Ask Lee Anything: Beauty Edition

I’ve had so much fun answering your questions in my Ask Me Anything series, so today I’m focusing on your beauty-related questions sourced straight from our @BeautyLeeBar Instagram Stories. From the best face oils to my favorite haircare products, here are a few tidbits you may or may not know about me…


1. What is your favorite serum or oil?

Hands down OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright 15% Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum and Tarte Maracuja Oil. The serum and the facial oil make my skin look brighter, radiant, glowy, and smoother. I always apply the two in the morning and at night.

2. What’s your favorite face sunscreen?

I like Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Refillable Invisible Face Moisturizer SPF 30 with Niacinamide and Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+. It layers well with my skin products and makeup. I like that it doesn’t feel greasy on my skin and that the sunscreens don’t leave my face with white streaks.

3. What shampoo and conditioner hair products do you use to keep it healthy?

I like TPH By Taraji Shampoo and Conditioner with Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse. It keeps my hair soft, clean, and hydrated. My hair is so easy to untangle with these products.

4. Eyebrow tips for light brows?

Besides using a brow pencil or gel, you might want to consider Microshading. For something less of a commitment, try LAMINATION.

5. Do you prefer a side part or a middle part?

Though I may be a millennial, I most often part my hair in the middle. Unless I am going for vintage-inspired styles, I find it flatters my face more than a side part.

6. Any suggestions for any retinol-free anti-aging products?

If you’re not a huge fan of retinol, you can try products with bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to retinol that has similar effects. Make sure to do your research before trying any new ingredients, however.


7. Do you use the same products and the same routine in the AM and PM?

In the morning, I always wear sunscreen, and at nighttime, I try to incorporate more serums and oils, along with a thicker moisturizer to hydrate my skin overnight.

8. What recommendations do you have for really dry skin?

I’d say to include more hyaluronic acid into your routine. It’s great for hydrating the skin.


9. What’s your favorite lip gloss?

It is not a lip gloss more like a lip oil but it’s Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Soft Pinch Tinted Lip Oil and Fenty Skin Cherry Treat Conditioning + Strengthening Lip Oil. I do have the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in my purse as well but right now the lip oils are giving for me.

This lip gloss/lip oil is my favorite and is always in my purse no matter where I go. I love it because it has a gorgeous shade that looks so flattering and pretty on the lips, especially on black women.

10. Do you wear natural deodorant? If so, do you have a favorite brand?

I do wear natural deodorant, and my favorite brand is Lavanila Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant. It comes in a nice Vanilla Lavender scent that I always carry in my purse to re-apply when necessary.


What other beauty questions do you have for me?

Let me know in the comments below.

Beauty Q and A: Should I Use a Lip Scrub Before Applying Lipstick?

Chapped lips can make it difficult to get a flawless lipstick application. For a soft, smooth canvas, a lip scrub is a must-have. To find out just how and why to incorporate lip scrubs into your lip routine, we talked to Sara Happ, lip expert and founder of the eponymous brand. Read on for her tips so you can start swiping on the hottest summer lip colors with ease.

The Benefits of Using a Lip Scrub

 “Using a lip scrub gives you smooth lips that make a great base for lipstick to adhere to,” Happ says. A scrub is especially key if you’re wearing a matte liquid lipstick, like the L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick, which can emphasize texture if you don’t exfoliate.  

To ensure safe use, you want to make sure you’re scrubbing your lips with products that are built to smooth and moisturize your pout. “Avoid using scrubs with ingredients that could hurt your lips — such as bits of almonds or other sharp materials,” Happ says. Look for nourishing oils, like jojoba and almond, with sugar to exfoliate, like the Sara Happ The Lip Scrub in Pink Grapefruit.

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub in Pink Grapefruit

How to Use a Lip Scrub

To properly use a lip scrub, massage the product onto dry lips with your fingers, then wipe away flakes with a tissue. Follow up with a moisturizing lip balm to prevent lips from drying out.

Happ recommends using a scrub every day to help “maintain healthy, smooth lips even throughout harsh weather or travel.” It’s important to note, however, that you should be mindful of avoiding irritation. “Don’t scrub cracked or bleeding lips,” Happ notes. Instead, use a product like The Lip Slip Gloss to help rehydrate. “Once they’re healthy again, start scrubbing every day,” she explains. Scrubbing cracked lips will make them worse, which is why it’s important to make sure they are moisturized beforehand.

SOS! My Makeup Is Pilling — How Can I Fix It?

Do you ever find that your foundation balls up on your skin after you apply your favorite sunscreen or face cream? Similar to when your knitwear has seen better days and small balls of fabric sit on the material, this is called pilling — and it’s the fastest way to ruin your skin-care and makeup in one fell swoop.

Pilling is one of the most frustrating things that can happen when applying your skincare and makeup, due to the fact it takes extra time to blend, correct, and can waste more of your expensive beauty products.

