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Answer Angel: Tips for a quick makeup routine

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Can you recommend a simple makeup routine for a woman to look presentable but not like a clown?

— Denise D.

Dear Denise: I’ve given up on the heavier foundations and basically switched to lightly tinted moisturizers (or tinted BB or CC creams, which are the same thing), preferably those with sunscreen. You don’t have to spend a lot for fancy designer brands. Drugstores, Walmart, Target, Ulta, they all carry brands (Burt’s Bees, Revlon, Covergirl) for under $10. A little ($3.99 and up) drugstore powder blush — emphasis on the little, no clown cheeks — is a nice finish.

I put my money on the eyes, specifically eye shadow. I can’t find any I like better than Bobbi Brown’s neutral Taupe 24 powder shadow which, at $30 (department stores, Sephora, Ulta), is my splurge. I keep going back to Maybelline Great Lash mascara in the pink tube (drugstores, Target under $10). And after many missteps, I find Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner Pencil ($5.49 and up) in black, black/brown or jade stays on better and smears less than other pencils — and this is big — does not require a sharpener, which reduces mess. If you’ve got skimpy eyebrows, a Maybelline Expert Twin Brow & Eye Wood Pencil in blond (which does require a sharpener) is actually a neutral that works with all hair colors (drugstores, $4.49 and up).

And another makeup question …

Dear Answer Angel: Being right-handed, I can apply mascara to my right eye perfectly. But when I try to use the same mascara brush with my right hand on my left eye, it’s on an angle so the mascara goes on with the eyelashes crooked. I’ve tried using my left hand on my left eye, but I’m too uncoordinated for that to work. Has any company solved this problem? Maybe by having an applicator brush that clicks into a different position so that right- and left-handed people can get the correct angle for the mascara to go on either eye evenly?


— Elizabeth M.

Dear Elizabeth: The most frugal approach is DIY: Buy a pack of disposable mascara wand brushes and bend the little brush yourself. They come in 50-100 packs at drugstores, (Target, beauty supply shops and Amazon for under $10). Also, several brands come with hinged or bendable wands that convert to a 90-degree angle. L’Oreal Paris Makeup “Unlimited” Lash Lifting and Lengthening Washable Mascara (, $5.88 on sale;, $12.99) is the least expensive I found. But be gentle when pulling the wand out of the mascara tube because some users say there are problems removing the brush intact from the tube. M.A.C. Pro Beyond Twisted Lash has a bendable brush (, $18.99), and there’s also the discontinued Givenchy Noir Interdit Mascara with a hinged wand (, $34;, $17.99 and up).I would act quickly, since some of these are becoming hard to locate.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Any ideas for keeping one’s hearing aids in place while wearing a mask? Especially when trying to keep the hearing aids in one’s ears when a mask comes off? I don’t imagine there is much one can do. But if anyone can find an answer, you can.

— Sue A.

Dear Sue: I wear clip earrings and have a similar problem with them. I’ve taken to holding on to each and gently removing the mask elastic from around each ear. This is hardly foolproof, since I lost one of my favorite earrings in this maneuver. Keeping a finger on the hearing aid while gingerly removing the elastic is the best I can offer, but I bet I’ll hear from readers who have some good solutions. Stay tuned.

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