Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Beauty Q&A: Blushing, Cobbling, and Black Ties

1. I love blush. I love that it makes me look not like a corpse, and I own a lot of it in all of the colors, basically. I wear it every day! But — whatever blush I use, I pick basically at random, like, whatever is closest to my lazy hand. Shouldn't my blush match the rest of my makeup? But how do I decide? How do I know what color to pair with what eye, what lip, etc.? Is there a list of questions I can run through every day to pick my best shade? What would be the most essential shades to have? Also, I wear bronzer every day (I want to look tan, contouring is for the birds). Do I have to consider what blush goes with it? I'd love some guidelines!

Did you not read the September issue of Harper's Bazaar? Simon Doonan declared bronzing and tanning DEAD. (Also declared here since the article is not posted on their website, but this profile of Doris Duke is and it's amazing.) Simon Doonan is a way of life, so I immediately put my bronzer and self-tanner in a drawer to await our next directive. You must possess both bravery to abandon your beauty safety blankets and juuust the right amount of insecurity to completely fold when a total stranger tells you you're doing something that isn't cool any more. Do you have what it takes?

Now that you are a blank slate of foundation and a million other products — none of which are bronzer — let's talk about blush. Forget matching it to this-and-such: blush matches YOU. That is the key with blush — it should look like your skin, only rosier. Blushier. The only thing to consider in relation to what other makeup you're wearing is, "Is this a rosier, blushier kind of look I'm going for, or is this a less perky look?" I'd argue that the problem with combining a dramatic blush with smoky eyes and dark lipstick is less an issue of looking like a showgirl — if you got it, flaunt it — and more an issue of conflicting messages. "Look at my deep, sexy, dark eyes and lucious, mature mouth and adorable, cutesy, perky, OMG I AM BLUSHING JUST THINKING ABOUT HOW SEXY THE REST OF MY FACE IS!" See? Don't do that. Have a lighter, more subtle blush like this one for when you don't want to seem too embarrassed, and a darker, more dramatic one such as this for when you want to look like Brooke Shields or like you just got done skiing or like you just watched this

2. I recently wore through a pair of my most favorite flats. I'd only had them for a year and they were so nice and I was so sad when I had to throw them away! I'd like to prevent this from happening again — I think I need a lesson in resoling shoes. I know this is a thing people do, but I don't really understand it. Can I just take in any shoe that shows too much wear? Should you do it when you first get a pair or after you've worn them a bunch? Does it really help make them last? It seems so old time-y, but also smart.

People must use cobblers enough for them to be as ubiquitous as they are, but yeesh, there are a lot of folks like you who are hesitant to go to one. What gives? There is no stigma attached to visiting a cobbler! Shoe repair stores are not all-night massage parlors. Here's what their job is: fixing shoes. And that includes every part of the shoe: the top part, the side parts, the bottom part, the part that's all pointy, the part that's effed up. Guess how much you need to know about fixing shoes? ZILCH. That's the cobbler's job. If you're concerned that a new pair of shoes looks flimsy in the sole, ask the cobbler for advice. And if you wear through one, they can usually replace it, yep!

3. I have a bracelet that I love madly, but I rarely wear it because it is impossible for me to clasp by myself. It's a pretty standard lobster clasp but I just can not put it on without assistance. So I find myself either not wearing it, or walking around with it in my purse until I find someone I can awkwardly ask to clasp it for me. While the latter is an oddly excellent way to make new friends, it would be nice to be able to get dressed on my own. Do you have any tips for tricky clasps?

Did you know there's a whole cottage industry of "clasp helpers" for single ladies? Here's how to DIY one, but you can also find a bunch on Etsy if you're lazy/wealthy:

4. My boyfriend's college roommate is getting married in October so, exciting! My first wedding as an adult and not a flower girl. But it is "black tie"... so, panic. What can/do I wear? A long dress, right? I like simpler, more classic styles, and this practical and broke grad student is having a hard time justifying spending a lot of money at a department store for a long fancy gown for only a single wear, or getting something a bit too fashion-y from Rent the Runway. If the invitation said "cute striped sundresses" I would have no problem at all. Any ideas?

Here's the thing: if they're asking for black tie, they're not asking for fashion backward. They're asking for you to look like a woman attending a fancy wedding. Don't be afraid!
How often, in this day and age, do you get to wear a gown? Your only concern is not upstaging the bride. So, don't wear a long white dress, but do wear something fitting the elegance and seriousness of the occasion. Oh, and also try not to be mistaken for a bridesmaid. A quick email to someone in the wedding party asking "what is the color scheme?" will tell you which colors to avoid.

Renting a gown from Rent the Runway is actually great, or so I've heard. A friend has used their services a few times and says they'll send you multiple sizes and they're great about returns. Plus, they have some gorgeous, otherwise prohibitively expensive pieces. Look at this one with the cape!

A similar, simpler option is Little Borrowed Dress. Their styles also happen to be cheaper than RtR — $75 to rent a long gown, but they do skew "bridesmaid," so like I said, check that you're not wearing the same color. These could easily be dressed up with a giant brooch on the waist or shoulder.

If you'd like to own your dress, try searching by price on ShopStyle.com. Go to Clothing > Dresses > Evening. Then select your size and what you're willing to spend and they'll search a bunch of sites at once for you. That's how I found this sophisticated dress for $60. For in-person shopping, T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack-type places usually have formalwear sections. A lot of them will be homecoming dresses, but sift through and you'll find one with fewer sequins.

5. I have very dark skin patches, like RECTANGLE patches (two of them) right where my moustache would be IF I let it grow to be the mess it wants to be. So, I looked this up, and it says that skin on the upper lip will turn dark from waxing or from sun. So, obviously I need to be pale with a hairy lip, and problem solved, right? Well, I say no to that option. Background: I have been waxing, like really often lately because I just turned 40 and suddenly — hair! And, my kids are competitive swimmers, so I'm outdoors at the pool very often. Ok, so I need to cut back on the sun, I can wear a hat, but in the meantime, I HAVE VERY DARK SKIN ON MY UPPER LIP!!! And, I don't know what to do. Also, very little money to throw at a dermatologist... so pretend I'm 20 or something with this problem.

Nah. You're 40 and you are resourceful and you can prioritize. If I were you, I'd:

a. Look into electrolysis or laser hair removal. There are always Groupons for that shit. If you add up what you're spending to get waxed all the time, I guarantee the permanent option will pay for itself in a year or two, and you have FORTY MORE TO GO. Okay, maybe you're waxing at home, but even that costs something. Lasering your lip should run you less than $500 and you can always do a payment plan or even cut that in half with a coupon. Or, you can be brave and be the first person I know to purchase an at home laser hair removal thingy for $400. Please report back to us with the results? Remember: as you keep getting crotchetier, your vision is gonna go, and then you're gonna miss hairs when you wax and no one is going to tell you. I'm just saying! You could accept your 'stache, which is what I usually tell people, but something (your words) tells me you are determined.

b. Get a skin lightener for the dark patches. They have some cheap ones at the drug store or you can splurge a little, but not a lot, at Sephora.

c. I'd guess the sun, more than anything, is to blame. Get a hat and listen to Simon Doonan, everyone.

