10 Nail Myths to Stop Believing You’ve heard of Myth Busters, but we’re about to take it to a whole new level – Beauty Myth Busting! To be more specific, it’s all about your nails and how you take care of them. Here are ten myths that have not been proven true, some seemingly more outrageous than others. It may just change the way you view your nails! We want the best for our nails after all, so hopefully after reading this, you’ll be more informed (and nail-savvy!). (via BeautyPress)

1. Eating gelatin will strengthen weak nails. While it’s true that nails are made of a protein called keratin and that gelatin too is a protein, there’s never been any scientific proof that gelatin does anything to strengthen nails. By the same token, despite the fact that there are trace amounts of calcium in the nail, downing more milk or other calcium-rich products won’t do anything to strengthen nails either. Overall good nutrition, including adequate protein, is the way to go for strong nails.

2. Enhancements should be soaked off every so often to “give nails a break”. As long as your nail tech is using high-quality products and correctly applying them, there’s no reason to remove your enhancements. In fact, this should be avoided, as removing artificial nails can be potentially damaging. Ask your tech how to properly maintain your enhancements between visits, so you don’t get any cracks or other signs of service breakdown. If you decide to take a break from polish or enhancements (which can be removed safely if need be), try a month of regular buffing and applying cuticle oil to add moisture and seal the nail.

3. Avoid nail products that have chemicals in them. This would be literally impossible to do, because virtually everything you see and touch is a chemical (even purified water). There is no such thing as a “chemical-free” nail product (or as an “all-natural” artificial nail product). That said, improperly used chemicals can cause harm, so seek to understand the ingredients in the products your nail tech is using, but don’t avoid them altogether.

4. Enhancements ruin natural nails. Today’s nail products are dramatically advanced and don’t require your nail tech to damage your natural nails during application or removal. If you experience pain, discomfort, or thinned or damaged nails, it’s most likely due to a nail tech misstep. (Look at your natural nails after your nail tech files them, they should NOT be noticeably thinner.) Also, don’t pick, chew, or mistreat your enhancements, because that could lead to natural nail damage.

5. Store nail polish in the fridge to make it last longer. If you constantly remove the polish from the fridge, use it, and put it back, it makes no difference to the polish’s shelf life. However, it is true that if you leave polish in the fridge for at least a few weeks at a time it will slow the over-thickening of the polish’s thickening agents, thereby making it last longer. (Just make sure you bring the polish back to room temperature before opening, or water condensation will affect its quality.) The best way to increase the shelf life of polish is to make sure it’s resealed properly after use to prevent the solvents from evaporating — this means closing it tightly as soon as you’re done using it, making sure all polish is removed from the bottle’s neck, and tightly sealing the cap.

6. That green stuff on some people’s nails is mold. Mold is not a normal nail pathogen. It very rarely can appear on nails, but it will appear brown or black, not green. The vast majority of nail infections are actually caused by bacteria, including pseudomonas, which show up as green discoloration of the nail. It’s illegal for your nail tech to make a diagnosis of what’s causing the discoloration (and she must refuse to service you — at least until you bring her a doctor’s note), but she may be able to recommend a doctor for you to get the greenie checked out.

7. Plunging wet nails into ice water will make them dry faster. Your nail tech doesn’t do this for you in the salon because it wouldn’t work. To get polish to dry requires the evaporation of solvents. This is why your tech puts you in front of a warm fan.

8. Never file back-and-forth on a natural nail. Filing back and forth won’t harm the natural nail plate if the proper abrasives and the correct downward pressure are used, meaning a 180-grit or higher file and a light touch. Don’t use a file with a grit below 180 on your natural nail because it can cause excessive damage no matter what type of filing motion is used.

9. Cutting cuticles is good for nail health. What you’re calling “cuticle” is actually the “eponychium” (cuticle is the dead skin that’s on the nail plate, whereas the eponychium is living skin). Cutting eponychium isn’t recommended, and is actually illegal in some states, because too often the living skin that protects the matrix is cut and infections occur. Plus, over time cutting eponychium can lead to thickened scar-like tissue. Instead, soak your nails in warm water for 10 minutes and push back with something soft (like a towel) or just use a liquid cuticle remover to dissolve the dead skin on top of the nail.

