Quick Fixes for Your Worst Beauty and Fashion Disasters

Airdate: 8/23/13

Discover how to handle beauty emergencies quickly and gracefully. Paula and Bryan discuss tips and tricks for handling a fallen hem, broken zipper, smeared mascara, bleeding lipstick, and more, plus share our top product picks to keep around—because beauty disasters can happen anytime!

Paula Begoun: Hello. I'm Paula Begoun with Bryan Barron, authors of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me." We're part of the Paula's Choice Research Team; a small part, because we've got quite a big team. Bryan and I have been writing books together for 13 years. He has his anniversary now, or I have my anniversary with you, but it's 13 years that we've been writing and research together and keeping women beautifully informed all over the world.
00:00:35 Our books have been translated into I think eight different languages. I think eight different languages.
Bryan Barron: That's astounding.
Paula Begoun: Maybe more. Well, definitely the content has been translated into at least 20 different languages. But the books, I think, seven or eight different languages. The most interesting one was the Russian version of the book.
00:01:02 So, here we are and we have our radio show that we are now doing and you can hear archived, which you probably already are because if you're listening to us now, because we tape live. You're on our website at or and you found us. And actually we need to make sure we have a really clear link up on the homepage.
Bryan Barron: Oh, we will.
Paula Begoun: I'm also the Paula of the Paula's Choice skincare line, although the Paula's Choice Research Team is responsible for formulating the products with me.
00:01:39 I started Paula's Choice in 1997? 1995? 1995! And wrote my first book, "Blue Eye Shadow Should be Illegal," in 1984.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, just about, a little over ten years prior.
Paula Begoun: Oh my god. It's been quite a journey. So, here we are, keeping you beautifully informed. And today we're going to be talking about quick fixes for beauty disasters.
00:02:06 And we mean quick. You can't sit around for a long time trying to fix smudged mascara and bleeding lipstick and poorly shaped eyebrows. I mean, what are you going to do? Wait around for the eyebrows to grow back?
Bryan Barron: Exactly.
Paula Begoun: So, it has to be fast. We have some quick fixes for beauty disasters.
Bryan Barron: Beauty and fashion disaster, too.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's' right.
00:02:31 Eh, I'm a little skeptical about a few of the fashion suggestions, but you know...
Bryan Barron: That's why it's good that we talk about them now so that we can…because a lot of this is common advice that you may have seen or read about before, and so for some of the bad advice we're going to explain why it's bad advice.
Paula Begoun: Oh, definitely what you can and…
Bryan Barron: And why it's a waste of your time to bother. You may as well just live with whatever happened.
Paula Begoun: It's so true! So, yeah, we'll dispel the myths as we always do, keep you from wasting money. Save your time, which is always a beautiful thing, and help you take care of mistakes that always happen.
00:03:05 And one of my, this one is the trickiest mistake. Well, first of all, if you read our reviews of mascaras, the likelihood of having a problem with clumpy mascara is much less likely to occur. We rate dozens, and dozens, and dozens of mascaras from dozens, and dozens, and dozens of lines.
Bryan Barron: It's amazing we have any lashes left.
Paula Begoun: Actually it's sad but true, especially the waterproof mascaras, which often are anything but. It's actually shocking how many waterproof mascaras come off easily with water. Like, do they think nobody would notice? What is that about?
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
00:03:39 Especially, like I kind of understand some that say that they're waterproof, but if you go for a significant swim, meaning you're not just quickly getting your face wet; you're actually going underwater and you're staying under water because you're swimming. I get that those might come off after awhile.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: But we tested some where we just splash our face with a little bit of water…
Paula Begoun: And they come right off.
Bryan Barron: And they run.
00:04:03 They just streak right down the cheeks.
Paula Begoun: What is that? Did nobody in the marketing department or the formulators actually put the mascara on before they put their name on the label?
Bryan Barron: You have to think that they didn't.
Paula Begoun: You have to think that they didn't.
Bryan Barron: And knowing how many people are behind the green-lighting and the marketing of a certain product and nobody spoke up? Nobody said, "Are we at all concerned about the fact that it doesn't really work?"
Paula Begoun: Ha! So, having said that, clumpy mascara can happen.
00:04:30 Now, it can even happen with a good mascara if you're not willing to toss it much past it's life expectancy, because mascaras don't last very long -- three to four months. And then even if there is some left in the tube, because air has gotten in every time you pump the wand in. It gets thick. It can get clumpy. Or, you just happened to have not bought the best mascara and it gets clumpy. Or, you touch up your mascara during the day because you think you can get more on.
00:04:58 And generally when you add mascara, even though they show it. You know, I'm such a fan of The Devil Wears Prada. I watch that so often, the one with Meryl Streep.
Bryan Barron: Oh yeah! Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway.
Paula Begoun: And Stanley Tucci. I just love that movie. And there's a scene where…
Bryan Barron: I love Stanley Tucci in anything he's in.
Paula Begoun: I do love Stanley Tucci. He was particularly clever…oh, well, okay. But, Anne Hathaway in one of the scenes, and she's beautifully dressed, already has her makeup on, and then you see her adding mascara to her lashes.
00:05:33 And you know it's a fake because adding mascara when you already have mascara on, it's going to clump. There's no way in heck it doesn't clump. So, you don't ever want to try to take care of clumping mascara or making your lashes thicker by adding more mascara. It will clump. No way around it.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: However, what you can do about it, or even while you're putting on mascara and it clumps, two things.
00:06:05 So, one is you put on mascara and it's clumping and it's still wet. Take a clean mascara wand, in other words, one of the mascaras that you should have thrown out. Before you throw it out, take the wand out -- throw the container out but keep the wand -- and wash it, so you have a clean mascara wand. And then you can take that clean mascara wand and run it through your lashes to pick up the clumps to smooth out what you've just applied.
00:06:35 Now this is talking about when you first put on mascara and it goes on a little clumpy.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Paula Begoun: Now, if you notice as the day goes by some mascaras can get clumpy, either because your eye is slightly wet from tearing, the oil in your skin around your eye can make lashes clump as the day goes by. Maybe you didn't notice it earlier and you notice it when you're touching up your mascara.