Previously: The Most Beautiful Bright Lipstick in the Land.

Do you have a question for Jane?

Photo of Brooke by Francesco Scavullo.

204 Comments / Post A Comment


"Ladies pinch, whores use rouge."


Well I sweat, AND use rouge, so I guess I'm a horse whore. Or a whore-horse?


@meetapossum I cannot tell you how many times I use this Jacqueline Bouvier quote.


@TheDragon A horse d'whores



That is all.


LW 5: The dark patches on your upper lip are most likely hormonal! If you've switched birth control or just had hormonal changes, that can cause the patches. (Unfortunately I speak from experience!) The advice from my dermatologist was lightening cream combined with sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen. I got a Thomas Roth mineral make up powder sunscreen so I can keep applying it over my make up. And microdermabrasion is supposed to help as well.

As for the mustache hair itself, I love me some Nair. Not for the sensitive-skinned, though, and ONLY leave it on for 5 minutes or you'll end up with a super red, irritated upper lip. (Again, I speak from experience!)


@olivia I just had this happen to myself. I've been super active outside this summer and ended up with this beautiful sun 'stache. I'm on a generic BCP and my pharmacy keeps swapping them out on me. Super frustrating because I'm a hormonal wreck. And now super embarrassing because of the dark skin patch.

I have to look into a lightening cream but am clueless as to what to look for.


@olivia Same here -- the pill and I guess the sun, that latter of which I am really good about protecting my skin (particularly my face) from, and the former of which I recently quit precisely because of the dark patches, which I have in the same place as the letter writer (I mean, really? If I had to get this melasma business, couldn't it at least have shown up somewhere that isn't in the center of my face?). My BF assures me that he ca't see anything but I can (and it seems to be the worst when I first wake up). I've read that it could go away on its own after the residual pill ingredients are out of my system.


@olivia I have it, too, despite never being on BC, wearing sunscreen religiously, and never having been pregnant (it's also called "mask of pregnancy"). OTC medicines have not worked at all for me. IPL (something pulse laser) helped a bit, but didn't eradicate it. Prescription hydroquinone (plus, always always wearing sunscreen and wearing enormous hats whenever I'm outside for more than 10 minutes) has made a huge difference.


@olivia I am a firm believer in keeping my downy, soft, Italian-background-inherited girl-moustache. So I don't know if I have pigmentation under my moustache, but I do have it on the edges of my lips (I think mine was caused by going off the pill as well). It looks like I put faint, smudgy lipliner on. It annoys me because I have very pale-coloured lips.

I think I'm trying to say, I have no useful lightening cream advice, but I do sympathise with everyone's pigmentation/moustache problems.


@tan 'stache ladies UGH it's so annoying! Now that summer's over and my beach vacation is done I'm going to get just upper lip microdermabrasion and see how that works. I wish I could report back to you all somehow! Oh and I stopped the pill altogether...if it's doing weird stuff to my face I'm quite sure I don't want it doing weird stuff to the rest of me. I'm using condoms and prayer from now on!


Paraguard, ladies. PARAGUARD.


@olivia I'm sure someone will chime in to say this is a bad idea, but I have had luck with it (having the same darkened skin on lips 'sue.) Lemon juice will lighten your skin. Put some fresh lemon juice on trouble areas for ten minutes or so, and wash it off. There are a ton of recipes for lemon juice masks or scrubs on the internet.


I have melasma on my face too. Happened when my baby weaned. Boo. I have a prescription for a hydroquinone/retinA/some 3rd thing cream that is already working really well. $52 at the dermatologist's office, but totally worth it. As for the hair removal, I have a lot of inappropriate facial hair that needs to be removed (a different hormonal issue). I use this trimmer: http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-ES2113PC-Pivoting-Facial-Trimmer/dp/B0009DT39C
It doesn't remove hair, but nor does it damage skin or shave anything. I have to do it frequently, and I pluck the darkest hairs that remain after trimming. Since I started doing this, my skin is MUCH happier, my morning routine takes half as long, and no one has noticed. It feels like cheating, but it works.

Gracefully and Grandly

Cobblers. Do it. Gorightnow. I've brought all sorts of monstrosities of shoe damage to my neighborhood cobbler and the shoes come back almost new! Well, not almost new. But definitely without holes or exposed metal bits. If the sole of a shoe is pretty flimsy (like the soles of so many flats are), some preemptive rubber soling will definitely help make them last longer/keep them hole free.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Gracefully and Grandly YES. Also, Jane didn't address this part of the question, but I believe you can bring in brand-new shoes and ask for the soles to be reinforced so they don't wear down in the first place, although I'm always too excited about my new shoes and want to wear them immediately.

Also, yes to Rent the Runway! It's the only way I can dress myself for weddings anymore.


@Beatrix Kiddo Yes, you totally can! I do it when I get shoes with leather soles, because those will die on you so fast.

every tomorrow@twitter

@MilesofMountains I need to get my boyfriend to drag his ass to a cobbler for that. He just got the most beautiful pair of handmade-in-Mexico leather shoes and they're beautiful but he is HELL ON SHOES and walks through the soles of everything, and he needs to not walk through the soles of his expensive, beautiful, handcrafted shoes. I saw the toes the other day and he'd already worn them down something fierce.


@Gracefully and Grandly Can we talk about cobblers and whether they can fix pointy-toed and/or cap-toed shoes? I.e., is this possible, or am I doomed to forever touching up my neon yellow cap-toes with matching neon-yellow nail polish?


My question: HOW DOES ONE LOCATE A COBBLER when one is not in NYC?


When I am visiting NYC, it is easy to walk around the corner and find another hole-in-the-wall, filled-with-immense-talent sort of thing. But for those of us outside of major metro areas...?

Jane Marie

@PatatasBravas google "shoe repair." they're in the quiet strip mall.


@Gracefully and Grandly Probably! I have a pair of pointy-toe shoes in a very distinctive red color that my cobbler matched perfectly (I didn't even ask, I had dropped them off to fix the heels, and when I got them back he'd made the pointy bits look like new!)


@RationalHatter Your cobbler is clearly better than my cobbler, who won't even polish my shoes when I bring them in to have the heals redone unless I specifically tell/pay him to.

Lesson: Get a new cobbler, hulia. (And PatatasBravas, YES, shoe repair guys are way easier to find in NY than elsewhere, but Jane's right... they're in the rando strip malls and abandoned corners of regular malls.)


@hulia HEELS. jesus h. christ. HEELS.

like a rabid squirrel

@Gracefully and Grandly In the last city I lived in (which was not NYC by a long shot), I found my cobbler on Yelp.


@Gracefully and Grandly: Cobblers can do all sorts of neat stuff. Since they deal with the heavy fabrics and materials of shoes, they can repair other similar things. I had a performance motorcycle jacket that needed a velcro patch re-sewn on, and the heavy sewing machines they have did the trick.

Gracefully and Grandly

@hulia It's definitely possible! I've had a a pair of pumps with heels that were covered in some sort of textured leather, and one shoe had this huge scratch that just peeled that leather right off the heel. Brought it to the cobbler and I can't even tell the difference! My cobbler isn't even some magician (unless they're all shoe magicians, or like @ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS says leather magicians). What's the worst that can happen? Either he'll fix them or he won't. And in that case you can always DIY some neon cap toes - I've seen some spray paint cap toe tutorials floating around.


