Are expensive creams and lotions worth it?

Dear answer, Angel Ellen: Do I really need body lotion, hand cream, face moisturizer in the morning, face moisturizer at night and a eye cream? If so, is there really a difference between all these products? Is there one that I can use for my whole body? Is there really a difference between drugstore products and delicious smelling products that cost a fortune other than the smell and the container?

-Bonnie R.

Dear Bonnie: Stick with your drugstore lotions and creams. The differences between the different products you mention are not enough to make a dramatic difference in your skin (or your life!). Try drugstore brand CeraVe Day Facial Moisturizer for sunscreen. CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion is even cheaper and can be used anywhere. Luxury brands spend a fortune on advertising, which is what you mostly pay for. Whichever product you choose, sunscreen is essential for exposed skin, even on cloudy and cold days!

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have a favorite pair of black boots. The back of the right heel has worn away from riding, exposing the white plastic heel. (Why didn’t the boot maker use a black plastic heel?) I’ve tried black marker, black shoe polish, black Sharpie, etc., and it all fades. Do you have any ideas rather than spending $22 to get them back up?

-Magic a.

Dear Maggie: This suggestion isn’t the most elegant solution, but I’ve tried it and it works. Use strips of black electrical tape lightly overlapped (horizontally) to cover the heels. The tape is slightly stretchy, covers the heel and does not wear out.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I realized that my cell phone was dictating my wardrobe. Since I no longer need to dress for work, I always wear cargo pants or cargo shorts because the extra pocket is perfect for a cell phone. In fact, I don’t wear jeans anymore, same reason. Something wrong with that? If so, where should I carry my phone?


Dear JJ: In a casual work setting, which is surely yours if you can wear shorts to work, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing cargo pants or cargo shorts. Cargo sweatpants and cargo skirts are also an option, although adding a lumpy phone etc to your thigh might not appeal to many women. Women also have handbags and cross-body phone holders, but the options are much more limited for men. The front pockets are sometimes quite deep; hip pockets also work (if you’re careful not to break the screen while sitting on the phone). And there’s still the belt mount for phones – fabulously practical, but some would say that’s a cheesy dad/mom look.

angelic readers

Renee M. writes, “Responding to your reader Dianne G.’s dilemma of under-eye concealer that fades inside masks, I discovered a setting spray from Urban Decay called All Nighter setting spray (urbandecay. com,, $33) while getting my makeup done for our daughters’ weddings a few years ago. I resurrected the product since I wear masks and it does what it says! The make-up doesn’t rub off on the masks and I don’t wear make-up all day long. Hope this helps!” Jennifer K. Recommends Urban Decay’s Chill Makeup Fixer: “It works amazingly. It’s also advertised as refreshing and hydrating. I love this product. (, 31 Angela F. recommends NYX Setting Spray (, $4 and up; drugstores, $9.50).

From Carol P.: “1) I’ve been using Lancôme Effacernes Long-Lasting Waterproof Concealer for years (,, $31). It didn’t rub off. 2) The writer may be wearing his mask too high or it may be too big for his face. None of my masks touch my under eye area, not even my KN95 mask. Maybe try buying a mask for smaller faces or even children’s masks to get a better fit that doesn’t stick out under the eyes.

Sue says, “I’ve been using Clinique Continuous Coverage Foundation/Concealer (, $20.99; department stores) to cover under eyes and blemishes for years and years. A very small point is enough, believe me! It is expensive, but applied in a thin layer, it stays in place once set and can be covered with any other makeup. The tube lasts a very long time, easily about a year.

Stick with your drugstore lotions and creams, says Answer Angel Ellen Warren.

Stick with your drugstore lotions and creams, says Answer Angel Ellen Warren.

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