Favorite beauty tips and tricks

Our editors braved the scene at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Calif., to bring you advice from the top hair and makeup pros we met backstage at LA Fashion Week. See what their quick, convenient runway tricks can do for you.

1. HairThe trick to getting that thin piece of hair to stay wrapped around a ponytail elastic is to slide a bobby pin through the end of the small piece and then roll the bobby pin upward toward the elastic (like you would roll hair up in a curler). Slide the pin in under the hair elastic to secure the piece. — Craig Carter, hair stylist

2.MakeupGet this vintage-y, super-rich lip color to last all day by applying lipstick with a lip brush and topping with a coat of translucent powder — three times in a row. It won’t budge. You can top with gloss if you’d like. — Amy Nadine, head makeup artist for mark

3. HairWant this ’40s-inspired loose curl? Curl two-inch sections with a 1-inch curling iron and pin at the scalp. Spray with flexible-hold hairspray and wait 30 minutes. Then remove the pins and comb out — but be gentle or you’ll create static and pouf.

4. MakeupTo make skin glow as if you’ve been drinking 10 glasses of water a day, highlight cheekbones with a frosted off-white shadow.

The Most Overlooked Acne Products

When you’ve struggled with annoyingly dependable breakouts for more than 15 years (and you’re only 28), you become an expert at acne-concealing life hacks. For example: I can tell you every date spot in New York City that has flattering, ambient lighting. I know the out-of-pocket cost of injecting an overgrown, painful pimple with cortisone. I can also give you a long-winded review of everything from spironolactone to Accutane, all of which promise to clear up your skin if you can endure side effects for months — or sometimes, years.

I’ve been battling hormonal acne since the age of 10. I know it’s a cliché statement, but I truly have tried everything to fight breakouts. And though I did a stint on Accutane four years ago, my picture-perfect skin didn’t last.

Until, on a whim, I tried a day-and-night serum treatment. In the past four months, it has made me a #makeupfreemonday poster for the very first time. I’ve not only noticed next to no breakouts, but many of my acne scars are fading, too. The star ingredient — retinol — might be due the credit. As dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, explains: “Retinol helps to loosen the trapped, gunky dead skin cells that have shed into the pore and combine with sebum to create comedones and trigger inflammation. It also helps exfoliate skin cells and fade acne-related skin discoloration.”

The funny thing is that most serums — as they are traditionally defined — aren’t intended to be acne fighters. Even so, dermatologists say that because of their rich and robust ingredients, they can help hormonal acne sufferers overcome their monthly cycle of breakouts. Why?

“These topical solutions can deliver powerful ingredients to the skin without irritation,” explains Dr. Gary Goldenberg, MD, dermatologist and co-founder of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City. “Serums containing tea tree oil, salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acid can help fight blackheads and whiteheads and prevent breakouts,” he says. “These are especially effective as part of an overall acne regimen, which includes a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer with sunscreen.”

After 18 years of hating my skin, I couldn’t be more thankful for its new appearance. Here are some acne-fighting serums that could help you gain the smooth, blemish-free skin that you’re definitely deserving of, too.

Find The Greatest Nail Trends

Tired of waiting for another shipment of high-end, exclusive polish? We found plenty of other spring/summer debuts to rave about — and searched high and low for budget-friendly look-a-likes. Try these comparisons on for size, then post your look-alike suggestions on our community page.

Red

Nars Nail Polish in Dovima, $16, brightens nails with the punchy color of market-fresh cherry tomatoes — perfect for hot summer days. But Bobbi Brown Nail in Tomato Opaque, $8.50, gets the job done just as well for half the price. (The catch: Bobbi Brown polishes are also half the size of Nars bottles.)

Sparkling Pink

The only visible difference between Lippmann Collection Color Nail Lacquer in Don’t Call Me Baby, $15, and Creative Nail Design Nail Lacquer in Translucent Tangerine, $6, is that the former contains a yellow-gold sparkle and the latter contains a white-gold sparkle. (CND’s take, available in April, is also a tad glossier.) But as far as sheer, bright color goes, the two look identical.

Bare

We think putting nail polish in a pump-able pen is genius. But the gorgeous YSL Nail Touch Nail Lacquer Brush Pen No. 2 costs a whopping $25. If you can sacrifice the luxurious gold packaging, Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color Pen comes in the same shade, Sheer Beige, and works the same way for only $7.99.

The Fenefit of Face Serum in Your Life

When it comes to skin care, the one question we as beauty editors get most often is, What is a serum? Followed by, do I need one? For a beauty product, face serums are strangely complicated: They’re in between a moisturizer, an oil and an essence. You apply serums directly to the skin after cleansing, before your moisturizer, in order to deliver potent anti-aging ingredients into your skin. Many are formulated with hyaluronic acid or vitamin C, the same moisturizing and complexion-brightening ingredients we see in moisturizers and other skin-care products, but in stronger, more effective formulas that penetrate deeper into the skin.

