Lifestyle » Fashion The latest Lifestyle news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:39:34 +0000 en hourly 1 Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl ‘Blown Away’ by Being Called ‘Normal’ Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:29:30 +0000 ABC News

ABC News’ Juju Chang and Alison Kenworthy:

The beauty queen who set social media on fire for her “normal” body says she was “blown away” by the reaction to her more curvaceous figure and hopes it helps both young girls and boys.

“I never imagined me competing in Miss USA would do this,” Miss Indiana USA Mekayla Diehl, 25, told ABC News Tuesday.  “It warms my heart to know that my 30 seconds onstage has touched so many girls’ lives, and even boys as well.”

Diehl’s 30 seconds on stage at Sunday’s Miss USA pageant did not result in her winning the crown – that title went to Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez- but it did result in a flood of comments on Twitter, Facebook and more applauding her for being more than a size zero, like most pageant competitors.

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Among the more than 10,000 tweets tagged to Diehl are sentiments like, “Finally a contestant that is not a bag of bones,” and “Dear #MissIndiana thank you for looking live an average woman.”

“I was blown away,” Diehl, who placed in the top 20 in Miss USA, said of the response.  “Never in my right mind would I imagine that this would blow up to what it is.”

The flattery for Diehl as a “normal” woman came even though the beauty queen is 5-foot-8 and wears a size 4, while, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the average American woman wears a size 12-14 and is 5-foot-3.

Diehl, a collegiate volleyball player, says she did not go overboard to train for the pageant but just trained as she would for volleyball season.

“I didn’t starve myself or go to any crazy extremes,” Diehl said.  “I just lived a healthy lifestyle and trained just a little harder, like an athlete, to get ready for it.

“Just like anybody can,” she said.

Now the beauty queen deemed “normal” says she has advice for young girls who want to follow in her footsteps.

“You can’t worry about the girl standing next to you because you’ll never be that girl,” Diehl said.  Your body is a gift and you have to love it and have that confidence because that’s the only thing you can do.

“You can’t worry about being somebody else,” she said.  “You have to be yourself.”

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Technology Helps Online Shoppers Get a Better Fit Mon, 09 Jun 2014 11:44:08 +0000 ABC News ABC News’ Becky Worley reports:

Online shopping has one huge problem: you can’t try on clothing and shoes over the Internet. The return rate for clothing purchased on the web is estimated to be anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent. And with the rise of vanity sizing, it’s almost impossible for a purchaser of pants to feel confident guesstimating size across different brands and styles.

New technologies are trying to change that: Levi’s is asking shoppers to identify their body shape, bra company True & Co. asks women a veritable Cosmo Quiz about their lingerie to predict sizing, and a company called Truefit wants to create an online profile of your body shape based on the clothes you already own and love.

Truefit is the most ubiquitous of these new tools and it can be found on hundreds of different websites including some heavy hitters of apparel like Nordstrom and Macy’s. Truefit is an algorithmic predictor of what size a shopper will be in a particular brand. To use one technology to explain another, it’s like Pandora for the shape of your butt. If you like Justin Timberlake you might like Jason Derulo. If you are a size 28 in Citizens jeans, you’ll probably be a size 6 in Lucky jeans.

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Looking for boyfriend jeans at, I see the Truefit icon and click. I need to create a profile and it asks for more than my email address and zip code. I give Truefit the brand and size of my two favorite pairs of jeans: a size 28 in 7 For All Mankind jeans and a size 4 in a pair of Anne Taylor skinny jeans. With those two data points, Truefit recommends that I get a size 28 in the two pairs of jeans I’m considering on the Nordstrom site.

Next I move on to shoes. I want to get a cute pair of metallic Sperry flats. I enter data into Truefit about the two pairs of shoes that fit me best: my size 9 Adidas running shoes and my beloved size 9 Cole Haan flats. Now I’ll admit this is a bit of a test of the TrueFit technology because I already have a pair of Sperry Topsiders and they are a size 8.5. I would have ordered an 8.5 in the metallic flats without Truefit assuming the sizing is uniform across the Sperry brand. But True fit says to order a 9.

