Ask Amy

Ask Amy column

Q. My girlfriend, a natural beauty, has recently started doing her makeup (and other people’s) as a hobby. She is 24 and really doesn’t have a clear direction about what she wants to do in life, aside from raising our amazing son, who just turned 2.

She has shown interest in beauty school. The catch is . . . she is horrible at applying makeup. In recent weeks, she has spent hours just caking it on. She has spent at least $200 in the last month on makeup.


There have been nights when she spends over an hour putting on makeup, just to take it off an hour later before bed.

I have nicely hinted that she may be using a little too much. I have even flat-out told her it is caked on. Other people are polite about it, but you can see them scramble for words to be nice when commenting on it.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

She is taking the beautiful face I fell in love with and masking it with layer upon layer of facial product. Please help me find the words to get through to her while encouraging her to get better without making a spectacle of herself.

Makeup or Breakup

A. Maybe she has developed a rare cake-it-on compulsion — or maybe she is just a young woman who is perhaps a little bored and stuck at home with a toddler, trying something new.

You should assume, kindly, that — like an amateur musician learning to play a new instrument or someone learning woodworking — she will improve. Be completely supportive and urge her to translate her interest into professional training. There are some amazing YouTube channels showing makeup techniques; research this, and send her links.


Tell her, “You know me — I will always think that less is more, especially with you. I want our son to see mom’s natural gorgeousness. But I also understand you are practicing.”

Q. My husband and I have a fairly tight income and a 1-year-old child.

We recently moved and found a lovely place to rent. Our rent is fair according to local standards, but it takes about 40 percent of our monthly income each month to pay it.

Every month when we get paid, I write out the check for the next month and mail it faithfully. I ask my landlord to notify us when he receives it, so I can be sure it doesn’t get lost in the mail. However, after receiving the check, he waits around two weeks to cash it.

How do I get him to deposit it right away? We are tight on money, and I need to be sure I can get the food and diapers my baby needs.

We always budget for the rent, but it really throws our account off when he doesn’t deposit it right away. I know he passes by a bank almost daily.

I want to be courteous about this. Any advice?

Tight Tenant

A. You are a very responsible tenant, but your budgeting issues are not your landlord’s problem. I understand how having your rent funds sitting in your account might prove challenging for you, but when the check has been written and mailed, the money is no longer yours.

Even if you request that he deposit your rent checks promptly, you will not be able to guarantee that he will always do this.

You could set up a separate account only for rent, or you could contact your bank and your landlord to establish a monthly transfer directly from your account to his each month. This would ease your anxiety about the mail and his banking schedule.

Amy Dickinson can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.