Thanks to modern technology and continual improvement in the fashion and beauty industry, hair and nail care have been as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Hair and NailsCredit:

Lips and nails are important to good grooming for women around the world.  Here a few tips on both!

If you love the color but hate the intensity, tone down your bright-colored lipsticks.  Apply an even coat of color-a lipstick brush works best-and top it wth a clear gloss.  The result is still vibrant but less intense.

A professional lip brush gives a more precise line and coverage than lipstick in a tube.  Disposable lipstick brushes are great for popping in your purse or makeup drawer at home.

Define the outline of your lips with a professional lip brush or a lip liner pencil that closely matches the color of your lipstick.  Then apply your lipstick with the lip brush, blending the liner with the brush.

A matte fomulation with more pigment (color) and less emollients or oils lasts longer.  These lipsticks are usually labeled "long-lasting."  Glosses, lip shines or stain formulations contain less pigment and wear off more quickly.  Layering also helps lipstick last longer.  Apply lipstick with a professional lip brush, blot with a tissue, then reapply.  Makeup artists often use lip liner as a foundation.  Choose a lip liner pencil that is the same color as your lipstick, outline your lips and then fill in all over with the pencil.  Apply lipstick with a professional lipstick brush over the lip liner base.  Try a lipstick with an aloe vera base that applies clear and then change to rose, red or coral tone, depending on your body chemistry.  These are particularly effective when used as a base for your lipstick. 

To keep lipstick on all day, try a lipstick sealer over your lipstick, or apply a lip base befor using lipstick.  Apply lipstick, blot, then apply again.  Do not blot final coat.  Using a lip liner as lipstick also works well. 

Blotting removes some of the lipstick from your lips, giving more of a stained look than some women prefer.  Blotting, then re-applying lipstick helps lipstick last longer on the lips.

Using a lip liner pencil first helps prevent bleeding because the waxy ingredients in the pencil create a barrier.

You can also try a lip sealer to prevent bleeding.  Lip sealers are products you apply over lipstick to seal it.  Another suggestion is to select a matte lipstick formulation which is dryer and contains more pigment.  Lip glosses, lip shines, or cream formulatons contain less pigment and the emollients they contain tend to bleed more.

To create an illusion of fullness for thin lips, start by using a pencil lip liner to define the outermost part of your lip line.  Apply your lipstick with a professional lip brush, blending the lip liner, and add a slightly lighter color in the center to create contour.  Avoid dark-colored lipsticks.

Full lips are often considered sensual and beautiful.  But, if you want to minimize full lips, use a lip liner pencil to define the inside of your lip line.  Fill in with lipstick or a lip crayon.  Try a slightly deeper colored lipstick.

Does your lips become dry and chapped during cold weather?   The emollients in moisturizers and lip balms could interfere with the  adherence of your lipstick so try using a moisturizing lipstick instead.  To help cold-chapped lips, apply petroleum jelly or an aloe-based lip balm at night before bed. 

For a non-drying, matte look, try applying a cream formulation and blotting it with a tissue.  Repeat for longer lasting coverage.

Sun-sensitive lips need protection at the SPF 15 level.  Check the label to make sure the lipstick you are interested in purchasing is rated with SPF 15.

In prolonged activities out-of-doors, wear a lip balm with SPF 15, a salve, or even lipstick as along as it has maximum sun protection.  Again look for the SPF 15 rating on the packaging.

When being photographed, like for weddings, be sure to use a lip liner pencil to give your lips good definition. Avoid using a very glossy lipstick; it may cause unwanted highlights, and won't last as long as a matte lipstick.  Consider using a lip sealer.

Now a little about nails:

It is a myth that you should leave nails unpolished for a few days to give them a “breather” between manicures.  Fingernails are made of dead skin cells, and they don’t need to breathe.

Massage cuticle cream, oil or lotion into the cuticles to get them back into shape.  Then, use a cuticle stick to gently push back the cuticle after you have softened it, which in most cases eliminates the need to trim the cuticle.  If necessary, cuticle trimming should be left to the professional, who will use special stainless steel cuticle trimmers available in different “jaw” sizes. 

Nail technicians remove hangnails with cuticle nippers.  The best way to prevent hangnails is to use cuticle cream, oil or lotion that is massaged into the cuticle and nail mantle.  Then use a cuticle stick to gently push back the cuticle after you have softened it, which in most cases, eliminates the need to trim cuticles of hangnails.

Choose your nail file depending on how you plan to use it.  The higher the grit number, the smoother the file.  Coarse files (80-100 grit) are best for acrylic extensions.  Medium files (180 grit) are best to shpe extensions of medium thickness, like most tips and wraps, and to shape the free edge of natural nails.  Fine files (240-600 grit) are best for removing small bumps, ridges or discoloration and shaping the free edge on the natural nail.

There are many different causes of nail ridges.  Trauma to the nail, certain medications taken over long periods of time, and chronic health conditions can cause temporary or permanent nail ridges.  If ridges are temporary, they will grow out within six months to a year.  Use nail strengtheners and ridge fillers as well as cuticle softeners to promote healthy new growth.  If the ridges are permanent, continuous use of a natural nail buffer or chamois skin buffer and buffing cream, as well as a ridge filler will smooth the appearance.

It is best not to use a topcoat as a basecoat or vice versa.  Although they look similar, these two products are designed to do different things.  Basecoats are usually thicker and stickier, which helps the nail polish adhere better.  They contain more resins to give the nail added strength.  Topcoats are thinner and contain more ingredients that creat a durable surface on the nail.  They are made to add strength, dry quickly and protect the polish from daily wear and tear.  There are a few timesaving combination basecoat/topcoats on the market.

For the perfect manicure, use one basecoat, two coats of your choice of polish and then follow with one topcoat.

After applying topcoat to nails, hold brush parallel to tip of nail and sweep topcoat slightly under nail to prevent pesky chipping.