What’s in Your Makeup? 5 Tips on How to Clean-up Your Cosmetics

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So a few weeks ago, I got this very unsettling email from Consumer Safety on the ingredients in our everyday makeup.

In 2016, I had tried to clean up my cosmetics; going back to natural products (see most of my fave beauty products) in as many products as possible. However, this infographic called my attention to the fact that I hadn’t done nearly enough.

Sadly, most of my cosmetics and makeup failed this test. I was amazed at how many of my cosmetics were still in unsafe territory. Have you seen this link on talcum powder and ovarian cancer? It’s some serious stuff. So, I’m sharing this to spread the awareness on the dangers of some ingredients in our everyday cosmetics.

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It’s alarming to find that most powders, moisturizers, toothpastes, shampoos, shaving creams, and so many more are all filled with toxins that our bodies absorb. Our skin is our largest organ, so we should be more aware of what we put on it!

This year, and going forward, I have committed to cleaning out my cosmetics, here are five ways I plan to achieve that:

1. READ PRODUCTS LABELS: Avoid products with questionable ingredients, and avoid products who do not buy products without product listings. And please, if you have found a cosmetic line that doesn’t contain any of these harmful chemicals, please share. 

I’m going to be that lady in the store reading product labels item by item and crossing off my lists.

2. GO DIY: Do it yourself products are safe but a bit of a problem people have with it is; some of these products are not so easily accessible. There might be some problem sourcing some of the ingredients. But; do your research, go to your neighborhood health stores and source for your products yourself.

3. AVOID THE SALES RACK: I’ve ended up with a bunch of items I didn’t need because they were on sale. And I found that I took my time studying products labels when they were not on sale (probably has to do with the store not being crowded at the time). So this year, I’m going to avoid the discount stores, or if I must buy products at a discount, I will do my research online before hitting the stores.

4. DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH: That your great-aunt used certain products through her life, lived to be a hundred and passed peacefully in her sleep doesn’t take away the fact that those products might be harmful. Do your own research before you buy or use products, if it’s questionable, please avoid it.

5. DRINK WATER, EAT A LOT OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES: I’m sure a lot of us will be wondering what this tip is doing here. Truth is; a lot of the conditions we treat with expensive creams with complex labels can be helped with a good diet and enough rest. So, eat well drink a lot of water, get some rest and watch your dependence on cosmetics reduce.

There you have it, my five tips I hope to follow to clean up my cosmetics this year. Let me know how you intend to achieve this, and if you have already; how did you do it?

Have a great day.

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12 Beauty Resolutions You Should Keep This Year

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Hey everyone! Welcome to 2017, again. How have you been?

For our first Beauty Friday post of the year, I’m going to share 12 beauty resolutions I stumbled on and I think we all should keep this year (I know I should keep them, it’s just hard sometimes!).

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In no particular order, they are:

