Spring beauty and fashion fixes

Story highlights

  • Swap pink-brown lipstick for a more modern, brighter pink
  • Daytime moisturizers are not the same as nighttime moisturizers
  • Cuff your jeans just above the ankles

I've been wearing the same pink-brown lipstick for several years. Any tips for choosing a fresh color? — Helena Schwarz, New York City

Bobbi Brown: Baby step: Take it up a notch with a rose hue, which looks pretty on every skin tone (and is huge this spring). Feeling more daring? Go for a brighter pink—great on pale and medium complexions—or try a more purply pink if you have darker lips. And remember, if you think a new shade is too strong, you can always sheer it out by tapping it onto your lips instead of swiping it on directly from the tube.

What are the best ways to use Q-tips to apply makeup? — Jen Goldstein, Somerville, Massachusetts

Brown: I think they're better for cleaning up cosmetics than putting them on. But I first got the idea for my gel liner when I lined my eyes with a Q-tip dipped in mascara! While I don't suggest doing that at home, I still love using cotton swabs for blending eye makeup. If you put too much shadow in the crease of your lid, run a Q-tip over it to smudge it out. And when mascara gets on your face, just roll the soft tip over the mark to take it off.

Can my regular moisturizer with SPF double as a night cream, too? — Andrea Bartruff, Charlotte, North Carolina

Brown: I wouldn't advise doing that regularly. The sun-protective ingredients in day creams create a barrier so UV rays can't penetrate—but the thing is, you want to let your skin breathe overnight. I like p.m. moisturizers with chamomile or lavender, which are calming and soothing. To get more out of your nighttime regimen, you might want to layer two formulas. If your skin is dry, apply a face oil—one of my all-time favorite hydrators—then top with your cream.

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How can I look great in rain gear? — Jessica Clerkin, Mineola, New York

Schwartz: A classic trench is always chic. And there are so many clever updates, like chartreuse piping. Also key: keeping your feet dry without sacrificing style. You can't go wrong with dark green or black wellies, but there is something fun about rain boots that give a pop of color.

What's the easiest way to spring up my wardrobe? — Mamie Walling, Birmingham, Alabama

Schwartz: Florals are a big trend this season! For a sophisticated take, swap riotous color for subtle neutral blooms; team with a crisp blouse. Or, try a floral top with jeans or khakis. Play with accessories: Choose a color from your print, or pick one that clashes for extra pizzazz.

Is there a trick to properly cuffing the hem of your jeans? — Lauren Christian, Richmond, Virginia

Schwartz: Here are my rules: Cuff skinny or straight-leg jeans, but not baggier styles. Keep cuffs slim (an inch or two, maximum), hitting just at or above the ankles. Wear this look with leg-lengthening nude flats for a casual spin, or slip on strappy sandals for laid-back glam.

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