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Monday, 25 April 2011

How to Control Oily Skin

So this long weekend, I had a girl come up to me after a demo/lesson at Chop Restaurant about her oily skin.  I also have oily skin too so I shared some of my secrets with her!

Firstly, there are different reasons why your skin can get oily.  One reason could be due to stripping your skin of natural oils.  It can be due to your soap (too harsh and drying), constant exfoliating (should only be done 1-2 a week), or your moisturizer (doesn't absorb into your skin and just sits on top).  When the oils are stripped, your body will secrete more sebum (skin oils) to protect the skin from drying out.  Other reasons can include hormonal imbalance (e.g. teenage years, menopause, or pregnancy times), hereditary, and the weather (e.g. hot humid weather). 

So what can you do?  Wash your skin with cleansers that are not harsh - like a gel cleanser or even an oil-based cleanser!  Weird right?  Oil-based cleanser for oily skin?  But the oil-based cleanser dissolves sebum oils better than water-based and still leaves a good balance on your skin (not stripped).  Try the Shu Uemera oil cleansers...takes makeup off really well.  Find toners that do not contain alcohol since alcohol will dry out your skin.  The toner will remove left over makeup residue and keep your pores unclogged.  It also balances the PH in your skin (which helps with acne).  I found witch hazel at Rexall Drugstore for like $3 bucks for a 100ml when I was trying to find 99% alcohol for sanitizing my products and tools.  Witch hazel is used for bruises, reduces inflammation, and a great cleanser and toner!  Cheap too!  When finding a moisturizer, make sure it's not thick because thicker moisturizers have larger molecules.  Large molecules are not easily absorbed and will sit on top of your skin.  Serums are nice because the small molecules absorb fast and deep into the layers of the skin - serums are great for the delicate under-eye skin.  Choose light moisturizers that are oil-free (I personally like the Kiels Photo-age face lotion). 

I also like to use primers to keep my makeup under control.  I like the Too Faced Poreless Primer or the Dr. Brandt Pores No More (not Smashbox for oily skin) with my foundation, dusted off with a loose powder.  Loose powders are better with oily skin because they absorb more oil.  Then, I like to spray a makeup setting spray (I like Urban Decay All Nighter)...wait till it dries, then dusted with some more loose powder.  This helps soooooo much and blotting routines significantly reduces.

Keep blotting sheets on hand for maintenance purposes - ones that don't have the powders on them.  Clean and Clear are great, or if you live in the States, ELF blotting sheets for $1 are great too and contains green tea extract that helps with redness. 

These tips and products should help maintain/control oily skin!  It works for me so let me know if it works for you - comments and feed back are greatly appreciated!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

How to Prevent Zits

If you've sprouted a zit or a bunch of zits, and if you're like me, the first reaction is "WHY?!?!" 

Did you know the placement of the zit can tell you why you're breaking out?

Forehead - if you're breaking out on your forehead, it means that your hormones are acting up!  This is common for a lot of teenagers going through their puberty years.  It is also common when mother nature is about to visit us females every month (I hate you mother nature!!!).  You can reduce this by going to your doctor and asking about hormone pills.  I remember my friend getting birth control pills (estrogen pills) for her period pains, and as a side effect - it got rid of zits too!  You can also get acne pills from your dermatologist (be prepared for a drying of the skin effect).  This is pretty common for brides to be with acne. 

Cheek area - if you're breaking out in the cheek area, it's because of your diet.  Observe what you're eating...are you eating a lot of fast food or junk food?  My second teacher, Lora Bertuccio, noticed that if her clients would cut out dairy foods like cheese and milk, it would significantly reduce the zits.  I find that as soon as I eat a pack of Skittles or an Oh Henry! chocloate's over...guaranteed zit on my cheek the next couple days.  So cut out sugar too!  Up your immune system by taking vitamins...did you know they sell vitamins in the cosmetics departments in Asia?  If you're healthy on the inside, your skin will be healthy on the outside.

Chin area - if you're breaking out in the chin area, it's because of StReSsThis seems to be super common in students.  My friend started getting clusters of zits around her chin area and it was just around her exam time.  Some people have the habit of resting their chin in their hands or if you talk on the phone lots and the receiver rubs up against your chin.  All that bacteria from the hands and phone receiver = breakout!  Touching your face is a no no.

There are also other reasons why your face could be breaking out - like poor immune system, not washing your face thourough enough, or a PH what can you do to avoid breakouts?

