Surprising Complexion Improvers

We're constantly barraged with new products to help our skin glow or fade past blemishes -- but there are easy ways to either cut back on these products or help them work harder for you. These unexpected beauty hacks take creams out of the equation with straightforward, start-today tips to put you on the path to perfectly luminous skin.

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Thicken Thinning Lashes

It's not your imagination. Your once lush lashes might actually be thinner these days -- a byproduct of aging and sometimes too much wear and tear. Fortunately, there are ways to thicken up your fine fringe instantly: makeup and over-time solutions that can promote new lash growth.

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Nail Art for Grown-Ups

Fun, colorful nail art doesn't have to be just for teenagers and celebrities. We asked some of our favorite bloggers and go-to industry pros to tell all when it comes to nailing the latest trends in nail art. With just a few simple tips and tricks, we know everyone -- including your friends and your teenage daughter -- will be coming to you for style advice!

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Banish Raccoon Eyes!

It's a common beauty complaint: In the a.m., your eyeliner and mascara look flawless, but by 3 p.m. it looks like you've slept in your makeup. Since you're probably not snoozing on the job, the source of your smudges is most likely liner or mascara that mixes with oil and sweat and migrates down to your undereyes. Here, easy tricks to clean up your act and prevent your next eye makeup meltdown.

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Goof-Proof Self-Tanners

If you like the look of a deep tan or even just a subtle, sun-kissed glow, sunless tanner is the only way to go (no skin-damaging UV rays!). But we all know application can be tricky. One false move and you can be left with an obvious streak that lasts for days. Fortunately, the latest crop of glow getters makes a faux tan faux pas free.

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Products You Need By 30

We're all for having fun and experimenting, but by the time you hit the big 3-0, you should be able to commit to a few reliable, no-fail beauty products. We asked top hair, makeup, and skin pros to reveal the stuff they think should be in every 30-something's bathroom.

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12 Beach Bag Must-Haves

Summer days are meant to be carefree, but that doesn't mean you can drop the, um, beach ball with your beauty routine. Here are our favorite warm-weather essentials to keep you feeling and looking cool, chic, and well protected.

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9 Ways to Beat Dry Skin for Good

Score softer, smoother skin with this winter primping primer. Our three-part regimen promises head-to-toe hydration -- all season long.

Eat Right

A healthy diet should be your first defense against dehydration. "Drink at least six big glasses of water per day, and load up on foods that are rich in essential fatty acids like olive oil, salmon, almonds, whole grains, eggs, and spinach," says Mona Gohara, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.

 

Stay Cool

It might be cold outside, but cranking the thermostat won't help your winter skin. "Pumping up the heat in your house can leave you dry and flaky," Gohara says. Instead, keep the thermostat on the low side and bundle up with blankets at night. "And if you haven't already, invest in a humidifier, at least for your bedroom," suggests Chicago dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, M.D. (Your skin will thank you, and that nagging congestion might clear up, too.)

Embrace Oil

For most of us, moisturizing is something we do after a shower, but you'll stay even softer if you do it before stepping into the spray. From the neck down, smooth on an oil (try coconut or jojoba, found at health food stores), which will seal in moisture as it heats up without washing off like a lotion or cream.

Think Warm, Not Hot

Gohara puts it best: "Steamy showers are good for the soul and bad for the skin." Hot temperatures open pores and strip skin's protective oils. Dial down the heat to a bit above lukewarm. (And when a long, hot shower is a must, slather on a thick moisturizer, pronto.)

Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

Exfoliating is crucial. "As dead skin cells build up on the surface, they prevent the good stuff -- moisturizers, in this case -- from getting in," Gohara says. But that doesn't mean you need a sandblaster. Rather than attacking your epidermis with a rough loofah or gritty scrub, gently slough with a soft cotton baby washcloth topped with a dollop of moisturizing body wash.

Use the Right Wash

"Look for a body cleanser that contains at least one moisturizing all-star," advises Yolanda Holmes, M.D., a Washington, D.C., dermatologist. "That means one of these: ceramides, dimethicone, fatty acids, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, or mineral oil." And stick to the gentler category of soap-free cleansers, which tend to have key phrases like "nonsoap" or "neutral pH" right on the label.

Pat -- Stat!

As soon as you step out of the shower, start patting (not rubbing) yourself dry with a towel. What's the difference? "Rubbing gets rid of nearly all the water on your skin, whereas patting sops up only some of it," Gohara says. The dampness left on your body will help the moisturizer you're about to slather on (don't wait more than three minutes after stepping out) seep even deeper into your skin.

Treat Your Type

To the layperson, "lotion" and "cream" are interchangeable, but actually creams typically contain equal parts oil and water and come in a tub. Lotions come in a bottle and have more water -- making them easier for skin to absorb. Takeaway: "Use a cream if you're very dry, but stick with a lotion if you have oily or combination skin," Gohara says.

Read the Label

Remember those super moisturizing body wash ingredients? Well that goes double for moisturizers. Don't shell out for any lotion or cream unless it contains at least one of those. Also: "Avoid anything that contains fragrances, which can be extremely drying," Holmes says.

Help -- Nothing's Working!

Feeling frustrated that your parched skin isn't responding to daily TLC? You might have eczema, a common condition that often requires a trip to the doctor for treatment. We asked dermatologist Yolanda Holmes to break it down.

What is eczema?
Eczema is scaly pink patches that itch like crazy and can appear anywhere on the body, including the face.

Who's at risk for eczema?
People suffering from extremely dry skin, asthma, or seasonal allergies, as well as sensitive types who may get rashes from using products containing fragrances or other chemical irritants.

How do I treat eczema?
An over-the-counter eczema relief product is a great first step. They typically contain ingredients like oatmeal, which can soothe and calm irritation, and ceramides, which strengthen the barrier of your skin. If that doesn't do the trick, talk to your dermatologist about prescription options. Topical steroids are the most common course of treatment; more severe cases might require oral steroids.

Dry lips? Here's how to solve them for good.

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