More for Your Money
At a time when most of us are tightening our wallets and curbing excess spending, there’s less and less room for pampering ourselves with pedicures, tanning sessions, and time at the hair salon. When you do have the cash to take care of those split ends or soothe your chapped heels, you want to know that you’re paying for results that will last (and that’s hard to guarantee!)
Lucky for you, there are a few things you can do for yourself to ensure that the pampering you’re paying for will go a few extra miles.
Trapping Your Tan
If you’re avoiding the UV rays and slathering on the self-tanning lotions and sprays, there are a few tricks at your disposal to keep your bronzed glow around a little while longer.
The day before you plan to tan, shave with an oil-free body wash. Most shaving creams have oils that clog pores andprevent tanning products from fully penetrating the skin. An oil-free body wash will keep those pores clear, allowing your skin to soak in and retain tanning color longer.
You should also:
- Avoid tanning at night. Self-tanner needs six to eight hours to fully develop and sink into the skin, so if you wait until late in the afternoon, the color could rub off on your sheets.
- If you go swimming, rinse yourself off with fresh water to prevent chlorine from breaking down the pigments in your tanning products.
Tired of seeing those freshly painted nails crack and chip just days after you’ve had them done? Next time, make that paint job last a little longer and ask the manicurist not to soak your hands.
Your nails are porous, and like most porous things, they soak up water and expand when wet. As they dry, they contract. If your manicurist soaks your nails and paints them while they’re still wet, the polish will crack and break as the nails dry and contract underneath it.
Pedicures are sometimes harder to maintain than manicures, especially in the summer when your feet are exposed to the elements in strappy heels and barely-there flip flops. To ensure your pedi paint and buff lasts you a solid few weeks, ask the technician if they’ll wait until your piggies are dry before they’re painted.
You can also:
- Ask your technician to use a buffer on your nails, which removes ridges and creates a smooth surface for the polish to stick to.
- Fortify the tips of your nails by applying a top coat to just the tips, which chip first, and then covering the entire nail.
Anyone who has had their hair colored knows that it’s just about the most expensive “basic” beauty treatment you can get, especially since coloring hair to hide graying or white hair, to brighten appearance, and simply for the sake of change has become so common. The last thing you want to see is that newly minted color fading just weeks after you’ve shelled out for it.
If you’re dyeing your hair at home, you can make the color last longer by following these steps:
- Use a clarifying shampoo the day before you color to remove mineral build-up from water, which makes color fade faster.
- Wait 24 to 48 hours after you’ve colored your hair before shampooing so the color has time to be absorbed into the hair.
- Use a weekly hair mask that moisturizes your strands and helps liven up the color you’ve just added.
Ensuring Your Brow Shape
To make sure your brows stay shapely groomed, avoid waxing or tweezing them at least three to four weeks before you see the technician to have them shaped. You may feel a little wooly, but it’ll give the technician more hair to work with and help eliminate stragglers when the hairs begin to grow back in.
You can also exfoliate ahead of time so that dead skin cells aren’t holding small hairs in place when the rest of your brow is reaped. To go that extra mile, use a brow pencil to fill your eyebrows in so they have more definition–no one will notice when those little hairs start to grow back.
If you know you’ll be going a few months between hair cuts, there are a few things you can do to protect your locks and keep them looking healthy until you can afford to go back to the salon:
- Don’t overwash your hair.
- Keep hair cleaned and conditioned.
- Use styling products that protect your hair from heated tools like blow dryers and irons.
- Pick a low-maintenance style that won’t need lots of attention between cuts.
- Go easy on the braids, up-dos, and ponytails that break your hair.
- Avoid dyes, chlorine, and other chemicals that dehydrate and damage your hair.