You've got questions? Our beauty director, Valerie Monroe, has answers. Q: In what order should I apply facial treatment products?
A: I'm glad you asked; what's the point of using treatments if you're not getting the maximum benefits? Francesca Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has a simple rule: Apply the lightest, thinnest product first and work up to the heaviest. With that in mind, here are your instructions for morning and evening.
Morning 1. Wash with a creamy, non-sudsy, non-detergent cleanser.
2. If your skin is oily, use a non-alcohol-based toner on the T-zone only.
3. Apply a serum containing either vitamin C or another antioxidant, like ferulic acid or green tea.
4. Lightly pat on an eye cream.
5. Apply a moisturizer—tinted, if you like—with a broad-spectrum SPF 30.
Evening 1. Wash with a creamy, non-sudsy, non-detergent cleanser.
2. Apply moisturizer if your skin is sensitive or very dry, or you suffer from rosacea.
3. If you use a prescription retinoid, apply that next, dabbing a pea-size amount on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.
4. If you use hydroquinone to treat hyperpigmentation, either mix it with the retinoid or apply it afterward.
Keep in mind: A retinoid makes your skin sun-sensitive, so if you use one to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, be vigilant about sunscreen.
Q: I'd love to wear false eyelashes. What's the best way to apply them?
A: Having spent the better part of a morning at my desk trying to put on a set of fake lashes—and succeeding spectacularly only in getting the glue all over a printout of your e-mail—I second your question. Here's the answer from intrepid makeup artist Emily Kate Warren: "I prefer Ardell half-lash strips because they're natural-looking. Grasp the lash strip at each end and pull it down and away from the backing. Put a dot of Duo lash glue on the back of your hand and let it dry for 20 seconds. When it feels tacky, dip the very tip of a pointy cotton swab into the glue and apply it to the back of the strip. Minimal glue! Looking into a mirror with your chin slightly raised (so your eyes are half shut), apply the strip from mid-lid to the outer corner. (Yes, on only half your lid; you don't need a full lid of fakes.) Once you've applied the lashes to both eyes, apply two coats of black mascara from roots to tips of lashes, both real and fake."
Keep in mind: If the line of false lashes is visible, apply a trace of black eyeliner across your entire lid.