Ask the Edit Vol. V, No. Seven

Feb 15, 2018

Do you have wrinkles?  Are you hunting for a winter boot?  Need help removing your makeup?  Those questions and more in today’s Ask the Edit.

I just turned 30 and am noticing some serious forehead wrinkles. Any suggestions?

– Meg 

This is the worst.  You know you’re aging.  You know it’s coming for you.  You don’t want to overreact, but there’s something about seeing that first wrinkle, that first grey hair, it makes you feel like it’s all happening too fast.

First, don’t rush to get Botox.  It seems like a quick fix, but most dermatologists don’t even recommend doing it until your mid-30s.  Plus, there’s plenty you can do before you start shooting neurotoxin into your forehead.

Second, are you using a retinol regularly?  If not, start there.  There are a lot of great retinols on the market,   Skinceuticals is the brand I would recommend.  If it’s not in your price range, The Ordinary Granactive or Retinol in Squalane are worth a look.

Third, derma-rolling has made a difference in my forehead wrinkles.  With regular use, it might make a difference in yours too.  I like the GloPro roller, but if you want something cheaper, try this $22 option.  Just remember to sterilize it and use a good serum with it.

Just don’t panic.  Drink more water.  Use sunscreen.  Get a hat for working out outside.  If all else fails, cut in bangs.

Dear Belle, 

I just recently was told about your site and I love it! I’m looking for some footwear advice. I haven’t worn sneakers regularly in ages, aside from exercise. However, I have been traveling a lot this last year, and am looking for a stylish, comfortable sneaker that doesn’t make me look like a tourist. I’m usually a boots/flats/sandals lady, depending on the weather, but by the end of the day I’m uncomfortable, my shoes have taken a beating, or both.

– MT

I asked the most-fashionable 26-year-old I know, she recommends these New Balance sneakers or these black Nike FlyKnits.  My readers also rave about AllBirds wool runners.

If you’re looking for something you can slide on and off on that plane, I suggest these Vince slip-ons.  They’re trendy, and will be stylish for at least another year.

Hi there! Love your blog.

Any recommendations for a makeup remover? I use the Neutrogena wipes but feel like they pul/tug at my skin and would like something gentler. I’ve tried some oil cleansers but feel like they never fully take off my eye makeup or just smear it over my face. Help!

– MerCedes 

I use the Simple Micellar wipes.  It typically takes two to get all my makeup off, but I never feel like their tugging.  You can also buy the Micellar water and use your own cotton balls.  Micellar water has a little bit of oil in it, but doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily.

Want to leave expensive face wipes behind?  This Makeup Eraser Cloth removes all your makeup with just water.  I own one, it really works.  I use it on waterproof mascara with no problem.


Do you know where I can find a 100% cotton nightgown, preferably on the shorter side and preferably not ‘dowdy’? This has proven more difficult than I thought!

– Melanie 

First off, no one makes 100% cotton anything anymore.  Cotton is expensive, and the buying public is so used to modal and poly, that most don’t even notice.  So if you’re not finding pure cotton, it’s because most companies just aren’t incentivized to make that.

This Hanro tank gown looks just like a simple t-shirt dress.  J.Crew’s heart-print nightgown is nice.  For something affordable, I found this Land’s End supima cotton nightgown and this lawn summer nightgown are the nicest I found.


I just moved to DC from Arizona and the humidity is killing me, mostly my hair.  I’ve never suffered from flat hair, but I have it every day now.  Is this a hairspray issue or a style issue?  Help.


Keeping hair up in a humid place starts in the shower.  Only apply conditioner from the ears down.  Use a volumizing shampoo at the roots.  Rotate in a clarifying shampoo once per week.

Next, you need a root booster.  Plump for Joy is a good one; it’s also $7.  Or you can go for a mousse, like Drybar’s Southern Belle.  Then, blow-dry making sure to dry the roots directly to increase lift.

Lastly, setting it in place requires a powerful spray.  I use Drybar’s Sheriff, or Warden if it’s raining.  You want to spray it upside down and make sure you get it into the hair.  Just spraying the top helps nothing.  Then, lightly brush it out to afford helmet head.

Hi Abra,

Spring wedding season is coming up soon. I’ve been asked to keep to a color scheme for a close friend’s late May wedding who isn’t having a bridal party (so much easier than being a BM!). She requests I wear a mid-length to long coppery/rose gold dress. 

Could you help me find a few options that don’t break the bank? I’m hoping for under $200, since that’s what I’d expect to pay as a BM.

Thanks, Liz

For a knee to mid-length dress, this Adrianna Papell sequin dress is nice, she also makes a similar style in off-the-shoulder.  This tie-shoulder sequin dress in rose gold from J.Crew is advertised as a midi.

For a long dress, try this one-shoulder from ASOS or this sleeveless Adrianna Papell.  This coppery Rachel Zoe is a bit out of your price range, but this Jetset Diaries dress has a pretty boho feel to it.

So, I am traveling in the UK at the end of next month. Based on my past experience that means rain and chilly weather — but not necessarily snow.

Do you have suggestions for rain/winter boots that aren’t the standard Hunter pair. I already own one and honestly, I don’t know who has skinny enough calves to make them comfortable!  I’m looking for style, protection from water, and of course (relative) comfort — I’ll be doing a lot of walking!

Thanks for your help! I have been a fan of this blog for years!! -C

If you have money to spend, Aquatalia waterproof boots are the only way to go.  Many readers sing their praises.  One of my friends wore a pair to campaign in North Dakota with a pair of Smartwool socks and will never buy brand pair of boots.  Blondo boots are also popular, and currently on sale.

In addition to their rain boots, Hunter makes a popular Pac boot that’s shearling lined.  It looks like a LL Bean duck boot, so why not go ahead and buy those?   If you find your Hunter’s tight in the calf, you might want to look at a wide calf boot.   These Totes boots come in a wide-calf size.