@Jane Marie Every cobbler I have ever encountered also cut keys.


@olliegrace Nordstrom usually has one near their customer service section!

Lexa Lane

I just took my shoes to the cobbler for the first time today! $10 to put new heels on my boots, and $10 to hand stitch the soles back on to my moccasins. We're testing this cobbler out on my not-too-special Aerosole boots before we trust him with my Ralph Lauren and Frye babies.

dj pomegranate

1. COBBLERS: I bought some awesome peep toe heels once and then immedately got caught in the rain while wearing them and slipped and twisted my ankle AND ripped the side seam out of my right shoe (!?!) The next day my mom stepped of a curb funny and broke the heel of one of her shoes in two. I took both pairs of really, really, really sad looking shoes to the cobbler one block away and he fixed them so that they look seriously as good as new for $75 total. IT IS MAGIC. Cobblers! They are the best.

2. I used Rent the Runway for a formal event and it was wonderful. They sent two sizes of the same dress, I wore the one that fit best, looked awesome, danced all night, and then sent it back two days later. Easy peasy!

every tomorrow@twitter

@dj pomegranate I walked through the entire rubber heel thingie of a $200 pair of Fluevogs and jacked up the leather on the heel in a DISTRESSINGLY short amount of time, and a cobbler fixed it for me for $25 or $30, good as new. I'm not sure if Fluevog's quality has gone downhill in an extreme way or if my gait is just THAT WEIRD from all the back problems I've been having, but I adore those shoes (cute! Comfy! Weird enough to be interesting but still job interview-appropriate!) and it gave them a new lease on life. Now I just know to check on the heels OFTEN.

glow bug

@dj pomegranate I heard Fluevog resoles for free?


@dj pomegranate Nope! I looked into it a few months ago when my Fluevog boots needed new heels and they don't do repairs. They carry replacement parts, though, so you can take the shoes and the parts to your cobbler.


But will cobblers be able to help if you have only soft, rubber-soled European 'walking shoes', due to having the feet of an 80-year-old lady?


@JanieS Yes! They will attach a new rubbery sole to the bottom!


Loehmann's! I have found almost every black-tie gown I own at Loehmann's, including a gorgeous floor-length black satin Calvin Klein halter with a little bit of matte beading around the waist that I got for $54.99.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Ophelia I never have any luck there! Maybe I'm not patient enough.


@Beatrix Kiddo It does take some serious sifting through racks of bad rhinestones.


@Ophelia And, for the Loehmann's near my parents' home, it also requires the sort of body-bravery to change in an open stall-less changing room.

Which took a while, for me anyway.


@Ophelia It also helps to be an oddball size. Still, Loehmann's! So awesome.

The Lady of Shalott

But but how do you KNOW if the blush you try in the store will look good on you? Aren't you supposed to test it on your wrist or the back of your hand or something? And I'm afraid I'm doing blush wrong because I only put the tiniest amount on so it probably looks like I'm not even wearing any. And what if it's too pink and I look stupid? And and and and

BLUSH: the silent killer. (Of my confidence.)

every tomorrow@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott In Sephora I test it on the inside of my arm because that is the part of me that is as pale as my face (I am super pale). I find that the applicator options they have (spongey things, cotton rounds) blow for applying blush to my face so if I try to put it on my face I end up with blotchy clown cheeks.

At proper makeup counters and MAC stores I'll just go, HEY, I'M LOOKING FOR A BLUSH, I WANT SOMETHING , CAN WE TRY SOME STUFF ON ME? and they'll sit me down and clean a makeup brush and put some stuff on my cheeks. I can also narrow it way down by testing stuff on my arm. Like, if I try it on my arm and am like HOLY CRAP THAT LOOKS BRIGHT ORANGE ON ME (most warm things do) I know I can rule that one out.

every tomorrow@twitter

@every tomorrow@twitter That was supposed to be "I WANT SOMETHING [insert criteria here]" but it didn't work and I ignored it until it was too late to edit.


@every tomorrow@twitter I liked it that way; I laughed (on a day that is otherwise absolutely not funny or fun at all) at "I WANT SOMETHING."

all the bacon and eggs

@The Lady of Shalott I don't know about you, but the skin on my arms isn't the same color as the skin on my face, so I just test it on my face (then wipe it off if necessary).

Edit: this is in part because I don't trust the people who work at makeup counters to pick a good shade for me, based on their own makeup making them look like actual clowns.

every tomorrow@twitter

@Hellcat I am also having a totally shit day (on my THIRD interview with a company when the entire team looked ready to hire me, the CEO came in, announced she hadn't looked at my resume yet, looked at it, declared I wasn't qualified, and sent me home within 5 minutes of me getting there. ... sorry, I apparently really need to vent about this right now?) so I am on the internet talking about makeup.

Really though I've just marched into MAC and been like, ALL MY BLUSHES ARE TOO WARM ON ME FIND ME SOMETHING COOLER and we just tried stuff on me until we found something that worked.

Also there's something crazily entertaining about picking out job interview-appropriate makeup with a 19 year old boy who is wearing more makeup right that second than you have cumulatively worn in your entire life. He was successful, though -- I may have totally flunked that interview, but I looked awesome.


@The Lady of Shalott: Nars Orgasm. It works for everyone, weirdly.

I get mine with a side of bronzer because fuck you for trying to take away my bronzer.


@every tomorrow@twitter Oh, man--I'm sorry! I think you might win (or, "win," as the case appears to be).

I have ants. A lot of ants. In the condo I just moved into three weeks ago. Three weeks ago wouldn't have been a big deal to handle--everything still in boxes neatly piled, no furniture or even groceries yet, blah-blah. But what a pain now. The exterminator came today (after a whole mess of back and forth about that after I had a confirmation and took a day off work at a very bad time to do so) and now my bed is covered with dishes, my toaster over and coffeemaker are on the bathroom floor, my new couches are two feet from the wall, and I pretty much have to start the ol' put-away process all over again. This is very hard for a capital-letter Clean Person to handle. And my BF might be acting in a way that I find unacceptable... though I am not sure if that's the ants/other stresses ($2,000 car repair, new table MIA, possibly senile cat) casting a pall over that too.

every tomorrow@twitter

@Hellcat Oh god ants are the worst. My parents' house is on an anthill, swear to god, so every time the weather gets so the ants don't like it (which is often because it's Los Angeles and the ants don't like excessive heat) they all come in the house. We learned that 409 (the counter cleaner) kills them, and I'm way more comfortable spraying that than any kind of bug spray in food prep areas.

They also had an ongoing pantry moth infestation until I introduced them to the joys of snapware. Pantry moths are undeterred by regular tupperware, but snapware works.

simone eastbro

@Hellcat yesterday my shaman told me that the ant is one of my power animals? maybe it is also yours!!!!!!


@simone eastbro Perhaps then, if I go buy the amount of ants I've seen in the last two days, I have more power than I ever imagined! In the words of Buffy (or at least someone on Buffy), "It's about time I got some superpowers!"

