Monday, 16 January 2012

Skin care, simply :)

Skin can take care of itself, but your skin doesn't think looking goods important it focuses on protecting your insides. Your skin doesn't mind a few wrinkles here and there or some pimples and a cluster or two of blackheads, but those wrinkles and pimples can drive a person CRAZY! I now wish I could have a quick chat with my 14-year-old self to explain how simple good skin is, but alas I have not yet found a way to do that so I'm going to explain all that I know here, for you beloved my reader.

Basically how moisturizers work is by keeping the moisture that’s in your skin in. Things like Shea butter and vitamin E can increase your skins moisture level so if you have dry skin look for things with these in them. The important thing is water, it is both skin cares savior and enemy. To get the most out of your creams and lotions use them RIGHT after your skin touches water, so right after you wash and dry your hands (for example). When your skin is wet it's got lots of moisture but as the water dries up it actually takes moisture from your skin leaving it drier then before, so you want to get that moisturizer on in that window between soft and dry. Applying lotion to dry hands throughout the day is not effective, using lotion right after you wash your hands is very effective!

Skin care companies will say almost anything to get us to buy more of their products, including the lie that you must wash your face twice a day. If you have very oily skin then using a cleanser on your face morning and night may be beneficial but if you have just minor-average acne or normal skin or (especially) dry skin then washing your face twice a day is a waste of cleanser and time. Simply splash water on your face in the morning, pat dry with a towel and moisturize. A splash of water is enough to wash away anything that may have accumulated on your face during the night (assuming you washed your face before bed) and it preps your skin for your moisturizer which all skin types benefit from (including those with oily skin). Picking a moisturizer is hard, that is very true. I like Nivea soft for my face and a nivea eye cream because I have dark circles. Cetaphil also makes great moisturizers and they are often featured in beauty magazines favorite products. But finding a good moisturizer is really a try it and see situation. A good thing to know is that skin cells take about 23 days to turnover, which means it, takes about a month to see what a product does to your skin. So if you try a cream for a week you really don't know if it was good or not. Knowing this one-month rule has really helped me find good skin care products. If a product makes you break out, it will take about a month to show, so don't judge a product on the pimple that you got a day after you bought it. To find a good product ask people whose skin you admire what they use, and check out online reviews. Often if you go to YouTube and type in the products name and "review" tons of video reviews will come up. I also love, which is a site full of people discussing products they do and don’t like, and you can sort through reviews by age or skin type of the reviewer, which is very helpful.

I personally do not use sunscreen on my face because every facial sunscreen I try causes a major breakout for me. This is because sunscreens work by sealing all of your pores shut. So for right now I just try to avoid the sun and I use a foundation with SPF but I doubt that gives me much coverage. I do use a lip balm with SPF when I'm outside a lot though because my lips don't break out and they are very thin skinned so they need lots of care. 

You may wonder why I am writing a section on Vaseline, and it is because I LOOOOOOVE Vaseline, it is one of my main broke-beauty secrets. Vaseline makes my elbows soft, my feet smooth, my shoulders glisten, my lips moist and plump, and my cuticles gorgeous! How? Well petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is the BEST at keeping moisture in (you'll see it listed in many moisturizers ingredient lists), so for a dry skin girl like myself it's a godsend. After I shower I coat my body in body lotion (I like st.ives but most body lotions are created equal) and then I glob Vaseline on the soles of my feet (that I lightly pumice in the shower) on my elbows and shoulders. When I have Vaseline giving my shoulders a nice glow people ask me if I've been working out because my arms looked toned (little do they know I'm a master couch potato teehehe). I rub it into my cuticles before bed when they are dry and I wake up to beautiful hands and I coat my lips in it before I go to sleep so my lips stay moist while I snor for 8 hours (okay it's more like 5 hours, I need to sleep more). I have even been re-growing part of one of my eyebrows by rubbing lots of Vaseline in it before bed. If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d be fine until I ran out of my Vaseline.