00:07:03 The best trick I know of is to take that clean mascara wand that you have and make it -- now, this only works with water soluble mascara -- make it a little wet and gently brush it through the lashes.
Bryan Barron: Yup. I've done that.
Paula Begoun: Some recommendations are to use makeup remover. Now, makeup remover is not necessary a bad idea, but it's a bad idea if the makeup remover contains any oil or any silicone.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Because then you're going to get a slippery, smeary, you can't do anything about it, mess. So, a traditional makeup remover that has no oils and no silicones, nothing even slightly slippery, and by the way, Clinique has one.
00:07:48 What is Clinique's called?
Bryan Barron: Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent.
Paula Begoun: You are so good, but you don't have to rinse it off.
Bryan Barron: Right .
Paula Begoun: But it works perfectly. It's actually a very nice -- there aren't so many makeup removers that don't have oils in them. This was actually one of the few that doesn't have fragrance so won't irritate the eye. I don't think it has coloring agents, either.
Bryan Barron: Well, they sometimes include it in their gift with purchase.
Paula Begoun: And it doesn't have coloring agents, it's just that the container is blue.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: So, it's actually a very decently formulated, a little too expensive, but for taking off makeup without adding any oils or silicones so that the eye area isn't slippery. It works great.
00:08:34 So, you can either do water or makeup remover, as long as it doesn't have fluids or oils, and just gently comb that through the lashes. And that will pick up the clumps and then once it dries you're good to go. Works perfectly every time. So, no more clumpy mascaras, and check out our reviews on so you don't mascaras that clump from the beginning!
Bryan Barron: So, one of the pieces that we've read about, this is more in line with a fashion disaster, is what to do when you have a broken heel.
00:09:06 And we don't mean the heel on your foot, which would be very painful. We mean when you're wearing a high-heeled shoe and one of the heels breaks.
Paula Begoun: We had a long discussion about this.
Bryan Barron: Well, this particular piece of advice was to always carry a pair of rollup flats with you, just sort of in…
Paula Begoun: Who comes up with these things?
Bryan Barron: Anticipating that whatever heel you're wearing is going to break, we think that that's an impractical suggestion for most women.
Paula Begoun: It's ridiculous.
Bryan Barron: And not to mention that what if the pair of rollup flats just looks terrible with whatever outfit you have on.
Paula Begoun: Right. So, you had a really high heel on and you have pants that are cut perfect for the heel, and then you put on the flats and you're dragging your pants on the floor like you've got to roll them up. Such a bad idea. Such a bad idea. So, Bryan, I'm sorry.
00:09:58 I don't think there's much you can do except try to find a shoe repair guy nearby.
Bryan Barron: Right, there's that. But then one of the things that we thought was a better idea than carrying around a pair of rollup flats was simply to break off the other heel so that you have two shoes of equal heights. Now, if you're wearing slacks, as Paula mentioned, that fall perfectly with the heels, that's not going to help.
Paula Begoun: That's not going to help.
Bryan Barron: You're going to end up with long slacks. So, this is one of those situations where…
Paula Begoun: I don't think there's a fashion disaster…
Bryan Barron: There isn't one firm fix for this.
Paula Begoun: I don't think so.
Bryan Barron: This article also mentioned Shoe Goo.
Paula Begoun: Can you imagine wearing one of those five-inch Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo heels and gluing it and not ending up killing yourself thinking it's stuck on?
Bryan Barron: Yeah. I would…
Paula Begoun: It ain't happening.
Bryan Barron: I mean, I'm not walking around wearing heels, but I would be very nervous if I was…
Paula Begoun: I would be very nervous. I'm nervous wearing heels…
Bryan Barron: To begin with!
Paula Begoun: …just in general. But, yeah, I think it looks good in a story.
00:11:00 I think it's completely impractical. Don't break your heels. We won't get into wearing tall heels and women looking like they're teetering and about to fall over. Anyways, we won't go there. But, nevertheless, that's, yeah, we felt silly advice.
Bryan Barron: What's another makeup one?
Paula Begoun: So, another makeup one, this is a big one for me, is concealer creasing into lines around the eyes. Now, this assumes that you already know that wearing too much greasy or emollient moisturizer around the eye is going to take the best concealer and make it move.
00:11:39 So, you have to slightly under do the moisturizer around your eye during the day. If you want to go crazy with moisturizer and really grease up the eye, do that at night. Don't do that during the day and then put your concealer over it, because it will move. It just won't stay in place. So, use less moisturizer than more.
00:12:01 Some of the best concealers that don't move, one of my favorites is the Smooth Concealer from Estee Lauder. It's a longstanding concealer they've had forever. It's one of the better ones that doesn't move. But there are many and you can go to and take a look at our concealers that we think are some of the best ones out there, also some of the least expensive ones. But, the thing that you can do is take an eye shadow brush that you just dedicate to your eye area.
00:12:30 It's just for your eye area. You don't put anything else -- you don't use it for dark brown eye shadow. Or you don't use it for putting on your eyebrows. And smooth out, because if it does fall into the lines when you first put it on, move off the excess concealer with the brush, and then take the brush and put it into a little bit of pressed powder. Just a little bit. And smooth just the areas where the lines are where the concealer is moving into and brush that lightly over the lines.
00:13:09 And that's a dedicated brush you only use for either putting on the concealer or smoothing out the lines and adding a very little bit of powder. You don't want to overdo the powder or it can look cakey; very easily look quickly cakey under the eye.
Bryan Barron: And a pressed powder is much easier to deal with in that regard because you can control how much goes on the brush. And it's not going to be as flyaway as loose powder.
Paula Begoun: As loose powder. Right, exactly. I hate messes.
Bryan Barron: Especially when you're working that close to the eye.
00:13:36 You don't want to get powder in your eye and then…
Paula Begoun: Flying around.
Bryan Barron: And then your eye waters. And then you've got another beauty disaster because your mascara is running, or your liner is running.
Paula Begoun: It's true. It's true.
