+ Makeup

Quick Beauty Queries Vol. II, No. Two

Hi Belle-

I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I’m hoping you’ll do a follow-up note on deodorant. We’re rapidly approaching that messy time of year in DC when layers of deodorant are necessary, and the trail of destruction shows up on all of my good clothes.Is the Dove + Care still your go-to? Any tips on removing built up deodorant from my dresses?

Thanks! Sweaty McGee

I employ a multi-step approach to dealing with hot, humid weather.  First, underarm deodorant and antiperspirant.  I like Old Spice High Endurance.  Women’s formulas don’t work for me, and they often have treacly scents.  If you’re looking for a natural alternative, try Ursa Major Hoppin Fresh deodorant.

Once the underarms are handled, I spray some Dove + Care unscented anti-perspirant on the rest of my body.  Then, I apply some anti-chafe gel on my inner thighs to prevent sore skin.

If the worst happens and your underarms smell less than fresh by day’s end, I kill the bacteria causing the smell with Purell, reapply deodorant, and spritz my underarms with Febreeze.

To remove deodorant marks, I use this Hollywood Fashion Secrets sponge.  I also keep one in my desk at work in case I notice the spot too late.

Hi Belle,

I have a painfully stubborn zit on my cheek.  Any tips for banishing it permanently?


When I have a blemish that won’t clear, there are a few things I try.  First, drawing salve can help pull the impurities to the surface for faster healing.  I like the Walgreens store brand, but Prid’s is what most people recommend.

If I’m trying to eliminate redness and swelling, I apply a mixture of hydrocortisone cream and Neosporin and cover it with a Band-Aid.  The next morning, things are noticeably improved.  Another option are Peter Thomas Roth’s Invisible Acne Dots.

Dear Belle,

My hair is so dry (maybe it’s the change in seasons) but deep conditioner is not cutting it.  I’m desperate for something to cure my crispy hair.  Do you suffer from this problem or have a solution?

Thanks for the awesome blog, Crunchy 

If your hair is feeling parched the first thing you should do is examine your current haircare regimen.  Eliminate any products that contain alcohol, which can dry out your hair.  I also recommend cutting back on washing your hair, which can strip your hair of essential oils.

When my hair really dries out, I stop dry shampooing and switch to R + Co’s cleansing conditioning foam.  I then exchange my regular conditioner for Aussie 3-Minute Miracle.  It works well and is a great buy.  And when things reach critical mass, Drybar’s Mr. Incredible Leave-In Conditioner is a lifesaver.

If none of that works, I smear mayonnaise on my hair, throw on a shower cap, and watch a movie.  Sometimes the home remedy is better than anything you can buy.




  1. Bekki says:

    Crunchy – also look to see if you’re using a Keratin infused shampoo with a keratin infused conditioner. You should only be using one or the other – I made that mistake and my hair was a mess.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      Oh my gosh yes – this is exactly what I came here to say. And not just Keratin (though *especially* keratin), check your product lineup in general. Do you have a lot of protein-fortified products? If so, cut back. Too much of a good thing means brittle, crazy hair.

      April 5, 2016/Reply
  2. Shannon says:

    Aspirin actually works as a zit buster, too. Just grind up a plain old pill with some water to make a paste, then glob it onto the zit and leave it overnight. It works because aspirin contains natural salicylic acid. And, no, you can’t sub in Tylenol or ibuprofen.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  3. Anna says:

    What Old Spice scent do you use? I tried one for the gym and it’s SUPER strong. It seemed to be the lightest one available. Are there any unscented kinds? I can’t get the smell out of my clothes even after washing them. For those deep red pimples, I apply a mix of the dry Aztec Clay and water and cover it with a bandaid before I go to bed. That usually takes the swelling WAY down.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      I tried Old Spice too – I couldn’t find an unscented one, so I used Fiji which smelled the mildest to me. Currently, I’m using a similar Arm and Hammer product…but same thing, really potent scent.

      April 5, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I found an unscented one at the grocery store.

      April 5, 2016/Reply
  4. Jenn S. says:

    Oh, and something else re: smelling nice – a lot of synthetic fabrics tend to harbor odor-causing bacteria better than natural fabrics. If you have the time or budget to add a few pieces to your wardrobe, consider natural fabrics.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  5. Jenn says:

    I highly, highly recommend Alterna Caviar Repair for dry hair. It’s a little pricey but I also suffer from dry hair, and after a couple weeks there was noticeable improvement. Good luck.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  6. Lauren L. says:

    I picked up the PTR Invisible Dots this weekend to try to tame some chin breakouts I’ve been having – two nights of treatment and they are pretty much gone!

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  7. Nonymouse says:

    As counter-intuitive as it seems, something that helps my clothes with the set-in anti-antiperspirant smells is to stop using them every day. Using a deodorant only (I use Arm & Hammer) and baby powder combo has made a big difference. Just make sure to wipe excess powder off. And I completely recommend Belle’s reapplication method.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  8. Lara B. says:

    Hi Belle, I remember you raving about Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara but then not liking how it got flaky & dry pretty quickly. Have you seen stila’s Huge Extreme Lash mascara? My first thought is that the brush looks just like BTS which is my big draw to that mascara.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  9. Mackenzie says:

    Crunchy – I love Lush’s R & B Hair Moisturizer. You only need a small amount. It adds a slight amount of weight to hair which helps my hair have some hold and helps define curls. It also has an amazing scent.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  10. L says:

    Regarding deodorant, I tend to sweat A LOT under my arms year round. I use Certain Dri and it works like a charm. It can be a little itchy at first, but after using it for a while, I only have to apply it once every MONTH and viola! It does banish sweat completely though. Then you’re free to use whatever light deodorant you want if you’re concerned about smell.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  11. Tech Writer says:

    My home remedy for zits is the tiniest amount of non-gel toothpaste dabbed on top. Dries it up in a couple of days. I love the aspirin suggestion.

    Will have to remember the mayonnaise treatment for hair problems. I love these low-tech solutions.

    April 5, 2016/Reply
  12. Hannah says:

    Hydrocolloid Bandages (the kind usually marketed for blisters) will also draw out the impurities from a blemish to help it clear up faster. I cut them up small and one package will last awhile. Similar to the PTR dots, but not quite as pricey.

    April 6, 2016/Reply
  13. Sarah M says:

    In terms of deodorant, I found what I believe to be the PERFECT solution: the Thai Crystal Deodorant Stone. It is simply mineral salts and it leaves NO residue on your clothes and you can reapply it as many times as needed throughout the day. It kills odor very effectively. https://www.amazon.com/Thai-Deodorant-Stone-Crystal-Deodorant-Ounce/dp/B000AN1JEI

    April 6, 2016/Reply
  14. SunnyIA says:

    I know it’s a splurge and only realistic if you have insurance, but if you have stubborn acne or cystic acne (like I do), then it is worth the money to see a dermatologist or your primary care doc for some prescription meds. Tazorac is the only thing that keeps my hormonally related cystic acne under any semblance of control.

    April 6, 2016/Reply
  15. Para says:

    Sleeping with coconut oil in your hair and washing out in the morning works great. Apparently your hair can absorb more of coconut oil than any other oil.

    Completely agree with the Purell trick!

    April 13, 2016/Reply