I had problems with my skin a couple of years ago but treatments and facials helped. Now my skin is clear but I would like your opinion on how often I should see my esthetician or have facials. The esthetician has mentioned every month.

You don’t have to see your esthetician at all. If you want to maintain a clear, healthy, properly massaged and stimulated skin, then I would try maintenance. Don’t wait until until your skin shows problems. I usually suggest four to seven weeks between facials – it depends upon work or home environment, your diet and exercise program. Maintenance of the skin helps prevent serious problems. Chemical additives in food, air pollution, poor ventilation in the work place, acid rain, medication or drugs (legal or illegal) and smoking have a negative effect on the body, and in turn on the skin.

I will be getting married in October in the late afternoon and I want some pointers on makeup. I have light brown hair, hazel eyes and my skin is quite tanned. Is makeup that I wear during the day OK? How can I make it last through the evening?

Your wedding day is so special and you want to look radiant so makeup is important. It should look natural and fresh and bring out your features.

Make sure your skin is in good condition and use foundation and powder. The foundation can cover up dark circles, pigmentation markings, blotchy or couperose areas and it helps blushers, eyeshadow, lipstick etc. stay on longer. Apply a thin layer of translucent powder for a smooth finish and no shine. Also available are makeup vials which, when applied to the skin help keep the makeup fresh, particularily on oily or very dry skins. Powder blush will last longer and it should barely be there. Your colors should co-ordinate, for example; warm colors – peach, corals, warm brown, dusty turquoise, yellow, etc., or cool colors – rose, plum, violet, grey, blues, etc. Pay special attention to lining the eyes and lips to give them definition and shape. Avoid blue eyeshadow, especially for photographs. Use an eyelash curler and waterproof mascara, just in case you cry. When doing the lips, apply foundation first, then power, outline the lips with a pencil liner or lipbrush, apply lipstick, blot and re-apply it. Use a delicate touch of lip gloss on the centre of the bottom lip.

Several months in advance of your wedding, visit a professional makeup artist, or have a makeup lesson or arrange to have your makeup done in your home or at a salon on the wedding day. Knowing in advance that your makeup will be right takes a lot of anxiety away.

I have dark circles under my eyes, but as I get older (36) they seem to show up more. Is it hereditary? When I use a concealing stick it doesn’t look really natural. Is there something else I can use?

We all have some degree of discoloration under the eyes and it is often an inherited trait. Concealing creams come in wand, cream, paste or stick form. The application of each is quite similar, the only difference being the degree to which they are effective for you. You may have to experiment. Usually the concealer is applied under foundation but there are some that can be applied on top. Make certain that the one designed to be used on top matches the color of your foundation. The concealer should ONLY be put on the areas that are discolored. Dot the concealer on the skin and gently pat to blend until a thin, even film has been applied. You can also use a soft thin brush for this. The stick can be placed on uour hand so that the concealer will soften. Remember that the area is extremely fragile, so try not to drag and pull at the skin.

All mascaras that I have tried seem to make my lashes clump together. What should I use?

When you are applying mascara, stroke on color evenly with one stroke of the wand. Let the mascara dry between applications. A lash comb may help to separate the lashes.