Monday, April 20, 2009

Best Brush On Nail Hardeners For Long Strong Nails

Nail hardeners are used to boost the strength of brittle nails.

And if you've been an acrylic nails wearer, then you know what we are talking about. Peeling. Splitting. Cracking. Unhealthy-looking nails.

Nail hardeners are actually clear nail enamels that have been amped up with different solvent and resin concentrations. They are the first coat of enamel applied to the clean nail and function as a base coat. And they can also be brushed on after a colored polish for extra protection.

There are many nail hardeners on the market. Some work well, and some do not. But the basic idea of using a hardener, is to build up a strong nail plate. In other words--- fortify, protect, and harden.

We have dug our fingernails into the dirt, and gone digging around for the Best Brush On Nail Hardeners:

1. Mavala Scientifique Nail Hardener ($16.99, This little bottle has a huge following of fans. Hard to find, but we located a stash at One woman says she's been using Mavala for some 30 years. Now, that's an opinion we can trust.

Mavala describes their little nail hardener this way:

The tip of nail is the most fragile part which breaks easily. Logic and experience have proven that it is the tip of nail which needs to be strengthened. This Scientifique is a special treatment for the nail tip. It helps prevent splitting or flaking, strengthens soft nails. It features fast result, ease to apply and economical. And one little bottle lasts an entire year.

2. OPI Nail Envy Natural Nail Strengthener ($12.00,, and at fine salons). Let's face it, OPI really knows nails. And this small bottle can also do the trick. Say so long to cracking, splitting, and flaking nails.

The product works like this:

You apply two coats to start, then one coat every other day. At the end of a week, you remove all the product and start over. This method sounds weird, but it really delivers.

3. Witchcraft Nail Hardener ($14.99 at, or This stuff has been around for about 40 years. It was developed in Canada, and is very popular around here. Not easy to find, but Ebay always seem to be auctioning off a few bottles. And we found the hardener and a whole nail kit for $14.99.

And this nail hardener is so easy to use:

Shake well before using. Apply one coat to nail surface. Let dry, then apply second coat. Repeat procedure twice a week.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How To Wear 2009 Ponytails Without Damaging Hair

As you can see by these gorgeous photos of Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce Knowles, and Carrie Underwood, ponytails are so in for 2009!!

Whether your ponytail is big, bold, and exaggerated like Drew's, or casually off to the side like Jennifer's, pulling back your locks into a classic hairstyle, is quite refreshing for 2009!

And even if you have limp locks, or not long enough hair, there is a way to get a smooth, silky ponytail. Just a little faux hair, like a hairpiece or extension, and you can carry off a bouncing do.

If you have long hair already, you could also achieve this look the old-fashioned way, by spritzing on some volumizing mousse or lotion on to dry hair to pump up the volume. You could add some hot rollers, too, and then tease your way to max fullness! And secure back into a ponytail.

But just be careful how you secure your new ponytail do. Hairstylists will warn you that pulling back hair severely and often, can result in damage to your front hairline, especially.

Stay away from the common elastic, or elastics that have metal on them. Not good for your hair. Those items can cause snarling and breakage.

Ken Paves, hair genius to the stars, suggests you try a gentler ponytail securer like Vidal Sassoon No Crimp Elastics ($3). "They give you just enough hold without damaging your hair."
Another elastic brand to try is Karina Sport Colored Ponytail Elastics ($3.50). These, too, are metal-free, and will hold your hair tightly, without risking breakage.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Exuviance Oil-Absorbing Gel Keeps Face Shine-Free

We've found another clever beauty product to take control of shiny, oily, greasy skin. And there are many items out there that promise to 'mattify' your complexion.

Maybe you've tried oil-blotting papers. Oil-free primers. Glycolic acid cleansers. Toners. And the long list goes on.

Now you can try this little number. It's formulated with Mandelic Acid. That is one of the AHAs, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids. And curiously enough, Mandelic Acid is found in almonds.

We adore Exuviance Matte Perfection ($35,, or ULTA stores). You can wear it alone, or under your makeup, or even over your makeup. Either way, this oil-free gel glides on easily and gives you a shine-free finish.

Gluconolactone, a Polyhydroxy Acid, or PHA, is another unique property combined in the oil-free gel. This beauty ingredient helps to balance uneven pigmentation, rough patches, and enlarged pores. It also provides special anti-aging benefits.

We like the lightness to this Exuviance product. And it does absorb the greasies, and is gentle to your skin.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Padma Lakshmi Speaks Up For Women With Endometriosis

Padma Lakshmi is probably best known for her popular role as host of Bravo's Top Chef hit reality show.

But the 38-year-old beauty is also a writer, model, actress, and great cook, among her many talents.

And now Padma is speaking out about endometriosis, a condition that affects many women who suffer from painful, heavy periods.

Padma Lakshmi recently underwent surgery for the condition, and she wants to assure women out there, that they are not alone, and that surgery can cure this common problem which a number of women face.

Endometriosis developes when tissues lining the uterus grow outside the uterus, resulting in painful menstrual cycles and uterine scarring. And this could lead to infertility.

Padma says it wasn't easy talking about such an intimate problem.

