I would like to wear foundation, but I am shying away from it because it makes me look more yellow than I am. What can I use to help the yellow in my skin and also hide the brown spots on my face?

In a case where the skin can be somewhat sallow or yellowish, there are creams or lotions which are termed undercoats, illusions, toners or skin regulators. They are used to even out the tone or correct pigmentation or color when foundation isn’t enough and are applied before the foundation. A sallow complexion will look brighter with a violet regulator. While a green regulator will counteract ruddiness or red spots, peach will lift greyish, dull undertones of some black skins. Undercoat or regulator is used sparingly over moisturizer and under foundation.

I have very fine hair and would like to know how I can make my hair look fuller. I do not wish to experiment with a perm.

The cut and styling are very important with fine hair. You can’t make it stay curly without a perm and you can’t wear it too long because the weight of the hair will make it even more limp. However, you can have a beautiful bob or blunt cut at about chin length.

When blow-drying your hair, get it about 70 per cent dry, then spray a small amount of setting lotion or apply some mousse and finish drying. Used in this fashion, the lotion gives body more effectively and your hair will not feel coated. You could apply henna or color your hair to give it extra volume. If you don’t want to change the color of your hair, just color it in your natural shade.

My fingernails peel at the ends, especially during the winter. Does taking calcium correct this?

Nails are composed of keratin, a resilient protein. Proper manicuring is essential as well as caring for the cuticles. Massage creams or oils around the nail to help keep moisture from evaporating (especially during the winter when the nails are exposed to dry central heating and cold). Also, avoid abusing your nails and hands with chemical solvents, over-use of nail polish remover or cleaning products (scouring powders, dish detergents, soap for the bath, hot water). The ends of the nails, which have little support because they are free from the nail bed, are already fragile. As a result of improper care, they can lose oils or moisture and become dry and crack or peel. Extra calcium will not necessarily correct this; nails need a balanced diet of all nutrients, not just one.

I wash my hair every day (sometimes twice). Should I use a PH-balanced shampoo and what exactly is that?

The term PH-balanced simply means that the shampoo is chemically stable and will be slightly more alkaline than the PH of your hair. It has to be for the shampoo to clean the hair. Your hair’s PH is normally a slightly acidic PH 4 to 4.5. If you wash your hair every day or twice a day, you should be using a “mild and gentle” shampoo rather than one that does deep cleansing. Look for a formula that contains conditioning ingredients such as proteins, use lukewarm water, and a low setting of heat on your dryer.

Do you use the cover sticks that will hide the dark circles under the eyes under or over foundation?

To help minimize or eliminate any circles or shadows under your eyes, use a cover stick or lotion in a slightly lighter shade than your foundation. You can apply a stick or thick cream under or over the foundation as long as you use the touch-and-press method to blend it properly. Some of the wands or liquid coverups are usually better on top of the foundation. Blending is the key.

Is there a product I can take to reduce bloating before menstruation?

Nutritionists suggest that for a week or two prior to the onset of menstruation you avoid tea, chocolate, soft drinks, coffee and salt. They also recommend herbal teas, such as spearmint, fennel, parsley or sage. Also, don’t forget that exercising, such as walking at a brisk pace, will aid circulation.

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