Category Archives: Makeup

The Skin You’re In

© Melis82 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Melis82 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Skin. We all have it.

Most of us take it for granted.

Did you know your skin is actually an organ? It’s amazing and has many functions including keeping you warm, keeping your insides well, inside, making vitamin D out of sunshine, and let’s not forget feeling touch! It’s even the first line of defense in your immune system.  (See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_skin)

Since skin is an organ what you do to improve your overall health will also improve the appearance and health of your skin. Unlike other organs, skin comes in contact with your external environment and needs cleansing to keep it healthy. Here are some tips to support your skin’s health and appearance:

1. Cleanse. You touch lots of objects (all covered in bacteria) throughout the day. Between those things and the invisible particles floating around the office, the car and outdoors, our skin works hard at keeping bad stuff out. Dead skin cells can also accumulated on the surface instead of sloughing off. To help your skin stay healthy use a pH correct cleanser (skin is slightly acidic) formulated for your skin type morning and evening. Follow up with a pH correct toner that will restore your acid mantle and help skin better absorb moisture.

2. Moisturize and protect. Even oily skin needs moisture. Choose a light moisturizer that does not contain petroleum (mineral oil) to support and provide moisture to your skin cells.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but skipping moisturizer on oily skin can lead to even more break-outs by causing your oil glands to overproduce and protect your skin. Most day cremes contain sunscreen in them. If your skin is sensitive to sunscreen you may want to choose a moisturizer without it and use the sunscreen in your foundation instead.

3. Exfoliate. About 2-3 times per week use a gentle exfoliant to help slough off dead skin cells and increase the turn over of new cells. Break-out prone and more mature skin will benefit from a gentle masque rather than a scrub. Scrubs can irritate sensitive skin and may lead to more break outs. They can also pull and tug on mature skin further loosening it (eeeek).

4. Keep it breathing. If you use makeup select makeup that is right for your skin, that doesn’t contain mineral oil and will not clog your pours. Always make sure to remove your makeup and cleanse your skin before going to bed.

5. Stay hydrated. If you are not getting enough hydration to your internal organs your external organ (your skin) will show it by looking dull and losing elasticity. Hello saggy, baggy eyes and droopy lines. Hydrating will keep your skin at its best.

Remember that whatever you place on your skin can be absorbed into your blood stream though your skin very quickly (think nicotine patch). Be sure to choose skin care and cosmetics that contain only pure, safe and beneficial ingredients. If the company isn’t willing to let you see what goes into the product there’s a good chance you wouldn’t like it if you knew. Keep looking. It is possible to use pure, safe and beneficial products and experience great results.

So, here’s to healthy skin for a lifetime. What’s your favorite skin-healthy tip?

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Mastering Makeup: Highlighting & Contouring

Have you ever seen photographs of celebrities without their makeup? In many cases the celebrity looks so very different in their bare skin than they do on the red carpet or in official photographs. What makes such a big difference in their appearance? It’s more than just makeup because if all it took was a little makeup you and I would be red carpet ready every time we put ours on. What makes the difference (besides a team of makeup artists)? The secret is highlighting and contouring!

Contouring is simply adding shading to make something recede into the background and highlighting is adding light to bring something forward.  Sounds simple enough so where do you begin?

Here are my tips to easy highlighting and contouring:

To contour apply bronzer wherever you want to create a shadow to make something recede into the background. Make sure to select one that is not too frosty, too orange or too brown. Try applying bronzer just under your cheekbone from mid-pupil to the ear to create a hollow and make your face appear thinner. To make your nose appear narrower apply a little on either side of your nose from your brow down either side of the nose. Contour around your temples, under your chin and slightly down your throat. Blend it well!

Use blush that is close to your natural colour on the apples of your cheeks and blend well. To figure out what colour is best simply smile, pinch your cheeks a little and see what colour they are. Remember the right colour may appear too bright and crazy in the container but be the perfect colour on.

To highlight apply a highlighting creme with a little bit of sheen to areas you want to bring forward. Right on the brow bone on the outer part of your brows to emphasize your arch. On the top part of your cheek bones and even a little under the eye toward the nose to help camouflage sagging.  A must is right along the jaw line to make your jawline stand out and create even better definition of your cheek bones (making you look slimmer).

Use the right tools! A fan brush works very well for contouring as it prevents heavy lines and blends the product more easily for a lighter effect. A small concealer brush or eyeshadow brush work well for applying highlighter. Use a big powder brush to blend.

Don’t be afraid to try. If you’re too heavy handed on the contouring just blend it away with a sponge or brush and if needed pressed powder to dilute the colour.  Grab your smartphone and take a self portrait. You may not have as much colour on as you think. Photos can make your makeup disappear so they can be a good indicator of what others see when they look at you. Most of all have fun and remember your face is unique. Don’t worry about rules and instead make the most the features you have so that you look your best. 

Highlighting and contouring examplesLike my hand drawn example? Happy highlighting and contouring! I’d love to hear how it goes for you.