6 Secrets to Make Your Manicure Last Longer

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6 Secrets to Make Your Manicure Last Longer

Even though she's as famous for her curled coif as she is for her music, Diana Ross' hair wasn’t always as big as her voice. "When I met Diana, her hair was naturally very fine," Lamas says. "She wanted to have big, bold curls to match her daring personality, but at that time there wasn’t a product available that could set her hairstyle without weighing it down." Lamas played scientist and discovered that rice protein naturally plumped up the hair shaft, leading to his Chinese Herbs Revitalizing Styling Cream. Use it or another cream and the advice below to create big, head-turning curls.

1. Smooth a hydrating styling cream that helps add body throughout damp locks, then dry hair as you normally would. 
2. Working in equal-sized sections, use a 1-inch curling iron to create curls (naturally curly-haired girls can skip this step). 
3. Mist your curls with hairspray and gently scrunch, taking care not to break up the curls. 
4. Tease your roots with a fine-toothed comb for added body and lightly spray with more hairspray. 
5. Gently comb hair into place and set the look with one last sparing spritz of hairspray.

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A toothbrush is the ultimate secret weapon when it comes to beauty, doing everything from exfoliating lips to grooming unruly eyebrows to smoothing down baby hairs when you pull your mane back into a high ponytail. Now add making fingernails pearly white to its who-knew-you-could-do-that list. “Remove dirt and grime by brushing nails clean with an old dry toothbrush and whitening toothpaste for a refreshing feeling that whitens and brightens,” says Jenna Hipp, celebrity manicurist and OpenSky.com insider. After rinsing and thoroughly drying your hands afterward, feel free to moisturize, but be sure to swipe your nails with vodka to remove any oils that will prevent your polish from sticking. While you’re at it, switch from cuticle oil to a water-based balm to keep your cuticles moisturized and your polish in place.

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1960s British model Twiggy became famous for her androgynous looks and big, beautiful eyes. "She always carried eye drops with her to hide any redness she might have," Lamas says, "and we played up her eyes even more by using falsies and white eyeliner, which emphasizes the whites of the eyes, making them look bigger." Follow his simple how-to when you want peepers that pop.

1. Using white eyeliner, line your top and bottom lashes as close to the lash line as possible from the inside corner of your eyes to just past the middle. (It will look like a sideways "v" with the point near your nose.) 
2. Apply false lashes to the outer corner of your top lashes. Lamas recommends using individual falsies. 
3. Finish with two coats of mascara, allowing the first layer to dry before applying the second.

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Calling all conspiracy theorists: The relaxing hand soak that most nail salons include as part of your manicure may actually be shortening the life of your polish, causing you to come in more often. “As your nails absorb the water, their natural shape expands,” says Faina Ritz, founder and chemist of Duri Cosmetics. “Then the nails are polished, and when that water evaporates, the nail contracts, causing the polish to chip and crack.” As soothing as the soak may feel, skip it.

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Big sunglasses, check. Statement bag, check. Perfectly coifed do, check. First Lady Jackie O had it all, the latter thanks to Lamas. While Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis visited him regularly to have her hair colored and styled, her home routine was key in keeping her tresses soft and healthy. "She once told me she often used a silk scarf to cover her hair when she went to bed," Lamas says. This extended the life of her ‘do (thereby reducing styling damage) and it protected her hair against damage from cotton sheets. "I suggested she use just a touch of a rich oil—she liked lavender oil—on her ends to help keep her hair hydrated, seal split-ends, and protect from further damage," Lamas adds. Try his other tips for supple locks of your own.

1. Use products free of sulfates (a lathering ingredient), as they can dry out locks and strip them of color. 
2. Pick a shampoo and conditioner that contain rich, moisturizing ingredients such as avocado and olive oils to help hydrate your hair on a daily basis. Baobab oil, sourced from African trees, is high in vitamins A, D, E, and F and known for its ability to retain moisture and keep hair silky smooth all day long, so Lamas uses it in his Naturals Soy Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. 
3. Skip the hair dryer and heat styling tools as much as possible to reduce breakage and keep your hair healthy.

Ultraviolet lamps used at salons help your nails dry faster—and cause them to chip faster too. “Polish takes up to twelve hours to fully dry and harden, and any sort of heat during that time will interfere with the curing process,” says Shannon Dalbo, beauty trend forecaster for GBS The Beauty Store. Use your salon’s air dryer, which uses cool air, to ensure that you don’t leave with wet nails. Then, for the next 12 hours, avoid washing with warm or hot water (use cool instead), using saunas or hot showers, and even blowing your nails with your breath since it’s warm, Dalbo recommends.

