By Janene Mascarella

When it comes to your hair, skin, nails and makeup, there’s plenty of confusing (and false!) info out there to sort through. What’s really fact or fiction? We asked beauty guru Gretta Monahan, resident style expert on “The Rachael Ray Show,” to break it down.

MYTH: Brushing your hair 100 times each night keeps hair healthy.


The act of brushing your hair from scalp through the ends helps to distribute natural, conditioning oils. This technique will give extra moisture to the ends, which tend to be drier.  Monahan suggests investing in a natural boar bristle brush (or bristle/nylon mix depending on hair thickness) by Angelo David Salon – a hair luxury that’s worth every penny.

MYTH: You can shrink your pores.


While no product or technique can “shrink” your pores, there are ways to minimize the appearance of them. Regular facials and a great skin care regime will help keep pores clear of oil and dirt, which in turns makes them less noticeable. Plus, there are some fantastic products that help hide large pores such as Urban Decay’s Complexion Primer Potion – Pore Perfecting. “The invisible formula helps to diffuse the appearance of pores and leaves a matte finish that lasts up to eight hours,” she says.

MYTH: Scrubbing will help reduce Keratosis Pilaris on my arms.


Manual exfoliation will only worsen the situation, causing arms to appear even more bumpy and red. Using a product that contains glycolic acid, which gently exfoliates, and urea, which draws moisture in, will reduce redness and improve texture. KP Duty by Derma Doctor is the go-to product for Keratosis Pilaris, says Monahan, and with regular use offers dramatic results.

MYTH: Wearing nail polish can cause yellowing of the nails.


Base coats exist not only to give an even foundation for color but also to act as a barrier between the lacquer and your nail. It’s also helpful to regularly switch between dark and light nail colors. “Try Nail Foundation by Butter London,” suggests Monahan, “which also looks great on its own!”

MYTH: Sharing makeup and beauty tools can lead to breakouts or infections.


Brushes, sponges and makeup itself harbors bacteria that can lead to blackheads, acne or infections such as pink eye. It’s important to keep all implements clean and to always use freshly washed fingers when dipping into pots of cream-based cosmetics, even if you aren’t sharing with friends.  Monahan uses a sanitizing spray such as Beauty So Clean on her brushes in between uses and then gives them a gentle bath every few weeks. Doing this can also prolong the life of your brushes and other tools.

MYTH: Expensive, department store products are better than drugstore brands.


Drugstore brands have been upping their game for years and the quality of the formulas, pigments and ingredients keeps getting better and better. “Just like my closet, I like to mix high, low and everything in between,” says Monahan. Yes to Carrots is her drugstore favorite for both price and quality.

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