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Category Archives: Beauty

Concealer Basics To The Rescue

Concealer is everybody’s friend. We’ve yet to meet a person who couldn’t benefit from a dab here and there. It brightens up the complexion and targets discoloration more effectively than foundation. Here are some of the top spots we cover up daily.

Under The Eyes

Even the most even complexion can feature discoloration under the eyes—a result of anything from lack of sleep to genetics. Dabbing a concealer one shade lighter than your skintone under and around your eyes will add a lifted effect to the area, making you look awake and refreshed. Try a creamy option such as Inglot Cosmetics Cream Concealer.

Around The Nose

A must for those on the go. The area around our nostrils tends to redden from element exposure and nose-blowing from seasonal allergies—all of which can make our schnoz appear larger than it really is. Using concealer to match your skin tone on a well moisturized nose will keep you from looking like a circus clown through pollen season. Try a full-coverage concealer with a built-in brush, like BY TERRY Touche Veloutée, for easy on-the-go touchups.

On And Around The Mouth

Make your lip shape pop by priming around your mouth with a creamy concealer such as ILIA Vivid Concealer—an all-natural option. Evening out skin tone around the lips will create a more defined lip line once you scribble on that lippie in fire engine red or perfect plum. Is your lipstick not bright enough? Pat a bit of concealer over your lips before applying a sheer color to up the brightness factor from beneath.

Over Blemishes

Concealer is acne-prone skin’s best friend. Where heavy foundations lend an unwanted chalky look to the whole face, applying concealer liberally to sporadic spots and splotches is a great way to cover up what you don’t want to show, while letting the clear areas of your face still go bare. We love a pencil option such as this one fromNudestix Concealer Pencil to target red spots with no mess. Tip: set with powder to blend spot coverage and even out texture between covered and uncovered areas, and you’re good to go.

5 Ways to Wich a Right Blush

We like to think of blush as pretty foolproof. There’s no detail work to master, no lines to stay inside of, and it looks great on everyone. But we also think that there’s a little more to applying blush than just dusting it on. Carefully placed blush can manipulate the appearance of your face shape in sneaky ways, and without much effort (we’re not talking about those trendy seven layer step systems). Play around with the looks below to find what application meets your own beauty needs. The results may surprise you!

Center Blush

For those who wish to soften their bone structure or have a square-shaped jawline, this can be a game changer. Apply rounded bursts of blush to center of the cheek– right on the apple. It will have a rounding effect on your entire face. What’s more, center blush can have a widening effect on the eyes. Done correctly, you’ll look like a doll.

Lower Blush

If your face features a long or prominent chin, you can even things out by placing your blush just below the apples of your cheeks– over the bone. This creates the subtle illusion that the apples of your cheeks rest a bit lower, and will elongate the upper part of the face to keep you looking balanced.

Upper Blush

Popular in Japan, blushing underneath the eyes can create an either sickly, or youthful appearance that might be seen as an extreme for some. However, applying your blush up high can make a short face appear extra long. For those with small or round faces, it’s worth a try– keeping the blush just above the apples is a happy medium to blending it into your eye makeup.

Outer Blush

Contour blush (shading around the cheekbones and temples) can draw focus to the center of the face– a plus if your face is on the wider side. Do too much and you’ll look like a Ziggy Stardust revivalist (no complaints here!), but do a little and you’ll find it to be a subtle way to add structure without joining the contour club.

Full cheeks

It’s not for everybody, but BIG BLUSH can work magic on those with large or long faces. Coloring outside the typical blush lines can shorten the face significantly and even shape it, depending on whether you apply rounded pats or sweeping strokes. Try it with a subtle shade and skip the heavy eye and lip looks. That will keep your cheeks the major statement.

Tips to Conceal Blemishes

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.

Tips to Hide a Tatto

Whether it’s a wedding, meeting your significant other’s parents, or a big job interview, there may be occasions when you just don’t want your tattoo on display. You don’t have to wear a long-sleeved turtleneck in the middle of summer to hide your tattoo, or go to great lengths to have your tattoo removed. Some tattoo cover-up tips and the right makeup are all you need to make your tattoo blend in, at least for a little while.

Buying Tattoo Makeup

The first step is to buy cosmetics that will effectively hide your tattoo.

“Start out with a color of concealer that is much lighter than what your natural skintone is,” says Brandi Maynard, a professional makeup artist at LeBliss Salon and Spa in Louisville, Ky.