Once all the parcels arrive I start the trying on. To my surprise, the Sperry shoes fit perfectly. They are a little narrower than the other pair of Sperry’s I had and the 8.5 would have been much too tight. Score that as a big win for TrueFit. The pants however are a different story: both the pairs have a 4-6 inch gap at the waist and droop considerably through the seat. They are both going to be returned.

I reach out to the CEO of TrueFit, Romney Evans. He says: “The service is constantly learning your size preferences from what you buy and what you return.”

Fit is subjective, he points out, and with “multiple data points Truefit gets better and better. Just like Pandora, it takes a series of ‘thumbs down’ clicks for the service to get it right,” he says.

Romney adds that the cumulative effect for online retailers is that they see their return rate decline significantly as the service gains traction: That is good for the retailer’s bottom-line and the fit on the shopper’s bottom. I for one will keep using Truefit. The idea of its progressive improvement makes sense and I’d like any help I can get with my online purchases.

Next I head to the Levi’s site and try to identify myself based on their “Curve ID” parameters. I narrow it down to the two boxiest shape profiles: I’m going to be positive here and describe my figure as athletic and steer away from my more critical self who looks in the mirror and sometimes sees a rectangular bag of potatoes. So knowing that I am not one of their “Supreme Curve” options, they ask “Do you have straight hips with a bit of a curve?” or “some definition from waist to hip?” Some photos are offered, but in the end I guess on this and am assigned the designation of “Demi Curve.”

I order my pair of Levi’s accordingly and wait with much trepidation for their arrival. To my complete amazement, when the jeans arrive they fit like a glove. Honestly, I’ve never had a pair of Levi’s that fit this well. I will definitely keep using their Curve ID service.

Finally, I try the True & Co predictive bra fitter. After a series of questions about the bras I already own, their tool asks me some questions about the shape and uhhh … behavior of my girls. It’s actually very elucidating in its own right to consider why my existing bras fit the way they do.

The company also has an interesting business model to help with fit issues. Once you go through their questionnaire, they suggest about 30 bras. You input your credit card info, then pick up to six bras and they will send them to you without charging your card. Once the bras arrive, try them on, send back the ones that don’t fit, and they will only charge you then for the ones you keep. Of the five bras they sent, four fit me well. Overall that’s a much better ratio than the bras I select for myself as I walk through a lingerie store.

Finally a note about what was hailed as the future of online shopping fit technology: Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, 3D body scanners were touted as the solution to this problem. Shoppers would get a full body scan in a device not unlike what you go through in the airport these days. You’d keep your data as a profile to be shared with online retailers for custom garments and virtual try-ons. Companies like Meality and Body Metrics set up shop in malls and department stores across the country. But the future of this technology is not resonating with consumers.

Getting scanned seems more like a TSA event or, worse, the result of some bad medical news. It’s not pleasurable for us to imagine a wire-frame depiction of our body’s “trouble spots” and it’s unclear to the consumer what benefit really arises in everyday shopping experiences online: I’ve never had an apparel retailer ask me to upload my 3D body scan for a better fit.

So while the new online technologies for better fit like Truefit and Curve ID may not be perfect out-of-the-box, I for one will be using them as I try to avoid the mall and get the right size remotely.

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Woman Claims COVERGIRL Mascara Made Her Eyelashes Fall Out Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:09:24 +0000 ABC News

A 21-year-old Florida woman’s complaint that COVERGIRL’s Bombshell Volume mascara made her eyelashes fall out in chunks has led the company to update its packaging and post an online tutorial on how to use the product.

Amy Schavolt, of West Palm Beach, Florida, says that after a few uses of the product, she discovered that when she removed it, her eyelashes came off along with the mascara.

“I was using eye make-up remover on a cotton ball and I was just wiping downwards on my eyelashes and all of a sudden I looked down and on the cotton ball was a chunk of eyelashes with the mascara still attached to it,” Schavolt told ABC News.

“I was petrified,” she said.  “I stood in the bathroom for a good five minutes and cried.”

New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton tells ABC News that it could take as long as eight weeks for Schavolt’s eyelashes to grow back, assuming it is the first time it has happened to her.

Other commenters also spoke up online claiming they too had difficulty removing the mascara from their eyelashes.

