- Leanne on Cynthia’s Christmas Wedding in Holyoke, MA
- rachellisamua on What’s the deal with airbrush, anyway?
- Liz Washer on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- Tammy Thompson on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- lisa johnson on Beauty Resolutions: Keeping Things Clean in 2013!
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Tag Archives: skincare
This article is currently featured on the Eutopia Events blog – and it is very similar to what I share with my brides before their weddings. With a few simple skincare tips observed in the weeks leading up to the big day, you too can put your absolute best face forward during your walk down the aisle!
Beauty begins with the skin
The better the condition of your skin, the better your makeup will look. However, dramatically changing your regimen in the weeks before the wedding can create MORE breakouts and other skin reactions. If you want a facial, make sure to do so no later than a week (preferably two) before your wedding – your skin needs the recovery time. Continue using the products your skin is accustomed to, with extra attention to moisturizer, sunscreen, and lip balm.
Wedding day eve
The day before, gently exfoliate to remove any flakes or dead skin on your face and lips. Sugar mixed with honey, olive oil, or lip balm makes a great lip exfoliator! Avoid the use of overly scratchy ingredients (such as ground walnut shells).
You are what you eat
What you put into your body affects your skin, so drink as much water as possible to keep yourself hydrated and to aid in skin renewal. Nutrition affects the health of your skin, particularly if you have any food allergies or sensitivities, so be sure to consult a doctor well in advance if you have concerns about your diet, or a dermatologist if you have specific questions about skincare, acne, etc.
Wax on, wax off
Don’t leave any form of facial depilation – especially waxing – to the last minute (a week beforehand is best). In addition to leaving redness behind, waxing can temporarily create an unnaturally smooth surface, preventing makeup adhesion. If you’re taking medication or using a topical acne treatment, remember that your skin is probably drier and more prone to being damaged by waxing.
If you’d like a spray tan for the wedding, it should be done in advance so the color has time to soften and settle so it doesn’t stain. Only use self-tanning products if you are experienced with application and familiar with the product’s durability, as they can also stain your garments (not to mention your palms!) Whatever you do, don’t go too dark or orange – stay within a natural range for your skin tone.
Avoid using magnifying mirrors – they encourage excessive picking and plucking (and irrational levels of insecurity!)
If you will be having tattoos or any large areas of skin concealed on the wedding day, be sure to shave the area thoroughly on the morning of, including up to an inch of the surrounding skin – this will help the full-coverage makeup to lie flush and blend well. (There is generally no need to shave or wax your face prior to makeup application, but feel free to contact me if you have questions about facial hair.)
Get as much sleep as possible, drink lots of water, and if you feel puffy on the morning of, refrigerated cucumber slices will soothe the skin around your eyes.
I’m so grateful to Leanne from Skin Catering for providing me with a sample of her new product, Flour Power facial scrub. (She gave me an option of which product I wanted to try, and I decided my dry, flaky winter skin needed a serious recharge!)
Leanne sticks to all-natural ingredients in all of her handmade skincare products – here’s the full list:
Aqua (water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (aloe juice), Cocos Lucifer (coconut oil), Oryza Sativa (rice flour), Butyrospermum Parkii (shea butter), Xanthan gum, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Glycerin (vegetable), Silver Citrate and Citric Acid, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender) oil, and Mealeuca Alternifolia (tea tree) oil
I cannot get enough of the smell! This is the most yummy, fresh, summer-cocktail-by-the-pool smelling scrub I’ve ever stuck my nose in. Let’s just say, I was sorely tempted to taste it. I definitely pick up on the coconut and citrus (orange & lime) notes, and a touch of the tea tree too. The lavender doesn’t dominate (which for me is good, since I’ve never been a fan of most florals).
The texture feels wonderful – the cream base is smooth and there are plenty of scrubby bits too, but the rice flour lends itself to a gentler exfoliation than many others I’ve tried (walnut shells can be scratchy!) The natural oils in the product do leave a bit of residue on the skin even after rinsing, but they are wonderfully hydrating and I had no problems when I left them to soak in. (If you prefer your face to feel dry to the touch after scrubbing, a gentle soap or cleanser will easily remove any remaining oils.)
