Skin Care Regime

20120407-165942.jpg

So I finally have a new skin care regime and so far I’m liking it. In the past I’ve always used an entire skin care range for blemish-prone/oily skin but it’s always been a little strong for me. However, working with skin care has taught me I don’t need to stick to a whole range (especially a whole range of strong blemish fighting treatments) and than in fact, most people will benefit from using products in different ranges to address their needs.

So because my skin tends to be a tad dull I’m now using The Body Shop’s Vitamin C facial polish, with their Seaweed mattifying moisture lotion for oil control, with a nice gentle Kiehl’s cucumber herbal toner – I use this twice a day. I’ve been using the cleanser and moisturiser about a month or two now and my skin has been looking and feeling great. More radiant thanks to the cleanser and less oily thanks to the moisturiser. Clearly I did not need as much oily control as I thought and I think I may have been stripping too much oil away, causing my glands to over-produce. The toner is nice but I won’t see the real result until my skin has gone through its full 28 day skin cell renewal process.

Next I’m going to get Body Shop’s Seaweed mask and night cream, the Vitamin C microdermabrasion exfoliator and possibly a serum – in other words: when I have enough money. In case you were wondering, a serum hydrates the skin deeper than your normal moisturiser which effects the top skin layers, therefore a serum is what helps keep your skin looking young and healthy.

The other great thing about the range I’m now using: cheaper than Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions. Not by a huge amount, only about $30 (for a full cleanse, tone, moisturise set), however any much more cheaper and I must admit I’d be skeptical about the ingredient quality.

Don’t get me wrong, Clinique is an amazing wonderful brand, but my skin doesn’t like their skin care range. And I’ve tried most of it. Their make-up however is still superior to everything I’ve tried (Chanel is next on my list of things to try) and it would take something amazing to pull me away from my Perfectly Real Liquid Foundation and my Almost Mineral Powder – they’re a perfect colour match. Their line-smoothing concealer is still my number one for days I’m doing proper make-up and need full under eye coverage, while Body Shop’s flawless concealer is fantastic for no-make-up/minimal-make-up days – but if we were to get into concealers for everywhere but the eyes, the two brands are evenly matched.

If you’re having skin problems and don’t have a very large budget for skincare products, go visit the Body Shop because I’m quite impressed by the quality of their skin care and I’m hard to convince about quality unless I experience it myself. Plus all the girls at TBS go through quite a detailed skincare consultation course where they learn how to determine what’s good for what skin. My training taught me all about aquaporoms, skin cell renewal, sensitivities and more! Also facial brushes are amazing. Even if you have a skincare regime that’s working well for you, go get a facial brush. I couldn’t even get my mascara off with make-up remover before I discovered them. And finally, if you’re still having problems with your skin re-evaluate your choice in make-up. It might not be the right type for your skin and if you’re wearing it nearly everyday like me it’s important to get it right.

Lessons in Beauty

I’m currently convinced that by the time I’m 30 or maybe 35 max, I’ll have awesome fashion, make-up and hair down pat. At the moment, I’m learning new things everyday; currently, that involves make-up. My new job at The Body Shop is teaching me lots of things I never knew before. For example, today I got over my fear of bronzer.

How I looked the first time I used bronzer. Personally I find this too much bronzer to look naturally tanned. It doesn't help that it appears patchy in some places.

Originally I had never tried it because I have never felt the need to be more tanned considering I’m naturally blessed with olive skin. It didn’t help my case that the one time I tried bronzer, it was applied by someone else and they applied way to much of it; so much so that I looked like I had a bad fake face tan and when I accidentally scratched my face during the day, I left a huge white line running down my cheek.

This is about the amount of bronzer I used today. Just enough to give a healthy glow without looking obvious.

Today, however, I walked past a mirror and to my horror, looked pale for the first time in quite a while. So I figured, it can’t hurt to give bronzer another shot. I put the smallest amount on my powder brush and applied it along my jaw line and gently across my forehead and cheeks, like I’ve seen done in the past. It wasn’t much but it was enough to stop me looking like a vampire and it gave me a nice glow. Clearly, the secret is to make sure you don’t apply too much to avoid looking like you belong on Jersey Shore.

The Body Shop baked bronzers

Eyeshadow: I’ve always been fairly straight-forward with my shadow; 2 colours max, usually some form of brown or browny-purple, light on the inside half and dark on the outside half of the eyelid. Like my original fear of red lipstick, I think my fear of OTT eyeshadow stems from my early dancing days when they would apply copious amounts of blue eyeshadow on you.

A simple brown eyeshadow look

I’m now using 2-3 different colours and have started playing with different techniques. Once I’ve got a system down pat I will share it, for now however I recommend using dark colours on the outside bottom corner of the lid, a pale cream/white on the inside bottom corner and a medium tone the rest of the lid. Or you can use a dark colour from the lash-line to the middle of the lid and a pale colour to the crease of the eyelid – one of the more foolproof ways of applying eyeshadow.

Try darker colours closer to the lash-line and a lighter colour around the crease area

For those also scared of eyeshadow, start by playing with different shades of brown and once you’ve worked out an effective system for applying it start dabbling into shades such as blue, black and purple. Check out the below image for some inspiration!

