The smart solutions: Providing the answers to all of your beauty dilemmas
My eyebrows are sparse. I have thought about getting them tattooed but I am worried about them looking artificial
Brows are big news this season and the look is thick and natural — but it’s worth avoiding the ‘square’, blocky look seen on the catwalks of Alexander Wang, Jean Paul Gaultier and Oscar de la Renta unless you want to make a real statement.
I share your worry about getting brows tattooed as I have seen some disastrous cases. A new treatment from brow specialists Browhaus called Brow Resurrection uses a technique that adds colour to brows using 100 per cent non-toxic organic vegetable dye.
Miracle cure: Puffy eyes? Husband pinching your moisturiser? We offer some smart solutions
It’s not cheap, with a full Brow Resurrection treatment costing £550, but the results will last between 18 months to two years and are very realistic (0207 240 7004 or browhaus.com).
But don’t give up on products yet though — it may be that you haven’t found the right ones. Three worth mentioning are Brow Ink, £22 (cosmeticsalacarte.com) a fine pen that enables you to draw fine, feathery strokes. It is semi-permanent, but will come off with cleanser and is available in blonde, taupe and dark shades.
Also worth trying is No 7 Precision Brow Pencil, £10.25, Boots, which helps to shape and define brows and is available in three shades. Alternatively, try Perfekt Brow Perfection Gel, £19.50, Harvey Nichols, a tinted gel that makes brows appear thicker and fuller.
FROM LEFT: Garnier Caffeine Eye Roll-on, Revlon’s Age-Defying with DNA Advantage SPF 20
After years of having blonde, highlighted hair, I have gone dark again. What make-up colours should I use?
The trouble with going back to your roots is you are not used to seeing yourself with dark hair. International make-up artist and global artistic director for Revlon, Gucci Westman, has recently made the transition from blonde to dark herself.
‘Changing your hair colour from light to dark means you definitely need to re-think the shades you wear and restock your make-up bag,’ she says. ‘You need to wear more eye make-up; especially brown tones of eye shadow and you need something to warm up the skin.
‘If you go from blonde to dark, you will definitely need to change your foundation, too.’ Revlon’s new Age-Defying foundation with DNA Advantage goes on sale next week and is available in eight shades, including one called Early Tan, a warm, honey shade which will look particularly good with dark hair.
Solution: No 7. Precision Brow Pencil
‘Avoid bronzer, as this looks better on blondes and can seem unnatural against dark hair. A deeper red-toned blush will give a healthy look to the skin and for lips, try a berry-toned deep pink,’ Gucci adds.
The Age-Defying with DNA Advantage SPF 20, is available in eight shades, £13.99 (Boots, Superdrug and 0800 085 2716 for stockists)
How do you remove lipstick stains from the lining of your new designer handbag?
Before you take it to the dry cleaner, try washing-up liquid, which nearly always does the trick. Usually this can help safely remove lipstick and other make-up stains, including foundation.
Make a solution of washing-up liquid and warm water, then, using a cotton wool pad, apply the mixture to the stain in a circular motion. Turn the bag inside out if you can, pulling the lining as far as it will go and keep dabbing the stain (don’t rub) until it’s gone. For best results, allow your bag to dry naturally. This works well on cotton and polyester lined bags, but for other fabrics — including suede and leather — you may need a specialist cleaner.
My husband borrows my moisturiser. I tell him to buy his own, but he ignores that and keeps using it. Help me!
Elizabeth Hurley recently said that her boyfriend Shane Warne’s smooth complexion was down to his using her Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Creme, £71, estee lauder.co.uk. Men’s skin is different, as
Darren McKeown, a cosmetic doctor and founder of the Naked Truth skincare range, explains. ‘Men and women’s facial skin is different, most notably that men’s skin is hair-bearing but it is also thicker and tends to be oilier. The main differences in men’s products usually tend to be the design and fragrance, and they are more about marketing than science.
‘I think the best advice for anyone, male or female, is to choose products based on active ingredients and then find a brand that suits their skin type. In this case, if the products are working for him, there is no real scientific reason why he shouldn’t use them even if they are designed for women.’
Alternately, buy him a pot of L’Oreal Paris Men Expert Vita Lift 5 Complete Anti-Ageing Moisturiser, £12, Boots — a new anti-ageing men’s moisturiser with a pro-retinol complex which recently was launched in a campaign fronted by actor Hugh Laurie.
WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT…
Dry shampoo is enjoying a real revival, emerging as a must-have beauty item.
Originally created as a fast pick-me-up when you don’t have time to wash your hair, many people now use it to prolong the life of a blow dry or to add texture to their style.
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, £7.50 (John Lewis or 01582 820165) is the most popular brand, loved by Kate Moss.
Other celebrity fans include Kirsten Dunst (right), Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. The spray powder blends in with your hair tone whether it is coloured or natural. Try Express Refresh All Shades Dry Shampoo, 98p, from Wilkinson’s.
What really helps for puffy eyes?
One of the most common questions I get asked by women and men of all ages is what can be done to help their puffy eyes. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting says: ‘Bags under eyes are common as you age. If your diet is high in salt or alcohol, this can make puffiness more evident, as can a lack of sleep or if you suffer from eczema or rosacea.
‘Try raising your head when you sleep (with an extra pillow) or gentle massage and cold compresses, may be sufficient for some. ‘The cold teabags-on-the-eyes trick works because cold and caffeine work to narrow the delicate vessels around the eyes, which discourages fluid from pooling,’
Dr Bunting recommends looking for eye products which contain caffeine, such as Garnier Caffeine Eye Roll-on, £7.99, Boots, which has a ball device to further encourage excess fluid to drain away.
However, strengthening the skin in this delicate area — where there is a lack of bony support underneath — may be more beneficial in the long-term, so try a peptide-rich product, such as SkinCeuticals Eye Cream, £54, HQhair.com.
In some cases a blepharoplasty — a surgical procedure which removes excess skin and fat from the area under the eye (and is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures currently performed in the UK) — may help. Obviously it’s important to address any skin problems with medical advice.