Real Simple hosted its first (hopefully yearly) “Beauty and Balance” weekend this past Saturday through Sunday. The event was held at the Andaz hotel in New York City and included everything from healthy cooking demonstrations, to yoga classes, to—my favorite—beauty treatments (including mini-styling sessions courtesy of the Ricardo Rojas salon, makeovers courtesy of BeneFit cosmetics, and manicures courtesy of Sally Hansen). In attendance were many readers and friends of the magazine (see me here with Ricardo Rojas and Emmy Rossum, who it turns out is an avid reader).
On Sunday, assistant beauty editor, Jenny Jin, along with our fabulous intern Laurice Rawls and I, hosted a session on making over your makeup bag. While the intent of our session was to help people pare down their kits, it ended up turning into more of a beauty confessional with readers peppering us with their beauty questions and concerns. For the benefit of those who couldn’t attend, I’ll share a few—hopefully the answers will be helpful to you, too.
Question: What order should I use my skincare products in?
Answer: Cleanser, toner (optional), serum (if you use one), then moisturizer (preferably with SPF 15 or higher).
Question: What’s the secret to making dark under-eye circles disappear?
Answer: Use foundation first, then top with concealer (if you do it the other way around, you’ll end up smudging off all your concealer and rendering it useless). Also, just tap concealer onto dark spots—generally the rings themselves and inner corners of eyes.
Question: How do you use an eyelash curler?
Answer: Clamp it carefully at the base of your clean lashes, then “walk” it out toward the tips of your lashes clamping down gently but repeatedly as you go. Then apply mascara.
Question: How do you make eyeliner stay on?
Answer: Trace along the base of your upper lash line with liquid liner; wait until it dries completely, then top that line (fixing any bumps or uneven spots in the line) with pencil liner of the same shade. The double hit of color seems to stay on much longer than either product alone.
Question: How do you make lipstick look the same color on your lips as it does in the tube?
Answer: Dab your under-eye concealer onto your lips first. This neutralizes their color. Then top with lipstick. Bonus: The color will adhere longer.
Question: Should I be wearing more makeup?
Answer: Of course, not. In my mind, anyway, Beauty and Balance means keeping all of this beauty stuff in perspective. If you’re happy with how you look—regardless of how much makeup you wear or how you wear it—don’t let anyone ever tell you to change!