00:13:45 But that works. That brush technique works. And, of course, because I'm neurotic about makeup looking perfect, I have my ten-times magnifying mirror, so I make sure that anybody with really good vision who might see me isn't going to see the concealer that moves into the lines, or foundation that moves into the lines. It's just so tacky looking.
00:14:14 So, I am a little neurotic. It does help to keep a magnifying mirror just in case you miss it, because you don't want somebody else to see what you haven't seen.
Bryan Barron: So, Paula, I'm asked every now and then via email, women hear you talk about magnifying mirrors, and they want to know where do you find them.
Paula Begoun: At the drugstore. Just right there on the…what do they call that?
Bryan Barron: The end cap?
Paula Begoun: No, where you have ribbons, and where you have hair pins. The accessory.
Bryan Barron: Oh, okay. Hair accessories.
Paula Begoun: Or just the accessories in general, you know, where they have…
Bryan Barron: I wasn't quite sure myself. And I see the question often enough that there doesn't seem to be a common awareness of where do I get a magnifying mirror.
Paula Begoun: It seems so standard to me! Because I have many. I have many! Because I keep them -- I keep one in my car.
00:15:09 I keep one in my purse. I keep one in my desk. And then I have the ones I travel with, because I have one in my bathroom that I put on makeup with, you know, kind of the ones that you see in the hotel rooms. And that is scary. I want you to know, this is not for the faint of heart, or to get obsessively crazy about your skin, because these are scary magnifying mirrors.
00:15:31 For me it really is about I like making sure my eyebrow is nicely tweezed. There are no little hairs running around. The concealer hasn't moved into lines. But they're available at the drugstore. But you can always go, and you can just say to the lady, you know, "Where are the magnifying mirrors?" They'll know. And you can always go onto, type in "magnifying mirrors." And he one I particularly like that I got is a traveling magnifying mirror that opens up like a clamshell. It's pretty big.
00:16:02 Very lightweight. And has a little stand it goes on. And I've taken that around the world for years.
Bryan Barron: Oh, that's nice.
Paula Begoun: I am a little neurotic about -- but then I'm neurotic about a lot of things. Okay, your turn. What beauty fix do you have?
Bryan Barron: I was, well, this isn't one that I can speak to from experience, and another that this article mentioned was a fallen hem.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's mine.
Bryan Barron: You like this advice, though. They said keep a roll of hairpiece tape handy. It's called TopStick. And the article goes on to say that "it's a stylist's best friend responsible for keeping J-Lo in her dresses and RuPaul in his wigs."
Paula Begoun: Ha!
00:16:45 But I also keep, personally, so I don't keep that one with me so much, but we just found that one and I haven't gone shopping yet. But what I do keep with me, in my purse, in my car, in my briefcase, at my desk, at my home, is whenever I've been at a hotel where they have those little sewing kits, I collect them.
00:17:08 I don't take ashtrays. I don't take towels. I don't take anything I'm not supposed to take. But they do have those little sewing kits. And I love those little sewing kits. I cannot tell you how many times when a button comes loose, a hem comes down, a seam comes apart. I always travel, because I go on long trips, and overseas, and I always travel with at least two of them, because the colors don't always match, and you always tend to use the lighter colors anyways, or the darker colors.
00:17:42 The blue -- I don't know what that blue is always doing in there. but I always travel with a little sewing kit. And I think that makes all the difference in the world. By the way, this isn't necessarily, well maybe this is a beauty fix, but I was just thinking that one of the things I do and I personally love about my line, my product line Paula's Choice, is that we have travel sizes of almost every single product we sell.
00:18:10 Not the makeup products, but the skincare products. Almost everyone has sample sizes. So, now, because you never know when your luggage is going to show up with you when you get to your destination.
Bryan Barron: When you check a bag.
Paula Begoun: When you check a bag. I always put in my carry-on four days of the travel size, my skincare routine in travel sizes, just in case.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, it's a good idea.
Paula Begoun: So, I'm not…and you know, in the years -- I can't tell you how many years I've been doing this -- and there has never been a country anywhere in the world where that ever gets flagged. Because sometimes security through airports can be iffy, right?
00:18:55 You know, one thing gets through one guy, and doesn't get through the next person.
Bryan Barron: We were traveling once, not you and I, Paula, but I was traveling with a couple of other coworkers, including our former web designer whose name was Ann. And we had a connecting flight. I believe it was in, oh, it was in one of the smaller airports. It may have even been like Oklahoma City, because we were going to Lubbock, Texas.
Paula Begoun: Oh right!
Bryan Barron: So, Cynthia had her 4oz bottle of the Paula's Choice BHA exfoliant. This is before we changed packaging. And they made her toss it at security, because she had a carry-on bag.
Paula Begoun: Because it was 0.7oz over.
Bryan Barron: Over.
00:19:37 But Ann, who also had a carry-on bag, had an 8oz container of aerosol hairspray that they let fly.
Paula Begoun: Two different security lines?
Bryan Barron: Yes! Two different security lines. So, Cynthia was upset that she had to get rid of her BHA product and Ann was like, "Honestly, I just brought the hairspray just in case."
Paula Begoun: Ha! 8oz!
00:20:00 I'll never forget it. I was in, sorry, we're going a little bit off topic. So, that little sewing kit I always travel with, that never gets flagged. Never. I always have it in my carry-on, because things happen on flights.
Bryan Barron: What, are you going to thread someone to death?
Paula Begoun: I was in Nepal in Kathmandu going through, you know, what they let into Kathmandu and they wouldn't let me bring -- she takes, literally, took out the little needle and she said, "This could be very dangerous." And, I know, it's so random.
00:20:32 So, having said that, the Paula's Choice little packets for skincare get through security and has saved my face more times than I can count, especially on long flights and I want to wash up on the plane. It really has been incredible. So, another makeup disaster that unfortunately happens to me all the time because I'm always a little too zealous with putting on blush; I'm always too zealous putting on blush -- I always overdo it.
00:21:07 I always look like I've got pink candy, you know, cotton candy striped down my check.
