Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: The Skincare and Beauty Edition

So many questions about hair, makeup and skincare have come in over the past few weeks, that I thought I’d combine a few of them into one Ask the Edit.  From how to heal a blemish to how to deal with split ends, and much more.  You asked, I answered.

Hi Abra!

Just wanted to drop you a note to say THANK YOU! I purchased the Banana Sleeping Pack moisturizer based on your recommendation and absolutely love it. The lack of sponsorship on your blog is quickly becoming my new favorite thing about it – I can actually trust your recommendations.

Thanks again! Blythe

I’m glad you like the Sleeping Pack.  It’s still one of my favorites.  Just to clarify, it’s probably too heavy for daytime.  But it is amazing overnight for looking like you got a full night’s sleep.

If you need a daytime moisturizer, my new go-to is It! Cosmetics Secret Sauce.  It’s pricey, but I got a big sample of it with purchase and have really liked how moisturizing it is without being heavy.  I also think it’s fading the acne darkness on my cheeks.


Do those acne treatment dots really work?  I see so many bloggers pushing them in sponsored posts but I don’t know how honest those are when most of those women don’t even have regular breakouts.  Have you tried them?  

Thanks! Jessica

I’ve seen a few bloggers write posts about The Mighty Patch, but I’ve never tried that product.  For my money, these Cosrx patches are the best.  For a deep blemish, they take 3-4 days to bring the grime to the surface, but sometimes, I see overnight results.

The patches are more effective if you puncture the skin.  Instead of trying to pop the blemish, I lance it instead to help speed up the process.

Hi Abra,

I know two beauty trends right now are microneedle rollers and jade rollers. Which is better for serum absorption and long-term protection against aging and wrinkles?

Thanks!  K

Microneedle roller, no question.  Jade rollers are more for drainage and toning, and keeping your face firm and puff-free.  The micro-needles poke tiny channels in your skin that allow deeper penetration of serums and increase collagen production.

My micr0-roller of choice is the GloPro Microneedling Tool from Beauty Bioscience.  I think the vibrations and red, collagen-stimulating light improve the effectiveness.  Prior to buying the GloPro, I used a traditional, $30 roller for a couple of years and saw good, noticeable, but not spectacular results.

But remember the key to any roller is consistency.  I use mine 3x per week (unless my acne is flared up, then I don’t want to spread bacteria around).  If I quit for a couple of weeks, I start to lose the gains my skin has made.

Belle, HELP!

Stila stopped making the single eyeshadows you had me hooked on.  What am I going to do without kitten and oasis?!?!  What gold/platinum shadows are you using instead?

At A Loss

Yes, it is a sad time for those of us who loved Stila’s shadows.  You can still buy the Kitten shade, but that’s it.  I’ve scrounged for my staple hues on eBay and Amazon.  So I’m good for a little while.

Most of the metallic hues I find are just aggressively metallic.  Like Goldfinger aggressive.  Burberry has a softer gold eye shadow, but it’s spendy.  NYX has a less expensive gold shadow, and Revlon Colorstay in a soft metallic called creme brûlée.

Hi Abra,

I’m looking for some cool makeup/storage bags to use when I travel.  Everything I find is either ugly or $100+.  Can you help me find some that have cute patterns?


Fun prints are patterns, eh?  These Sezane large heart print and small heart print pouches are great.  Sonia Kashuk’s makeup bags for Target come in a fun geometric print and a simpler, chic lined print.  If you’d like something really bright, this grapefruit print bag is a playful option.

Looking for something subtle?  You can usually find pouches at Nordstrom Rack.  I like this faux leather one.  Etsy also has a lot of good options.  The striped bag with leather accents caught my eye.


Do you have a favorite foundation brush? 


So there are two ways you can go with foundation brushes.  The first is a flat, paint-style brush; the second is a fuller, buffing brush.  I think the buffing brush works better for getting even coverage without a lot of product.  Which, when you have uneven skin like I do, is what you’re looking for in a brush.

I own both this Bobbi Brown full coverage brush and this tapered Sigma brush.  I like both of them, but the Sigma brush gives a softer finish.  For something more affordable, try this NYX brush.


I’ll spend the next few months on the campaign trail, which means I’ll miss my regular color and cut appointments.  Arizona is drier than D.C., so my hair splits really fast.  Do you have some miracle split end treatment?  


