a makeup sponge.
  • Choose the best base makeup for you. For the sheerest and most natural look, use a tinted moisturizer after your concealer and gently blend with a makeup sponge under your jaw line. If you want to use a foundation for additional coverage, use a thin layer and carefully blend it under your jaw line.
  • Mineral makeup is great for a natural look and is easy to apply with a brush.
  • Experiment to find the right texture for a natural look. Mix your favorite liquid or cream foundation makeup with a dab of skin cream or moisturizerfor a lighter, moister finish.
  • For eye makeup, stick to neutral tones. Try taupe, beige, or a light dusting of a dark pink for eye shadow and brown or gray for mascara. “For the most natural look, skip the eyeliner,” Surratt suggests. If you do use it, choose a brown or gray color rather than black.
  • Go light on your lips. “Select nude or sheer pink shades that enhance your natural lip color, and forgo any lip liner,” says Pam Messy of Mary Kay Cosmetics in Owings Mills, Md.
  • Blend. Blending is the secret to using blush. Choose a cream formula or a loose powder applied with a makeup brush. Both are easy to work with. Apply the blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend down. In summer months, you can use a hint of bronzer to add more color to your face. “For the most natural look, use a blush that is closest to the color of your own cheeks after a light workout,” Messy says.

More Makeup Tips for Perfectly Natural Makeup

A few more expert tips will have you putting your best face forward:

  • Sheer, pale colors are great for creating a natural look with makeup. Select blush, eye shadow, and lipstick colors that are right for your skin tone: nudes, light pinks, or beiges are good choices. Surratt says: “Experiment with different colors, keeping in mind that you want to look as though you have no makeup on.
  • Always check your face makeup in natural light.
  • Use quality face makeup brushes for a more natural application, and have the right brush for the right cosmetic, such as a big, fluffy round brush for blusher, an almond-shaped flat brush for eye shadow, and a fine-tipped brush for cake eyeliner.

You can have natural, gorgeous-looking face makeup. With practice, people will think you aren’t even wearing any makeup!

Beauty of Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup has become popular for many reasons: It’s eco-friendly, looks good, and feels light on the face. And because TV infomercials and the celebrities who use and recommend it, mineral makeup has gotten a lot of media attention.

“Mineral makeup has been around for 30 years or more, but has recently regained popularity in the cosmetics industry,” says Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a nonsurgical skin care specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland. “Mineral makeup was originally used by plastic surgeons and dermatologists on patients after cosmetic procedures to cover the redness and soreness.”

Is mineral makeup right for you? Read on to find out.

The Magic Behind Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup is made from pure, crushed minerals and will not cake on the skin: It allows the skin to breathe and gives you a lighter, more natural look than traditionalmakeup. “Mineral makeup comes in powdered, pressed, and liquid forms and has beneficial properties for your skin,” says Helga Surratt, President of About Faces Day Spa & Salon, in Towson, Md.

It is ideal for all skin types, all skin tones, and women of all ages. Mineral makeup looks great, feels great, and helps to bring out your natural glow. “But take care to read the labels and make sure you’re getting pure mineral makeup,” Surratt says.

Why Mineral Makeup May Be Better

  • Mineral makeup won’t clog pores or irritate. As Pam Messy of Mary Kay Cosmetics in Owings Mills, Md., says, “Regular makeup contains artificial chemicals or preservatives, whereas true mineral makeup does not. Mineral makeup is hypoallergenic and usually safe to use on any skin.” It’s also free of oil, talc, perfume, dyes, alcohol, and other potentially irritating and comedogenic, or pore-clogging, ingredients, Surratt says.
  • Mineral makeup ingredients can soothe skin. What it does contain are natural anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as zinc and titanium oxides, which help calm the skin when it’s irritated. These ingredients also offer protection from UVA, UVB, and infrared sun rays. “Read the label, as you want at least an SPF of 15,” Surratt says.
  • Mineral makeup acts as a great concealer. Need to hide imperfections? Mineral makeup is lightweight and conceals, corrects, and covers pigmentations and lines on your face while still allowing your skin to breathe. “It offers skin-enhancing benefits. It smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, conceals blotchiness, and improves the appearance of skin with acne or rosacea,” Gerrish says. Mineral makeup doesn’t need many touch-ups because it has water-resistant qualities that provide long-lasting coverage, another plus.