Acne is the bane of most teenagers’ life and 80% of Americans between the ages of 11-30 suffer from acne (that’s a real statistic). Acne is cause by the devil, I'm just joking it's not but it seems that way doesn't it? Acne is cause by sebum (skin oil) and bacteria and skin flakes etc clogging up your pores, we can also blame hormones, stress, and salty foods. I feel now is the time I say CHOCOLATE DOESN'T CAUSE ACNE! Things like salty chips and fries do, but mostly it's hormones and your skins natural oils and sometimes skin care product and cosmetics. If you have really bad acne I suggest going to see your doctor because the effective acne creams are prescription only and when I was a teenager that’s how I finally conquered my acne. It's scary but you just go to your doctor and say "I'm tired of suffering from painful zits and the scars they leave behind, please prescribe me something to help me deal with it" I would suggest getting something topical before trying out an anti-acne pill just because the pills can be a bit risky, and your your a girl their are birth control pills formulated to help get rid of acne and it will also lessen your cramps and shorten your periods, yaaaaay. 

If you can avoid popping your pimples, it can cause scarring and even more pimples. But if you must pop then pop and wash and don't put acne creams on open wounds. I put polysporin on the scabs of pimples I’ve popped (because I'm weak and I hate having mountains on my face). Also take steps like AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE, don't lean with your face in your hand don't rub your face when you're tired. It's a hard habit to break but if you work at it will become natural and your skin will look better as your reward :). Also washing your pillowcases once a week helps to because well your sleeping your sweat and skin cells get into your pillowcase and can then later clog your pores.

To some it up:
At night wash your face with a facial cleanser, not a bar of soap because they contain waxes that can clog your pores, then moisturize and head to bed and when you wake up splash water on your face pat dry and moisturize. All done :)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Eyeshadows, what colour is right for me?

Eyeshadows come in every colour of every rainbow ever drawn, painted, or imagined. I myself have a palette of about 120 shades plus a whole box of extra's. Of all those shadows I only really use about 7. I have brown eyes, you should know that so you know my bias. I love gold, purple, and some greens for my eyes. Sometimes I try a little blue or silver or even some pinks or browns. Let's go through some basic tips for picking the right shade for you.

They're classics for a reason
Purple and green are good for all eye colours, this is because both green and purple have warm and cool tones in them so they work with eye's that have either a warm (brown, hazel, amber) or cool (blue, grey) coloring. Saying green and purple isn't super helpful though is it, if you go to the store and look at purple eye shadows they range from sheer lilacs to dark plums. To pick a shade you wont regret consider how heavy you like to wear your make-up. If you fear looking overly made-up or you prefer a simple and subdued look i'd suggest picking a sheer light purple. If your a bright red lipstick girl then go ahead and buy that dark plum, make-up is about looking however you want too.
Green is a bit trickier then purple, purple is a safe colour because it's simple. Green is a bit riskier, it goes with almost everyones eye colour but theirs a higher risk of looking a bit halloweenish because... well.... the generic image of a witch is that of a witch with green skin like the evil witch in the wizard of oz! So start with a lime green or a dark foresty green only on the eye lid or just the outside half of the eye lid. Green mixes very well with gold btw.

What goes where?
Todays make-up aisles are full of palettes designed to make eyeshadow simple, I believe it's revlon who have a ridiculous palette that comes with a brush that applies all three eyeshadow shades at once but I find it hard to believe that would work at all. These palettes follow the basic design for eye shadow application; highlighter(a light shade) on the brow bone, a dark colour in the crease, and a colour on the eye lid. This is a good plan to follow if your new to make-up or nervous about experimentation. A good tip is putting something iridescent on your brow bone. I use gold in the crease of my eye instead of a dark colour because i have big dark eyes and then i don't always put a colour on my eye lids. Using a dark colour in the crease does work on everyone to draw attention to the eyes and gives them a bit more kick to the eye look. Almay has some great palettes designed based on eye colours.

