Beauty Questions from Readers

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Over the years, we've received a variety of questions about beauty, hair, and makeup from our visitors. Some are quite common and others are unique. We've removed some that contained dated information and added new ones more suitable for today's world.


Q: How bad is it to use black lip liners? My lips are very dark (brown) and I notice they look better when I line with very dark lip liners, judging by the compliments I get. - From Vinnie

A: If your lips are dark and you're pleased with how they look, you've done what's best -- testing to find out what works for you. The only reservation I have about lip liner is when the lipstick wears off and you're left with a dark "ring" around your lips. If this isn't an issue, keep wearing it. You must be getting compliments for a reason! :-)

Q: Which is better to use, a liquid eyeliner or pencil eyeliner? - From Nicole

A: It depends on who's wearing it. Liquid eyeliner requires a steadier hand. Pencil eyeliner gives a "smokier effect" and is easier to apply. I personally like the pencil (in various colors, they're fabulous) but everyone has their own preference. I do think that liquid liner on fair skinned, blondes can look to harsh, particularly if it's jet black.

Q: Why can't I shave my eyebrows? I am a teen and they are unruly and out of hand!

A: Shaving is not recommended for several reasons. If you're just getting started, shaving seams like the easy answer but it's also a way to mess up. You have a natural arch that should be kept. Learning to shape your eyebrows from the beginning is the best way to go about it. This means plucking brows so that you have more control and brows won't grow back stubby. It's uncomfortable at first but you will get used to it and understand why shaving is not a good method for eyebrows. Visit our eyebrow grooming page for more detailed information.

Q: Is it really a good idea to blow dry hair upside down? I keep hearing this but really, it's not so easy and seems to take forever. Even then, it's a bit like "big" hair.

A: Blow drying hair upside down seems to be the popular answer for those wanting volume. It works okay for fine, thin hair but thicker, long hair may just end up frizzy; especially if it's coarse. For better results, try a curling iron with a 2" barrel or even hot rollers on dry hair. Velcro rollers are convenient and can be added to wet or damp hair. Volumizing shampoo and conditioner also add body and give it extra shine.

Q: Great website! I was wondering if you can help me with "colors".  I know dark colors are worn during winter, light colors for summer, and rusts/copper for fall... but what are some colors worn in Spring?

A: Just about anything goes, as long as the fabric is light and sleeves are short if the weather is warm or hot. Trends change frequently. Below is a snippet from our Spring and Summer Trends page:

"Summer brings some new, exciting fashion trends. With warmer weather moving in, we want simple, feminine styles. Spring fashions for women and teens will demonstrate pastel tones for clothing. Light pinks express femininity. Black is always hot, but men are attracted to color. Dress in bright citrus colors to attract attention. Keep neutral colors on hand to mix and match." Traditional colors for Spring are pastels and white, but in today's world, you get more freedom.

Spring is a transition season, so you can mix and match colors and fabrics so they look stylish and feel comfortable. Most people like to be unique and one way to do that is wear what you like, and what you think looks best on you. Dark colors are often considered a no-no in warm weather simply because they attract heat. If that isn't a factor, you can wear dark colors (in Spring and Summer) and combine them with lightweight fabrics and colors.

Trends are nice, but some will work for you, some will not. Incorporate trends with your favorite colors. Dark rust may be considered a fall color but may also be a bold Spring color. If you're not going to be in hot temperatures, black is perfectly acceptable, and looks great combined with tan or beige in the Spring. Consider a black blouse with tan slacks and shoes, or a black shirt with khakis. Try pink, light blue or white with black pants. The combinations are endless.