“Pure mineral makeup is so harmless you can almost sleep in it,” says Messy, “though I always recommend removing all makeup before going to bed, and applying a good moisturizer.”

While no form of makeup is perfect, mineral makeup products can help you avoid harsh preservatives and chemicals while hiding those fine lines and little flaws. You may never go back to regular makeup because of the way mineral makeup looks and feels on your face.

Remedies for Acne

A severe acne breakout that covers your face or body may require professional acne treatment from a dermatologist. But for most people, the occasional pimple or blemish can be handled at home with an over-the-counter acne treatment. There are many options to choose from and different ingredients to consider, so do your homework before putting anything on your face.

About Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments

Healthy habits — including a good skin care regimen, regularly washing your skin, and keeping your hands and oily products off of your face — are your first line of defense in preventing an acne breakout. But no matter how hard you try, you’re likely to get a pimple or two at some point.

If you have regular acne breakouts, take steps to improve your skin care regiment. When problem skin is left untreated, you may experience frustration, problems with self-esteem, and physical scars from your acne. You can treat your acne breakout — so don’t just live with it and hide your face until it goes away.

Which Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments Should You Try?

Over-the-counter acne medication comes in a variety of different forms and strengths. Topical over-the-counter acne medications are available as:

  • Medicated pads to clean the skin
  • Special soaps and cleansers
  • Gels
  • Creams
  • Lotions

These nonprescription acne medication options are a good choice for people who have only mild acne — the occasional acne breakout of small pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads.

You’ll have to decide what’s the best method of acne treatment for you and your skin — whether you need a gel or cream to spot-treat the occasional pimple, or if you need a medicated wash and lotion to keep your whole face or body blemish-free and clear.

Ingredients to Fight an Acne Breakout

Over-the-counter acne medications may contain a few different ingredients to help fight a simple pimple or a full-fledged acne breakout. Common ingredients are:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Resorcinol
  • Sulfur

Some of these may also be found in prescription acne treatments, but you can get milder, lower-dose versions in over-the-counter products.

The most commonly found ingredients in over-the-counter acne medications are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. They help to rid your skin of excess oil and destroy lingering bacteria to help fight acne. Once the oils have dried up, the skin layers making up the pimple will peel and flake off. Benzoyl peroxide can also help to shrink pimples by reducing swelling and inflammation. Sulfur, resorcinol, and salicylic acid actually help pimples disintegrate and clear up skin.

(Prescription-strength acne medication is stronger — and may offer the option of oral medications and other, more effective ingredients, like retinoids or injections of corticosteroids, that you can’t get over-the-counter.)

Possible Side Effects of Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments

There are some potential, although relatively minor, side effects to consider when using over-the-counter acne medication. Because these treatments help dry up excess oil, they can leave your skin too dry if used too frequently. Other common side effects include:

  • Reddened skin
  • A burning sensation
  • Irritated skin

Always follow the instructions provided on the packaging of any over-the-counter acne medication that you use to help minimize the risk of these side effects.

No acne medication works immediately, so it’s important to understand that it takes time to see results — and that you shouldn’t give up. Some over-the-counter acne medications can take as long as eight weeks to provide results.

If you can’t get relief from your acne using over-the-counter acne medication — or if you have painful side effects — it may be time to see a dermatologist about other methods of clearing up your skin.

How to care for your hair everyday

1. Be a Natural Beauty

You may be able to share jeans or the same shade of lip gloss with a friend, but curly or fine, thinning or thick, each hair texture has its own structure and behavioral tics. The styling tools and tricks that turn one type of hair glossy and manageable may leave a different texture limp and lifeless or fried and frizzy. Here’s how to achieve your best-ever tresses by embracing your natural-born texture.

2. Fatten up Fine Hair

When the researchers at Pantene’s lab used 3-D technology to examine different hair textures, they discovered that not only do fine strands have a smaller diameter than their plumper sisters, they’re also loners. While thick hair fibers rub up against each other willy-nilly, fine hair fibers arrange themselves in a parallel, don’t-touch-me pattern, which creates skimpy volume.

Pantene took all these things into consideration when it created Flat to Volume 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner ($6.99). It contains a polymer called HPM cellulose that boosts the cleansing power of the shampoo so that fine hair won’t wilt under the weight of dirt, scalp oils, and yesterday’s styling product reside.

