Answers to your pressing fashion and beauty questions from resident know-it-all Jean Godfrey-June.
Q: If someone has spinach in her teeth, a piece of lint on her shirt or toilet paper on her shoe, am I supposed to say something? Sometimes I just let it go because I don’t want to make the person feel self-conscious. A: The true friend—or, better, the true kind person—always, always says something. By “says” I mean whispers conspiratorially.
Q: I have a pretty intense physical fitness routine (outdoor running, yoga, strength training, etc.), which means a lot of sweat, exposure to the sun and tugging on my hair to get it back into a secure ponytail. Any recommendations for keeping hair damage to a minimum? And preventing that flat-and-limp, sweated-on look? A: You kind of have to embrace the sweated-on flatness and limpness.
Q: I don’t like to wear thongs! So … what’s the very best non–panty line underwear? A: I took this one to fashion director Anne Keane. Anne is a person whom you don’t even really want to ask fashion questions of; you just want to wear precisely whatever it is she’s wearing.
Q: So, I just turned 25 and still have no wrinkles (phew!), but I want to do the best thing for my face to prevent aging. I already wear SPF every day, but I never know what kind of face creams to buy specifically for antiaging. Should I be wearing anti-wrinkle cream, or will wearing it too soon make my skin immune to it in the future? A: If you have no acne and no wrinkles, I say live it up and enjoy your moment of perfection!
Q: I really like the fact that Kate Middleton recycles her looks when she really doesn’t have to. How long can I wait before I can wear something again? Can I wear the same dress in the same week? How can I make it look different? A: This is a European thing that for some reason we Americans have a hard time fathoming, but we'd do well to change our ways.
Q: What is a fall/winter makeup or hair trend that is real-world enough to wear day after day for the next few months? A: The ponytail. You can't go wrong!
Q: I have these awesome brown suede Jil Sander desert boots. What on God's green earth do you wear with desert boots? Anything long makes me look like a polygamist, and anything short makes me look like a wannabe hipster. A: The desert boot holds a special, wear-it-with-anything place in my heart: I lived in Italy during a moment when its entire population was consumed with a craze for desert boots.
Q: Why am I such a klutz with eyeliner? A: Two things to think about: I could not figure out eyeliner until I took a group class at Trish McEvoy. There I learned to take a flat brush and dip it in dark brown eyeshadow.
Q: Every holiday season I have the urge to buy something sparkly. Problem: I wear the piece once and retire it to the back of the closet once the champagne glasses clink on New Year's Eve. A: The great Gigi Guerra, former Lucky operative and now super-important Madewell marketing director, solved this problem for me once and for all several years ago.
Q: I don’t have huge breasts—and I like it that way. But all the unpadded un-pushup bras are super un-sexy. Help! A: It’s true. It’s a challenge to not look like the missing Girl Next Door if you want any kind of support in this world.
Q: Should you or should you not cover up a breakout? A: Makeup artists often give the deeply unhelpful and uncheering advice that everyone can see it anyway so why try to cover it up?
Q: I’m 27 and don’t look old enough to buy beer. Is there makeup that can help me look less preteen? A: Tasteful neutral eyeshadow plus a sweep of bronzy blush is sophisticated in a way that screams “I voted in the last election!”
Q: I’m a total heels girl. What looks good with flats? A: Flat sandals and/or boots, somehow, can be just as sexy if not sexier than heels.
Q: What colors/prints should girls with curves stay away from? A: Clothes with large, loud prints will make anybody look like a sofa if they’re too tight—and like hotel drapes if they’re too loose.
Q: When you're over 40, how short can dresses and shorts be? A: What you can wear—despite the 700,000 magazine articles that insist otherwise—depends only on your body and your mind.