Q&A Section

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Got questions on makeup, skincare or just beauty in general? Just shoot and I will answer them one by one every week =)

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is the beauty editor for Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Phyllis,
    I love your site! It is sooooo helpful!

    What foundation brand would you recommend to cover up acne and scars? (The heaviest and fullest coverage so that everything disappears!)

  2. hey phyllis, i have been researching for days now and all to no avail on how to apply kristen stewart’s natural makeup in twilight. i saw your article on what van phue used but i can’t figure out what e/s goes where. is there any way you could try to figure it out or give me an opinion on how you think it was applied on the eye? also, what brushes do you use to put in e/s? i know a lot of people use mac brushes but they are expensive, so any suggestions for just the essential e/s brushes?

  3. I love your eyeshadow picks! How do you coordinate colors? Do you usually stick to palettes, or do you mix and match them?

    Thanks!

  4. Hey Phyllis, just want to let you know I’m a long time reader & loves your blog. :) Do you have any good method or products that you recommend to remove blackheads/whiteheads? & what’s a good makeup look for teenagers?

  5. Hey Phyllis, I have a couple of questions… I have dark undereye circles and I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work.. Do you have any recommendations? And also, my eyeliner tends to smudge no matter what… It’s really frustrating!!

  6. Hi Phyllis!

    I know you have dry skin, but do you have any tips for combo skin? i have a REALLY oily T-zone and I cant put any foundation there, Also, by the end of the day my eyebrow makeup just disappears. Ive tried MAC eyebrow pencils and eyeshadow for my brows and nothing works. I dont even have time in the day most days to use blotting sheets. Anyhoo, Id love some advice. Thanks!

  7. Hi Phyllis, I read your post about the products that you use to touch up your makeup throughout the day. My question is, How often do you, personally, have to touch up your makeup on the average day? I feel that I am constantly blotting away oil . . . more so than the other girls around me.

  8. Hey Phyllis,

    I asked you earlier for a color to line under the eyes that would suit women with fair skin and blue/green eyes since black and brown eyeliners often are too heavy or makes you look red and tired. You said that grey would be a nice alternative and I think you are absolutely right. I have not experienced with colors before, however, and I see that you have experience so I was wondering if you could recommend any of the eyeliners that you have tried? There are many different grey tones on the market to chose from, are you thinking silvergrey/light-grey or?
    I really want my eyes to pop, but many eyeliners drag them down instead and it makes me look tired.

  9. Hey Phyllis!
    I was wondering if you had any recommendations for at home facial peels? I tried an asian brand and i loved it, but i wasn’t sure if american brands had them too

  10. Hey Phyllis!
    I have very oily eyelids, whenever i apply eyeliner it smudges like crazy! since it smudges badly i cant even try applying eye shadows. Do you have any recommendations on what i should do? I try applying mac paint pot to my entire lids and try patting it with some neutral eye shadows to dry up the oil, but by mid day you would see my eye makeup smudging.

  11. hey shirley, did you try the urban decay primer potion? it works wonder, it helps the makeup stay on and makes the colors more vibrant. :)

    sorry for double posting, but i forgot to ask a question haha. i have some chicken pox scars on my face and it bothers me all the time. i think it’s one of my biggest insecurities. i was wondering do you know any method or products that will remove the scars? if not, then diminish it? those scars are not a pretty thing :(

  12. Hi phylis! I’ve been an avid follower of your site ever since it started back in 2006, thank you so much for all of these helpful tips and reviews. I was wondering could you do a tutorial on how to contour and apply blush so it looks natural???

  13. Hey Phyllis,

    I love makeup, but I don’t really know how to use makeup brushes and I was wondering if you could explain how to use makeup brushes and which brushes you need in your makeup tool box.
    I’d also like to know if I should use translucent powder or regular powder.
    Thanks a lot :)

  14. hey phyllis! love your blog so much ^^ i was wondering – what products do you recommend for whitening skin? also, could you do a culture breakdown + fotd for the korean ulzzang trend like you did for himegyaru??

  15. Hi Phyllis!
    I want to ask about primers/makeup bases. How important is it to use one and do you have any recommendations? Do most makeup bases have SPF? And what different kinds are there?

    I’ve seen makeup bases with in pink, green, and white etc… I know what you do with the different colours but how do you know which to choose, or do you need all the colours?

  16. Hi Phyllis,
    Would you be able to suggest a few fotds I could do for days in college? (something that’s not going to take a lot of time too)
    Also, when I wear blush it doesn’t last the entire day…Not sure if that’s when a touch up is needed? Or is it true – i read somewhere that you should apply 30% more makeup than required to acheive the effect you’re looking for the entire day?
    Last question: could you do a daily look i can wear with glasses?

    Thank you so much!!

