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Beauty secrets of the pros


Ground Coffee

Mix coffee and vegetable oil to create a refreshing body scrub.

Enjoy a wake-up body buffer: Make a paste of 1/2 cup ground coffee (caffeinated) and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any natural oil  -- nut oils are especially rich). Use as a body scrub for ultrasmooth, hydrated skin. Post-shower, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to seven days. Bonus: Studies show that caffeine can temporarily reduce the look of cellulite.

For a great facial exfoliant, mix 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon plain yogurt just until combined. Gently rub in circles on your clean, damp face for a minute or so. Rinse with warm water. The sugar polishes skin, while the yogurt calms. For best results, do it in the evening, once a week, and follow with your moisturizer.

Refresh sleepy, puffy eyes with damp, chilled chamomile or green-tea bags. Leave them on for up to 15 minutes to bring down swilling and reduce redness.

An old-fashioned foot soak works wonders on rough, dry skin: Mix 1/2 cup Epsom salts (soothing) with 1/2 cup sea salt (rich in minerals), a gallon of warm water, and, if you like, 3 to 5 drops each of peppermint and lavender oils. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a scrub or pumice to reveal baby-soft tootsies.




Mashed avocado aids damaged hair.

Mix up a protein-and vitamin-rich do-it-yourself mask for damaged hair: Mash a peeled avocado, then beat in an egg. Apply to dry hair and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Shampoo out. To intensify absorption, cover with a shower cap.

For super-shiny hair dilute 1/4 cup white vinegar in a cup of water and rinse through hair, after you shampoo, once a week to remove dulling product buildup.

When you have no time to shampoo, sprinkle baby powder in your hands and rub it through your hair, concentrating on the roots. If you have dark hair, blow-dry for a few seconds  -- the particles will blend in better. The powder absorbs excess oil and boosts volume.

Out of your favorite styling cream? A dime-size dab of baby lotion adds dimension and hold to dry hair. It's lighter than most other lotions and won't leave you greasy. For African-American (or coarse, textured) hair, baby-oil gel provides a beautiful sheen. One we love: [ITALIC {Johnson's Baby Oil Gel with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, $4.29.}]

To banish a dry, flaky scalp, massage your scalp with 1/4 cup of olive oil, comb lightly, and shampoo out. The oil loosens scales as it locks in moisture to prevent further flaking.

Keep eyelashes supple and lush by lightly going over them with Vaseline or Aquaphor at night, once or twice a week. It helps counteract the drying and breakage that can come from wearing mascara and rubbing your eyes.

To tame flyaways, rinse hair with a cup of seltzer water (yes, seltzer) after you condition. The carbonation causes a change in pH that calms and smooths the hair shaft.



Babytalk/GMA Cover Contest

The Laura Geller Double Eye Appeal Pencil will make your eyes pop.

To brighten eyes, apply nude liner along the inside rim of your lower lid. It minimizes redness and visually extends the whites of your eyes, making them appear wider and brighter. (Nude's more natural-looking than a white liner.) One we love: [ITALIC {Laura Geller Double Eye Appeal Pencil, $19.50;}]

Before you apply mascara close your eyes and dust light brown eye shadow over lashes. The powder will bond to the hairs, so you get fuller, thicker-looking lashes. One we love: [ITALIC {CoverGirl Eye Enhancers in Swiss Chocolate, $2.94.}]

Max out on foundation when you're running low: Mix what's left with your daily moisturizer. You'll save a step by combining the two  -- and get a more sheer coverage that's perfect for daytime.

If you like the feel and look of gloss but want color that lasts, dab on a soft pink or berry lip stain and let it set. Follow with a coat of clear gloss  -- even when the shine wears away, you'll still have a pop of color, so you don't have to constantly reapply gloss. One we love: [ITALIC {Revlon Just Bitten, $11.50.}]

Expert sources: Jeannette Graf, M.D., dermatologist, Great Neck, NY; Susan Taylor, M.D., dermatologist, Philadelphia; Jennifer Linder, M.D., dermatologist, Phoenix; Laura Geller, makeup artist, New York City; Valerie Sarnelle, makeup artist, Beverly Hills; Jason Backe, colorist, president and CEO of Ted Gibson Salon, New York City; Gary Croteau, stylist and manager of Salon Mario Russo at Louis Boston