Have you come across a good, long wear eyeliner that you could recommend?
Mais oui - several! Of which two stand out. I tried Bobbi Brown’s famous Long Wear Gel Eyeliner when they launched here in India and finally realised what the fuss was about - it has a gorgeous, velvety texture that can create lines that are smudgy or sharp as you please, and the formula stays on all day, and all the way into night. The separate brush is what makes it such a star - it makes it so easy to draw the line right on, and since it’s a gel, it’s not nearly as intimidating as working with a liquid formula.
Bobbi Brown currently only retails in Delhi however, so if you don’t live in the capital and would still like to get your hands on something similar, Maybelline makes a great alternative, the Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. It is what is known in the beauty world as a ‘dupe’ - and an effective one, at that. They are similar in all - separate brush, gel texture and most importantly, staying power - but price.
Is it OK to wear my retinol cream under my sunscreen or will the two cancel each other out?
To be honest, you shouldn’t be using retinol during the day at all. While products containing retinol are great for reducing fine lines and stimulating the production of collagen and even blood flow to your skin, it is a rather potent ingredient that increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Besides, you don’t want to be sloughing all those skin cells off (retinol is a great exfoliant) only to have the new layers of skin damaged by the sun. Stick to using retinol creams at night only, when there’s no chance of you getting any accidental sun, and try and be extra diligent about your sunscreen use while you’re using a product with retinol in it.
Can you recommend a product that will mattify my sometimes combination, sometimes oily skin, especially in the humidity?
First off, I just want to say - I like a bit of shine! Maybe it’s because I’ve had oily skin for years, but I’ve learnt to love that sheen that finds its way to my cheekbones and forehead halfway through the day - it’s like a natural luminizer. That said, I know how annoying it can be when you’re shiny even when you don’t want to be. Have you heard of Bioderma? It’s a lovely French skincare brand whose most famous product is its cleansing solution, which feels like water but is great at cutting through grime and makeup. The brand also makes a host of other great skincare, like the Sebium Pore Refiner, which feels like it was made for weather like this, even though it’s French. It does everything it says on the tin - makes pores appear smaller, makes foundation glide on, and makes skin nice and matte without drying it out.
The other thing you might like to try if you’re annoyed with the extra shine in this weather is wearing as little on your face as possible - sure, the Pore Refiner works great as a primer, but try skipping your foundation altogether and dotting a teeny bit of concealer where you need it instead - it’ll help your skin ‘breathe’ when it’s muggy out.