Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Makeup questions answered

I decided to steer clear of a fashion post today... and head back to makeup. There's a ton of stuff I want to explore and kind of teach you guys. I'm no expert! *Disclaimer!* BUT I have been testing and going through reviews and the process of trial and error for such a long time that I might as well have just gone into cosmetology... So when I'm not blogging or working on something I love to answer makeup related questions for my girlfriends and I always feel like my makeup errors and experiences are a great way to teach you all how to avoid them. I think I'll do a run down of common questions that I get asked from many women in my life and tips and tricks that I've personally learned. So... let's get started shall we?

1. My skin sucks. I cannot find anything to cover up my acne!

I always like to start off with this question because it just really pinpoints why a lot of women have trouble with coverage when applying foundations, BB creams, etc. We are not supposed to be using makeup to COVER up! There! I've said it. Makeup should enhance your already gorgeous features. Sure we might have something on our face that we don't necessarily love... but you don't need plastic surgery to solve that. Makeup is definitely art for me, especially when I see what some people can really do with a good brush and some great products.

Start with with an acne cleanser, a good moisturizer, and sunscreen.
You need to remember that good, healthy skin is what really makes your makeup look impeccable to begin with. No amount of foundation is going to hide those acne bumps! Make it a habit to wash your face at least twice a day. 

Remove that makeup before you go to bed and definitely eat healthier. Eating out daily, pigging out of junk foods and sugary-foods definately break me out more than I'd like to admit. So if your skin looks dull - take care of it the old fashioned way - by keeping it clean. Don't spend crazy amounts of money on makeup to cover it up. Attack the problem head on!

I also want to add here - if you do suffer from extreme acne, which some people do and is totally okay and treatable. Please see your doctor. I've had friends in my teens and even later on who have struggled with it and got professional treatment and now have beautiful skin. There's no shame in that. Like our bodies and hair - your skin is the first thing anyone sees. You need to take care of it!

Here are some products that I really love and swear by:

* Clarsonic Mia - great tool which I've mentioned a million times already to really clean your skin. Use with a cleanser and you're on your way to beautiful clean skin

* Avene sunscreen - sunscreen is really important to keep your skin looking healthy and protected. Even if it may be cold outside, UV damage can still occur so keep this on you! Remember to apply at least half an hour before going outside.

* Origins spot remover - this is a great product to put on any pimples and zits before you head to bed at night. Simply put it on any areas where you feel a pimple coming or already have and the next morning you will notice a significant improvement

*Neutrogena and Clean & Clear cleansers - I think a lot of drugstore brands make awesome cleansers. You don't need to break the bank to take care of your skin or any part of your body for that matter. As long as the product says it's for acne prone skin, you should be good to go!

*Biotherm or Boscia makeup removers - Both of these are my favs when it comes to removing all that makeup at the end of the day. Why I'm mentioning it is because taking off makeup is extremely important! You need to make sure you do this religiously to avoid clogging pores.

2. I have dry patches on my skin no matter how much I moisturize.

You need to exfoliate. At least do it twice a week and make it a habit. I suffer from dry skin, especially in the colder months because of the harsh cold. You not only need to make sure you change up your moisturizer during this time to combat the extra dryness but you also need a good exfoliator. Again I recommend Neutrogena or Clean and Clear.. they seem to have amazing products which I have tried and tested.  I usually opt for Aveeno moisturizers when my skin needs some extra love and care and has bouts of dryness.

3. I can never wear darker lipsticks because my lips are so thin!

Never underestimate the power of a good lip liner and some matte lipstick. Okay before we even get into the lipstick or liner... you need to exfoliate your lips! Otherwise the dryness will just be emphasized further when you put on that lipstick! A good and inexpensive exfoliator is just to take some sugar and mix it up with some olive oil. I use this whenever my lips feel dry and patchy and it works wonders.

So once your lips are exfoliated, make sure you use a good lip balm to give your lips some moisture. I personally love Eos in the mint scent. And then take a lip liner that exactly matches your lip shade or is a bit lighter... DO NOT go darker than your lipstick shade please. This will just emphasize that you've lined over your lips.... not good. So now with your liner, you can add a bit of extra "lip" by overdrawing your lip line. DON'T GO CRAZY! You still want to look natural, so trace a bit over your natural lip line but nothing crazy dramatic. Once the lip liner has been done - fill it in with your fav matte lipstick. I really love wearing matte formulas rather than glosses or high shines because I find that it not only stays put longer but you can also use them to shape up your lips because of the high pigmentation. Here's a great chart to get the best lip shape, for any shape lips you may have:

Some personal lipsticks and lip products I love are:

* NYX matte lip creams - they come in such amazing colours and the pigmentation is just WOW! I need to purchase all of them! But so far out of the ones I own my favs are Adis Ababa and Antwerp.