In response, COVERGIRL told ABC News it is updating the packaging of the Bombshell Volume mascara and has already posted a YouTube tutorial that advises users to use cotton balls to apply regular mineral oil on their eyelashes and let it sit “for a few moments” before removing the makeup.

“We’ve taken steps to more broadly communicate the need to use an oil-based remover with long-lasting mascaras,” the company told ABC News in a statement.

COVERGIRL also provided Schavolt with a $15 voucher, which she said she has already spent on other products.


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U.K. Designer Adds Kick With Hydraulic Heels Thu, 05 Jun 2014 14:43:35 +0000 Gillian Mohney HT hydraulic heels 02 jef 140604 16x9 608 U.K. Designer Adds Kick With Hydraulic Heels

Silvia Fado created the"Kinetic Traces" shoe line. (Elixabete Lopez and

U.K. designer Silvia Fado decided she wanted to do something a little more exciting than your average heel for her recent collection — so the designer decided to create shoes using a dash of engineering.

Fado came up the idea for the special collection, which uses technology, engineering and a bit of hydraulics, to make walking in heels like walking on air.

Called “Kinetic Traces,” the footwear collection features springs, rubber balls and pneumatic hydraulics all designed to absorb the impact of walking on sky high heels.

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Fado told ABC News that the futuristic looking heels may look impractical but were inspired by architecture and functional design.

“I [have] always been attracted for product design and architecture,” Fado told ABC News in an email. “I started looking to functionality and movement during motion.”

HT hydraulic heels 04 jef 140604 16x9 608 U.K. Designer Adds Kick With Hydraulic Heels

The shoes feature springs, pneumatic hydraulics and rubber balls. (Elixabete Lopez and

Rather than looking at other heels for inspiration, Fado focused on sports footwear and how a pair of sneakers absorbs the heavy impact of a runner on pavement. Working with an architect and an engineer, Fado was able to construct fantastical footwear that is still comfortable.

HT hydraulic heels 01 jef 140604 16x9 608 U.K. Designer Adds Kick With Hydraulic Heels

The shoes have "shock absorbers" to protect tired feet. (Elixabete Lopez and

“I thought to bring this idea into fashion footwear and see the benefits when applying into high heels,” said Fado. “As the project is born as a concept the real benefits are still to be studied.”

Currently, the shoes are in the prototype phase. But if you want to buy a pair of the shoes made from wood, leather and hydraulic components, Fado said a commercial line will be available by the end of the year.

HT hydraulic heels 03 jef 140604 16x9 608 U.K. Designer Adds Kick With Hydraulic Heels

A commercial line of the shoes will be available at the end of the year. (Elixabete Lopez and





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Red Wine Woes: ‘GMA’ Tries Products Marketed to Clean Wine Stains From Teeth Fri, 30 May 2014 14:19:43 +0000 ABC News

ABC News’ Becky Worley reports:

Call it Malbec mouth or tannin teeth, red wine can make your pearly whites look grey, or worse – purple. But now a new product called Wine Wipes says it can remove the stains in a snap.

To find out I invite a willing group of tipplers for a glass of wine at Bin 38 in San Francisco. We start with a Pinot.

Wine is practically perfect in its composition for staining teeth. The acid etches the enamel-think of sandpaper on a piece of wood. The pigment from the grapes hits that etched surface and then the tannins from the seeds’ stems and skins of the grape act as a binding agent affixing the pigment to the perfectly primed teeth.

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Some people are more prone to it and some wines, namely those with more tannins, can stain more aggressively.

I ask Lauren McKennon and Jaqueline Ow, my first testers, to try the Wine Wipes. The packet of circular cloths comes either in a compact (15 for $7.95) that has a handy mirror or in individual packets (12 for $6.95). The company lists the active ingredients in Wine Wipes as hydrogen peroxide, sodium bicarbonate, glycerin, calcium, potassium, and they tout a subtle orange flavor that won’t interfere with the taste of that second glass of wine.

Each tester grabs a moist wipe and gently rubs their teeth. Both notice a difference and agree that the wipes did the trick, removing purple sediment the wine left on their teeth and polishing off the grey tint left by the glass of Pinot. With a little extra effort they can get the cloth into the spaces and gum lines to remove little bits of sediment that can stay in the teeth, but both testers think this is a job best done in the bathroom, not out in the open.

