Beauty Questions And Answers

Q. Is it okay to return a wrong makeup shade if I’ve used it?You’re in luck. Many national chain stores are very sympathetic to wrong-shade woes. Here’s the scoop: rite aid offers a money-back guarantee as long as you have the original cash-register receipt. Target allows you to return an opened cosmetic with the receipt up to 90 days after you’ve purchased it. You can either swap it for a different shade or get your money back. As for department stores, check with the counter where you’re shopping to find out their policy. Most accept returns with a receipt.
Q. My cuticles are sensitive and peeling. What should I do?

Don’t freak over your distressed digits. Your cuticles are probably plagued by a fungus or a minor infection you may have contracted from using a dirty nail file or soiled scissors. Luckily, you can clear up either affliction with some cuticle TLC. Apply an over-the-counter antifungal cream after you wash your hands to remedy the problem and ensure it doesn’t spread. Also, moisturize your nail beds as needed throughout the day with a cuticle cream containing soothing ingredients. See your doctor to make sure the infection isn’t serious. To prevent future talon traumas, never cut your cuticles yourself, only push them back (snipping puts you at risk for inflections). And whenever you go to a nail salon, ask the manicurist to use a brand-new buff and nail file, and be sure that any metal tools she uses are sterilized.
Q. I have lots of dark pink spots on my feet from last summer’s blisters. Is there a way to banish them before sandal season?
Those marks mean the top layers of skin damaged by last summer’s shoe friction are still healing, says Deborah S. Sarnoff, a NYC cosmetic dermatologist. The good news: they’re not permanent scars, and you can speed up their disappearance with an over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, applied once daily before bed. You should see results in approximately two months. For slightly faster fading, ask your dermatologist for a prescription blend of equal parts hydro quinine (to bleach out darkness), hydrocortisone (to reduce swelling), and retina or Renovo [to accelerate cell turnover). Apply the concoction only at night since Retin-A makes skin sun-sensitive. Your marks should pull a disappearing act in about six weeks. You can fake flawless feet in the interim-say if you want to sport some sexy, strappy sandals tonight-by masking those marks with smudge-and waterproof camouflage makeup.
Q-Help! I have a cowlick on my hair line. How can I get it to behave?
It’s easy to tame that unruly tuft of hair, says Edward tricomi, who co-owns NYC’s warren-tricomi salon and has done the dos of celebs like Hilary swank. One option is to aim a blow-dryer at the root area while using a brush to coax your loco lock into an attractive position (keep holding it down until it cools). Or try subduing disorderly strands with a small straightening iron. Once your cowlick is under control, keep it in place with an extra-hold hairspray.

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