When I apply powder from a powder compact to my face, it leaves my skin looking chalky. Is it really necessary to use powder? Do you stop wearing it at a certain age? I am in my late 40s.

Translucent powder might be a good choice in your case. It helps set your makeup, blots the oils and provides a smooth finish so that powdered blush goes on evenly and gives the skin a natural matte finish. When applying powder, press it gently into the foundation with a cotton ball or powderpuff, making sure it is on evenly. Then take off the excess with a large complexion or powder brush.

If you use a compact, employ short, downward strokes with the puff, following the direction of the facial hair. Compact powder provides a heavier finish and most women use it for touchups. If your power is chalky looking, you could be using the wrong color for your your skin, you may be applying it too heavily or the foundation is too thick.

Keep in mind that it usually takes about an hour to have the slightly powdery look disappear as the the skin warms up and becomes more natural looking.

I have had oily skin for a long time. I use a bufpuf and have at other times used different scrubs and masks, which were recommended by cosmeticians. But my skin is red and irritated afterwards. In the summer it is better, but it is still oily with tiny bumps. Do you know of a product that will get rid of the bumps?

Sometimes small bumps, blackheads etc. that accumulate under the skin may be due to lack of moisture in the skin. The surface skin may cover the pores, which makes it difficult for the underlying build-up of sebum, dead skin cells, etc. to come to the surface. This can happen on any type of skin – oily, dry, normal, mature, etc.

Many people feel that if they scrub the skin vigorously, the bumps will disappear, but in fact this may worsen the condition by defatting the skin too much and forcing the sensitive or irritated skin to build up a defence. Try to avoid hot water, strong soaps, alcohol-based products, rough and gritty scrubs, cleansing too often. All of these can cause irritation, which, in turn, can lead to dull, scaly, dehydrated skin.

Use cleansing methods and products suited to your skin type. Use only lukewarm water with your cleans er and clean with a circular motion using a sponge or facecloth for approximately a minute.

Rinse the skin with lukewarm water at least 20 times. At least twice a week use an enzyme-active exfoliante or another mild powdered type of product to gently remove accumulated skin cells. Once a week it would be helpful to use a facial mask.

The use of a toner (without alcohol) and the proper treatment cream would round out your weekly schedule.

I would suggest that you have your skin professionally analyzed and have a few treatments to get you started and to determine the cause of your problems.

I have been on a strict diet and my skin is starting to look drawn. I lose weight off my face first and I look old. What should I do?

You should eat a well-balanced diet to lose weight and make sure you pamper your skin. As pounds disappear, fat cells shrink and roughly treated skin, or neglected skin can easily lose tone and resilience. Your need to lose only one to two pounds a week.

A crash diet can leave your body vulnerable to stretch marks and gaunt- looking facial features. When dieting you need extra fluids and remember that coffee, tea, colas, soft drinks, alcohol etc, are de hydrating. Products that stimulate or tighten the skin should be put on when the skin is damp from toner.

My sin is sensitive to blushers. But I still need some color, what can I use?

Usually powders are better to use for ease of application and staying power. Sometimes creams or gels may contain oils or ingredients that will irritate the skin. Apply a layer of translucent powder, or foundation first onto the skin and then the power blusher.

Should lip gloss be applied all over the lips or only on the bottom lip? How much should I use?

Lip gloss should be applied very sparingly if it is applied only by itself. If you are wearing lip gloss over lipstick, apply it only on the centre of the bottom lip on the inside and away from the lip line.