Dry winter weather makes hands feel like sandpaper. Professional French manicures can easily cost upwards of $30 – not helpful on a student budget. Instead, freshen up and save a little moolah on your next girl’s night with a do-it-yourself manicure. Buying a few basic supplies is cheaper than a single salon visit and lasts for many manicures to come. Here’s what you’ll need:
Most of the basics can be found at drugstores and places like Target and Wal-Mart. For specialized products, try the True Blue Spa line of nail care at Bath and Body Works.
~Nail polish remover
~Cuticle moisturizer – found in a variety of creams and oils
~Buffer – a set of three files used for smoothing nail ridges
There are a great range of nail polish brands, prices, and colors to choose from. Personally, I appreciate the OPI brand line of polishes for its durability and choice of fun colors.
~Chip Skip – this colorless OPI liquid removes oils on nails to ensure long-lasting style
~Base Coat – a clear polish that prevents colored pigments from staining the nail
~White polish – the cornerstone of French tips. Try “Oh So Glam” by OPI
~Sheer Pink polish – pick a muted, translucent shade, such as “Passion” by OPI
~Top Coat – a clear, final sealant
~Makeup concealer brush – makes fixing mistakes a breeze when dipped in remover
~Fast dry drops – quickly hardens polish in as little as 60 seconds
DIY French Tip Manicure
- Remove any residual polish with cotton balls dipped in nail polish remover.
- Cut and file nail edges into a square with rounded edges. This shape provides the best defense against splits and tears.
- Smooth your nails with a buffer. Starting with the roughest grain, swipe the buffer across the top of the nail beds to even out ridges. Using ten strokes per nail, continue the same process with the medium-grain file. This step balances nail thickness. Finally, use the smooth-grain file to add sheen.
- Massage cuticle moisturizer into the dry skin surrounding your nails. This prevents painful hangnails and keeps hands from looking scraggly.
- Let the painting begin! Start with a coat of Chip Skip. Next, apply a layer of base coat. Wait five minutes for polish to dry.
- Now comes the tricky part. Using the white polish, carefully swipe the top 1/8 inch of each nail. A thin layer of polish and a light handed technique will help achieve a straight line. Don’t fret if your tips look less than perfect – use the concealer brush dipped in nail polish remover to correct mistakes and straighten out the polish line. Wait five minutes for polish to dry.
- Spread a thin layer of pink polish over your entire nail, including the white tips. This creates a unified and natural nail look. Wait five minutes for polish to dry.
- Add a thick layer of top coat. This creates a barrier between the polish other elements to prevent chips and dents. It also adds shine for a professional finish.
- Need to get out the door quickly and don’t have time for nails to dry? Place two quick-drying drops on each nail. This penetrates the polish and hardens layers in as little as one minute. Blowing air from a hairdryer or running nails under cold water are other tricks of the trade.
- Finally, rub a nickel-sized dollop of lotion over your hands. Viola! A professional quality manicure in under a half hour. Practice makes perfect!
by Gabriella Leone
Winter wonderland brings a natural catastrophe for your skin, lips and hair. The harsh sting of the winter wind is just as damaging as the warm summer sun. Your skin is never safe from damage, no matter the season.
In the spring and summer we wear SPF to protect our skins from the damaging ultra violet rays. In the winter the sun is just as strong as in the summer because it reflects off of the snow and ice onto our skin. This means that sunscreen that’s sitting in your beach bag needs to come back to work. Before you go outside slather at least a 20 SPF sunscreen, on any exposed part of your body. Also, before you put on your makeup put a SPF face sunscreen, like Eucerin Extra Protective Moisture Lotion, SPF 30, on your nose, and cheeks. These sunscreens will protect you from the sun’s damage and a winter sunburn, which is a burning, itchy and unpleasant experience.
If you don’t already have any sunscreen I suggest La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL. Not only does it have a high SPF but it contains Mexoryl, one of the strongest chemicals to almost perfectly protect you from any sun damage. Hydraphase UV SPF 30, another sun blocking lotion also contains sodium hyaluronate, an ingredient that targets dry areas on your skin. Sunscreens that have coconut butter, herbal oils and aloe vera will help hydrate your skin.
The winter winds suck the moisture out of the air, which leaves our skin dying for hydration. I suggest putting lotion on your skin at least three times a day; after you shower, in the middle of the day and before you sleep. A great lotion to use is Aveda Botanical, it’s made with rose, lavender and sandalwood oils which will keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
Another part of your body that gets dehydrated is your lips. How many winters have you suffered from red, chapped, dry and rash like lips? I’m sure it’s been one too many winters of that! This winter buy yourself a lip balm and stay away from all those flavored ones. They are lacking the moisture that your lips need to stay healthy. Try a lip balm like CarMax, it can be used all year round and it’s known for it’s moisture properties. However, don’t lick your lips, it will just make it worse.
