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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My first battle with acne came much later than my teens!

So, acne.  What is it?  It is red blemishes that infiltrate your face, puff up, ooze crap and possibly get infected and leave long lasting scars.  What acne sounds like is something similar to a relationship with a bad boyfriend; unavoidable to some degree, and once its started you have to get the f*** out, with minimal damage. Yep, the bad boyfriend relationship is an accurate analogy and so is the idea that avoiding them is key.

So many things can trigger a series of pimples, cold sores or blemishes.  Recently, I went from being a blemish free beauty, to a skin ravaged freak within a couple of weeks.  I have just recovered from two really red spots of infection brought on by a harsh strain of acne bacteria, and a cold sore that would not stop looking gross and diseased until recently.  Needless to say, I survived, but not without battle scars.  My left cheek now bears two red marks, even after they’ve healed for months, and there is still discoloration from the cold sore on my upper lip that healed just last week.  And what have I learned from all of this? Acne and blemishes are something better prevented than treated, like all illnesses.

How I dealt with my adult acne so it doesn’t come back:

  1. Clean everything and sanitize everything: Wash your hands 20 times a day, try not to touch your face, there are bacteria on your hand that want to infect your pores.  Sanitize your make-up brushes by washing them every once in a while, wipe all your make-up surfaces with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.
  2. Boost your immune system: believe it or not, your immune system can fight off skin afflictions.  So get plenty of rest, vitamins, minerals and exercise, eat well. Bacteria and viruses cannot take over when your skin is in top form.
  3. Don’t pop your pimples, or pick at them. The odd pimple I used to have I would squeeze them to reduce swelling.  However, I found out this can cause more scarring, and redness, so now I leave them alone.
  4. Get medication.  Most of the time, my acne is mild and will go away without problems.  But sometimes medicated oitments and creams help keep the inflammation at bay and speed healing and minimize redness.  I like to use anything with salicylic acid, as it is pretty gentle and will still dry out and encourage skin regeneration after a zit has died. But don’t over use it.
  5. Wash off all traces of make-up at night.  I have dry skin, so sometimes I just wipe off make-up with coconut oil and call it a night.  While this is very gentle for your skin, it can also leave you with a clogged pore, which if bacteria gets at it, then it is game over.  Finding a balance is important.  Don’t over strip your face of natural oils and moisture, but also cleanliness is very important.

Have any of you battled with adult acne recently?  Wasn’t it embarassing?  Mine was followed with a cold sore when my immunity was weak from a cold.  Plus with spring coming into Toronto, I feel a whole new batch of germs is following suite.  We don’t want to be germ phobic, but really…blemishes are the worst.

Waahh. :( this is me first thing in the morning without make-up on, and yes, you can definitely see the red blemish scars on my cheek and the dark discoloration on the lip corner. Only time can erase these and it is going to take a while.
Waahh. 😦 this is me first thing in the morning without make-up on, and yes, you can definitely see the red blemish scars on my cheek and the dark discoloration on the lip corner. Only time can erase these and it is going to take a while.

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.