Beauty Fix: The trick to removing waterproof mascara, how to style a non-sporty ponytail and the best fragrance for fall

Beauty Fix
Beauty Fix

When it comes to playing around with beauty products, there are things that take a long time to master—like learning how to do a new hairstyle or makeup technique –and things that are easy to change in a matter of minutes. (We’re not the only ones who wait until a free Saturday afternoon to test a style, are we?) This week, Beauty Fix is taking on questions about simple fixes—such as the trick to removing waterproof mascara, why you should wear bronzer long after summer ends and how to perfect a ponytail that doesn’t scream “I’m going to the gym!”

Read on for the full fix! »

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Lancome Bi Facil Double action Eye Makeup Remover

What’s the best way to remove waterproof mascara?
An excellent question, and anyone who has ever tried to remove waterproof mascara will know that the answer is not by using water and a basic cleanser! Waterproof mascara is comprised of ingredients that do not mix with or dissolve in water, but rather form a film to coat and emphasize each lash. Trying to remove the impermeable mascara with your usual facial cleanser will probably be an effort that doesn’t remove the mascara from lashes entirely and improper removal of waterproof mascara is a no-no because it can lead to lash loss. What you need in order to break down the polymer film is a dual-phase eye makeup remover, such as Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye makeup remover ($35, It contains two fluids: a lipid fluid and a treatment water. When shaken up, applied to a cotton round and pressed onto the lashes, the two fluids work to simultaneously break down the mascara, remove it from lashes and treat the skin with emollients to prevent drying out the lashes and delicate eye area.

Garnier Fructis Style Hi Rise Lift Root Booster

Every time I pull my hair back it looks like I’m going to the gym. How do I make a ponytail look less sporty and more stylish?
I perpetually feel like I’m about to do some sort of physical activity every time my hair is in a ponytail, so I totally understand where you’re coming from. There’s something that feels incredibly utilitarian about throwing one’s hair up into a quick pony. We can change that though, with a tweak or two to the process. Starting with slightly damp hair, spray your hair with a volumizing product, such as Garnier Fructis Style Hi-Rise Lift Root Booster ($6, at drugstores), then flip your head over and blow-dry your hair (this promotes volume at the roots of your hair). Standing upright now, begin to smooth your hair back into a ponytail and secure with a hair elastic. Take a tail comb and use the tail end to gently lift the hair away from the scalp in any area you desire more volume. The end result is more refined, less commonsensical.

Kiehls Aromatic Blend

I didn’t wear fragrance all summer long, but I’m ready to ease back into it. Is there a lighter perfume you can recommend for this transition?
It sort of makes sense to back away from fragrance in the summer months, doesn’t it? The heat amplifies the scent of everything and to throw a fragrance into the seasonal olfactory mix can be overkill. Glad to hear you’re getting back into the scent scene, and no worries—there are plenty of light options to ease into this fall. For a creamy, warm scent with a hint of amber that is markedly not sugary sweet (i.e. you won’t smell like a cupcake), turn to Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends ($56,, available in October) in Vanilla & Cedarwood. If you’re in the market for something more playful, fruity and floral, explore the same Kiehl’s range and give the Orange Flower & Lychee fragrance a whirl.

Lise Watier Satellite Bronzer in Soleil Intense

Now that summer is over, should I stop using bronzer?
While most people associate golden, tanned skin with summertime, the passing of Labour Day doesn’t mean it’s time to tuck away your bronzer until next year. Bronzer can be a great way to warm up the face year-round, especially when applied lightly during the cooler months. It’s an optimal way to avoid appearing washed out, frankly speaking. While it may not be time to end your bronzer use, it may be time to swap out a deeper brown bronzer for a lighter colour more suited for your skintone in the winter. A great option that will impart a slight sheen to leave you looking lively is Lise Watier Satellite Bronzing Powder in Soleil Intense ($31, at Shoppers Drug Mart). Dust lightly onto the high points of the face where the sun normally hits you: top of the forehead, temples, bridge of nose, tops of cheeks, and don’t forget your chin!

My friends and I are constantly guilty of sharing beauty products. Is it really as bad and unsanitary as people say? What products are okay to share?
Think of all the places you go and all the things that you and your friends come in contact with daily: your homes, the workplace, public transit and other public venues. Then think of the number of germs and bacteria that all those places accumulate that can come in contact with skin, and then multiply that by the number of people sharing cosmetics. Then think of that stuff sitting on your products, waiting to be swiped onto your skin. Is it as bad and unsanitary as people say? Yes. Sharing certain products can lead to breakouts or, even worse, infections via bacterial contamination of cosmetics. Can you share products in a safe manner? Depending on the product type, definitely! If the product can be sprayed or wiped down with rubbing alcohol (like a powder blush or lipstick) or sharpened (like a pencil lip liner or eyeliner), it can be shared. Just be sure to disinfect products between each new person to use the product, and disinfect your sharpener as well. Creamy products tend to be more prone to bacterial contamination, so avoid sharing them (namely lip glosses and mascaras).