Dear Hivemind, a few moons ago I consulted you for make-up and skincare tips. I'll begin by reporting my successes, followed by some questions:

1) I got the Benefit How to Look The Best At Everything set, since it has a sampler size of both Porefessional primer and Hello Flawless foundation. When I first slathered the foundation on, I was horrified at how yellow it looked. Then I discovered that as long as I don't overdo it and blend it well, the yellowness actually nicely balances out my natural redness, giving me a nice, even tone. I can't say I notice a huge difference with the primer - it makes my skin feel smoother but doesn't really change how I look, if that makes sense. A/A-

2) I also got Tarte's BB cream which is okay but very yellow and not as good as the Benefit stuff. B+

3) I got a bunch of Clinique and Vichy face creams as a present. Especially the Clinique one for dry skin is excellent - I have very dry skin, but the cream is hefty enough that I actually don't use it in the morning because otherwise my skin feels oily under my makeup. A

4) I received Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector as a sampler gift from Sephora and only started experimenting with it as an afterthought, but holy smokes, it's awesome. Again, there was a learning curve where I kind of just smeared it all around my eyes, but then a lady on a YouTube video taught me that the trick is to gently and patiently dab it in and NOT to put it on your dark circles - otherwise the shimmer will just make the puffs stand out even worse. Instead, I put in on underneath my eyebrows and down around the eye in a sort of half-moon, and on the bridge of my nose. A+


5) Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Oh man, this is the best thing ever. As mentioned, I have dry skin that likes to peel in winter, especially if I put makeup on. The Microfoliant is gentle enough that it doesn't irritate my skin even though I use it every day. Instead it just keeps my skin soft and non-peely. Expensive, but it seems to last a pretty long time - I've used it daily for three months and still have lots left. A+++


1) I also got Guerlain's Meteorites and was super-stoked for fancy-pansy make-up. But it doesn't do anything for me. :( Part of the problem is that the pearls are so hard that I can't get much stuff off of them. Even when I do, I can't really see much of a difference. What am I doing wrong?


2) I am on a quest for a lipstick unicorn. To date, I have found exactly one lipstick that stays on me for more than fifteen minutes, and that's Stila's Stay All Day. I love the bright colours and how well they stay. They also dry out my lips marginally less than other long-wearing lipsticks. However, I would love to find a lipstick that would be a bit more moisturizing and not completely matte. Does such a thing exist? And seriously, I need stuff that has serious staying power - I just don't see a point in putting on lipstick if it's going to be gone in half an hour, and most lipsticks just seem to magically evaporate off my lips (even with foundation or primer underneath). So don't recommend anything unless it's made of unicorn tears - otherwise you'll just break my heart.

3) Sunscreen. I don't tan, I burn. Whenever I'm in a sunny climate, I wear 50+ factor and reapply like crazy. Usually I just get whatever CVS brand and that does the trick. This summer, however, I'm going to be in a sunny place for six months, and I don't want to subject my skin to goopy, sticky sunscreen for that entire time. So, any recommendations on sunscreen - face and body - that is high-factor but a)doesn't feel heavy and b)won't cause my skin to go crazy?

Thank you in advance, Hivemind! You have already made my skin roughly 300% happier - look forward to even more tips!