Bryan Barron: Unless you've been toning it, maybe you've been toning it down at home before you come into the office, but I've noticed over the years you're getting more…
Paula Begoun: I have gotten better.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. You used to, especially when we had the Paula's Choice Blush, the powder blush, because those were so pigment-rich, you'd put those on and your cheeks entered the room before you did.
Paula Begoun: It was terrible! It was so embarrassing. So, what you can do, so first obviously is to get…
Bryan Barron: It was always well blended though.
Paula Begoun: Always well blended.
00:21:44 Well, that's that magnifying mirror! I mean, I just made sure. But that's also because, so I do put my foundation on with a sponge, a flat round sponge, and Paula's Choice sells those sponges, but you can also get those at the drugstore. So, I always make sure my foundation is on very evenly and very well blended. I put the blush on first, which some people would say never to do because it sticks to much and would go on too dark. But what I do is I put it on and then I put my powder over it and tone it down with my powder.
00:22:21 And so one of the things you can do is use a makeup sponge, use that to buff off the hard edges, and then generously apply powder enough until it starts looking smooth. It's absolutely the best way I know to take care of it. I don't know of any other way. I've seen some recommendations to use cream blush over it. I think that is a horrendous idea. It just smears things; it rolls over the other makeup you have on and takes it off. The cream does not work well over powder like that.
00:22:56 So, to me the best way is to buff it down very lightly with your makeup sponge and then powder over it. And you might, even though you're trying to tone down and repair, you might have to add a little bit of blush in the little spaces that kind of get left choppy to even it out. And then apply your powder. And, again, great brushes. You've got to use great, soft brushes. A lot of bad brushes is part of why blush can go on choppy, because the brush is either hard or uneven or scratchy.
00:23:32 And then there's no way you're going to get an even application no matter what you do.
Bryan Barron: And generally speaking that pretty much always means you want to toss whatever brush came in the compact with your blush.
Paula Begoun: You always want to, right.
Bryan Barron: Usually those are so bad that you don't even want to use it in a pinch because no matter how you slice it, it looks bad. You have a stripe across your face.
Paula Begoun: And then the other thing is it's almost impossible to correct, if you've bought the wrong color blush it's almost impossible to try and correct that color.
00:24:07 You just have to, either if it's relatively new return it, or just suck it up, give it to somebody else who you think might like it. Or, you can give it to somebody, if it's a horrendous color, you can give it to somebody you don't like!
Bryan Barron: You don't like! "This would look great on you!"
Paula Begoun: And you don't have to save the blush. It's not like the longer you keep it it might eventually look good on you.
Bryan Barron: Right. Or you might eventually come around to liking it.
Paula Begoun: Right. It just needs to be history and to go. It's very difficult to correct a bad color.
00:24:40 And you don't want to do that every day anyhow. It's too time consuming. You want to get the best color.
Bryan Barron: So, what about a big zit? Short of going to a dermatologist and having a cortisone injection, which cortisone being a steroid.
Paula Begoun: It actually could be problematic. You can get a dent in the skin. Cortisone injections are only for, I think, celebrities who are going to be going on stage and it's like this big thing that's so big it's taken on a name and an identity all to itself.
00:25:09 Because cortisone injections for acne is actually not done very often because it can have side effects.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. I knew it was more of an emergency or a last ditch solution when you absolutely have to have that zit gone as soon as possible. What I've done in the past since we've had the Resist BHA 9, thankfully I don't get a big bad breakout that often, but when I do, and they're the kind that you can feel coming, they're slowly announcing their presence. And you know…and they hurt.
Paula Begoun: And they're starting to hurt.
00:25:38 Even before you see them they hurt.
Bryan Barron: Yes! They start throbbing almost under the skin. And so what I do is I just start dabbing the BHA 9 right on that area. And so far if that blemish comes to a head it's still gone in a couple of days, if not that. And then when I have a mark left behind, as far as concealing it, what I found works best -- the anti-acne concealers that they often sell are either pencils or the lipstick style thick concealers, not what you want to put on an area where you're already breaking out.
00:26:10 Those are thick, heavy, waxy concealers. They just don't feel good. So, liquid concealers are the way to go, but a lot of liquid concealers don't give that same level of coverage.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: So, the trick that I use is to apply liquid concealer with a brush in several thin layers. Sometimes it's four or five layers.
00:26:29 And yes, it does take a little bit longer, but you can get excellent, or undetectable coverage without that heavy…
Paula Begoun: Oh, look, you're trying to cover up a blemish.
Bryan Barron: Exactly, yeah.
Paula Begoun: Which then it's not a secret. Everybody sees, "Boy, look at how much you put over there." You know, something -- this is -- but I do want to explain what I do for a blemish.
Bryan Barron: I'd love to hear it.
Paula Begoun: But in Asia they actually sell, I wonder if that will ever come to this part of the world, in East Asia they actually sell bandages that people wear on their face over bad blemishes. They're flesh tone like.
00:27:14 They are somewhat loosely believable, but they're actually a bandage that to me looks like a bandage that is clearly over a blemish. But it definitely covers it. And when I first saw it I thought it looked odd, but then I was thinking I wonder what the heck is under that. Maybe this is better than what's underneath, because sometimes a blemish can be so bad, especially if you don't know what to do about it.
00:27:47 It's actually an interesting technique they have over there.
Bryan Barron: Or if you pick at it.
Paula Begoun: Which, of course, is just disaster, because it's almost impossible to cover a scab. So, I thought that was an interesting little technique. They're very thin. They're relatively believable.
Bryan Barron: Are they circles? Like little circle squares?
Paula Begoun: Little circles.
00:28:08 They have them in different sizes for different size blemishes.
Bryan Barron: And different colors?
Paula Begoun: Well, you know, that I don't know. I've only seen it in two colors, a very light color and a kind of medium color. But, yeah, kind of like…
Bryan Barron: Have you seen women with multiples of these all over their face?
Paula Begoun: No, no, no. That I haven't seen.
Bryan Barron: That would look strange.
Paula Begoun: That would look strange. No, that I haven't seen. But, you know, I guess one big one.
