5 must-know spring and summer beauty tricks
For weeks of truly amazing lashes…
Get eyelash extensions that last up to a month (even in summer humidity). You won’t need A.M. eye makeup!
In the salon: Ask for feather-light synthetic mink or silk extensions. Prices range from $200 to $350 for a full set—worth the splurge for, say, wedding or reunion season.
At home: DIY lashes don’t have the longevity of salon versions. The small clusters will last only 48 hours. But you can boost growth with conditioners like Talika Lipocils Expert.
The dos and don’ts of amazing lashes
Do skip mascara if you have salon lashes—it dissolves glue.
Don’t get extensions if you have curly lashes. “Water gets underneath, and it peels,” says Kiehl’s Spa lash pro Soul Lee.
Do ask for top salon brands like NovaLash or Xtreme Lashes.
For a believable sunless tan…
Get better-than-ever self-tanners that impart credible color for up to 10 days without the mess or stink.
In the salon: Pick instant-absorption formulas (like the hand-sprayed St. Tropez airbrush service, $65 to $85) that soak right into skin so there’s no wait to get dressed. Wear dark, loose clothes to prevent stains.
At home: Do your own body contouring by “shading the shadows” of muscles, says St. Tropez skin-finishing expert Fiona Locke: In a full-length mirror, flex whatever you want to define (e.g., for your calves, stand on tiptoe) and add an extra layer of self-tanner to the shadow beneath your muscle. For weeklong color, try TanTowel Plus Self-Tan Towelette Full Body Application.
The dos and don’ts of sunless tanning
Do try a test spot a few days before a big event.
Don’t skip sunscreen. Your “tan” won’t protect you!
Do lay a towel down before self-spraying to catch extra product—and keep you from slipping! (It happens.)
For nonstop frizz control…
Get formaldehyde-free treatments that tame frizz—yet maintain body—all summer.
In the salon: Treatments like Keragreen ($300 to $450, 888-213-4744 for salons) take two to three hours and smooth hair for up to three months. If you have tight curls, expect soft waves. Wavy hair? Less frizz.
At home: Try DIY kits like those from KeratinPerfect (duo pack, $65, sephora.com), but know: They work better on fine hair that gets frizzy or curly than on coarse curly hair. Results last about 30 days.
The dos and don’ts of frizz control
Don’t try at-home treatments if you have “double-process” (that’s two-toned) color or highlights. You’ll damage the color—and your hair.
Do use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, like Aveda Smooth Infusion to preserve results.
Don’t fry hair. For salon and at home, a flatiron is used to seal in product, but too much heat damages the cuticle. Follow your kit’s heat-level guidelines.
For a gel mani that lasts…
Get gel manis that dry instantly and stay shiny for two weeks—in hundreds of shades.
In the salon: New LED light machines from OPI harden polish in 30-second rounds and are in over 7,500 salons nationwide. Average price: $40 to $50 for a 45-minute manicure.
At home: The Sally Hansen Salon GelPolish Starter Kit ($70, ulta.com) mimics pro technology. The brand’s less expensive kit, the Sally Hansen Salon InstaGel Strips Starter Kit ($30, ulta.com), comes with foolproof polish strips, but each finger is dried individually, so the process takes longer.
The do’s and don’ts of gel manis…
Do apply SPF 30 on hands before going under salon LEDs.
Don’t peel off polish—it will strip your nails. Ask if removal is included in the gel-mani price.
Do trim nails as they grow. Polish may also chip from the bottom of the nail over time; just touch up, then add a clear coat to seal raw edges.
For fuzz-free skin…
Get new hair-removal lasers that work on all skin tones, says NYC dermatologist Amy Wechsler, M.D. And while older lasers don’ t work on tanned skin, new, adjustable pulse ones can be set for each side of a tan line.
In the salon: It feels like a rubber band’s being snapped on your skin, but sessions last only five to 40 minutes, based on area ($200 to $1,500 per session). Two to three weeks later, regrowth falls out. Permanent results take four to eight visits (six to 12 weeks apart). It’s an investment, but you’ll get a lifetime savings in razors and wax.
At home: The Tria laser ($449, sephora.com) is gentler than pro versions and can get rid of up to 70 percent of hair. It’s most effective on light to medium skin with dark hair.
The dos and don’ts of hair removal
Do tell your doctor or technician if you’re tan; otherwise he might use the wrong laser setting, potentially burning the skin. Avoid self-tanner for 10 days pretreatment.
Don’t get laser hair removal if you’ve taken Accutane in the prior six months or are on antibiotics now. Both sensitize skin.
Do gently exfoliate the treatment area between sessions to prevent irritation and ingrowns. We like Burt’s Bees Sugar Scrub ($13, drugstore.com).