Beauty Secrets from the Pros!

Sneaky Beauty Secrets Only the Pros Know

By Didi Gluck

If your BFFs were wizards of the beauty industry, these are exactly the sorts of tips they would share.

Natural Nail Brightener

You already knew that baking soda was handy for everything from making a cake to cleaning a garbage disposal, but it also works magic on yellowish nails. According to the chemists at Arm & Hammer (and corroborated by the editors at Real Simple), mixing equal parts water and baking soda into a paste and letting it sit on naked nails for 10 minutes before rinsing can remove dingy tones.

Eye Do-Over

Bought an eye cream that didn’t quite work out? Try using it as a lip gloss, says Casey Casterline, a cofounder, a beauty-sample swapping site. It keeps lips supple and gives them a softer-than-gloss shine. Once the cream fully penetrates the lips, it also acts as a primer, helping any color that you put on top stay there longer.

Safe Travels

The last thing a traveler needs is a shattered powder compact, as the jet-setting Michelle Phan, a beauty-video blogger and makeup entrepreneur, can tell you. A solution: Stick a cotton ball or pad in the compact, says Phan, who cocreated Em cosmetics. The cotton will act as a buffer between the color and the case.

Shine On

A goofproof, eye-catching way to use glittery liquid eyeliner? On your lashes, says New York City–based celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass. A steady hand is not required. “Apply black mascara as usual, then, when it dries, dab the liner on the ends of your lashes,” she says. Allow it to set for a few seconds to avoid smudging. Find gorgeous, glimmery eyeliner options from Urban DecayHard Candy, and Make Up For Ever.

Hair Tamer

Batten down flyaways that pop up around your part and ruin the precision of the line by using a powder brush spritzed with hair spray.

Seal the Deal

Those dry-oil body sprays (now ubiquitous at drugstores) are great for more than softening skin, says New York City–based celebrity manicurist Elle. She suggests spritzing oil onto freshly painted nails to help seal the polish so it doesn’t smudge while it dries to a hard finish. At the same time, the oil will condition your hands and cuticles. (Because, let’s be honest, whose hands and cuticles couldn’t use more conditioning?) Try Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Dry Body Oil Spray ($7 at drugstores).

Hold, Please!

Do bobby pins slide out of your hair? Try inserting them wavy-side down—which, incidentally, is the way they were meant to be used, says Kristan Serafino, a hairstylist in New York City. The grooves lock your locks in place.

Secret Cover-up

Have stray grays to cover but not ready for allover hair color? Dredge a comb through an at-home dye formula that matches your natural shade, then apply it to the silvery strands. Allow it to process for the time specified in the directions, then rinse, says Jacob Schmidt, a colorist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda salon, in New York City. Crisis averted.

Glitter, Gone

Shimmery, glittery nail polishes are all the rage, but taking them off can be downright enraging. To tackle those textured formulas, Katie Jane Hughes, the global color ambassador for Butter London, recommends using nail wraps designed to remove gel manicures. The wraps’ concentrated dose of acetone makes any polish easy to break down, gel or not. Try the Red Carpet Manicure Remove Gel Polish Removal Kit ($10,

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