Preventing wrinkles: it can be as simple as your expressions!

When I was a young art school student, studying Fine Arts and Theory at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, I was always inspired by my professors. They were so accomplished, talented and brilliant. Intellectually strong and academically enriching able to carry on discourse deeply, engagingly. One of my professors that I really liked was a cerebral Art seminar instructor who was heavy with her ideas. She often dawned very politically charged, raw topics, and presented them to her students with a lot of open minded energy. She also re-affirmed and validated my artistic ambitions, whether in positive critiques of my essays or in actual pieces. And that’s why I adored her. But one thing I noticed about her was how when she was deep in analytical thought, she would furrow her eyebrows so deeply, they had a permanent wrinkle on her forehead. She was a handsome woman who didn’t seem to care about superficial beauty, but was after what her mind could embody and the intellectual beauty of that. I could respect that, and still do.

But I work in the fashion industy, and also have my own cosmetics line, dream e beauty, so I know that physically aesthetic beauty is valuable too. I will never teach Art at a University level, but I will have to represent daily, my more tangible skills…and that is…avoiding wrinkles by not emoting too much. It’s sad, isn’t it? That deep thinking, stress, and expressing emotions like joy, anger and fear, can cause wrinkles–but it can. When we pose our faces in certain expressions everyday, we are training our skin to crease in the same areas, and like a piece of paper, we will crease, especially as we age and our skin gets less elastic and less supple.

Is there a solution to preventing this? My advice is to be aware of when we are making certain expressions that will cause wrinkling. For example, when I get excited, suprised or angry, I often lift and furrow my eyebrows, causing my forehead skin to wrinkle. And I noticed over time, that these wrinkles are starting to stay. I use my anti-wrinkle antioxidant balm every night on my forehead to increase the skin suppleness there, but another guard is to just stop making expressions that cause wrinkles. And here’s the hard part…I have to make myself aware of which expressions, and facial muscles make these creases, and stop doing them. So hard…especially since they are natural reactions to my life and my world.

Which brings me to what a wise friend once told me. To stay young and creaseless, one cannot smile, one cannot frown, one cannot laugh, or worry, or scowl. We have to remain expressionlessand emotionless to maintain flawless unwrinkled skin. And that’s a tall order…are you willing to trade in your human personalities and expressions for the sake of flawless skin? Is being less emotive and human worth it? Maybe, maybe not…but it’s useful to know that some wrinkles can be created, and therefore can also be prevented.

The gamut of expressions a gal might make; looks cute in these manga drawings…but in reality, they could mean a whole bunch of wrinkles after a few years of emoting too fiercely!

 

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6 Easy Make-up Tips to keep you looking Fresh this Summer

So, in Toronto, as with a lot of places in North America, spring really came late, but suddenly, with our last snow storm just only 2 weeks ago!! How can we recover so fast to be able to be ready and enjoy this burst of sunshine and mild temps now that May is finally here? My make-up these days is lighter, with less layers, andless ink; my motto as always been less is more. I want to use less make-up products these days, because my eyes have been kind of puffy lately, and I’m not about to outline they are with tonnes of black liner…But I still like a made-up face when possible, and here are some easy, breezy tricks to make it look like you are effortlessly gorgeous:

Nothing says spring like a terrarium with succulents! With it some of my current cosmetic arsenals…

Top Summer make-up hacks

  1. Follow a full face make up with a blot with a kleenex tissue: This one is so important! Because in the summer, we are usually using either a foundation with SPF, or a separate SPF, and the layers of protection gets kind of oily and thick. Reduce the look of wearing a “make-up mask” by blotting with a soft tissue all over the face after applying your full make-up. The tissue catches loose pigment and excess oils that sit on top of your face, the thing that causes you to look “made up” and unnatural. I find a kleenex is better than blotting paper since it’s texture can pick up loose make-up too, and not just oil.
  2. Wear an SPF! I can’t say this enough, and it’s really just because in the late Spring, the sun is actually at it’s closest to the earth, but without the heat to signal it’s penetrating our skin! UV rays from the sun is linked to skin cancer and also sunspots, wrinkles, and skin aging. So be sure to use SPF during the spring and summer!
  3. Use the right foundation color: I know in Asia, the trend is to be lighter, and here in NA, it’s to be darker tan…but my advice is to match your actual skin color. There is never going to be a color more flattering than getting the exact shade and tone of the face. Don’t pretend to be a porcelain princess or, a tanned surfer girl, because matching your true skin color will make you look like yourself, and more natural. Even if it means mixing two shades to get it right, as I currently do…
  4. Hair Trends: When it comes to hair lightening, any level lighter than brown hair (bronde to platinum) looks best with dark roots, 1-2 inches. Having uniform color from root to tip looks very artificial for some reason, even though having roots is a sure fire sign of colored hair. But for some reason, darker roots give your face and hair more dimension and drama, and also makes lightened hair look even lighter. Be sure to soften the root line so that where the roots end doesn’t look like a harsh line. A skilled hair stylist will know how to do this if you don’t!
  5. Add a shimmer to your bottom lid: For those of you with puffy eyes, and small bags underneath them like I do these days, will appreciate this tip. Shimmery bright shadow on the bottom helps brighten and take attention away from bags by bring up the visual focus. For those who don’t use shadow on the bottom lid; always use a shadow there, even if it is a nude color. It keeps your eye make-up from smudging when you blink all day and when moisture from your eyes touches your top eye make-up.
  6. Avoid heavy mascara: Did you ever wonder why you don’t have the fluttery lashes you see in all the make-up ads when you put on mascara? Sometimes my lashes just look inky and heavy after mascara application. My quick remedy for this is to take a clean finger tip and just dab and push up on the lash right after mascara application. This will wipe off any clumps and naturally separate lashes, while evening the mascara application and keeping it light and wispy. Another bonus? It helps prevent smudging or flaking from occurring later in the day since it also removes excess black on over painted lashes. A must do.

