Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning, and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I got some great questions this week, thanks for sending them! Read on about applying nail polish perfectly, making fragrance last and a Mary Kay question.

Dear Brooke, What’s the best way to apply nail polish? I get my nails filed, buffed, and ready for polish, and when I apply it, it seems to clump up and I make a mess all over my hands. Help! Renee H.

Dear Renee, I know how annoying it is to not only mess up the polish on your nails, but to get the color all over your hands…what a mess! Polishing your nails after a manicure can be on the messy side, and I know a lot of people tend to rush through that step. The most important thing to do is, slow down, and try this method of polishing your nails that I learned in beauty school: Start at the center of your nail, and polish a stripe down the middle of your nail, from the cuticle to the tip. Apply a stroke of polish on either side of the first stripe, getting the entire nail polished in 3 strokes. Let this dry for a few minutes, and apply a second coat of polish following the same steps. Follow this method, and you won’t have a problem with the polish clumping (unless it’s old) and you won’t make a mess all over your hands.

Dear Brooke, I love fragrance, and I have favorite scents I wear all year round. I notice I reapply the fragrance a lot during the day because the smell fades so fast. What can I do get it to stay longer, and not waste so much money buying more? Louise L.

Dear Louise, Nobody wants their scent to fade throughout the day! BUT…An important thing to remember is this: someone once told me if you can smell the fragrance on yourself, it smells strong to others. So, just because you’re not smelling it throughout the day, doesn’t mean others can’t. However, if you are truly noticing your fragrance doing a disappearing act, you can try a couple of things to keep smelling great all day and not have to reapply. The best thing I can tell you to do is apply your fragrance on top of your body lotion. It works best if your lotion is the same scent as your fragrance, but if it’s not, don’t worry. Dry skin can’t hold scents for a long time, so keep the areas where you apply your fragrance hydrated and that should help the scent last longer. Make sure you are applying the fragrance to pulse points, because those parts of your body give off the most heat and will release the scent throughout the day. Also, spray a little bit of the fragrance on your clothes, and on your hair that will give off some scent every time you move.

Dear Brooke, I purchased the TimeWise Microdermabrasion set from Mary Kay. I prefer my routine simple, so I only use Step 1 of this set. I tried to see if my sister would want the Step 2 for any reason, and she freaked out on me! She said it’s imperative that I use Step 2 of this set; I think it’s one more step I don’t want to add. Who’s right? Julie K.

Dear Julie, I hate to break it to you, but your sister is right in this situation. I know it may feel like “one more step”, but the set was sold with a Step 1 and a Step 2 for a reason. I have used the Timewise Microdermabrasion you are talking about, and as good as Step 1 feels, my skin feels pretty amazing after Step 2. Look at it this way: Step 1 is taking away old skin, and helping minimize fine lines and wrinkles. What it’s also doing is stripping the skin of natural oils and nutrients, which get put back into the skin in Step 2. Because Step 1 has exposed all that new skin, Step 2 is going to absorb better, giving you the maximum results in this product. Try both steps, and I am positive you’ll notice a difference. It only takes a few seconds. Let me know how it goes!

Once again, thank you so much for all the great questions this week. Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Quick Tip Friday

For all your beauty advice…

Still using a metal curling iron or flatiron? Make the switch to ceramic! Metal styling tools have “hot spots” that can cause heat damage to your hair. Ceramic tools evenly distribute heat for a more uniform style, keep frizz away and add shine to your mane. It’s worth the investment!

You’ve Been Beautified!

D.I.Y. Home Hair Color

For all your beauty advice…

One of the questions I get asked the most is this: What are some tips on applying my own hair color, and what brands do you suggest I buy from the grocery store? Well, answering the first part of this question is pretty easy, but I do struggle with suggestions on boxed hair color. I did a test-run about a year ago to report on boxed hair color, and the end result was dry, damaged hair with a color that didn’t look good. It took a long time to get my hair back into shape, so when people ask me what hair color they can buy themselves, I always suggest a trip to Sally Beauty Supply. It’s professional product available to the public, and so much better for you than the box hair color.

