9 years ago by

You know those questions, the ones that you really really really want to ask, but don’t really know how or who to ask them too. These aren’t even the super tough questions, they are those basic oh duh everyone knows that so I can’t be the one to ask questions. You know, like do you wash your whites on hot or cold…

So, I took it upon myself to answer some of these beauty related questions (with the help of some of my expert friends). Here is what the team at the Studio is asking…

Which comes first, concealer or foundation?

Ahhh the age old question. I say, foundation first. It will do your base layer of coverage so you’ll know exactly what needs extra help from your concealer.

Which step in your routine is your sunscreen?

Sunscreen should come after your moisturizer and before your makeup. Here is the full order of application: Toner, prescription medication or special treatment, serum, moisturizer and SPF. Or TPSMS.

Of course, I realize this is a little bit of an intense routine (#beautyeditorproblems) so if you keep things more simple: moisturizer then sunscreen. And then of course if your have sunscreen built in to any products, then you are set. Really, at this point, as long as you are wearing sunscreen, I’m happy.

Should you curl your lashes before or after you apply mascara?

I’m only really able to answer this question because you all really helped me conquer my uneasiness with the curler. So, curl your lashes first. This will eliminate mascara build up on your lash curler and give your lashes a more natural look.

When is the best time to trim your nails?

Trimming your nails is typically easiest when they are soft, so after you shower or take a bath. If you have thicker nails, this time will be best for you! Of course make sure your hands and nails are dry, you don’t want any slips of the clipper. Ouch!

Do you have to let your nails breathe between polish applications or is that a myth?

Remember what Nadine said? “Putting lacquer on your nails endlessly is not always a good idea. Give them a break every once in a while. If you’ve had a manicure and you know you aren’t going to go for another two weeks, take your polish off at home when they start to chip or grow out.”

How long should you keep your makeup for?

I asked Sarah Lucero (celebrity makeup artist and Global Artistic Director for Stila) for some advice in this department because, confession: I’m a bit of a makeup hoarder, especially when it comes to lipstick and nail polish. So, here are some guidelines to follow when it comes to when you should be throwing out your products.

Mascara: 2 months. If your mascara starts to get flakey, that is a sign that it’s dried out. Big brush wands tend to dry out quicker.
Lipstick: 1 year. If the lipstick starts to smell strong, that is a sign it has gone bad.
Foundation: 1 year. The foundation should remain the same texture as when you bought it. Keep it tightly closed and store it in a cool spot.
Blush: 1 year for cream and powder blush. If the blush gets a dark film on the top layer, that means toss it. Sometimes brushes will transfer oil onto the powder and they harden and lose the glide of the pigment.
Eyeshadow: 2 years for powder shadow and 1 1/2 years for cream shadow.

When should you replace your bath sponge?

Replace your bath sponge or loofa every few weeks. Sponges made from synthetic materials will last a little bit longer, but bacteria build up is unavoidable with something that lives in your shower. Hopefully there isn’t much else living in your shower…

What step is eye cream?

Remember TPSMS? Good. Now you can memorize TPESMS. Apply eye cream before your serum and/or moisturizer to help seal in the ingredients. Give it a minute or two to soak in before moving on to your next step.

Can you mix products together?

Be cautious when mixing products with SPF, retinol or prescription products. Mixing can alter the state of the ingredients and make them less effective. With something like a foundation and a simple moisturizer (a little DIY tinted moisturizer) you should be safe, just check your ingredients!

How often should I wash or change my brushes?

Alice talked to me about brushes a few months ago and she recommends washing your brushes once a week, depending on usage, using a mild shampoo or specific brush cleanser (I like this one). A quality brush should last you a few years, if you notice your brush starting to shed (remember Garance’s brush beard?) or the shape falling, it’s time to replace it.

Do you floss before or after you brush your teeth?

This is one of great debate. If you floss before your brush, you don’t run the risk of brushing pushing any food particles further into the spaces between your teeth. If you floss after, you get anything your toothbrush couldn’t reach. So maybe, do both? Your dentist will really like you.

How much time shall I give my skin to adapt to a new product?

