photo credit: womenshealthmag.co.uk
The NUMBER ONE thing to do in preparation of your skin is remove your makeup and cleanse. If you do nothing else please remove your makeup and cleanse your skin. Applying makeup on top of a face with various build-up will only inhibit success of the final look.
Another important step in preparing the skin for makeup is exfoliating. You want to remove any oil, build-up and dead skin from your face to ensure a smooth application, especially if you have any dryness, texture, or excess oil. Check out my, But First, Skincare post to see my skin care routine, and favorite skincare products.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I want to look like [insert full-beat-glitter-highlight-contour-the works-glam Instagram photo], but natural.” Ladies and gentleman, this is not a thing. While you can make full glam look beautiful, and non-cakey, you will still be able to tell you are in-fact wearing makeup.
If you want the full beat, contour, highlight, and a long lasting look, you will feel the makeup on your face. Creating a makeup look that will photograph well and be long lasting requires adding very thin layers of multiple products. Each layer has a purpose and effects the final outcome, and your face won’t feel like their “isn’t anything on it”. That being said, I also aim to make each layer as thin as possible, and the makeup comfortable to wear.
Keeping your expectations of makeup at a realistic level is important. If you have a photo of a long, dark brown-haired beauty with a gorgeous vampy look and you have blonde hair and blue eyes, I will still recreate that vampy style for you but I cannot change your features to look identical to the photo. Trust is my ability to take elements from a look and apply them in a way that is flattering to your unique facial features and coloring.
As someone who currently works in a pool of germs (in the form of 8 toddlers running in circles) I have seen it all. Pink-eye and cold sores will not gross me out, but please let me know! I use all sanitary products and practices, but I will go as far to use disposable alternatives to my brushes if I know of the concern ahead of time (and I promise your look will turn out just as great) and this way I eliminate any and all opportunity to pass your fate onto others.
Is there anything else you want to know about what it’s like to get your makeup done, and things you should share with your makeup artist to ensure that you are happy with the final outcome? Leave a comment below.
Photo credit: The Perfume Expert
Makeup will eventually change in consistency and effectiveness overtime. For example once a product that has SPF in it has expired, the effectiveness of the sun protection can no longer be guaranteed. The same concept applies to makeup with any active ingredient in it. These products include acne fighting ones with ingredients like salicylic acid, as well as anti-aging products with ingredients like retinol.
Expired makeup can also harbor bacteria. This bacteria then get’s transferred to your face when applying the makeup and can cause something as minor as a skin irritation, or rash, to acne, pink eye, or other more serious infections. So makeup lovers, you’ve been warned.
To find an expiration period on a makeup product, look for a little symbol similar to a jar with an open lid. It will have a number inside next to an “M”. The “M” stands for months. See below for an example.
The example above is from the Becca under-eye primer. As you can see it has a “12M” meaning the product will be good for 12 months following removal of the initial seal and first use.
As a guide, mascara typically lasts 3-6 months, eyeliner is 6-12 months, foundation is 6-12 months, powder products last for 1-2 year, and lipsticks can last up to 2 years. For me personally, I go through my makeup every 6 months and toss out anything I know I have used longer than what is recommended, or that I haven’t used recently.
What’s the longest you have held onto a makeup product for? And what makeup product was it? Leave a comment below.
Photo Credit: The Drum
I didn’t mind Blue Apron, I had the service for over a year. And I actually thought it was fun to cook new and different recipes when I actually had the time. But the days I actually had the time were far and few between. So I found myself tossing out all of this food that went bad before I could cook it and then buying preprepared meals that weren’t the healthiest. Basically money lost and pounds gained, not to mention very wasteful.
So when I scrolled past an Instagram ad for Freshly, I thought it was another meal service where ingredients were delivered in their raw form, and then prepping, cooking and serving had to happen to enjoy your beautiful meal. I was wrong.
Freshly is a meal service where fully prepared and cooked meals arrive at your door perfectly portioned and refrigerated. There are six meals delivered once a week on a day of your choice. They are packed with large ice packs and insulation (all of which is recyclable and environmentally friendly) to keep it cold on your doorstep until you can place it in the fridge. And when you are ready to eat, you can pull a meal out of the fridge, plate it, or just pop it right into the microwave following the instructions on the package. Each meal is one serving size and healthy at 400-600 calories for a balanced entree. And all for the same price as Blue Apron.
