This is probably going to sound like beauty blasphemy - especially since everybody's been preaching the "less is more" gospel for the past few years - but here goes: Two products can be better than one. "No matter how many great innovations are on the market right now, sometimes you still have to mix two together to get the effect you want," says New York hair and makeup pro Barbara Fazio.
Most industry insiders agree. To prove it, we asked for and got the secret combos of these mix masters. (All blending ingredients are pretty much generic - so whatever you already own in a category should work fine.)
Secret to sexier legs If you want subtle, sheer color that hides razor nicks, spider veins, or mosquito bites, and can even replace nude pantyhose on hot days, add a quarter-sized amount of liquid bronzer like Origins Sunny Disposition Liquid Bronzer (or any dark foundation) to a walnut-sized amount of shimmering body lotion (try Ultima II Glowtion for the Body or BeneFit Lightning). And try the technique on your chest to hide sun damage, too!
Stay-put sparkle Shimmering powders don't always stop at your body; they also shimmer up your clothing, your carpet, your car, etc. To prevent this, apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel (or any light moisturizer like Nivea Sheer Moisture Lotion) first, then immediately brush on the shimmer.
- Leslie Blodgett, president of Bare Escentuals
Not-so-raucous red You like the red lipstick trend but bright color's not your thing. To cool down that crimson and make it instantly wearable, slick on any brownish lip gloss like Darphin Lip Gloss in Ambré.
- Barbara Fazio, New York makeup artist
Soft scrub If you crave the satisfying, sloughing feeling of a granular scrub but not the occasional red, irritated aftermath, try mixing in some of your regular facial cleanser to dilute it. Lather, massage and rinse as usual.
- Marcia Kilgore, owner of New York's Bliss Spa
Miracle gel for thick, curly hair While strong-hold gel is great at controlling curls, the unfortunate side effect is often a crunchy veneer. For a softer, more natural look, combine one part conditioner (try Neutrogena Clean Conditioner) to three parts gel. Apply to damp hair ends first, then scrunch upward (stop short of your roots to avoid a sticky scalp). Blow-dry with a diffuser, or air-dry.
... and flake-free gel for normal hair Even the best gel can get white, brittle and flaky by day's end. To ensure against future crustiness, add two drops of a silicone serum (like Sebastian Laminates) to a quarter-sized amount of gel. Apply to damp hair, avoiding the roots. Dry and style as usual.
- Steve Berg, stylist for New York's Miano Viél salon
Moisturizing gel for dry hair Moisture and hold tend to be mutually exclusive concepts, especially if you have dry hair. To get both, add a pea-sized amount of Kiehl's Creme With Silk Groom (or any hair-smoothing cream with real silk, like Back to Basics Green Tea Silk Grooming Crème) to twice that amount of gel. (Use more gel for more hold.) Avoiding roots, distribute evenly throughout damp hair. Dry and style as usual.
- Mitzi Nakai, stylist for New York's Space salon
Body builder/style shaper To strike that perfect balance between volume and hold (an elusive goal even for pros) bicoastal hair guru Frederic Fekkai mixes texturizing balm with styling gel in his hand (he uses his creations, Beaute de Provence Texturizing Balm and Styling Gel, but most texturizers and gels can be blended). Distribute the mixture evenly throughout damp hair. Include roots this time (for volume), but keep your scalp product-free so it won't flake. Style as usual.
- Frédéric Fekkai, owner of Beauté de Provence salons in
Los Angeles and New York
Ultranourishing hair pack To pack the broadest possible spectrum of hydration into moisture-starved strands, start by blending equal amounts of conditioner and hair masque (try Pantene's new Pro-V Essentials Ultimate Hair Therapy). Distribute evenly on dry hair, then wrap your head in foil. Wait 10 minutes; rinse.
- Fabrizio Fiumicelli, creative director of New York's Laicale salon
Super scalp-slougher To cleanse, exfoliate and stimulate your scalp, add a drop of a body scrub (try Bliss Spa Super Slough Scrub, Clinique Soft Polish Body Exfoliator or any exfoliating product with relatively large, synthetic granules) to your shampoo. Gently massage it into your scalp. If you have thick hair, part it in various places and massage along the parts. Rinse well, keeping the mixture out of your eyes. Comb conditioner through to remove any clingy granules.
- Marcia Kilgore of Bliss Spa