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, read on about jewel-toned nail polish, perfecting nail art, and perfectly imperfect hair!

Dear Brooke, I’m seeing the new fall colors for nail polish coming out, and it looks like a lot of dark, jewel tones. I love nail polish, but these colors just seem so dramatic. Can I pull them off in a professional setting? Leann M.

Dear Leann, I have been admiring the new fall colors recently, so I’m glad you sent me this question. A lot of the jewel tones have a shimmer/sparkle to them, which makes them even more fun, if you ask me! If you’re wanting to ease into this look, grab a shade that’s creamy, without any sparkles, for a softer, more sophisticated look. The main thing to remember is, it’s just nail polish, so you can take it off if you don’t like it. If you’re really having doubts about pulling off the look, start with the colors on your toes, then see which colors look the best, and go from there. Have fun with it, the new colors that are coming out are absolutely gorgeous!!

Dear Brooke, I am really getting into nail art, but I’m having a hard time drawing thin lines, even with the thinnest brushes that come in nail art kits. I always end up smudging at least one finger, and the lines are never thin enough for the designs I’m trying to create…any suggestions? Emma T.

Dear Emma, I’ve always thought nail art was such a challenge! I love the designs I see people coming up with. It’s been years since I’ve attempted to do it, but one of the best things to use when you need really fine lines in a nail design is a toothpick. Set the cap to your polish aside, and dip the toothpick into the polish and you’ll be able to create very thin lines with the toothpick. Just work fast, because you will only be getting a very small amount onto the toothpick and it will dry fast. Hope that helps, have fun!

Dear Brooke, I love these hairstyles I see on celebrities that are natural looking waves, or messy little updos. I can never seem to create the look on myself, and end up pulling my hair back into a slick  pony tail. What’s the trick? Do I need a 24/7 stylist? Jill R.

Dear Jill, I think we all could use a 24/7 stylist! I know the exact look you are talking about…perfectly imperfect hair! The best way to start to achieve this look is to use a volumizing product on your roots. If your hair is stick straight, put your favorite styling product through the rest of your hair, loosely braid your hair, and blow dry it while it’s braided. This will give it some texture and wave. Don’t use a brush when styling your hair, just use your hands for natural movement. Try not to touch your hair too much throughout the day, oils from your hands will make your style fall flat. And if you want to make this an updo, just pull your hair back into a loose pony tail, or twist it into a bun, and make sure you have a few wispy pieces hanging down. I know that seems like a lot of steps to get an “undone” look, but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and it looks natural.

Great questions this week, keep them coming! 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. I love the questions sent to me this week! Read on about leave-in conditioner, stubborn blackheads, and Benzoyl Peroxide issues.

Dear Brooke, what’s the difference between conditioner, and leave-in conditioner? Isn’t leave-in conditioner just regular conditioner that you leave in your hair? Kathy M.

Dear Kathy, I see your point, but not all conditioners are created equally. Most conditioners that are supposed to be rinsed out are too heavy to leave on your hair all day. In some cases, it’s not a big deal if you take your every day conditioner and leave it in your hair…if you feel your hair needs more moisture, go ahead and leave it in all day for a really deep conditioning treatment. Most leave-in conditioners are thinner in consistency and don’t make your hair feel heavy. I wouldn’t recommend using a rinse-out conditioner as a leave-in one because it can leave your hair feeling greasy, cause product build-up, and eventually make your hair feel unhealthy.

Dear Brooke, I have some really deep blackheads that are driving me nuts! I have tried those pore strips, but they only got the little ones out. I don’t want to pick, but I want these deep ones gone. Help! Diana A.

Dear Diana, I am happy to hear you say you don’t want to pick! Nothing is worse than trying to attack a blackhead, and have it backfire on you by pushing it further into your skin and causing an infection. So, keep those hands off your face! There are a few things you can do to get rid of, and prevent, blackheads. Try a facial scrub, or any kind of treatment product that has Salicylic acid in it. That will help break down the oil that gets stuck in the pores that creates blackheads. I’m a huge fan of facial brushes when cleansing; they really get your skin clean much better than your hands, or a wash cloth can. Clarisonic is a cleansing system I swear by. Expensive? Yes, but I haven’t seen a blackhead anywhere on my face since I invested in it. I know Olay makes something similar, for a much smaller price. If they’re still not budging, get a mini facial and let a professional get in there and extract those blackheads, then maintain your skin with my suggestions; you’ll notice a big difference. Good luck!

Dear Brooke, I started a skin care system that is for acne, and it’s turning my towels and my sheets orange! I’m not sure I want to use it anymore. It’s helping my skin, but it’s ruining my stuff. Have you heard of this? Candace R.

