Showing posts with label acne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label acne. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My beauty basics

I remember being in my 20s and intrigued by my mother-in-law and mother's beauty regime always starting with moisturizer.  After all, who'd be thinking of wrinkles at that time.  I do recall marvelling at they both had remarkable skin and discovered they used the same daily moisturizer:  Oil Of Olay.

By the time I was 40, I was well into a daily regime that started with a gentle facial cleanser and moisturizer, both morning and night.  I was cursed with sensitive skin that resulted with acne whenever I attempted to change the products.

I've gone to the home parties, Mary Kay and Merle Norman, where you get together with friends and try out new products.  Mine often resulted in break outs.  I've poured over the Avon catalogue, being tempted to try out the  latest beauty wonder.

Now that I'm in my 50s, I realize that just having a daily routine and sticking to it is what is important.  There are rules we should all follow, namely one that often is ignored:  don't go to sleep with the day's makeup left on, a residue that can be left on your pillow, to attract more dirt which can create a cycle of poor hygiene and detrimental to beauty.

We're pretty lucky that the cosmetic companies are always trying to get us to try their new miracle cures for acne, wrinkles, and any signs of aging.  I've simply come to the understanding, that my skin tells me what it needs.  If I stray from my basic Oil of Olay for Sensitive Skin wash and moisturizer, I am not surprised when a break out occurs.  I have learned that regardless of age, a strong routine will pay dividends in years in advance.  I also know that the most expensive is not necessarily the best.  

So here, I found other great products that solve beauty ails.  One of the best are these convenient wipes.  I live in a two story house and when I get home, I feel my skin screaming at me for some nice cleaning - it is so refreshing.  Like removing the day's dramas, hassles, I want to wash that traffic blocks away.

I keep a package of these in my downstairs bathroom to have a handy clean.  I don't just use the wipes alone.  I fill the sink with steaming bearable hot water.  First using the wipe to take the make up residue away, then soak it in the hot water and cover my face, and pull it gentle down.  Repeating a couple of times -- I can tell when my skin is saying thank you.  The last swipe takes it down past my chin to my neck.  We forget our necks when that is where age is rarely disguised yet often ignored.

I have tried Neutrogena products, tempted by their ads and beauty promises.  I do like the the Grapefruit Oil-Free Cleansing wipes, especially in the summer time.  The smell alone is rejuvenating and feels very fresh.

I used to work in business development and it would take me a good 30 minutes or more to get ready in the morning between showering, beauty cleanse and moisturize discipline and then make up with a blow dryer and curling iron.  We had friends over a few weeks ago for dinner, and I decided to paper myself getting ready.  It shocked me after 45 minutes that I used to do this every day.

One thing of contention I have with ladies as they age, drop any beauty aids altogether.  I've discovered that you don't have to spend 45 minutes getting pampered up, just 5 to 10 minutes and you're all set.

First thing I've gravitated towards is easy style so it is easy to do.  You don't have to look made up in order to look fresh and crisp.  Light colors as back drops illuminate our skin and bring out our best feature, our eyes.

I found it is smart to invest in a decent foundation.  Not a mask.  Something gentle that smoothly glides on, hiding our natural uneven skin tones.  My favorite comes from Lise Watier where I can match my tone.  Remember, it is suppose to glide on and blend in.  Don't make the mistake of going a shade darker or with red tones if you think that is going to brighten your face.  Quite the opposite would be the result.  What we're trying to do is create a quick look that takes 5 to 10 minutes max.  Looking naturally made up, not a clown effect.  The following image I found is certainly a much younger lady, however, it shows how just a simple routine with cleansing and foundation can show the slightest difference:

Au natural with a barely there is the key.  Like many of us, as we age, our lifestyles and life experiences have a way of being reflected in our faces.  I'm not suggesting miracles.  I'm simply showing how you can present a cared for appearance from slump.  I believe that even if you want to look natural, you can manage looking cared for.  In principle, if you care about how you look, you will care about many more things like relationships, career, wellness.  

I learned a great secret to having a easy and natural makeup look is having the right tools.  I realized this only the past 10 years or so:  so toss away the makeup pads in the eyeshadow kits and invest in a few nice brushes:  Eye makeup brush, eye definer brush and rouge brush.  Think of it as a nice Christmas gift for your mother or daughters.  Something that they may not buy themselves, but appreciate when received.  

We all have blotchiness, perhaps acne, and dark circles, imagined or real.  I think I probably take this step more seriously than required.  Having a concealer is important, but only if it is of good quality.  Dotting it around your bones around your eye is more important than the crayon types or the ones that dry too easily.  There are so many choices out there, it is going to take some trial and error to find one that looks natural, without appearing caked on.   