Give yourself at least two weeks when trying out a new product to see how your skin reacts and to start seeing results. It’s always a good idea to test a product on your hand first (you’ll often find me at my desk dabbing things on the back of my hand #beautyeditorproblems), if you notice any immediate irritation, keep it far away from your face. Patience is a virtue my friends.

What about you guys, do you have any weird / funny / stupid questions you ask yourselves ? We can (maybe answer !!!)


Add yours
  • Thanks Alex for these answers…kind of beauty for dummies!

    Regarding the time to let skin adapt to new products I have super sensitive skin so I almost never change and use only dermatologist recommended products like DCL Skincare (they have great moisturizer, peel and sunscreen).

  • the brushing/flossing question got into a chicken/egg dilemma! :)

  • Thanks so much for your insights! Especially on flossing!

    Love from Germany,

    XO Bambi

  • Mon commentaire n’a aucun rapport avec ce sujet mais en tout cas; merci pour la conférence de lundi car c’était vraiment vraiment chouette et instructif. Et je me demandais si tu ferais un compte rendu sur ton séjour à Montréal ou sur l’événement en tant que tel; Le festival Mode & Design Montréal. Si tu es encore chez nous, ne serait-ce que quelques heures, alors profites bien.

  • I usually ask myself, “Apply illuminator before blush or after? Or should I not use blush at all?” Silly things I think about in the morning to distract myself from thinking about work.

  • Hi CC! I usually do my illuminator post-blush :)

  • Thank you Alex:)
    all this information is great …i will add that a smile on our face helps on the long therm to have nice wrinkles…
    Yael Guetta

  • I do not think you have to let your nails breathe inbetween painting them, as we certainly do not stop coloring hair to let it breathe. Also, please floss before brushing. My question is about cleaning brushes- simple cleansers don’t remove makeup from them (foundations, concealers) Can I just rub them with makeup remover?

  • Hi Sashi! I use bareMinerals Well-Cared For Brush Shampoo. It is really good at removing foundation and concealers, I’ve been using it for years!

  • Oupsy, j’ai tout faux!!! On m’avait dit que les ongles, ce n’était jamais après la douche, j’ai mon mascara depuis un an et mon rouge à lèvres depuis 4! Bon, je ne parle même pas de mon pinceau de Terracotta que je n’ai quasi jamais laver (pr ne pas dire jamais)…
    C’est grave docteur???!!! :-)

  • Moi j’ai une palette d’ombres à paupière de Chanel depuis 2008.. oups! :p
    Par contre je te conseille de laver ton pinceau, surtout si tu as quelques boutons (il est possible que ce soit ton pinceau qui les causent en fait ;-).
    Après perso je suis pas hyper hygiénique en matière de maquillage non plus, le pinceau je le lave une fois tous les deux mois ^_^

  • Great information!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • Love this post! I definitely have some 5-year-old blushes and shadows in my makeup drawer…

    xx, Kristi

  • Does anyone have recommendations for deodorants or antiperspirants that don’t stain clothes?

  • I really like Weleda Wild Rose deodorant and Aesop’s deodorant– they won’t stain! xx

  • Hi, I use the Dove Invisible Dry one. It’s not my favorite deodorant fragance, but it protects and really doesn’t stain my clothes.

  • I can recommend Dr Hauchka déodorant. A must have …

  • Awesome! Thanks guys! There’s nothing worse than buying a beautiful silk shirt, then having it ruined by deodorant. I have been a long-time fan of Dr. Hauschka Floral deo, which I apply over those salt crystal deodorants. This is a great combo for smelling great, but it doesn’t stop sweating. I’ll try the Dove one for an antiperspirant.

  • I love this!! I never know what comes first when I leave the dermatologist hahaha now i KNOW !
    Xo, Belen from A Hint of Life

  • Question: do treatment to whiten you teeth really make them more sensitive?

  • Yes, I have a friend who is dental prosthetist and even her told me it was bad for the enamel and the teeth (she wouldn’t do it to herself although she’s in a top lab).