Bryan Barron: Sure. I'd do it.
Paula Begoun: But, yeah, they wear them.
Bryan Barron: I could see doing this.
Paula Begoun: I keep saying it's relatively believable, but then again even when you put concealer over a blemish it still -- it's not ever 100% hidden.
00:28:51 You've just reduced the intensity of the appearance. But what I do for a blemish, and I did this long before we sold a comedone extractor. I know you were always surprised that I used this. So, if you go on our website on, and other people sell comedone extractors as well. We have it with our Clear acne line of products.
00:29:18 So, I try to gently -- gently -- gently remove the head, remove whatever is built up inside the blemish without damaging the skin, and then I soak the heck out of it with our 2% BHA liquid. And then when our BHA 9 came out, then I changed to using the BHA 9, especially if it's a particularly bad blemish. And I'll tell you, I'm often shocked, really…
00:29:49 You know, we offer 100% guarantee. It's worth it if you have blemishes to give it a try, to see if it heals as fast. And you could look at the reviews on our website that we don't edit and see if you think it's an option for you, because I don't know, my 2% BHA liquid changed my life. And then the BHA 9, when I thought it couldn't get any better, it's surprising. So, yeah, the comedone extractor and the 2% BHA liquid.
00:30:20 Benzoyl peroxide I find its more of a long-term kind of ingredient. We do sell products -- we have two products with benzoyl peroxide which is great. Kills the bacteria that is responsible for causing acne. But I don't find that as effective in reducing a blemish that's coming up. I find it good for overall prevention, but for that -- reducing inflammation, reducing redness, healing quickly, getting rid of the red mark -- I think our BHAs, our salicylic acid products just are…
Bryan Barron: Yeah, benzoyl peroxide isn't really an anti-inflammatory at all. It's primarily anti-bacterial.
Paula Begoun: Anti-bacterial.
Bryan Barron: However, like for example in the Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment, we have a regular and extra strength. Those are our benzoyl peroxide products.
00:31:14 The reason that they work so well for a lot of people who have used benzoyl peroxide in the past is that we've added those anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Paula Begoun: Right. And most products that have benzoyl peroxide don't do that.
Bryan Barron: Right. So, you're getting the antibacterial punch that benzoyl peroxide provides, which is the starting point, but we went further than that. And then before we had BHA 9 I would do, if I had a really bad blemish I would do the 5% benzoyl peroxide product, and I'd dab on some of the 2% liquid first.
00:31:47 So, I'd layer that over the spot, and I'd cover it with a Band-Aid.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so you did do that?
Bryan Barron: At night.
Paula Begoun: Oh, at night?
Bryan Barron: But the reason I did that wasn't like, "Oh, I don't want people to see I have a blemish." It was, "Oh, I don't want to bleach my sheets," because benzoyl peroxide bleaches fabric.
Paula Begoun: Oh, because of how much you put on?
Bryan Barron: I would cake it on.
Paula Begoun: Oh!
Bryan Barron: So, I would kind of basically form a little pouch with the bandages and then I'd take them off the next morning. And the blemish was at least half as big as it was.
Paula Begoun: Interesting. Oh my gosh.
00:32:20 What an interesting, okay, I like that one. I like that one. So, what's next? What are we doing next? Oh, this one. Oh, this is my favorite. Well, not my favorite, but a problem I have had my whole life, although it is indeed getting worse, is bleeding lipstick. Lipstick moving in to the lines around the mouth.
Bryan Barron: Mm-hmm.
Paula Begoun: This is especially…now, I wear, one of the ways to prevent it from happening is to not wear -- if you have lines around your mouth…
Bryan Barron: No matter your age.
Paula Begoun: Well, I've had this problem for as long as I can remember, but it definitely gets worse as you get older, as your lips tend to shrink.
00:33:00 And then the lines from pursing your lips get more noticeable. So, if you're like me and you have lines around your mouth, and you wear greasy lipsticks, creamy lipsticks, it doesn't matter what you do, it's moving into the lines around the mouth. Now, there are things you could do to slow it down, but after having lunch it's just -- it is moving into the lines around the mouth.
00:33:28 So, to prevent it, you need to wear more matte lipsticks. You definitely need to use products that reduce feathering. Our favorite, actually my absolute favorite every since Victoria's Secret came out with it, is their lip line filler. Can you find the name for that, Bryan? I don't think they call it lip line filler. They call it something. But that's an incredible product.
00:33:57 You put it around the lips. I rub it into the lines as a filler, even though I don't think it's called a filler. I can't remember the name right now. And it works wonderfully. Wonderfully. So, now, even if you've done that to try to prevent it, and you still get some slippage, especially if you're still wearing creamy lipsticks, then the way to fix it is to blot your lipstick, reduce how much you have on, take a brush with a little bit of concealer, and go around the edge of your mouth to fill in the line, to remove some of the color that's in the lines and fill it back in with the concealer.
00:34:38 Then take the Victoria's Secret lip pencil…
Bryan Barron: Which is called…
Paula Begoun: Which is called?
Bryan Barron: VS, VS as in Victoria's Secret, Pro-Pout FX Fix Lip Primer and Definer.
Paula Begoun: That's even longer than some of our names.
Bryan Barron: It's long. It's $12.
Paula Begoun: And it last forever.
00:34:59 It lasts forever.
Bryan Barron: It's a twist up pencil, yeah.
Paula Begoun: It's twist up. You don't have to sharpen it. Some of those out there are sharpening.
Bryan Barron: Oh, no member comments on this yet. One of the new features in the Beautypedia review section of is that you can click on member comments, and you can leave a review of your own. So, if you agree with us.
Paula Begoun: So, should I go make a comment? Ha!
Bryan Barron: You should! You should say, "Hey everyone, this is Paula. This product rocks!"
Paula Begoun: It does rock.
Bryan Barron: Not everyone is going to hear this radio show.
Paula Begoun: Actually I should do it.