To help further fatten strands, apply a volumizing mousse, such as Suave Professionals Volumizing Mousse ($2.74) to towel-dried hair. Ron King, the owner of the namesake salon in Austin, suggests this application trick: Squirt 10 little dollops all around your head, aiming directly at the roots, which is where you want to achieve volume.

3. Fake Fullness for Thinning Hair

If your hair doesn’t feel quite as full as it once did, you’re likely noticing more strands clogging your shower drain or being left behind on your hairbrush. In addition to shedding more hair, the circumference of each fiber may be shrinking as well because hair follicles tend to narrow with age.

Tweaking your hair-care regimen to include products specially formulated for thinning hair can help combat temporary hair loss caused by extreme stress, pregnancy, or other changes that weaken the bulb of the hair. Phyto Phytocyane Revitalizing Shampoo for Women with Thinning Hair ($24) contains botanicals like ginkgo biloba and cinchona bark, amino acids, and fortifying vitamins to promote micro circulation to follicles and improve the density of hair fibers.

Your brush can make a difference in creating the appearance of thicker hair. The small-sized Denman Squargonomics ceramic brush ($8.99) lets you get right up against your scalp to lift your roots for a volume boost.

For an instant fix, Elad Ben Tov, a stylist at Valery Joseph Salon on New York’s Madison Avenue, uses SoCap Hair Extensions to add fullness and length to the hair of some of his celebrity clients (we can’t say who). Available in 81 colors and curly, wavy, and straight textures, “it’s just magnificent, the closest you can come to having a natural head of full hair,” he says.

That magnificence doesn’t come cheap, with a price tag anywhere from $500 to $3,000 for extensions that will last about five months. For a more affordable DIY alternative, check out the clip-in synthetic and human hair extensions at HairUWear. You may also want to consider asking your colorist for a few highlights. “They create lift at the root,” Tov says, “which makes your hair look more voluminous.”

4. Treat Curls With Care

All you curly-haired ladies out there, it’s not just you. Curly hair really is more challenging to manage. That’s because curly strands take twists and turns that can cause the cuticle to lift, leaving hair rough in appearance and touch as well as dry, because scalp oils have a hard time reaching the ends. Plus, women often have multiple types of curls on their head — tighter curls in the front and sides and looser in the back, says Austin stylist Ron King.

For the most control, you have to start with the cut. Layers are essential, says curly hair guru Ouidad. “If you cut curly hair in blunt lines, it’s going to form a shelf,” she says. In Ouidad’s trademarked “carve and slice” method, bulk is sliced away and curls are carved to fit within each other like puzzle pieces. Find a stylist who specializes in curly hair, she says, or one with ringlets of her own that you admire.

Next, you need a gentle shampoo. Look for a hydrating, mild formula like sulfate-freeDevaCurl No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser ($16). The lathering agents in most shampoos can be drying for curls and often start the havoc if your hair tends to go frizzy and shapeless.

In a misguided effort to manage their curls, many woman pile on styling products. “All that does is turn their hair into a clumpy mass,” says Steve Lococo, co-owner and style director of Borrelli Salons in Los Angeles, “and that leads them to add even more products.” Lococo’s less-is-more advice involves only two products: 1. Working from the nape forward and from roots to ends, evenly distribute a quarter-size amount of Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Holding Foam ($28) throughout your damp hair. 2. When your hair is completely dry, smooth on a bit of lightweight curl-defining serum.

5. Tame a Thick, Coarse Mane

Sure, most women envy your thick, voluminous mane, but the troublesome downside is that the larger diameter and higher protein content of thick hair also means it absorbs more moisture from the environment. The result: frizz alert on even a modestly humid day!

Dry, porous hair attracts water like a sponge. The key to cutting down on frizz is keeping your tresses well moisturized, says Bill Murphy, owner of Atlanta’s William David Salon. Try L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo ($5.99), which is free of drying sulfates and contains natural oils to help hydrate thirsty strands.

Also, the less heat damage you inflict on thick hair, the less likely it is to frizz. The ceramic-coated barrel of the Marilyn Flatter Me Too Brush ($26 to $42) speeds up blow-drying time and helps smooth and straighten coarse hair without the need of a flat iron.

