Quick Beauty Queries: Vol. I, No. Three

Hi Belle,

The past few months at work have been overly busy and as a result, the dark circles under my eyes have gotten pretty terrible.  I have concealer that I’ve been using to try to cover them (which only partly works), but is there a treatment that you’ve heard of that might actually make them better as opposed to just covering them?

Thanks! SK

If you’re looking to minimize the look of under-eye circles, you have some options.  A retinol will fade the dark pigment slightly and plump the area by increasing collage production.  Dr. Brandt makes a retinol under eye cream.  For something drugstore, try Roc Retinol Correction Cream.

Additionally, you can look for a product with hydroquinone.  Vichy Proeven Eyes is a good place to start.

I’ve tried a few dark circle lightening undereye creams.  I’ve notice mild improvement, but nothing serious. I find that drinking more water and making an effort to get more sleep usually helps just as much.

Hi Belle,

If you could splurge on only one skincare product, what would it be?  Why?

Love then blog! Zola

Where you spend your skincare money depends on your individual concerns.  I would spend my money on a serum to treat your unique issues.  My issue is a combo of acne and aging.

I love IS Clinical Active Serum.  I buy the pro-size on Amazon to save money.  If you want something less intense, Skincueticals makes a great anti-aging and anti-acne serum.

Sunday Riley is the hot brand of the moment.  They make treatments for many skin issues.  People rave about their Good Genes Treatment for smoothing and brightening.  I am really loving their Luna Sleeping Night Oil.  I need to use it for a little longer before I double down on a review though.


Makeup has never been one of my favorite things.  I recently started wearing a little bit of foundation, mascara, whatnot.  I need a blush but every color I choose is wrong.  Is there a blush that looks good on everyone?


If you’re looking for an idiot-proof blush, you need something sheer.  I like Benefit’s Rockateur blush for mixing in several rosy hues to create one universal shade.  I also love their easy Dandelion shade for a pop of pretty pink.  The colors are sheer and build able, so you can get a little or a lot.

For something in a drugstore price point, try this multi-color blush from Physician’s Formula.

Any suggestions for this week’s Quick Beauty Queries?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.



  1. Maggie says:

    For dark circles, I like the Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector. The tip is metal so it’s cooling when you apply it which I feel helps puffyness. It is a bit oily, so I let it dry a bit before applying other makeup. Also, I’ve just resigned the fact that somedays nothing is going to help…

    September 15, 2015/Reply
  2. MK says:

    Nars Orgasm blush is the most flattering thing I have ever tried. It’s both peach and pink and looks completely 100 percent natural, only better. I bought it after reading rave reviews about how it looks good on everyone, and it was the best money I have ever spent on makeup. It was worth every penny. I’ve tried other blushes since that I’ve gotten as samples and such, but nothing looks half as natural or flattering.

    September 15, 2015/Reply
    • MK says:

      I totally sound like an advertisement for Nars, but I promise I’m not! I just really love the product and still marvel that after years of trying various slightly off blush colors, I found something that looks like my skin — only prettier and glowier.

      September 15, 2015/Reply
    • sherry @ save. spend. splurge. says:

      I’d say Tarte Amazonian Clay in Exposed gets the same rave reviews as NARS Orgasm for others

      I don’t like the glitter in NARS Orgasm…

      September 17, 2015/Reply
  3. Ginny says:

    For my undereyes, I find the peach side of the Laura Mercier secret camouflage works very well. It looks scarily orange in the pan, but on the dark circles it cuts out the blue and blends in very well. Best applied with fingertips.

    September 15, 2015/Reply
  4. Nancy says:

    The pink-peach combo MK talks about really works, on the logical principal of flattering both warm and cool skin tones: ?. If you can do a cream blush, Bobbie Brown’s are very light and sheer– don’t let the color in the compact fool you, they are very natural and flattering.

    September 16, 2015/Reply
  5. Pam says:

    Agree on nars orgasm if you want a powder blush. I also just bought and completely LOVE Becca Tints cream blush – it is sheer but can be layered. On dark circles… I have probably bought 50 different prodcuts over the last couple years to tackle this. I finally hit on Murad’s Renewing Eye Cream. = it is the only thing I have used that made a difference, without makeup. I am on my third little bottle. even when I am tired people will now say “you don’t look it” *this NEVER used to happen

    September 16, 2015/Reply
  6. Candace says:

    Quick Beauty Query question — I am going to Europe in a month and wondering if there are any products I should try to find over there that are hard to get in the US or likewise significantly cheaper than when purchased in the States. For example, when I travel to Israel I always stock up on Ahava products. Would love some thoughts from folks.

    September 16, 2015/Reply
    • sherry @ save. spend. splurge. says:

      Unless it’s made there, it won’t be cheaper. Depends on the brand…

      Asia on the other hand, is a haven for cheap beauty buys from Sasa.

      September 17, 2015/Reply
  7. sherry @ save. spend. splurge. says:

    For blush, Tarte Amazonian Clay in Exposed is such a lovely, NOT too bright or pink muddy brown colour that looks incredible on almost all skintones except the super fair

    try it out.

    September 17, 2015/Reply