Beauty Fix: Makeup tips for dealing with sensitive skin, allergies and more

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 or ask away in the comments below.

Can exfoliating improve the appearance of cellulite?
As we all likely know by now, either through arduous effort or simple acceptance of facts, nothing can actually eliminate cellulite. That being said, its appearance can certainly be diminished, so your efforts are still with purpose. Enlisting a scrub such as Leaves of Trees Coffee Argan Scrub ($15, leavesoftrees.com) will allow you to exfoliate the cellulite-afflicted areas thanks to the brown sugar in this scrub; all while coffee seed oil encourages stimulation to get blood flowing to those targeting areas. Consistency is key, so committing to a routine like this can smooth out your dimples in due time. Bonus: skin is also left pleasantly hydrated thanks to the scrub’s unrefined, organic argan oil.

If I’m pale, is contouring out of the question? Every time I’ve tried, it’s just become a muddy mess.
Contouring is always on the table regardless of your skin colour! It’s just a matter of selecting the right shade for your skin. This may mean looking beyond the standard contouring palettes available to purchase, as these sorts of shades can be too brown for someone with fair skin. A more believable shadow is achieved on fair skin by using a contour shade with a cooler grey undertone instead of a warm undertone. MAC Blush in “Next to Skin” ($26, maccosmetics.ca) is a matte soft beige shade, and as the colour name implies, it is very much a skin-adjacent colour with a grey tone to it that is ideal for contouring with. Softly blend through the hollows of your face and step back to appreciate your new-found cheekbones.

Does lash primers really make a difference in mascara application?
The adoration of mascara depends on several factors, such as your natural lashes, the mascara brush, the mascara formula, or your application method – that’s a lot of variables at play! A mascara primer can help fortify your lashes with vitamins to help lashes stay in top-notch shape well beyond your mascara application. If you find you lose lashes often, a mascara primer would be an idea to consider. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara & Deluxe Subversion Primer ($26, sephora.ca) is a duo to snatch up while you can, as it consists of a mini lash primer full of panthenol and vitamin E, as well as a full-size mascara that gives mega volume for a dramatic look. The mascara contains proteins, amino acids, honey extract and marine collagen to condition lashes every time you swipe on the formula.

I have sensitive skin and most night creams have major fragrance. What can I use that won’t irritate my skin?
It does often seem as though there’s an abnormally strong correlation of fragrance concentration to night cream versus other skincare products, and it’s not always welcomed, especially if you’re sensitive to fragrance or have skin that reacts adversely to perfume. Being sensitive to scent doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on the benefits of a nourishing night cream, so give Nivea Sensitive Skin Night Care ($10, well.ca) a try. Enriched with grapeseed oil and licorice extract, this mild, hydrating cream eliminates dryness, tightness and redness commonly associated with sensitive skin.

What can I do to alleviate how allergy symptoms make me look?
If you’re like me, you’re cursing ragweed on the daily and quietly praying for the first frost to hit, if only to help settle down your seasonal allergies. Not only is it physically daunting to simply function in allergy season, but it brings out certain splotchy, uneven and shadowy elements of your face that are normally reserved for a bad cold. As much as you want to pile on concealer, keep makeup light-handed and try rolling on an essential oil instead. Saje Sniffle & Allergy Care Kit ($30, saje.ca) is a set of three different essential oil blends, targeted to addressing symptoms associated with allergies, head colds and low immunity. Each oil blend can be applied to specific areas of the body to help fight the wrath of allergens and germs alike while helping you breathe easier. This little set looks simplistic, but it packs a punch and will become indispensable this fall and winter.