Q: I am officially over my ombre hair. How can I fix it without cutting off too many inches? —Adina Benno, 31, Brooklyn, New York
The Expert: New York City hair colorist and salon owner Marie Robinson
She says: There's no need to chop off your hair—or see a professional, in most cases. First, pick a semi- or demi-permanent dye in the same shade as your natural color. The dye should be the opposite tone of your ombre ends because you'll use it to neutralize the lightened section. For example, a dark brunette with warm chestnut ends would use a cool ash-brown. Pick a deposit-only formula (with low or no ammonia) like L'Oreal Healthy Look Creme Gloss, $9. Apply the dye on your lighter ends only. A minute before you're supposed to rinse, get in the shower, wet your hair to emulsify the dye, then rub it all over as if you're shampooing. After you distribute the dye from root to tip, rinse.
Q: I let me hair air-dry into beauty waves during the summer, but it's getting a little too cold to go out with damp hair. Can I get the same texture with a dryer? —Carly Noreen, 30, Jacksonville, North Carolina
The Expert: New York City hairstylist and salon owner Ted Gibson
He says: Yes! Twist 1- to 1.5-inch sections of your damp hair (just like you'd absentmindedly twirl your hair), then mist them with a styling spray (I use my Ted Gibson Build It Blow Drying Agent, $20) and let them fall. Repeat all over, twisting in different directions each time. Blowdry the sections using a diffuser attachment, tilting your head so the twists rest on the prongs of the diffuser (don't scrunch or it will end up frizzy). If your hair is shoulder length or longer, here's an easier option: Mist damp hair with a volumizing spray, coil it into a topknot, pin it, and sleep with in place. When you wake up and remove the pins, you'll have waves.
Q: Now that it's not as humid, my skin is starting to feel dry. But I'm worried if I start using more moisturizing products, I'll break out. Is there a solution? —Kristyn Nucci, 20, Woodstock, Georgia
The Expert: Cambridge, Massachusetts, dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch
She says: In the cooler, drier months of fall, your skin produces less sebum and sweat. Transitioning your skincare is simpler than you might think. Most of the time, the active ingredients you rely on don't need to change at all. Instead, what changes from season to season is the "vehicle." Think of skincare delivery vehicles on a spectrum from really thick creams to lotions, which are lighter, and then even-lighter-weight gels. The swap most people with normal or combination skin should make from August to September is from a light gel to a lotion. In winter, you can go from a lotion to a cream. Since you're changing vehicles, not active ingredients, you shouldn't have an issue with pimples. Acne is a more common problem during the shift from spring to summer, when people continue to use heavier products that can block pores when they're sweating or when it's humid.
Q: I've been doing the glowy, bronzy thing all summer, but I feel like I should update my makeup look for fall. What do you suggest? —Erin Eastburn, 24, New York City
The Expert: New York City makeup artist Christian McCulloch
He says: Just because it's September doesn't mean the smoky eye and red lipstick need to come out! I think fall and winter are when you need bronzer most. You still want your complexion to look fresh and healthy, and bronzer gives you that little shot of sun. Kate Moss is a prime example: She keeps a little goldenness going on year-round. I suggest dusting on a bronzer with a bit of shimmer (I love Dolce&Gabbana The Bronzer Glow Bronzing Powder in Cashmere, $50) from the tops of the apples of your cheeks to your cheekbones toward your ears, then sweeping it in a C-shape up to your temples. Then, without adding anymore product, skim the brush across your nose—just to blend it all together. The size of the brush does make a difference. A giant brush is not ideal, because instead of targeting the cheekbones, it hits everything indiscriminately. Get more control with a soft blender brush like the MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush, $35.
Q: I've noticed brown spots on my forehead, near my hairline. What are they—and how do I get rid of them? —Beth Scarnati, 34, Los Angeles
The Expert: New York City dermatologist at Marmur Medical Dr. Ellen Marmur
She says: If you weren't careful about applying sunscreen all the way up into your hairline this summer, it could be sun-related. (These spots are usually a bit larger than typical nose and cheek freckles.) If the discoloration looks like large, blotchy patches that run together, it might be melasma, a form of hyper- pigmentation triggered by high estrogen levels. Either way, if you don't wear sunscreen loyally every day, you'll never get rid of the spots. Once you have the SPF habit down, use a topical product that inhibits melanin production (with ingredients like kojic acid, arbutin, or licorice root) and blocks the transfer of it to the skin's surface (using ingredients like soy or niacinamide). SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector, $90, does both. The key with any treatment for hyperpigmentation is to use it diligently day and night—and stick with it! Most of my patients give up after a couple weeks, but brown-spot reduction can take at least 12 weeks, even with a prescription-strength product.
Tweet your beauty questions to @marieclaire using #MCBeauty.