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…
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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! 🙂

 

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.