Makeup Monday: Take It Off!

The title tells you the best tip in the world about having great skin: take your makeup off at night!

It’s advice I would do well to practice consistently. But don’t be me, y’all. Be better than me!

Anyway.

I’ve gotten questions about my skincare regimen for a while, and since we’re in the middle of holiday party season, let me give you some info on how I keep my skin looking good.

First: some background.

My skin has not always looked as good as it has now. This face has seen some unfortunate times due to puberty. When I tell you my face looked like a Nestle Crunch bar? I am NOT exaggerating. It was all broken out, full of dark spots, rough, and it hurt. Acne hurts, y’all. If you’ve never had it, or only had one or two, count yourself lucky.

Mine was so bad that there’s a span between 7th grade to senior year of high school that I didn’t have my school pictures done. I wouldn’t bring the little folder home. Senior year I discovered the glory of Photoshop and had them edit the hell out my face to smooth everything out and remove the shine.

When I first moved to NYC, and got my current job, my problem skin was still hounding me. It had cleared up a bit, but my face made me so self conscious. I didn’t really do makeup on my face, thinking that would make the problem worse. When you work as a make up artist, it’s hard to sell your services when you don’t bother to put any on yourself, right?

Yeah.

So, one of the vendors came to me at work and brought me some of their product to try. After years of trying EVERYTHING (Proactiv is a waste of damn money in my humble opinion), I tried some fancy, new to me company called La Roche Posay.

Y’all. I texted my mother a pic of me and she wondered what the hell I’d been doing up here. My skin had never been that clear in…ever. I’d found my magic bullet.

I use Effaclar from La Roche Posay. It’s rare you’ll hear me talk about something I sell at work, because here and there I like to keep separate. But I love it so much I just have to share it. I use the Gel wash, toner (the regular one), Duo (best acne treatment ever!), and mattifying lotion. Lo these many years later, I still use it. I’m confident enough now to share all types of makeup free selfies on Instagram, and I took a favorite one without filters a while back:

IMG_20140216_132426

No eyebrows or anything! Just lip balm.

That’s my skin story, and trust me, it takes some diligence to keep my skin looking as good as it does. If you’re looking for a flawless makeup application, the first step is making sure your skin is on point. To that point, I have some suggestions for all skin types to keep your skin beautiful, or to even help you heal your face if it is as problematic as mine. Please know: there is a solution for every skin, even the most sensitive, acne prone face. It will take time and patience, but I’m telling you: your silver bullet is out there.

So, let’s get started.

The basics of a good regimen is all about cleansing, toning, treating, moisturizing, and sunscreen. No, just because you have melanin does NOT mean you don’t have to use sunscreen. Black folks have the highest rate of malignant sun cancer because we have this false sense of security. If you have skin, you need sunscreen. Period.

Now that’s off my chest:

Cleansing: You’ll need to pick something that’s for your skin type. If you aren’t sure what kind of skin you have, try this. Wash your face, and then leave it alone for a few hours after. Don’t moisturize or anything. Take note of how your skin feels after a while. Does it feel tight? Then it’s dry. Got an oil slick happening all over? Then you’re oily (that’s me.) Shiny on the forehead, nose, and chin while your cheeks feel like a desert? Then you’re combination. And if you don’t feel any way at all? Congrats! You’re normal. Oilier and combo skinned folks will love a gel cleanser, as it helps to remove the excess oil from the skin and give a squeaky clean. Drier folks will love cream cleansers or oil based cleansers. Normal skinned folks? Use whatever makes you feel the best.

As a part two to cleansing, you may want to do a scrub too. I will say that anyone who has a reaction to too much scrubbing shouldn’t use a mechanical scrub (that’s with scrubby bits) and should stick to a mild (emphasis on MILD) chemical exfoliant (like glycolic acid) instead. Whichever you use, keep it to twice a week at the most. You’ll find your moisturizers and treatments sink in better. My favorite is from Vera Moore Cosmetics…best scrub EVER, I swear!

Toner: Again, choose based on skin type. Also: don’t think you need to skip toner–this really helps to get the deep down dirt that cleansers can miss. I love the toner I use because it unblocks and tightens my pores as well as controls oil. Drier and normal skins will love a hydrating toner (yes, they exist!) because it helps keep your skin nice and supple.