You’ll also want a second concealer a couple of shades darker than the first one, so that you can use both for the best coverage without spending a fortune on several shades of foundation. A bronze or tan color would work well for your darker shade, says Maynard.

Dermablend is a great brand of concealer used by makeup artists as a tattoo cover, says Maynard, and it’s designed to offer thick, opaque coverage to hide tattoo ink, birthmarks, and scars.

You’ll also want to buy a translucent powder to use as a tattoo cover. For a good powder that doesn’t make the cover-up job look caked on, Maynard recommends the brand Makeup For Ever.

You don’t need special or expensive tools to apply the tattoo makeup either, just a makeup sponge or your fingers and a big brush for dusting on the powder, Maynard adds.

How to Apply Makeup Over a Tattoo

Starting by carefully cleansing your skin; this gives you a fresh palette for your makeup application. Begin the tattoo cover by gently blotting on a layer of the light-colored concealer using a makeup sponge or your fingertips until it looks smooth. Be careful not to rub in the makeup, Maynard says, or you’ll just be pushing around the product without getting good coverage. Using the blotting technique will also help you to conserve your makeup products, making them last longer. Let the concealer dry. Then, use your powder brush to apply a light layer of the translucent powder on top.

For the next layer, add a bit of the darker concealer to your light concealer, and mix the two together in the palm of one hand. Gently blot the blended mixture over the tattoo until smooth, then dust again with the translucent powder.

Keep layering the products, gradually adding more of the dark concealer. The number of layers you’ll need depends on your tattoo. Once your tattoo is sufficiently covered and blended into your skin, finish off your work with a light spritz of hairspray. “This sets it a little bit more and sometimes helps it be nontransferable,” says Maynard, meaning the tattoo makeup won’t wear off or rub off on clothing, furniture, or anything else you might brush up against.

You can keep your tattoo a secret without spending a fortune on expensive makeup or hiring a makeup artist to do it for you. Invest in a few good makeup products, use them sparingly, and show off your skin without fear of someone spotting your tattoo.

7 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.

7 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles

Are you tired of waging a war against wrinkles? Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a non-surgical skin care specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland states, “Don’t give up yet. There are steps you can take to lessen and even reverse one of the biggest signs of aging: wrinkles.”

7 Simple and Smart Skin Care Steps to Reduce Wrinkles

1.Avoid sun exposure. Try to wear white or light colors, and wear a hat when you’re outdoors. Also, don’t use tanning booths, which can be worse than the sun.

2.Wear sunscreen. For the best anti-aging protection, Dr. Gerrish strongly recommends, “Apply sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 (sun protection factor) thirty minutes before sun exposure to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Look for one with zinc or titanium oxide in the ingredient list.”

3.Avoid environmental pollutants. Ozone, smoke, and gasoline fumes are just a few of the pollutants that can age skin and cause premature wrinkles.

4.Start an anti-aging skin care program. June Breiner, MD, an internist in Maryland suggests, “Consult with a non-surgical skin care doctor. There are many products available that thicken your skin and reduce wrinkles.”

5.Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Smoking takes away oxygen and nutrients, and it also increases the number of free radicals in your body’s cells, a main cause of skin aging. “The amount of cigarette consumption and the number of years you have smoked are correlated with an increase in premature wrinkles,” states Dr. Breiner.

6.Wear sunglasses. Other than staying indoors and away from windows, sunglasses are the best way to protect the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes from UV radiation.

7.Sleep on your back, if possible. Sleeping with your face pressed against the pillow can cause sleep lines, which can turn into wrinkles. Satin pillow cases can also help in the anti-wrinkle fight.

Alternative Treatments for Skin Cancer

  1. What is complementary and alternative medicine?Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is a group of different medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine.Alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is medicine that is practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by health professionals who work with them, including physical therapists, psychologists, and registerednurses. Other terms for conventional medicine include allopathy; Western, mainstream, orthodox, and regular medicine; and biomedicine. Some conventional medical practitioners are also practitioners of CAM.

    This summary answers some frequently asked questions about the use of CAM therapies among the general public and about how CAM therapies are evaluated, and suggests sources for more information.

  2. What is integrative medicine?NCCAM defines integrative medicine as treatment that combines conventional medicine with CAM therapies that have been reported to be safe and effective after being studied in patients. In practice, many CAM therapies used in along with conventional medicine have not yet been well tested.
  3. Are complementary and alternative therapies widely used?Yes. Many CAM approaches are used by a large percentage of people in the general public and cancer patients.