Most serums target a specific skin care concern, like sun spots, fine lines, sagging or dull skin. Others tackle multiple problems at once. There is one downside to extra-effective skin care: The price. Face serums use higher quality ingredients and higher concentrations than your daily moisturizer. Plus, it takes a lot of research and development to create a supereffective serum. The good news: As serums grow more popular in mainstream skin care, we’ve seen drugstore brands launch affordable versions that are as good as the pricier stuff.

Ahead, we’re rounded up the best serums across all budgets for treating every skin concern, from wrinkles to dark spots.

There’s a reason why so many beauty products give vitamin C top billing. This powerhouse antioxidant helps brighten skin and protect against wrinkles and fine lines. Since it neutralizes skin-damaging free radicals, a vitamin C-packed serum means you’re working on your skin both present and future. This 10% vitamin C serum contains three forms of vitamin C for triple the antioxidant power. That explains the price tag, but it also means a stronger attack on discoloration and fine lines.

Even if you can’t opt for the black diamond-level version, vitamin C should still be on your roster for protecting against sun damage and wrinkles. Mad Hippie’s cult classic contains konjac root, grapefruit, and chamomile extracts to help soothe and brighten the skin. Notice the product name here isn’t something like Glowing Radiant Intensity Fortifying Serum? That’s because they’re straightforward about what this serum has to offer: Vitamin C-based skin protection with all-natural active ingredients.

The superstar ingredient has the power to treat

If you haven’t yet jumped on the glycolic acid bandwagon, it’s time to do so. The alpha-hydroxy acid is a tried-and-true favorite ingredient among skin docs for its multi-tasking abilities. “Not only is it a great exfoliator, but it also stimulates the production of both collagen and hyaluronic acid,” explainsDeirdre Hooper, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at LSU. Translation: There’s really not much that it can’t do. Improve texture? You bet. Fade spots? Yep. Help with breakouts? Check. Keep skin smooth and wrinkle-free? Obvi. (We could keep going, but you get the picture.)

Since there’s no shortage of glycolic acid-based products out there — you’ll find it in pretty much every category, from peels to cleansers to lotions, — we’ve narrowed down the options. Ahead, seven glycolic acid products that are most definitely worth trying.

For those with especially sensitive skin, a face wash with glycolic acid is a great place to start, says Hooper. (As much as we love it, it is still an acid and can potentially cause some irritation as your skin gets used to it.) Cleansers typically contain a lower concentration of glycolic acid, plus, it’s getting washed off fairly quickly, Hooper adds. Glycolic acid cleansers dissolve dirt, gently exfoliate and help improve skin’s radiance and texture. This product from SkinCeuticals has added glycerin to keep your complexion hydrated.

There’s a reason this at-home peel is a cult classic. Formulated with a combo of glycolic acid plus other alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids (not to mention a whole slew of additional anti-agers like retinol and resveratrol), these are gentle enough for daily use. At-home peel pads are the ideal way to reap the benefits of glycolic acid and can easily be worked into your routine, notes Hooper. Use this glycolic acid peel to minimize pores, fine lines and dullness.

The only three products you need

Twelve-step Korean skin-care plans, complicated acne treatments, lasers, peels, masks, oh-my. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned beauty girl’s head spin. So let’s bring it back to the basics, shall we? We asked top skin docs to weigh in on the only three products (plus one bonus add-on, for you overachiever types) you really need, no matter what your skin type. Finally, an easy way to figure out what skin-care products you should use — and what you can skip.

If Your Skin Is Normal1. Simple cleanser: A basic face soap or wash will do; don’t waste time searching for one with lots of added active ingredients. Not only does your skin not need it, but any money spent on these pricey formulations will, quite literally, be washed down the drain, points out Dr. Jordan Carqueville, MD, a dermatologist in Chicago. Save your moolah and pick-up a drugstore option, like the Dove White Beauty Bar, $5.49 for four bars, one of her faves.

2. Moisturizer with SPF: Everyone needs moisturizer, and sunscreen is a non-negotiable (repeat, non-negotiable), so why not combine the two? Look for a product labeled broad-spectrum (meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with at least SPF 30, and be sure to apply in an even layer across your entire face to ensure adequate protection. Try the new CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $22.99.

3. Basic night cream: When you don’t have to stress about any kind of complexion imperfections, don’t worry about using super potent night creams, just focus on straight-up hydration and opt for a rich moisturizer. Carqueville recommends Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $27.50.

Thinning Hair and Hair Growth

Although balding is more of an overtly male disease, according to the American Hair Loss Association, women actually make up 40 percent of hair loss sufferers. And just so you know, a hair grows about a half-inch per month from its follicle. Each individual hair grows for two to six years, rests, falls out, then new hair grows in its place. Unfortunately, sometimes, when a hair falls out, a new hair does not grow.

In what is called female pattern baldness, the cause of this inability to grow new hair is not well understood, but likely has to do with genes, aging and levels of endocrine hormones. The hormonal process of testosterone converting to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — which occurs in men and women — damages the hair follicles. Note: All you need to remember as you’re reading this is that DHT is not your friend because it triggers hair loss and inhibits hair growth.

Check out thinning hair 101 now.

