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Busting myths about Monistat, Preparation H, Pepto-Bismol and other bizarro beauty products

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PAM for legs: The word on the street is that PAM Cooking Spray is ideal for adding sheen and moisture to bare legs. And, of course, the PAM used should be unscented, unless you want to reek of butter or olive oil. Begrudgingly, I gave this trick a whirl and let me just say, I should get an award for the things I do in the name of beauty. My advice is stick with PAM for sautéing that chicken breast with broccoli you'll be having for dinner. Once you spray it on any of your body parts, the "trick" will most definitely be on you.

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Business cards for lashes: This trick may seem a bit odd, but once you master the technique, using a business card to aid in applying mascara, especially on the lower lashes, is really quite effective. Simply place a (clean) business card below your lower lashes and then apply mascara, moving the wand back and forth gently and using the card to catch excess mascara. This technique helps coat each lash with product and also works on upper lashes.

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Preparation H for under eyes: Sorry, supermodels, I just can't put my stamp of approval on the idea of putting cream that's meant for your bum on your face. And while many suggest that Preparation H works on under eye puffiness because of Phenylephrine, an ingredient that helps temporarily constrict blood vessels, applying Preparation H to the delicate eye area is a beauty no-no. For a cheaper and more effective remedy, sleep with your head slightly raised and apply a cool compress to eyes first thing in the morning for five minutes.

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Vaseline for lashes and brows: Just a dab of Vaseline applied to already filled-in brows helps shape brows and, some say, nourishes brow hair. Applying Vaseline to the tips of lashes, being very careful not to get the product in eyes, really can help moisturize lashes and preventing breakage.

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Monistat for face: If you think this is hard to read, imagine how hard it is to write about. Worse yet, to have actually done it. But the rumor that Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel makes an excellent face primer and, in fact, works just as well as the ultra-popular Smashbox Photofinish primer, had to be debunked. Once you get past the initial disgust at putting a cream meant for certain problems down under on your face, it really isn't that bad. But it's not good either; applying Monistat to my face left my skin feeling greasy and caused the makeup applied on top to crack. And that is wack.

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Diaper rash cream for breakouts: Since most diaper rash creams contain zinc oxide, said to relieve itching and reduce the possibility of infection, some recommend using diaper rash cream to treat pimples. One negative is that these creams tend to be very white and pasty, so if you're in a relationship, applying this product to pimples at nighttime is a definite deterrent to romance. But, if it's better skin, not bedtime fun, you are after, this home remedy is actually effective.

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Pepto-Bismol as face mask: This last trick landed me smack in the bowels of the beauty trenches. And I want out. Apparently, the idea behind the Pepto-Bismol facial was born when some well-meaning, DIYer noticed that Pepto-Bismol contains salicylic acid, an ingredient often found in skin care.  After applying a thin mask of the product to my face with a cotton ball (and hiding in the bathroom from my husband who would clearly think I'd gone insane), I washed the product off and looked in the mirror. There, I saw a crazy woman, with a slight pink tone to her skin, staring back at me.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.

Busting myths about Monistat, Preparation H, Pepto-Bismol and other bizarro beauty products 01/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 26, 2012 3:30am]
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