Ask Belle: Quick Beauty Queries, Vol. 1, No. 1

Aug 17, 2015

Many of the beauty questions I receive only need a quick answer, so I thought I would compile them into a single, recurring feature.  Remember to send your fashion, beauty, and career questions to capitolhillstyle@gmail.com.

Dear Belle:

Do you have any recommendations for mascara that *DOESN’T* give you a super-dark, false-lash effect? I’m a blond with really long eyelashes, and wearing a dark mascara makes me look like I’m wearing fake eyelashes. All I need is a light coat of color to make my eyelashes visible. Do you have any suggestions?

-SKB

I Googled your question and found this funny article from Into the Gloss by a beauty editor who clearly shares your frustrations.  I searched around and picked out only mascaras where I could see the actual color, and the color was a light or medium brown.

I found this Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara in a dark taupe.  Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara comes in a medium brown.  For a drugstore version, the lightest hue I found was Almay’s I-Color Mascara in mocha.

Hi Belle,

I started going gray earlier this year.  It’s very stressful to be 29 and already graying.  Do you have any tips on covering grays particularly in between dye jobs?  

Love the blog.  Karen

Oh, how I understand your conundrum.  I started going grey at 31.  It.is.not.fun.

It sounds like you’re already coloring your hair, which is the only way to cover the grey.  If you need something for between colorings, Rita Hazan makes a spray-on root concealer in a basic array of colors.  (I buy the light brown even though my hair is medium.) Another option is a brush on product like this Jonathan powder or this brush-in gel from Ardell.

Hi Belle,

Do you have a favorite body scrub or one you can recommend?  I was using a product from Clarins that they discontinued.  Keep the price under $25 if you can.  

Thank you, SSD

A good body scrub is hard to find.  I like this sugar body scrub from Soap & Glory.  The citrus scent is lovely.  My favorite scrub, however, is this LATHER foaming scrub.  It runs $39.

Belle,

My engagement photos are coming up.  I really want to whiten my teeth.  Do you still use those Crest white strips you reviewed last year?

Best, Nikki

I use the Crest Professional Effects Whitestrips.  They work well if you use them as directed.  I don’t recommend the 2-hour Express version; they made my teeth so sensitive.

If you’re looking for something more intense, the GoSmile Sonic Blue toothbrush promises more intense whitening.  I’ve used their ampoules in the past, and I really liked them.  They just cost a bit more than I want to spend.

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  1. Anna says:

    Karen, I feel you. 29 and started to notice so many gray hairs recently. I don’t even have kids I can blame them on. I really like my natural hair color and want to hold off on coloring as long as possible :(.

  2. Pancakes says:

    Ugh. Same boat. I’m 27 and I got my first few grey hairs (which are actually white, not grey) this year. What’s worse is I have dark brown, almost black hair, so they stand out.

    I blame it on career stress.

    • pilates princess says:

      I’m 33 with brown-black hair, and I’m full-on coloring now. I had never colored my hair before going gray, but once they hit a critical mass, around 29, I started coloring with Natural Instincts semi-permanent in medium neutral brown. I had a lot of success with that, and I keep a box around the house, just in case. Just start with a “too light” shade, and step it up until you find what works. You only get into trouble if you go too dark.

      • Jennifer D says:

        I used Natural Instincts for several years. I matched as closely as possible to my natural hair color, which is dark brown. It made my natural color richer, and the grays actually turned reddish blond, so some natural highlights as a bonus. It lasted more than 28 days, but not quite the 3 months I tried to stretch it out to. I went a shade lighter and a shade darker at a couple points in time, but found my best results when I most closely matched my natural shade.

  3. Dawn says:

    OMG, I have blonde lashes too! I recommend JFR for excellent colors for fair skin, even if you aren’t a redhead: https://www.justforredheads.com/mana.html

  4. Britt says:

    Same here, re: gray at 28. I’ve got a very specific streak coming in at my natural part! Decided to switch my part for now, until the gray are more pronounced on the rest of my head. After so many years coloring my hair for fun, I really regret not appreciating the natural color before it started to (literally) fade away. 🙁

  5. Tech Writer says:

    On the body scrub, if your skin isn’t too sensitive for them, my favorite is spa gloves. I’m finding they work better for me than anything else, are easy to keep clean, and work with every product.

  6. janethedentist says:

    If you know that your teeth get sensitive when bleaching, try a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth for 2 weeks before bleaching (and then during). Make sure it has potassium nitrate in it, and NO whitening agents or other extra effects, which will negate the benefits! xoxo

    • janethedentist says:

      also: if you have any tooth-colored fillings in your front teeth, they WON’T lighten up when you bleach and they may even get darker.

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