How to turn any foundation/bb into a lovely sheer coverage…

Nobody likes heavy, cake-y foundation.  Even the current make-up trend of extreme heavy make-up application still needs skill and contouring to make multi tonal. So if you’re not going to learn how to contour the face with different shades of foundation/bronzer, then embrace sheer coverage. If you have clear smooth skin, using a lighter make-up actually gives you the look of naturally luminous skin better than covering up. I recommend making and wearing a sheer coverage foundation/bb for day to day, but not a tinted moisturizer.  Why?

Tinted moisturizers on the market are also boasting light coverage, but the problem with them are that they are also laden with chemicals and preservatives.  Tinted moisturizers are not light at all, but are often gloopy, sticky, smelly, and suffocate the skin. And because store bought tinted moisturizers are so sticky on the face, placing a powder on top would end up in a cake-y mess.  My go to trick for getting a comfy sheer coverage is by modifying my thick foundation/bb into a silky-smooth, light cream, Here’s how:

Look at the paper heart. See the dab of foundation/bb, and the drop of solid coconut oil? That's all that's needed to make an amazing sheer coverage. (fyi, coconut oil melts as you mix it in your palm...
Look at the paper heart. See the dab of foundation/bb, and the drop of solid coconut oil? That’s all that’s needed to make an amazing sheer coverage. (fyi, coconut oil melts as you mix it in your palm…

Find a good heavy coverage foundation/bb cream. Place a dab of it in your palm. Then add two to three generous drops of coconut oil (coconut oil is a solid in cooler temperatures, but will melt at body temp into a silky oil, easily mixable into make-up) Mix the coconut oil and foundation/bb well and evenly in the palm of your hand and with your finger and apply to your face, smoothing and massaging it in as you go.  Coconut oil not only stretches the foundation/bb, but also extends the spreading time before it sets on the face, making it a more even application.  On days you want more coverage, use less coconut oil and more foundation/bb.  For just problem areas (discoloration, darkness), treat with an application of full strength foundation/bb on top of the first sheer layer. Powder to set.  Finish with a setting spray such as my DIY Rosewater Glycerin Spray.

Mix into an even consistency. It may appear runny and thin, but it goes onto the skin so smoothly.
Mix into an even consistency. It may appear runny and thin, but it goes onto the skin so smoothly.
One side of my face is no make-up, and one side is with bb that I turned sheer. Which is which, can you tell? Sheer coverage is on the  right side of my face (left in the photo). Natural looking, but better...
One side of my face is no make-up, and one side is with bb that I turned sheer. Which is which, can you tell? Sheer coverage is on the right side of my face (left in the photo). Natural looking, but better…

Why does this work? Heavy foundations and bb’s have loads of silicones and pigments. Silicones have a lot of different names (cyclomethicone, dimethicone) but they all do the same thing. They act as a smoothing and sealing agent for the pigments/ingredients in foundations/bbs.  Silicones are also a by-product of chemical petroleum, a bit scary to put on the face if you think deeply.  But horrors aside, they can actually do miracles when used sparingly in cosmetic applications, by gently sealing in moisture and smoothing skin. Adding coconut oil to dilute silicone-heavy foundations/bbs are a natural way to promote a healthier skin look, and coconut oil also has tons of skin benefits. Try it today, and let me know what you think! 🙂

 

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Silicons in Hair Products, what do they really do?

On the left are products loaded with silicones...hey, they give the results, but are they evil?  On the right, silicone free products from Tresseme.
On the left are products loaded with silicones…hey, they give the results, but are they evil? On the right, silicone free products from Tresemme.

As you all know I craft handmade cosmetics on a regular basis to give my face and hair a rest from the chemical stuff that is out there at pharmacies today: hair spray, lotions, shampoo, conditioner–they all have preservatives, cheap synthetic additives and little to no healthful ingredients.  At home, I stock up on things like organic natural coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and use it in all kinds of handmade natural products. But as much as I believe in the benefits of natural stuff, I know the limitations, cosmetically, of what natural products can do.  I also know that some synthetic ingredients such as silicons are often over vilified based on the fact that they are not naturally derived.

