Beauty Fix: Say goodbye to stretch marks, the best bronzer for darker skin tones and more answers to your beauty questions

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

I have stretch marks that I’m really self-conscious about, particularly in the summer. Can I do anything to hide them?
You’re hardly alone in feeling painfully aware of stretch marks on your body! Stretch marks are the result of the rapid stretching of the dermis. Men and women alike can develop stretch marks, often from puberty or weight gain. Approximately 50-90 per cent of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, which makes stretch marks a fairly common concern that ought to be addressed! Try a topical treatment such as Stratamark ($40, Shoppers Drug Mart). This gel forms a thin but essential occlusive barrier on the skin to create an optimized environment to normalize and hydrate the collagen synthesis process, which will lead to repaired skin. The gel is non-sticky, dries quickly and is transparent, so it can be applied any time. Reduced appearance of stretch marks is apparent in as little as a month, which is all the more reason to grab a tube and start applying now!

I’m not really into bright eye makeup, but would like to mix up my look this summer. What’s a simple way to do this?
For those who are truly eyeshadow-averse and not really wanting to stray from the odd dash of liner, I urge you to turn your attention to coloured mascara! When I think of coloured mascara ages ago, it wasn’t terribly pigmented and you usually had to layer the mascara over a white mascara to see any colour payoff. Those days are long gone, thankfully, and this is definitely evident in Chanel’s Inimitable Waterproof Mascaras ($36 each, at Chanel counters) from their summer 2013 collection. The collection includes the standard black mascara, as well as four bright shades: “Blue Note” (deep, electric-blue), “Aqua Blue” (a shimmery light-blue), “Lime Light” (mint aqua) and “Zest” (bright yellow). These can be worn on lash tips for a hint of colour or on their own as the focus of your makeup. Since it’s a waterproof formula, you can rest assured they won’t end up running down your face at any point in the heat, so add one into your summer makeup routine!

I have a medium-deep skin tone and can’t really find bronzer that shows on my skin. Any suggestions?
As I’ve previously dicsussed bronzer for lighter skin tones, it’s only fair that we address other skin tones too! The market is flooded with bronzers that promise to usually be a couple of the following: matte, shimmery, radiant and glowing. What’s difficult to determine is how pigmented the product will be on skin tones that are deeper than the norm, simply because most bronzers are marketed towards medium skin tones. The fact is, people that are darker than medium skin tones do still get colour in the summer and it can be mimicked with a bronzer! Seek out Pixi Bronze Sculpt Trio in “Sunshine Sculpt” ($28, Target Canada), a hefty compact if there ever was one, containing 22g of product (read: bang for your buck!). The beautiful thing about this sizable palette is that it includes a pigmented bronzer best reserved for medium-deep skin tones in half the palette (which seems quite reasonable, given that you can apply it lightly all over the face, or choose to contour with it), as well as a dusty rose blush and a warm champagne-peach highlighter to accent the bronzer accordingly.

I just ran out of foundation and I’m not sure if I should buy the same colour I wore all winter given that I’ll probably get some colour this summer, even if inadvertently. What should I do?
It’s definitely an awkward point in the year to run out of foundation. We all get a hint of colour in the summer in spite of our regimented SPF efforts (and you are wearing SPF every day, right?) so it’s usually the right time in the year to swap out foundation shades. That being said, it doesn’t make the process of choosing the right colour now to suit us a couple months from now any easier! Luckily, science has your back yet again! Almay Smart Shade Mousse Makeup ($17, at drugstores) has that absurdly-convenient-for-this-time-of-year shade-sensing technology that adjusts the colour of the foundation (which is actually grey in the pot—but don’t be turned off by that!) to match the colour of your skin. As long as you’re within your general shade range (four shades to choose from), you’ll be set for the summer even if you get a bit of (safe) sun!

How can I start to target and treat the aging of my undereye area? I’ve been noticing some crepiness developing and I do not like what I’m seeing!
In spite of how much water you drink, how much sunscreen you slather on and how well you take care of yourself, aging is obviously inevitable and will begin at some point in your life. If it has begun to show in your eye area, don’t despair! If you’re interested in blurring the appearance of fine lines while treating them, look no further than Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Line Smoother ($72, This non-irritating, lightweight treatment is packed with an amino acid and protein complex that promotes skin repair, as well as peptides that aid in collagen and elastin production, resulting in smoother skin and reduction of fine lines.