  17. Hey Phylis, glad you opened up this Q&A post :D
    I think we may have the same skintone (I’m a bit lighter though) so would you mind telling me your shades for the different foundations (specifically Maybelline, Loreal, Revlon, Rimmel and Bare Minerals) you use? It would really help me set a base shade :D Many thanks lovely! :D

  18. I’m thinking about going for a change and dying my hair. What are some tips for choosing colors for Asians? What color was your personal favorite?

  19. yay for the Q&A!! im with the rest with your recommendations for high end and cheap foundations… however! any you would recommend for a girl of color like moi? im like between Rihanna and Beyo’s color… yellow/olive undertone. :D thanx thanx thanx!

  20. Hi Phyllis, could you put together a look for ‘working girls’ – a look that’s professional, quick, and polished for the office? Love your blog, have been checking it out for awhile, though I’m not much of a daily makeup girl, I’d love to learn to do a look that’s good for everyday!

  21. Hi Phyllis,

    Thanks for this Q&A :)

    I would like to know what brushes do you use to put in e/s ?
    What are the basic brushes ? and equivalence for MAC brushes because, it’s so expensive in Europe :(

    Have a good day !

  22. Phyllis =)
    I was just wondering, after you apply make up, do you clean your brushes everytime? And if you do, what do you wash/clean your make up brushes with? I’m having difficulties with my brushes because i don’t know how to clean them or what with …
    xo.

  23. Hi Phyllis, I have to say that you are so beautiful and so professional at make over and make up!
    I have dry skin, do you recommend me using liquid foundation or power or mineral foundation…I have a problem when i use power foundation it has like patches…what should i do??

    Thank you! You are the best!

  24. Hey Phyllis! :) I have a bit of an unusual question for you: what oil-based foundations do you like? I have very dry skin and love using oil-based products on my face. (I don’t get breakouts.) Believe it or not, it’s hard to find something that isn’t oil-free!

  25. Hey Phyllis!

    I was wondering if wearing mascara is actually bad for your eyelashes? I’m using rimmell lash maxx coupled with loreal voluminous (it gives me the most gorgeous eyelashes!), and I don’t know if it’s just me or I feel like my eyelashes are getting thinner progressively. Does wearing too much mascara make eyelashes fall off?

    Thanks a lot!!

  26. Dear Phyllis,

    This is abit awkward to ask bit do you know how to enhance the boobs without going under surgery?
    I really want to have fuller boobs, after gave birth they just gone back to original sizes!
    Please help…
    Thank you!

  27. Hi Phyllis,

    I don’t have any eyeshadow brush and am planning to buy one, but it is quite hard to figure out what the ‘right’ ones are.

    Would you please advise what the ‘must haves’ are for the person who doesn’t have any of the eyeshadow brushes?

    Thanks! :-)

  28. Hi Phyllis!
    Just wondering.. do you use any dermalogica or bumble and bumble products? Audrina from Hills uses them! I heard some of the products saved lives!:0

  29. Dear Phyllis,
    i was wondering if you knew how we could identify our skin type if we have no clue? My skin is a mix of acne, oiliness and dryness and it is hard to find products that work for my skin.

  30. Hi phyllis!
    This might be a very stupid question sorry but it is something that has always confused me…

    What comes first… sunblock or moisturizer?
    or at least the best for if you want to apply foundation ?

    Thank you!

  31. I hope you get to see this comment because I have a question and I would like you to answer if you can :] If you can’t totally understandable. But anywheres my question is how many times do you wash your brushes? Once a week once every two weeks…etc. I just bought some new MAC brushes and I found with my 217 brush that I don’t want the dark colors to stain so I don’t know if I should wash after I’m done using it or should I was it later. Thank you in advance!

  32. Sorry to bother you again Phyllis but you can scratch off my question. I thought you had a how to take care of your brushes article and you did! Thanks for your tips I’m a new follower and I love your site :]

  33. hi phyllis :)
    remember when you said you were gonna use the jergens glow and mix it with moisturizer for ur face to create a tan?
    did it work for you?
    it made my face yellow!
    thanks

  34. Hey Phyllis!
    You are kinda lucky to have dry skin. I have combo skin with an oily t-zone and dry red cheeks. Even right after I cleanse my face, it looks so shiny even though its not oily and it feels tight. How can I stop this? Or what kind of cleansers get rid of the shine and oil? I hate my skin, its so unbalanced!

  35. Hi Phyllis!
    How do I make my nose look slender and higher? My bridge is fine but my nostrils seem a little flare-y, are there any tips to making them look smaller?

  36. hi! i love your site wow i just discovered it!
    whats the best frizz ease for hair in ur opinion?
    and for pimples, do you know the best treatment that you use yourself?

  37. Hey phyllis!
    I have really fair skin and the skin above my lips is lighter than the rest of my face. Even when I put on foundation it still shows! What can I do to make this less visible?

  38. Phyliss !!!!

    i have some dark circles and some puffiness under my eyes.

    and was hoping you can recomend a good eye cream that is effective ?

    it would be really kind of you.
    because i’m searching and searching but still nothing.

    =[

    Help me please !.

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