Beauty Fix: The low down on cleansing conditioners, the best blush technique for oily skin 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 beautyfix@fashionmagazine.com.

I like blowdrying my hair, but don’t love how it looks immediately after styling it. What can I use to give it a more lived-in look?
Sounds like you’re looking to achieve a style that falls right between squeaky-clean and second-day hair, which is surprisingly attainable when you reach for the right product. Try a dab of pomade, but don’t recoil in horror at that term! Pomade is traditionally a little heavier and gel-based, but it’s just a matter of finding a formula that delivers the effect you desire. Try a cream-based pomade, like Drybar The Chaser Shine Pomade ($28, sephora.ca), to give your hair a soft, tousled look after a fresh blowout. This sandalwood-scented formula adds shine and improves the condition of hair thanks to hibiscus extract. Be sure to concentrate your application through the lengths of hair for a piece-y, relaxed style.

I’ve started seeing a lot of cleansing conditioners at my drugstore. Is this like a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner?
Shampoo and conditioner work in conjunction because shampoo typically uses sulfate agents to remove oils from the hair and scalp while conditioner uses moisturizing ingredients to add hydration back in. A cleansing conditioner, such as Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner ($7, well.ca), is somewhat of a happy medium! It uses oil instead of sulfates to gently clean hair (following the “like attracts like” concept of oil cleansing) while conditioning hair at the same time. The creamy formula can be applied liberally from root to tip in thoroughly wet hair and then worked into low-lather foam before rinsing. You’ll end up with a reduction in frizz and flyaways, which everyone can always benefit from! Cleansing conditioners are best for normal, dry, textured or damaged hair, but oily-haired individuals should steer clear, as the extra moisture may be too much.

I want to experiment with a not-so-natural hair colour, but I don’t want to bleach my hair. Can I still go bright pink?
While it’s undeniably fun to sport a pink ‘do, bleach can indeed be incredibly damaging and dehydrating to hair—and it can take a fair amount of effort to rehab your hair back to a healthy state. If you’re interested in a non-bleach approach without compromising the brightness of your desired colour, look into L’Oréal Professionnel Hairchalk ($25, at salons). This is not your average chalk! This liquid formula comes in eight colours (including three natural tones with a bit of a pearlescent sheen) and is a mix of water ink and microfiber polymers, which coat hair for vibrant colour—so even if your natural shade is dark, the bright dye sits on top. What makes this product’s payoff way more intense than a typical hair chalk is the finishing process: your chosen shade is sealed onto the hair using a blow dryer, making it transfer-resistant and durable even after a shampoo. It’s an ideal way to toy with different hair colour without the commitment. Tip: water the fluid down for a pastel tint or mix colours for a custom shade.

I have skin that’s fairly oily and blush seems to fade on me. What can I use that will be pigmented enough to last through the day?
If you’re having issues with fading blush, there are a number of things you can do to extend the wear. Make sure you’re using a primer, as this will extend the wear of all makeup you apply thereafter. You can also consider layering cheek products for a longer-lasting look. Cream blush may seem counterintuitive given your skin type, but starting with a soft pink cream product and then topping it off with an intense berry-fuschia powder shade, such as Chanel Joues Contraste in “Vivacité” ($48, at Chanel counters), is the one-two punch of textures required for longevity with oilier skin. The high pigmentation of this powder blush will last on skin while imparting a gorgeous flush that will carry you right into spring and summer.

What ingredients should I look for when buying brightening skincare?
While there are many ingredients that can help renew and brighten your skin, there are some key players to keep an eye out for. Licorice root extract is helpful in reducing redness, while vitamin C is useful in exfoliating skin to reveal new skin. Peony extract is an antioxidant wonder ingredient that can actually interrupt patches of concentrated melanin from forming, which prevents dark spots from occurring and reversing existing irregular pigmentation. Put all three of these star ingredients together and you get Fresh Peony Spot-Correcting Brightening Essence ($76, sephora.ca), which is made even better with the addition of hyaluronic acid for radiant, even-toned and hydrated skin.