Have you ever been reading a magazine, then you flick to the beauty section and you see a gorgeous model who looks like perfection and underneath there is a caption that says ‘Get this look’.
So you think, yes, great. I’d like to look like that. You can see how expensive the products they have used are to begin with and as you’re reading, the whole time you’re trying to imagine what the beauty editor is writing, but on your own face. Yet, you have absolutely no idea what they’re saying? You want me to put the eye shadow where on the eye-lid? Wait, do I do that first, or last? So, you’re telling me… there are only three steps, to that whole look? Impossible.
Personally, I don’t buy into this. There is no-one explaining how the products you are using are going to benefit you, or enhance your look. Are you a makeup artist? Do you own a brush kit? Probably not! Sure, you can pay through the nose for a foundation, but if you don’t know how to apply it, or prepare your skin specifically for that foundation, where is your time and money really going?
I know that as women, some of us know how to make the most of our features, our skin type and our budget, but a large percentage us don’t. So that is the sole reason for me starting this blog, so that you can read something you can relate to- and ask me any questions along the way if you feel like it. Alternatively, you can tell me to piss off and stick to what you know- which is fine, but I am SO PASSIONATE about this industry and even if you learn something small from me- I’ll be happy.
So, in saying that – I thought i’d introduce my blog by talking about something that really is the foundation of the foundation- our skin.
I’ve worked with a lot of models recently who are obviously having their makeup done for a living, sometimes over 10 times a week- and yet they don’t understand their skin type or what their skin does- Especially how to look after it. It’s so important for us who use makeup day to day to treat our skin well, so that it is hydrated and healthy as we are ageing.
Admittedly, 12 months ago I was in the same boat. I genuinely had no idea that there were so many foundations to suit so many different skin types, but since I’ve identified what i’m working with- my life has become much easier.
You’ve heard these words before- Oily, Dry, Combination & Normal.
Let’s keep in mind that our skin can change for many reasons. We have to factor in the fact that we are exposed to sunlight, we are stressed, sometimes we take medication, our diet effects our skin and especially if we smoke/drink a lot – our skin really suffers as a result. Skin changes after pregnancy, as we get older, and most commonly- or hormones change the texture and look of the skin.
With that in mind, The next time that you wash your face with water and it has dried, notice the below;
Does your face still look wet? Is your face shiny? Do you get, or do you have pimples in all areas of your face, not just your T Zone? Are you prone to blackheads and open pores?
If you’ve answered yes, then you most definitely have oily skin. This means that your glands are over-active and your skin is finding it hard to combat bacteria. Oily skin is very common, but it can be extremely frustrating because you feel like even though you’ve washed your face – it still feels dirty all the time. Strangely enough, oily skin is the easiest skin to manipulate with makeup- and there are more skin care and foundation types for oily skin than there are for any other skin type (Good news). See below;
– Use a moisturiser with ‘Silica’ (Silicone) in it. This will combat the oils and give your skin a dry texture. MAC do an Oil Control Lotion that works well as it restores the PH balance of the skin. Anything that gives you a ‘Matte Finish’ is what you’re going for. Also look for creams labelled ‘Noncomedogenic’ as this will prevent your pores from getting clogged.
– DO NOT cleanse and exfoliate too much. Use a gentle cleanser, as when you over-cleanse an oily face, you are telling the skin to generate more natural oil and this will make it worse. Never use anything to harsh, and don’t use any exfoliators with microbeads.
– Look for products with Tea Tree & Witchhazel in them. Even if it is a spot cream, or a night gel- Make sure you focus on your T Zone and chin area to prevent nasty breakouts and blind pimples.
Does your face feel really dehydrated? Does it feel rough? Do you have any random red patches around your forehead and cheek area? When you use expression, does your skin give less elasticity?
Then you have dry skin. Those who live in hotter countries are prone to drier skin. The sun takes away alot of the natural hydration our skin generates and can sometimes leave you with skin that will give you rashes or in worst case scenarios- skin diseases like Psoriasis and Eczema. Dry skin is frustrating, in that even when you’ve put makeup on, you still look quite flaky and you find it impossible to get a naturally fresh and dewy look with your makeup. Dry skin is mostly due to genetics unfortunately, but there are ways you can combat this skin type daily;
– Use a rich moisturiser with an SPF- Even in the colder months. This is one of the best tips I can give you!!!!!
– Avoid using toners, they are the WORST. They are too harsh for the skin, too irritating and they can really damage the more sensitive areas on your face especially under your eyes.
– You can still exfoliate- this will help circulate your skin cells to keep them moving and producing oil, just make sure that you use a rich moisturiser afterwards and concentrate on a night cream that will restore and hydrate overnight. (Olay is great for dry skin)
One thing I get asked a lot is how to identify Combination skin. This is the skin type that I have, and it is difficult sometimes to try and balance the products you are using to combat two different issues. Typically, you will find that you have combination skin if the majority of your face feels quite dry and dehydrated but your T Zone is oilier. (The T-Zone is the centre part of your face- your forehead, your nose and your chin) So the aim in using skincare is to restore the balance of the face, and trick your skin into becoming normal again. See below;
– Use a gel-based cleanser. It shouldn’t contain any fragrance or harsh chemicals (Go organic if you can) and when working it into the face, be more thorough with your cheeks and outerface, and more gentle in your T zone.
– Apply a moisturiser rich with antioxidants (Neutrogena do the best range) and apply it to the face in the same way.
– Use a serum on your skin rich with vitamins ( Olay do a great Regenerating Serum) and leave it on overnight. Let your skin do all the work whilst your sleeping and you will see a major difference within a week.
– As with oily skin, Tea Tree & Witchhazel is fantastic when you can feel that certain parts of your face are becoming problematic.
Please please PLEASE don’t exfoliate more than once a week- The natural bacteria can spread and can make your skin much worse than it is, which makes it harder to repair.
Treating Normal Skin. If you’re lucky enough to have wonderful skin, that feels hydrated and fresh, and you only get the occasional spot- I envy you. Even though you can use most products- you need to make sure that your skin is still balanced so that it doesn’t fall into one of the above categories.
– Use a gentle, water-soluble cleanser on your face and wash with warm water. Get into the routine of doing this every day.
– Daytime moisturisers with Vitamin E are great for your skin type, just buy a big tub from a pharmacy and use a small amount on your face in the morning and at night.
– If you’re getting alot of breakouts (At that time of the month, or after a weekend of bad food/drinking) just use a toner to balance out those oils. Use a cotton pad and dab onto the skin.
One tip I will give you (for all skin types) is to try not to use alcoholic face wipes on your skin too often. I know that there are some great brands that sell them, but they are just too harsh to be using on your face every day. Obviously if you’re coming home from a night out it’s understandable (especially if you’ve had a few too many) and you need a quick solution it’s fine- but not all the time. They strip your skin of all it’s goodness and it’s not good for the thinner skin under your eyes and on your eyelids- even not so good as they dry out your lips.
SO – hopefully now you know what your skin type is- you can make small changes to your regime and invest in some products that, over time, will change the way you see your skin!
Watch this space, because soon i’ll be posting about the best foundations to suit these skin types. I’ll be giving everyone both a cheaper and a luxury option, and i’ll discuss the benefits of the foundation, how long they last and the best way to apply them!
Ps: Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
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