While I do not want hordes of them in my home, I'm generally not a bug-phobe so I am freaking out more over the inconvenience and setback in actually getting the new place (which is lovely--and I have a washer and dryer!) in order, which I seemed to believe I could do in the mere week of vacation I took. Not to mention the extra dough for the the exterminator. Still, it's mostly the disorder that's making me nuts.


@Hellcat aw, I am kinda fond of my friendly house ants (as long as they don't get out of control, then I do some targeted cleaning with eucalyptus spray) @every tomorrow@twitter but pantry moths! double-fist shake nemesis! yay for everything in tightly sealing tubs. also, eucalyptus cleaning spray.

sceps yarx

@The Lady of Shalott you guys, you can totally use lipstick as blush! Just dab a tiny bit onto your fingers and blend it onto your cheeks. It's not a very convenient texture but if you have a huge lipstick stash (like me), it's a great way to try out different colors.


@zoe Hmmm... would using eucalyptus-based products for my regular housecleaning routine help to maintain an antfree life between Orkin visits? I have a four-times-a-year contract and they'll come back at no charge if I see more ants, but I don't mind doing my part too if it's as easy as eucalyptus.

ALSO, I forgot! I wiped down my entire kitchen last night with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution. I am the last person to disparage vinegar but from what I witnessed, the ol' "ants hate vinegar" line is pure malarkey! They kept on coming!


@Hellcat RUBBING ALCOHOL. Wipe everything down with rubbing alcohol, or put it in a spray bottle and then spray and wipe. I had a terrible ant infestation once and the exterminator told me that, and I've kept some on hand ever since. It really works.

Also, test the blush on your face! No color of the rest of your skin looks the same as your face other than your face, you can't tell how it looks until you have it on. Once I started wearing blush people kept telling me how refreshed and glowing I looked, but it was just all the blush! Sadly, that shade got discontinued, but I've gotten sort of close.


@Hellcat For ants, go to the hardware store and get Terro (or is it Terra?) traps. They are excellent, work quickly, and based on Borax. I can attest to the fact that they really work.


@The Lady of Shalott I was afraid of blush too, and I went to Sephora and explained what I was looking for (a not-too-dramatic blush for every-day use that would lessen my similarity to one of Dracula's wives). We tried out a couple, and I ended up finding one that I really liked and I bought it.
BUT, you can also just take note of what colour it is – a picture on your phone, or a swipe on a piece of paper – and then head to the drugstore and get the same colour from Maybelline.
The trick is to try to go to Sephora (or a department store or a fancy drugstore) at non-peak hours so someone will have time to spend on you.

New Hoarder

@The Lady of Shalott I always but blush from Sephora, use it a few times, and if it's really not working, return it. Love their return policy. I am "quite fair" and peachy in the face, according to the Clinique lady, but my body seems to retain a tan year-round. I dunno. ANYWAY.

Here are some of my blushes, and almost all seem to work well for me:
-Nars Orgasm
-Nars Exhibit A (BRIGHT red but awesome for the Brooke look!)
-Nars Taj Mahal (okay, this one is frightening and I don't understand it)
- MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Porcelain Pink (very young and fresh)
- Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Flush (I think- it's bright pink)
- Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks in Bronze, Peach (especially good), Rose, and Gold (I LIKE SHIMMER)
- Um, some random little Clinique and Josie Maran rosy-looking blush sticks


@The Lady of Shalott - I wear Nars Orgasm because I heard it's foolproof on almost everybody, or the Kohl's knockoff (I think it's called Heartbreaker or something) because it's cheaper, or the ones I get free with purchase when I buy my mascara during free gift time at department store makeup counters because I figure they would probably only put looks-good-on-most-people shades in there if they're giving it away to everybody.

But yeah, the amount of blush I apply to my face is astoundingly little, but any more and I feel like a clown. So I bet you're doing it fine!

every tomorrow@twitter

I love blush, I want to own all the blushesssssss. I don't try to match them to the rest of my makeup per se, but I sort of try to match the general overall tone of whatever is on my lips and/or my clothing? So if I'm wearing a warm-toned, coral-y lipstick I'll go for a more coral blush, but if I'm wearing a cooler-toned lipstick (which I usually am because my skin skews so cool I make neutrals look coral and corals look TANGERINE ORANGE) I go for a cooler color. I usually use Benefit Sugarbomb, Benefit Dandelion (which, I got a full-sized one for free with like 5 other Benefit goodies as a 500-point gift from Sephora and now it's my fav blush evar?), and MAC Mocha. I totally want to buy something from NARS but actually they're so pigmented I'm scared. And also Orgasm looks orange on me.

Also, LW5, suddenly I realize why my upper lip is annoyingly dark! I bet it is the goddamn waxing. Actually lately I've just started shaving that shit, since waxing breaks me out like woah for 2-3 days. My upper lip hair is fine enough that I don't get visible stubble, it's just super wispy until it gets long enough for me to shave it off again.

I do sort of feel oddly manly shaving my upper lip, but it's hard to feel TOO unfeminine when you're using a pink razor.


@every tomorrow@twitter Same here! My go-to is Nars Gilda, which is peachy (it will look orange on you, I fear) and looks really natural on my olive skin. So I'll use that blush if I'm using a greenish or natural eye shadow. If I'm wearing a cool tone I might go with Glory by Bare Escentuals, but if I'm doing a really vibrant youthful cool toned look I'll use Fruit Cocktail by Bare Escentuals.

I didn't start wearing blush until I got the Laguna/Orgasm Duo from Nars a few years ago, but now it's the one makeup item that I absolutely wear every day.

dj pomegranate

@insouciantlover Seriously, though, the Laguna/Orgasm duo is a gamechanger. It made me a blush believer!


@dj pomegranate Between purchasing that and watching RuPaul's Drag Race, I learned how desperately I needed to change my idea of what it means to wear makeup.


@every tomorrow@twitter I shave the teeny-tiny, very sporadic blond hair off my upper lip too. I don't have what I'd even call the very beginnings of a mustache or anything but every once in a while there's a super-shiny blond cluster that almost looks like glitter! They're so small that plucking is nearly impossible, in part because when I raise my hand with the tweezer, whatever shadow I make with it completely hides what I am trying to nab (if that makes sense). So... razor; two seconds, I'm done for a few weeks with that shit.


@every tomorrow@twitter Actually, MAC has more pigment than Nars. Basically everyone on the internet and all my friends convinced me to try Nars (I agree, Orgasm is to orangy, so I went with Deep Throat). I'm running out and I've decided to go back to MAC which only required one sweep of the brush and lasted forever.

Also, am I the only person who bleaches my upper lip? For some reason, I decided that this is my best solution...and yes, I have the dark patch too. The bleach doesn't help the dark patch...I hope it doesn't hurt! Thank you, Sicilian grandfather!


@chevyvan I bleach! Everyone on my mom's side of the family (Sicilian too!) bleaches (except for the men, they shave or grow their 'staches). I did not even know there were other options for ladies' upper lips until my teen years.

(I don't have dark patches but I attribute that to my vampirish sun-avoidance, not the bleach.)

New Hoarder

@chevyvan Oooh, I bleach, too! I am still on my massive jar set of Jolen from about 7 years ago. Occassionally I trim, too, when I am too lazy to take the 10 minutes to bleach. I find my upper lip gets too sweaty if waxed.

