I’m a full-time glasses wearer, and I’m DAMN PROUD of how I rock my frames. But in my decade or so of visual impairment, I have never learned how to apply foundation and/or powder to my nose in such a way that my glasses don’t smear/smudge it. (I would go au naturale, but I have pretty obvious pores on my nose.) Do I have to spend all day repowdering my nose, or give in and get contacts? —Caroline
Maybe and no. Thank you for reading, and goodnight!
No, I actually have three ideas for you, but first, this is one of those questions where I want to remind you that NO ONE EXAMINES YOUR FACE AS CLOSELY AS YOU DO. Think about how close you put your mug to the mirror while applying makeup, and how much you scrutinize every little detail. You’re the only one able to do that, because the rest of us are standing wayyyyy over here! I mean, we’re going to look at your nose at some point, but not that closely or critically, so cut your nose and its audience some slack!
That said, makeup is fun, and it’s satisfying to nail a technique or find a secret formula, so we will now talk about that junk, but I wanted to reassure you that it’s NBD to your beholders. Maybe you could avoid applying makeup where your glasses actually sit on your nose? Because your glasses will cover that skin, there’s really no need to have makeup under there. And I know glasses slide up and down and all around, but it’s not like they’re constantly repositioning themselves all the way from your forehead to the tip of your nose. What’s a few millimeters of exposed pores? So try applying your foundation and powder as normal everywhere but your nose. Then, with your glasses on, use a small concealer brush (like this one from M.A.C. Cosmetics) to apply foundation only to the parts of your nose that the glasses won’t come into contact with. Once you’re satisfyingly foundationed, take off your specs to keep them clean, apply powder to the carefully placed makeup on your nose, and pop your glasses back on. If your work or play requires you to look down a lot and causes your glasses to slip, talk to your optometrist about ways to keep them from moving around. A slight adjustment might be all you need, and that’s usually free.
If that doesn’t work for you, yeah, you might want to reapply your makeup throughout the day. I used to work with this flawless-looking woman named Judith in a large office. Every day around lunchtime, you could find her in the bathroom with all of her makeup spread out on paper towels—with another paper towel used as a bib over her cashmere turtleneck sweater—reapplying her entire face of makeup OVER her existing entire face of makeup. It was a sight to behold, but so was her immaculately made-up visage. Luckily, powdering one’s nose takes seconds and can be done just about anywhere other than at the dinner table (and maybe even there, depending on your personal views on etiquette), so you don’t have to do the whole Judith shebang.
You could also try a combo of primer and finishing spray or powder. I’m really liking Skindinavia’s INCREDIBLY FANCY line. They have a mattifying spray-on primer and a setting spray that, used in tandem, seal my makeup for the better part of the day. Make Up For Ever also makes a translucent finishing powder that works pretty well to prevent smudging and budging:
And no need to get contacts—then you’ll just be writing in asking about contact-friendly mascara and eyeliner. It’s always something! —Jane Marie
I’m a competitive swimmer and spend two to three hours in a chlorinated pool at least six days a week, which really dries out my hair and skin. Most blogs/websites I’ve read recommend anti-chlorine products, but those get expensive when you’re using them every single day. Do you know of anything else that might help? —Fish Out of Water
Ooh, I feel you, Fishie. I used to swim on my school’s varsity team, and daily practices in a heavily chlorinated pool tried to murder my hair and skin. I have blond hair, which turned a pale green hue, and my skin was always dry and itchy. I wish I had known then that there are definitely things you can do to fight all this turmoil!
For hair: Each strand of your hair is porous, like a little sponge, and if you get your head wet before you hit the pool, your hair will have less room to absorb chlorinated water (since it’ll already be full of the non-chlorinated kind). You probably have to take a quick shower before you hop in the pool anyway if your swim team is like mine was. Now, you for-sure have to wear a swim cap when you swim competitively, and that’s a good thing for your hair. After you get your hair wet, but before you put your swim cap on, you can block even more chlorine by coating your hair with something protective, like conditioner or even a little bit of olive oil, combed through it. Put the cap over this and you’re good to go!
Post-swim, wash your hair immediately with the shampoo of your choice, and then, a few times a week at home, get the chlorine out of the ends of your hair, where it concentrates (and where, for blondes, it turns it the greenest) by rinsing them in a small bowl of lemon juice. No fancy swimmers’ shampoo necessary—but if you want to go that route, here are some options.
For skin: I don’t know of any other solution to keep your skin soft and well-moisturized than drinking tons of water and…yep, moisturizer. Here’s a good, kinda-fancy one, and here’s an equally good one you can get at most drugstores. Apply it after every shower, at school or at home. You are going to go through tons of moisturizer as a competitive swimmer, and if the price is stressing you out, try rubbing coconut oil or olive oil on your skin instead. Lots of people swear by those, and they have the added advantage of being available at pretty much any grocery store for not a tone of money. Hope this helps! —Krista ♦
If you’re all like, “Beauty is an illusion…but I would really prefer it not to be,” please email all your questions about pedicures, androgynous makeup, lip plumper, and anything else to Jane Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please sign your email with your name/nickname/initials, age, and city. Thank you!