I have been using it consistently for two weeks now and I notice a definite reduction in the amount of dry skin flakes, especially on my forehead and nose where I’m most prone to chapping. It won’t unclog all of your pores (few scrubs can – that’s what facials are for!) but it does a nice job of smoothing the surface – which leads to nicer looking makeup!
Really my only issue was that the paper label quickly became saturated and illegible, but to me, performance beats packaging any day of the week.
Overall, I’m delighted – I was in need of a good scrub and I think I’ve found my skin’s new BFF!
I started off the year with a set of Beauty Resolutions to help keep your skin healthy and avoid spreading infection. As a follow up, I wanted to outline what professional makeup artists do to keep their kits clean and their clients healthy:
- HAND SANITIZER: Artists should wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer between clients, since touching the face is usually a necessity during makeup applications. (My personal favorite sanitizer is Jao, because in addition to sanitizing effectively, it smells wonderful!)
- BRUSHES: All non-disposable brushes (especially eye and lip brushes) should be thoroughly sanitized between clients. Most pro artists carry a fast-drying brush cleanser on jobs so they can quickly clean brushes that need to be used again. I swirl my brushes in an agitator bottle and then wipe them off on a paper towel, repeating until they wipe clean. In addition, brushes are thoroughly shampooed and deep cleaned between jobs.
- CREAMS: Cream-based products, such as gel eyeliners and lipsticks, are best applied from a separate palette. Most artists will carry a stainless steel, plastic, or disposable surface from which to work. Cream products are scraped out of their container and onto the palette for application. This way the brush can be reloaded after touching the face, without contaminating the original container of product. (Note: since cream products often apply best after being warmed up, some artists work off of the back of their hands – this is a common practice and acceptable if the artist uses hand sanitizer.)
- LIQUIDS: Liquid products, such as foundation and lipgloss, should be dispensed onto the palette prior to application. Since many consumer products are sold in tubes with a built-in applicator, this step prevents contaminants from getting into the product itself. Once on the palette, they can be applied cleanly. (Tubed lipgloss can also be applied with a disposable wand, without dipping back into the tube once the wand has touched the client’s lips.)
- MASCARA: As outlined in the previous entry, mascara should not be applied directly from the tube unless the tube is brand-new and being used only on one client. Disposable wands and fan brushes are used instead, with no double-dipping.
- PENCILS: Eye and lip pencils are sharpened between clients and wiped down with alcohol.
- LOOSE POWDERS: Loose powders can be dispensed onto palettes or applied from the underside of the cap, which is easily wiped clean.
- PRESSED POWDERS: Eyeshadow and other kinds of pressed powders should be applied with a clean brush or applicator. Unlike creams and liquids, the dry surface of a pressed powder is a poor environment for germs, so as long as the product is kept dry and applied cleanly, direct application is acceptable. The top layer of powder should be wiped down at the end of the day so a fresh surface awaits the next client. There are also cleansers that will sanitize without marring the surface and damaging the product (Beauty So Clean is the best-known).
- FALSE LASHES: They should be brand new. False lashes are too difficult to sanitize thoroughly and, as a result, they’re not suitable to be reused on different clients.
- AIRBRUSH: Airbrush is perhaps the most sanitary application method out there, since the gun never touches the face directly. (The guns do need to be thoroughly cleaned between jobs so they don’t clog.)
What you should see: Disposable applicators. Hand sanitizer. Brush cleanser.
What you shouldn‘t see: Artists licking or blowing on brushes. The same in-tube mascara or lipgloss wand being used on everyone. Noticeably dirty brushes (natural brush hairs may be stained from use with bright pigments, but the bristles should not appear dusty or damp).
Will all artists take these or similar precautions? In the grand scheme of things, makeup poses a fairly low health risk, and therefore not every artist will be as fastidious as outlined above. But my opinion is that ANY ethical pro should eliminate unnecessary risks, and keep their makeup and their tools clean. And as a consumer, you are entitled to ask questions about artists’ practices and advocate for your health as needed.
Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Whether you have a long list already or don’t go in for that nonsense, here are some really easy – but very important – hygiene steps to take in 2013:
1. RESOLVE: To remove your makeup before bed
Makeup was not meant to be worn for days at a time – it can block pores, leading to a breakout (yes, even the all-natural, mineral, or noncomedogenic varieties can affect your skin when they’ve been ground against your face and a pillow all night!) Leftover eye makeup can irritate your eyes and the skin around them (which can result in styes and other blemishes). Leaving makeup on is also rather drying – you’ll miss out on the benefits of applying a good moisturizer at night, and if you skip this step consistently, you may develop wrinkles earlier than you would otherwise.
Even if makeup itself doesn’t tend to break you out, the world is a rather dirty place, and accordingly, your face is subject to free radicals throughout the day. You need to cleanse your skin to help keep it healthy and youthful in appearance.
2. RESOLVE: To keep your germs to yourself
Consider a well-loved, half-full tube of lipgloss. It not only contains the product, but microscopic skin cells and other contaminants that were picked up by the applicator every time you swiped on some color. (And unlike the surface of a lipstick, which can be dipped in alcohol and wiped down, there’s no way to sanitize the inside of a gloss tube.) Sharing lip gloss can spread cold sores, flu, not to mentions all sorts of bacteria.
Or let’s take a tube of mascara. Sharing mascara runs the risk of spreading conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and herpes simplex (yes, in your eye – are we having fun yet?) Still not convinced? Just take a moment to run a Google Image search for “eyelash mites.” (Are those things scary-looking or what?!?)
Is this something you really want to share with a friend?
3. RESOLVE: To protect yourself from other people’s germs
After reading the above, hopefully you’ll NEVER use the testers at the mall directly on your lips or eyes – especially anything with an in-tube applicator that cannot be sanitized. (I always assumed this would go without saying, but I’ve seen Sephora shoppers applying tester lipgloss directly to their lips – yikes!) Thoroughly wipe down the outer layer of powders with a clean tissue (or a sanitizing product like Beauty So Clean) before using, since people tend to test eyeshadows and similar products by wiping their fingers against them. When in doubt, test colors on the back of your hand and take advantage of the store’s return policy if that new lipgloss or eyeliner just didn’t look good on you after all.
While most beauty pros have been trained in safe cosmetic hygiene practices, others are either ignorant or simply unconcerned about the potential risks, so it’s up to you to advocate for your health. If you’re getting a makeover and the artist comes at you with an in-tube mascara wand that you know has touched countless other eyes (rendering both the applicator and the product itself potentially contaminated), confess to being “a bit of a germ-phobe” and politely decline.
4. RESOLVE: To clean your makeup brushes regularly
Nothing like applying a soft neutral eyeshadow only to muddy up your lids with the dark purple you wore several nights before! Brush cleaning is easy – I like to use the same cleanser I use on my face. Swish them in lukewarm water against your palm using cleanser to thoroughly clean the bristles, then gently rinse and squeeze out excess water. Lie the brushes flat to dry so water doesn’t drip into the ferrule (which can loosen the glue and cause shedding).
Ideally you should clean your makeup brushes once a week, but if you can only squeeze it in a few times a month you’re still doing better than most. (Makeup artists have to clean them between every single client, so count yourself lucky!) If you don’t have time to deep-clean, there are plenty of brush cleansers available for purchase that will clean and sanitize the bristles and dry very quickly (my personal favorite is by Cinema Secrets).
If you prefer sponges and puffs, make sure to replace them frequently (although some – like the Beauty Blender – can be washed and reused). If you’re still using the same sponge or puff that came with a pressed powder or cream-to-powder compact, it is very likely coated with skin oils and impurities, which will affect the application and can even form a glazed “crust” on top of the makeup. (Tip: press clear tape against the glazed surface to remove a few layers of powder, or scrape it off entirely with a fingernail. And replace the applicator immediately!)
5. RESOLVE: To dispose of any unused or expired cosmetics
Pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for a product’s shelf life, but also use your common sense – when in doubt, throw it out. For example, here’s a quick way to tell if a lipstick or gloss has gone rancid: give it a sniff. If you detect a strong, offensive wax-y odor (like a melted crayon), toss that puppy pronto!