Dear Candace, I’ve not only heard of this problem, I have experienced it first hand. What’s happening is, the products you are using contain Benzoyl Peroxide, and it’s known to bleach out fabrics, and in some extreme cases, skin and hair. If you read the label on your products, you will see, in very fine print, a disclaimer saying this could happen. BP is definitely a strong ingredient with killing acne, but you have to be careful when you use it. Apply it with a cotton swab when you can, keep it away from your hair line, and always, always, ALWAYS wash your hands immediately after you use it. Keep a towel that you don’t mind getting bleached out around for drying your hands after you use BP. I suggest people don’t use it at night, so your sheets don’t get ruined. But, if you want to use it as part of your night-time routine, switch to an old pillow case. Hope that helps!

Thanks again for the great questions this week, keep them coming! 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 has had a great weekend, and you enjoy the holiday today. Thanks for the questions this week! Read on about preventing dirt from getting under your nails, the importance of doing a test strand, and the benefits of cucumbers for your eyes!

Dear Brooke, I work in an office doing a lot of paper work. I notice my nails look like they have dirt under them all the time. I don’t feel like our office is a dirty place, so I don’t understand what’s going on. I just know it’s embarrassing! Any tips on preventing this? Thanks! Holly D.

Dear Holly, what’s probably happening to your nails is just every day dirt and dust settling under your nails. I notice that happens to my nails when I’m doing a lot of filing paperwork, shuffling papers, or opening packages/boxes. The best thing to try is keeping a coat of clear nail polish on your finger nails. I think it creates a bit of a barrier for your nails, and makes them less porous so dirt, oils, and dust can’t get under there and settle in. You may still notice some, but this will show you a significant difference. Also, keep a small nail brush in your desk, so you can whisk any dirt away as soon as you see it. Hope that helps!

Dear Brooke, Is it really necessary to do a test strand on my hair before I color it? That just seems to be a waste of time, and I don’t want to look weird with one strand of my hair a different color than the rest. Addie G.

Dear Addie, The reason for the test strand is to tell if you’re allergic to a product, and to see how your hair will take to the product. I think, if you’ve been coloring your hair for a long time, you probably don’t need the test strand. However, if you’re new to hair color, or you’re trying a new brand, it’s a step you shouldn’t skip. It won’t take too long, and you won’t have to walk around with a random strand of hair a different color from the rest. Once you test your strand and see how it works, you’ll be able to do the rest of your hair. I know it seems like a hassle, but if you’re sensitive to most products, you’ll be happy you took that step if you end up having a reaction to it. Don’t let it stress you out, just pick a small section and follow the directions on the box. Have fun!

Dear Brooke, You always see on TV how they put cucumbers on your eyes at a spa. I’ve never once seen that done in real life. Do cucumbers really help the eyes? If so, how? Candace J.

Dear Candace, Hmmm…come to think of it, I’ve never seen that done in real life, either! Cucumbers can reduce the appearance of dark circles, and they do help with puffiness around the eyes. They’re very soothing, and cooling, on tired eyes. Cucumbers have a very high water content, so they’re also going to be very hydrating to the eye area. I don’t know why they always show spas on TV, or in the movies, using cucumbers but you never see it happen in real life. (Anyone who has experienced this at a spa, please give me a shout, I want to hear about it!) If you’re curious about it, give it a try at home! Just take a few slices, and place them over your eyes for 10-15 minutes. I’ve always noticed a nice difference after I use them.

Thanks again for the great questions this week, keep them coming! 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 dollar store hair color, washing your face in the morning, and multitasking.

Dear Brooke, I was recently shopping at my local dollar store, and I came across hair color for a dollar! I am desperate for my hair to be colored, and this would be such an inexpensive option. How bad could it possibly be to color my hair with color that’s only a dollar? Susan E.

Dear Susan, I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for with products, and if you’re paying one dollar for hair color, you’re going to get hair color that’s worth one dollar. I can understand the appeal of buying something you need for such an inexpensive price, but I would steer clear of that one dollar hair color! If you put it on your hair, chances are you’ll end up with dry, damaged hair that doesn’t even look like the color on the box. It’s up to you if you want to give it a shot, but my professional opinion is a big fat “NO”! You can buy professional color at Sally Beauty Supply. It will cost you more than a dollar, but it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and it’s much, much better for your hair.

Dear Brooke, I have normal to dry skin, more on the dry side. I wash my face every night, and most mornings, my skin feels normal and clean. I don’t have a lot of time in the morning, and would love to not have to do my skin care routine. Can I get away with only washing my face at night? It sure would help me in the morning! Claire R.