Silicones, the good news and the bad news…

The most common forms of silicone are dimethicone and cyclomethicone.  The actual ingredient name may vary from product to product, but you will see some form of “icone” at the end of the ingredient name if it is a silicone.  The higher it is on the list of ingredients, the more there is in the product.  Now to explain why it has a bad rep: It is a synthetic product that is derived from sand by chemical means and is very processed; its manufacturing and the washing of it into drains is bad for the environment.  When silicons are used in hair, it fills porous areas, giving only the “appearance” of healthier stronger, more hydrated hair.  But the actual effect is cosmetic.  Your hair is not really stronger, healthier or more hydrated.  It is shinier, and thicker because silicons coats each strand with a seal that is water resistant, oil resistant…and makes hair unable to breathe because of that seal. This is the good news: Hair is not alive, it doesn’t need to breathe. Hair is made up of an organic protein called keratin. A coating of silicone on the hair is not suffocating the hair, like I hear so many say, but it actually tames it and makes it shine like diamonds!  It becomes unhealthy when it builds up, and prevents natural oils from penetrating the inner hair shaft, making it dry and brittle.  Over use can turn a little beauty trick for softness and shine into a dependency for function.

Going au naturale…

I often hydrate my hair with coconut oil in salve form on dry hair and also as an additive in my conditioner to give it more conditioning power.  Coconut oil has been known to be able to penetrate into the hair shaft and really strengthen hair, not on just a cosmetic level.  But coconut oil also makes my hair limp, greasy, dragged down, and if it builds up, it takes away shine, actually.  But my hair is actually healthy, and hydrated, even if it looks dirty and unstyled.  I have been able to grow my hair longer these years by using coconut oil and just shampooing and heat styling less.  But boy did my hair love, love, love soaking up all the silicons in this hair conditioner I tried after coloring my hair the other week.  My hair was thicker, bouncier, fluffier, shinnier, and just more smooth feeling after using the silicone heavy conditioner included in the color kit.  I saw first hand how silicones are more powerful at giving an appearance of health than using natural products, even if it is a “fake” look of health, and I couldn’t believe how soft my hair was after using the silicon loaded conditioner.

This was the ingredient list for the conditioner in the box kit.  Wow... amodimethicone is the second ingredient.  Amodimethicone is a heavy silicone, and hard to wash off...No wonder my hair shone like the sea after this...
This was the ingredient list for the conditioner in the box kit. Wow… amodimethicone is the second ingredient. Amodimethicone is a heavy silicone, and is hard to wash off…No wonder my hair shone like the sea after this…

So should we avoid or embrace silicones in hair products?

Silicones are not inherently bad, but if over used, they can cause your hair to form a dependency that is bad.  Also, their use and manufacturing causes damage to the environment, lakes and wildlife.  So perhaps the solution is to cut back and rely less on silicons to have healthy hair.  Get healthy hair it the hard and true way by not over heat styling or over chemically processing.  Condition hair with nutritious oils.  Also, avoid shampoos with silicones! Removing build up is key to hair health, so it baffles me why so many shampoos have silicones in them?!  It is like peeing in the tub, you’ll never get clean. Use hair conditioners with less amounts of silicone (lower on the ingredient listing) and/or only use silicones in finishing products as a means to cosmetically boost shine and maintain a style, as a last touch to give your hair the fake confidence it does need!

Shampoo is supposed to clean build up, right?  On my fave shampoo I found two silicone ingredients!  Not in my shampoo too!
Shampoo is supposed to clean build up, right? On my fave shampoo I found two silicone ingredients! Not in my shampoo too! I say, try to cut back. 

Dare to skip foundation for a dewy natural face look?