10. I should bring my own implements to a salon to keep myself from contracting an infection. Let’s face it, the environment in your purse (where you’re probably storing your nail implements) is much less sanitary than the environment of a nail salon that complies with your state’s rules and regulations for salon sanitation. Instead of bringing your own implements (which your nail tech would be required to disinfect herself before using, wasting your valuable time), ask the tech questions about her sanitation practices and if she’s compliant with all state board requirements. If you feel uncomfortable about the salon’s cleanliness, then leave without getting a service.
Sunday is Mother’s Day, and you may still be struggling with what to get mom. Sometimes the nicest gifts are the one’s you make yourself, and with that in mind we found some great homemade beauty products mom is sure to love. Lemony Foot Scrub ( : Who knew 4 ingredients and a blender could make a wonderful foot scrub? For Mother’s Day, consider this simple scrub recipe. Package it nicely and wow your mom with this thoughtful gift.

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup oats
2 tablespoons of salt
6 drops of lemon essential oil

Blend the first three ingredients together. Once it’s become a fine power, add the essential oil and then put in packaging. Easy!

Anti-Aging Enzyme Peel ( : There are very few mother’s who would turn down a day at the spa, but this enzyme peel recipe is the start to a great Mother’s Day at home spa!

1 mashed papaya
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 cup of plain, organic yogurt
1 lemon
1/4 tablespoon of grape seed oil

Combine first two ingredients in a bowl. Apply and massage for 1 minute, rinse. Squeeze lemon into bowl, add yogurt and mix. Apply to face and massage. Leave on while you fill the sink with warm water. Dip a towel in the water, ring out, and wrap face. Leave the towel on for a minute, remove, and apply grape seed oil. Done! A lovely DIY treatment for a relaxed Mother’s Day.

Homemade Bath Bombs ( Every mother deserves some time to relax, and these bath bombs could be the key.


8 oz. baking soda
4 oz citric acid
4 oz. corn starch
4 oz. Epsom salts
3/4 tsp water
2 tsp. essential oil
2.5 tsp almond oil or other light oil
A few drops food coloring
sugar flower (the kind you use for decorating cakes)
round, snap-together plastic ornaments

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients, and combine. Pour the mix into either side of the snap-together container and snap together. Once formed, release from containers and let sit 1-2 days.

Enjoy a relaxed and happy Mother’s Day with these DIY ideas


Are you burdened with flat locks? Everyone wants a little bump at the crown, but there's a fine line between pageant queen and pretty. To attain some extra lift, we asked celebrity hairstylist John D (who's crafted voluminous styles on Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Portman) for some hair-raising advice.

First, PREP Every hairstyle needs a good foundation to stick to. Mousse and styling lotions give your follicles a little extra texture, which plump after heat styling. Begin by distributing your product of choice at the roots, gradually working your way to the tip. Be sure not to over-saturate your damp hair—start with a golf ball-sized amount of mousse or a few spritzes of spray and apply more if necessary.

Then, BLOW When your locks are ready for styling, arm yourself with the right tools for height. "A round brush really gives fine hair maximum volume," says John. As you dry your hair, work the nozzle of the blow-dryer into your roots and push up—this trains your tresses to retain their lifted shape at the crown.

Next, TEASE Teasing had a major hair moment back in the '70s and '80s (school photos we'd prefer to forget), but there's a way to harness the technique without turning into Snooki! With a small backcombing brush, grab a couple of one-inch sections from the sides and back of your head, then tease a couple of times, staying close to the root. After, smooth the sections with your fingers or a paddle brush, and spritz some light-hold hairspray "to really lock in the volume," adds John.

