Ask Belle: Some Quick Beauty Questions

Apr 28, 2022

At almost-40 years old, my beauty routine is pretty set.  I don’t experiment with new products like I used to, or dive into new trends with the same enthusiasm.  But when you have questions, I will find you answers.

Hello.

Last month, you put up a foundation you loved and said you apply it with a Beauty Blender. But I’ve also seen you post to Instagram that sometimes you use a brush.  Forgive my ignorance, but what’s the difference?

LGT

This is a great question.  Yes, whether I use a sponge or a brush depends on the level of coverage that I need that day.  This is especially important because the KVD foundation I use is a heavier foundation (even though it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin).

A sponge, like Beauty Blender (this kit comes with the best soap), offers me more coverage that I can stipple on like paint.  This is nice for days when I need to cover imperfections.  And since the sponge presses the foundation into the skin  flawlessly, it’s a great choice if you need a full face of makeup without the cakey look.

With a brush, like this one from Sonia Kashuk for Target, I can use less foundation and get a lighter coverage.  This is nice on days when I don’t need as much foundation to cover imperfections.  It’s also nice for applying tinted moisturizer and getting it to blend seamlessly.

Belle,

I look like a raccoon every day thanks to flaky mascara.  I’ve tried every brand, or at least if feels that way, and I’m still Kate Moss by lunchtime.  Another influencer recommends tube mascaras.  Have you tried one?

Congratulations on the baby! Lisa

Do you follow My Sister Made Me Buy It, perchance?

First, let’s talk about tube mascaras.  Unlike traditional mascaras that paint color onto your lashes, a tube mascara coats the lashes in a way that forms tubes (think of a straw).  This way, the product doesn’t chip off, making it smudge proof.

I too struggle with mascara rubbing off onto my lower lids.  The additional issue for me is that I like a volumizing mascara as opposed to a lengthening one, and most tube mascaras are length only.  But the plus is they’re usually waterproof by design.

I tried the Kevyn Aucoin tube mascara and hated it (though it would be great if you just need or want length).  I also tried the Glossier and was very ‘meh’ about it.

For me, the Caliray Come Hell or High Water mascara is the clear tubing winner. MSMMBI put me onto it, and once I realized that I just need to use different technique (video) in order to get volume, I loved it.  I buy the small size so I can toss it when it starts to dry out.  It costs a little more per ounce to do it this way, but the product is always fresh.

Can you suggest a self tanner that isn’t super streaky and orange?  The bottle of St. Tropez I had turned, and I’m looking for something cheaper.

Thx. Star

I don’t use self-tanner as religiously as I used to, so I no longer stock bottles of self tanner.  Instead, I stock tanning drops, which I can add to lotions and face creams to turn any product I already love into self-tanner.  If you want to try them, try the Isle of Paradise drops from Sephora or the Tanologist drops for a less expensive option.

As for color, I have light olive skin and the medium isn’t dark enough for me.  So adjust accordingly.  But since you can control the depth by adding more drops, I’ve never had an issue just buying the deeper drops.

Abra,

My eyebrows fell out post pregnancy (not the hair loss I was expecting) and I want to grow them back in.  My Mom told me to try vitamin-E oil, but it just broke me out.  Suggestions?  Help?

Kris

Regrowing your eyebrows is tough, but sometimes necessary.  I, like so many 90s kids, over-plucked young and paid the price.  Last year, I started using GrandeBrow serum.  Within a two weeks, I had regrowth.  Within six weeks, my eyebrows were back.  I have rarely used a product that worked as well advertised, this is one.

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  1. Anna says:

    For the eyebrows, I would consult your dermatologist. I had some post partum hair loss and was recommended a 6 month regime of OTC rogaine, so that any viable hair would grow. Not sure if same protocol for brows, but I would definitely consult your physician. They also may order labs.

  2. Mercedes says:

    Rare Beauty mascara is my new ride or die. It’s not a tube mascara but it works really well and does not smudge or transfer. I tried tube mascara but I personally felt like it made my lashes fall out.

  3. Mered says:

    Thank you for the K18 recommendation! I ordered the mini size during the Sephora sale and I’m really enjoying it.

  4. Lindsey says:

    Eyelash primer saved my relationship with mascara. Keeps it from sliding off.

  5. MGCB says:

    I have the CaliRay mascara because I have hooded eyes. Even the crazy expensive Lancome mascaras would smudge for me, it was so discouraging. This is the ONLY mascara that has EVER stayed put for me.

    One pro tip: Because tubing mascara makes polymer tubes, I have found that you have to be careful with heat exposure, aka opening your oven haha. I think it melts the coating a bit and then my eyelashes get stuck together. So it feels like a silly tip, but crack your oven and let some of the heat escape before you open it all the way. You don’t have to worry about crying with this stuff on, so it’s a small price to pay!

  6. Crockett says:

    The only mascaras that work for me are tubing mascaras, and Thrive Causemetics can’t be beat. I am truly shocked at how well it stays put. I have tried EVERY mascara out there, and even waterproof tubes rub below my eyes or flake, from drugstore brands to Chanel. I always kept makeup remover and Q tips in my desk drawer and purse. Before Thrive, my longtime favorite (and now #2) is Trish McEvoy. It won’t budge but my lashes aren’t as long and thick. Voluminous Million Lashes Excess is a tubing mascara that is less expensive, but it will flake by the end of the day and its not great in the pool – but for a night out it’s pretty good.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Sweet Almond oil, mixed with 20% Vitamin E oil, was my ‘belly oil’ application throughout two pregnancies. It would take about 15-20 minutes of massage each morning, and again in the evening, for my skin to absorb it. I do not have stretch marks, nor does my sister who also used it. Takes time, but it was worth it in the long run. And neither of us suffered the ‘belly itch’ so common in later pregnancy. And we were careful to follow a good diet with whole grains, fruit/vegetables, milk, prenatal vitamins, and yes, unprocessed red meat, as the body utilizes the 21 readily nutrient-available amino acids in red meat to grow cells. It wasn’t a ‘steak a day’ but 4-6 ounces daily included in our diet was sufficient. Skin is grown from the ‘inside out’.
    I don’t know if this works for everyone, but our mom and aunts had stretch marks, and we don’t. The oil is a much cheaper alternative to the beauty brand concoctions. Worth the ‘self-care’ time. Good luck with it, and hope it works for you.

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