The first thing to go will usually be your mascara – yep, 3 months after purchase. Mascara dries out quickly, as you’ll undoubtedly notice when it starts giving you stiff spiky spider lashes, and you want any product used near your eyes to be as clean as possible. Products with SPF also have an expiration date (generally around two to three years), so don’t count on protecting yourself with five-year-old sunscreen or tinted moisturizer. Finally, remember that any product with no preservatives will have a much shorter life, so follow the manufacturer’s guidelines accordingly.
As for powders, wipe them down occasionally and pay attention to the consistency and performance of the product. As long as they remain dry and maintain a clean surface, they will have a much lengthier life than the creams, gels and liquids in your makeup bag.
As for any unused products, return them if you can. Or give yourself a few months to see whether that impulse buy actually makes a happy appearance on your face. If not, give it the ol’ heave-ho and make room for the colors you’ll actually like and use. (Or the next impulse buy; whichever comes first!)
Originally published on HowToBeARedhead.com
The most common questions I get from clients have to do with their perceived “flaws,” and fine lines/crow’s feet rank high on that list. What’s worse, many clients have already had a bad experience:
“I have very fine lines (crow’s feet) and the last makeover I had accentuated them. I’m sure there is something to do to not have fine lines show up like that?”
There sure is! Read on…
1. Moisturize & (GENTLY) exfoliate. Fine lines can be accentuated by products that are too dry or inflexible – the skin around the eyes moves a lot as we speak, smile, and emote in general, so the products have to be able to move with the skin without cracking. And the better moisturized the skin, the better the makeup will apply. As for dry skin that’s gotten flaky, you can very, very gently exfoliate with a cotton swab (I like to soften my skin first with Vaseline and then gently wipe it off in the shower, followed by moisturizer). Better yet, make sure you’re not using any harsh soaps or makeup removers in this delicate area, as that can contribute to dryness.
Liz’s product picks: Embryolisse Eye Contour Cream, Murad Ultimate Moisture for Eyes
2. Start Smooth. The bride quoted above noticed her fine lines were more noticeable after an unsuccessful airbrush makeup trial with another artist. Fine lines will be accentuated by concealer (particularly airbrush) if the subject tightens her face during application, preventing the color from reaching all parts of the skin. I usually suggest that clients close their eyes lightly (no squinting) and raise their eyebrows to smooth the skin, or I do it myself by gently stretching the skin flat with my fingers. Whether you’re doing your own makeup or seeing a pro, be sure the skin around your eyes is smoothed out so that you don’t leave any “gaps.”
3. Proper texture. The undereye area calls for a product that is flexible enough to move with your skin, and neither too dry to be flexible nor too slippery to stay put. You’ll almost certainly need to set the product with a light loose powder to make it last and minimize creasing over time – dust it on lightly with a very soft brush.
Liz’s product picks: Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer, Temptu S/B Neutralizer Wheel, Graftobian HD Glamour Crème, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
4. Lighten Up. Got a line on your face that just won’t quit? Experiment with using a slightly lighter shade in the crease to “lift” it a bit. Don’t go drawing white lines all over your face, though – keep it subtle.
Liz’s product picks: Three Custom Color clarifying pencils
5. Embrace Your Face. While proper makeup application techniques and products can greatly reduce the appearance of fine lines, it will not disguise them fully or “fill them in” in a lasting way (and you can guarantee that the lineless, poreless skin you see in magazines has been digitally retouched!) Do what I do: call them “smile lines” and embrace a life lived with plenty of laughter!
Who hasn’t overslept (accidentally or on purpose – hey, that Snooze button isn’t going to push itself!) and then found themselves in a mad dash to get out the door? If you need to look polished but FAST, just mix and match from the tips below – you’ll look like you made an effort even if you were stuffing a muffin in your mouth and pulling on your pants at the same time!
1. Skincare: If you skip everything else, just do skincare: moisturize & apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen. After all, UVA and UVB rays don’t take pity on those of us who are running late! Stash a small bottle in your bag if you need to apply on the go. (But not while driving, though. Please.)
Liz’s product picks: Aveeno Continuous Protection, Embryolisse lait crème concentré
2. Tinted Moisturizer: Find your “holy grail” complexion product that is easy and fast to apply – a tinted moisturizer (great for dry skin) can be applied with your fingertips, or a mineral foundation (for oily/combo skin) can be brushed on in no time at all.