I have been using this service for eight weeks now and I love it! There isn’t a meal I have tried that I haven’t liked, and they even have some delicious breakfast options too. As someone who is too busy to cook during the week, but also want’s to eat healthy, this is such a great option for me. And when I am out of town, I can just log onto the app and skip the delivery for that week.
There is also a wide variety of meals to chose from including vegetarian, fish, chicken, pork, and beef. This service would suit many dietary presences including gluten free and dairy free. And all of your meal selections can be made in the easy to use app or online.
If you want to try Freshly, leave your email below and I will send you a link for $40 off two weeks of Freshly.
Have any questions? Leave a comment.
The first channel I want to share with you is Nikkia Joy. Nikkia is a professional makeup artist in Australia, and like me, has oily skin. She has so many tips for oily skin girls and in her tutorials, really takes the time to explain what she is doing and why she is doing it. She also does really in depth foundation reviews with 12 hour wear tests, and zooms the camera in so you get a very clear picture of what her face looks like. Nikkia also talks about skincare on her channel and has very helpful advise on skincare for oily and acne prone skin. If you want advise on makeup application, this is the channel to watch.
Another great channel is RawBeautyKristi. Kristi is amazing on her channel and is a very entertaining personality to watch. I enjoy her reviews on products and how open and relatable she is. She is also from Seattle (my town, represent!!) which is bonus points if you ask me. If you want someone who feels like you could be friends with, but also knows a thing or two about makeup, then give her videos a view.
A channel with the most videos uploaded is GlamLifeGuru. Tati Westbrook has been doing makeup videos on YouTube for the last 7 years and uploads Monday-Friday, which is an unheard of schedule on YouTube for the beauty community. She has continuing series like OMG Tuesdays where she reviews new and different products and WTF where she finds outrageously priced products and reviews to see if they are worth the price. Tati features an equal amount of drug store and high-end products on her channel and I genuinely trust her reviews of products. Tati also brings her husband on her channel for PR unboxing as well as testing out face masks which is very entertaining and something different to mix it up. Quantity AND quality is how I would sum up GlamLifeGuru.
And last but certainly not least, I had to put in NikkieTutorials. Nikkie is an incredible makeup artist who is one of the most talented artists on YouTube in my opinion. She is from Holland and is a full coverage queen (like me). Nikkie does the most beautiful artistic makeup looks. As the name says, she mostly does tutorials, but also has some reviews of products as well. If you love watching people create stunning makeup looks, then NikkieTutorials is a must watch channel.
I would love to know what YouTube channels you are obsessed with, beauty or otherwise. Leave a comment below with your favorites.
Before you put makeup on for any occasion or style the first thing you need to do is wash, exfoliate, and moisturize your skin. It is important to get rid of any dead skin cells, and give your skin some hydration before you add makeup. Also, allow your skin the opportunity to absorb any moisturizer you put on it before applying makeup. This will ensure the products won’t interact in a negative way, and that your skin has been allowed to absorb all the moisture possible, which will help create a smoother canvas.
The next step is to prime the face. I begin by adding the Becca Anti-Fatigue Under Eye Primer to help reduce the bags under my eyes as well as add a bit of moisture.
Next I take the Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer and add a small amount to where I have fine lines and enlarged pores.
Everything up to this point has been to create a smooth base. These next steps are what will make the biggest difference in the wear time of your base makeup.
And now we apply an eye primer (pause for weird looks). It sounds weird to use an eye primer on the face, but just trust me, it works! I highly recommend the Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre. This stuff doesn’t move and is matte so it won’t mess with the finish or color of anything you put over it. I begin by taking a small blending brush (I use this one from BH Cosmetics) and gently swirl it into the Paint Pot being careful to only grab a small amount. I then brush the product into my skin using small circular motions around the sides of my nose, the bridge of my nose, and my chin. These are the areas where my makeup tends to cake and transfer the most, so I want to add extra protection here to keep my makeup put all day. If you have another areas of the face the makeup tends to breakup on or transfer from, place the eye primer there. I am careful to only add the thinest layer of this product as adding too much will emphasize texture and cake up. If you find this happens to you when using this technique, try using less on your next application.
After adding the eye primer to all my problem areas I then use some setting spray. Traditionally setting sprays are used to set makeup after application is complete, however by adding a layer now it will help to create a barrier between oils that can break up makeup and the rest the base when gets applied. The spray I recommend for any oily, combination, or normal skin types is the Gerard Cosmetics Slay All Day Setting Spray. The Mac Fix Plus is also a great option for dry skin types.