So ya, these are my tricks I’m using to keep fresh this summer, do you agree with them? If so, you can enjoy wearing make-up this spring without looking over done, made up and weighed down. Hopefully these tips work for you and feel free to share your own tips in the comments section below!

 

Some basic, but important Tips for Make-up Beginners

First: A Throwback of my Past Make-up How-to’s:

I write a lot of articles about different make-up looks, whether it be a natural or vampy look, or valentines’ day flirty eyes; I have fun expressing unique make-up applications. Here a few of my escapades with make-up and color:

This is from my article on how to do be-witching eye make-up! check it out here.
Very dark lined cat eyes for a fashion forward winter holiday look. Article here:
An 80’s electric eyeshadow look for a bold statement. Article here

What works for New Make-up Wearers?

My make-up looks are certainly fun if you want to change up your daily routine, but what about people who want to start wearing make-up and are intimidated by all the complicated/trendy tutorial out there? I think the best make-up looks enhance your facial features simply, and doesn’t change or hide them. Like making your eyes look brighter with a shiny shadow, or making your skin creamier with a bb cream… In essence, make-up is basically playing up what you have naturally, and it shouldn’t feel odd or awkward. It’s a fun form of self expression, and one of my favorite ways to show off. Here are some basic suggestions I want to give beginners who are starting to wear make-up.

Tip # 1: No substitute for Good skin

Before putting on make-up, one needs to take care of the skin. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and use an antioxidant nightly on your skin. When you have healthy skin, make-up can actually do it’s job properly. Check out my line of natural skincare to learn more.

Tip # 2: Use an SPF or SPF loaded foundation

The sun is not your friend.  UV rays and ultra violet light from the sun IS what causes premature aging and wrinkling, so wear a sun screen under the make-up. If that is too heavy of a base, find a foundation with higher than 15 SPF to help protect your skin from harmful rays at the same time as giving you coverage.

Step 3: Level of coverage in Foundation:

Be honest about the level of coverage you want.  There are three levels of coverage: Light coverage is a tinted moisturizer, with no powder, medium is a light foundation/bb set with a bit of powder, and full coverage is a heavy foundation and concealer set with powder. I tend to like a medium coverage for day to day, since that often means I can skip concealer for minor uneven tones. But if you want the flawless skin look, you will have to go for full coverage. All options are fine, but choose the one that you want, not the one that you think you should want. Just because you have been make-up shy all your life doesn’t mean you can’t have the flawless full coverage look. Be willing to experiment to find what works for you!

Step 4: Definition of the face:

Using a foundation will mute all your other features. Your eyes will look smaller after foundation application, your mouth will be colorless, your eyebrows non existent. Your cheeks without color. So this is the time to add back definition.The more products you use, the more defined your features become. My minimum staples for definition are eyebrow color, eye lid color, mascara and blush. If you want extra definition, you can add an eyeliner, liquid or pencil, contouring/bronzer, lipstick, false lashes…etc. But again be honest with the level of definition you want!

The Bottom Line:

I feel that when starting to wear make-up for beautifying effects, it’s really important to be honest with yourself and how much coverage/definition you want to present to the world. Take the time to figure out what level of “made-up you really want”. And just like when wearing fashion, you want to have fun while expressing yourself with your make-up looks! Having a positive attitude and a willingness to try new things will get you farther in anything, any day!

My day to day make-up look. Very minimal: Medium coverage foundation with a light powder, eyebrow definition, thin lined top lid and neutral eye shadows…no lipstick, but a bit of blush! My go to natural look…