00:35:31 Because after you've run the concealer over the lips, so you've blotted off the excess lipstick, you have a brush that's just dedicated to this process, and you run the concealer over the lines around the mouth and remove whatever lipstick has moved into the lines, and then wipe off the excess and then take the brush into the Victoria Secret, that long name we just said, and go back into the lines and fill them in.
00:36:00 And then reapply your lipstick and you'll be able to make it through the afternoon. It works every time. It's a little more -- it's not quite as fast as -- it sounds slower than it actually is. Once you get good at it with that big magnifying mirror; it actually goes much faster once you get the knack down. It really, really, really works. But it would be much better to just try to do matte lipsticks. I know everybody wants to wear lip glosses, but even Marg Helgenberger, is that her name from CSI?
Bryan Barron: From CSI, yeah.
Paula Begoun: As she was getting older and still wearing the really glossy lipsticks, you could even see on the HD television that her lip line, that the color was just moving into her lips. And I'm thinking, where is her makeup artist?
Bryan Barron: Oh really? Yeah.
Paula Begoun: So, don't do that. Okay, next?
Bryan Barron: We have some questions.
Paula Begoun: On Facebook?
Bryan Barron: but is there one more tip from your list?
00:37:03 One more disaster you wanted to avert?
Paula Begoun: Well, there's a couple of them. Two of the -- so, let me do the over-tweezed eyebrows, because for it actually isn't that I've over-tweezed my eyebrows, but now at this stage of life I'm actually losing eyebrow hair, which is driving me a little crazy. They're thinning out, because I used to have very full -- and I really loved my full brows.
00:37:27 There's very little you can do for over-tweezed brows, or if you start losing brow hair to get it to grow back in. Some people use minoxidil over their brows.
Bryan Barron: Or Latisse.
Paula Begoun: There is some research about Latisse. I have done both and did not find them helpful. But that's me anecdotally. It's not that the research isn't there saying that those aren't an option. You can apply the minoxidil with a Q-tip. You could apply the Latisse which is typically for growing eyelashes. And there's no reason not to try it.
00:37:58 I did not find it successful. However, what you can do is fill in. Filing in is very tricky for eyebrows because you don't want to look penciled. You don't want to look like somebody has just drawn a line over your brow. There are brow bars at some department stores. And it doesn't hurt to sit down and have somebody show you some techniques for filling in your brows.
00:38:30 But the major thing that Paula's Choice has, separate from having somebody at a brow bar show you some techniques, particularly with pressed powder versus pencils, although it's really the greasy pencils that are the problem, not the dry finished pencils. However, what I personally do from the Paula's Choice line is I use our Brow Tint, which is a mascara-like product, but much lighter weight, and I run that through the existing hair I have, and then I take our Browlistic, which is kind of a liquid brow filler, and I go in between the hairs to fill it in.
00:39:11 At first it's very time-consuming, and it took me awhile to get the technique down. Once you get the technique down it goes fast. It is phenomenally believable. It still isn't brow hair, but it is pretty darn believable.
Bryan Barron: Is that the combination you have on now?
Paula Begoun: Oh yeah, I wear it…
Bryan Barron: Because your brows look good.
Paula Begoun: Pretty good?
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: I do it all the time now. And I'm pretty fast at it. The other thing you want to make sure you do, and again this is that magnifying mirror, especially as you get older, or if you just naturally have wiry brows, is to trim your brows that sometimes grow out of control.
00:39:52 Particularly this is true for men.
Bryan Barron: And they get gray. The out of control hairs are the gray ones. So, not only are they unsightly, but then you look at them and it's like, wait a minute, that's not only sticking out, it's curling.
Paula Begoun: Ha!
Bryan Barron: I mean, it's just like a completely, like who put that there?
Paula Begoun: Well, that actually happens more to men than it happens to women.
Bryan Barron: I think so.
Paula Begoun: Women tend to not…it gets stiff. So, I do dye my brows, because they have started to get gray. Some women get gray brows early on. When I dye my roots I do dye my brows, because the gray just drives me nuts.
00:40:28 But the Brow Tint, if you don't want to dye your brows, the Brow Tint will cover up the gray very, very, very convincingly. It's a Paula's Choice product. Very, very convincingly. So, that helps a lot. The other thing is just if it is about over-tweezing and you're young, just be patient and let it grow back in. Don't mind the stragglers that are coming in. You can fill in around them with the technique we just talked about, but just be patient and let them grow back. It's a painful process for a period of time until they come back.
Bryan Barron: It is. Don't pluck those stragglers because what can happen, and this happened to my sister, is she lost sight of where her natural brow line was.
00:41:12 Because she wasn't patient enough to wait. She over-tweezed. She wasn't patient enough to wait for the new hair to grow in. So, whenever she saw regrowth of anything below the artificial looking brow that she carved out for herself she'd pluck it. And eventually she did it so much that she damaged the hair follicle and now she has very thin, not the most attractive brows. And I know she regrets it. I feel bad for her.
00:41:39 I've helped her learn how to fill her brows in. But it's sad.
Paula Begoun: And it is true. Over-tweezing will eventually, if you constantly tweeze the same hair, you will cause a scar at the base of the hair, and actually eventually just choke off its ability to grow, especially the brow hair.
00:42:00 So, that's the best way I know to fill it in, in terms of makeup. And then, of course, there's just if you're young enough to get the hair back and you haven't over-tweezed to the point where you've killed off the growth, just be patient. Let it grow back in, or it won't ever grow back in if you keep tweezing it. The other one, before we take questions, is poorly blended foundation. Now, poorly blended foundation is actually relatively easy to fix with either a brush, or a sponge, if you haven't over-powdered.
00:42:35 Now, this is a problem I have when I'm trying to fix a foundation mistake. Because I tend to put on too much powder because I'm always trying to calm down how much blush I put on.
Bryan Barron: And you have normal to oily skin.
Paula Begoun: Right. So, it tends to get clumpy anyway.
Bryan Barron: And will show shine sooner.
Paula Begoun: Oh, absolutely.
00:43:00 And that also piles up the powder. But a makeup brush, and I think a makeup brush is even better than a sponge.