After, MAINTAIN Even a perfect morning styling session can go flat midday. To revive limp locks, meet your new hair bestie: Dry shampoo. "Blast dry shampoo into your roots, keeping the nozzle 10 inches from your head," advises John. "Give the hair a good shake with your fingers—the dry shampoo will absorb any excess oil and brings back the lift." In a pinch, hairspray essentially works the same!



8 Hairstyles for Spring 2012

We spend hundreds, perhaps thousands, on professional skin care products in an attempt to repair our skin from the harmful influences of life, stress, and age. However, do we adhere to simple skin beauty tips regularly and consistently? What I am referring to are the basics of skin health: hydration, vitamins, and sleep. While professional skin care products may make good on their promises of younger, smoother skin, they tend to cost a pretty penny. I believe the wonders of water are far underrated. Drinking the typical 8 glasses a day is a start, but go a step further and fill a plant sprayer or mister with filtered water. I spray this on my face frequently throughout the day to hydrate my skin, and to counter some of the environmental dirt and grime that clings to the skin. Have you ever been to a spa or seen someone put slices of cucumbers on their eyes? Doing this feels amazing! Not only do the cucumber slices renew and rejuvenate the eyes but another benefit of this cucumber eye treatment is that the stress relief and relaxation this promotes will reduce your stress thus limiting frown lines and potential wrinkles.

As for nutrition, I think we all now the merits of getting a well-balanced diet and ingesting enough nutrients to influence your skin’s appearance. I like to take a generic brand multi-vitamin daily; while I try and eat well, I feel that this daily supplement gives my regimen a little boost. Also, I try and purchase Vitamin E capsules whenever they are on sale or I have a coupon. These are good to have on hand for any skin burns or skin wounds that need some help healing. Vitamin E also has miraculous scar-fading properties; it will diminish the appearance of scars, soothe burns, and promote healing for literally pennies a day.

Finally, sleep is the secret weapon that the manufacturers of professional skin care products don’t tell you about! Getting a regular, consistent sleep cycle will lend smoothness and that radiant glow that we all seek. Don’t you love skin beauty tips that are virtually free?

Be vigilant about these basic skin beauty tips and you may never spend good money on professional skin care products again!

Dimensional hair color with a twist! During my years of working behind the chair in the salon, I’ve learned hair and fashion should always complement one another but recently a new approach to dimensional hair coloring has altered my thinking. Dimensional haircolor is offering new twists and turns that are stirring up the pot, making hair color extremely exciting!

Dimensional hair color has made significant shifts recently. The range of end results still span from classy to funky, but the quality of inconsistency is an unexpected look to modern hair color, similar to the miss-match of fashion in recent years.  Today, in fashion as well as in hair color, expected color coordination just doesn’t look modern. To illustrate this, imagine a red-headed woman, wearing a taupe colored suit, carrying a rich green colored handbag. Not matchy-matchy right? The bright green is the “surprise” element.

As a make-up artist as well as a hair colorist, I take complementary color very seriously and I love this fresh, new creative theme about dimensional hair color happening today. Everyone can get a custom look with a twist — fabulous!

In my earlier salon days, hair color was applied in a neat, proper, organized manner without any surprises. Surprises were considered “bad.” Now, I intentionally add the element of surprise, depending of course on the personal taste of the client in the chair.

I can also use a more subtle approach to a client’s dimensional color. She may not be able to identify what is different, but knows that something has changed about her hair color that makes it new and exciting.

Making hair color changes more vibrant and dynamic is vital to anyone spending time and money in the salon. Even the most conservative clients like change once in a while, even if it’s a tiny bit every now and then. This can be done with one all-over color or with highlights/lowlights.

Whether doing dimensional hair color, changing a client from brown to blonde or blonde to brunette, covering grey hair or doing corrective coloring, the results with new haircoloringtechniques just keeps getting better and better. I love what I do and I’m more excited doing hair color now than ever!

Guest contributor Daisy is a hair colorist & stylist in Malibu & Santa Monica California specializing in dimensional color, highlights and hair color correction plus modern, personalized and balanced haircuts. Check out her Photo Gallery & Hair Care & Trends Blog for style ideas & tips.