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  1. Rachel says:

    re: nightgowns. I too am a sleepshirt wearer and ive been on the hunt lately to replace some old ones. I find DKNY makes some very nice ones and you can usually find some onsale on Amazon or even stores like Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Also, Gap and old navy have some very comfortable sleepshirts. My struggle is that in the winter, I want short sleeves, not sleeveless or long sleeves, just something to cover my shoulders if they are sticking out from under the blanket. I have found Jockey a bit too thick and Maidenform a bit short (I want to be able to walk my toddler and dad to the elevator in the AM without flashing my neighbors should they pop out at the same time). I do not understand the price tag on Hanro. I recently picked up this one (for a few dollars less)

    • D says:

      I also love short sleeve nightgowns for the exact same reason. I just discovered this one on Amazon last week. I’ve washed it once and worn it twice and it does the job for me – esp for the price. It’s modal, so it may not work for the OP, but maybe it’ll work for others!

  2. k-t says:

    RE: boots
    I second the rec for Blondo. I have both tall, heeled boots and a pair of short booties. They don’t look like rain boots, so you don’t feel silly wearing them on a sunny day, but keep your feet dry and warm. And a lower price point than Aquatalia and La Canadienne (also love and have those!).

    For truly waterproof and more even more affordable, how about a pair of Chelsea-style rain booties? Jean of Extra Petite raved about wearing them in Paris and London this fall. I have had a pair for a few years and they were great in Scotland. I added insoles for more arch support and a better fit (I have narrow feet). If you get matte black, they don’t scream rain boots.

    • erin says:

      Haha yes! I have a cute all cotton shorts and cami set from them. My mom buys all her nighties from them as well. Their stuff runs pretty big FYI, since the demographic is on the older side.

      My mom used to get the catalogue, and we had a laugh one day when I turned the page and found they were selling a battery operated “Japanese personal massager.” Ahem.

      Also, some places do make things out of 100% cotton, but you have to dig. LOFT and Madewell have all cotton tees (and LLBean), and even sometimes Express has all-cotton sweaters and tees. I’ve bought some very cute printed tees from LOFT in particular that are nice enough to wear to work with a pencil skirt. But unfortunately you typically can’t search/sort by fabric, you can only know the fabric when you click on the item itelf.

  3. CM says:

    You absolutely nailed the recommendations for the wedding guest dresses! Those are gorgeous. I’m attending a wedding this weekend and would have loved to have worn one of these…maybe next time!

    As an aside, I own Blondo booties, and they are amazing. I can’t get behind the tall ones with the elastic in the back because they stretch out quickly and look sloppy, and they can easily get wet as your umbrella drips and/or you kick up water as you walk. Nevertheless, the booties are a great investment. I wear them to work a lot, which includes a bus/metro/walk commute.

  4. KerryS says:

    I second the recommendation for Blondo boots. I live in Portland, OR and own two pair that have held up wonderfully this winter. Also re: sneakers, I love my Vince slip-ons.

  5. Amy says:

    RE: Makeup remover – They’re pricey, but in my opinion, the Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths can not be beat. I can get one wipe to take off ALL of my makeup, and they just glide over the skin, they don’t tug or pull. The best part is that they don’t leave a sticky residue or fragrance behind on the skin – you’re left feeling truly fresh and clean.

  6. DD says:

    Living in DC I found that investing in a shower filter like an Aquansana helped as the water here is on the harder side and can lead to flat, dull hair.

    • Belle says:

      I wish I could, but the price of the replacement filters gives me serious pause. What’s the cost of the Aquansana?

      • DD says:

        (Just saw this!) They are around $60 filter included. Filters last about 6 months and are around $50. It is an investment, but my def made a difference for my hair/skin.

  7. Courtney says:

    Lands’ End has a large selection of 100% cotton sleepwear.

  8. B says:

    Gap currently has some 100% cotton nightgowns, if you want a cheaper t-shirt dress option.

  9. SunnyIA says:

    For an alternative rain boot, I’m a big fan of Madewell’s Chelsea Rain Boot ($68). I’ve worn them while walking around Seattle for days on end and trudging through Iowa snow (with wool socks, of course). They are comfortable, fit true to size, easy on and off, and look cute with a skirt and tights or my rolled up jeans. Also: they appear to be indestructible. I’ve worn them for months and they look brand new.

  10. Anna says:

    I also think Lake is 100% cotton, I have given pajamas as gifts and they seemed very soft !

  11. Elizabeth says:

    For the reader travelling to the UK, if you’re in London don’t wear something that is obviously a rain boot in the city! I live in London and the only place we wear wellies is out in the country. City people opt for more normal looking shoes, wearing a rain boot will very much make you look like a tourist. I agree with the recommendations of Blondo and Aquatalia, as these look more like ‘normal’ shoes. I would also recommend buying Ugg’s waterproof spray and applying to a pair of leather or suede booties you already own (with a rubber sole). If you’re out walking in the country, then definitely go for the wellies! And expect them to get very muddy. All depends on where you’ll be spending most of your time.

  12. Jennie says:

    Re: Forehead Wrinkles

    Just saw an esthetician for the same concern, turned 30 last year, getting married in 6 months and I wanted to see what I could do to improve lines on my forehead and overall appearance. She did not recommend Botox or any fillers, instead she said I should use Cerave moisturizer at night and do a series of microdermabrasion facials once a month. Had my first and my skin felt amazing for weeks.

    I’ve also had a CO2 laser procedure done about five years ago to address some scarring and while it was a more severe treatment, my skin never looked better. There’s a significant amount of down time though and it was uncomfortable. My skin needed at least a week before I would leave the house or go out in public.

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