Makeup pilling is no fun, especially after you just applied a full face of makeup and your foundation starts sliding off in tiny pieces. Pilling occurs when two makeup or skin-care ingredients don’t mesh well together on your skin, and although there are ways to avoid this (more on that below), we wanted to know if there’s any way to salvage your full beat in this scenario. Ahead, we spoke with NYC-based makeup artist Mary Irwin to find out how.


What Causes Pilling

When your skincare or makeup pills, it looks like flakes or globs of product on your skin.


Pilling happens when products haven’t absorbed into the skin, whether due to:

🤍 the type of ingredient

🤍 the amount applied

🤍 the other products you’re using

🤍 the condition of your skin

🤍 The tools you are using to apply your skincare and makeup

With so many of us experimenting with multi-step skincare routines, the pilling struggle is all too real!

Here are some best tips if you’re dealing with this issue.

Can You Fix Makeup Pilling?

Irwin gets straight to the point: “Unfortunately, aside from taking a damp makeup sponge and trying to blend it in, there’s not much you can do besides take it off.” If your foundation begins to pill, wet a sponge (the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender is our fave) and tap it over the areas where it pilled off. Once you’ve blended it out, set it with a loose powder like the Maybelline New York Lasting Fix Banana Setting Powder and don’t touch it. “Don’t add anything cream or liquid over it after the fact.”


WE know and understand that you don’t want to remove the makeup that you spent hours perfecting so for that to not happen, the first thing you want to make sure you’re doing is exfoliate on a regular basis.

To be clear, the little balls that form are composed of product, not dead skin. But it’s still important to maintain a good exfoliation routine, because it will help your products to absorb more effectively, rather than remaining on top of a surface layer of dead skin. 


How to Avoid Pilling

Irwin recommends paying attention to the ingredients you’re placing on your skin to avoid pilling all together. “Use products that have a similar formula — silicone with silicone, water with water, etc.” When applying cream makeup products (which have the most tendency to pill), she recommends starting with thin layers and building them up slowly. “Also avoid layering cream over powder, because this can result in pilling too.”

The more you touch your skin, the more you disturb the products and encourage them to pill. It goes without saying that rubbing your face is a a big no-no, as this will only cause surface residue to bunch and roll up. Use light, patting motions to apply your products, and resist the urge to touch your face any more than absolutely necessary.


Just give yourself plenty of time in between layers and after the final layer. That will ensure you’ve absorbed most of the beneficial ingredients.

Here are 3 more videos that can be helpful when it comes to pilling:

Have you experienced product pilling?
What has helped you to prevent it?


Beginner Beauty FAQ

Just starting out with makeup? Whether you’re a complete beginner or the ultimate beauty enthusiast, there are a couple of questions that we’ve all asked ourselves at some point. To make things easier for you, here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions about beauty and skincare!

Do you need to use toner?

This has crossed all our minds at one point or another: Do we really need to use toner? Or is it just an extra step that we can skip?

The short answer – yes, you should use toner.

Regardless of skin type, toner is definitely an essential step when it comes to achieving healthy glowing skin. After cleansing, toner helps remove stubborn dirt and grime, and any traces of makeup you may have missed.

A good toner can provide the skin with a much-needed boost of hydration along with other skin-supporting ingredients. Adding this step into your skincare regimen sets the perfect foundation for your other skincare products to perform better.

How often should you wash your makeup brushes?

We know, washing your brushes can feel like a total chore – but it’s soo worth it. You should aim to wash your brushes at least every 7 days or so to get rid of any germs or bacteria that will build up over time.

Not cleaning your brushes often enough could contribute to breakouts or other common skin problems. And honestly, your makeup looks so much better when you’re working with clean brushes!

Is “baking” just a trend?

“Baking” has been trending for quite some time now. The real question is, is it completely necessary or just another fleeting beauty trend? Well, let’s just say… if you want your makeup to last longer, then you definitely need to add “baking” onto your to-do list.

“Baking” is essentially setting your face makeup with a loose setting powder to mattify your complexion. Adding this additional step into your makeup routine extends the staying power of your face makeup by soaking up excess oil during the day.

All you need to do is apply a generous amount of loose setting powder over your face makeup with a damp beauty sponge. Let it sit on your face for a couple of minutes (5 or so) and then buff it out with a fluffy powder brush. Pro tip: For the ultimate staying power, spray your beauty sponge with some setting spray before you pick up the powder.

Do you have to use moisturizer if you have oily skin?

When you’re dealing with oily skin, adding more moisture into the equation is probably the last thing on your mind. But moisturizing your skin properly will make a huge difference when it comes to controlling oil.

When our skin is dehydrated, it actually overcompensates by producing even more oil to make up for the moisture it desperately needs. To minimize shine, oily skin types can benefit from staying hydrated by drinking more water throughout the day and moisturizing regularly in the morning and at night.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments down below if you have any other questions for us!