How do I keep it in place
Eye shadows crease, fade away, and smudge. Remembered eye shadows are just colored powders/creams you put on your skin and then wash off later, so they are susceptible to not staying in place. I do have a few tips to help you out though :)

1) Translucent powder is magical! Okay it's not really magical, but it is very helpful for keeping eye shadow in place. I put it on my eyelids after I apply foundation, and then after I put on my concealer, and then I sometimes pat on some more with my finger after I put my eye shadow on. I have very sweaty eyelids so I use a lot of powder, but it works! If you don't wear foundation or have non-sweaty eyelids then just apply the powder before you put on your eye shadow.

2) Cream shadows suck! Cream shadows crease and move and ware-off much faster then powders do.

Have Fun!!!!!
Eyeshadow is about fun! I enjoy playing around with colours and trying out new looks and combinations and I think experimentation is the key to figuring out what does and doesn't work for you :)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Eyebrows, the simple beauty foundation

Well-maintained eyebrows make skin look clearer, eyes like more awake, and the person appears well put together. Plucking and shaping brows is simple but often seems very complex. I will explain how to do your own eye brows right here.

But first there's a few things you will need: 

1) Tweezers, I suggest investing in Tweezerman slanted tip tweezers (Approx. $20.00 and will last 2-3 years) or Revlon slanted tip tweezers (Approx. $10.00, will last 1.5-2 years), but really you can use any slanted tip tweezer I just find that tweezerman and revlon have the best grips and so they hurt the least, plus Tweezerman's come in fun colours and patterns like leopard print.

2)An eyeliner of eyebrow pencil, any colour or brand is fine :) You can even use a lip linear. I'd suggest finding a drugstore brand brow pencil in the same colour as your eye brows, I like Mercelle waterproof eye linear in Espresso.

3) White eye Shadow, or a white eye linear. (this is optional, but very helpful especially for newbies)

4) A good workspace. Natural light, meaning from a window or outdoors in the shade, is best but if thats not an option find a spot where the lights hit you straight on or from both sides because any shadows of your face may cause you to make a mistake, the same rules apply for make-up application.

Heres what you do :):

1) Use the eye linear pencil and mark where your eyebrows should start, end, and arch.

 End: Hold the unsharpened end of the eye pencil to your nostril and angle it so that it is aligned with the outer corner of your eye on the same side (left nostril, left eye, left eye brow) and where the pencil is on your eyebrow is where it should end, if your eye brow does not reach that point then you will not need to shorten your eye brows. Use the eye pencil to mark where the eye brow should end. Do the same on the other side of your face.

Start: Now for where the eye brow should start, use some discretion here since you know your face better then I do since I've never met you, the general way to decide where your eye brow should start is to again put the unsharpened end of the eye pencil against your nostril and then align the pencil with the inside corner of your eye (left nostril, left eye, left eyebrow). If you have, lets say, a wide nose and close-set eyes (meaning your eyes sit close together) then just align the eye brow with the inner corner of your eyes. :)

Arch: To find where the eye brow should arch look straight into a mirror, the arch should be on the opposite side of your pupil as your nose, this helps to open up the eyes and make them seem larger.

Use the eye pencil to put marks where your eyebrows should start, arch, and end.

2) Use the white eye shadow to cover the hairs you plan to pluck and if you'd like use your eyebrow pencil, or eye shadow the eye linear brush, to fill in the brows as they will look after they are plucked, this is so you can make sure what hairs you'd like to pluck before plucking, because it's easier to change your mind before you pluck then afterwards lol.

3) Pluck :) Go hair by hair and take your time, pluck the hairs in the direction they grow to lower the amount of pain plucking causes. Remember to take you time.

Extra Tips:

1)  To thicken eye brows, or to re-grow hair after a scar has healed in your eye brow rub globs of petroleum jelly (vaseline) into the areas where you want growth before bed each night, it's not a sexy look but within a fews weeks you should begin seeing new hairs grow.

2) To maintain your eye brows Keep your tweezers in your make-up case or by the mirror you use everyday to check your appearance and as soon as you see little hairs popping up in the areas you plucked, pluck'em. Plucking a few hairs everyday saves you from looking like you have caterpillars under your eye brows :)

I hope you have found this piece helpful and informative and I wish you great brows :)