So, that’s my struggling answer on what brand to buy. The first part of the question is pretty simple and I am always more than happy to give some how-to tips on doing your hair color yourself. First rule I swear by is this:

Do not wash your hair the day you are coloring your hair. Why? Well, hair color will take to hair that is slightly dirty because shampoo can strip the hair of natural oils, and it’s important to have natural oils present because the color will adhere better to your hair.

Brush your hair good before you start. This is important so you can get all the tangles out of your hair, and brushing will help you distribute the natural oils evenly throughout the hair. BUT…try to stay away from your scalp because if you brush too hard, you can scratch your scalp, and when hair color gets on an open wound of any kind, it’s painful, so be careful.

Apply a barrier. Take Vaseline, or a thick conditioner and apply it right under the hair-line on the forehead, the temples, the tops of the ears, and below your hairline on your neck. Applying a product like this will help keep the hair color from staining your skin. Any color that gets on the product you apply under the hair-line will wipe right off.

Section the hair. You’ll want to do what’s called a “T” part. Take a comb and part in down the center of your hair from forehead to neck, then take the comb and part it in the other direction from the top of one ear, to the top of the other ear. You will have 4 sections of hair now, so pin them up to keep the hair in sections.

Apply the color. Follow directions on the package, whether it’s box color, or pro color, and mix the color. Put on gloves, and apply the hair color to the roots of your hair, focusing on the roots first. The hair at the root is known as “virgin” hair because there are no chemicals on it, so the color has to stay on the roots longer than on the ends. The ends of the hair tend to be drier and the color will adhere faster to the ends. Finish the first section, pin that section back up, and repeat this process on the remaining sections.

Wait. The least fun process, because sitting still waiting for hair to color, is literally like watching paint dry. May I suggest a home pedicure while the color processes? Typically, hair color takes about 15-20 minutes to process. I usually let it process on the roots for 15 minutes and in the remaining 5 minutes, I comb the color to the ends of the hair. This will keep the color even and freshen up the color on the ends of the hair.

Rinse. When it’s time to rinse (try to keep your gloves on for this), some hair colors don’t require a shampoo. In fact, the color itself will lather slightly and then you rinse it out and apply the conditioner provided. That’s usually found in box color. With pro color, it’s ok to gently shampoo and then follow with a light conditioner, but one that’s a good detangler. Either way, make sure you rinse well and get all the hair color off of your hair and scalp.

You’re done! So, now it’s time to either let it air dry and leave it alone, or style your hair like you normally do. You will notice that your hair will feel thicker, look shinier, and style better when you color your hair. It adds a little “oomph” to your hair, and that’s why coloring your hair is so fabulous! Try not to shampoo your hair for at least 24 hours, but try to push it to 48 hours to let the color get into the hair shaft for good, and the top layer of the hair can naturally close. The longer you wait to shampoo, the longer your color should last.

Don’t forget! Wear an old t-shirt, and use old towels, and if you are really messy…put down some newspaper or old towels on the floor so you don’t stain the floors.

Hope these tips help on doing your hair color yourself! Let me know what other D.I.Y. tips you would like!

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty On A Budget…Jergens Overnight Repair

For all your beauty advice…

Your skin repairs itself all on its own, but with the help of some fancy products, it can happen faster. Old cells slough off, new cells show up, and younger, healthier skin is there on your face for all the world to see. That’s great in facial skin care, but what about the rest of your skin, especially this time of year? This time of year, most of us start getting dry patches on our skin, that can sometimes turn raw and painful. I was so happy to come across a lotion that helps repair your body at night.

I got a sample of Jergens Overnight Repair lotion recently. I’m crazy about lotion…almost as crazy as I am about lipgloss. I read up on this Overnight Repair lotion (I’m a geek like that!) and was anxious to give it a try. I have this really dry spot on my elbow…singular…one elbow is insanely dry, while the other elbow is just fine. It’s really strange, and nothing I’ve tried has worked, so I gave this lotion a test run on that spot only. I know I say this a lot, but a little went a really long way. Maybe that’s just because I was using it on a small spot, but it lasted me almost a week. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, this stuff is truly amazing! In less than a week, this little sample of lotion made my dry, patchy, itchy elbow, soft and smooth. But wait…there’s more! (infomercial reference, you had to see that phrase coming!)

