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:

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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

Glossybox Double Review

I have some shiny, pretty things to share with y’all today! I have to say, I love getting Glossybox because it feels like a little treat to myself every month. Even if I can’t use everything in the box, there’s always at least one thing that I fall in love with.

So, let’s jump in.

First up is the Stars and Stripes box:

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I got a C wonder gift card, two body butters, nail polish (:D), an eyeshadow stick, and some Rusk hair spray.

The nail polishes are super pretty. Even though I have similar colors, I can’t wait to see how the formula wears. These are from StrangeBeautiful.

Body lotions/butters: I love the smell of one, not to fond of the other. The first, in the clear and gold bottle, smells like refreshing grapefruit and grass (not lemongrass, as it states on the bottle). It’s lovely and super moisurizing. It’s by Camille Beckman. Now the other one, in the jar, has an…earthy smell. Jasmine and rosemary. Not a fan of either of those scents, but the hydration makes up for it. I’m using it on my feet. This is by Ayres.

C Wonder gift card: okay, I had to look up what C Wonder was. I admit it. But once I did I was happy. Their accessories are awesome! The problem: I couldn’t figure out how to look up the card’s value online, even when I followed directions. No worries. Once I find a store, they’ll tell me. Hopefully it’s a good amount!

Eyeshadow: now I need more makeup like I need a hole in my head, but this is makeup made simple and pretty. This is by Sumita Beauty, and it’s in champagne. It’s a sparkly neutral that I could use for day or night:

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And finally: the Rusk hair spray. I haven’t used hairspray since I transitioned my hair, and don’t really need it. I’m gonna pass this on to one of the girls at work and see how they love it. Bonus: it doesn’t smell like lighter fluid, so it’s got to be some good!

Next up: August Glossybox:

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The majority of this box is skincare, and I love trying new skincare. I received a serum, mask, body cream, lip balm, and hair detangler.

First up: body cream. This one is from Mitchell and Peach. It smells lovely, very fresh and very nourishing. My hands are constantly dry, so I’m always keeping hand cream in my bag. This one’s a keeper.

Lip Balm: it’s from Malin +Goetz and it’s a Mojito Lip Balm. It’s refreshing, minty, moisturizing, and most importantly, glossy (I see what you did there, Glossybox!) Bonus: it tastes yummy. A couple of swipes lasted me til lunch. That’s huge, considering my job is talking to people all day. My lips didn’t feel dry or cracked once!

Serum: this is from a new to me company called Skin Inc. My informative card insert tells me that they do custom blended serums for various skin concerns. They read my mind and sent me the brightening serum. My skin can get a little dull, despite its constant shine, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this does over time. Immediate results were moisturizing without grease (and that’s amazing considering this serum is NOT oil-free), and hopefully I’ll have a glowier complexion in a month. We shall see! Also, it’s pretty:

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Mask: this is from a not new to me company called GlamGlow. Now, I have heard some wonderful things about GlamGlow, and I can’t wait til I have some downtime to give myself a proper facial and use this product. It has clay, green tea, and chamomile in it (among other things), and my insert tells me that it exfoliates, tightens pores, absorbs impurities, and smooths texture. All that in a 10 minute mask, huh? Ok then, game on!

And finally, the hair detangler: this one is from Philip B, and it’s the PH Restorative Detangling Toning Mist. Now, unlike the hair spray above, I can ALWAYS use a detangler. Lord knows my hair can knot up in a matter of seconds when I’m picking it out. It smells like the apple cider vinegar it contains, but that’s not so bad. As I’m doing my weekly wash, I’ll be adding this in to see how it stands up to this natural hair.

And there you have it! Two months worth of Glossybox goodness, and only one product I can’t really use. Not bad at all!

Tomorrow: a new Nail Adventure…and I’m going into uncharted territory. Are you ready?

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