The success of the Wine Wipes is good news for those whose teeth are particularly affected by red wine, but for people who might like a more natural, cheaper or readily available solution, we tried a few different options.

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Jenn Hagen swishes with seltzer — a well-loved stain remover. Her assessment is that it did remove the sediment bits in the spaces between her teeth, but the overall grey tint of the wine remained. A swipe with the Wine Wipes removes the tint.

One popular belief is that crunchy vegetables and fruits will rid your mouth of wine stains so Kelsey Kennick munches an apple after her vino and the results are mixed. She still sees a few bits of purple wine sediment in her gums and between her teeth, but the apple has removed much of the grey tint from the wine. Perhaps a combination of seltzer swishing and apple eating would be the perfect solution.

One popular belief is that cheese can help protect your teeth from wine. The idea is that hard, waxy cheeses like Manchego or Parmesan create a barrier on the enamel, preventing that etching and binding that happens when wine hits your choppers. We ask Merrill Gillespie to try the cheese option. She munches cheese only on the right side of her mouth, leaving one side uncoated by the yummy fromage.

Merrill is a mom of three (including 6-month old twins) so we made sure she had a relaxing wine and cheese afternoon, but when it came time to inspect her teeth she thought the cheese side looked a little more discolored than the side where she had carefully avoided chewing.  Keep in mind that this is only one person’s anecdotal experience, so if you are justifying your cheese intake at parties to protect your teeth, I say go with it; the more cheese the better.

Alexandra Dallago is our final tester and she tries an alternative tooth polishing cloth, called Tooth Wipes (10 individual cloths for $5). She puts the wipe over her finger (it’s like a finger puppet). Again it does a good job at removing the wine stains and debris. Alexandra remarks that this is a bathroom-only solution as it’s a little awkward as she jabs her finger into her mouth. I ask if the minty flavor of this wipe would alter the taste of her wine if she went back for seconds. With a quick swish, she has another sip and reports back that the taste was fine and the mint flavor was so subtle it didn’t really interfere.

So if you are a regular victim of tannin teeth, Wine Wipes or Tooth Wipes might be a good addition to your purse, but for others of us, soda water, apples and … sure why not, cheese may be all we need.

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Writer Goes Without Soap, Shampoo and Deodorant for a Month to Try New Product Thu, 22 May 2014 16:44:00 +0000 ABC News

Every day for a month, Julia Scott sprayed herself. In every spritz were 20 million bacteria.

Scott took brief, three-minute showers without soap, shampoo or deodorant.

It was all part of the writer’s assignment for New York Times Magazine. For her story, she was trying AO Spray, a brand new product containing bacteria the makers say our ancient ancestors were covered in.

AOBiome, the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company, behind AO Spray claims the bacteria might make a person’s skin soft and moist and less smelly.

“I was afraid of sitting down next to someone on a crowded bus and having them gag,” Scott said in an interview with ABC News.

The man who invented the spray, David Whitlock, says he hasn’t showered in 12 years.

“You stop missing it and it gives me a little extra time every day because I don’t have to shower … our ancestors never bathed,” he said.

Asked whether she noticed a difference in her skin, Scott said that she did.

“My skin became more soft to the touch and I noticed that my face, which is prone to hormonally-related break-outs, did clear up,” she said, but she can’t say for sure whether it was because of the spray.

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Why Levi’s CEO Says to Stop Washing Your Jeans Wed, 21 May 2014 13:18:17 +0000 ABC News

If you feel the need to throw your jeans into the washing machine after every wear, you may be doing it all wrong.

According to the man behind the jeans Americans have been wearing for the past 141 years – Levi’s 501s – you do not need to wash your jeans as often as you think you do, if ever.

“These jeans are maybe a year old and these have yet to see a washing machine,” the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., Chip Bergh, said Tuesday, referring to the jeans he was wearing during an interview at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference in California.

“I know that sounds totally disgusting,” Bergh said. “I know it does.”

Despite the potential “ick” factor, Bergh went on to explain that keeping your jeans out of the laundry will help keep their shape and color.