Like most lotions I rave about, this one had to pass the scent test, and it did. It smells really nice. Not flowery, not powdery…just nice. It absorbs fast, but not so fast that it doesn’t feel like you didn’t put lotion on your skin. What I really liked about it is this: most lotions that make a promise of repairing your skin tend to itch or burn because that means the product is “working”. While I’m ok with that in a facial product, I am not ok with that in a body product. There is no itching or burning with this lotion. It just feels like relief and it’s great to know that you’ll wake up with softer skin and rough patches pretty much gone.

Feet ever feel like sandpaper? Try this lotion, you’ll notice a difference within days. The best part of all? It’s super affordable, so you don’t have to budget it into your checkbook at all. I picked it up for $5.00 for a 21 oz. bottle. Plus, keep your eyes open when you flip through coupons in the Sunday paper. I found a coupon for $1.00 off this product, so I really got it for $4.00. At that price, I don’t have to hide it from my family…I can actually share it with them (not that I enjoy that).

If you’re looking for a lotion that will help get rid of dry spots once and for all, try this Overnight Repair. And, after you try it, report back to me and let me know what you think of it. And of course, if you have already tried it, tell me what you think! I want to know if you love it like I do.

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Thank you all so much for the great questions you always send me. Read on about taking care of your skin after the gym, getting rid of redness after waxing, and manscaping!

Dear Brooke, I just started working out on my lunch hour, and I feel great! The only problem is, I’ve noticed breakouts on my face and back, and my hair looks awful when I have to go back to work. What can I do to get the breakouts under control and bring my hair back to life? Mandy A.

Dear Mandy, Good for you on working out over lunch! It’s a great way to re-energize in the middle of the day, but I totally understand what you’re saying about the breakouts and the lifeless hair. Removing sweat and oil after doing any kind of cardio is crucial to keep breakouts from happening. Facial cleansing wipes are a really great product to throw in your gym bag and keep your skin clean when you’re done working out. A few brands I really like are Philosophy Purity Wipes, Neutrogena Cleansing Cloths, and Yes To Cucumbers. Lots of brands are hopping on the facial wipe bandwagon, so the choice is yours. Just use the cloths, and reapply a little foundation and your face is good to go. As far as your hair, a dry shampoo is perfect after the gym for a hair pick-me-up. I love Batiste and Jonathan Green Rootine dry shampoo. Both products will absorb sweat and oil, and freshen up your ‘do.

Dear Brooke, I like to think I’ve become a bit of an expert at waxing my own brows. My problem is, after I’m done, the area I’ve waxed is red and so swollen. The stuff that comes with the kit claims to take the swelling down, but I think it’s worthless. What can I do to get rid of the redness? Rita D.

Dear Rita, Good for you on mastering waxing your own brows. You’re saving yourself a ton of money! Redness and swelling on the area you’ve waxed is pretty much unavoidable, but you can do a couple of steps to keep the redness down and get rid of it a little bit faster. Take an anti-inflammatory, like Advil, about 20 minutes before you wax. This will help with the swelling, and the pain. Also, once you’re finished waxing, rub an ice-cube over the area that’s red and let it melt away. Yes, the ice will be cold, cold, cold, but the cold will take the swelling down, and it will help numb the area and keep that itching sensation away.

Dear Brooke, I’m the least metro-sexual guy in the world, but I’ve been thinking about “manscaping”. Thoughts, comments, suggestions? Todd. G.

Dear Todd, I love questions from male readers, thanks! “Manscaping” for those of you who don’t know, is going hairless, or keeping areas on the face and body that have hair, sleek and groomed. I see nothing wrong with trimming back the eyebrows, or even getting your eyebrows waxed to clean up the area. As far as chest, legs, arms, or any other areas, that’s a personal decision, and the only person it’s affecting is you…and your significant other. If you’re suffering from any kind of rash, or skin condition, removing the hair from that area may help the condition because the hair holds on to oil, sweat, etc. and can annoy the rash further. But, if you’re wanting to do it for a more groomed look, go for it. Most people appreciate a well-groomed man. Check out gillette.com, for some great how-to tips for guys.

