As editors, we’re constantly inundated with questions about all things beauty. The questions range from totally benevolent to bizarre and downright hilarious. And, truly, there’s nothing I love more than tackling an inquiry I know my friends and family wouldn’t ask anyone else.
As such, I’ve slyly compiled a list of the top five questions enquiring minds have texted to me and thoroughly answered each one. Keep reading for the solutions to all your beauty problems, revealed.
Having more than one concealer is totally allowed—in fact, I’d encourage it. Kira Nasrat, celebrity makeup artist and Violet Grey brand ambassador, explains: “It takes sometimes two or three concealers to do the trick, and that's the truth. Depending on what you are trying to conceal, you'll need to pick a different formula accordingly. Not all concealers are created equal, and they have different purposes. For example, if you have some blue tones under your eyes, you may want to choose a concealer that has a peach tone to cancel the blues. If you want to brighten your under-eyes, you can choose a color that is slightly lighter than your foundation.
“When it comes to concealing blemishes on the face, I always recommend matching your concealer to your foundation. For blemishes and such, I love Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer ($35). It’s best for those who have oily skin because the texture allows it to really stay put on challenging areas, whereas other concealers move around if you don't set them with a powder. The compact comes in two shades so you can customize your concealer coverage. I also am a huge fan of Nars’s Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29). They truly give beautiful coverage without looking cakey, and because they’re creamy, I love the way they blend. I am always mixing shades and layering—these products allow you to do so. And for someone who wants just a light veil of coverage, choose Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Eraser ($42). It’s a liquid formula and has a good amount of coverage, so you can use a super-small amount and blend.”
But Nasrat warns us that beauty products can expire. Usually there is an expiration date on the box, but for those who toss the box without taking a peek at the date, she offers advice: “Toss it after 18 months. I usually finish most of my products within four to six months because I'm using them all the time.”
Not all things are meant to work together, but some products complement each other quite well. Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group explains: “Some creams will actually cancel each other out or degrade active ingredients. The ingredients can break down the ingredients from other products—meaning you could be wasting some of that really expensive anti-aging cream you're using!”
It's important to talk to your dermatologist about everything you're using to avoid inactivation of creams—or a bad reaction. Nazarian adds, “Be careful using bigger offenders of this: acids (like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin C).” That being said, the companies don't matter at all. Products from different brands can absolutely be used together, it's more about the ingredients. “Some companies are better at making certain products, and you should mix and match to have the best combination for your specific skin,” says Nazarian. “The order in which you apply products matters. Generally, the higher the water content, the lesser the oil content, the earlier they should be applied. For example, serums applied before gels, then lotions, then creams.”
Everyone is all about texture these days, but sometimes (depending on your specific hair) it’s hard to pull off. As Halli Bivona of the John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman explains, “Clients always want a more piece-y, textured look. To get more texture in your hair, it all starts with the cut. Make sure to tell your stylist! Each person has their own personal cutting techniques, and knowing exactly what you want will help them to add more texture to your haircut—and make it easier to style at home. Also, product is your best friend. You can't get the sexy, textured look that will last all day without using product. After you air-dry or blow-dry your, use a light- to medium-hold pomade (about a pea-size amount of product will do) and rub it between your fingers. Scrunch the product into your hair, and don't be afraid to really get it in there; the messier your hair is, the better it'll look and the longer it will last. Instead of pomade, some like to use a texture or sea salt spray because they aren’t as heavy and will avoid making your hair appear greasy. In that case, I'd recommend using Shu Uemura's Texture Wave Dry Texturizing Spray ($39).”
But Bivona admits that some natural textures don’t lend themselves well to a piece-y look, and in that case, it’s time to bring out the big guns: hot styling tools. “Use a flatiron or curling iron to add more movement to the hair. When using a curling iron, you will want to only curl the middle section of the hair, leaving the ends out so they stay straight. which creates a more natural, tousled texture. You can also use a flat iron to smooth out natural curls to mimic a professionally styled look.”
I’ve heard a lot of success stories about eyebrow tattoos (who wouldn’t want permanently perfect brows?), but I called in the help of Nicoleta Barbarasa of the Brighton Salon in Beverly Hills to break the process down. “My clients love their semipermanent brows because it means they are instantly fresh-faced when they wake up and save time during their morning routines. The fuller brow trend isn't going away anytime soon, so many women who overplucked years ago are ready for a more permanent solution,” she says.
Barbarasa continued, “As far as tattoos go, microblading is a safer and more aesthetically pleasing alternative. The technique uses a tiny blade to deposit pigment under the skin, giving the appearance of real hair. I specialize in microblading because it mimics the looks of real hair better than any other method of semipermanent and permanent eyebrows. The pigments used for microblading are custom-blended organic colors to personally enhance the appearance of your natural brows and blend in perfectly with your skin's tone and undertone. It’s great for ladies who want to save time in the morning and have sparse or thin brows. It is also a fantastic solution in more extreme cases of hair loss.”
Virgin hair is natural, unprocessed hair. (Read: not colored, permed, or relaxed.) I asked Kat Zemtsova, a NYC-based hair stylist, if it’s possible to revirginize your hair—so to speak—and she asserted, “The only way for hair to ever be virgin again if its already processed, is to grow it out! That is literally the only way. The reason wigs require virgin hair is because it takes a few heads of hair to compose one wig. Wigs go through the process as well, such as hair perming and coloring, so good-quality virgin hair is required because it’s the strongest hair. Even if you don’t have virgin hair, the best way to keep your hair healthy is a healthy diet and taking vitamins and minerals daily. Remember that everything starts on the inside, but of course you can help your hair externally as well. Use thermal protecting products and moisture masks, and sleep on a silk pillowcase to reduce breakage. It’s also helpful to stay away from tight, skinny hair bands as they weaken the hair.”
Now that we've answered all your pressing questions, peep the seven coolest products we discovered on Instagram.