1)  Hormone pills
2)  Watch what you eat
3)  Don't touch your face
4)  Try not to stress out?
5)  Boost your immune system (e.g. take vitamins)
6)  Wash your face thoroughly with warm water and face soap
7)  Use a toner to balance out the PH in your skin and remove any left over makeup (your skin should be slightly more acidic at a PH of 4.5. to 6.0 in order to combat bacteria so ensure your toner is more acidic than alkaline - woo, back to grade 7 science!)

Hope this was somewhat informative and feel free to comment!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Wedding Season is Just Around the Corner!

Wedding season is just around the corner!  So I thought I would post up some emergency kit essentials and tips for brides on the wedding day!

Emergency Kit essentials (makeup-oriented):

- Blotting sheets!  A definite must since you want to stay shine free for the photographers all day.  Try and find some that do not have any powder on them.  Sometimes the powder will ruin your makeup by not distributing evenly and it might look like you were just doing a little something something if you blot too much around your nose area.  Haha.  You can try flicking some powder off if you accidentally bought powdered blotting papers. I would recomend Clean and Clear but it's kind of pricey at about $8 for a pack of 50.  I found some E.L.F. ones in San Francisco that worked AWESOME for only $1 for a pack of 50 and it had tree tea oils in it (helps reduce inflamation).  However, if you're in a bind, you can run to the little ladies bathroom and blot with a thin layer of toilet paper.  If they have those fancy toilet seat covers in the stall, tear a piece off and use that to blot.  It has the same consistency as blotting sheets and you can tear off extras to store in your purse while running around for the rest of the day.  Desperate times call for desperate measures!

- Lipstick/Lipgloss!  Did you know that it's near impossible for photographers to photoshop shiny lips in pictures?  They'll spend 3-4 hours (while pulling out their hair) just trying to photoshop out a tiny flake of skin off your lips!  A lipstick or a pigmented lipgloss is essential to carry around.  The lipstick will fade away from eating, drinking, lip biting, kissing...etc. so carry one around with you.  I always tell my brides to BRING STRAWS to sip their drinks to maintain the longevity of their lip color.  Try and avoid greasy food because the oil will just destroy anything on your lips.  Apply before pictures!

- Tissues and Q-tips  CRYING.  Ugh.  Before those little dew drops fall from your eyes, and you feel a little teary - try putting the cotton swab part of the Q-tip near the tear duct of your eye (place near the inner corner, just not into your eyeball please) and let the swab soak up any liquids.  Useful for eye-poo too (the white stuff in the inner corner of the eye) so you're not using your potentailly dirty hands to touch your eye area.  I prefer absorbing tears with Q-tips instead of tissues because it doesn't really disturb the under eye concealer makeup. Tissues should be carried in case you need to blow your can seperate the tissue too to blot oils from the face like discussed above...just don't blot your face with the same tissue you used to blow your nose. Ew.

Other stuff you can carry is extra eyelash glue if you're wearing fake lashes.  Break off the swab part of a Q-tip and apply the glue one side of the stick.  You can apply that one side of the stick onto any part of the fake lashes that came off (so your dry part of the stick is facing your eyelid and the glue part is gluing the fake lash band).  Should I post pictures? 

You can also carry face powders - just don't forget your face powder brush or puff.   If you have dry or normal skin, just a compact powder should do but I would recommend loose powders for oily skin...although a bit messier, the loose powder absorbs more oil.  Just make sure the loose powder is not mineral makeup...mineral makeup tends to make oily skin even more oilier (e.g. MAC Mineral Skinfinish is no good for oily skin!).

A black eyeliner (or what ever color you used for your waterline) is also pretty good to carry if you like to rim your waterline (the bottom part of the eye where the eyelashes meet the eyeball...that tiny strip of meat there).  Sometimes that extra intensity for pictures is just fabulous since the waterline eyeliner tends to fade off with time!  I would recommend getting a non-waterproof one (because the waterproof liners don't like to stick to the waterline) and one that you can mechanically twist up.  I prefer the mechanically twist up ones over regular pencils because I wouldn't want the risk of the pencil tip breaking off and having no sharpener around.

Bring a compact mirror if your face powder compact doesn't have one.  You'll also have your bridesmaids around to tell you what's off.  Running to a car and using their sunflap mirror or side mirror or rearview mirror is a good alternative if there are not washrooms around.

Throw all that in your makeup kit or a big clear Ziplock bag and you're good to go!  I hope this helps!  Feel free to comment!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The First Blog!

Yay!  Our first blog!  We're a team of makeup artists serving Edmonton and the surrounding areas.  I'm doing up this blog to share our experiences with new products, techniques, and stories that occur along the way!  Wedding season is just around the corner - oh boy, is it ever a busy one!  I'm hoping to post something at least once a week  :)