Once again, thanks for the great questions this week, and keep them coming! Email me your question for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Quick Tip Friday

For all your beauty advice…

When washing your face, applying makeup, or applying any kind of skin care, always use upward motions on your face. Using upward, circular motions keep the muscles in your face toned. Using downward motions can encourage sagging, and nobody wants that!

You’ve Been Beautified!

January Contest…It’s Not Too Late!!

For all your beauty advice…

Just a reminder that it’s not too late to get your name entered into the wonderful, awesome, amazing, hydrating January Contest!!

A full size bottle of Body Drench, in the scent Citrus Blossoms, is up for grabs. Just reply to this post, or write on my Facebook wall, that you want entered into the contest, and your name goes in! Hurry up and do it! January is almost over and the winner will be chosen soon. Tell your friends!

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty Rituals One Should Never Do When In A Hurry Or A Bad Mood

For all your beauty advice…

Have you ever been in a huge rush, or worse, throwing a bit of a fit when you’ve been brushing your hair? If so, chances are you’ve been brushing so rough and so fast, you either ripped out a good hunk of your hair, or your bruised your forehead or scalp. Come on, we’ve all done it. The last time this happened to me, it got me thinking that there are quite a few beauty rituals we do on a daily basis, but should probably be avoided if we’re in a hurry, or in a bad mood.

Putting On Mascara: This is one ritual you never want to do in a rough manner, or in a rush. It never fails, just when you think the product is going on perfectly, you swipe one too many times and BAM! That wand makes direct contact with your eyeball, and that hurts like crazy. So, now you have a sore eye, and product all over your eye…have fun cleaning that one up!

Blow Drying Your Hair: Just like brushing your hair is a bad idea if you’re rushing, or pouting, blow drying your hair is going to cause you the same problems. While you’re absent-mindedly cursing the person, or situation that has you fired up, you’re probably going to be too rough on your hair, causing hair to be pulled out. Or worse, being too rough with the blow dryer and the brush, and getting the brush tangled in your hair. And the icing on the cake is when you’re not paying attention and you move one way, while the blow dryer is being moved another and a collision happens. Conking your head with the blow dryer hurts, and it’s just going to make you more upset.

Applying Bronzer: Trying to give yourself the natural glow with some bronzer is a quick process, but if you do it when you’re in a hurry, or irritated, you’re going to apply too much all over your face, instead of just a little on certain areas of your face to give you an inner glow. You’ll end up looking like a bronzed mess.

Shaving Your Legs: Rushing in the shower trying to run a razor through shaving cream is a bad idea. Too many bad things can happen if you shave while angry…knicks, cuts, hair left behind…just slow down and don’t take your frustration out on your razor.

You may be reading this wondering if all this is first hand information. I’ll be honest…yes, it is. I’ve been in a rush before and messed up my mascara, or irritated and took it out on my hair with the blow dryer. It’s good to remind ourselves to slow down, and do these rituals with a steady hand.

Ok, I came clean, now it’s your turn. What beauty rituals should you never do when you’re in a hurry, or in a bad mood? Can’t wait to hear!

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday

For all your beauty advice…

Good morning, and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Thanks for the great questions this week. Read on about naturally plumping your lips, easing the pain of tweezing, and “bruising” perfume.

Dear Brooke, I don’t want to do any kind of injections, but I want my lips to look fuller. Any tricks, or tips on giving me some volume in my lips? Alice B.

Dear Alice, a quick way to make your lips look fuller is very simple, you just need an old toothbrush, and some vaseline. Put vaseline on your lips, and let it set for a minute or two, run the toothbrush under warm water while the vaseline is setting. Gently move the toothbrush in small circles over your lips. This will gently exfoliate the lips, making them extra soft, and it’s increasing the circulation in that area, so they will look fuller. Make sure you use a good lip balm after you’ve done this, to add moisture back into the delicate skin. You can also use a lip plumping lipgloss, like Sally Hansen’s Lip Inflation, but don’t use a lip plumping gloss in conjunction with the toothbrush trick. Lip plumpers tend to sting, so it wouldn’t be a good combo.