Since I could remember, I wore foundation and powdered my nose because shine on my face was the enemy. Although dewiness is a sign of hydration and skin health, the make-up trends saw it as not fashionable.  Then guess what?  Now it is in vogue. Shiny and smooth skin is all the rage in South Korea and Asia where the goal there is to amplify the natural dewy smooth shine of young skin to unnatural proportions. It actually requires little to no make-up to pull off, but it is unnatural in this way:  How do adult women get a new born baby’s smooth and soft skin, and a shiny glow on our face?!  Basically impossible for anybody above the age of 2.  And even more impossible in our day and age of working hard, sleeping late, drinking, smoking, thinking, smiling, crying, and just about any thing that is required to live a normal adult life.  So how do we do this “blessed by nature”, “don’t need make-up to cover-up” look?

Some of my skin care products that I have a regular relationship with. Toner and cotton balls, vitamin E capsules, heavy night cream, and coconut oil. Lots of work, but it is worth it! Kinda of like a boyfriend. :)
Some of my skin care products that I have a regular relationship with. Toner and cotton balls, vitamin E capsules, heavy night cream, and coconut oil. Lots of work, but it is worth it! Kinda of like a boyfriend. 🙂

I myself am getting along in the years, and even though I take care of my skin, the years of wearing make-up has left me insecure about skipping it.  I go through at least 5 skin care steps every night, and exfoliate and use clay masks on a weekly basis.  I stay out of the sun and use SPF whenever I can. All this care so that I can cover it up with make-up for confidence. But our faces in their natural state can be pretty too.  I recently figured out a few things to boost my skin’s shine on days I wanna rock that sans make-up shine:

Moisturize.  Wrinkles are formed when skin is stretched too much and has tiny cracks in them that then heal, but leaves behind a tiny bit of scarring formed in a slight bump.   Moisturizing increases the elasticity of our skin, and minimizes the chance of making the cracks that then would need healing on our face.  And when we age, less natural moisture is produced by our face.  So I always use a slightly heavier moisturizer than I need, and my face thanks me.  Cocoa butter has been known to improve skin elasticity, and I also use this regularly.

Exfoliate.  I exfoliate about once a week now.  Before I barely had to.  But as we age, our skin stops expelling dead skin as often and can be dull and dry because the dead layer of rough skin on top.  I exfoliate with ground walnut shells, sugar, honey and olive oil mixed together and then rubbed gently on a wet face, in circular motions. Rinse off with water, then soap and water.  My skin feels so soft after exfoliation…I can’t believe it. Follow with a clay mask.

Detox by toning and masks.  I can’t stress this enough.  After a night of partying, late hours at work, all day of wearing lots of make-up.  Your skin needs to detox.  Whatever crap you ate or drank in the night, also makes it into your skin and is expelled to the surface.  If you don’t wipe it off, it will stay there like a dull film on your face.  When I have drinks at night, in the morning, my skin is usually lifeless, puffy, and saggy.  I rejuvenate it with a rosewater and vinegar toner.  It removes impurities, and re balances the ph of my skin so that it is happy again, smooth and ready to shine. A weekly facial mask with clay also draws out impurities.  I like to use a mask after exfoliation, so that the clay is on new skin and can pull out impurities more easily.  Always follow with moisturizing after toning or detoxing with a mask!

Use an anti-oxidant.  We are not perfect.  We hurt our skin often.  We offend it on a daily basis, without even knowing.  The damage is there, don’t wait for it to be visible.  And we need to heal it.  For that I use an anti oxidant.  I like Vitamin E, but you can also use Moroccan oil, anything that has an anti oxidant effect.  Why?  It prevents damaged skin from healing with scar tissue.  That’s right.  If you have damaged your skin unknowingly, which you have…vitamin E can make it heal with minimum scarring.  So use it in your daily moisturization routine, like I do.  🙂

Drink tons of water.  Water keeps your skin hydrated from the inside, and will help you have skin that is firm and not saggy.

And here is the piece de resistance.  Am I confident enough to post a pic of myself without make-up, bb cream, concealer and all those cover ups?  Yes I am.  Take care of your skin and be confident to wear it the way it looks sans make-up any day.

Only wearing lipstick that I used to stain my lips and then wiped off. skin is au naturale, for real.
Only wearing lipstick that I used to stain my lips and then wiped off. My face is “au naturale”, for real. Just toned it and then moisturized it with cream for a bit of shine.