Beauty Fix: A better after-shower routine, how to wear dark lipstick in the summer and why you should buy face cream at the farmer’s market

We certainly wouldn’t be alone in saying that our favourite thing about makeup, skincare and other beauty products is that there’s so much to choose from. But at the same time, it can be very easy to get lost in the sea of choice. If you’ve ever hummed and hawed for weeks on end about what eyeshadow colour to try next, you know what we’re talking about. This week, Beauty Fix is here to help you make a decision: we have definitive answers that will make you confident in your next beauty purchase, from lipstick trends for summer to switching up your after-shower routine.

Read on for all the answers! »

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Will the locally made face cream at the farmer’s market actually do anything for my skin?
Indeed! Pretend I’m the makeup oracle travelling back from the future to reveal the next big thing in beauty: it’s small, independent producers of cosmetics. Why? Well, we can thank the Internet for eliminating the expense of a storefront for an artisan who makes totally awesome products but can’t afford retail startup costs. But now beauty lovers can purchase products from independent producers of cosmetics—including those from farmer’s markets in France, Turkey, Greece or right here at home. I’ve been eyeing Pangea Organics Moroccan Argan with Willow and Rosemary Facial Cream ($37, because it has fennel from Egypt, chamomile from France and willowherb from Canada—which will stop my skin from getting too oily in the summer. The economies of scale are tipping in our favour and I’m all for it.

I recently lost my luggage while travelling, and need to repurchase my makeup collection. What “must-haves” should I scoop up first before buying the rest? (I’m in my twenties.)
I think items on everyone’s “must-have” list should include a moisturizer with sun protection, an inky black mascara, creamy rose blush, glossy lip balm and a water-based foundation with buildable coverage. Those items will create a face that’s pretty and functional and are the cornerstones of your everyday beauty routine. Products that would be considered “nice-to-haves” are those that play on seasonal colour trends—like eye shadows and nail polishes—because they’re temporary and could demand less of a monetary investment. In your twenties, I would also consider boosting treatments like lip plumping glosses an unnecessary expense. And, if I were to offer advice for which two products are the best investment, it would have to be a lipstick that makes you feel special while wearing it and a complexion-perfecting foundation like Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation SPF 15 ($46, at department stores), which offers sheer but buildable coverage.

Does it look strange to wear dark lipstick in the summer?
I don’t think so, no! I actually think it makes sense to move towards a deep fuchsia, plum or poppy red if your skin tone darkens a bit beneath the sun. When paired with a dewy complexion and swipe of clear gloss, your “popsicle pout” will look luscious in the day and then smoldering later on in the eve. I do, however, think a stain is preferable to creamy lipstick in the summer simply because it’s lightweight and versatile—you could even wear it on your cheeks! This summer I’m looking to Jason Wu’s runway for inspiration, where blood orange–stained lips looked electric opposite prim collars, bow ties and neutral sweater sets. TheBalm Stainiac lip tint in “Blushing Pink” ($17, looks like the juice from a pomegranate seed and has a thin consistency for layering—or for wearing alone when summer weather makes it feel like everything else will melt right off your face.

Am I going to regret not moisturizing my stomach and back nearly as often as I do my arms and legs?
You and I might both regret it, my friend. For every time I’ve been fresh out of the shower and too freezing to pay attention to moisturizing my tummy and back, I feel a bit of guilt. What about future stretch marks and sagging stomach skin? I mean, I consider working out the best way to avoid the latter but the truth is we should all be taking the extra time to exfoliate and nourish the skin on our less-often-exposed body parts too. The only upside to this neglect is the fact that our tummies endure way less exposure to the elements than our hands and feet and, therefore, that skin loses less moisture. I would still recommend daily use of an oil-based moisturizer, which will create a barrier to prevent your skin from losing any moisture gained in the shower. Try a cream with almond oil, like L’Occitane Amande Firming and Smoothing Milk Concentrate ($44,, because almonds are a superfood extract that will feed your skin ample moisture and nourishment to make up for lost time. Hurry!

Do you think pastel eyeshadow looks too costumey?
Pastel blue or mint green eyeshadow can be a bit of a challenge—however, as a sucker for colour trends there will indeed be a point this summer when I’ll want to play with pastel makeup. My suggested method? To skip the green and blue and go for pink—and try it on your lips instead of the eyes. I think women in their late twenties, thirties, forties and beyond all look fresh and feminine with a vibrant pink pout. Saturate your lips with a gloss/lipstick hybrid in pastel pink, like Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in “Rose Pastile” ($34,, and keep the rest of your makeup neutral with an even complexion and black lashes. And there you have it: the secret to pulling off pastel-pretty at any age.