Lastly how do you deal with winter hair? Split ends, dry scalp, dandruff, winter frizz and hair that is dry as straw. Well first buy some great hair products like heat protector, deep conditioners and for those that have dandruff Head n’ Shoulders works great. Try to avoid any hot heat tools, like curling irons and wash your hair every other day, but use generous amounts of conditioner. Another great idea is to wash your hair then leave a deep conditioning treatment on for 10 minutes, rinse out and towel dry your hair. These deep conditioners have a lot of vitamins in them and help restore your hair back to it’s healthy shine, texture and bounce.
So before you bundle up and head out that door to face the winter’s sting here are some quick little reminders. Your body and hair will get used to one product after a few weeks, so make sure you alternate between two products every week. Look for lotions and hair care with antioxidants like alpha-lipocid acid, green tea, grapeseed, vitamins C and E, chamomile and ginkgo biloba. Antioxidants counteract winter sun damage and they are usually all natural. Keep an eye out for all natural products, they are healthier and they usually serve as a dual purpose, being lotions and SPF protection. Also try to steer clear from heat sources in your home like hair driers, furnaces, and curling irons. Lastly if you love to use face masks, try to find one that has hydrates and conditions your skin.
If you follow these tips this winter and buy similar products, you won’t feel washed out, dry or dead like the world outside. Instead you’ll feel great about yourself and you’ll look great too!
by Rebecca Toback
Even when times get hard, a girl must put in the time to pamper herself a little and have some fun. Just because the cash isn’t there to have an extra spa day doesn’t mean you must suffer. Here are some tips to treat yourself like the queen you are!
Take a relaxing bubble bath.
Head to Bath and Body Works or any other similar product selling store to pick up a few cheap candles, with your favorite scent and soothing bubble bath mix. Put your head back in the tub, and enjoy reading your favorite book. This is sure to take off some of your stress and is a great way to enjoy yourself.
Bake something for you and your friends to enjoy
Whether its something healthy or a splurge you will enjoy getting the compliments from your friends on what a great chef you are, and get to indulge yourself in your own home baked creation.
Make a collage with old photos.
A simple and cheap way to decorate your home is to do it with things you already have. With or without a few craft store products you can make a decorative photo collage to hang up in your home.
Get a makeover for free
If you want to get a free makeover, the make up counters at many department stores provide these when you buy just one product at the counter. If you have a Sephora store located near you, you can also walk into the store and sample the make-up on your own. It may sound a little desperate, but why not “sample” the makeup; it’s out there for the using.
Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure every once in a while.
It doesn’t have to be at home alone or with your friends. Go all out for a salon mani, pedi, and get the nice treatment; it may just be worth the money.
Get a massage
Make your significant other or even friend give you a massage. Switch off with your partner, giving great massages to each other that relax and relieve you of all your stress.
Make a cup of tea
Drink it while watching your favorite television show. Free your mind of all other thoughts and just relish in the present. If television isn’t your thin,g pick up a gossip magazine, and think about how lucky you are to not be the laughing stock of millions on the cover of one of the rags.
Simple things you can do are buy a new shade of lipstick, lay down outside (if it’s nice out,) light scented candles, take a deep breathe, go biking, or take a walk. One of the greatest things to do is sing at the top of your lungs for no one but yourself to hear. You will forget all of your worries and live in the moment.
It is not too hard for the recessionista to de-stress, and feel happy inside and out. It’s important to pamper yourself, and you should never feel like your spending budget should affect that.
by Arriel Ginter
Ok, so if you haven’t heard over the knee boots are one of the top must have trends for fall. Who wouldn’t love these stylish, thigh gripping, fashion forward pieces? I am absolutely obsessed, for lack of a better word, and designated that as a now Recessionista that this would be my splurge for fall. I love the look, but the statement with these boots can go either way so there are a few boundaries to follow:
• Pick a neutral color: black, brown, gray, etc. If you go with a bold color the look may come off more cheesy than classy. Also choosing a neutral gives you more look for your buck, allowing the shoes to be pieced with a variety of outfits.
• Know your proportions: Some boots might be higher and tighter than others. The boot top should hit no higher than a little over mid thigh. Make sure you find a pair that embraces the trend, but not consume your legs.
• Watch your pairing: Though the skirt and over the knee boots on the runway is fiercest, watch exactly what you pair these boots with. You don’t want to look like Julia Roberts on Pretty Woman, before her makeover. The safest is to pair the boots (based on the weather) with either sleek leggings or dark jeans (try to get a slim cut to fit into the boots).