Eye-spiration

If you’re working with dark colours I suggest folding a tissue in half and placing it under the bottom eyelashes towards the outside corner. This will give you a straight line to follow and will help prevent colour falling onto your cheek which can sometimes be rather hard to remove.

Latest make-up purchase: Napoleon Perdis prismatic eye quad 5

Other make-up lessons I’ve learnt:

Don’t be afraid to mix and match brands, your look will benefit from it – trust me. Don’t freak out and think “maybe their foundation is meant to be worn with their powder”. Yes, it may suit the foundation well, however, it may not be what suits you best. For example, I’ve been using Clinique for ages now. City Block, Perfectly Real Makeup, Almost Mineral Powder, Line Smoothing Concealer, and Anti-blemish Solutions Clearing Concealer.

After joining The Body Shop and trying out their concealers, I’ve decided that the Flawless Concealer is just as good as the Line Smoothing Concealer – if not a better colour match. I understand that the yellow colour of the Clinique concealer is to hide the dark circles and help get rid of any redness; but there are days when I just want to wear tinted moisturiser and still need concealer to hide my genetic dark circles. On these days as well as days when I only put on a small amount of powder, it’s more than likely I will wear my Body Shop concealer so that my under-eye area doesn’t look so yellow.

I’ve also discovered the Body Shop Concealer Pencil. Easy to apply and a great colour match, it’s good for hiding unwanted freckles etc. The downside is that it has no blemish fighting ingredients in it like the Anti-Blemish Solutions concealer does; however, it doesn’t cake. Basically, they each have a similar amount of benefits and downsides and it’s simply a matter of mixing and matching which I’d prefer at the time. More likely than not, Clinique will be used for everyday concealing of blemishes, and Body Shop will be used for when I’m heading out somewhere nice and need a smoother concealer.

Powder-wise, the Clinique Almost Mineral Powder gives a better coverage than the Body Shop All In One Base, and is slightly closer to my skin colour. However, if I want a lighter coverage, or a more tanned look I would choose the latter. See, there’s nothing wrong cheating on your usual beauty brand. Chanel’s powder blush is still my go-to blush of choice, however, I don’t mind Body Shop’s baked blush which is a slightly pinker colour.

As for eyeshadows: cheat like there’s no tomorrow. Every different brand gives a different coverage and colour. It’s simply a matter of what you want. I have a few fool-proof Clinique eyeshadows I love, however, I have some Il Makiage blues, Napoleon Perdis purples that I enjoy. Similarly for lipstick, you’ll find multiple brands you enjoy and will swap between for colours. Chanel do an amazing moisture-rich red that stays on really well, however, other brands like The Body Shop do some great natural lip colours. The make-up world is your oyster.

Nonetheless, if I had to choose only one of each (like if my bank account sucks and I’ve run out of make-up), I would take Clinique’s foundation and powder, The Body Shop’s concealers and liquid eyeliner, Lancome primer and mascara, Chanel’s blush and lipstick and Il Makiage eyeshadows. And yes, in case you were wondering, that was basically the entire contents of my make-up bag.

So go forth my pretties and play in the world of make-up. As a former tomboy, if I can get over my fear of certain types of make-up, you can to!

The first taste of Chanel

Like my mother, I’m a Clinique girl. Clinique seems to be the only makeup brand that doesn’t cause my skin to break out something chronic in the hot, humid, tropical climate that defines the city I live in.
I use Clinique’s perfectly real liquid foundation, with almost mineral powder over the top; as well as, their line smoothing concealer for dark circles and their anti-blemish solutions for concealing everything else. Howevee, while I love Clinique, I’ve never been a fan of their mascara—I use Lancôme’s hypnôse drama mascara for thick not-too-long lashes.
After breaking my blush into a million tiny pieces yesterday and discovering there aren’t many non-glittery plainish pink blushes in the Clinique collection, I had to suss out other brands.
The lovely lady in the only place that holds a wide range of makeup in my city took me over to her counter, the Chanel counter. There, she showed me just the tone of blush I’d been looking for. Chanel’s 55 In Love Powder Blush—not too glittery and a gorgeous shade of pink!
Only very recently has a friend of mine from work broken my fear of bold lipsticks and pushed me into the coloured world of makeup. Before I came to work in the boutique I’m at now, I never used to wear blush, eyeshadow, or lipstick, because it all reminded me of extreme dance makeup. After being told I could use more colour on my face by one of the bosses (which took me aback at the time but now I’m glad she said it) I ventured into a world of blush, eyeshadow and eyeliner completely removed from what I’ve always known in the dance world. Now I own 9 colours of eyeshadow and 2 types eyeliner.
Recently my partner’s mum gave me a hot pink Elizabeth Arden lipstick and much to my surprise I’ve been getting good use out of it. So after much encouragement from my work friend, I started the hunt for a nice colour of red lipstick. Needless to say, while I was at the Chanel counter my eye caught sight of the lipsticks. The first colour I spotted ended up being the one I bought, 14 Passion Rouge Allure. It’s the loveliest bold red, but more of a pink tone than an orange one. Seeing as it’s winter I’m surely I’ll get a lot of use out of it. Perhaps my hot pink won’t see the light of day again until summer!
Morale of the story, be brave and try new makeup colours like I am! If worst comes to worst, you can remove it at the end of the day and be happy that you at least tried it.

20110616-022408.jpg