Sometimes my husband looks at me lovingly, but I get all confused and defensive and scream at him, "STOP LOOKING AT MY 'STACHE." He then cowers and whimpers, "... I just though you looked beautiful today." O=-)


@New Hoarder YES! I DO BLEACH AND WAX and still...dark patches. ARGH!!!!!!!!!


What about hot pink blush? I've seen people on YouTube who use hot pink blush applied with a really light hand and it looks pretty (at least on camera), but nobody blushes hot pink.

every tomorrow@twitter

@Amanda@twitter I think a lot of blushes are pretty sheer, so they can look way more EXTREEEEME in the pan than they do on your face. Especially if you use a light hand and/or a not-so-dense brush.

Some sheerness in a blush is pretty awesome, I think, since it lets your skintone show through and looks more natural.


@every tomorrow@twitter My concern is less that it will look EXTREEEEEME than that it will look clash-y against my skin, if the goal is to match it to your skin/how you look naturally when you blush. I guess as long as you get a warm/cool tone depending on your skin tone then it's OK?

Gracefully and Grandly

@Amanda@twitter I use a hot pink blush now and it doesn't look clashy (or maybe it does, but it looks natural enough that I can't tell the difference). Before this one, I was definitely using a warm blush and if I had to guess the new one falls into the cool category. I'm not a warm/cool expert but I can say that I liked how both of them looked on my face. Also, it's not like I was creating two huge rouge spots on my cheeks with these bad boys - I definitely used a light hand. So basically what I'm saying is, try it out! I think it'll work!


@Amanda@twitter Hot pink blush can look great, and I don't think the goal is to match your skin when you're actually blushing, because that would be really really hard. You just want it to look pretty like so, but you might want to use just a little bit less during the day.


@Amanda@twitter Try Stila cream blush in Petunia. Looks hot pink in the container, goes on very natural. I swear by this stuff and have never needed another blush.


@Amanda@twitter Check out Nyx's blushes! They come in a bunch of colors and are pretty cheap! They're great for when you want to try out a crazy shade but don't want to break the bank if it doesn't work out. Also, Revlon has a hot pink cream blush that's really pretty, though I find it fades quickly.


@Gracefully and Grandly
ELF has a hot pink blush in their $3 Studio line and I love it. Looks good on super-pale me and plenty cheap if you're just experimenting.


@Amanda@twitter I'm a pretty pale lady and I use NARS blush in Desire. Its hot pink but if you dust it on your apples with a light hand it looks perfectly nice and healthy. The super high pigment just means it has staying power. http://www.sephora.com/blush-P2855

Gracefully and Grandly

I don't really know that much about blush as I just ended a 10 year relationship with Nars Orgasm, but I will say, don't be afraid of colors that look outrageous even if you're looking for a 'natural' blush. My new blush I've tried is super hot pink in the container, but it's a pretty rosey/flush color when I wear it.

And now I feel like I've typed blush more than I ever have before. Blush blush blush.


@Gracefully and Grandly oooooh is it NARS Desire? I just bought that too, if so. It looks crazy in the pan, not crazy (hopefully?) on my face.

Gracefully and Grandly

@contrary pretty! That isn't it but it looks really similar to the one I have. I don't remember the name now, but it's by bobbi brown (which I just typed out originally as boobi brown haha).

up cubed

Is this a good place to ask about other hormonal skin changes? I had to stop taking the pill and now I have adult acne on my forehead and chin (I'm 30). I get small bumps forming deep under my skin. Since they aren't on the surface I'm not sure how to treat it. I've tried rubbing with a hot washcloth, tea tree oil, and antibacterial ointment, but this only works for the stuff that is already close to the surface.

Beatrix Kiddo

@upupandaway Honestly, the best solution is to go to a dermatologist. Mine told me to take chasteberry supplements for hormonal acne, but prescription medicine helps too.


@upupandaway It took my body 6 months to adjust after going back off the pill but eventually my skin (and weight and mental health) settled back to how it ought to be! In the meantime I found proactiv was rad for my skin, but obviously it differs from person to person.


@upupandaway As an adult acne sufferer myself, (at 27, no hormonal changes, just a great stress reaction) I second the dermatologist recommendation. Tea tree oil, Clean and Clear toner and similar lightweight topical treatments won't do you much good.

Aside from the dermatologist, I can really recommend La Roche-Posay's Effaclar line:


The Duo worked great for me during my last bad breakout, before I could see the dermatologist, and I still use it as a spot treatment when I feel a new blemish developing. It's light enough that I can wear it during the day, and reapply, which the prescription stuff is too thick and sticky to do.

I also use the serum, and it is slooowly getting rid of the scars of past breakouts. It's an expensive brand, but worth it.


@upupandaway Seconding the chasteberry. Other thing: Peter Thomas Roth glycolic acid moisturizer makes my skin feel so soft and keeps pores from clogging too much (I guess it's more preventative, but something to try to keep more stuff from happening). #5 - hydroquinone is a skin lightener (for melasma and such) and you can get it from Amazon/pharmacy aisle or CVS/etc, but just be careful because it can make your skin more sensitive and from what I understand, it is NOT meant for long term use. Tea Tree oil is another skin lightener (the scientific name literally means that, but since it's natural, you might need to use it for a longer time before seeing results). Anything with an AHA should help as well. Also I am NOT actually a doctor, so see a dermatologist!


@upupandaway Salicylic acid peels are the only thing that has ever gotten rid of those bumps deep under the skin. I've tried proactiv, I've tried the dermatologist (but never went as far as accutane). This is the only thing that ever worked for me and if you do it yourself at home it's CHEAP (not scary once you get the hang of it). Came recommended by a fellow 'Pinner!



@upupandaway I had this problem when I ditched the pill and there was nothing I could do, short of visiting a dermatologist, to solve the problem. I cleanse every day with a soap that contains 2% salycilic acid and moisturize. When the acne would appear, I spot treated with some neutrogena cream (with 3% benzoyl?!) and it really did nothing until the hormones subsided. It took about a year for my skin to settle down. Unless your willing and able to visit a dermatologist, time and patience may be the only solution.


I'm with Jane on the Retin A Micro, but my skin is fussy enough that if I don't use it every night I'll break out.
Even face wipes. If I wipe the shit out of my face before bed when drunk/lazy it's still not enough.

Nancy Sin

I am just so confused about neutrals and cools and coloring of makeup, and I'm definitely in the camp of blush-to-match-my-[outfit/makeup options].

I've tried looking at my wrist veins but they aren't blue or green - they're turquoise! My eyes are blue-gray with gold, and my hair is naturally ash blonde. I'm fair but I have just enough melanin to go beige after multiple rounds in the sun (WITH SUNSCREEN) and my shoulders are tan. HALP WHAT AM I.

The only time I asked a makeup artist she said cool, and that my MAC color was NC20. But I look best in jewel tones. What the what.


@Nancy Sin Are there any colors of make-up/clothes that just look weird on you? I look weird in orange and yellow and in makeup that's too gold-y toned (MAC Rubenesque I spent so much money on you and you disappointed me!) That's how I figured out to stick to cool tones. If you don't notice these sorts of things you may just have a pretty neutral skin tone.


