DEAR AMY: My girlfriend, a natural beauty, has recently started doing her makeup (and other people's makeup) 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 some initiative in pursuing the idea of going to beauty school. The catch is ... she is horrible at it. In recent weeks, she spends hours just caking it on. She has easily spent over $200 in the last month on new makeup.
There have been nights when she spends over an hour putting on makeup in the late evening, 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.
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
DEAR MAKEUP: Maybe your girlfriend 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."
DEAR AMY: 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
DEAR TIGHT: 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.
DEAR AMY: "Upset Mom" had an adult son at home who didn't want to get out of bed in the morning.
I'm surprised you didn't suggest that he might have a thyroid disorder or depression. He should have a checkup. — Concerned Reader
DEAR CONCERNED: This man had enough energy to go out with his buds at night; maybe he stayed in bed because he didn't have a reason to rise.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamytribune.com. You can also follow her on Twitter askingamy or "like" her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson's memoir, "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them" (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)