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Screen siren and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn had such "striking features and beautiful skin that she required very little makeup," Lamas says. To keep her skin picture perfect, she swore by a twice-a-week steam facial similar to this one, he adds.

1. Plug your bathroom sink and carefully pour in a large pot of boiling water. 
2. Stand over the sink for about 2 minutes with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam in and open your pores. 
3. With the sink still full of water, use a facial exfoliator such as Peter Lamas Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub, rubbing in a circular motion for about 45 seconds to dissolve dirt and lift away dead skin cells. 
4. Rinse with cool water to close pores.

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A good topcoat is key to seal your polish, but the first layer on your nails is just as important as the last. “From a chemical point of view, a base coat adheres to nails better than a nail lacquer, provides a seal that the nail polish can attach itself to, and is fortified with ingredients that smooth nail surfaces, allowing polish to glide on evenly so it lasts longer,” Ritz says. Add in the bonus of preventing stained nails—always a threat when you use dark colors such as red—and ingredients such as protein and vitamin E to strengthen nails and prevent breakage, splitting, and peeling, and base coat is a no-brainer.

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Model Bianca’s exotic good looks and naturally pouty lips seduced rock royalty and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. "She knew her lips were her best feature, so she enhanced them by pairing bold red lipstick with just a smudge of eyeliner and leaving the rest of her face clean," Lamas says. She also kept her lips soft by exfoliating regularly with this routine.

1. Mix equal amounts honey and sugar in a bowl to make a natural scrub. 
2. Stretch your lips with the fingers of one hand and with your other hand, use a dry medium-firm toothbrush to gently massage your lips with the scrub, moving in circular motions for about 15 seconds per lip. 
3. Apply lip balm of your choice to seal in moisture.

Hand sanitizer has become a mainstay in most purses, especially during cold and flu season, but while it kills germs, it also kills your mani. “The alcohol in hand sanitizers eats away at topcoat and causes your color to fade and dull,” Dalbo says. Exfoliators in body and facial scrubs are also a no-no, as they remove both the top layer of your skin and your polish. Wash your hands with a mild antibacterial soap to avoid colds and germs and preserve your mani, and reach for alcohol-free lotion. “If it has a fragrance, it contains alcohol, which leads to drying and chaffing,” says Jennifer Lopez’s manicurist, Elle.

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She may have raised a few eyebrows over the years with her ultra-glamorous lifestyle and string of failed marriages, but Elizabeth Taylor was also known for her thick, arched eyebrows—a departure from the ultra-thin, tweezed brows of her day—and piercing violet eyes. Now that big brows are back, rock them yourself.

1. First see a professional to attain the best eyebrow shape for your face. Then you can maintain your brows on your own by simply following where they were tweezed or threaded. 
2. Brush hairs into place with an eyebrow comb or soft toothbrush. 
3. Using a thin angled brush and brow powder a few shades lighter than your hair color (or a few shades darker if you’re blonde), fill in any sparse areas, blending the color in with light, short strokes.

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Wearing rubber gloves while you do the dishes or clean the bathroom will definitely help your polish stick around longer. For even more lasting power, apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly over the entire nail bed of each finger before you don the gloves, says Athena Solomon, manicurist and founder of A Beautiful Day Salon in Southfield, MI. “The oil-based product will act as a protective coat to prevent polish chipping and may help prevent chafing near the cuticle.” This is an ideal practice anytime your hands are in water, she says.

When working with actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, Lamas noticed that she was constantly reapplying hand cream. "When I asked her why, she replied, 'A woman’s age shows on her hand much quicker than anywhere else,'" Lamas says. "That definitely stuck with me and partly inspired our Spa Sensuals Hand System." Here’s how to keep your mitts ageless.

1. Exfoliate hands with any body scrub at least once a week and more often during the winter or if you live in a dry climate to remove dead skin cells and cleanse the pores on your hands, which will help moisturizer effectively penetrate your skin. 
2. Follow with an ultra-rich hand cream containing ingredients such as shea butter, vitamin E, almond oil, and mango butter to seal in hydration and keep your hands soft. Look for fast-absorbing formulas that won’t leave hands greasy.

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A new manicure is just the thing to help you relax for a few minutes and feel like a million bucks-until a day later when you notice that your fresh coat of paint is starting to chip. You know it's not going to last forever, but you don't have to feel like your mani starts to disappear faster than PSY can thrust his hips. What you do before, during, and after your manicure can boost your polish's staying power-and save money. Follow these easy steps and you'll look like you just left the salon no matter when you actually last visited.

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