Bryan Barron: Do you mean a foundation brush?
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry, a foundation brush I think is even better than a smudge -- a sponge! What's happening today?! A foundation brush is better than a foundation sponge to smooth out mistakes, particularly if you've missed the corners around the sides of your nose, you've missed your hair line.
Bryan Barron: Common areas to miss.
Paula Begoun: It's just easy to get control to really smooth out any built up foundation at the jaw line.
00:43:42 So, even though, I mean, you like putting on foundation with a foundation brush. I don't.
Bryan Barron: I prefer fingers. But, what I would never do is touch up with fingers. Because once foundation has set, touching up with fingers, you may as well just be washing it off.
Paula Begoun: Wiping it off. Right.
Bryan Barron: You're wiping it off at that point.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so you don't use a foundation brush? I thought you did? I have not kept up with your techniques these days?
Bryan Barron: I've experimented with them, but I always go back to fingers, and then going over everything with a sponge.
Paula Begoun: Oh, and then you go over it with a sponge?
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Ah!
Bryan Barron: I find that I can get foundation on faster with fingers, and then I got over it with the sponge, versus doing the whole thing with a sponge. A little shortcut.
Paula Begoun: So, I still use a sponge.
00:44:29 I've used a sponge for years. But that touching up is best with a brush. I mean, there's just no way around it to really get to corners, make sure things are smoothed out.
Bryan Barron: Do you have a foundation brush that you like?
Paula Begoun: Actually I use, we don't sell them anymore, but I use an eye shadow brush that we used to have. Just works perfectly for the corners of my nose and around the lines. You know, if a little makeup got built up in the lines or something. So, I just use one of our large size eye shadow brushes. But there are…
Bryan Barron: There's a lot of foundation brushes out there.
00:45:06 And it's rare that we see a bad one. You want one that's synthetic bristles, preferably, because most foundations are liquids or creams and they just move better with synthetic rather than animal hair bristles.
Paula Begoun: Doesn't Sephora have some good foundation brushes that are relatively inexpensive?
Bryan Barron: Yes. Absolutely. Sephora's brushes in general are pretty much can't go wrong, whether you buy one of their sets or their individual brushes. And they have all kinds of shapes and sizes.
Paula Begoun: So, something that we're talking about that's important to point out is that techniques differ, for example we're talking about foundation, and you use fingers and then smooth it out with a sponge. And I use a sponge and then smooth it out with a brush.
00:45:51 So, there are different techniques. There isn't one way, especially with makeup, to do just about anything. So, you really have to find a technique that works best for you experimenting with some of the better techniques that are out there.
Bryan Barron: Very good point.
Paula Begoun: And so it's not that one is necessarily better than the other. What counts is that whatever you finally see in that big ugly magnifying mirror, it all looks very smooth, and blended, and natural.
Bryan Barron: All right.
00:46:26 Before we get to a few questions on the Paula's Choice Facebook page, Paula you have to tell the audience about Tide to Go.
Paula Begoun: Oh, my Tide to Go pen!
Bryan Barron: Because she literally doesn't go anywhere without it. So, your fashion disaster here would be what to do when you've got a nice outfit on and you spill something on it.
Paula Begoun: Oh my god. So,, I went on and bought a box -- or maybe it was Costco -- a box…
Bryan Barron: A six pack?
Paula Begoun: Six, no! I think it had 24 in it.
00:46:58 Well, because I'll tell you. One of the things about the Tide pen people, they don't give you very much product in that little pen. And I'm a slob. I mean, if there is a piece of food, soy sauce, or ketchup out there, it could be on your plate, it's going to be on me. I just -- some people have the clean gene. I never had that genetic makeup. I'm a slob. It's true.
00:47:25 I get stuff on my clothes all the time and I'm thinking, "I should not be allowed to buy new clothes. It's a waste of money." Why don't I just throw something on it to start with? So, when Tide came out with their Tide pens, what I found is that for most mistakes, even really nasty, if you catch it soon enough, particularly things like soy sauce. I'm a big Dim Sum, I eat Chinese and Japanese food all the time.
00:47:52 And soy sauce, it splatters. And no matter, I even wear bibs and I can still get stuff on me.
Bryan Barron: Well, I think your blood type is AB-Soy.
Paula Begoun: Ha! It is! It is. It's true.
Bryan Barron: I swear, if I cut you a little bit of soy sauce would come out.
Paula Begoun: Oh, my and salt. Oh my god. So, that Tide pen has saved me more times than I can count. However, for lipstick, I am a slob. I get stuff on everything. I find that the best thing for lipstick removal is I take a washcloth and I put a little soap, you can't use a soap that has green like Irish Spring or something. Just like white Dove soap.
00:48:35 I take a very little bit of Dove soap on a washcloth and go over it very, just slightly damp. I find that Tide pen doesn't work as well on lipstick stains. But Tide pen for just about anything else works great.
Bryan Barron: What kind of fabric are we talking about with the lipsticks? Are you talking cotton, silk?
Paula Begoun: Anything. Well, you'll get a stain, even with Tide pens you'll get a stain on silk. But at least when you wash it, it won't be wrecked forever, because some stains if you don't get chocolate or -- Tide pen I haven't had a lot of luck with pen.
00:49:11 But thankfully I don't get pen on too many things. But for food and ketchup, if you catch it soon enough, that's why I always have the Tide pen with me. You've got to act fast or it's going to be history.
Bryan Barron: Well, and it's portable. It's a pen.
Paula Begoun: Oh, it is. It's little. So, if you need any, by the way, I have two in my purse right now! And then more in my car just in case. I'm a mess.
00:49:38 First question, Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Claire on our Facebook page, this is a good question. She says, "Out of curiosity, why do we tone before exfoliating? Wouldn't reversing the order help the toner do more good?" Now, I'm assuming that when Claire mentions exfoliating she is referring to an AHA or a BHA exfoliant and not a scrub. So, we're going to assume that, Claire.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's an interesting question. Well, because it has to be our AHA and BHA. A lotion or a toner with glycolic acid -- glycolic, lactic acid, or salicylic acid. AHAs contain glycolic or lactic acid. There's a few other types of AHAs.
