Beauty Fix: Perfect curls without the crunch, summer feet prep 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].

How do I define my curls without the crunchiness of mousse or hairspray?
If the crunchiness of curls isn’t really your thing it’s definitely time to explore your options. Hairspray and mousse usually contain high amounts of alcohol, which dry hair out. Moisture is a key to softly defined curls, so make sure your styling products hydrate while helping you achieve your desired look. While serums are optimal for smoothing hair, they may not deliver the defined curl you’re looking for. A creme texture, such as Frédéric Fekkai Pot de Crème ($30, at Shoppers Drug Mart), will impart moisture in hair thanks to the high content of shea butter, making soft, touchable curls totally achievable.

What’s a quick way to take my eye makeup from day to night?
Often, the trick to transitioning isn’t necessarily about the number of products required, but rather using products in unique ways for an easy and effortless effect that doesn’t come across as a post-work makeover at your desk. In other words, the idea is to freshen up, not to completely alter your face in a drastic way! Ideally, start your day by wearing a bit of eyeliner or shadow—this will softly define your eye for the day. At night, dial up the drama by applying a longwearing shadow, such as Gosh Cosmetics Forever Eye Shadow Stick in “Blue” ($14, at Shoppers Drug Mart) over top. Rub your fingertip on the shadow pencil and press it onto your lid at the lash line (alternatively, you could simply tap – not draw – the pencil along the lash line), diffusing the shadow up the lid with light tapping motions. The shadow formula contains polymers to keep it in place, and it has an eye-catching metallic finish, making it perfect for evening use.

I’m obsessed with mascara, but can’t stand throwing away a (now empty) pricey tube every few months. Can you suggest any affordable alternatives?
There are some seriously awesome mascara options at every single price point out there, and this fact can definitely help you curb a habit of spending a lot on mascara. It’s completely valid to want to avoid throwing down cash on a tube that you will inevitably toss a few months down the road. Next time you explore affordable alternatives, make sure to zero in on Essence Lash Mania Reloaded Mascara ($5, at Shoppers Drug Mart). The false lash effect this brush produces is due to its five-point bristles that grip lashes and lift them, which just goes to show that there’s no need to break the bank for big impact!

My hair is going grey, so I’ve started to colour it, but the coverage seems hit or miss. Why is this?
As we age and hair begins to go grey or white, hair fibres form an extra layer of protein on the exterior of the hair shaft. (This also accounts for why hair that has lost its natural pigment is also of a different texture than it used to be.) This extra layer of hardened protein makes it challenging for hair dye to penetrate hair, which is why dye doesn’t always evenly cover greys. Try Clairol Expert Age Defy ($14, at drugstores), an at-home colour kit that includes a pretreatment conditioning treatment to soften the extra protein in hair, allowing the dye to properly penetrate. Even coverage will be easily achieved! Bonus: the kit also includes a post-colour sealant to keep hair shiny (another trait that can normally diminish as hair loses natural pigment).

How can I get my feet ready for warm weather?
There’s no denying that after what was arguably one of the most intense winters in years, feet will need a bit of tending to before sandal season rolls around—so now is the time to start a regimen! At night, use a foot file or pumice stone to smooth out any rough spots, making sure to do so towards the end of your shower. (When skin is softer, dead skin can be removed with minimal effort.) If you have any existing cracks in your heels, be sure to file in the direction of the cracks, being careful to avoid expanding them. After you’re out of the shower, slather on a generous amount of Soap & Glory Heel Genius ($16, at Shoppers Drug Mart) and slip into cotton socks. Your heels are exfoliated with lemon and orange fruit acid, soothed with cooling menthol and hydrated with macadamia oil and glycerin. Keep up this routine and you’ll be ready to slip into sandals in no time!