Dear Claire, Personally, I don’t think there’s any problem with not washing your face in the morning, if you wake up with your skin still feeling clean and normal. I don’t recommend this for oily skinned individuals, but if your skin feels great, then all I would suggest is a few splashes of cold water to refresh your skin, and of course, your daily sunscreen. If you’re going to make a habit of this though, make sure you keep your pillow cases clean. Dead skin, and any oils that build up on your sheets and pillow cases can cause breakouts, and have a negative effect on your skin. Go for it, just pay attention to how your skin reacts long-term, and make changes accordingly.

Dear Brooke, I am always looking for ways to save time with my makeup application and I was wondering if it’s a good idea to mix together my moisturizer, my foundation primer, and my foundation together and apply it all at once? Heidi W.

Dear Heidi, I think this idea is certainly a way to save time, so give it a shot. However, I would only try this on days you’re in a hurry, or for an everyday natural look. If you have an event, or need a little more coverage with your foundation, take the time for all three steps separately. My thought on that is, the individual products need time to absorb into your skin for the maximum effect. But, if you’re looking for a way to cut a few corners in your morning routine, I see no problem in putting three steps into one. You’ll know right away if it’s not going to work, and the beauty of that is, it’s just makeup! You can always take it off, and put it back on the way you always do. Let me know how it works for you!

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

You’ve Been Beautified!

Q&A Monday

Good morning and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. This week, I got some great questions from some Tweens, all about nails. So that is the theme of this Q&A Monday. Read on about keeping nail polish from chipping, how to curb your bad habit of biting, and polishing your opposite hand.

Dear Brooke, I love to polish my nails and do nail art, but my nail polish never seems to stay on for long. It always chips within a day and all my hard work starts to disappear. How can I keep the polish from chipping so easily? Ashley F.

Dear Ashley, I know how frustrating it is to have your polish chip when you put so much work into it. You want to make sure you are using the right products to make sure your polish stays put. Try starting with a nail polish primer, I like Chip Skip by OPI. You apply it before you apply anything else on your nails. Then use a clear base coat, let that dry, and apply your polish. Once that is dry, apply a top coat and you will be set! But remember, if your hands are always in water, or you are rough on them frequently, chances are your nails will chip and polish will start to wear off. These tips will definitely help the polish stay on longer, but normal wear and tear will break down the polish. Have fun, and send me some pictures of your nail art!

Dear Brooke, I am 12 and I bite my nails all the time. My parents keep telling me to stop, but I can’t seem to stop. I have tried that bitter stuff you put on your nails, but it doesn’t work. Do you have any suggestions for me? Olivia S.

Dear Olivia, Bad habits are hard to break, aren’t they? I used to be a nail biter, and it was so hard to stop. I tried that bitter stuff you are talking about, and I just got used to the taste of it! Gross, I know! The best thing to stop yourself from biting your nails is to start taking pride in how they look. Get yourself a manicure kit, and give yourself a mini manicure to get them in shape. Start using cuticle cream at night before bed, and you will notice your nails looking healthier in no time. Also, keep them polished as much as you can. When you start moving your hand toward your mouth, you will see how pretty they look, and know how much work went into making them look nice, and you’ll be less inclined to start chomping. Hope that helps!

Dear Brooke, I’m frustrated with nail polish! I love trying new colors, and I want to start trying nail art, but how can I get used to painting the hand I write with, with my opposite hand? I hate always asking my mom, or my sister, for help. Can it be done? Katie M.

Dear Katie, Yes, this can be done. I have one very important word for you: Practice, Practice, Practice!!! It is very frustrating trying to do something left-handed if you’re right-handed, and vice versa. But, the only way you’re going to get better at it is to try. I know you probably want some secret tip to make it happen, but there is no secret. Just take your time on that opposite hand, be patient, and don’t sit down with frustration already on your brain. Tell yourself this is a fun project and you’re just going to keep getting better. And just know, if you mess up and get nail polish on your skin around your nail, it’s not a big deal. Just dip a cotton swab into polish remover and remove the color. Hang in there. With time I am sure you will be doing great!

Thanks for these fun questions ladies! Any other Tweens out there, please send me your questions! There is nothing too basic to answer about beauty. 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 wonderful weekend. I got some great questions this week! Read on about over-exfoliating, choosing the right hair brush, and early use of anti-aging skin care.

Dear Brooke, I love the way my skin feels when I exfoliate, it’s so soft and smooth. Is it bad for my skin to scrub away on a daily basis? Olivia G.