“If you talk to real denim aficionados, they tell you don’t wash your blue jeans,” Bergh said.

Bergh is not the only member of the fashion industry to espouse a no-wash jeans policy.

Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger once told celebrity website that he also keeps his Levi’s out of the washing machine.

“I never wash my Levi’s,” Hilfiger told TMZ cameras last October.

So how do you keep your jeans fresh without the help of laundry detergent?  Experts recommend  eliminating odor by spritzing jeans with white vinegar or vodka and hanging them out to air dry.

Another option is to freeze your jeans once per month to kill off the smell caused by bacteria.  The freezing option entails turning your jeans inside out and then freezing them either overnight or for two days at a time.

While fashion honchos like Hilfiger and Bergh are okay with keeping their jeans out of the washing machine, others took to social media to say they will stick with having clean jeans, no matter the consequences.

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Woman Battles Alleged Body Shaming For Excess Skin Thu, 08 May 2014 14:44:22 +0000 ABC News

One woman says a magazine made her feel like she should be ashamed of her brand new body.

Brook Birmingham’s 170-pound weight loss was so dramatic it caught the attention of Shape magazine, which wanted to feature her success story after coming across her blog where she began chronicling her weight loss journey.

“I emailed them back saying I was interested in doing the interview because I would love to share my story with people,” Birmingham, 29, of Andalusia, Illinois, told ABC News.

But when Birmingham sent them an “after” bikini photo that showed excess skin around her midsection, she says Shape magazine asked her to cover up citing “editorial” policy.

“I did not feel they were showing my body respect,” she explained.

Birmingham refused, saying the photo showed the real side of extreme weight loss and that the challenges don’t end after the “after” photo.

“People need to see what a body looks like after a massive weight loss,” Birmingham said.

In a statement released to ABC News, Shape magazine says, “This is a result of a misunderstanding with a freelance writer. This does not represent Shape’s editorial values and the comments made about Shape’s ‘editorial policy’ are absolutely untrue. Shape prides itself on empowering and celebrating women like Brooke, and any indication that we would not run the piece with the photo provided was wrong, as we would have been proud to share her inspirational story.​”

Even natural, gradual weight loss can leave extra skin that, in some cases, can only be fixed with surgery.

“While you will be incredibly fit, so much lighter, you might be left with some loose skin,” Chris Powell, host of “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” explained.

Powell’s show offers their participants this surgery after meeting a key milestone, but he also says the excess skin’s presence should be considered a mark of accomplishment.

“When we see that excess skin, it is really a badge of courage showing how strong that individual is,” said Powell.

Birmingham, who now works as a Weight Watchers leader, says that although she was initially hurt by Shape’s request, she feels better knowing that her story might inspire others in a similar position.

“This is what this boils down to, is to feel good in your own skin and knowing that you don’t have to look like the picture of the model on the magazine,” she said.

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Spring Into Savings With Top Fashion Trends for Under $100 Thu, 01 May 2014 11:27:41 +0000 ABC News Warmer weather seems to be taking its own sweet time to get here, but there’s nothing stopping you from planning your spring wardrobes right now!

Lucky magazine Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen appeared on “Good Morning America” today to share four of the hottest looks of the season — lace mini, tropical print, midi dress and peplum hem – plus shoes and accessories.

Take a look at the outfits Chen discussed:

The Looks

1. Lace Mini Dress

This is a chic take on the classic springtime look. White lacy dresses never go out of style; they’re so romantic and lovely, Chen said. This look touches on the bohemian feel and the shape is simple and modern. Wooden-soled sandals have an easygoing feel and they can be work anywhere.

Get the look:

Dress: Nastygal, $88

Sandals: Old Navy, $32.94

2. Tropical Print

This is the print of the season. On a midi skater dress, the overall vibe is more polished than beachy. Black kitten heels balance out the busy print and add a ladylike feel. If you’re going to wear a tropical print dress, it’s best to keep accessories simple and let the print do all the talking, Chen said.

Get the look:

Dress: Zara, $99

Shoes: Steven kitten heels, $99

3. Midi Dress

Midi dresses are flattering. They highlight the waist and cover wider hips, and the flowing skirts are fun to wear. Pair it with simple sneakers to dress this style down, or dress it up with pumps or heeled sandals and wear it to work, to a baby shower, graduation party or even out dancing with girlfriends. The retro feel of the silhouette makes it very current, but you’ll be able to wear it again next summer.