  1. Never, ever go to bed with makeup on. No matter how exhausted you are or how late it is: Take. It. Off. Removing your makeup can make the difference between beautiful, glowing skin and a complexion that looks dull and has clogged pores, plus, while you’re sleeping, makeup can get pushed deeper into your pores, leading to acne.
    Another factor you might not take into account: Some dead skin cells are meant to shed every day, but having makeup on 24/7 can cause them to stick to the skin’s surface. This can also lead to breakouts and exacerbate fine lines.
  2. Use a ton of TLC to remove your eye makeup. “The skin around your eyes is the thinnest, most delicate skin on your face. So if you tug too roughly when removing your eye makeup, your skin can stretch out over time and fine lines can become more noticeable. Instead, use light, downward motions to wipe away your shadow, liner, and mascara, and opt for a non-greasy eye makeup removing formula that won’t irritate skin and contains ingredients known to soothe skin such as vitamins B5 and E.
  3. Drink plenty of water morning to night. And not just when you’re hitting the gym or you’re super thirsty (if you get to that point, you’re most likely already dehydrated). Hydration — inside and out — is key to keeping your skin radiant. Wondering how much to drink? Eight 8-ounce glasses is still the recommended daily minimum, so drink up for gorgeous, fully hydrated, flake-free skin.woman-drinking-water.jpg
  4. Use a face cream and sunscreen combo every day. Even the five minutes you spend in the sun running into the mall or work each day add up. People often only think to use sunscreen when they’re out for an extended period of time, but even incidental exposure every day over a few years causes brown spots and fine lines to show up earlier. So, 365 days a year, regardless of the season, use a face cream with SPF 15 or higher, then apply your makeup. She suggests adding dots on your forehead, cheeks, chin, down the front of your neck (and both ears if your hair is up) to ensure that all exposed skin is properly protected.
  5. Always sleep on a clean pillowcase. “Your skin can pick up dirt and bacteria, traces of makeup, dead skin cells, saliva, and hair product residue from a pillowcase that hasn’t been washed,” explains Dr. Karen. So flip your pillow over once a week and wash it every two to avoid a buildup of these pore-clogging substances.
  6. Don’t pick at your skin. Leave that pimple/blackhead/bump alone. As tempting as it can be, unless you’ve got a clear whitehead (that you can use two tissues to gently press out), it’s more likely that you’ll either drive bacteria farther into skin, make it more inflamed, or add more dirt and bacteria to the area from your fingers and nails. If you have a blemish that is red and raised, hold an ice cube on it for 20-second intervals for a few minutes to bring down the inflammation, and then apply a dot of a salicylic acid spot treatment and cover with concealer on top.acne-tips-Chinma-Ekes-blog.jpg
  7. Work regular workouts into your routine. Aerobics, yoga or spin class can have a positive effect on your skin as well as your mood and body, because a workout increases circulation, creating that great glow once it’s done. Another plus: Working up a sweat can help lower the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked not only to skin aging but breakouts and clogged pores.
  8. Don’t binge on junk food. We aren’t talking about enjoying the occasional DC and bag of chips. If most of your calories are coming from the snack machine, your skin is going to pay the price. More studies are pointing toward carbs as the bad guys for skin. Sugar, white bread, pasta, cake, and candy may speed up glycation in skin. (Glycation is when sugar molecules latch onto cells, including those in skin, and cause them to become malformed and accelerate the breakdown of collagen.) What you see in the mirror: loss of radiance, more noticeable lines, and skin that doesn’t look as supple. Overdoing it with carbs and dairy has been linked to acne as well. Instead, eat a well balanced diet full of non-processed, nutritionally dense foods (think green veggies, fresh fruit, yogurt, lean protein, plus nuts and seeds) to make sure you skin stays breakout-free, supple, and on point.
  9. Gently exfoliate. Depending on your skin type, use a chemical peel like a glycolic acid or AHA, soft scrub, or try derma-planing (when you glide a special razor over skin in downward strokes) to remove dead skin for a glowy, glass-like finish. Exfoliating one or two days a week is enough.dv088017-630x300.jpg
  10. Clean your phone daily. And don’t press it directly against your skin when talking either. Your phone is a breeding ground for germs.
  11. Apply a face mask weekly. If your skin is on the drier side, opt for a moisturizing mask that contains glycerin or hyaluronic acid. If you’re more oil-prone, then alternate between an exfoliating mask and a clay-based treatment. For those with combination skin, try multi-masking and apply what you need, where you need it (such as detoxing clay on your nose and chin, and a hydrating mask on your forehead and cheeks).
  12. And at the end of the day, get ample sleep. Put your devices to bed (preferably in another room) an hour before you tuck in (I should try this). The goal is to try to unplug, shut down any connection, and just allow yourself to sleep and fully, fully rest. Ideally, get eight hours of sleep uninterrupted, you want to enter the deep sleep that allows your mind, body, and skin to repair.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to share your beauty resolutions with us as well as share this article.

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Article credit: Cosmopolitan magazine, image credit Google.com

Skincare, Getting Rid of Dark Marks

Hyper pigmentation is something that has plagued me as far back as I can remember. Dark spots (or hyper pigmentation) occurs when there is an over-secretion of melanin (the pigment responsible for skin colour). This can be caused by various reasons, including hormone imbalance, acne scarring, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, stress and pregnancy. It’s best to check with your GP to find out what the cause is for you but when they do occur you’ll be glad to know there are a few ways to get rid of pesky dark marks.

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1 Hydrate

Dark patches and discolouration is often evident in dry skin and dryness is worsened by extreme weather, both hot and cold. Drinking plenty of water will help keep the skin hydrated but try to moisturise daily too. It’s best to use gentle, unfragranced creams suitable for sensitive skin to prevent causing any irritation. When washing, avoid scalding hot showers as this can dry out the skin and swap out any harsh soaps or shower gels for more moisturising formulas with natural oils like jojoba and sweet almond.