Make sure the setting spray has completely dried, and then add any color correctors you feel you need. For reference I alway color correct my under eyes.
Next we being foundation application. I start by placing foundation (Estee Lauder Double wear, you already know) on the back of my hand and with one finger I dot the product all over one side of my face. I then take a damp Beauty Blender and blend the foundation using stippling and stamping motions until I get an even and smooth finish. The key to foundation application and long lasting wear time is to add a thin, even layer. The more makeup you put on, the more likely it is to become cakey.
Next I take concealer and place it under my eyes, and on any acne or dark spots that are still peaking through. I also blend this out with my Beauty Blender as well.
Very quickly after the concealer is blended out, I will take my damp beauty blender once again and dip it into a loose translucent setting powder. My most favorite right now is the Mabelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder. Picking up a decent amount I will begin to stipple and blend it into the skin under my eyes, around my nose and cheeks, and on my forehead and chin. I usually dip into the powder once for each eye, again for the nose, once for the forehead, and again for the chin.
Then I spray another layer of setting spray and gently with my Beauty Blender press the moisture of the spray into the skin. This will give the skin a more natural quality to it after applying all of your setting powder.
After finishing the rest of my makeup (brows, eyes, contour, bronzer, blush, and highlight I spray a final layer of setting spray on and quickly fan it dry.
And this is the final result!! My makeup doesn’t budge or move for 10-12 hours using these techniques.
Have any questions? Leave a comment below.
Photo credit: Elf Cosmetics
My favorite, highest performing foundation is the Estee Lauder Double Wear. This product will stay locked into place for 12+ hours. It is transfer proof, won’t break apart, and doesn’t become cakey after hours of wear. This foundation has a matte finish, is easily bendable, and medium-full coverage.
Another most used foundation is the Mabelline Super Stay Full Coverage Foundation. As the name states, this foundation is full coverage. It lasts through an entire work day and is transfer proof. Oils do come through, but it doesn’t separate or look cakey which is a major plus.
Similar to the Super Stay is the Jouer Essential High Coverage Creme Foundation. This is the most full coverage foundation of my collection, and feels so lightweight on the skin I can hardly believe it packs such a punch. The pigmentation is to the max, has a natural finish and is lasting. The foundation also doesn’t settle into pores or fine lines. If you love a full coverage foundation you have to try this one.
Another favorite is the Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation. This formula is just as full coverage as the Jouer, but has an extremely matte finish. As the name says, this will last all night. The All Nighter is the most sweat proof, and transfer proof of all the foundations I have listed here.
A foundation that doesn’t necessarily meet all my criteria, but I feel it deserves an honorable mention is the Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup. This is my go-to for my rare, but lighter makeup days. This foundation feels so lightweight on the skin and has a light to medium coverage. It leaves a natural finish and will hold up through an 8 hour work day. If you are a natural makeup gal, I highly recommend trying this foundation.
Have you tried any of my most used foundations? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.
Have pores, texture, or fine lines and wrinkles? Try a pore filling primer. My favorite is the Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer. It retails for $39 at Ulta, but a little goes a long way. Primers that have a silicon base (which include some form of Methicone, trimethicone, and/or Dimethicone as a main ingredient) work to fill in pores, lines, and the area around texture, but can sometimes cause foundation to slip and slide when applied too liberally. The key to making these primers work their best is to use a small amount and only apply to the areas you want to smooth out.
Need to cover up a blemish or two? After your skin care and primer, but before your foundation, blend a concealer that is a shade darker than your foundation over your problem spots. Let the concealer dry completely before going over it with foundation. This will help to eliminate the redness as well as the raised look of a blemish. Also if you are acne prone like myself, try using a full coverage foundation for those blemish days. This will ensure all of your redness is evenly covered up.
Feeling like you want to rock dewy skin? Try mixing in a liquid illuminator to your foundation. My favorites are the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops and the very close dupe (and much less expensive option) the Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter. As a general rule, take one pump of foundation to one drop of liquid illuminator, mix, and apply.
Looking for a more matte look instead? Try mixing in a small amount of translucent powder to any liquid foundation. To achieve this look while keeping the foundation bendable, mix in one pump of foundation with a pea sized amount of powder. Blend together with the end of a makeup brush or toothpick and apply to the face.