I've tried the wheel types and find they dry out really easy and cake on enhancing wrinkles more than disguising them.  My pick doesn't require your fingers to touch or dab, when this kind gives the same effect.  The packaging allows it to stay moist for dabbing on.

When you are being shown how to put makeup on properly by the professionals at Merle Norman, Clinique, they always convince you that you need something you don't have:  a finishing powder.  A light dusting to seal the look.  I found that Pure Minerals has the best one.  I slightly swipe it all over my face.  I keep it in my purse in case I feel my skin becoming oily.  A quick dust along with refreshing lipstick will carry you for hours.  It carries a lightness and coverage that allows your skin to breath while avoiding that oily look.

Face it, we all feel and look tired more readily as we age.  We have to use the tricks to portray a barely there ensemble that still gives us a refreshing and natural look.

I've discovered a finishing touch for those blah days: Light pink concealer gently applied under eyes to create a more bright eyed look.  I don't know why they don't just have the pink one on its own because I don't use the other colors.  Yes, I break the rule of using my  finger for this little dab finisher, being careful to wash my hands before and after -- no point adding micro yuck since we've been so careful so far. 

Now we're starting to round the corner to half way there and this should have only taken 2 or 3 minutes max so far.  Next up is the eye shadow to accentuate our beautiful eyes -- not to appear goth or over the top glam -- keeping it fresh and simple.  A light pink color should look great on any eye color.  

We're bringing out the eyes instead of making them water .... where others blink with dismay at the dramatics.   (We all see those whom we want to pull out our Fashion Police badge and arrest them for all their efforts, when makeup at best should appear effortless).  Anyone who tells you it looks good at the office or as a check out clerk, is lying to you!

Forget the cream eyeshadows if you're 35 plus.  They just end up in the creases as the day progresses.  What we're trying to achieve is a just made up look for the entire day.  More so on the right than the left.  The optics shown to emphasize a light dusting is better than a plastered on look, and that green, blue or brown eyes can go this direction.

Maybelline does the trick:  not expensive, easy to buy anywhere with the extra amount of the soft pink and a contrast for the eye crease.  Ignore the lid color and replace it for the crease as this shows to create a softer essence.

I did find GOSH in neutral tones glides on wonder-fully, doesn't appear caked on and will last all day. I have found that the shadows with a little bit of a fleck of shimmer, seem to stay on longer without creasing.

I start out by putting the base color (left) from the eyelid all the way up to the eyebrow bone.  It works in a pinch, and you don't have to create that 70s look where the eyebrow powder is shimmering white.  I am apply a second coat on the eyelid so that there is a bit more contrast.  Then take the second from the left which is a bit mauve taupe that compliments my green eyes, yet would go with any eye color I'm sure.

A slight deviation now:  let's talk about eyebrows.  One of the best money you can spend on your beauty regime is going to a salon for a brow wax and shape.  How many .... ewwwwww .... when you see a tattooed eyebrow or a sharp pen gone amuck drawing eyebrows in because they've been plucked so mercilessly.  Do yourself a favor and take the time to enhance your eyebrows.  They are the finishing touch that speaks that you care about your appearance without being made up.

I think I have dramatized my point here.  They can make or break your look, enhance or detract from a pretty face, regardless of age.  The best product I've ever found was by MAC for eyebrows.  I have fair eyebrows, so it would look stupid to try to make them too dark.  Trust me, I've been there and tried that and it looks silly and trying to hard.  MAC's Waterproof Brow Set goes on effortlessly and fills in the gaps.  It takes only a few minutes.  So dramati-cally different, I've turned my sister and sister-in-law on to this awesome product.

Yes, we're just about done and it has taken what? 5 to 10 minutes like I promised you (without the time invested to shop or have your eyebrows shaped or waxed).  

If you read my previous article about my eyelash extension misadventure, when I imagined that my eyelashes would end up full, wash and wear, without any fuss.  Instead, it was more horrifying to find clumps missing and less than stellar replacement to the good ole fashioned stuff called mascara.

You'll be as relieved as I am thrilled to have found THE best product out their to plump and lengthen those eyelashes, without putting yourself through eyelash extensions which I found to be expensive and a hassle to maintain.  (Way worse than nail gel fills every few weeks.)  First you apply the white base coat, let it dry for a few minutes and then apply the black stuff - voila!  C'est magnefique! If you want even fuller, thicker ones, you can add a more volumizing mascara afterwards.  Just be sure not to lay it on so thick that it appears crusty.

Finally, we're getting there.  Towards makeup heaven where we embrace our maturity not a full out battle to hide anything.