For a one-two styling punch, try Moroccanoil Oil Treatment ($41, available at salons). Made from the nuts of the argan tree, it has a rich, fatty-acid base that smoothes the cuticle when distributed through wet hair, and it also contains silicone to seal in moisture and impart shine when it’s applied to dry locks.

Another way to manage very thick texture is to keep your locks collarbone length or longer; the heft will pull the strands down to reduce bulk. To prevent a wide bottom — something you don’t want for your figure or your hair — have your stylist thin out blunt ends with layers.

Tips for Beautiful Summer Skin

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but the sun and heat can take a toll on your skin, hair, and body. That doesn’t mean you should stay indoors — with a little care and a few precautions, you can enjoy summer to its fullest.

1. Try a Self-Tanner

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are very damaging, especially UVA rays. They not only burn your skin and cause premature aging, but can also lead to skin cancer.

So, instead of lying for hours in the sun, get that sun kissed glow with a self-tanner. Many salons offer spray-on tan services, or you can purchase an inexpensive self-tanning lotion at your local drugstore. Gradual self-tanning moisturizers keep your skin smooth as they help you control just exactly how bronzed you become, and they are less prone to streaking. Just remember to exfoliate before you apply self-tanner to remove any dry skin that could pick up excess color and lead to an uneven appearance.

2. Slather on Sunscreen

Many dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. The Skin Cancer Foundation points out that tests demonstrated SPF 30 products block out only 4 percent more rays — 97 percent compared to 93 percent for SPF 15. So know that you’re getting more protection with SPF 30, but not double the amount of SPF 15. In the past, broad-spectrum SPF sunscreens made skin look whitish because of the opaque nature of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which physically block UV rays, but with more refined, micronized formulations, you can get their sun protection benefits without the ghostly appearance.

More sunscreen smarts to follow include:

  • Check the sunscreen’s ingredients list; it should contain agents that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Apply sunscreen regularly, as it will wear off with prolonged swimming or sweating.
  • Even if it’s cloudy, ultraviolet rays can still reach your skin, so wear sunscreen even on sunless days.
  • Many makeup and skin care products contain an SPF agent, but don’t be fooled: Look for the SPF number and use extra sunscreen if it’s below 15.

3. Give ’Em Lip Service

Use a lip sunscreen with SPF agent even if you’re putting lipstick on, too.

4. Remember Hair Care

The beating sun will hit your hair hard, but there are a number of sprays containing SPF that you can put on after you wash your hair. This is a must if your tresses has been chemically treated.

Another tip: Don’t overwash your hair as this can remove the oils that naturally protect it.

5. Exfoliate Head to Toe

Expensive scrubs and salts feel wonderful, but if you’re on a budget, you can do just as good a job using an exfoliation mitt or glove and your regular body wash. Gentle exfoliation is essential if you’ve had any area waxed, particularly in the bikini area, as it can help prevent ingrown hairs.

6. Moisturize and Nourish With Oils

Elbows, feet, and ankles can get very dry, so try avocado oil to keep them healthy and smooth. Avocado oil not only moisturizes, but also has nourishing properties as it contains vitamin E.

7. Be Kind to Your Face

Chemical peels, creams, scrubs, and other products containing glycolic acids and retinoids should not be used if you spend a lot of time in the sun: These treatments can make your skin more sun sensitive and cause more damage to your skin. If you must use them, wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your face. Follow this advice as well if you’re taking certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline, which also make you more prone to sunburn.

8. Try Mineral Makeup

Because mineral makeup has a light powder base, it won’t sweat off as easily as regular foundation. Some mineral bases even contain a built-in SPF. And you don’t have to spend a fortune: Check out what’s in the aisles at your local pharmacy or supermarket. There are many inexpensive brands there that are as good as the more pricey products sold in department stores.

9. You Are What You Eat

Your skin needs lots of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, so check out your local farmer’s market for the freshest fare in summer fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in antioxidants and protein, such as fresh produce, fish, and eggs, can stimulate collagen growth, which keeps the skin elastic and helps prevent wrinkles.

10. Drink Plenty of Water

The beating sun can dry your skin and make you sweat more, so keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you’re active, you need to drink at least 8 glasses during the day. Be careful though: You can actually drink too much and that can be dangerous.