I would like to ask for help in solving my biggest beauty problem. I have terrible posture, starting literally from my feet which turn in, through my neck, which leans forward. What type of professional would deal with this? I am in my 30s and am afraid I’ve let the condition go too far, however, I’d really like to try for improvement.

The corrective measures that you need to take depend to a large extent on the origin of the problem. You describe your feet as turning in. Do you remember if they were like this when your were young? If so, perhaps your problem originated congenitally. In such a case you would be best to consult your family doctor and get a referral to a specialist. A structural problem that is left uncorrected can lead to other structural problems as the body tries to find its balance.

If your poor posture just developed over the years, we suggest that you first consult a chiropractor. It is possible that some adjusting will help to realign your spine. Chiropractic treatment alone cannot do it all, however, but you can get some exercises that will help to stretch, strengthen and re-train your muscles. Massage therapy can also be of great benefit.

Swimming is probably the best all-round exercise for you; yoga classes are also good for stretching and strengthening, but first check with whomever you have decided to consult as some yoga postures are not advisable where there are certain structural problems.

There are also many movement classes available which help you to “free up” your body and allow it to move more gracefully.

You might also give some consideration to any emotional factors that may have contributed to your postural misalignment as our emotions and self-concept have a great impact on our posture. For example, a young girl entering puberty may feel shy and embarrassed about her developing breasts and, feeling unsure about herself, slouches forward. If these feelings persist along with the habit, then it eventually becomes part of her postural stance. In this case as well, the problem has to be approached from the physical point as the body will have changed as a result.

Are waterproof mascaras harmful to the lashes? How do you take it off without hurting the eyes?

Mascara can lengthen, darken and thicken the lashes. Regular mascara consists of oil, water, waxes, pigments, proteins, fibres and emulsifiers. The emulsifiers stabilize the mixture to keep it smooth. The proteins and fibres, either nylon or rayon, are often added to the formula to build up or to lengthen the lashes.

The wand-type mascaras (as opposed to the cake) are the most popular because they are fast, easy to apply and come with various types of applicators – brush, spiral, screws and combs. It appears that the spiral type are the best lash separators.

The waterproof mascara with its plastic-based fixatives is much more long-lasting and also claims to be water and smudge-proof so that it will stay on your lashes all day (and night for some people who don’t end up taking it off before retiring.) Although is is the longest lasting mascara, it is also the most difficult and time-consuming to remove. Because of the plastics it contains, plain soap and water will not remove this type. You need either an oil or a rich cream to take it off. The most common complaints about waterproof mascara are clumping, smearing, brittle and dried-out lashes. Also, the fibres and lash-builders can flake off and drop into the eyes, which is especially irritating for those who wear contact lenses. It is therefore not advisable to wear this type of mascara all the time.

You can eliminate excess smearing or clumping by applying it properly.

You might want to help restore moisture loss by applying a lash conditioner.

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