Treatment: These are fun and vary depending on what you need! Ok, a treatment is anything from an acne treatment to an anti-aging serum. Depending on how much dedication you have to regimen, you can do as many or as few as you like. I stick to just one acne treatment for day, and an anti-aging serum at night. My current serum is from Lierac, and I love the radiance it gives.

Moisturizer: I switch this up depending on the season, and you may find you need to do the same. Warmer months call for a mattifying lotion (I use this one) and colder months I love something with a little more moisture. I switch this up every year, and I’m loving this one from Lierac right now. And again, sunscreen! Pick a moisturizer with a sunscreen and save a step.

Bonus: I like to treat my face once a week to a mask, and I say pick a mask depending on what you need most: whether its radiance or clarifying, it’s a nice treat for your face and some well deserved self care.

If you’re not certain what brands you should try, I suggest putting some money into a subscription box to try different companies. I’ve done Glossybox in the past, and I’m looking to try the Essence Beauty Box soon.

In future posts, I will explore more of the favorite brands I love, and not just the high end stuff. Don’t worry, there’s some good stuff right in the drugstore you’re looking over, and I’m bringing that to you next week. Any questions on regimens? Leave them for me in the comments below or tweet them to me!

 

Makeup Looks Reviews Shopping Stories

A Tale of Three Lipsticks

I normally stick to neutral lip gloss for my day to day looks, because at work most customers’ emphasis is on eye shadows.

So I’ll play up my eyes, and downplay the lips.

I’ve grown tired of that look for day to day, but it works for work. Since I had the last four days off, though, I went to put on some crayon colored lipstick before I went out…and couldn’t find any.

What? How does this happen?!

I had browns, my go to red, but nothing with some pizzazz. I have the BH Cosmetics 66 Lip Gloss palette and it’s awesome, but I wanted brighter. Like liquid Skittles.

So of course that means…shopping! 😀 I’ll look for just about any excuse, really.

So I shopped and shopped, hit up Macy’s and Ulta, came home, and spread out my spoils.

ThreeLippies

LippieSwatches

*sigh* Why do I do this?!

What you see here are three very similar colors. Granted, all three have very different finishes, but I probably could have gotten away with one and used some gloss or powder to come up with the other two looks.

But I’m not taking them back. Because, I really need all three, you see. 🙂

So, first up: the color in the shiny gold tube. I found this when I went to get some shampoo and came out with this lipstick as an addition. This is called Violet Volt by Milani. Creamy, shiny, and it has shimmer in it. If you are not a fan of the frosted, it is not for you. Here it is on me:

VioletVoltPic

Next color in the neon colored tube is called Brazen Berry from Maybelline. I actually found this two minutes after I got home while digging for my phone in my purse. It’s a replacement tube–I lost the first one I bought. Had I found this beforehand I probably wouldn’t be in this dilemma. Now this one is glossy, but has no shimmer:

BrazenBerryPic

Often when I wear Hot Plum, it’s mistaken for this third color, clad in the iconic black packaging: Heroin by MAC. Here’s the thing. I don’t normally do matte lipsticks because they make my lips drier than they normally are. But I put this on and OMG. I didn’t even do a gloss after it…which is odd for me. But it works:

HeroinPic

So, from a makeup artist to you,my wonderful readers if you have a lipstick at home that you love, but you see a similar one…okay, go buy it if you want. 🙂 But if you want to save a dollar, here’s how you spruce the one you have up easily.

If you want it frosted (glitter), add a sparkly gloss to it. You can do it with or without color, as the look you’re going for dictates. If you want it matte, tap (sparingly!) a little bit of translucent powder over the top of your lips. This will give you matte without having to search for matte colors.

Sidebar: if there was a way to do a matte gloss like they do a matte topcoat for nails, companies would make a killing. Just sayin’.

And of course, if it’s matte and you want it shiny, do a glitter free gloss over the top. Simple!

Or, you could do what I end up doing…buying the same color in three different finishes accidentally (maybe on purpose? *shifty eyes*)…and keeping them. Whichever works. No judgment here! 🙂

Makeup Looks Retail Therapy Reviews Stories