"It's a very personal issue," Padma told People Magazine. "It has to do with the most private aspect of a woman's life, and when I had to have surgery, I had to miss work and explain why. I just found that in talking to people, not many people knew what it was." "I just thought I had a responsibility to let other young women know so they wouldn't have to go through what I went though," she says. "If you get tested at an early age, it's very simple to be treated for it and it will save you from a lifetime of pain and stress."

Padma Lakshmi has joined ranks with Dr. Tamer Seckin, who treated Padma and with her also co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Dr. Seckin and Padma will host the "Blossom Ball," their first fundraising event, on April 20 at New York's Prince George Ballroom.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How To Color Beautiful Dark Brown Hair Perfectly

When we think of beautiful dark brown hair, we often think of actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. She wears it so well. Sometimes she lightens up her very dark tresses by a shade. But usually, her color is dark and shiny.

Believe it or not, coloring dark brown hair perfectly is not easy. We should know.

Of course, the coloring process is more damaging when you want to lighten hair, to become blonde, for example. Hair can quickly become damaged.

Then what's the big deal about becoming dark brown?

Celebrity colorist Rita Hazan of New York City, said in an interview recently that, "Brunettes are the most challenging. Their hair can turn red and brassy with added color, but look flat without it."

Rita Hazan suggests asking for gold highlights, instead of red highlights at the salon.

If you've ever tried to go darker, well, it's simple. But getting the right shade of brown is difficult. If you pick too dark a shade, your hair can turn raven, or almost black. Best to select a color one step lighter, otherwise, you will have to live with the super dark shade until your hair grows out.

As any hair colorist would tell you, pick up a box of semi-permanent color if you want to brighten up your brown. You won't be tied down to the darkness forever. A box of Clairol's Natural Instincts will cost you only $6, and the hue will wash out in 6-12 shampoos.

If you desire a much longer lasting hair color, try any of the L'Oreal products, to become a brilliant brunette and cover up gray hair. L'Oreal Paris Excellence-to-Go ($9.49) is a good one to try for shiny hair color that delivers the goods in 10 minutes.

Meantime, we just learned this little hair color tidbit:

You've heard about Waiting 48 hours before shampooing newly dyed hair.

The reason? This allows for the pigment to really soak in. And when you go to wash your hair, by the way, DO NOT use very hot water, because that can open up the hair cuticle and let out the dye.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Karina Smirnoff 's Olive Oil Diet Tip Does Make Beauty Sense

She is certainly petite, toned, and sexy.

And we know that the pros on ABC's huge hit reality show, Dancing With The Stars, dance some 8 hours a day to keep in excellent shape.

But Karina Smirnoff also has a diet tip that works for her, and everyone's been buzzing about it.

Diet is crucial when it comes to maintaining your weight. We all know that. But is there a trick to helping keep off the pounds?

Yes. And it involves olive oil.

We are Mediterranean, and we love eating olive oil, but we didn't do it the way Karina Smirnoff does it. So we were intrigued by her diet tip. We did a little research and discovered that she is one smart lady.

Karina told US Weekly magazine that she avoids red meat, and dines on egg whites, fish, and salad. And has, "a tablespoon of olive oil on an empty stomach to help with digestion."

Go ahead and laugh, but the diet tip is a sound one. And here's why:

"Research suggests that replacing other types of fats with monounsaturated fat, especially olive oil, helps people lose a moderate amount of weight without additional food restriction or physical activity. So just imagine what adding a lower-calorie diet and increased physical activity (which is always a good idea) to the consumption of monounsaturated fats like olive oil could do for your weight-loss efforts."

We found that weight loss nugget here,

The article goes on to say:

"What's more, the FDA determined that eating 13.5 grams of monounsaturated fat in a dietary pattern low in saturated fat and cholesterol would reduce total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 5 percent, resulting in a 10 percent decrease in coronary heart disease.However, the FDA did not approve this particular claim for food labels. Instead, the agency approved a stronger claim linking the consumption of 23 grams (about two tablespoons) of olive oil to a decreased risk of coronary heart disease."

So there you have it. Just a spoonful of olive oil daily can help you get skinny in a very healthy way. Doesn't sound so yummy, but the results are quite beautiful!

Monday, April 13, 2009

DDF Offers New Twist On Anti-Aging In Moisturizing Serum

A wrinkle resister and a pore minimizer all rolled into one.

This little 1.7 oz. bottle claims to give you back younger-looking skin with the appearance of smaller pores.

And in this not-so-great economy, if you can put together $85, then you might want to invest in DDF's Wrinkle Resistant Plus Pore Minimizer.

Who doesn't want more perfect-looking, flawless skin?!

DDF, Doctor's Dermatologic Formula, is pushing their most recent product, calling it, a new twist on anti-aging.

It all has to do with DDF's 'dual phase technology.' The unique formula increases the skin's surface renewal rate. You end up with a smoother and balanced complexion.

1. Clear Gel continuously reduces the appearance of wrinkles and pores with vitamin B3 and Promatrixyl pentapeptide.

2. The Colored Optical Swirl Serum instantly minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores with its light-diffusing technology.

And this little bottle has already built quite a fan base. Maybe because DDF's clinical trials came up with some very decent results:

65% saw noticeably smaller pores
70% saw less noticeable fine lines and wrinkles.

Results also showed improvement at 4 weeks and greater improvement at 8 weeks.

You can purchase DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer at beauty stores like Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom.

Learn more at