  • Thaaank you for answering so many questions I didn’t even know I had!
    Such a useful post

  • If you’re rinsing and drying your loofah properly, I don’t see why you should have to toss it every few weeks. They’re plastic. They’re washable. Imagine all the loofahs in the landfills….if you use a sponge, you can nuke it in the microwave to disinfect it. You can do that with toothbrushes too.

  • these are all such good tips!! I didn’t know like half this stuff!

  • J’adore! Ca c’est une liste sympa et tellement utile!
    Merci Alex!


  • Aha this post was so funny but really helpful. Thanks for asking about the longevity of makeup because I get really bad eyes allergies because of my mascara and I was told I had to change it every six months but I think I should probably reduce the time to 3 months. It’s really annoying, I don’t know if it’s the mascara itself or how long I use it. I’m obsessed with eyelashes so I can’t skip mascara in my beauty routine…
    Well I do have a stupid question that I ask myself every time I brush my teeth. Do we have to wet the toothbrush before of after putting the toothpaste? I swear my mom and dad always had an argument over this so now I just do both because I got traumatized. xD

    Anyway, thanks for the tips & keep up with this kind of light-hearted posts, I love them. <3

  • great article…..xoxoxo happy thursday everyone :)

  • I loved this post Alex! I think you should make it a monthly thing and people can send in questions to be answered. It’s always fun having these discussions with people all around the world who have different perspectives. Sending smiles from Vancouver :)

  • THANK YOU!!!!

  • Question: Makeup brushes, which are essential for beginners?

  • Hi Ana! Check out this post we did about brushes: Hope it helps! xx

  • Everyone gives a different answer on the concealer or foundation first. So confusing.

  • Yes, curl your lashes first! Curling them after mascara may lead to accidental lash snippings! Which no one wants.

    … Also, I am pretending not to see those “toss by” makeup dates… Hehe.

  • Here are my shameful answers:

    ::How long should you keep your makeup for?::
    Until it breaks or it gets used up or until you’re sick of it.

    ::How often should I wash or change my brushes?””
    Usually about a week after you first think “Hm! I should wash my brushes!” Because by then you’ve finally remembered to do it and have time to do so.

  • I do my concealer first if I’m using a power foundation, but second if I’m using liquid/bb cream. Also for brushes I just use a baby shampoo, it’s less expensive than special brush cleansers, smells better and just as effective! And I actually toss my plastic loofah in the washing machine… I trust that to take care of bacteria since I stopped getting “bacne” when I started doing that…

  • Great article! Here are my two questions; if you use a face oil what order does that go on? I also heard you are supposed to change your skin care regimen after awhile as your skin gets used to the products and they lose effectiveness? Is this true and how often should you change products? Thank you!

  • Hi Randi! Face oil should come after (or in place of) your serum/moisturizer. Some oils create more of a barrier than others and make it harder for SPF to penetrate the skin, in this case, try to use a moisturizer that includes SPF!

    I don’t think your skin really gets used to a product to the point where you should stop using something. I think this does happen with some prescription products, which is why your dosage tends to change over time. If a product is working for you, that is a good thing and you should stick with it! I do think it’s important to adjust your skin care routine with the seasons, my routine in the summer is really different from the winter. Hope this helps! xx

  • karacocoa August, 21 2014, 3:06 / Reply

    I use a water pik before brushing and dental floss after.

  • according to this i have to toss half of my make up bag!!! oops!

  • I HAVE A QUESTION, do you guys have a Garance handwritten truetype or does she write on all posts ?? just curious!

  • Katherine August, 22 2014, 7:27

    I second this question! :-)

  • Great post! Answered some questions that have always at some point in time cam across my mind- really helpful, thanks! :)

  • Merci pour ces réponses à des questions que je n’aurais jamais osé poser dans la vraie vie ;)
    Mais en ce qui concerne la durée de vie des produits, est-ce que ce n’est tout de même pas trop court? Je me maquille tous les jours, pourtant mon mascara dure 6 mois, et je garde mes rouges à lèvres X années (je n’ose pas avouer le véritable nombre d’années après avoir lu ce post) (moins de dix ans tout de même, il ne faut pas exagérer ;) alors que j’en porte quotidiennement (c’est juste parce que j’ai plein de couleurs).
    Alors les fabricants de cosmétiques ne devraient-ils pas proposer des conditionnement plus petits? Car autrement c’est un peu une invitation au gaspillage… non?
    Et quid des vernis? Combien de temps peut-on les garder? (pour moi c’est un peu comme mes rouges à lèvres… classé X!)

