Beauty Fix: How to hydrate chapped skin, a pastel lip colour to wear now 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 [email protected].

What can I apply to dry patches of skin that my standard moisturizer isn’t treating effectively?
I’m sure you’re not alone in this boat, as the extreme temperatures we just endured were not kind! If dry patches have developed, it means there’s a significant depletion in your skin’s natural moisture barrier so supplement it with a moisturizer that’s sole purpose is to rehydrate and rebuild. Spectro Dry Skin Therapy Intense Rehydration Cream ($15, at drugstores) is a gentle yet highly effective cortisone-free water-based cream that works to hydrate the skin and soothe any dry patches that may have formed—and then it locks in moisture with glycerin. It’s fragrance-free and irritant-free, so well suited to all skin types, sensitive skin included.

My expression lines have become a bit more apparent to me lately. What can I do to soften their appearance?
When you were a child, did anyone ever tell you that if you made a silly face for long enough, it would freeze that way? Well, that’s a touch dramatic, but there’s a sliver of truth to the statement. Repeated movements made with our facial muscles cause expression lines to form over time, usually in the form of frown lines, laugh lines (how sad that “laugh lines” could be a bad thing!), and fine lines across the forehead. Aside from making a concerted effort to make fewer expressions (how boring!), these lines are somewhat inevitable but can be addressed. Nuxe Nirvanesque Light ($50, at Hudson’s Bay) is a matte-finish moisturizer that smoothes fine lines for a more relaxed appearance. Tree peony extract helps to prolong the life of your naturally occurring peptides, while blue lotus seed works to reduce micro-tension in your skin. Now that’s something to smile about!

How does facial cleansing oil work?
Cleansing oils have been rather popular in Asia since they were first introduced in the late 1960s, but they’ve taken a bit longer to catch on in North America. If you’ve ever experienced a dry, tight sensation after using a traditional facial cleanser, then you may want to give facial cleansing oil a go in your skincare routine. The cleansing concept at play here goes back to your high school chemistry class, when you may recall learning that “like dissolves like”. You essentially replace all the dirty oils on your skin at the day’s end with new, clean oil that will rebalance skin effectively and prevent it from producing excess sebum. Start by applying a facial cleansing oil, such as L’Oréal Paris Sublime Radiance Sensational Cleansing Oil ($12, at drugstores), with dry hands to your dry face. As you massage it in, it’ll begin to break down and dissolve makeup and sebum. Next, add a bit of water to emulsify the cleansing oil—this will begin to remove the unwanted sebum and makeup from your face. After rinsing with water and patting your skin dry you’ll notice that your face is much softer to the touch and free of any dry, tight sensations!

What should I look for when selecting a facial mist?
A refreshing spritz of facial mist is always welcome, whether it’s midday at the office, first thing in the morning to wake up or as a way of setting makeup before a night out. Facial mists can vary from simple mineral water to formulas that contain many beneficial ingredients. PurMinerals Miracle Mist Hydrate & Set ($19 at Shoppers Drug Mart) contains fulvic acid, which is full of minerals and amino acids, while citrus oils hydrate and refresh skin. This mist also contains antibacterial sulfur to help keep blemishes at bay on your face and body. Tip: flyaways can be tamed rather ingeniously with a couple spritzes of this facial mist, making it a multi-tasker worth keeping in rotation.

Is it too soon to wear spring pastel shades on my lips?
It’s never too soon to usher in spring colour palettes, especially when we just made it through a rather intense and extensive deep freeze! You could probably use a break from bold, dramatic and rich tones after the holiday season, and while we do still have a fair amount of winter ahead of us, there’s nothing wrong with swapping out a bright lip for a softer pastel shade. A fine option would be just about any lip colour from the Nars Final Cut collection, but my top pick is Nars Satin Lip Pencil in “Villa Lante” ($30, exclusively at Holt Renfrew), which is a cherry blossom pink shade that may be a little full-on at first glance, but is positively sublime when dabbed on to the lips with fingertips, giving the colour a modern, softened edge.

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