* MAC matte lipsticks - I especially am in love with Riri Woo, Please Me and Mehr. You need to really play around with colours to know what suits you and your skin tone. It's all about experimentation. Of course there are so many brands out there that do matte lipsticks but I always gravitate to MAC.

4. My nose/face/cheeks look so undefined and chubby. How do I look more model-esque?

Contouring baby. It's all about that contour. Get a good, matte bronzer and you can shape anything. I love to do this to my nose, not that I really hate it but I love the definition that I get and it really makes it look like an instant nose job. Same thing goes for your jawline, temples and cheeks. As long as you know HOW to contour properly, use a light hand when applying and make sure you avoid overly glittery bronzers, you are good to go my friend. You can use a makeup sponge to contour but I find that a flat contour brush really helps get that definition. If you are a bit advanced with your makeup applying then you can also use a darker foundation colour that you might have lying around to achieve this as well.

For some added shine and that "glow", you can also highlight if you want. Bronzers and Highlighters really work with how the light hits your face and can hide and show off the areas of your face accordingly. Remember highlighters emphasis those features, while bronzers hide.

* Too Faced - Soleil Matte Bronzer - my personal favourite and again one that I've mentioned in a previous post. It is matte so it doesn't have any glitter which is great. And not to mention it smells like chocolate!

5. Where does my makeup go?! I apply it in the morning but it's all gone within a few hours. WHY?

Finishing powder! There's a ton out there - even some in spray forms (like Urban Decay's), some powders that match your skin tone, and others that are translucent so can work with any skin tone. These are a must, especially if you want your makeup to last ALL DAY long! If you have especially oily lids or want that extra coverage under your eyes to make sure your concealer doesn't budge, use a smaller brush and lightly powder that area.

I highly recommend these products which I've tested out myself and they really do last all day long...

* MAC - Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder - like I said it goes on clear, there's no colour to it, so you can't go wrong with it. And it's amazing, I've used it for weddings, parties, etc and my makeup didn't budge

*NARS - Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder - again same as the MAC and also a popular finishing powder.

6. I can never hide my dark circles properly. Even after concealer it shows through. Help!

When it comes to concealing dark circles... there are a million tricks and tips out there. Some of them that won't work for you and others that will. The thing is you need to be open to experimenting. And once you find what works for you... well then your golden. Another thing is, you need to know the reasons as to WHY you have dark circles in the first place. Night owl? Low on iron/anemic? Or just blessed with hereditary dark circles? Whatever it is, whether it can be treated or not is also important. And again, I cannot stress this enough, before you go to bed every night, remember to remove all that makeup with a gentle remover. 

So here are some tips that work for me personally:

* MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Peach Lustre followed by your favourite concealer. Now this highlighter is actually more popularly used as a corrector and helps eliminate that weird grey cast that you can get at times when you try to cover up dark circles ineffectively. 

* NARS creamy concealer - I can generally use this alone and it works very well. You can go a shade or two lighter than your actual skin colour but don't go any lighter or you will just end up looking like a ghost. 

Applying concealer correctly is also very important! Do not just pack it on under the eye. You need to apply it in the shape of an upside down triangle to take away from the darkness under the eyes. 

7. How do I pick the right foundation colour for me? How do I know how much coverage I need?

When choosing a foundation - it's important to know what works well for your skin and what kind of coverage you are looking for. If you generally have flawless skin and just small areas of discolouration or a few minor acne scars or a zit - don't go for anything full coverage. Keep it light and simple, even a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer can be good enough. 

If you want something with more coverage - because of an event coming up, maybe even your wedding - opt for a full coverage foundation that is oil free. But remember the correct way to pick a shade that works great for you is to swatch it on your cheek NOT your hands! The skin on your hands tends to be lighter than the face most of the time, this is mainly because it's not as exposed to the sun. So whatever colour vanishes perfectly on your cheek is the colour you should go for!

I personally use light coverage foundations and even BB creams. I think when it comes to BB cream - Bobbi Brown is amazing and it comes in several shades. And for foundation Urban Decay has some great ones - ranging from light to full coverage. 

8. I have huge pores and I can never get that "airbrushed" look even after applying foundation. Why?

There isn't really anything you can use to diminish your pores, but you can take care of your skin to clear any acne that will help bring attention to them. Contrary to popular belief, there's very little you can do with pore size. BUT for that airbrushed look when applying makeup - USE A PRIMER! Primers help foundation or any other makeup go on smoothly - basically provides the makeup with a fresh canvas to work on that makes your makeup look flawless.

I personally recommend Smashbox and Marc Jacob's primers.

9. Why do some lipsticks make my teeth look so yellow? Yikes!

You are most probably picking a lipstick with a yellow/orange base instead of blue. So avoid those! Cool toned pink shades and berry coloured lipsticks over brown are also popular to avoid looking like you have yellow teeth. Some of the popular shades which you may have heard of, and that are cult favourites include: MAC Ruby Woo, NARS audacious lipstick in Liv.