• Be FABULOUS: Most important, whether you go with flat, wedge, or mini heel style, wear your boots and be fabulous.
Here are some celebrity examples of what not and to do.
by Amy Marturana
The most dreadful sound in the world has to be the alarm clock buzzing at eight in the morning. You can hear it practically nagging, “Rise and shine and get to class!”
No one likes waking up for class, but we all have to do it. A skill you learn in college is how to either get by with minimal sleep, or how to sacrifice other things to get enough sleep. After staying up late studying and writing papers, any extra sleep counts.
The best way to add time for sleep, I’ve found, is to cut back on time taken prepping for class.
But just because we have early classes doesn’t mean we have to look like slobs. There ARE cute boys in our classes, after all… and they definitely don’t need to know that we skipped our shower to get in some extra z’s.
Here are a few easy tips I have discovered that allow me to squeeze in some more snooze time so I am wide-awake for class (HA, I wish), yet still look presentable:
Invest in a hat.
If your hair isn’t looking its greatest and you want to skip the shower and wait until later, throwing on a hat is perfect coverage. If your hair is curly or just not cooperating, throw it in a braid and then put on the hat. A baseball cap from your college or university is perfect; you can be cute and show your school spirit, and no one will ever know the real reason you’re wearing it!
Rock the headbands.
I mean BIG headbands. Thick-banded headbands that cover a lot of your scalp are best, because they help hide excess oil best. Headbands are really in right now, especially ones with big bows and other ornamentation, so you’ll look stylish at the same time. I have a plain black headband that’s pretty simple, and it does a really great job of covering up my messy hair.
Sprinkle on some powder
Baby powder is definitely not restricted to babies only—it does a fabulous job of cutting down on the oil on your scalp. Be careful not to use too much though, otherwise you’ll look like—well, you’ll look like you just put baby powder in your hair—which no one needs to know, right?
Swipe on mascara.
Don’t take a lot of time to put on makeup, but try at least to apply a little bit of mascara. It opens up the eyes, and it will make you look more awake. If your daily makeup routine is more involved and you feel too bare wearing just mascara, then don’t pick this tip… go with what makes you feel comfortable and save time in one of the other ways!
Plan outfits ahead of time.
Picking out what to wear in the morning can take forever, but if you put some thought into it the night before, it can save you a lot of indecision when you’re pressed for time. Check the weather before you go to bed, and mentally plan what you are going to wear the next day. Sometimes I even go into my closet and pick out the exact outfit so that I can just get out of bed and throw it on without thinking.
Getting work done and making it to class on time are crucial to make it through college. If you can spend more time studying and sleeping so you are refreshed and less time primping, classes will go much smoother. Also, no one looks good with bags under her eyes, so use these tips and find new ones so you can get your beauty sleep!
By Rebecca Toback
During the summer we often seem to get caught up in getting a perfect tan and natural sun-highlighted hair; but when the page on the calendar turns from appealing August to stressful September, and our beautiful strands are nothing but perfect there are things you can do to take control of your hair and bring sexy back.
The sun can drain out natural oils that your hair creates; the first step to repairing your hair is to get a haircut! Chopping off just over an inch of your hair will give it a healthier look.
Blow-drying your hair has the same negative effects as the sun. If you have to blow-dry your hair rather than letting it dry naturally, try to use cool air. Blasting heat onto damaged hair will only further the problems.
Pick up an after sun product for your hair. Aveda’s Sun Care After-Sun Hair Masque is a great product, for $26. The Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask is also a great solution for $6.99 at drugstores. Many other companies have products that can add moisture back to your hair, which is what you’re going to be looking for when the sun and chlorine are your enemies.
Choosing the right shampoo will also help re-hydrate your hair. Shampoos that you would use after immediate exposure to the sun are not the same shampoos that will help to fix up your dried out hair. Aveda has a great shampoo for this called, Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo, which is good for all hair types, and for color treated hair as well. Bio Ionic Super Hydrator Intensive Moisturizing Shampoo is also a repairing shampoo that will work out sun-damage from your hair.
Though the shampoo will help out your hair you should try to avoid washing every day. Shampoo tends to dry out your hair, so if your hair can last two or three days without a washing, skip the shampoo, and go straight to conditioning. Also, stay clear of shampoos and conditioners with ethanol, a specific type of alcohol, in them. While fatty alcohols can often hydrate your hair, ethanol dries it out. Maximum hold hairsprays are agents of bad alcohols for your hair as well. If you need to use hairspray make sure you hold the spray 6-8 inches away from your head, and use as little as you can.
If your hair is out of wack from extra summer slack these tips should help to repair your mane and keep it shinning without pain.
