Ask Belle Roundup, Beauty Tips Edition
Jul 8, 2013
My wedding is in two weeks and I have a huge pimple forming on my cheek, deep under the skin. What would Belle do?
Well, Belle would do one of two things. One, you can go to the dermatologist for a cortisone shot, which will shrink it down to nothingness quickly. Or, two, if doctors aren’t your thing, I would apply some black drawing salve (smells AWFUL, works great) to the blemish using my tips from this post. Though I no longer use Prid’s drawing salve since Dr. Christopher’s is much more effective.
I have been using the Jergens Natural Glow Gradual Self-tanner. At first I thought it was great, I really liked the gradual tanning as it seemed more natural for my tan to develop over a week rather than a day and it helped me avoid streaking. However after a few weeks I started to notice blotchiness. A few of my friends have complained about the same problem. So I am wondering is it possible to keep the tan looking even over a long period of time? If so, how?
I guess my first question would be, are you exfoliating regularly? When using sunless tanner, even a lotion, it’s important that you exfoliate on a regular basis. Otherwise your tan will become patchy-looking.
I’m looking for a set of good makeup brushes. I am open to buying a really nice set, but something cheaper would be ideal.
Over the years, I’ve learned that buying a brush set isn’t always better than buying individual brushes. Sure, you get six or eight brushes for what feels like a reduced price, but how many of those brushes do you really use? I’ve never used a lip brush and I apply my eye makeup with my fingertips. So I advise that you buy only the brushes you know you’ll need.
Plus, different companies have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to brushes. So why buy a blush brush that sucks because their powder brush was great?
For concealer brushes, Laura Mercier makes the best ones. I like her spot corrector brush and her flat brush for under-eye areas and blending. I like the Sephora complexion brush for powder and a buffing brush for a smooth foundation finish. Bobbi Brown makes the best blush, so it stands to reason she makes the best blush brush.
Also, before you spend a fortune on MAC brushes, check out Sigma brushes. A few of my brushes (highlighter, etc.) come from them, and the quality is as good, if not better than MAC, for less money. I especially love their Sigma Dry n’ Shape, which allows you to dry and reshape your brushes in half the time.
You wrote once that you do your own manicures and pedicures. How do you deal with the cuticles? That’s the one thing that I can never get right.
For softening the cuticles, I like Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil. This keeps them from drying out and splitting. As for removing them, I take a bit of a strange approach.
When I’m about to step out of the shower, I use my bath towel or my fingernail to wipe away the excess cuticle while it’s super soft. You could also use an orange stick for this. And if I get a bad spot, I just take a nail nipper to it and trim it slightly. (You can read more at home mani/pedi tips here and here.)
I moved to D.C. last summer, and since then, blackheads have taken over my nose and chin. I tried the Aztec clay you recommended, but it didn’t really do much for the blackheads (it did clear my whiteheads, so thanks). Do you have tips for those of us who suffer from an ugly case of blackhead infestation?
Love the blog! Kali
Blackheads are the worst. For those of you who don’t know the difference between a blemish and a blackhead, most acne forms under the skin and the clog that caused it is covered. But with a blackhead the clogging material forces the pore open and remains visible, oxidizing in the air and darkening. Awesome, right?
I’ve tried every blackhead strip and cream on the market, but the one I think works best is Mario Badescu Silver Powder ($12). Mix the powder into a paste, and then apply to the area for a few minutes. Remove with an astringent, I like Clinique clarifying lotion, and you’ll be well on your way toward cleared skin.
Also, sometimes increased exfoliation can help prevent blackheads from forming. So a device like Clarisonic can really keep the clogging to a minimum, but even a nubby rag and some gentle-scrubbing soap can make a difference.