Beauty Fix: Why you should use an antioxidant with your SPF 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

What kind of mascara formula leads to more volume? I’m not in love with my current tube and am looking for a replacement.
As we’ve discussed before, finding the right mascara is a personal thing that involves many factors, such as your own lashes, mascara formula, mascara brush, application and the effect you’re looking to achieve. Generally, you’ll find that mascaras that aim to lengthen lashes have a wetter formula, while more voluminizing formulas are drier in consistency. A just-launched mascara with a drier consistency formula (which also means it will set faster and be less resistant to smudges) is Cover Girl Flamed Out Mascara ($10, at drugstores). The hollow bristles of this hourglass-shaped brush pick up way more product, meaning you’ll get healthy coverage with every stroke. The dryer formula also makes layering ideal—you can keep “pumping up” each lash with product until you have the desired amount of volume. The end result will certainly be impressive enough to keep this tube in your rotation!

I don’t want to pack a handful of eyeshadows when I go away for the weekend. What would you recommend I do so I still have variety?
Packing light is always a challenge, and your makeup bag is a great place to start lightening the load for your getaway. If individual shadows are too bulky, palettes are a sound way to streamline how many products you end up taking in your makeup bag for a brief stint out of town. Before retreating to brights for summer, consider the understated glamour of nude makeup with a dash of navy blue liner and then snap up the Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude Eye Palette ($70, at Bobbi Brown counters), which is a perfectly compact palette of eight eyeshadows, including shimmery, metallic and matte neutral shades—that can be mixed and matched for a multitude of looks—as well as a matte navy shade that can be worn as a liner or shadow.

I think stress is taking a toll on my skin in the form of blotchiness. Help!
Sounds like you’re facing some inflammation, which is never a walk in the park. Inflammation is generally caused by stress and can rear its hideous head in the form of blotchiness, redness, and irritation. You may be able to find solace in Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($42,! Its formula is anchored with Mannose, which works to maintain the skin barrier to make it less vulnerable to daily stressors, as well as Rosa Gallica, which works to control the skin’s response to stressors that lead to inflammation. It’s a light lotion that wears well under makeup, so you can tackle blotchiness immediately with your favourite makeup while ensuring that underneath it all it’s being treated.

I keep reading about antioxidant treatments being just as important as SPF. What’s the scoop?
The rumours are true! While everyone knows that wearing sunscreen on a daily basis is an excellent way to battle UVA and UVB damage from the sun, it’s also beneficial to incorporate a broad-spectrum antioxidant serum into your skincare routine in order to further protect yourself against cell damage, especially that caused by infrared rays. A great one to try is SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF ($160,, which neutralizes free radicals, promotes collagen synthesis and diminishes hyperpigmentation and existing damage. It also remains on the skin once absorbed and cannot be washed or rubbed off, so a single application remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, making it a great investment in your skin. And if you do happen to suffer from a sun burn, an antioxidant treatment is one of the best (dermatologist-approved!) ways to treat red and inflamed skin. Talk about double duty!

How can I ensure blush doesn’t overwhelm my face? Sometimes, the colour is way more than I bargained for.
While this can happen with many blush formulas simply due to variations in pigmentation, it’s not too tricky to address. Firs, if you’re apprehensive about packing too much on with a blush you already own, build colour slowly and gradually by using a brush to control the colour and blend it out as you go along. If you’re really risk-averse when it comes to colour, try a sheer blush, such as Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush in “Pink” ($13, at drugstores). This blush blends three nuances of pink together when applied, but goes onto the skin sheerly and adapts to your skin tone so it won’t overpower your face.