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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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Fifteen Top Beauty Secrets from InStyle

Lately, I’ve been in a real rush to get my makeup on (that’s when I look in the mirror, hours later, and see a smudged mess). And there are plenty of times I don’t even have time to apply it and I go bare-faced the whole day (that’s when I look in the mirror and see a pale, tired-looking stranger staring back at me).

So, when I received the book, InStyle: Ultimate Beauty Secrets, I was really excited. Because FACE it, I need all the help I can get when it comes to tips, tricks and shortcuts.

Here are some of the best ones I learned from the team of beauty editors, dermatologists and makeup artists who had a hand in putting together this guide (there are 200+ in all). I’m hoping it lessens my time in front of the mirror and that when I do happen to catch a glimpse of myself, I can greet that stranger with a smile instead of a sneer.

Want to win a copy of the book? Be the lucky 13th reader to leave a comment, and it’s yours. (Include your email in your comment so I can get in touch with you!)

  • For an at-home facial:

Mix one teaspoon of raw oatmeal with one teaspoon of honey. Apply to skin for 5 minutes, then rinse. Honey hydrates; oatmeal’s minerals are soothing.

  • Clean your cell phone:

To prevent breakouts on your cheeks and chin, use antibacterial wipes on your phone a few times a week.

  • Wash your brushes:

If you use makeup brushes, keep them clean with a clarifying shampoo once a week.

  • Look for the ingredient niacin in your cleanser:

It has been proven to increase cell turnover and help with dark spots by ridding the skin of dead cells that contain excess pigment.

  • For oil and shine:

Splash your face with cool black tea, which is a natural astringent. Don’t rinse.

  • To refresh your complexion:

Dip a washcloth in soy milk and apply to your face once a week for 10 minutes. Soy is a natural skin brightener.

  • To calm down a pimple:

Spritzing it with a small amount of nasal decongestant can lessen inflammation, just like it does for your nose.

  • Use sunscreen properly:

Apply it 30 minutes before going outside (that’s how long it takes to fully absorb into your skin). Reapply every two hours.

  • Calm down unruly brows.

Use clear mascara, brow gel or mustache wax for the extra-stubborn hairs.

  • No blush? Use lipstick:

Rub your finger over the lipstick 3-4 times then mix with a bit of moisturizer. Dot on cheeks and blend.

  • No eyeliner? Use powder shadow:

Add a few eye drops to the shadow and apply with a fine liner brush.

  • Don’t throw out cracked eye shadow:

Instead, pop it out of its tray, crush it and mix with a dab of Vaseline or eye cream. You’ve just created some cream shadow.

  • Reduce puffy eyes:

Place a cold compress of cold cucumber slices on eyes for five to ten minutes. Pat with eye cream or gel that’s been stored in the fridge.

  • Keep your mascara from drying out:

Don’t pump the want into the tube; this pushes air into it.

  • Brow-tweezing tips:

Tweeze after showering so the steam has a chance to open the pores and make it more comfortable. After tweezing, swipe with alcohol to prevent ingrown hairs. Cold cucumber slices or chilled green-tea bags can reduce any redness.

Want to win a copy of the book? Be the lucky 13th reader to leave a comment, and it’s yours. (Include your email in your comment so I can get in touch with you!) Sorry, offer is limited to residents of the U.S. only.

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