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January 14, 2013

9 tips to cure your bad grooming habits

Pretty up your daily routine with smart products and techniques for curing bad grooming habits. (We're looking at you, Ms. Eyebrow Over-Plucker.):

1. Don't Wash Your Hair Daily

Your scalp constantly produces oils that nourish, moisturize and protect hair. Unless your lifestyle requires you to sweat a lot (marathon runner, hot-sauce tester), there's no need to strip your tresses of a healthy amount of grease daily. "The less product you use, the longer you can go without washing your hair," adds Marla Beck, co-founder of the Washington cosmetics emporium Blue Mercury (Bluemercury.com).

The Fix: Ojon's Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray ($24, Sephora.com) keeps hair fresh between showers. Made of oil from a nut found only in Central American rainforests, the stuff is safe for colored locks.

2. Don't Pump Your Mascara

Repeatedly drawing the wand in and out of a mascara tube to get more product allows air to enter the container, which can dry out your lash-luxing formula and shorten its lifespan. "You had to do that in the old days because the packaging was thick at the bottom and narrow at the top," Beck says. "But now mascaras are designed to be long and narrow for maximum coverage on the brush."

The Fix: If your Diorshow or Great Lash has lost its luster, add three to four drops of hot green tea to the bottle. The warm liquid loosens up the contents, and the antioxidants in tea just might promote lash growth.

3. Don't Rub Wrists After Applying Perfume

Perfume is a delicate combination of scented oils and alcohol. Spritzing it on and smashing your wrists together creates friction between the oils in your perfume and those in your skin, which can distort the sillage (the scented trail left after applying a fragrance). It won't necessarily make your Chanel No. 5 smell like Eau du Dumpster No. 12, but it will result in a slightly different waft than the maker intended.

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