@Nancy Sin It would make sense that you look great in jewel tones with cool skin! According to Color Me Beautiful it sounds like you'd be a pale Winter.

I am 33 and have attempted to determine my season or warm/cool tone more times than is reasonable, and I still am not sure what color my damn veins are. If I were you, personally, I'd get a vibrant blue-toned pink (like Fruit Cocktail by Bare Escentuals, which I mentioned above, or Mata Hari by Nars, which Jane links to) and dust it on reeeally lightly and blend blend blend. I think a really sheer wash of a vibrant color sounds like it would work really well on you.

Nancy Sin

@insouciantlover Oh how nice! Those are both colors I wouldn't normally consider. Thanks beauty psychic! I am going to check out color me beautiful too :)

Nancy Sin

@Amanda@twitter The only color I think I look bad in is orangey-red, it really washes me out. But conversely a primary blue looks gross too, probably because my eyes aren't true blue. I sometimes think my neutralness is a good thing because with the right makeup I feel like I can get away with a lot.

Jillsy Sloper

@Nancy Sin MAC's warm vs. cool system is the opposite of everyone else's:

every tomorrow@twitter

@Jillsy Sloper Yeah, WHAT IS WITH THAT. I am the coolest person you'll ever meet and I'm NW15, I don't even.


@Nancy Sin
You're probably neutral then. I felt the same way until L'Oreal True Match came out and they had the little translucent guides in stores. Turns out I'm neutral and now I feel comfortable in gold jewelery!


@Nancy Sin What is this thing about wrist vein colors?? I've never heard of that and am fascinated.

Nancy Sin

@supernintendochalmers If you are fair skinned, if you look at your veins and they are blue, you are supposed to be cool, and if they are green, you're warm. But yeah, blue-green.

Nancy Sin

@Jillsy Sloper You just blew my mind. Thank you so much for the link! The woman who professed my coolness was indeed a MAC artist on the side and now it makes so much more sense.


@Nancy Sin Oh, weird! I guess I'm cool then? Not sure that that makes sense though...

Bed Monster

@every tomorrow@twitter They use the same kind of terminology that artist palettes have, I guess. So everything yellow-toned is "cool," and everything pink-toned is "warm." Pretty much every other makeup brand does the opposite, and it makes sense especially when you think about the way gold and silver look (gold being warm, silver being cool). I wish they just said yellow and pink because it's a lot more literal and honestly just makes more sense (you literally look yellower or pinker when you're warmer or cooler toned). Either way, the best way for me to remember MAC's terminology is reading NC and NW as "not cool" and "not warm" since they label the color families exactly opposite from other brands, lol.


I didn't realise there were people not using cobblers.

all the bacon and eggs

LW4: talk to a couple of other women going to the wedding before investing in a gown. Very rarely does "black tie" really mean a floor length gown anymore, despite RULES. I have attended only one black tie (as opposed to black tie optional) wedding, and I was the only person under 40 wearing a floor-length gown. If you go with a cocktail dress that's on the fancy side, you will not look under-dressed. In fact, I would bet that's what the vast majority of the female guests will be wearing.

That said, if you feel like wearing a gown, do it!

polka dots vs stripes

@all the bacon and eggs YES THIS. Get a fancy satin-y dress from J Crew's bridal sections (I prefer the sale section but YMMV) and you'll be set. I was at a black tie wedding where the only people in formalwear to that level were the military attendees, the bride/groom's parties, and a few older people.


@all the bacon and eggs Unless this wedding is in Mexico, in which case every lady will be in a floor-length dress except the Americans.

all the bacon and eggs

@RationalHatter Really?? When I went to a wedding in Mexico, every lady was wearing a WHITE dress except the Americans, which was awkward as hell because (i) of course that's a total no-no for Americans, and (ii) my friends and I looked like total jerks towering over everyone in pink/red dresses. I think the white dress issue completely obscured for me the length of the dresses, because I can't remember that for the life of me.


@all the bacon and eggs Yes, agree, most will be in cocktail dresses. You can't go wrong with a fancy black cocktail dress with sparkly accessories.

Tuna Surprise

@all the bacon and eggs
I agree. I went to two black tie weddings of my contemporaries. Each time I wore knee length dresses and fit in. One was a black silk chiffon dress and the other black velvet. Both times, the accessories (blingy jewellery, satin shoes, satin clutches, fancy makeup, salon hair) were what took the ensemble from regular event to black tie.

Lily Rowan

@all the bacon and eggs Yeah, I was going to say -- unless you run with a super fancy crowd, most women will be in cocktail dresses, I bet.

polka dots vs stripes

1) Yes to cobblers!

2) Has anyone else had a bride tell them TO match their wedding colors? I borrowed a dress from a girl who's wedding is this Friday and the dress is coincidentally her wedding color. She offhandedly mentioned I should wear it to her wedding because "you'll match the theme!" I wasn't planning on it, but since she said so, I figured I should go for it. I feel like I should mention this dress is a prior bridesmaid dress - would it be a faus pax to wear it, even if she was the one who brought it up?!
2.a) Weddings are stressful! But so much fun.

every tomorrow@twitter

@polka dots vs stripes One time I was at a wedding and one of the bride's relatives scolded me for wearing one of the wedding colors, which I had no idea was one of the wedding colors. idk I just felt like telling that story.

If the bride told you to wear it though you totally should. Also some bridesmaids dresses are just brightly colored cocktail dresses and no one is going to be like LOL THAT IS A BRIDESMAID DRESS unless you're standing next to two+ other women in the same dress? I guess you could ask the bride if she was serious if you're really worried. I mean, if you match you will look good in the photos?

fondue with cheddar

@every tomorrow@twitter If the bride doesn't want you to wear the wedding colors, I think she should say so in the invite. A friend of mine got married in a red dress and requested that the guests refrain from wearing red. And it worked! Well, except for someone who dressed as Dr. Horrible (it was a Halloween wedding), but he was a dude and good friend so they didn't mind.

The Lady of Shalott

@polka dots vs stripes One time at work I was helping a woman who NEEDED to have a dress in bright aqua blue, because she said the bride's colours were bright aqua and bright orange, and she HAD to wear something with the bride's colours. Except then she kept calling the bride and the bride literally told her "I don't care what you wear" since this woman was just a guest at the wedding, and then crazy lady came to me and kept asking me what I thought she should wear--aqua or orange.

I don't understand but I like this story and this seemed like an appropriate place to share it.

fondue with cheddar

@The Lady of Shalott I love the idea of aqua and orange for a wedding!

I feel sorry for the bride. That lady sounds pretty annoying.

Jillsy Sloper

I would be *very, very cautious* with laser hair removal if you already have pigmentation problems. Lasers are aiming for the melanin in hair, and there is a lot of melanin in your dark-pigmented skin. I know lasers have gotten more sophisticated since I had my bad experience with lasers and hyperpigmentation, but I'm just putting it out there.

I had a wonderful experience with electrolysis, and can recommend a practitioner in Manhattan if anyone's interested.

glow bug

Does no one go to thrift stores anymore? There are so many worn-once, discarded, beautiful formal dresses at thrift stores!

up cubed

@pigforker I always start at Goodwill for formal events, but it always takes multiple visits and sometimes buying a back-up dress in case the perfect design in the right size doesn't come along.