2 Exfoliate

A buildup of dead skin cells can lead to clogged pores and uneven skintone. Counter this by gently exfoliating as often as you find necessary. Exfoliation also encourages the formation of new healthy skin, making your skin appear brighter and fresher. You can use a scrub (like this one), body brush or exfoliating gloves to slough away any excess skin.

3 Natural masks By raiding your kitchen cupboards you may find a natural solution for dark marks. Lemons, potatoes, milk or tumeric can be mixed and match together into a face mask to help even out the skin. It’s best to do these treatments at night, particularly as they tend to have a subtle bleaching effect which might make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Apply for at least 10-15 minutes to give the mask time to work and moisturise afterwards to keep the skin hydrated. Natural masks are not an instant fix so repeated applications will be needed depending on the severity of your dark marks.

4 Ditch shaving

Using a razor regularly irritates the skin and the resulting short, sharp hairs from shaving can grow back into the skin causing bumps and discolouration. You can either lessen how often you shave to prevent problems or switch to using hair removal creams or wax to get rid of any pesky hairs. The latter methods pull hair out from the root and generally don’t have to be done as often as shaving, preventing dark marks from occurring.

5 Sunscreen

It’s not just fair skin that needs an SPF. By applying a liberal amount of sun protection every day (yes even in Winter) your face and body is shielded from the sun rays, preventing sun damage. Several makeup and skincare brands now include products with small amounts of SPF to make protecting your skin easier. If you want maximum protection it’s best to apply sun protection separately underneath your foundation. Look for products which claim to protect against both UVA and UVB damage.

6 Professional Treatments

If you find your dark marks particularly embarrassing a professional treatment on the recommendation of your doctor or dermatologist might be your best solution. Popular treatments which help lessen the appearance of dark marks are laser treatments, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. These treatments are more invasive than using natural products, so the effects can be more dramatic and seen much more rapidly.

How do you get rid of dark marks / hyper pigmentation?

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Top Ten Tips For Healthy Skin Of Colour

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What’s best for your skin is an individual thing based on genetics, skin type, special skin issues, age and other factors. But these 10 tips for women of color are musts for healthy skin.

1. Use products for your skin type. It’s important to use products that are formulated for your skin type. A cleanser for oily skin will be too drying for someone who has dry skin. Some products that work on normal skin might irritate delicate, sensitive skin.

Using the wrong product can do anything from making the skin look too oily or causing breakouts, to emphasizing fine lines and wrinkles or making makeup application look uneven.

2. Avoid harsh ingredients. Certain ingredients in products like salicylic acid and even some alpha hydroxy acids (fruit acids) can be too harsh for certain skin.

Chemicals like synthetic fragrances can cause allergic reactions in the skin of some women and alcohol-based products are very drying to others.

Observe which product ingredients cause skin reactions and check the ingredient label for patterns and possible culprits. So if you know you are allergic or easily irritated by certain ingredients, check the list before using a product.

3. Do patch tests. If you are using at-home kits like microdermabrasion kits, hair removal systems, facial peels and other products that are clinical strength or potentially harmful, always do a patch test on a small inconspicuous area like the inside of the elbow to make sure you are not allergic to the ingredients or that your skin is not too sensitive and can be irritated or damaged by the product.

4. Cleanse the face daily. It’s especially important to cleanse the face at night to get rid of dirt and debris and of course makeup. Avoid abrasive cleansers. Opt for a sensitive formula, especially if you have dry or easily irritated skin.

5. Exfoliate. When dead skin cells accumulate on the skin’s surface, what you’ll end up with is dull-looking skin or skin that is unable to adequately absorb nutrients and nourishing ingredients from skin care products.

Remember to regularly exfoliate the face, using gentle exfoliants, avoiding almond or coarse salts, which can actually tear the skin. Don’t use a body scrub on your face. And speaking of the body, be sure to exfoliate the body with scrubs or by dry brushing to avoid dry or ashy skin.

6. Keep Skin Hydrated. Always moisture, even if you have oily skin. Use a moisturizer that is formulated for your skin care needs and for the season (i.e., a lighter moisturizer in the summer, a creamy moisturizer during the winter.)

7. Use sunscreen. The sun can contribute to premature skin aging. While melanin provides protection to darker skin, you can still get skin cancer and often it’s at an advanced stage. Use sunscreen year round.

8. Be mindful of medications. Certain medications contribute to skin problems and others can cause sensitivity to the sun. Be sure to apply sunscreen or avoid the sun when using these drugs. Drugs that cause sun sensitivity are birth control pills, antibiotics, acne medications and some hyperpigmentation treatments.

