|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
beauty (125 posts)
Maybe because the weather is getting warmer and you're thinking about the pleasures (and, evidently, the vexations) of sleevelessness, I've recently received a slew of e-mails about underarm discoloration. This problem is very common among black and Hispanic women, says Brooke Jackson, MD, medical director of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago. It can be caused by frequent shaving, friction (if, say, your workout clothes rub against your underarms), irritation from your deodorant, or, more rarely, a hormonal condition. To solve the problem, Jackson suggests considering laser hair removal and switching to a gentle deodorant. (Try Secret Clinical Strength Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant for Sensitive Skin, $10, drugstores.)
Q: The women on TV talk shows have such gorgeous bare legs; how can I get them, too?
A: Once, as a guest on a morning television show, I was seated on the couch, nervously chatting up the hosts pre-airtime, when suddenly there was a man crouched in front of me, vigorously rubbing something on my shins. (In my experience, all kinds of freakish things that never happen in real life are likely to happen 30 seconds before you go on live TV.) My legs did look better, but I never found out what that stuff was. So I e-mailed your question to makeup artist Emily Kate Warren, and she offered this terrific advice. After you shave your legs (which helps smooth them), if you're fair, apply self-tanner to cover small imperfections like spider veins. Warren likes St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse ($40, sttropeztan.com) because it's easy to apply and delivers a good, golden color. Once your fake tan has completely developed, apply a bit of dry oil, which gives a natural-looking sheen but doesn't look greasy. Warren recommends Nuxe Golden Dry Oil Splash ($41, b-glowing.com). When you're feeling ambitious, you could also apply a bit of highlighter cream on your shins from below the knee to just above the ankle, which will make your legs look longer. If there's no time for a self-tanner, try Givenchy Mister Radiant Body ($49, sephora.com), a gel that gives you a hint of slightly pearly color and washes off in the shower.
So on a freezing February morning, runway legend Pat Cleveland made the two-hour trip from her southern New Jersey home to the 1920s mansion in New York City where we shot "The Bold and the Beautiful." Two of her fellow Versailles models—Alva Chinn and Bethann Hardison—arrived later that morning. They'd be sharing the pages of O with three "young-uns": Kinee Diouf, Shelby Coleman, and Jaunel McKenzie, who have walked the runway for designers like Vivienne Westwood, Tory Burch, and Michael Kors.
Together the six models made magic in dresses, skirts, and jackets in classic cream and white. During a pause in shooting, Hardison livened things up—with an African-inspired dance. "Bethann totally let go of her inhibitions out there," says photographer Lorenzo Agius. "It was hilarious!"
McKenzie's favorite part of the ten-hour day: "In this very caring way, Alva showed me how to turn my face while we were posing together—I loved it."
Chinn embraced that motherly role. "I liked being around the new kids on the block," she says. "That day I had three beautiful daughters, and I was proud of how comfortable they were in their own skin. They didn't compete with each other or vie for attention," she says.
Cleveland, too, saw the shoot as a bridge between fashion's past and future: "It felt like being in a garden with lovely flowers from every season."
Is mineral makeup allergy-safe?
How to stop breakouts
Help! I have dry, patchy skin!
A: The older I get, the more intrigued I am by the mysteries of the cosmos. You have an operation, all goes well (at least I hope it did), you resume your normal life...and one day a glance in the mirror reveals that your hair is a completely different texture. Yikes! Why?
I e-mailed David Kingsley, PhD, trichologist (explainer of all things hair related), who said that though it's very common to see hair loss about three months postsurgery—anesthesia can temporarily disrupt the hair growth cycle—he hasn't heard of anesthesia changing hair texture. He points out, though, that frizziness is a sign of dry hair, which could mean the oil glands on your scalp are less active than they were presurgery. Kingsley suggests that you switch to a shampoo for dry hair, condition after every shampoo, use a prewash deep conditioner at least once a week, drink lots of water to stay well hydrated, and take a primrose oil or omega-3 supplement.
Keep in mind: While you're waiting for your waves, a good antifrizz styling product will be very helpful.
Val Answers your top haircare questions
Why has my curly hair gone straight?
The best ways to tame frizzy summer hair
A: I'm always happy when I see a question with the words skincare and tight budget, because it's easy to put together a simple, effective, and inexpensive routine. Here, according to Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, is what you need:
1. A gentle cleanser for morning and night. Skip any that contain treatment ingredients—they only get washed off.
2. A serum or lotion with an antioxidant (like vitamin C, E, polyphenols, or CoffeeBerry), to be applied after morning cleansing.
3. A moisturizer with sunscreen to be applied after the antioxidant.
4. An exfoliating scrub or a microdermabrasion-type brush (to be used with cleanser) to smooth the skin once or twice a week (or less frequently if your skin is sensitive).
5. A moisturizer and/or retinoid treatment product for bedtime.
Keep in mind: All the products Kauvar suggests can be bought for a reasonable price at the drugstore.
Val Monroe's skincare regimen
How to keep hands looking youthful
Do firming lotions work?
8 new fragrances that will add a little swing to your spring
6 great long-lasting makeup products
The 2012 spring makeup O-wards: The best new beauty products
Val's guide to buying the right beauty products
How can I avoid underarm razor bumps?
Do firming lotions work?
The 5 biggest hair myths...and one unfortunate truth
How to pair shampoo and conditioner
The lazy woman's guide to fabulous hair
For $20 a month, LifeSoap delivers a fresh Box of Joy to your door every four weeks, along with an update on their humanitarian projects. The company's 25-year-old founders, Juwon Melvin and Aaron Madonna, are passionate about solving the clean water crisis—and making great soap. Their bars combine organic oils with soothing ingredients like oatmeal and shea butter (and skip synthetic fragrances, colors, and preservatives). LifeSoap's first project, rehabilitating wells and building latrines at a school in Nicaragua, is already under way.
Free your mane: Gentle products for dehydrated hair
Tata Harper: The rising star of organic beauty
Val answers your top 20 skincare questions