"You have a shoemaker?"

"...do you not?"


Argh, blush. I have all the red in my skin, so I don't do blush. But sometimes I feel like I should. But then I think about all the primers and concealers I'd need to get to beauty base zero and then all the blushers and highlighters it would taker to redistribute the red in a socially sanctioned spot, and I think "NO."

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@TheLetterL SAME. My skin is pretty red normally as well, and sometimes I get caught up in thinking about the "fun" aspects of wearing makeup, but I feel like it's a slippery slope where I'm adding in more and more products, spending more and more time and money, worrying more and more about how I look at any given moment (did I smear x? is y coming off? does z look weird in this light?) and I think, "ugh, I do NOT need this." I mean, there are definitely tons and tons of ladies who make it work (keep on keepin' on, ladies), but I kind of just have to accept how I look naturally (slight lady 'stache, dark circles, redness/blotchiness, not-small pores and all) because to try to correct it all is too exhausting.


@Katzen-party Yup! On a regular day, I do some quick and light coverage, something along the lines of tinted moisturizer or BB cream. That's it. (Eyeliner if I have an extra 30 seconds) The redness shows through, but guess what? On a bad day, the redness will STILL show through several layers of meticulously applied make-up. Only one of these routines leaves me time for a second cup of coffee...and, you know, my sanity.


@TheLetterL I have redness too, but my theory is that I use tinted moisturizer to kind of take everything down, and then I use blush to make the red that still comes through less noticeable everywhere else. Distraction!


I think Illamasqua's Naked Rose may possibly be the answer to all blush questions ever.
Review with pics if you want to see how it looks on a MAC NC15 (not sure how pale you are, LW1): http://www.makeuputopia.com/magazine/illamasqua-naked-rose-powder-blusher-review-photos-swatches
NOTE: I do write for this website but I am not the author of this review.


Also, it's available at Myer online for $28 AUD (with the exchange rate the way it is, you're looking at maybe $30 US). Free shipping! (but also: international shipping if you're outside Oz so maybe you'll be waiting a while [but it's worth it])

more linkage:

sceps yarx

Death to bronzer!!! I love makeup and I love girls that wear a lot of makeup but when I see a girl wearing bronzer it always just looks like poorly matched foundation to me.


@sceps yarx Yeah I don't get it either.

Regina Phalange

I just think Simon Doonan hasn't seen the rich-lady-sunglasses bronzer application video. He'll come back to our side, don't worry.

(I say this fully admitting that if there's a Church of Simon Doonan, I am the church lady doing the newsletter and running the bake sale.)


Really, Jane, listening to Simon Doonan? I refuse to read his articles on Slate because they are just. so. terrible. And infuriating. And always classist, often misogynistic. No, he isn't the clever and deliciously bitchy gay male friend we all wish we had - he's mean spirited and shallow and angering.

I think the last piece of his I read on purpose was the one in which he advised that large breasts were out of fashion, and whorish, while small breasted women were fun and fashionable and sophisticated. Fuck you, Simon, for telling me my body isn't this year's latest accessory. And fuck you some more for talking about small breasts as though they only exist on young, slender women, and are of course round and perky. Yup, that one touched a nerve for me, but even before then I just could not understand why people would enjoy his observations.


@swirrlygrrl So, what, we're supposed to get breast surgery every time the style shifts?

(Also, I have yet to hear anyone actually attracted to women say "she looked great, except for that ginormous rack" or "she would've been smokin' hot, except her boobs were too big.)


@swirrlygrrl I assume you are familiar then with Simon Doonan's labeling of foods that are straight and foods that are gay. He lost me there.


Joe Fresh has these highlighter blushes, and they are amazing. I may own two. And want more! I have the peachy coloured one, but I might go for a pinker one. Personally, I like a cream blush better than a power blush, I find it lasts a lot longer, and is a bit easier to blend? Also I wear all the blush colours all the time, and when I'm not sure, I wear this highlighter in one of the neutral shades.
It comes in more colours than it shows here

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Is it okay for me to ask about nail polish even though Jane didn't cover them in this column?
(Although thank you thank you, THANK YOU for talking about blush because apparently it's a makeup thing that people wear? and I have no idea how to do blush)

So, if I may: I have this polish on (it's a matte from China Glaze) and it chips like... like a thin slice of potato that's been fried. So here are my questions:
1- Is all China Glaze this crappy? I sort of bought my first 4 bottles of it at once so I hope not.
2- HOW do I fix the chipping? At first I tried Essie 3-way glaze as a base, and then one or two coats. (Usually I wait until the next day for topcoat.) Then I tried no base coat, 2 coats of polish, and OPI Rapid Dry topcoat. gaaaah I just want to keep this polish on for a day, possibly more. Suggestions are more than welcome.
3- Apparently matte topcoats are a thing that exist? Can someone recommend one so I can keep the cool matte finish on this polish?

Gracefully and Grandly

@Rookie I've never used China Glaze, but Seche Vite is a great top coat. It really makes any nail polish I've used look great and makes the polish last a while (more than a week?) Definitely try it!

Edited to add that I just noticed you're talking about matte polish. Seche vite is definitely not matte. I think essie made a matte top coat at one point, that might be more what you're looking for?


@Rookie I adore nail polish,and will happily spew about it all day long. Matte polishes tend to chip.

Not all China Glaze is crappy, it varies from color to color.

Essie makes a matte top coat, and so does Nails Inc.

Are you wiping down the surface of your nails with acetone before applying a base? If not, try doing that, getting all the oils off helps everything to stick better.

I use a rubberizer base coat thingy by Orly, so you can also try that. Good luck!


@Rookie This is a matte polish thing--matte polish, no matter what the the brand, will chip like crazy. I think it's still a problem with matte top coats, too.

sarah girl

@Rookie Also, polishes that are really packed with fine glitter tend to dry very brittle. If you want glitter, try something a little more subtle, it'll probably dry more nicely!


@Rookie I have some China Glaze (non-matte) that doesn't chip for ever, and I usually chip my nails in the first 45 minutes. I think it's the matte, because I have serious chipping problems with my matte polish too. I bought some matte top coat from Sephora (the OPI for Sephora or whatever), but I haven't used it yet, so that's not very helpful.


@professionalmess When I was playing with matte top coats for a bit, I found that the matte topcoat was definitely less durable than my usual Seche Vite topcoat. However, a matte topcoat over a regular, long-lasting polish was less prone to chipping than straight-up matte polishes.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@celeec4@twitter @all
Thank you all so much for the help!

I think Seche Vite should be easy enough to find in nail polish stores... I've tried the Essie equivalent and it was alright.

@Sarah H. Sorry, but I literally made a pouty face and was all like "But I like THIS nail polish," although you're right. If it's a crappy polish and I choose to wear it, I'll just have to deal with the chipping.

More suggestions are welcome, if anyone has them!

sarah girl

@Rookie It's not that the polish is crappy! It's just something about how the formula changes when you pack it with glitter. I still happily wear the glitterbomb polishes, I just accept that it'll only last for a couple of days. :)

Jenny Z@twitter

Oh my gosh, Simon Doonan!
Please tell me all you Simon Doonan fans have watched "Beautiful People" because it is GLORIOUS.