9. Be careful with professional treatments. Cosmetic surgery and other professional treatments (laser treatments, microdermabrasion, etc) might cause skin discolorations and other problems in skin of color. Make sure that you see a professional that is experienced in treating dark skin.

10. Help your skin take care of itself. Lead a healthy lifestyle, with a nutritious diet, exercise and plenty of rest to help your body and skin continue to rejuvenate itself.

 

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12 Natural Ways to get rid of Scars

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Almost everybody has a scar they’d really rather not see every day. I’ve got a few from the chicken pox I had 15+ years ago, some others from injuries and cosmetic trials (yes I do!), and some from hot water burns. So first of all, not great memories! And secondly, even though the scars are faded, they’re still a little unsightly.
If you have scars from cuts and scrapes, injuries, acne or surgery, chances are nobody else is noticing, but they can be annoying or make you self-conscious. While scars are inevitable, there are a lot of natural remedies you can use to minimize their appearance. Note that it may take several consistent applications—daily is ideal—for results to be really noticeable.

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  1. CUCUMBER

Especially helpful for acne scars, a cucumber treatment like a face mask or lotion can minimize inflammation and the appearance of scars.

  1. FRANKINCENSE OIL

This essential oil helps treat dry skin, reverses signs of aging, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.

  1. ROSEHIP SEED OIL

Mix frankincense oil with another scar-fighting oil, rosehip seed oil, to make an anti-aging facial oil that also works on scars. Rosehip seed oil is high in essential fatty acids that heal dehydrated skin. It’s a “dry” oil, meaning that it soaks into the skin easily and doesn’t leave a greasy residue, so you can use it just about anywhere on your body.

  1. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Dilute ACV with anywhere from 1 to 4 parts water (depending on how sensitive your skin is) and dab or swipe on with a cotton ball to help fade scars and sun spots. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, try this wonder ingredient in an acne-fighting turmeric-ACV astringent, too.

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  1. ALOE VERA

This worked wonders on my ankle scarring—you can still see some discoloration but it’s not nearly as raised as it used to be. Among many other benefits, aloe reduces inflammation, swelling and redness.

  1. LEMON JUICE

Another great treatment for acne scars. Lemon juice helps fade any dark discolorations in the skin. Combine it with aloe’s inflammation-fighting power in an aloe-lemon face pack (you can use it elsewhere, too.)

  1. VITAMIN K CREAM OR SERUM

Leafy greens are the best natural source of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. When it comes to skin, a topical application of vitamin K can help minimize spider veins, bruising, scars and stretch marks. Make sure to eat your kale and collards to promote healing from within, too.

  1. BAKING SODA

DIY beauty mavens swear by baking soda for discoloration and acne scars. It’s also a gentle exfoliant. Baking soda works like a magnet, pulling any ickiness out of the skin. Mix a little water with baking soda to make a paste and apply to wet skin, then let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. (Hold a warm compress on it for even better results.)

  1. VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is super soothing to the skin and helps scars disappear over time. Open up a vitamin E capsule and apply the liquid to the affected area. FYI, this will be messy!

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  1. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

EVOO helps loosens dead skin cells, and lighten and soften scars. You can even leave a little olive oil on the affected area overnight for extra moisturizing.

  1. COCOA BUTTER

In addition to working well for stretch marks, cocoa butter (go for organic, raw versions if possible) is a highly concentrated fat that penetrates deep into skin to heal, smooth and soften. This is a great remedy if you have larger scars.

  1. LAVENDER OIL

In addition to helping treat burns, eczema and acne, lavender’s healing and soothing properties also help diminish scar tissue. Lavender is gentle enough that you can apply a couple drops to the affected area daily (do a small test patch on the inside of your elbow if you’ve never used it before). Bonus: lavender is great for anxiety and insomnia.

What are your beauty recipes, share with us!

*Article credit: Bloglovin

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16 Foundation Do’s And Dont’s For Girls With Dark Skin

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 IF YOUR SKIN IS OILY

DO: STICK WITH MATTE FORMULAS TO KEEP YOUR SKIN FROM LOOKING LIKE AN OIL SLICK 

While oily skin is a pretty universal skin type among all women, dark-skinned girls who have it tend to also have enlarged pores, which can lead to extra oil production. Look for foundations that help soak up your skin’s natural oils.

Don’t: apply your foundation with your fingers, since it can transfer bacteria onto your face.

