Beauty Q&A: Summer Skin, Summer Feet, Summer Face

I love the look of a bold lip, like red or bright pink, especially in the summer. I look kind of silly when I try it, though. Help, please!

No you don’t, you look beautiful! Here’s are a few rules of thumb, and then I’m gonna suggest some radical ‘sticks for you to try:

– This summer, try a matte lipstick or a lip stain. Not only are these “in,” they’ll have a little more staying power on sweaty days.

– Go easy with makeup on the rest of your face. When I wear a bright lip, I pencil in brows, maybe do a thin line of black liquid liner and mascara, and then a light blush. That’s it.

– Remember: No one thinks you look silly! Have you ever looked at another lady with this look and been like, “jeez, she looks silly!” Do I look silly? If I do, try to figure out what exactly about me makes you feel that way and don’t do that thing. I doubt you’re constantly seeing other women with bright lips and then pointing and laughing, right? Great, so now it’s your turn.

This is my favorite hot-hot pink, the one I’m wearing in the photo (it’s way hotter pink than it looks online) and it has the stupidest name. Here’s my #1 lip stain, I like it in Guava. And they discontinued my reddest matte red at Shu Uemura, so I guess I’m looking for suggestions?

I have a fashion question on my mind, and I’m seeking your sage advice. Just in time for Memorial Day, I bought a pair of white linen pants. They are slim, well-fitting, and generally awesome, but damn, they are not opaque. What kind of underpinnings might I wear to prevent pseudo-flashing the world? The only thing that occurred to me was to find a pair of biking shorts or boy shorts that approximated my skin tone, but then the VPLs and people might know I’m wearing biking shorts and ugh…

Girl, I feel you. I have a white linen shirt dress and had to trial and error my way to these (on the right).

They also come in a thong. Just remember to never ever wear white underwear under sheer white clothes because it’ll look double-white. Like glowing, bright white underwear.

After I’ve spent time or money on my hair, how do I wake up the next morning with it still looking that way after tossing and turning? I usually iron or get a blow out, and then the next morning it looks like a bird’s nest. If I put it in a ponytail then there is a ridge and it’s no longer straight and pretty. Help!

Welp, I don’t think you can wake up with perfectly straight hair if you have any sort of natural wave or curl, or if you have any sort of fun before you crash *wink-wink* so it’ll require a quick touch-up by you with a blow dryer and round brush in the morning. You could use an iron, but I find the bounce the blow dryer gives to be sexier. BUT! One thing to try that works for me is to gather your hair in back at the nape of your neck, loosely twist it into a long, ropey twist (but not too tight), and clip the end of the twist to the top of your head with a little claw clip. You’ll wake up with a much smaller mess to take care of. Either that or try one of these and report back to us.

I seem to have some kind of Excessively Shiny Face Syndrome — and not in an awesome glowy sort of way. I typically use a acne-fighting toner before a primer and loose mineral powder (both Smashbox), which look great when first applied, but within a short time my face is so shiny I could probably blind oncoming traffic with the light glaring off my forehead (and nose and cheeks). Add to that the sweat factor now that we’re hitting summer and my face becomes practically incandescent. I’m tired of constantly blotting and still having my face be a giant flash-reflector in photos. How can I make my skin look radiant in all the right ways?

By washing your face and re-applying your makeup every two hours. Seriously! Either that or you can do a few things to tone down the shine a little in addition to realizing that moist summer skin is pretty sexy. It’s what we wait for all winter while we pick giant dry flakes of flesh off our cheeks with tweezers. Right? Doesn’t everyone do that?

What may help is cutting your skin a little slack. If you dry it out too much with toners and mattefying chemicals, your sebaceous glands can start to over-produce oils. So maybe try one fewer product to combat the shine. And I know you said you’re blotting, but have you tried these blotting papers? They have powder, err, I mean poudré in them and they are pretty.

Sandal season is here, and, as usual, my feet are completely grody. My heels are cracked, my big toenails are broken on the corners and weird shaped. If I get a pedicure, they’ll look like this again in two days. This is after a hapless man puts the stinging acid on my feet and laboriously rasps away at them. I also bought a cream that horrifyingly contains urea as an active ingredient. This seems somewhat effective, but I don’t want this crap on the inside of my socks, or sheets or shoes. I don’t have time to put my feet up with cream on for hours a day! You might think I spend all winter walking around outside barefoot or something, but I swear I don’t! Please share your secrets for lovely, feminine feet!

I believe you! First off, I’m gonna recommend you get on a regular bi-weekly (at least; weekly if you can afford it) pedicure schedule. And I don’t know where you’re going that they use ACID but yikes! What? I think you should practice saying “No!” to people who do things like that to you. Just get regular pedicures regularly, and over time you’ll notice a huge difference, I promise. It’s a cumulative thing.

Next, do you have a PedEgg? AHHHH!!! Throwing a handful of icky feet shavings in the trash once a week is one of the great pleasures of my life.

And last, my former mother-in-law bought me these Avon moisturizing socks before my wedding because GOD FORBID I climb into my marital bed with her son and scrape my icky heel skin up against him, which is, we all know, the leading cause of divorce. But they did work. You put cocoa or shea butter on your feet and wear them to bed or while you watch The Food Network.

Previously: Pack and Travel, Pack and Travel.

Jane Feltes produces the radio program “This American Life,” and no one pays her to say any of this. Do you have a question for Jane?