Quick Beauty Queries: Vol. I, No. Two

Hi Belle,

Do you have a favorite wine colored nail polish?  Something dark but not black.  Please, no glitter.

Mary E.

Burgundy and wine shades are the perfect polish colors for fall.  For something more on the red side, I like Bogota Blackberry from OPI (it’s being phased out, so buy it now).  If you want a polish on the darker side, Essie’s Wicked is always a popular choice.

Dear Belle,

My lips are on the thin side.  Do you use a lip plumper?  I don’t need cosmetic surgery or anything, but a little pick me up wouldn’t hurt.

Thx. HH

Lip plumping serums, balms, and glosses use ingredients (usually hyaluronic acid and natural oils) that cause the lips to swell slightly.  The sensation can be a bit tingly, so consider yourself warned.

To give your lips a bit more volume, there are a few routes you can take.  First, you can use a plumping treatment like DuWop Lip Venom Balm.  You can also break out the big guns and go with LipFusion Lip Injection XL serum.  For something under-$10, try Physician’s Formula Plump Potion.

Your other option is lip gloss or lipstick that has the plumper built in.  For that, I like Lipstick Queen’s glosses with a proprietary lip plumper mixed in.


Do you use a cuticle cream?  I just had a baby and the constant hand washing is causing mine to split and crack.  Please help.


As a new Mom, you might have some nipple balm or Udder Cream lying around, I suggest using that.  Keep it by the sink and right after you wash your hands, take a second to massage it in.  If you need more intense healing, O’Keeffe’s Work Hands hand cream has never let me down and I know lots of readers swear by it.

Dear Belle,

I go to yoga on my lunch hour a few days a week.  I don’t sweat enough that I need a shower, which is good since I don’t have time.  But now the skin on my chest is breaking out.  I tried baby wipes but that didn’t help.  Any ideas?

Love the blog! Kaia

Baby wipes or something similar might be food for the underarms, but if acne is your problem, you need a wipe with salicylic acid in it.  The acid will kill the bacteria and exfoliate the dead skin left behind by the chafing of your sports bra.

If the situation is serious, I recommend going straight to Stridex pads.  If it’s just a mild breakout, try these Olay wipes.  Should the situation persist, I would try a body acne fighting spray like this one from Glytone.



  1. Saramel says:

    I second O’Keefe’s Working Hands. My hands were raw, red, and cracked from the frequent handwashing after my first child. It stung the first few times I used it but it sealed everything and protected my skin better than any other. I spent a fortune testing different hand creams, including a couple formulas my dermatologist recommended. I picked it up on a whim at Home Depot of all places and it’s now a staple for me. Congratulations on your new baby!

    September 8, 2015/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Do you have to reapply after washing your hands?

      September 9, 2015/Reply
  2. KT says:

    In answer to B’s cuticle problem, check the ingredients in your hand soap. I had a terrible problem with dry, scaly hands until I discovered that I’m sensitive to *methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone* (two preservatives that are being used more frequently in hand and body products, causing increasing rates of dermatitis.) My hands recovered immediately after changing to a hand soap without these ingredients. (BTW, citrus extracts and triclosan can be very irritating as well.)

    September 8, 2015/Reply
  3. B says:

    In response to Kaia – I do yoga before work, and usually jump in the shower at the studio wearing a shower cap (I got a nice one that I keep in my gym bag and throw in the wash occasionally, but your studio may have disposables somewhere or you could buy some). It takes about 3 minutes and I feel a ton better if I do a quick rinse-off.

    Also – I’m devastated that Bogota Blackberry is phasing out! I’m going to buy several bottles (gel and regular) right this minute.

    September 8, 2015/Reply
  4. Kara says:

    I use a cuticle oil from Butter London (nail polish brand) that smells like a dream and works really well. It’s pricey ($19 for a little bottle), but it has lasted me a long time.

    September 8, 2015/Reply
  5. Kate says:

    Best maroon nail polish – I promise you, is Formula X’s Brushed Metallics line in Spectacle. It dries darker than it looks on the site and looks totally beautiful on my pale-ish hands.

    September 11, 2015/Reply