I generally consider Jane to be beyond reproach, but in this instance Miss Manners pulls her trump card. You simply Can. Not. wear black to a wedding. It's so boring! Girls, look alive!

fondue with cheddar

@kac Um...I usually wear black to weddings. Is it okay if the dress is fabulous?


@kac I think this "rule" is regional. Where I grew up, never would you wear black to a wedding. Where I now live, it's standard.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@hungrybee Yeah, my old-school family doesn't believe in wearing black to weddings BUT if it doesn't look like srs black, you're good. I've worn this floaty black chiffon dress to a bunch of family weddings, with no side-eye at all!

El Grande Fluffio

LW5, Threading! Find a good threader while you look for the electrolysis person -- or just keep getting threaded. It is also great for your eyebrows. And a friend of mine who used to be a model and is 50something and looks 30 or 40something told me that waxing the upper lip is bad because it pulls on your skin and creates wrinkles. May or may not be true, but she is gorgeous and trustworthy generally. I also have the pigmentation thing on my upper lip, like @sevenatta above, it looks like lipliner which would be cool if it were also on my bottom lip because then it would be even, but it's not, so it isn't.


@El Grande Fluffio AH, FINALLY, SOMEBODY SAID IT. Yes, threading all the way. It is so much cleaner and you don't even really have to aim. You can pay someone to do it or learn how to do it yourself. Plus, it exfoliates your skin, so yay.


@El Grande Fluffio And you can totally do it yourself! There are great, hilarious how-to videos on youtube. Just do a search and sit back and enjoy. Watching someone thread their own upper lip is surprisingly entertaining. Still can't do my own eyebrows, tho.

El Grande Fluffio

@ironhoneybee Seriously? You can do it yourself? I am impressed and amazed. Will check out those videos. and @hijabeng, I didn't know it also exfoliated. That explains that awesome smoothness.

the angry little raincloud

@El Grande Fluffio @ironhoneybee That is amazing that you could thread yourself. Whoa.

Anyway. Yes to threading! For those of you in NYC, that threading place in the Rock Center concourse is actually very, very good. I get my brows done there for $8, I'm very happy, and I've been going there for years. Lips are $5, but I finally got fed up with dealing with it so I'm getting it lasered off, which long-term is financially more responsible anyway (thank you, Groupon. You suck for restaurants, are awesome for zapping away my hair).

sarah girl

Thank you for reminding me about that D'Angelo video.

Jane Marie

@Sarah H. you got it

Disco Sheets

You guys, I have the OPPOSITE pigmentation problem of LW5--I've never waxed/bleached my upper lip, but it is recently WAY lighter than the rest of the skin on my face? To the point that my mom, upon seeing me for the first time in a few months, was like, "Oh, you've started bleaching your upper lip?" Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? What do I dooooo?


@Disco Sheets - This goes against my "the sun is the worst thing in the world, wear a garbage can on your head so even a slight peek doesn't make it through and taint your pretty face" philosophy, but what if you like, went tanning but covered up your whole face except your lip? Clearly somewhere private.


I know I'm a little late to the party, and I think I've stated this on here before, but CHEEK STAIN!!! Specifically Benefit BeneTint Lip and Cheek stain, the red kind. I've been doing the makeup thing for like 11 years, and I've never found a blush product that so naturally made me look like I just came in from the cold. I feel like it would look good with anyone's skin tone, a bottle lasts over a year (and I use it LIBERALLY on both my lips and cheeks), and it never fades all day. I'm on my second bottle and I'm in love.


@Elleohelle Dissenting voice over here! I find cheek stain sooo hard to apply, and then it finds wrinkles and imperfections and sits in them. I feel like it's only for those with perfect skin texture who never have dry skin - lucky jerks ;)


@Elleohelle And now they have multiple colors! Posie is my daily jam, but sometimes I break out the classic. I cannot say enough good things about it.


@gobblegirl Ahh see I have the opposite problem of super oily skin, so it works ok for me! I can see how that would happen, though, because it's pretty much a straight up liquid. Highjump is right- They have a couple of other colors as well, and I think those are more the consistency of nail polish, so they might be worth a shot? Posietint is a really pretty shade.


LW 5: Try threading, if it's available at a salon near you! Way, way cheaper than lasers or electrolysis, but doesn't tear off that layer of skin that causes the discoloration you're experiencing.

Charlsie Kate

Black tie doesn't have to mean long dress. You can wear a sexy short dress that isn't too tight but made out of fancy material and high heels with your hair up, with some jewels, and you will be just fine.

I've been to about 50 weddings, literally, and down here in the South, people love nothing more than a 7 o'clock wedding with mandatory tux for men, but I've never worn a long dress to a wedding that I wasn't a bridesmaid.

Chiffon and silk and low backs and upswept hair with heels will take you everywhere. Make sure you have a sexy little bag too.

Buy something you will wear again. Unless it is a noon, white tie wedding, I wouldn't feel compelled to wear a long dress.


COBBLERS! I'm addicted to vintage boots, so cobblers are a must. LOVE THEM!


Girls, I am so happy with all the upper lip skin pigmentation love going on here. I thought I was all alone in this. I have been suffering with this since the birth of my son in 2007 and it's only become worse since then (despite my use of 100 percent sun block and running from the sun like a vampire). Even a few minutes of
direct sunlight can darken the "freckles" a shade or two and I look like a prepubescent boy. I tried Cliniques lightening cream which I guess worked? Idk though because I did it in the dead of winter when I wasn't outside anyway. I am totes going to try the lemon juice trick.

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I...don't blush? Like, ever? My face sometimes turns bright red from exercise, but I've never blushed from embarrassment or anything like that.
Then again, I don't sweat either, so I'm probably just a freak.

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@glittercock (Oh wait. I totally misread your comment. I do blush. I initially read that you don't wear blush ever, which is my case. And I most certainly sweat. You are a higher being.)

Anyway...I have no idea how to apply blush. It is a befuddling, frightening product.

But... I was testing Nars Orgasm and other illuminators the other day. (Supposedly, as a pale girl Copacabana should be my shade, but Super Orgasm was the most flattering.) Anyway. None of them really did anything for me. The next day I went to yoga, and when I left, all gross and sweaty (like dripping), I looked in the mirror and I was freaking glowing. As in I had exactly the effect that Orgasm is supposed to conjure forth, except this looked better and not cakey or shimmery.

Yes, I admit it, I do yoga purely to look prettier. Inner peace schminner schmeace. (Fine, that's a nice bonus.)


I did it in the dead of winter when I wasn't outside anyway. I am totes going to try the lemon juice trick. sora class nj


I looked in the mirror and I was freaking glowing. As in I had exactly the effect that Orgasm is supposed to conjure forth, except this looked better and not cakey or shimmery. buy facebook fans


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@Amanda@twitter Hot pink blush can look great, and I don't think the goal is to match your skin when you're actually blushing, because that would be really really hard. You just want it to look pretty like so, but you might want to use just a little bit less during the day. carpet cleaning battersea


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