Split ends require trimming and conditioning.  For a drugstore conditioner, this Gliss conditioner works well, but keep it off your roots or your hair will be flat as a board.  Tresemme also makes a shine oil that you can work into the ends once your hair is styled to keep them tamed.

To trim your ends, this YouTube video has six different techniques you can use.  I like the twist technique.  I’ve tried several kinds of shears, but the best scissors are these mustache scissors.  They’re sharp enough to get a good cut.

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  1. L says:

    I second the lance and cosrx patch method. I use sterile lancets:

    May 21, 2018/Reply
  2. Monica T says:

    Definitely third the CosRX patches, these have changed the way I handle my hormonal cystic acne under my jaw! I’ve tried a few other brands (Peter Thomas Roth, Peace Dots) and none of them holds a candle to the CosRX patches, especially for the price. I’ve had a hard time finding them consistently and got a counterfeit batch from Amazon once so stock up on them when you find them! I’ve had success with Ulta, and amazingly enough.

    May 21, 2018/Reply
  3. Liz says:

    For single spots, I’ve really liked the EradiKate treatment from Kate Somerville!

    May 21, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Sadly, I have a sulfur allergy, so it’s a no go for me.

      May 21, 2018/Reply
  4. B says:

    I love Stila’s Kitten and have found L’Oreal’s “Iced Latte” to be a decent dupe. It’s not as pigmented but for the price it’s fairly close.

    May 21, 2018/Reply
  5. Valerie says:

    @At a Loss, on the Stila metallic eyeshadow: I really like the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash eyeshadow in the champagne shade. It’s subtle enough to wear during the daytime on its own, but you can layer it with other shadows to get more dramatic for nighttime.

    May 21, 2018/Reply
  6. Mae says:

    Remember your old posts about your Sunday beauty rituals and your weekday and weeknight rituals? I DO! I am thinking it’s time for remake!

    May 21, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I think you might be right.

      May 21, 2018/Reply
  7. Jamie says:

    Just get your hair cut in Arizona. I’m from there. The Bespoke Salon in Scottsdale (Jay Olsen) or Ide Mania in Central Phoeni.

    May 21, 2018/Reply
  8. Orla says:

    For cool makeup/storage bags, I usually get mine on Etsy.

    May 22, 2018/Reply
  9. Jennifer says:

    In response to Liv, I started taking biotin supplements a few years ago after a haircut and they have made a huge difference in the split end situation with my hair. The number of split ends that occurred as my hair grew longer went down almost to zero. I take Olly gummies and a regular pill (Target brand). I live in the Washington, DC area, so not a drier climate. But thought this might help. Split ends are awful, so good luck!

    May 22, 2018/Reply
  10. SC says:

    The MAC 170 is not cheap, but it’s the best brush for liquid or stick foundation I’ve ever used — it applies product very evenly without streaks. It also hasn’t shed a single hair in the 2 years I’ve had it. It takes at least 24 hours to dry though. I would replace mine in a heartbeat if anything happened to it!

    May 22, 2018/Reply
  11. Colleen says:

    Re the split ends: I purchased Rita Hazan’;s Triple Threat Split End Remedy during the Sephora VIB sale and really like it. I don’t love the smell but it dissipates pretty quickly and it makes a big difference in how my ends look. Good luck!

    May 22, 2018/Reply
  12. Kristin says:

    For cute makeup/travel bags, check out the Maika brand on their own site or on Amazon. They have super cute prints and leather handles/zippers. They sell a range of sizes, from tiny pouches to market totes to big duffel bags. They seem well-built too. I’ve had three pieces from them – two small makeup pouches and a weekender bag – for 2-3 years, and they’re still going strong.

    May 22, 2018/Reply
  13. Bethany says:

    The morphe Y6 pro flat buffer brush $10 is AMAZING! My liquid makeup has never looked so airbrushed and perfect. I’ve found that with the product so evenly distributed my oily skin looks better for longer as well- i.e. No buildup or caked makeup. Highly recommend!

    May 25, 2018/Reply
  14. v says:

    @At A Loss – check out the Smashbox Cover Shot palette in Metallic. I got mine at Nordstrom Rack for $12!

    June 1, 2018/Reply