Get the look:

Dress: Asos midi skater, $41

Sneakers: Vans, $45

4. Peplum Hem

People have recently been wearing peplum at the waist, but this style takes that same peplum and drops it lower on the body. The peplum hemline adds a cute ruffle along the hemline of a dress, creating a fresh way to get the look. The style also gives the appearance of lengthening the body. A simple peplum dress looks chic and sporty with jewel tone, flat sandals, but the dress can also be worn with heels and a blazer to the office.

Get the look:

Dress: Topshop, $96

Sole society flat sandals, $65

Bonus Look

Shirt Dress trend

Shirt dresses come in a huge range of fits and styles – from sleeveless to long sleeve, mini to midi, and very affordable to luxury.  This one has a feminine skirt and fitted top and it’s flattering. Sporty sandals, such as Birkenstocks and Tevas, are a huge shoe trend this spring, and this style of sandal goes well with a polished shirt dress. The key is balance: wear sporty shoes with a girly dress, or simple shoes with a busy dress.

Dress: H&M, $59.95

Shoes:, $99

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How to Protect Yourself at Nail Salons Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:54:06 +0000 ABC News ABC News’ Becky Worley reports:

I love a good pedicure. But I have no idea what I’m looking for to make sure that pedicure doesn’t give me a nasty infection. Our friends at ABC News’ “20/20″ went undercover to see how unsanitary some salons can be and the results scared me into learning how to protect myself.

I bring DeeDee Crossett of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology to my favorite salon in Oakland, Calif.  Big-picture advice: Crossett says it’s hard to know whether a place is unhygienic; it’s much easier to look for signs that it is immaculate. Here are her tips to spot a super-clean salon.

Tip 1: Arrive 10 minutes early. You only need that much time to watch what happens between guests. Once a pedicure is done, Crossett says, disinfectant goes into the tub water and it must be circulated for a full 10 minutes before it’s drained. Less than 10 minutes and the chemicals in the disinfectant can’t break down bacteria and sanitize the foot bath. Also, she says, it takes time to remove tools, take them into the back to be cleaned and get a new sterilized set of tools.

Tip 2: Look for licenses. Each nail tech should have a license. Ask who will be performing your mani-pedi and look for their names on the wall of licenses. If they aren’t licensed, there’s no guarantee they know what’s allowed and what’s not within the sanctioned health guidelines for nail techs.

Tip 3: Each guest should receive a new file and buffer. These items cannot be sanitized and should be used one time only. A dead giveaway is if there is white powder (someone else’s nail filings or sloughed skin) on the file or buffer or if they are inside of the “sanitized” pouch tools often come in.  If the file or buffer were sanitized in an autoclave, the hot steam would destroy the pumice.

Tip 4: If you aren’t sure about the cleanliness but you don’t want to walk out, don’t let the nail tech turn on the jets in the foot spa. Many of the bacteria are in the jets and plumbing.  The exterior bowl may have been wiped down with a sanitizer.  In that case, the sitting water may be fine but if it is circulated into the jets and pipes, there’s a greater chance of circulating bacteria.

Tip 5: If they are using a Barbicide blue liquid sanitizer for tools, it should be clear, blue and jewel toned. If it is cloudy or green, it needs to be replaced. Also, tools should not be just dipped into the sanitizer; they need to soak for a full 10 minutes to be sufficiently cleaned.

Tip 6: Come to the salon with stubble. Don’t shave before you go get a pedicure. Your shaver could make tiny nicks or cuts in the skin that let in bacteria. The nail techs are fine with a little stubble. Shave after the pedicure.

Tip 7: A cheap manicure could come at a price.  If a salon is offering a $6 manicure, they are likely taking shortcuts somewhere. In order to ensure your safety and that the nail tech is making a living wage, go someplace that charges the going rate for your neighborhood.  My favorite place, Isabella Nail Bar in Oakland, California, charges $25 for a pedicure and it’s some of the best money I spend all month.  And yes, it passed Crossett’s inspection with flying colors.

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