    The 2007 National Health Interview Survey reported about 4 out of 10 adults used CAM therapy in the past 12 months, with the most commonly used treatments being natural products and deep breathing exercises.

    One meta-analysis compared CAM use in various countries. On average, over half of all cancer patients use CAM therapies.

    One large survey of cancer survivors reported on the use of complementary therapies. The therapies used most often were prayer and spiritual practice (61%), relaxation (44%), faith and spiritual healing (42%), and nutritional supplements and vitamins (40%). CAM therapies are used by 31-84% of children with cancer, both in and outside of clinical trials. CAM therapies have been used in the management of side effects caused by cancer or cancer treatment.

  4. How are CAM approaches evaluated?It is important that CAM therapies be evaluated with the same long and careful research process used to evaluate conventional treatments. TheNational Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) are sponsoring a number of clinical trials(research studies) at medical centers to evaluate CAM therapies for cancer. A listing of these trials is available at the OCCAM Clinical Trials Web page.

    Conventional cancer treatments have generally been studied for safety and effectiveness through a rigorous scientific process that includes clinical trials with large numbers of patients. Less is known about the safety and effectiveness of many CAM therapies. Research of CAM therapies has been slower for a number of reasons:

    • Time and funding issues.
    • Problems finding institutions and cancer researchers to work with on the studies.
    • Regulatory issues.

    Some CAM therapies have undergone careful evaluation. A small number of CAM therapies originally meant to be alternative treatments are finding a place in cancer treatment as complementary therapies that may help patients feel better and recover faster. One example is acupuncture. According to a panel of experts at a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference in November 1997, acupuncture has been found to be effective in the management of chemotherapy -associated nausea andvomiting and in controlling pain associated with surgery. In contrast, some approaches, such as the use of laetrile, have been studied and found ineffective or possibly harmful.

  5. What is the NCI Best Case Series Program?

    The NCI Best Case Series Program, which was started in 1991, is one way CAM approaches that are being used in practice are being investigated. The program is overseen by NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM). Health care professionals who offer alternative cancer therapies submit their patients’ medical records and related materials to OCCAM. OCCAM conducts a critical review of the materials and develops follow-up research strategies for approaches that warrant NCI-initiated research.

How to Get a Glows Skin

As you age, your skin becomes thinner and can begin to look tired. Environmental damage also can take the glow out of your complexion and leave you with dull skin. If you find yourself yearning for the dewiness of younger skin, there are ways to help restore the glow to your complexion.

Bad Habits Lead to Dull Skin

Your skin begins to age as early as your twenties. Skin starts to lose its elastic qualities and dead cells do not slough off as quickly, leaving you with dull, dry skin that has lost its glow. In addition to normal aging and your own genetics, factors that can cause your skin to appear dull include:

  • Sun exposure. Over time, too much sun exposure can damage your skin, causing it to appear rough, leathery, and blotchy. Sun exposure is more likely to lead to dull skin if you have a fair complexion.
  • Cigarette smoking. If you smoke cigarettes, the normal age-related changes in your skin happen even faster. People who smoke are more likely to develop a yellowish tint to their skin, and their skin often appears more leathery than that of nonsmokers.
  • Low humidity. If you’re exposed to low humidity year-round because of overheating in winter and air-conditioning in summer, your skin can be left feeling dry and itchy.
  • Stress. Being under stress can cause your skin to become drier and dull looking.
  • Product overuse. Using skin care products that dry your skin, which may include soaps, antiperspirants, and fragrances, can leave your skin looking lifeless.

How to Banish Dull Skin

There are many ways you can help achieve the appearance of younger skin, but the best way to avoid dullness is to prevent it. Follow these steps to prevent a drab complexion or regain your glow:

  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater every day, even if it’s not particularly sunny; another option is to use a daily moisturizer with SPF 15.
  • Avoid sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s rays are the most intense — wear a stylish, wide-brimmed hat if you’re taking a walk during your lunch hour.
  • If you smoke, stop; this can help improve your skin tone no matter how long you’ve been smoking.
  • Use a humidifier in your home and drink water throughout the day to help keep your skin hydrated.
  • Use mild facial cleansers instead of harsh soaps (or any soap you might use on the rest of your body) when you bathe.
  • Switch from water-based makeup and powder formulas to creams, especially for foundation and blusher.
  • Take lukewarm, rather than hot, baths and showers — and fewer of them — to avoid drying out your skin.