It is much more pleasing to the eye capturing the essence of you that says "So what, I have a few miles on me, but I feel fantastic." 

Bring it on!  Smile.
You have taken no more than 10 minutes to look fresh, light along with the smarts and life momentos we call wrinkles.  

The finishing touch or piece de resistance is lipstick.  I'm envious of this look that the youthful gals can have.

Well we can't all be born with Angelina Jolie's plump lips, nor should we subject ourselves to the knife or needle or whatever it is that some use to inject to get a boost for a more youthful yet unnatural look.

I'm embarrassed for women who think that it is is better to falsely improvise than to take what you've been given and make the most of it.

I don't know if it is age or skin type or what, but I can't wear faint lipstick and I can't seem to go without a lip liner to seal my lipstick.  Fair shades tend to fade or a plain waste of money.

I've been a loyal fan of Rimmel lipstick since forever.  Mostly because they seem to moisturize while adding color for me.  I don't like the pencil lip liners that are so sharp and contrast significantly, contradicting the hardly trying scenario I've tried to recreate.

I do like the new pencil crayon lipliners/sticks in one.  They can be applied all over with a lighter glossier lipstick in the middle for sheen.  They are a brilliant idea and it is no wonder they are so popular.

I don't have the fullest lips, but they're not thin either.  Colorblur LIPSTUDIO by Maybelline is a wonder find for mature lips that tend to bleed.  Keeping the outline natural and easily filled in for that polished professional appearance.  

Bordeaux luscious for winter.  I use Mabelline's COLORblur as an outline for Rimmel's 124.   Lipstick contained by  thicker than average liner filled in with creamy lipstick.  Heavenly.

There you have it.  Some of my basics and favorites all rolled into one.  The secret being not trying too hard.

Let me know if it takes you longer than 10 minutes.  I would be interested in knowing what took you so long!

p.s. if you are a major brand and want to contribute to this blog, that is great. However, my reviews and recommendations will never be influenced by monetary gain.

The color for winter 2015-16:  bordeaux lips.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Beauty tip: take care of the soul

I've been writing so far of some of my philosophical leanings and fashion tips for cowgirls, along with a few faux pas nightmares.  I thought it was time to take it up a notch and share some of my beauty favorites.

Firstly, I look up to both my mother and my former mother-in-law to share their secrets to eternal beauty:  one is 80 and the other is 90!  Neither one wears makeup per se, although my mother is a fan of foundation and hair styling that suits her style, lifestyle, and personality.

What both of them do, day in, and day out are simple basics we've been told for years:

  • wash your face at least twice a day:  morning and before bed
  • no gimics or expensive products in their cabinets
  • both have been using "Oil of Olay" as their must do daily
  • take care of your soul:  spirituality, church, beliefs 
  • an alcoholic beverage is what you have one of when you socialize
  • commitment to their husbands for 50 years in sickness and in health
  • biggest fans of their children, grandchildren with pride, love, support
Sounds elementary to me too.  Yet we all get caught up at the drugstore or department store beauty counter, buying up magical potions and fixer uppers.  

The one thing I do share with my younger counterparts in the 20, 30 and 40 age group is acne.  Yeppers, I thought that that ended with wrinkles or the very least menopause.  However, stress, turmoil, inner satisfaction with one's life does exude through our pores.

No wonder they say that a women who is pregnant is incredibly beautiful!  They are sticking to the natural like white on rice.   They abstain from any toxins like their body is a temple.  Factoring in they are directly responsible for the formation of that beautiful being growing inside them.  Alcohol, hell no!  Smoking, you gotta be kidding me!  

Accounting for what you put in your body is part of your beauty regime.  Drink lots of water, stay away from soda pop most of the time, eat fruits, vegetables and a salad with every meal.  

I found a few wonderful discoveries to battle the skin wars -- easily found in drug stores, pharmacies and even grocery stores:

Founder of Burt's Bees

This natural spot treatment is clinically proven to help reduce and improve the appearance of blemishes without irritating skin. Formulated with Tea Tree, Calendula, Yarrow and Parsley Extracts to help care for troubled skin and reduce redness and Borage Extract to promot healthy skin resulting in clean and smooth skin, naturally. Dermatologist tested. Noncomedogenic.

I put this on after my nightly washing, moisturizing on the spots that are breaking out.  It is categorized under "sensitive skin" which I can relate to.

Another wonder find is a toner that we can find even in nutrition and vitamin stores with the regulars:  witch hazel ... one that everyone can afford!  Use it as a toner after you wash, bathe or shower.

I will continue to uncover beauty secrets of the pros and the should-be-pros for all to benefit from.  If you have your own ideas, secrets, and/or tips ... let me know!