Kitchen Tips for Your Hair, Skin and Nails
You know that room you mostly cook and hang out in? It turns out to be a great beauty lab, too. Find out from the pros how to freeze, nuke and peel in the name of good looks.
Fridge & Freezer
Make ice cubes out of refrigerated aloe gel, and you'll have a great antidote to morning puffiness. Simply run a cube over your face for a few seconds when you wake up. - David Pollock, cosmetic chemist and founder of American MD Labs and PUR Attitude
Store nail polish in the fridge to prevent thickening and make application easier. "Each layer will be thinner, so it'll go on smoother -- and dry faster," says Jin Soon Choi, celeb manicurist and owner of New York's Jin Soon Hand and Foot Spas.
Gels & Serums
Keep under-eye gels and serums in the fridge, too. "The cold will supercharge their ability to deflate under-eye bags," Pollock says. Eye creams are a different story and should stay at room temperature: "Many of them contain waxes that can thicken in the fridge, and the last thing you need when you reach for a moisturizer is to feel like you're waiting for butter to soften.
Toners & Oils
Refrigerate all-natural toners and oils to lengthen their life, says Adina Grigore, founder of S.W. Basics skincare. "While any product starts to break down once it's exposed to air, synthetic preservative can slow the process, sometimes by years." Natural preservatives don't pack quite the same punch, but the fridge will buy you an extension -- up to three months -- before the product turns. (How to tell? Look for separation and a funky smell or consistency.)
Mascara's gotten clumpy? Heat a cup of water in the microwave on high for about a minute, so the water's hot but not boiling, then submerge the tube. - Liv Contreras, co-owner of L.A.'s Lashfully salon
"Scoop a bit of your favorite cleansing mask into a bowl, then microwave for a few seconds -- the warmth will help the product sink into your skin," says Cindy Crawford, founder of Meaningful Beauty. (Test before you apply: A hot schmear would hurt.)
Reform overused, misshapen lipstick bullets with a veggie peeler. You'll have more control than you could with a knife. - Indie Lee, founder of the Indie Lee skincare line
Run the blades of your tweezers over a sanding block-style knife sharpener every other month, Contreras says. "You won't believe the grip you'll get!"
"Putting brushes and combs through a cycle in the dishwasher can rid them of buildup," says Marisa de Sa, founder of Cosmetic Concierge. To keep them from melting -- or flying into the depths of the machine -- secure each in the top rack.
The coolest new grooming gadgets are ringers for kitchenware. Coincidence? Or a sign that beauty tastemakers have cooking on the brain?
Sally Hansen Marbling & Dotting Tool, part of the I Heart Nail Art Tool Kit ($6, target.com), is your rolling pin's cutest doppelganger!
Designed to clasp and coat your lashes, the wand that comes with Sephora's Upside Down Mascara ($22, Sephora.com) could pass for tiny tongs.
If this Tweezerman Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover ($20, tweezerman.com) weren't such an effective depilator, you'd be tempted to use it to crack nuts.