Dear Olivia, I understand how good it feels to get that top layer of skin off and reveal the new, soft layer below the surface, but doing it every day is not a good idea. Over doing it with exfoliating strips your skin of its natural oils and can cause unneccessary dryness. Even if you’re applying a heavy moisturizer on a daily basis, it’s still not the best idea for your skin. I would suggest cutting down to one really good exfoliating session once a week. If you can’t wait that long, start tapering off to every other day, then down to two, no more than three, days a week.

Dear Brooke, I am looking for an everyday hair brush, but it seems like there are too many choices out there. Do I want a vent brush, whatever that is, or do I want a paddle brush, or do I want a round brush? What’s the difference? Please help me choose! Diana K.

Dear Diana, Too many choices can cause for a lot of stress and it’s just a darn hair brush, so I know what you mean! A paddle brush, one that is a large oval or square with a cushion-y feel, is your best bet for every day use. A vent brush can be used for just brushing hair, but it’s called a vent brush because of the openings in the back of the brush…”vents”. Those vents are to help air move through the hair when you’re blow drying, so it’s more of a styling tool than a basic hair brush. Round brushes are for styling only. If you try to use a round brush as a daily hair brush, you’ll be hating life! So, grab a paddle brush and detangle your tresses. And no, you don’t need to go a-la-Marcia Brady and do 100 strokes. Just until you get the tangles out is enough for your hair.

Dear Brooke, is it too early to start using anti-aging skin care in your 20’s? I am 24 and I like to think I am ahead of the game by using anti-aging products on my skin. Thoughts? Carrie D.

Dear Carrie, I don’t think it’s too early to take preventative measures for your skin as it matures, so I think you’re on the right track. I would make sure you are using what’s best for your skin type when it comes to cleansers and moisturizers, but masks and serums can be used on young skin for age prevention. I’ve always been a skin care fanatic, so I have been seeking out all kinds of anti-aging skin care since I can remember. Educate yourself on ingredients and how certain products work, so you’ll know what you’re putting on your skin. I think you’ll be ahead of the game as your skin matures, but don’t over do it! Using too many products could have them all counteracting and not helping at all.

Once again, thanks for the great questions, and keep them coming! 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 hair removal creams, sleeping with your makeup on, and water for beautiful skin.

Dear Brooke, I am sick of shaving my legs every day and I am afraid of the pain involved in waxing. I have been thinking about using a hair removal cream, but wanted your thoughts on them. Do they work? Is there any pain involved? And what brand would you recommend? Thanks! Dara B.

Dear Dara, Let me just start by saying, waxing really isn’t that bad. Is it painful? Yes, but it’s over so fast you barely remember it. Hair removal creams can be a good option, but there are some drawbacks to using them. They take a lot of time to work, so you have to sit still with the cream on your legs for 5-10 minutes. After a few minutes, they start to sting…bad, and then you still have to wait for the recommended time to go by…and that is NOT fun, let me tell you! And, sometimes they don’t remove all the hair you want gone in one session. So, if you’re still willing to go for it, there are some good brands out there to try. Nair, Veet, and Serious Skin Care are brands I have tried. Out of the 3 of them, I think Veet is the most effective. Let me know which one you try, and what you think!

Dear Brooke, I work odd hours, and sometimes I am so beat, I just fall asleep with my makeup on. I try not to do it, but it’s been happening more lately. How bad is this habit? Am I really causing damage to my skin? Allison M.

Dear Allison, We have all been guilty of falling asleep with our makeup on! I’m certainly not proud of myself when I let this happen, but it’s a horrible habit to get into. Falling asleep with your makeup on clogs your pores, and that leads to pimples. Not cleaning your face sets you up for premature aging, and an uneven complexion. If you’re truly that tired and can’t even imagine getting your face wet to clean off the day, keep some makeup remover wipes by your bed and at least do a quick swipe for the nights you just can’t do it. Your skin will thank you…and so will I!

Dear Brooke, I know you’re supposed to drink lots of water throughout the day to make your skin look great, but I’ve never liked water. I drink my coffee in the morning, and have a variety of drinks throughout the day…doesn’t that count as my water? Lisa M.

Dear Lisa, Sorry to say nothing is going to replace water. Coffee, tea, and soda have caffeine in them, and caffeine is a major culprit of dry skin. If you have dry skin already, not drinking any water can cause more dryness. If it’s a taste thing, or lack thereof, with water, add some fruit slices like orange and/or lemon to make it more appealing. Water is good for you inside and out, so drink up! In our super-sized world, an 8 oz. glass of water looks like a shot, so add it into your daily beverage intake between other drinks. You’ll notice a big difference in how your skin looks and feels!

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

You’ve Been Beautified!