We’ve loved answering 21 reader questions in the past (and hearing everyone weigh in). Here are three more, including where to find a cute swimsuit and how to talk to teenagers…
Q. My partner and I are in a long-distance relationship, and next month I’m going to visit him (and meet his parents!) in his hometown. The flight is five hours, and I want to walk off looking incredibly fresh. What beauty products should I pack in my carry-on? — Erika
A. Oh my gosh, I have butterflies just reading your question! Many years ago, my then-boyfriend spent six months in Paris, and I went to visit him that fall. I remember putting on makeup in the tiny plane bathroom and growing increasingly nervous to walk out of baggage claim and see him! ACKS! Okay, here are my marching orders: 1) Don’t wear makeup for most of the flight, so your skin stays clean and clear. 2) Before landing, apply a silky foundation to make your face glow. 3) Finally, swipe on this hydrating lip balm, which is the PERFECT cranberry red and will brighten up your whole look. You will feel gorgeous, have the best time!
Q. One of my favorite CoJ posts was about how to talk to little kids, and I wondering if you could also do one on teenagers? I’m taking a weeklong trip with my 17-year-old niece next month. I’m excited but nervous — I’m worried we’ll run out of things to talk about or that she’ll get tired of me. Do you (or CoJ readers) have tips for getting on a teenager’s wavelength? — Sarah
A. Absolutely. I turned to my long-time friend Ella Beesley, who’s turning 17 this summer. Here’s what she told me over the phone:
— “Teenagers LOVE to talk about themselves. Ask about her favorite memories because she’ll love reminiscing. She’ll tell you dumb stories about high school to make you laugh. We also love shit-talking and spilling the tea, so ask what’s going on with her friends.”
— “Don’t talk about family. I’m already tired of my family and I’m not even 17.”
— “DON’T ASK ABOUT COLLEGE unless she starts the conversation. Most teenagers already feel so much pressure.”
— “Many teenagers like an hour before the day starts to watch TikToks and text their friends. And then another hour before bed. I’m addicted to my phone, even when I’m having fun, so don’t take it personally if she spends time on her phone.”
— “You can ask her if she wants to do a TikTok together because that’s a funny thing you guys could do.”
— “Take her thrifting.”
— “Always, always let her control the music.”
Thank you, Ella!!! Teens (and the people who love them), please feel free to add more thoughts in the comments.
Q. Can you find a cute bathing suit for an active mom who hates to wax? I have two little boys, so I’m always squatting in the sand to dig a moat or perfecting my cannonballs off the dock. I’ve also embraced a more natural style during the pandemic and have no desire to go back to regular waxing appointments. Swimsuit bottoms can be skimpy, and I find myself constantly making adjustments and wondering if everything is tucked in. Help! – Kara
A. Kara, I hear you. I am you. J.Crew has great swimsuits — like this cutie – and you can actually search by “full coverage.” Boden also has lovely styles, like this halter and colorblock, which stay in place with bust support and full bum coverage. Also, the Target swim romper has been selling like hot cakes, and it could be cute for mucking around on the beach. Good luck!
(Photo of Beyonce walking off a plane by Robin Harper.)