9 Fast-Track Beauty Fixes
By Didi Gluck
Photo Credit: Greg Delves
You want: Fewer areas of discoloration on your hands and/or chest
Speedy solution: Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL), $200 to $300 per treatment (you may need four to six)
Unlike spot-zapping lasers, IPL does not cause scabs to form on treated areas, so it's truly considered a lunchtime procedure, explains Tierney. Another big plus: IPL works on red as well as brown splotches (in other words, it can be used to improve rosacea in addition to sun spots). However, you must be diligent about sunscreen use while receiving treatment, and after, or discoloration will return. For information, see aad.org.
Road-tester remark: "I've had lots of freckles since I was a teenager. After a couple of IPL treatments, the spots faded away, and now I look younger than ever." Meghann, 40
Lower-cost option: Spot-treat discolored areas with Tri-Luma Cream, $80 to $100, a prescription salve that contains bleaching and exfoliating agents. Dab it on the offending splotches and expect to see results in as little as a week. As with IPL, continuous use of sunscreen is a must.
You want: Longer hair
Speedy solution: Great Lengths extensions, $1,400 and up, depending on number and length of pieces
"The wax bond that attaches Great Lengths extensions to your hair is made up of protein and keratin [substances already found in hair], so they're not damaging," explains Nikki Ray, a stylist at Salon A-K-S in NYC. In addition, "they allow your hair to grow underneath," she says. The attachments can last four to six months (with monthly touch-ups that are included in the price). And when you're over them? "A special liquid melts them right out," says Ray. One caveat: For the most realistic effect, your natural hair must be four to five inches long, otherwise the add-ons can look puffy.
Road-tester remark: "Before attending a wedding recently, I added about six inches to my shoulder-length hair with Great Lengths. I couldn't believe how natural it looked. People just thought my hair had grown." Erin, 25
Lower-cost option: Attach a few clip-in extensions from Hair U Wear's Put On Pieces, $60 to $279 (depending on type and length), to your mane to create temporary length or volume.