00:50:21 And then BHA is only salicylic acid. And the Paula's Choice skincare routine recommends our toners and then our exfoliants. The major reason we do it in that order -- well, if it was a scrub, the scrub would be part of your cleanser and rinsed off, and then you would -- so, you wouldn't be using…well, I guess some people use an AHA and BHA with a scrub.
00:50:45 We're not big into scrubs. The particles tear into skin. We prefer washcloths or the Clarisonic.
Bryan Barron: And just to be clear, if you are using a scrub and an AHA or BHA, you don't need both. And certainly not one after the other.
Paula Begoun: Well, a scrub, it just tears. Unless it's a really soft Jojoba bead…
Bryan Barron: Creamy, gentle, buffered scrub.
Paula Begoun: And then it's still not as good as a washcloth or a Clarisonic.
00:51:10 However, so, you want both the toner and the exfoliant to do their job. And a toner -- well, actually, okay, let me say it this way. There's so many things I want to say. So, you can do -- it is actually fine to do it the other way around, to do an exfoliant and then a toner. There's no reason to not try it and give it a shot and see how it works for you.
Bryan Barron: Sure.
Paula Begoun: However, we see toner at Paula's Choice, the way I formulated our toners, loaded with antioxidants and all these good ingredients, is to be a step after the cleanser, to help remove last traces of makeup and start putting down a soft base of antioxidants and skin repairing ingredients before you do anything else.
00:52:02 So, it's kind of a dual function -- remove last traces of makeup that might get left behind from the cleanser, and also to put skin repairing ingredients and antioxidants down on the face.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Then what we feel is that from there, that prepping of the skin helps the exfoliant do a better job. You've got a nice base of these healthy ingredients. The exfoliant absorbs in. But, it can go the other way. You can…now, not if it's a lotion, because then in essence, they're both liquids.
Bryan Barron: You'd be wiping it off.
Paula Begoun: Right.
00:52:35 You'd be wiping it off with a toner. So, it depends, the texture of the product, the type of exfoliant you were using. So, generally I think it is best to do a liquid toner first, and then a liquid exfoliant, but you can change those around. If you're using a lotion or a gel exfoliant, then it absolutely needs to follow the liquid toner.
Bryan Barron: So, on the same line of AHA/BHA, Kelly asks, "Should I be using an AHA or BHA on my neck and chest?"
Paula Begoun: Yes! That was simple. Ha!
00:53:10 Well, because the skin that's exposed to the sun in essence ages the same way to one degree or another as it does anyplace on the body. The face has its own challenges because of muscle movement and because of how much exposed to the sun it is. It's not like you're ever putting a coat or a blouse over your face.
00:53:32 So, it's getting hammered all the time, so it gets more. But your chest, your neck, your hands, so yeah, if you can remember, I'm notoriously bad at not remembering, but if you can remember, any product you're putting on your face -- sunscreen, exfoliants, toners, moisturizers, anti-aging serums -- you can absolutely and should absolutely put them on the back of your hands and your chest, and any other parts of your body that see the sun a lot that you don't want to have age any faster than it needs to.
Bryan Barron: Right. Okay, let's do one more.
00:54:09 Carol says, "The Paula's Choice Skin Lightening Gel is not working on my big sun spot. Any other suggestions?"
Paula Begoun: Oh, she's using ours and it's not helping.
Bryan Barron: Now, the unknowns here…
Paula Begoun: Is if she's using a sunscreen every day.
Bryan Barron: Right. There's that. And also, we don't know from her question how long she's been using it. The active ingredient in our skin lightening gel is 2% hydroquinone.
00:54:32 It is considered the gold standard in the industry. A bit of a controversial ingredient. You can read about that in our Ingredient Dictionary in the Expert Advice section. But, hydroquinone takes time to work.
Paula Begoun: Oh, right, it's not overnight.
Bryan Barron: Eight to 12 weeks of at least once, preferably twice daily application.
Paula Begoun: Right. Exactly.
Bryan Barron: So, Carol, if you've only been using it for a short time and haven't seen any results yet, and you're being good about sunscreen every day, be patient, give it some more time.
00:55:00 We offer a 60-day money back guarantee, and if it extends past that and you're still not seeing results, get in touch with us, we'll take care of you.
Paula Begoun: It's also important to point out that it's not just being good about sunscreen. It's about being obsessive, neurotic about sunscreen. Because what is stimulating that brown spot is sun exposure. And you have to be incredibly, absolutely -- you just don't wake up and see daylight without a sunscreen on, or that brown spot -- you're fighting an uphill battle. It won't go away with the best skin lightening products.
00:55:43 Now, if after you've given it -- you're being really good about sunscreen and you've given it enough time to see if the spot will lighten up, then what you do want to do is talk to a dermatologist. You do want to see one. And either you can try a 4% concentration hydroquinone product that dermatologists can sell.
00:56:07 They're not over the counter; dermatologists can sell them. Or, you want to try a laser treatment that can zap brown spots. So, those are the options you have. But again, give that hydroquinone, the Paula's Choice hydroquinone a few more weeks. Be neurotic about sunscreen, particularly sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in it. And then if not, see a dermatologist either for a higher strength hydroquinone product, or a laser treatment.
00:56:36 And that should take -- that definitely will take care of it. Are we good?
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Everybody happy?
Bryan Barron: I think so.
Paula Begoun: Have we averted many beauty disasters?
Bryan Barron: I hope we have. And you're welcome to touch base with us via our website. Let us know how you've overcome some of your worst beauty disasters. Join us on our Facebook page. Just search for Paula's Choice, and you can like us and join the discussion.
00:57:01 And we're on Pinterest, too, for all of you who are out there pinning. Take a look at the Paula's Choice Pinterest page.
Paula Begoun: Actually, you can even like us on Facebook. Even if you don't like us, we do love controversy. I'm Paula Begoun, with Bryan Barron, "Keeping you Beautifully Informed." We are part of the Paula's Choice Research Team. Authors of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me." Should be us…
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