  • Tout à fait d’accord avec Violette!
    Il est impossible de consommer aussi rapidement nos tubes de maquillages à moins d’être monomaniaque d’une teinte unique…
    J’ai cependant constaté que les rouges à lèvres longues tenues dont je suis friande car très paresseuse (super stay et autres 24h) n’étaient plus aussi efficaces passé les deux premiers mois (surtout durant l’été). Je ne peux pas conserver le tube au frigo vu que je le promène dans mon sac à main et j’ai dû parfois le jeter bien que le flacon ne soit pas encore vide. Comment éviter un tel gaspillage?

  • MMMmmh… effectivement ce sont des questions que je m’étais posées sans jamais les formuler clairement! Merci pr les réponses et les questions donc!!

  • Alas I am now breathing deeply between sobs as I cull my lipstick….(as an aside — I bought 3 from Woodley & Bunny — what happened to them???!!!!)

  • Hi, where does actual Retin A fall in the order of nighttime product application? Right after toner, or last & right before bed?

  • I would have thought that, if you’re flossing properly, once is enough – after brushing. That particular Q&A is just creating paranoia.

  • Hey, I have one question. At what age should you start with eye creme (anti-aging that is)? The opinions differ and I’m just not sure, because a pharmacist once told me, if you start too early it could accelerate the aging process…

  • Hi Alex!
    Thanks for this post, I learned interesting things! Still wondering, at what age should I start putting on eye contour?

  • I really love that instruction.
    Thank you sister

  • Laurence August, 22 2014, 5:01 / Reply

    Hi Alex!

    Thanks for the post. My question is: I love liquid blush like the Benetint, but I use Bare Mineral powder foundation. Are they compatible? If yes, which one do I use first? I know, silly silly question… but I’ve been wondering for ages and never got the guts to ask in a shop!


  • Primer, correttore, illuminatore, tous ensemble!?????

  • What a great post! Useful!

  • i cant believe that part of text when you say that i have to stop using my mascara after two months!!!!!!!! ajajajajjaja.. ok..good luck ,spend your money this way.. i cant believe ! and blush 1 year… oh my god. i stop reading this post. please!!

  • Jennifer August, 22 2014, 8:48 / Reply

    Great article, what useful information!

    On the topic of brushes, is there a better type of bristle/hair or does it really not matter. It seems you can spend $2 all the way to $200 on brushes. Does it really matter? What’s most important when picking one out? And making them last.

    I use a Clinique brush cleaner currently, it seems to clean well.

  • I thought if it’s chemical sunscreen, you use it first, then moisturizer?

  • very helpful, thanks so much. great timing – i was wondering some of these things the last couple of weeks

  • Des questions toutes simple, sur notre quotidien de femme, qu’on ne pense pas forcément à se poser et pourtant… mon dieu que ces réponses vont m’être utiles!!!

  • Just to add my 2 cents about the letting your fingernails/toenails breathe between manicures… DO IT! I was notorious for keeping constant colour on my toenails and finally, one day, I was taking off one application to put on another and there were small black flecks under my toenails.

    I looked it up and it was a fungus that is ALWAYS present in your nails…but without polish it escapes and wanders off. Since I was continuously repainting my nails I gave the fungus a nice squishy bed because it COULDN’T leave.

    So, I’ve left polish off them for the better part of a year and they’ve been growing out healthily and look really awesome and pretty now. I asked a dermatologist about it later and it can happen to fingernails too.

    Give your nails some breathing room.

  • Hi Alex! Just wondering when is the best time to put on self tanner? Day/Night? and what step in the beauty process.

  • Hi Olivia! Do your self tanner at night, take a shower and be sure to exfoliate well before! Set aside time for the tanner to absorb before you hit the sheets and you’ll wake up in the morning a bronze goddess :) Here are some more tips from an interview we did last spring! Hope it helps! xo Alex

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