Q: I have excessively oily skin with enlarged pores on the forehead and cheeks and acne along my jaw line. I have a terrible time keeping my makeup from looking streaked and caked. Clinique's Stay True Foundation seems to work the best, but it lasts for only four hours. I use oil-absorbent loose powder, but by the second application it does more harm than good. Do you have any suggestions on how I can make my makeup look fresher and last longer?
A: For oily skin, touching up your makeup during the day means you must first blot your face with a tissue. Simply place a tissue so your face is completely covered by it and press gently; do not wipe. Press a second time over the areas that are the oiliest. The tissue will absorb the excess oil and makeup. This way you can apply powder without getting a build-up mess. Do this blotting routine every time you touch up your makeup.
One more point: Apply your foundation with a sponge and your powder with a brush, not a sponge. The sponge helps the foundation go on more evenly and the brush helps the powder go on lightly so it is less likely to streak or cake.
Q: As a teen-ager I had some skin problems, but nothing like what happened to me in the summer of 1990. I was 53 years old and my face broke out. BROKE OUT. It was unbelievable. I went to one dermatologist who started me on tranquilizers and was injecting the blemishes with cortisone shots every week. It got worse.
I went to another dermatologist who put liquid nitrogen all over my face twice a week and gave me a 10 percent benzoyl peroxide lotion to use. It got even worse.
Then I went to a new "hotshot" dermatologist who told me to use Cetaphil Lotion and wipe the blemishes with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in conjunction with an oral antibiotic.
I wasn't going to do what he recommended until I happened upon your book. You and this "hotshot" dermatologist were saying the same thing: all those other things were making my skin worse and kept the cycle going. You convinced me.
Guess what? My skin is looking better for the first time in two years.
A: I am glad you have found a way to gently take care of your skin. Obviously I agree with your "hot shot" doctor's suggestions. I also believe they will work for you in the long run. Liquid nitrogen is as outdated a treatment for acne as I've ever heard, and benzoyl peroxide is suspected of being a carcinogen. Using tranquilizers and cortisone shots to cure acne is ridiculous, particularly on an ongoing basis. I wish I could have helped you sooner.
Paula Begoun is the author of several books on cosmetics, including her latest, "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me." She has tested 10,000 products and publishes the Cosmetics Counter Update newsletter. Write to her at The Beginning Press, 5418 South Brandon, Seattle, Wash. 98118.