Beauty Mysteries

It can be frustrating when favorite beauty products vanish from store shelves or when your hair is looking alarmingly sparse. So Good Housekeeping 's beauty editors have come up with solutions to beauty bafflers such as these:

1. Can anything help my thinning hair?

Most hair loss in women is treatable (once you've ruled out underlying health issues with your doctor). The first line of attack is often Women's Rogaine ($25 for a one-month supply, drugstores), which is FDA-approved for regrowing hair. The only catch is that Rogaine is not a cure; you have to keep using it.

The FDA is reviewing study data on a much pricier option for women, HairMax LaserComb ($545,, which stimulates the follicle with light energy. It already has FDA clearance for increasing hair growth in men.

2. If I get a bad haircut, am I entitled to a free redo?

Channel your cool, collected side. "People understandably feel upset when a stylist or colorist doesn't get it right, but causing a scene won't help," said Helena Faccenda, a celebrity hairstylist based in New York City.

Do speak up -- calmly -- right away; the longer you delay, the less weight your complaint will carry. And if you don't trust the person who caused the fiasco to fix it, ask the salon manager if someone else can help you.

3. Where can I find discontinued makeup?

First, try the brand's Web site. There often is a link to products that are being phased out, such as Lancome's Beauty Bye-Byes ( Estee Lauder's Gone But Not Forgotten hot line (800-216-7173) offers discontinued products from many of its brands, including Clinique.

When all else fails, create a clone of the shade. Giella will copy a lipstick, lip gloss or nail polish hue ($25 to $27, And Three Custom Colors Specialists can re-create any lip color ($55 for two tubes of lipstick,

4. What's the best way to choose makeup at a drugstore?

If your local outlet hasn't implemented sampling, the way Target and Ulta have, "the smartest thing to do is to choose colors in the tones you already know work for you," said Los Angeles makeup artist Napoleon Perdis.

You may get a second chance to get it right. CoverGirl will let you swap its new Simply Ageless Foundation ($14, drugstores) for a closer match at any store where it's sold.

Many drugstores, including CVS, will take back or at least exchange makeup -- even if it's been opened.

5. What can I do to look less tired?

Liquid skin brighteners -- such as Almay Face Brightener ($12.50, drugstores) -- come in skin-tone-matching shades that create a subtle, not sparkly, luminosity.

To apply, layer a thin coat all over your face before foundation, or dab it just beneath the brow or on top of the cheekbones. Hide dark undereye circles with an eye brightener such as Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Eye Illuminator ($28,