Both a beauty sponge and brush have their benefits. If you want to maximize coverage stick with a flat top, densely packed makeup brush and use stippling motions. A brush will absorb less product than a sponge leaving more foundation on the skin. However if you have any texture on the skin, stick to a beauty sponge. Using a brush can cause microexfoliation and further emphasize skin’s texture. By using a damp beauty sponge and gently patting foundation into the skin you will eliminate microexfoliation and reduce the appearance of texture.
I am a full coverage queen, so most days full beat glam is my style. But on the rare days I want to have a more natural look, I like my coverage to be light. You can turn your medium to full coverage foundations into light coverage my mixing a pea sized amount of moisturizer with one pump of liquid foundation. This creates a very hydrated, your skin but better look.
Using a color corrector will counteract dark circles, redness, and dark spots. For dark circles, use a light orange color corrector. This will take away the purples and blues and brighten, making your face look awake and youthful. For redness, use a green color corrector, and for dark spots use a a deep red/orange color corrector. Apply these before foundation application and make sure they dry completely before completing the rest of your makeup routine.
Oily skin can sometimes be a challenge to find a good foundation for. Oil is what is used in many makeup removers so when a lot of natural oil comes through it can often break up makeup. For a foundation to be oily-skin approved it has to hold up against oil production. Matte formula’s are the best for oily skin. Try to avoid anything that is labeled as dewy, glowy, luminous, etc, as this will break up quickly on oily skin.
The best foundation for oily skin, hands down is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Liquid Foundation. This will stay in place all day, is transfer proof, doesn’t break up, and applies beautifully. Double Wear also just expanded their shade range to 42 inclusive shades.
Another alternative to the higher-end Double Wear is the L’oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. This foundation performs very similarly to the Double Wear, however the shade range does leave something to be desired.
For dry skin, anything that will add moisture, or keep skin’s natural luminosity in is key. Opposite of what is great for oily skin, my dry skin queens should avoid anything that says matte as this will emphasize dryness and texture. Glowy, hydrating, dewy foundations are the ones to look for.
The best foundation for dry skin includes the Nars Sheer Glow and the L’oreal Infallible Pro-Glow liquid foundation. Both of these foundations are long lasting while maintaining skins natural moisture. They both are a breeze to touch up which is an important component in picking a great foundation too.
Combination skin is best off using a foundation with a happy medium between matte and hydrating. Look for anything marketed as having a “natural finish”. A foundation that is long lasting, but also doesn’t emphasizing texture or dryness is the Jouer Essential High Coverage Foundation. This foundation is so light weight, yet so full coverage and will apply to the skin beautifully. And if high coverage foundation isn’t your thing, you can mix it in with a little moisturizer to make it light-medium coverage while keeping the long lasting wear time of this magic in a bottle.
That rounds out my top foundations for oily, dry, and combination skin types. Do you have a foundation you’ve found that is a your favorite for your skin type? Share below in the comments.
This means your skin tone, and undertone are two different colors and tones. For example, two people can have the same skin tone, but different undertones, and visa versa. Knowing your skin tone and undertone will help you find the best match in a foundation and other base products.
Undertones are classified in three main categories: Warm, cool, and neutral.
Warm undertones are distinguished by having green or olive veins under the skin on your wrist. Gold jewelry will tend to be the most flattering on your skin. People with warm undertones also tend to tan easily, be yellow in tone in the sun, and have very little pink or redness. Specific warm undertones are identified as being yellow, golden or peach.
Cool undertones are distinguished by having blue or purple colored veins under the skin on your wrists. People with cool undertones will find that silver jewelry is the most flattering, and tend to burn in the sun more easily. Your skin will have a general pinky to red hue and you will tend to show redness, especially around the nose and eyes. Specific cool undertones are identified as being pink, red, or blue.
Neutral undertones are distinguished by having the veins under skin on the wrist that are both blue and green. Both gold and silver jewelry are flattering on the skin, and there are no distinguishable yellow or pink tones.
If you are still having trouble determining your undertone, POPSUGAR has a great quiz to help you out.
For example, I have fair skin with cool/pink undertones, so when I am looking for a foundation I look for something that is very light in color and has pink undertones. A foundation that works for my skin tone and undertone is the Urban Decay All Nighter liquid foundation in shade 0.5 which is described as fair porcelain with subtle pink undertones.
If a foundation doesn’t have an undertone described on the packaging, try swatching different foundations in your skin tone range next to each other on the back of your hand. By doing this you should be able to distinguish which foundations have more pink/red or more yellow/golden in them.
What’s your perfect foundation shade? Let me know in the comments below.