Beauty Fix: The best moisturizers and blush for dry skin, an inexpensive face mask with premium results and more

Beauty Fix
Beauty Fix

Every week our Beauty Fix columnist takes on your questions about makeup, skincare, hair and more. Have a beauty question we haven’t answered? Email us at beautyfix@fashionmagazine.com.

Is it possible to wear retinol during the day?
We’re encouraged to apply retinol at night for multiple reasons. First off, your skin is more receptive to active ingredients (like retinol) at night because it’s entered a reparative state. Secondly, retinol can make skin sensitive to sun, so daily SPF application is crucial when you’re dabbing on the retinol at night. All that being said, if you combine an SPF with a retinol, rules can indeed be broken. StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Day Treatment SPF 30 ($109, murale.ca) is the ultimate daytime face product. Not only does it work to reverse wrinkles and fine lines, it will even out skin tone, refine texture and fight off UVA and UVB damage, all without irritating skin. Quite the multitasking product to put into your daily rotation!

What’s the best type of blush to use on dry skin?
Finding the right blush for your skin type is more than finding an ideal colour—it’s all about how the product sits on your skin. If you have dry skin and it’s been exacerbated by this apparently never-ending winter, choose a creamy formula that has moisturizing properties, such as Maybelline Face Studio Master Glaze ($12, at drugstores). These colourful, creamy sticks are loaded with shea butter to ensure a smooth glide onto skin and high blendability. You’ll get a seamless application that won’t appear patchy in the slightest, which is a common gripe amongst dry skin sufferers when it comes to colour cosmetic application.

If I have rough, dry spots on my hands and face, what can I use to remedy these areas?
After such a severe winter, it’s a miracle if you don’t have dry spots or patches here, there and everywhere. A balm texture, such as Aerin Rose Balm ($64, esteelauder.ca), is both pleasant to the nose and soothing to apply. Each pot of this balm has a rose oil base that is extracted from 350 rose petals, making it a potent moisturizer and plumper for skin, whether it’s applied to your face or body. Tip: use it to soothe your nose after a cold or too many reaches for a tissue, or to hydrate cuticles without the mess of runny cuticle oil.

I need a deeply hydrating moisturizer that won’t make my makeup slide off. Am I asking too much?
There’s a flurry of moisturizers available that hydrate deeply, but not all of them can be worn during the day, especially if you’re applying makeup on top. Most hydrating ingredients give way to an emollient finish on the skin, and this doesn’t always play nicely with makeup. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration ($32, kiehls.ca) recently hit the market and the formula has managed to hit a sweet spot of super hydration without an excessively heavy texture. It contains apricot kernel oil (loaded with soothing vitamin E , making it extremely hydrating all by itself), fragmented hyaluronic acid (which plumps up skin by drawing moisture from the environment) and glycerin (to retain all the moisture that’s been pulled in). The lightweight formula absorbs quickly so you can carry on with your makeup routine, knowing skin will be hydrated for a full 24 hours!

Are inexpensive facial masks worth trying, or do I need to spend money to get results?
Not at all! Sure, we’re used to seeing high-end facial masks and treatments endorsed by celebrities—especially during awards show season when we’re so interested in their pre-red carpet rituals. While high-end masks are indeed excellent, you don’t need to drain your bank account to reap the benefits of the skincare ingredients they contain. Masque Bar by Look Beauty Brightening Sheet Masks ($10 for 3, at Shoppers Drug Mart) aren’t just affordable, but they’re infused with vitamin C, licorice root extract and orange extract, which are all instrumental in helping your skin brighten up. And because it’s a sheet mask, which creates a barrier between the sheet and your skin, you’ll get a super-changed treatment as it works by sealing moisture and other ingredients into skin.