Stretching your beauty dollars
By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer
In these recessionary times, we all need to stretch our dollars — but many of us aren't willing to give up efforts to look our best.
We'll part with our lattes before we forego our leg waxing. We'll give up dinner out before we'll sacrifice our professional pedicure, or switch to less-expensive shampoo in order to afford our favorite hair stylist.
Maybe there's a compatible compromise: stretching the services out a little longer, making them last a few more days, weeks or months. We asked Honolulu beauty professionals for some practical tips on stretching beauty dollars.
Manicurist Michele Lee, who works out of Reneux Med & Day Spa, said the key to making your manicure or pedicure last longer lies in the drying time.
"It takes a full 24 hours for the polish to cure onto the nail. Even if you put them under a dryer light or apply quick dry, it's only dry on the surface," she advises. "To help it last longer, no hot water for 24 hours. No covered shoes for 24 hours. No dish washing or bathing in hot water for 24 hours. No Jacuzzi or going to the beach for 24 hours."
If you do all this, you should be able to stretch your pedi from four to six weeks. As for a mani, it depends a lot on what you do with your hands.
Lee said nail polishes with a little glitter last the longest. Frosted and pearlescent shades last longer than cream colors, which are the least durable.
If you're doing your mani or pedi at home, Lee said it's important to make sure the nails are clean, dry and free of oils or lotions before you start.
Use a good base coat and top coat. Apply a top coat once or twice a week to help the polish hold up.
On toes, Lee recommends filing the nails a little (with the polish on) to keep them from breaking if you kick something.
Joy Nishikawa of Pure Joy Day Spa suggests stretching out the time between facials with a thorough four-part home skin-care regimen:
1. Steam: Make your own "steamer" by putting hot water in a bowl and creating a tent by draping a towel over your head and the bowl.
2. Exfoliate: Choose an exfoliator carefully. "Avoid exfoliators that have little rough particles that can create lesions on the skin. You may not see the damage right away, but they will damage the skin," Nishikawa warns.
3. Mask: There are masks for many purposes, from hydrating to clarifying to brightening to reducing sun-damaged areas. Some even multitask.
4. Moisturize: End your home facial with your favorite moisturizer.
Do a home facial every week and you can stretch your professional facials from four to eight weeks, Nishikawa says.
Afraid to try it on your own? Pure Joy Day Spa and some other Honolulu spas offer free consultations to help you identify the proper regimen.
Makeup artist Liz Dahl, who works out of Etch Salon, suggests having your brow artist give you a lesson in tweezing to keep the brows looking sleek between professional services. She said it may stretch the service from one month to three.
If you have tattooed eyebrows, said Renee Ane of About Face by Renee, it's important to use sunscreen all the time. This will keep the sun from bleaching them out prematurely. If you have tattooed lip liner, be sure to use a lip balm with sunscreen.
For those who can't live without lash extensions, Helen Lee of Etch Salon suggests opting for shorter lashes on the inside of the eye so they stay on longer. "Blow-dry them when you get out of the shower; the warm water may loosen up the glue, so hold it level with your fingers across the base and blow them dry to make sure the glue gets dry," she suggests.
For those who color and/or have highlights in their hair, Alan Vuong of Salon Blanc suggests asking for a glossing in between colorings. It's less than half the cost of highlights and can extend the color for about three weeks, he said.
Richie Miao, who works out of Etch Salon, said he and many other hair stylists will trim bangs free of charge. Just ask.
Dahl recommends hair mascara for touchups. She said it's a great way to cover revealing roots — and it costs less than $8. Her preferred brand is Rashell, which she finds online at www.amazon.com.