Do you end up with manicure-wrecking bubbles in your nail polish? Does your hair go right to Frizzville after you blow-dry it? According to ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, odds are you’re not using your hair and beauty products the right way.
ShopSmart offers these tips:
BLOW-DRYER: One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when they blow-dry their hair is flipping their head over. That’s a sure recipe for frizz. “This method sucks all of the moisture out of your hair while creating no sense of direction,” says Nina Aprile, a stylist at Blow, a blow-dry bar in New York City. Another common blow-dry error is using too high of a temperature, leading to damaged, burnt ends.
The right way: Start with freshly washed, towel-dried hair, which will shorten dry time and cut your risk of damaging strands. Apply a heat-protecting spray and use a paddle brush to detangle your hair.
EYELINER: The most common mistake people make when applying liquid or pencil eyeliner is to follow the natural downward curve of the eye, which can give you a sad, droopy look — the opposite of the youthful, wide-eyed look you’re probably going for.
The right way: Extend the line outward past the end of the eye and slightly upward to lift and open.
NAIL POLISH: In addition to shaking the bottle like it’s a maraca — an instant manicure ruiner — women often store their polish in places that lead the ingredients to break down prematurely, says Erica Marton, a celebrity manicurist in New York City. The main culprits: heat, moisture and sunlight.
THE RIGHT WAY: ShopSmart recommends keeping polish in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. When it’s time to use it, gently roll the bottle between your palms to mix the dye particles. If, out of habit, you do happen to shake the bottle, set it down for a few minutes to give the tiny air bubbles time to pop.
FACE WASH: Over-washing your face is an easy habit to get into, and it can dry out your skin. Not using the right cleanser for your skin type can also be a mistake, says Dr. Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, a dermatologist in Hollywood, Fla. “For example, if someone with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin uses heavy-duty cleansers or cleansers with chemical or mechanical exfoliants, such as fruit acids or sand beads, they may get skin irritation such as redness and peeling,” she says.
The right way: For sensitive-skinned individuals, a nightly wash to remove makeup and daily environmental grease is enough. People with normal or oily skin should aim for twice a day. Apply a little warm water to the skin, then gently massage a pea-sized amount of the wash into the skin and rinse.
FACE SERUM: Layering serum on too thick can lead to skin irritation or cause the product to flake off, especially if you use it with a lot of other products.
The right way: There’s a reason serums usually come in an itsy-bitsy bottle; a little goes a long way. ShopSmart recommends following the instructions on the packaging. Most suggest using just a few drops of serum or a single squirt for the entire face.
SHAMPOO: If you’re having more bad hair days than good ones, it might be because you need to switch things up. “Hair can become resistant to a cleanser’s properties,” explains Ryan Trygstad, a celebrity stylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City.
The right way: “I advise changing up your shampoo (brand) once a bottle is empty,” Trygstad says. “Also, try to cut back on shampooing altogether to allow the natural oils on your scalp to moisturize and hydrate your hair.”