Women like to touch their faces a lot and if you have oily skin, this is a no-no. Instead, apply foundation with a synthetic brush, pour a few drops of foundation in the center and buff it onto your face for a flawless finish. For extra oil-zapping coverage, first layer on a primer.

Do: use blotting papers for touch-ups.

You don’t want to keep putting pressed powder onto your skin during the day, since that kind of product buildup can lead to breakouts, Blotting papers are the best way to lift oils off without putting any product back onto the skin.

Don’t: use setting powders, which can leave layers of white on top of your skin.

When it comes to locking in your makeup, it’s best to stick with setting powders that match your skin tone. The best way to see if your setting powder has left an invisible layer of white on your skin? I suggest taking a selfie using the flash.

IF YOUR SKIN IS DRY

Do: exfoliate your face weekly in order to keep any dead skin cells from sitting on your face.

Having a buildup of dead skin cells can leave dark skin looking dull and ashy even after you apply foundation. You have to take care of your skin first if you want your foundation to look good,This includes washing, exfoliating, and moisturizing on a regular basis.

Don’t: use matte foundations.

Matte foundations can make dry skin look even drier (read: ashy). Instead, go for creamier formulas that keep your skin looking dewy and fresh.

Do apply your foundation with a clean, damp sponge.

Be sure to put on moisturizer before your foundation as well. This will help lock hydration into your skin, Sir John advises.

Don’t sleep on cotton pillowcases.

The cotton fabric can suck your skin dry. You may already know this from wrapping your hair nightly, but silk fabric locks in moisture in your skin as well as your locks, making silk the better choice to sleep on. So, if you’ve been noticing your skin is drier than usual, swap your cotton pillowcase for a silk version.

IF YOU HAVE COMBINATION SKIN

Do: find a formula that gives you your desired finish.

Black women should always think about the formula first and the color second. Whether it’s a stick, cream, or a powder, find one that suits your needs, since you might need a dewier or more matte finish based on how oily or dry your combination skin is.

Don’t skip SPF.

Luckily, we’re no longer in the dark ages of makeup and most brands have an SPF built into them that won’t leave your face looking an ashy mess. Try a range of dark shades in liquid form (if your skin is drier), and if you’re more into powders (and if your skin is on the oilier side), get powders with inbuilt SPF.

 Go lightweight when it comes to your formula.

With combination skin, you don’t need to turn to your foundation for hydration since you likely already have a good balance of oil on your face. And unless you have hyperpigmentation or blemishes to conceal, opt for a more sheer, lightweight foundation to even out your complexion. Use a tinted moisturizer or a CC cream, especially during the hot summer months, to give your skin a chance to breathe.

Don’t wear foundation all over your face if you don’t have to.

If you’re a dark-skinned woman with combination skin, chances are you’re dealing with oilier sections on your face (like the T-zone area) and dry patches in places like your cheeks. Confusing! Instead of applying foundation everywhere, concentrate the foundation where you need it most and blend it out from there. You can also rely on double-duty foundations that act as both moisturizer and spot concealer.

IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMATIC SKIN

Do use foundations that contain acne-fighting ingredients.

Sometimes your breakouts are temporary, sometimes they’re hormonal. Whatever the cause of those zits may be, you can battle breakouts with a foundation that contains ingredients like salicylic acid.

Don’t pile tons of foundation on your face.

There’s really no need for you to wear layers of makeup on your face unless you’re a Real Housewife on TV or a celebrity on tour.If you’re trying to hide breakouts or hyperpigmentation, however, apply a sheer application of your foundation and then let your concealer do the rest of the work. Simply dab a stick concealer (they’re usually thicker) onto your problem spot and blend the formula into your skin using a slightly damp makeup sponge to help move the cover-up around.

Do avoid using foundations that contain bad-for-your-skin ingredients like mineral oil.

Those ingredients can clog pores and lead to even more breakouts. If you have problematic skin, you’re going to have to pay more attention to ingredients than other women when shopping for foundation, avoid ingredients bad for your skin and/or ingredients you have reacted to in the past.

Don’t use dirty makeup brushes or sponges.

Bacteria = breakouts. Wash your makeup brushes and sponges after every use to avoid transferring bacteria from your makeup to your face and then back into makeup, especially if you’re using a cream foundation compact.

