I have very dark circles under my eyes. Doctors and cosmeticians have all told me that it is probably hereditary. I know that makeup can be used to hide it, but, like most men, I feel uncomfortable about using it or even asking how to apply it. Is there anything you can suggest?

Coverup or camouflage sticks or wands can be applied to the eye area. Gently stipple or pat it with your finger to even out the color in the darkened area only. You could also try some of the bronzing gels, tinted moisturizers or self-tanning creams on the rest of your face – avoiding the eye area. Your slightly darkened skin will then blend much better with the eye area. These products just give a soft glow and slight bronzed look without a heavy makeup feel. There are tinted gels available in men’s cosmetic lines.

My nails split and peel even though I use a good nail and cuticle cream every night, wear clear nail polish and have a manicure every two weeks. What else can I do?

As we age, the keratin or hard protein of the nails becomes thinner and brittle. Various external irritants such as detergents, garden fertilizer, etc. can cause the nails of those sensitive to them to become more fragile. Some hardeners or nail polish may be too harsh for your nails and cause them to peel. Brittle nails can be caused by low levels of calcium, fats, proteins, etc. Nails may also react to drugs taken internally. Filing nails incorrectly or trimming them straight across rather than following their natural curve will also cause most nails to peel back. You could try using a warm vitamin E or olive oil. Soak the nails in the warm oil for approximatley 10 minutes, then massage the oil into the hands. There are some routines to follow to help your nails grow strong.

Do not use the fingernails to pinch off dead flowers, buds and leaves on house plants.

Gloves should be worn for working in the garden.

Excessive use of nail-polish remover will likely dry out the nails and cause them to peel.

Don’t use nails to try opening clips, staples, bobby pins, etc.

Use something other than your nails to open letters, small packages, peel off tabs on food boxes, dial a phone, etc.

File the nails with a smooth emery board or a fine diamond-type file UNDER the free edge and not at the sides or top.

Don’t peel off old nail polish. The polish will cling to the nail and strip off its natural surface and weaken the structure. You could also try buffing the nails.

I want to thin out my nail polish which has become thickened. Is there something I can use or should I use nail polish remover?

Don’t use nail polish remover to thin out polish as it will take away the shine and hardness of the polish. Use nail solvent or polish thinner.