Fashion Q&A

Solutions for makeup removal, bulging belt buckles and more

Chicago TribuneJune 4, 2014 

Try Olay’s 4-in-1 daily facial cloths for sensitive skin (33 for $6.99 on soap.com) to remove mascara as well as makeup.

SOAP.COM

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: What do you recommend for a good mascara remover? As much as I try to remove it all at the end of the day, I never seem to get it all. I use non-waterproof and use a water-based liquid remover with cotton pads. Thanks! – Rocky Raccoon!

Dear Rocky: I’m with you. You pay good money ($8+) for the mascara remover, persuaded by the packaging that this finally is the answer. And it never is. On my last trip to the drugstore I bought two new removers to try out: Rimmel’s Just Let it Go liquid eye makeup remover ($7.99) and Neutrogena extra-gentle eye makeup remover pads (30 for $9.99). I’d already tried Neutrogena’s liquid oil-free eye makeup remover (“no oily residue”). And I woke up with mascara under my eyes using all three. Then I came across an unexpected solution. Try Olay’s 4-in-1 daily facial cloths for sensitive skin (33 for $9.99). They’re marketed as face cloths that are cleaner/toner/mask/scrub in one. But when I used them to remove my makeup, I was surprised to find that they do an outstanding job on mascara too. They’re not oily and didn’t irritate.

Bulging belt help

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I often don’t tuck in my tops and sweaters, and when I’m wearing jeans or slacks the bump or bulge from my belt buckle shows through and looks bad. Please don’t tell me to skip the belt, because I need one to prevent the pants from gaping in the back or moving south. Any options? – Puzzled

Dear Puzzled: There are flat-buckle belts designed expressly for this purpose. Invisibelt ( invisibelt.com) and Isabelt ( isabelt.com) are made of plastic, and a third, Beltaway ( beltaway.com), is elastic. They’re not cheap ($20ish), and quality varies. All are available on amazon.com, where you can read multiple customer reviews. Some critics of Invisibelt (including one I know personally) say the plastic smells. A breaking clasp also is a problem, the critics say. Some Isabelt reviewers say the belt is flimsy. I have heard good things about Beltaway from people I know, and the online reviews I’ve seen are mostly positive. But I haven’t tested any of these belts myself.

Hose give her the blues

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I purchased a spring, tailored navy skirt-suit. Should I wear sheer dark navy hose or nude hose? I purchased beautiful navy fabric/patent pumps to go with the suit. – Jane

Dear Jane: Navy is a little too matchy-matchy. Sheer nude would be the better choice. Consider sheer pearl gray for variety.

A name for knee-length shorts

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Shorts! Ugh. I am older (50s) and not overweight, but I do have “old lady knees,” meaning the skin above my knees is not, shall we say, firm. Although I like shorter shorts, they aren’t really acceptable for work (I teach preschool) and don’t look good with the knees being what they are, but capris seem … odd? I’d like some nice knee-length shorts, but what exactly are those called? And where does one find them? I’m about 5-foot-3 and would rather not look any shorter. – Casey

Dear Casey: What you need are tapered shorts a little longer than standard Bermudas. Some people call them knee shorts. Macy’s ( macys.com) house brand INC International Concepts has several “cropped skimmer shorts” that might work. Cuffed denim shorts (Levis, DKNY and others) at Macy’s and elsewhere also are an option, and if they’re too short you can roll the cuff down to cover the knee area you’re not happy about. There are lightweight pants either cropped to hit at or just above the ankle bone or regular trouser length. Reader Carol K. recommends the Perfect Form pants at White House/Black Market ( whitehouseblackmarket.com): “They are both dressy and casual, especially the black.” And, you’re so right to stay away from capris. They’re unflattering on everyone, especially short women who look even shorter in them.

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