Foundation smears

Foundation smears

 Article credit: Cosmopolitan Magazine
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Everything you need to know about Face Powders

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Powder is a fixture in almost every beauty lover’s life, but it’s become an increasingly complicated subject. HD powders, finishing vs. setting, tinted, or translucent, brush or puff…it’s easy to get confused.

While everyone wants to glow, nobody wants to look greasy, and powder is a great mattifier. Powder atop your liquid or cream foundation helps to set it so that it won’t migrate into any lines or slide down off your face. Certain powders can also reduce the look of fine lines and pores.

Powder is a great base upon which to apply blush, contour, bronzer, or shimmer. You can apply those things straight on top of your foundation if you like, but everything lasts longer when powder is in the mix.

What’s the difference between finishing powder, HD powder, setting powder, pressed powder and loose powder?

Loose powder comes in a jar, has smaller particles (and therefore a finer consistency), and usually give lightweight coverage. They’re also messy and hard to transport, so these guys are meant to stay at home.

Pressed powder comes in a compact and contains ingredients used to turn the product into a semi-solid. These are usually things like silicones and waxes, so if your skin is annoyed by that stuff, you may have a hard time with pressed powder. Because the particles are slightly bigger and contain these stick-together ingredients, applying too much pressed powder can result in a cake-y appearance. Using a little as a touch-up throughout the day, though, is quick and easy.

The difference between setting powder and finishing powder is a little nebulous. Many companies use these terms interchangeably, so it’s partially a matter of marketing.

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Setting powder is what we think of as classic powder–it goes on after your foundation to get rid of shine and “set” it so that it lasts a long time. It can be tinted to match your skin or translucent.

Finishing powder is generally used AFTER setting powder to blur fine lines and pores, giving you an extra-perfect look. It’s best for situations where you’re going to be photographed a lot, rather than an essential step for everyday makeup. These powders are white.

If you’re going to be dealing with powerful cameras and flashes, you’ll need to be careful with finishing powders. If you use too much or don’t blend well, you can look like you fell face-down in a bucket of baby powder. This is because the light from the flash can bounce off certain ingredients, causing the dreaded chalky-white FLASHBACK.

But for normal life, applying a finishing powder as a setting powder won’t have terrible consequences if you use a little and blend it well.

HD powders are usually finishing powders. They are so named because makeup artists working on TV and movies that shoot in high definition found that other powders read as too heavy on film.

Should I use a powder the same color as my skin, or one that’s translucent?

Your call. Powder that matches your skin tone can add a little extra coverage and help conceal any spots or scars that you may have. It can also look thick, especially as you reapply.

Translucent powder matches all skin tones when blended well. It’s great for killing shine and doesn’t add a ton of extra product to your skin as you touch up throughout the day. However, if it isn’t blended properly, you can end up with the dreaded FLASHBACK.

Can I wear powder on bare skin?

Sure! Translucent powder will kill shine, and tinted powder will also give you a little evening-out power. If you want more coverage, look into powder foundation instead.

HOW to use it?

I find that puffs for powder don’t allow for thorough blending and are hard to keep clean. I strongly prefer (and recommend) brushes.

Here’s how I apply and blend my powder:

Begin with your powder of choice and two brushes: A fluffy one, and one with dense bristles. A kabuki brush is perfect.

Apply your SPF, primer, foundation 1). Tip some powder into the lid, then dip your big, fluffy brush into it. Tap to remove the excess (2), then apply to your face, starting from the center and moving in big circles toward the outside (3). Voila! Matte and lovely!

Now take your clean, densely bristled kabuki brush and gently blend the powder into your face. Use small circles. This will make sure that even if you’re using finishing powder, you never have a ghostly cast in pictures.

What powder compact is in your bag? Are you a brush or puff person?

Do you have any more powder questions for me?

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How To Pick The Right Foundation For Oily Skin

Foundation smears

This is often the complaint of women who have oily skin, this is a situation I can personally relate to.  Even when using a great foundation, you can have problems with makeup either fading or rubbing off, or in hot, humid weather, sweating off, melting away or turning orange.

The problem is, the oil in your skin can mix with the ingredients in a foundation and break it down. To try to avoid this meltdown,  you will want a foundation that will not rub or sweat off, that minimizes oiliness and prevents shininess on the skin, and one that will not oxidize and change color.  Since those with oily skin tend to have large pores, if you have this issue, you’ll also want to find a foundation that is able to cover visible pores.

To ensure that a foundation has these benefits, look for formulas that are oil free, long wearing, and have a matte finish.

