— Gabriela, San Francisco
A: Gabriella, spring 2010 is all about the color purple! It is such a great tone that works with every eye color and instantly puts you in a fun mood. Try lining the eyes on the top and bottom ($14.50 pearl glide intense eyeliner in Designer Purple at MACCosmetics.com), before setting with purple mascara ($30 Singulier Mascara in Deep Violet at YSLBeautyUS.com). Keep the lips nude and soft.
Q: I'm a 40-year-old African-American professional woman with a medium-brown complexion. I usually keep makeup to the bare minimum, but I'm tired of the washed out, monotone look. Any suggestions on how to brighten it up without going outside of my comfort zone?
— Toni, Oakland, California
A: Toni, I am a huge fan of pink lipstick on African-American women. I know that is not a tone that women of color tend to migrate toward when looking at colors best suited for their complexions. This is a great way to slowly step out of your comfort zone as you give the neutral tones a rest. Pink is a soft and uplifting way to add a touch of pizzazz ($14 Lipstick in Twig at MACCosmetics.com). Try it, and I guarantee that the shade will become a part of your regular staple.
Q: Damone, I have really dark circles under my eyes even if I sleep a lot and drink plenty of water. How do you apply the makeup so that you can't notice the dark circles?
— Paula, London
A: Paula, I have found that creamy concealers out of a tube or pot work best when attempting to cover dark circles. Most concealers that are sold in wands are too thin, and most stick concealers are too thick. You want to avoid using a color that is too light and applying too much of it. Apply in natural light with your ring finger to get the best results.
Q: Damone, I love having a tan and I am uncomfortable wearing summer clothes with white skin. How can I get the summer bronze without being orange and streaky?
— Karen, Illinois
A: Karen, the key to an even, glowing tan is exfoliated, moisturized skin. First, prep your skin with a good scrub before applying a light, oil-free moisturizer. Now you are ready to add your sunless tanner. I recommend Too Faced's Tanning Bed in a Tube ($22.50 at TooFaced.com). It's a beautiful body bronzer that gradually darkens skin, applies streak-free and does not rub off on clothes.
Q: For the average working woman, age 54, what can be purchased reasonably for help with the natural aging process of the face?
— Clara, Columbia, Maryland
A: Clara, I always recommend first that women shape their brows to add a frame to the face. If done correctly, it is an instant facelift. I have also discovered a wonderful new product by Aveeno called Ageless Vitality ($39 at Aveeno.com). It's a two-step process that works to recharge skin elasticity. Lastly, I recommend going a lot lighter on your facial powder. When women tend to mature, the powder can emphasize lines, creating a harsh look.
What aspect of your beauty routine do you need help with? Ask Damone your question.