Dear Brooke, I hate plucking and waxing, but I know it must be done in order to have good eyebrows. How can I numb the pain when I pick up the tweezers? Sometimes it’s tempting to rock a unibrow, it hurts so much! Kirsten A.

Dear Kirsten, Even Burt on Sesame Street couldn’t rock the unibrow, so don’t! Tweezing or waxing is a necessary evil, I agree. If you’re tweezing your brows, do it right after you shower. The heat and moisture from the shower will make the hairs easier to remove. If you’re setting aside time to do this chore, take a mild pain reliever 20 minutes before you do the job. If you’re having them done professionally, take a pain reliever 20 minutes before your appointment. A good esthetician will be able to wax your brows so fast, you won’t be in too much pain. Good luck!

Dear Brooke, I have always rubbed my wrists together after applying perfume, but I was recently told by a “fragrance expert” that you shouldn’t do that, because it “bruises” the notes in the fragrance. Huh? That was the first time I have heard that! Is that true? Carol L.

Dear Carol, There are so many differing opinions out there on this subject. I think people started doing this habit for a few reasons. #1, it’s the best way to transfer the scent we sprayed on one wrist to another, because one spritz is usually enough. #2, when we have to apply it in a rubbing motion from magazine strips onto our wrists, it kind of makes sense to apply it what way when we spray. Fragrance experts (no need for quotes there, they really are experts. You’d be surprised how much knowledge there is in the perfume arena!) tell you not to rub your wrists together so you can get the full benefit of the scent in the bottle. Rubbing your wrists together can dry out any alcohol in the fragrance, and in doing that, can evaporate delicate top notes in the fragrance. The best way to get the full effect of your perfume is to spray it on pulse points, and let it dry naturally…it dries fast, so there really is no need to rub your wrists together. Try it and see if you notice a difference, then email me and let me know!

As always, thanks for the Q’s!! Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!

Product Review…Jonathan Green Rootine Dry Shampoo

For all your beauty advice…

I have become obsessed with dry shampoo. I seem to be on a mission to try every brand on the market. Most dry shampoos are in an aerosol can; some of them come in what looks like a hair coloring bottle, and the powder is applied directly to your scalp. I prefer the aerosol application, and I have a few favorite brands that I always turn to. But, recently I was given the chance to try the dry shampoo from the Jonathan line. It’s packaging is very different from what you might expect in a dry shampoo, because the applicator it is in resembles a makeup brush, and the product is inside the brush and you brush it on your scalp. The first time I saw it, I thought it was face powder.

Green Rootine Dry Shampoo  (No, I didn’t spell that wrong) comes in three different shades. (I love it when they come in shades!) There is one for light hair, one for dark hair, and one for black hair. I use the one for dark hair, and blending this product in is so easy. Even some of the dry shampoos that work so good out there, can be hard to blend in with dark hair and leave an ashy cast to your hair. It’s free of synthetics, petrochemicals, and parabens. It’s also vegan, for any of you who might be looking for that in a product. Vegan beauty products are tough to find.

So, does it measure up to the other dry shampoos I like so much? There are pros and cons…I’ll start with the cons first…The application won’t go as fast as if you use an aerosol dry shampoo. Using the brush does give you more control over where the product ends up, but it will take a little longer. Also, it’s a little expensive. ($19 for a 0.3oz. brush full)

The pros are many. Again, the brush (it falls into both categories) Like I said, you will have more control over where the product goes, and it’s really convenient to carry around with you. Even small aerosol cans can be bulky and take up lots of space, this can go right in your purse. If you have any areas on your scalp that tend to get oily throughout the day, this is great for absorbing oil. Also, if you went crazy and applied too much gel, or mousse, this will help absorb the build up from that.  

It’s unique, it’s “green”, you’re not putting harmful chemicals on yourself. I think it’s totally worth it. I haven’t had one product from the Jonathan line disappoint me, so give it a try if you can.

Have you tried Jonathan Green Rootine Dry Shampoo? What do you think? As always, I look forward to your thoughts!

Email your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!