Techniques to Rejuvenate Your Complexion

You can take more serious action to help restore the glow of younger skin by:

  • Moisturizing. Use more targeted creams and moisturizers to give your skin back its younger look. Try over-the-counter products with alpha hydroxy acids or see a dermatologist for a prescription for Renova (or Retin-A if your skin is oily) to encourage cell turnover, brighten your complexion, and make it appear fresher.
  • Talking to your doctor. Sometimes dry skin can be a symptom of an underlying health problem. Treating a health condition such as diabetes or kidney disease can sometimes help combat dull skin.
  • Consulting a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. If a change in skin care products isn’t making enough impact, consider a medical approach to regaining the look of younger skin. Treatments include:
    • Chemical peel to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, helping to restore the skin’s glow and a more youthful appearance
    • Dermabrasion, a procedure to remove layers of dead skin and stimulate the deeper layer of skin (dermis) to rejuvenate, which will diminish the appearance of fine wrinkles
    • Laser resurfacing, a more aggressive procedure that uniformly removes a certain thickness of skin and exposes newer, fresher looking skin

If you’re concerned about dull skin, consider all the options for helping restore your glow. Often, a few changes in your skin care routine can leave you with a fresher, younger-looking appearance.

Solution for Summer Hair Problems

Luckily, there are easy and natural ways to tame your tresses. Here are some of the most common hair problems you’re likely to encounter this season, and how to fix them.

Chlorine Damage

It’s not just an old wives’ tale — too much time in the pool really can change the color of your locks, especially if they’re very light, Jessica Wu, M.D., author of “Feed Your Face” tells The Huffington Post.

But it’s not due to the chlorine. Instead, it’s likely because of copper lurking in poolswhere the chemical balance isn’t quite right, according to WebMD. “The chlorine molecules get trapped in the hair and oxidize the metals found in trace amounts in the water,” Jessica J. Krant, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, writes to HuffPost in an email. “It’s the oxidized copper that is actually the cause of the green color.”

Chlorine can still damage hair, though. “The outer layers of the cuticle of the hair — which are like shingles on a roof — start to lift up,” says Wu. “When the outer layers lift up, then [chlorinated] water can get into the center of the hair and make your hair more brittle.” Swimmers may find their hair breaks more easily in the summer, especially if it’s dyed or straightened, she says.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways to prevent the damage. The easiest can be done anywhere — just rinse your hair under tap water before taking the plunge. “Plain water binds to the hair, making it harder for chlorine to get to it,” says Wu. A leave-in conditioner will have a similar effect, and can be a good pre-pool option as well. A weekly hair mask can help repair the damage and seal the cuticle, she says.

The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends wearing a swim cap and washing with shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for swimmers to replace lost moisture.

Grease

We’ve all had those summer days when a daily shower just doesn’t seem like enough. And yet we’ve also heard about how you don’t need to — and maybe shouldn’t — wash your hair all that often.

But during the summer, all bets are off. “I tell people you should wash more frequently in the summer,” says Wu, and not just because of all the chlorine and salt water. “Those of us with long hair, it touches our back, and the sunscreen on our back and shoulders can come off onto the hair making it dirtier, faster.” If you’re noticing an oilier-than-usual scalp, feel free to lather up.

Sun Damage

The same UV rays that damage your skin without proper protection can hurt your hair, too, says Wu. The sun breaks down the bonds that make the keratin of the hair strong, she explains, leading to weaker strands and fading color. Just like covering up your skin can help prevent sun damage, wearing a hat can help save your hair.

A number of hair products that boast UV protection may also work, as long as you’re thorough in your application, she says. “Work it through like you’re working in a conditioner so as many strands as possible are coated.”

To treat sun-dried hair, a moisturizing leave-in conditioner should do the trick, according to WebMD.

Sunburn

While you’re protecting your hair from the sun, don’t forget about your scalp. During skin exams, Wu notices “very striking” differences between the skin on patients’ hair parts and the skin on the rest of their scalps. If you often wear your hair in the same position, be sure to use sunscreen on the part, she says. And if you pull your hair back in the summer, apply sunscreen all the way up to your hairline — you may miss vulnerable skin that you’re not usually exposing.

