Women are wise. And, no matter what beauty magazines are pushing, we already know what works for us in terms of skin, hair, makeup, fragrances and food—even if we're slightly embarrassed to admit it. I remember an interview I did with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt. One of her secrets is taking just three bites of dessert. Her rationale: the first bite tastes amazing, the second bite is half as good, the third bite is just okay and after that, you barely taste it.
Like Hewitt, we all have our little tricks to keep us looking good. Let's face it, we can all use the help, so I turned to my fabulous friends to uncover their secret beauty rituals...
Tomato Soup Facial
"If it was a long night with too many cocktails, salty foods and a bedtime that neared 3 a.m., here's a quick pick-me-up recipe: Cut two thin tomato slices and rub them all over your face. When you're done discard them, and mix in a small bowl lemon juice and baking soda. Take this paste and coat your face with it. Give it 20 minutes to really sink in and then wash it off until you don't feel any of the grit from the baking soda. Your skin will suddenly have the glow of a $200 facial!"
—Kym Douglas, author of The Beauty Cookbook
"My whole thing is not using any water to clean my face or take makeup off ever. I use a bottle of straight vitamin E oil from the drugstore (I sometimes add a drop or two of rosemary oil which makes it a little more astringent and smells like turpentine, which I like). You put the oil on a cotton round and it really cleans better than anything else, and moisturizes at the same time. Then you can follow it up with witch-hazel toner, if you feel too greasy. Both are really cheap and work as well or better than anything else I've tried (and I've tried it all, twice)."
—Cintra Wilson, New York Times Critical Shopper columnist
"I was given this hint once and I always subscribe to it: Apply a dab of fragrance to your eyebrows so that when people double-cheek kiss you they'll get a whiff! Also, I saturate a cotton ball with my perfume and tuck it in my bra. The warmth of the skin activates the scent and you can smell it continuously throughout the day."
—Karen Dubin, director of Sniffapalooza.com
Discover Powder-less Power
"I don't use powder or foundation on my face, ever (unless it's a special occasion or something). As wonderful as some of the products out there are, I think keeping your face as clean as possible can do wonders. It was a little intimidating for me at first to stop using powder or foundation—the first week or so was pretty scary. But once my face got used to not having anything on, it became clearer than ever. A little blush or bronzer on my cheeks, some mascara and shiny lip gloss goes a long way."
—Ysolt Usigan, senior editor of Beauty & Style at iVillage
Olive Oil and Honey Glow
"I learned this one from my 'gay husband,' and the best thing about it is it's stuff you probably have in the kitchen right now! Before getting in a hot shower, mix EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and honey into a thick paste (even better if both are organic). Apply to a clean face and cover with cling wrap you've already prepared with small holes poked in for eyes, nostrils, mouth. Leave on while in the shower and after as long as you can stand it (about 30 to 40 minutes total). Gently rinse off with lukewarm water and washcloth, and you're like 5 years younger."
—Kim Martin, former fashion and beauty news editor at In Touch magazine
"I'm so not proud of this, but somewhere along the way I was told to only dry my face with paper towels. It's so not green and I feel like I should be in a dark silhouette with a voice disguiser saying this, but yes, I obsessively only dry my face with paper towels. This is to avoid dirt and bacteria that thrives in damp, used towels (as a former acne ridden face needs to do). In a pinch, I'll also use toilet paper and tissues, though they ball-up and stick to the face and, you have to pick the paper dingleberries off. I will use anything paper to avoid an actual cloth towel, unless I am in a hotel or its fresh from the laundry."
—Theo Kogan, band member of Theo and the Skyscrapers and founder of ArmourBeauty.com
Even Guys Have Secrets
"I start every morning with a facial scrub that wakes up my pores—a peppermint walnut one I got in Philadelphia is my favorite. Yep, I start every day rubbing crushed nuts on my face! After that, I wash my face off with Basis soap because a friend in the beauty business recommended it years ago—it's pure, with no scents or chemicals that would make me break out like a Gossip Girl character. It's really a miracle bar for me, and after that, I dry my face thoroughly, then rub in Vitamin E oil, which moisturizes my skin and also staves away the wrinkles. It doesn't work on my portrait in the attic, though! That's looking really old!"
—Michael Musto, gossip columnist for The Village Voice
What's your secret beauty ritual? Share your tricks below!