DEAR HARRIETTE: I am caught in a love triangle. I'm 22 and feel completely unsure of what to do. "Luke" is a sweet guy, and we've been friends for years, while "Chris" is a jock who has just started showing me attention. I feel horrible for juggling two guys, but only because it would hurt Luke if he found out. I know I will eventually have to choose one, but am completely torn on where to focus my energy. Should I pick the reliable choice or the daring bad boy? -- Too Much Love, Cincinnati
DEAR TOO MUCH LOVE: The person bound to be hurt the most in this situation is you. That is because you are unclear about what you want and what is important to you. It is time for you to take stock of that. What are you looking for right now? Do you want to date around, or do you want to find a committed relationship? Are you interested in Luke as a love partner or more as a platonic friend?
Start with Luke. Be ready to claim what you want to have with him. If you feel that, for now, anyway, it really is purely friendship, drum up the courage to tell him that you value his friendship the most. Be honest and say that you want to explore dating a bit and are not ready to commit. If he asks you if you have met someone else, tell him the truth. Yes, this will be hard, but if he is your longtime friend, he deserves your honesty. As far as Chris is concerned, you should also seriously think about whether dating him is worth potentially losing Luke as a friend. Sort it all out before you do anything.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have recently made the switch to wearing only cruelty-free makeup. Very few brands do not test on animals or use animal products in their makeup, so I have been going through trial and error. I met up with my sister at a bar recently, and she immediately began judging my makeup. I felt so embarrassed, and she now texts me to make sure I'm looking my best. Is my appearance more valuable than the lives of animals that have to be tested on? I don't want to waver in my beliefs, but I apparently need more coverage. -- Skin Deep, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR SKIN DEEP: While there is not a lot of cruelty-free makeup, it does exist. You may need to get the support of a makeup artist to show you how to use the new makeup. There's a great chance that someone representing one of these companies is at the ready to support you for free.
More, though, I want to suggest that you go natural, like Alicia Keys, and then slowly figure out what works for you. You might be surprised to learn that many women wear minimal makeup. It may include just a dusting of powder to even out your skin tone, eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss or lipstick.
(Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)