Liz’s product picks: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Fortunate Face Mineral Foundation
3. Spot Coverage: Think spot coverage, not full foundation – pat concealer only where needed. Only powder if & where you need to (you can always touch up later!)
Liz’s product picks: MAC Select Moisturecover, Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
4. Concealer: A brightening concealer under your eyes and a bit of luminosity in the inner corners will wake them right up, and it only takes seconds!
Liz’s product picks: YSL Touche Éclat, Benefit Eye Bright pencil
5. Curl your lashes: You can even skip mascara if you’re in a rush, but a little curl will make your eyes look much more open.
Liz’s product picks: Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
6. Maintain Brows: Grooming your brows will go a long way to making you look finished – if they’re sparse, use a pencil or powder to give them more shape, or you can simply brush them into place using a clear or tinted brow gel.
Liz’s product picks: Satin-finish eyeshadows in neutral taupe shades (any brand), Lorac Creamy Brow Pencil
7. Double-The-Wonderful: You can use certain products on both lips & cheeks to instantly look pulled together (and as though you put more thought into your makeup than you did!) Some lipsticks can even double as blush, but steer clear of any formulas that are glittery or glossy.
Liz’s product picks: Stila Convertible Color, NARS The Multiple
8. Lipstick: If all else fails, slap on some red lipstick – it looks instantly chic!
Liz’s product picks: MAC Russian Red, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in NSFW or Stalker
See, I have dry skin. And it turns out, I have skin that is very sensitive to harsh cleansers. For the better part of, oh, 2005, I was scrubbing my makeup off every night with a combination of Baby Wipes and Clean & Clear foaming cleanser. I had to work especially hard around my eyes, because eyeliner is stubborn, particularly the kind that actually stays on all day. I was stripping my skin with harsh cleansers AND scrubbing and tugging at my skin while I did it. Not good.
The result? Rough, patchy, dry, alligator-like skin ON MY EYELIDS! Words cannot convey the yuck.
A friend finally took pity on me and introduced me to DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil, which has been my Holy Grail ever since (and, when you’re a product junkie like me, long-term brand loyalty is a rarity). It’s gentle – I don’t have to tug and scrub – and it takes EVERYTHING off. And, unlike regular olive oil, it rinses away easily. You don’t need much, either (one or two pumps is usually enough for my whole face), so it lasts a long time. I use DHC’s Mild Soap after the oil to leave a clean surface (and no residue) behind – the soap is fabulous for dry skin like mine – and then follow with a rich moisturizer, especially in the winter. Another plus? I use both products to deep-clean my makeup brushes, especially brushes that have been used with an oil-based product (like lipstick) – it gets EVERYTHING out!
The key to removing REALLY long-wearing products is patience. There are water-resistant liners, mascaras, foundations, and lipsticks out there that are NOT kidding around. Instead of just splashing your face and rubbing frantically, try saturating a cotton pad in the oil and holding it against the stubborn makeup for up to a minute. That will help break down the product and make removal easier, and minimizing rubbing and pulling of the skin. (I think the toughest thing I ever removed with DHC was one of MAC’s Pro Longwear lip colors… that stuff basically had to be saturated, and then slowly chipped off of my lips. It was like removing a UV gel manicure!)
If you don’t have a product like this in your arsenal and need to remove waterproof mascara or eyeliner PRONTO, you can use plain ol’ extra virgin olive oil. Use the same strategy: dip a few cotton swabs or pads in the oil and hold them against the stubborn makeup to start breaking it down, before you gently scrub and rinse. Then you can look forward to waking up the next morning WITHOUT those charming black globs in your eyeball! Other natural oils can also work well, too (avoid mineral oil). But I like the DHC because it has the added benefit of rinsing away very easily so you’re not left with residue.
I love it this product so much that I get samples of it whenever I can to give to my brides. My only request to DHC would be to sell (cheaper) bagged refills so I wasn’t always purchasing a new dispenser! Other than that, I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about this cleanser. There are others like it, but I haven’t felt compelled to stray ever since this one cured me of my alligator eyelids seven years ago.
So even if you have oily skin, don’t fear the oil-based cleanser. Oil is much better for your face than a harsh, chemical-laden soap, and it does a much better job at removing longwearing makeup, too!