“Using shampoos and products with antioxidant ingredients such as soy, green tea or vitamin C can sometimes be helpful” in protecting “that part of you that’s closest to the sun,” writes Krant, who is also the founder of Art of Dermatology in New York City. And if you do happen to do a little damage, cover up as soon as possible to avoid further sun, then use cool water in the shower and normal sunburn soothers like aloe, she says.

Frizz

Anyone with any wave or curl to her hair has spent her fair share of time fighting frizz. In the summer, thanks to the high temps and oppressive humidity, flyaway strands increase in size. “The generally smooth cuticle covering the shaft of healthy hair gets disrupted when the hair shaft absorbs moisture from the air, breaking some of the chemical bonds that keep the hair straight and roughing up the cuticle, taking away shine and smoothness,” writes Krant.

If you’re all too familiar, stay away from heavy products, says Wu, and look instead for an anti-frizz serum or spray. Krant recommends products with the moisturizer dimethicone — silicone-based products can also help smooth down the cuticle, according to Ladies Home Journal.

Split Ends

UV rays aren’t the only thing that can break summer strands. High temperatures can take their toll on the bonds that make hair strong as well, says Wu. While the temps won’t be quite as high as the heat of your blow dryer, writes Krant, the heat can still suck the moisture out of your locks and lead to breakage. To ease the brittleness, Wu suggests a heavier treatment like Moroccan oil.

Keep in mind, however, that according to Krant, once hair is outside the scalp, what’s done is done. “True damage can never really be reversed, only cosmetically improved until that part of the hair grows out and can be cut off,” she writes. Products can “temporarily ‘glue'” split ends back together, but “the best bet may be a little trim to freshen up,” she writes.

Tips to Hide a Cold Sore

Cold sores have a habit of breaking out when you have a cold, but they can be also caused by stress. That’s why you might discover a cold sore on your lip or around your mouth when you least want to deal with it.

Whether you’re going to a wedding or a big job interview, it’s hard to feel your best with a cold sore on your face. Using makeup such as concealer may help, but the timing can be tricky. “I wouldn’t recommend trying to cover a cold sore if it is not partially healed or scabbed over,” says Denise Gevaras, a professional makeup artist in Toms River, N.J. “Most cold sores will ooze in the beginning, and trying to put makeup on them will not only draw attention to them but can probably prevent them from healing properly.”

“It’s hard to conceal a cold sore when it has blistered and is still weeping,” agrees Danielle M. Miller, MD, a dermatologist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. “But you might be able to use a concealer safely when cold sores are in the healing stage. You also might be able to use an antiviral medication to prevent a cold sore from breaking out or to make it heal more quickly.”

Concealer to Hide a Cold Sore

Once your cold sore has begun healing, you can use makeup to lessen its appearance. “To cover a healing cold sore, I would recommend using a highly concentrated heavy concealer,” says Gevaras. “I have done this often in the past with clients having a breakout right before their wedding.”

Gevaras recommends these steps to best conceal a cold sore:

  • Use a concealer with a creamy texture, not a liquid. These concealers are usually sold in small jars, tubes, or compacts, and are very concentrated.
  • Only a small amount of a heavy concealer is needed — a little goes a very long way.
  • If you have a lot of redness, you may benefit from using concealer in two different shades: a yellow-based concealer to neutralize redness and a concealer that matches your skin tone.
  • Dab on the yellow concealer using a disposable makeup sponge. Start with a very small amount and build it up, if necessary, to avoid cakiness.
  • After the yellow concealer is applied, top it with a very light dusting of finishing powder. Pat it on lightly to avoid disturbing the concealer.
  • Next, gently dab on the concealer color that matches your skin tone and use a stipple motion to blend.
  • Apply another light dusting of finishing powder to set.

“Because cold sores are contagious, to avoid contaminating makeup products, use only disposable sponges and brushes, even if the cold sore is scabbed over,” warns Gevaras. “Never ‘double dip’ in the concealer or powder with the same makeup sponge or brush.”

Getting Rid of Cold Sores Sooner

While there is nothing you can do about an active, oozing cold sore, you might be able to shorten the life of the cold sore or even keep it from showing up.

“In many cases, symptoms of numbness and burning around your mouth or lip are early warning signs of a cold sore,” explains Dr. Miller. “Taking medication at this stage may suppress the blistering phase and shorten the duration of cold sores.”

If you commonly get cold sores or you have the early warning symptoms of a cold sore, ask your doctor if a prescription antiviral medication can help you.