The type of foundation you need will also depend on what you are looking for. If you require very little coverage, you can get away with powder or a sheer to medium foundation.  If you want a full coverage foundation; you want it to be lightweight and buildable.  Packing on too much foundation can make your makeup look mask-like and unnatural.

When choosing foundation, pick one that is powder-based (sheer and buildable) or a liquid foundation that is water-based or in a mousse formula.

Avoid cream based foundations as they can contribute to more oiliness and often have ingredients that will irritate oily or acne prone skin.

For a matte and oil-free foundation that will help get rid of shine, here are some oil absorbing ingredients to look for:

  • Silica – Silica (silicon dioxide) is a mineral that gets rid of excess sebum to mattify the skin without giving it an ashy look.  In addition to absorbing moisture and sweat, it is anti-caking and also improves spreadability.
  • Calcium carbonate – Calcium carbonate is an oil absorber, prevents shine and gives foundation a matte finish and also helps color stay true.
  • Bentonite/quarternium-90 bentonite  – Bentonite is clay found in Fort Benton, Wyoming that absorbs oil and also reduces blemish outbreaks, reduces redness and allergic reactions and is soothing to the skin.
  • Amazonian clay – Amazonian clay is extracted from the banks of the Amazon River and reduces surface oils and the appearance of pores but is also not too drying for the skin.

While it’s important for foundation to be oil-free, it should also have hydrating ingredients to give skin the right balance of moisture.   A foundation that over-dries the skin can cause the skin to react by producing more oil.

Mineral-based foundations are often recommended for oily skin because they don’t clog pores.  Just bear in mind that while mineral-based foundations are considered better for the skin, because of the minerals, such as iron oxides, they are also prone to oxidation.

Though some foundations claim that they will not oxidize and become discolored, any foundation has the potential to oxidize and deepen in color on the skin due to a number of factors including the pH balance of your skin. The pH in sebum mixes with the pigment in foundation and causes it to darken.  However, if there is the claim that a foundation is non-oxidizing, there is a better chance that there will be ingredients in the formula to minimize the risk of the color darkening over time.  If you have a favorite foundation, but find that it tends to oxidize, buy the foundation in a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone

Though some foundations claim that they will not oxidize and become discolored, any foundation has the potential to oxidize and deepen in color on the skin due to a number of factors including the pH balance of your skin. The pH in sebum mixes with the pigment in foundation and causes it to darken.  However, if there is the claim that a foundation is non-oxidizing, there is a better chance that there will be ingredients in the formula to minimize the risk of the color darkening over time.  If you have a favorite foundation, but find that it tends to oxidize, buy the foundation in a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone.

It’s best if you can get a small sample of the foundation to test during the day to see how it will react to your skin.  How a foundation works on your skin can also depend on other products you use, how the foundation is applied, climate, and how fresh the product is (since exposure to air can effect the formula) and other factors.

*Article and image credit about.com

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Tips to Extend the Life of your Make-up

beauty-blender

Get the most out of your makeup…

While suggesting that you just use only one lipstick, eye shadow and nail polish color is just crazy talk; it is a good idea to try to use only one mascara, foundation, powder and moisturizer at a time.

Once you open and begin using an item, you start reducing the life of the product because of the potential of attracting germs, among other things. Here are more tips to help you extend the life of your makeup.

Proper Makeup Storage

  • Store your makeup in a cool, dry place, not in the bathroom where the room can become hot and humid from showers and baths. Don’t store products where they will be exposed to sunlight, excessive heat or dampness. If there isn’t a cool spot available, you can also store liquid foundations, tinted moisturizers and lipsticks in your refrigerator.