By Katelyn Stark
Want that golden tan everyone strives for in the summer but your job and crazy work schedules are keeping you from that? Tanning beds are way too expensive and we can’t always take a trip to the beach. Here are my 5 tips on how to be sun-kissed and beautiful on a tight summer schedule.
• Apply moisturizing lotion at least once a day. Keeping your skin moisturized will maximize the amount of sun you will get while outside (even if it’s less than an hour a day).
• Sun-screen! Sound crazy because you want to tan, right? Well think again. It takes a while to build a tan but it does not help if you get burned. Your burn will eventually pale to the skin underneath which has yet to even get sun exposure. The use of sunscreen will prevent a lot of pain and looking like a lobster.
• Too lazy? It’s too hot? Stop with the excuses. You won’t get golden brown from being inside. When you do have free time, take it outdoors. Read a good book, listen to some music, or even get active.
• Self tanning lotions. It will look more natural if you use a gradual-tan lotion rather than a direct bronzer. The lotion will shimmer on your skin and make you look like your glistening and build a tan with each application. TIP- wash hands completely after applying and don’t forget to get around your neck.
• Play up your other features. So let’s face it, no matter how hard some of us try our skin just won’t darken. That’s okay, play up your other looks. Stay away from white clothes but use vibrant colors.
By Kelli Curtis
Let’s face it. It’s August, and you’ve spent the summer outside, enjoying life and the sunshine. However, all that fun in the sun likely resulted in sunburns and skin damage you may never recover from.
The Damage: Aging Your Skin
Each summer’s sunburns cause cumulative damage to the deep layer of skin; i.e. while the color of the sunburn fades, the residual effects still exist in your skin. And if that damage continues to increase throughout the years, so does the risk of developing skin cancers.
Aside from the potential of developing skin cancers, your skin is damaged in other ways from the carefree days of sun, chlorine, and wind: wrinkles, brown spots, and actinic keratosis (or sun spots, which are scaly or crusty bumps that form on the skin).
Here are some facts from skincancer.org for you to consider:
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, with one million cases of BCC diagnosed annually. While BCC is rarely fatal, it can be very disfiguring.
About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.
The Solution: Rejuvenating Your Skin
Products containing hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid and lactic acid) have an exfoliating effect, which helps smooth the skin. In low concentrations, hydroxy acids are found in the Reversa product line. However, according to HealthDay News, some have adverse reactions to alpha hydroxy acids, including discoloration, itching or blisters.
Vitamin C, as an antioxidant, may help prevent further sun damage and have some effect on reversing visible signs of sun damage when applied topically. According to SkinCareRx, a skin care Web site, vitamin C makes the skin “appear younger by activating the oxidizing influences to which the skin is subjected.”
Vitamin A may also prevent further sun damage and have some effect on reversing visible signs of sun damage. As what SkinCareRx calls a “vitamin necessary for healthy skin,” vitamin A (in a synthetic compound) can be used to treat wrinkling and discoloration that result from sun exposure, which are two uses of the product Accutane.
Products that contain salicylic acid help remove dead skin layers, which gives the skin a fresher appearance.
Chemical peels. They remove the top layer of skin, which removes superficial damage and irregularities of skin (such as sun damage, irregular pigment and some scars).
Botulinum toxin. This protein is injected into certain muscles and immobilizes them, which prevents wrinkles from forming. It will also soften the appearance of existing wrinkles.
Dermabrasion. The top layers of skin are removed, and the result is smoother and fresher looking skin. It minimizes small scars (both surgical and acne) and surface irregularities.
Microdermabrasion. This gentler version of dermabrasion removes aging skin and stimulates new skin growth. It may require several treatments.
The Prevention: Protecting Your Skin
Thankfully, you don’t have to stay inside at all times in order to help prevent further sun damage.
Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun on extremely hot days or when the sun feels the hottest (usually between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.).
Put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and don’t forget to reapply later in the day.
Don’t assume that being in the shade keeps you out of harm’s way. UV rays reflect off water, white sand, and the sidewalk, which means you’re still at risk.
Wear moisturizers and mineral makeup that contain SPF for added protection.
When you know you’ll be in the sun, wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats that protect your face, neck, and ears. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, tightly woven fabrics are best at protecting your skin from the UV rays. If you can see through the fabric, it can be penetrated by the rays, and pastels and light colors are especially susceptible.
Take the same precautions even on cloudy days. The American Academy of Family Physicians says between 60 and 80 percent of the sun’s rays go through the clouds, and thus will affect you and your skin.
Ultimately, this aspect of your health rests in your hands — which better be lathered up with sunscreen before you step out that door.