Other than female pattern baldness, thinning hair happens in women for myriad reasons:

� Underactive thyroid
� Telogen effluvium (temporary hair shedding)
� Alopecia areata (an immune disorder causing temporary hair loss)
� Breaking of hair due to styling treatments and pulling of hair
� Iron deficiency
� Vitamin deficiency
� Certain medications
� Particular skin diseases
� Hormonal abnormalities
� Stress

Dr. Philip Kingsley, unmatched expert on hair health, explains stress and thinning hair further. Plus, we highlight some hair care products to help stop hair loss and increase hair growth.

Shaving habits and how often you exfoliate

The followingbeauty tips are from a man, therefore, should be taken with a big, hefty grain of salt.

Alright, now that the elephant in the (virtual) room has been spotted and smacked with a handy warning label, let’s get on with the beauty tips, shall we?

Skip to see beauty tips from a man and what he really thinks about your beauty.

The truth is, no matter how much of a feminist or “you should love me for me“-type of woman you are, you still probably care what your heart’s desire thinks about your looks. It’s natural to want to look attractive for your mate. It’s also natural to want to know if he actually even notices some of the beauty practices you spend cumulative hours on. Like, does he appreciate the fact that you spent an extra half-hour in the shower exfoliating and shaving every last inch of your body, not to mention racked up the water bill? This got us thinking, when it comes to beauty tips and tricks, what is worth spending precious time on in preparation for a big date and what isn’t?

We decided to investigate by asking readers what they do beauty-wise to get ready for a romantic night with a man. We mostly heard things like whiten teeth, fake tan, wax, apply extra sexy makeup and the like — with the occasional “wrap your entire body in a big red ribbon with a big bow where it counts”-advice. We then took those practices to Ky Henderson, Editor-in-Chief of ModernMan.com and dating columnist, to tell us if all these beauty tweaks actually get noticed. Here he drolly offers some beauty tips for your next big night out.

How dry your complexion

Whether your skin suffers from seasonal dryness (oh hi, winter), or just seems to be perpetually parched, a dry complexion can be problematic when it comes to makeup application… especially if your goal is to create a fresh, dewy, oh-so glowy effect. So we asked celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor to walk us through a step-by-step tutorial on combatting that dryness to make your skin look healthy, radiant and anything but dry. Check out these top tips and makeup picks, perfect for any dry-skinned gal.

 

Moisturize FirstWe’re mildly tempted to insert an obligatory ‘duh,’ here, but we’ll refrain. It goes without saying, but no matter how moisturizing the makeup is that you’re using (more on that in a minute) starting with this important skin-care step will ensure that your canvas — i.e. your complexion — ends up looking as fresh as possible.

Sotomayor suggests using a moisturizer that contains heavy-hitting hydrators like jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid or glycerin. We like the newCetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion, $12.49, which contains hyaluronic acid, yet doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. Slather it on, then reach for your makeup, stat. “Applying makeup immediately afterwards ensures that it will go on the smoothest,” he says.

 

Primers are a makeup must for their ability to boost the staying power and longevity of any products you apply on top, and they can also be yet another way to get an extra boost of moisture into your skin: “When your skin is dry, you need to up the ante by making sure that every product you use is hydrating and combatting that dryness,” explains Sotomayor. Point being, seek out a primer that specifically says it’s moisturizing.

Sotomayor uses La Mer The Perfecting Treatment, $240, which has the added benefit of a slightly pearlescent finish, a nice option when you’re trying to create radiant skin, he adds. The one caveat: If you’re trying to also conceal fine lines or wrinkles, opt for a hydrating formula without any added luminescence, since it may accentuate what you’re trying to hide. In that case, a plain moisturizing formula, like e.l.f Hydrating Face Primer, $6, is perfect. Either way, avoid anything that’s mattifying or shine-stopping (and a lot of primers are), as that’s the last thing you want for your dry complexion.

Beauty tips to turn your purse into your beauty crisis survival kit

With all the devastating natural disasters, oil spills, terrorist attacks, financial meltdowns and wars happening globally, it seems a bit hyperbolic to call something as trite as a chipped nail or a scissor-happy bang trim a disaster, right? Nonetheless, everything’s relative and we don’t want you to never be the victim of any type of beauty disaster (or whatever you want to call it).

Get your beauty disasters solved now.

In the realm of beauty, Murphy’s Law definitely applies (“anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” and probably has gone wrong), but we just happen to have remedies for you courtesy of makeup artists Kimberley Bosso and Riku Campo, expert hairstylists Anthony Cristiano and Larry Sims and pro manicurist Beth Fricke. They’ll help you plan ahead to prevent beauty blunders from happening as well as show you how to improvise in the moment when one does hit. Just stock your purse with the few essential survivalbeauty products they suggest and you’ll look put-together (or put back together) in a snap — think of these items as your beauty spare tire — you’ll need them in case you get a flat.

And to help you feel like you’re not the only woman with pit stains, static-y hair and bleeding lipstick we thought we’d share photos of celebrity makeup mishaps and celebrity hairstyles gone wrong from stars that are otherwise fairly composed like Cameron Diaz, Christina Aguilera, Drew Barrymore, Eva Mendes, Hilary Duff, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Kate Hudson, Rosario Dawson, Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Love and Amy Winehouse (well, maybe the last three are an exception).