Avoid Contamination

  • Use a brush, spoon or metal spatula for face products. To avoid contamination, apply makeup with brushes or sponges instead of your fingertips. Try to wipe off brushes and rinse sponges after each use. If you prefer using your fingertips (some products blend better that way) be sure your hands are clean.
  • Use disposable mascara wands. Sharpen pencils (lip, eye and brow) before each use.
  • Apply makeup with a clean brush whenever possible. Wipe off applicators after each use to avoid contamination. When using blush, bronzer or eye shadow, wipe the brush before dipping back into the product again.
  • Take a tube of lipstick and dip it in rubbing alcohol for 15 – 30 seconds, then wipe off the top layer of the lipstick.
  • You can also leave lipstick in the freezer overnight to kill bacteria and viruses. Storing lipstick in the refrigerator can also help it stay fresh longer, especially when it’s hot and humid.
  • Use disposable lip-gloss wands for gloss. Use metal spatulas for cream products.
  • If you use multipurpose products or like to dab your lip-gloss or lip creams onto your cheeks, use different application tools or wipe the surface of the product before switching to different areas of the face.
  • Foundation will last longer if you apply it with a sponge instead of with your fingers. If you use your fingers, make sure that they are clean, but you probably should pitch it after 2 – 3 months. Replace if it smells bad, loses consistency, has water on the top, or changes color.
  • If you apply blush on liquid foundations and face creams, the oils will cling to the bristles and transfer to the blush. Be sure to let foundation, tinted moisturizers dry for a couple of minutes before putting on blush. Blot excess oils from the face. Cleanse the blush brush on a regular basis. After applying blush, wipe off the brush with a towel.
  • Disinfect makeup every three weeks using the alcohol and freezing method. Also occasionally scrape off the top layers of powders (foundation, blush, bronzer). Scoop out the top layer of liquid foundation.

Remember to Keep Makeup Tools Clean

Sponges

  • After sponges get too old, they can begin to absorb too much makeup. They can also hold bacteria. The economical packs of sponges are meant to be disposable and last for only two uses (once on each side). Better ones like Beauty Blender last longer and can be cleaned. If you’re using sponges that can be washed, wash once a week and discard after a month.
  • Rinse out the makeup sponge after each use with warm water. Squeeze out excess water. Using a clean cloth, pat the sponge to get rid of excess moisture and let air-dry.
  • Once a week use a mild shampoo and work lather into the sponge with your fingertips. Rinse well to get all of the soap out of the sponge. Wring out the sponge and pat out any excess water. Let air-dry.

Brushes

  • Toss a brush if the bristles start to fray or fall out. After each use, wipe with a paper towel or washcloth and do a thorough cleaning, preferably once a week if you wear makeup daily or at least every two weeks. Use a gentle hair shampoo, antibacterial soap or brush cleaner.
  • Use warm water to rinse the bristles and at an angle so that you don’t ruin the brush by getting water inside the handle.
  • Apply a small amount of the mild shampoo or other cleaning product.
  • Gently lather the brush and then rinse under warm water until the water comes out clear and all makeup has been removed. Be sure to rinse out all of the soap.
  • Gently squeeze the excess water out of the brush.
  • Lay the brush flat on a clean towel to air dry.
  • Store upright in a glass container to air out and with enough room for the bristles so that they don’t get squashed or lose form.
*Article and image source about.com

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What’s In Your Skincare Products

aloe vera based skin care, chinma eke's blog

Skin care companies proudly advertising the skin care ingredients that are in their products. They’re listed on the packages and bottles, and they do seem impressive, don’t they? Vitamins, oils, even fruit and vegetables are all over the shelves these days promising you everything from younger looking skin to acne free skin. You know these skin care ingredients are good for skin, but what exactly do they do and how do you know if they are right for your skin?

Here are five ingredients that you may see on a regular basis and what skin type they are best for.

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E products are right for you if you are looking to protect your skin against premature aging. Vitamin E is jam-packed with nutrients which help combat free radical damage such as pollution, sun damage and smoke. When you use Vitamin E products, you help fight signs of aging caused by these triggers. Usually marketed as a great option for normal skin, everyone can benefit by using Vitamin E products

VITAMIN C

Vitamin C products are right for you if you’re looking for added radiance and brighter looking skin. Like Vitamin E, Vitamin C protects your skin against free radical damage, but it goes one step further. With continued use, skin will look more radiant due to the added benefit of skin brightening. This is usually best suited for normal to dry skin.

ALOE

Aloe products are for you if you have sensitive skin. Aloe products are soothing and calming which makes them perfect for people with rosacea or for those who experience red skin. Many people who break out with skin care products find gentle aloe is perfect for them. Aloe is also great for teenagers as an introduction to skin care.

SEAWEED

Seaweed products are right for you if you have combination skin. Perhaps you have oily areas or breakouts in certain spots, but you don’t really have oily skin all over. Seaweed contains many minerals and vitamins found right in the ocean. These are perfect for cleansing and encouraging healthy clear skin without the drying effects of tea tree oil.

TEA TREE OIL

Tea tree oil products are right for you if you have oily skin. Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is perfect to combat blemishes and oily skin. Not only will your current blemishes clear up, with continued use, you’ll see less and less acne. This is specifically for oily skin and will be too harsh on dry skin.

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