National Novel Writing Month Day 5: Makeup Removers for Your Skintype

Most of us have been there–it’s late at night and you are extremely tired. Now, you have three choices. 1. You can go straight to bed. However, not only is sleeping with your makeup on bad for your skin, it is annoying to wash your sheets with foundation and lipstick all over the place! 2. You could wash your face; but you are so tired you can’t even go through the whole routine. Well, that leaves these lovely towelettes! Quick and easy to remove your makeup, these facial wipes can do a lot more than remove that old makeup; they can moisturize and tone too!

Here are the following best makeup removal wipes for your skintype!

Makeup removal Wipes SkinType

  • Blum Naturals Daily Cleansing & Make up Remover Towelettes for Combination/Oily skin are made with organic tea tree oil to help remove excess oils and makeup. PURCHASE HERE: $7.49/30 Wipes
  • Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes do it all! These wipes can remove, tone, soften, soothe and heal your skin in one wipe. PURCHASE HERE: $6.00/30 Wipes
  • Burt’s Bee Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes has three main ingredients.
    Cotton Extract to soften your skin, Rice Extract to moisturize and Aloe to soothe! PURCHASE HERE: $6.00/30 Wipes
  • Yes To Carrots Fragrance-Free Wipes quotes to have vitamin E to moisturize normal to dry skin types! PURCHASE HERE: $5.99/25 Wipes

National Novel Writing Month Day 3: Serums 101

Day 3! Still going strong~ Today, we are looking at serums.

What are Serums?

There are light, fast-absorbing liquids used as an alternative or in addition to creams or lotions.

Why use Serums?

Serums are meant to treat problem areas–big or small. Whether the problem is dry skin or age spots, serums are effective because of the deep penetration properties to them. Admittedly, serums are expensive (average serum costs are around $20), but a dime-size pump goes a long way!

How do Serums work?

Most serums are water-based. Ingredients such as mineral oil,  petroleum, nut & seed oils are not found in serums unlike their facial moisturizer cousin. What is left is a product that is high in active ingredients for target treatment.

Who can use Serums?

Anyone can apply serums! Whatever your issue–there is a serum out there to help. But be careful; applying serums onto broken skin, eczema or rosacea can cause more irritation. If you have experience one of these skin issues, please consider other options or wait until the skin is completely healed. For everyone else: choosing the RIGHT serum is very important to the benefit of your skin.

Listed below are serums that are a mix of vegan, organic, and cruelty-free!

Dry Skin (ORGANIC, VEGAN, CRUELTY-FREE)

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Made Simple Skin Care Argan Ceranium Face Serum ($20.00)

– Highly Concentrated: no water, no filler, just pure product
– 100% Natural and Organic
– Raw, Vegan Non-GMO using only Food-Grade Ingredients
– Rejuvenating Argan & Jojoba nourish and restore
– Evening Primrose is packed with beneficial nutrients like omega-6 fatty acids
– Essential oils calm and nurture the spirit and body
– Glass bottle prevents leeching of plastics into product

Oily/Combination Skin Type (ORGANIC, VEGAN, CRUELTY-FREE)

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Thesis Facial Serum for Oily Skin ($24.95)

Naturally balancing, calming and hydrating Face Serum for problem, oily, blemished skin, and T-zone. Boasts 99% organic content and natural vitamin E to help skin find its balance and peace. Light, fast absorbing and non-clogging.

Sensitive Skin Type (VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE)

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Grateful Body Healing Serum ($50.00)

Our Healing Serum restores glowing health to skin that is prone to be overly reactive. The result is a stronger, less-sensitive and more beautiful complexion.

Normal Skin Type (VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE)

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Osea Vitamin Sea Serum ($68.00)

This easily absorbed, potent serum contains an anti-aging blend of seven organic seaweed extracts in a hydrating Hyaluronic Acid base. Packed with powerful antioxidants including Ferulic Acid, Turmeric, and Walnut Seed and Green Tea extracts, this serum will plump up moisture-depleted skin and restore a youthful glow.

Acne-Prone Skin Type (ORGANIC, VEGAN, CRUELTY-FREE)

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Rodale Organic Anti-Acne Treatment ($24.00)

This powerfully effective, non-drying formula includes an ultra-concentrated blend of certified organic active ingredients, all carefully chosen for their proven excellence in both treating and preventing acne. Antibacterial, moisturizing, and balancing, this non-greasy treatment deeply penetrates into your pores to treat each and every acne symptom.

Continue reading “National Novel Writing Month Day 3: Serums 101”

National Novel Writing Month Day 1: Facial Moisturizers for Your Skin Type

Happy November 1st (November 2nd for me)!

I am going to start National Novel Writing Month to talk about facial moisturizers for your skin type.

Moisturizing is key to great skin. No matter what your skin type is, facial cleansers strip the skin of essential oils and protection. Just like choosing the best wash, finding the correct moisturizer is important to the health and improvement of your skin. Below are some facial moisturizers for all skin types!

Oily/Combination

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Oil Control Lotion

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Organic Chamomile and Lavender Oil are formulated with the natural antiseptic properties of Tea Tree Oil to help soothe and calm skin, even while improving texture and clarity. Heavy on hydration and easy on your pores, this lightweight moisturizer controls oils and leaves a matte finish so your skin looks refreshed and healthy. Vegan. Gluten-Free. Cruelty-Free. Paraben-Free. No Artifical Fragrances or Dyes. No Animal Derived Ingredients. No Petroleum Compounds. No SLS PEGS, PPG, MEA, DEA or TEA Glycols Phthalates. PURCHASE HERE $12.99

Dry

Nourish Organic Ultra-Hydrating
Organic Face Cream

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This rich, creamy formula replenishes moisture, softens skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moroccan Argan oil intensely hydrates and replenishes, pomegranate firms and protects the skin from environmental damage and acai fights fine lines and reduces signs of stress and fatigue. Fragrance-Free. Gluten-Free. Vegan. PURCHASE HERE $22.99

Sensitive

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer

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You’ll be turning others green with envy from that gorgeous glow emanating from your sensitive skin! Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer delights your skin with an extra dose of proteins and nutrients to purify and regenerate your complexion – while enhancing its natural healthy glow with gentle, fast-absorbing hydration. Go on, get out there show off that wonderful gleam and paint the town…green!99.6% Natural. Petroleum, SLS & Paraben-Free. Creulty-Free. PURCHASE HERE $14.99

Normal

Mineral Fusion Skin Balancing Facial Moisturizer

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Lightweight Rosehip Oil and nutrient-replenishing Mineral Water provide ideal hydration for normal skin types. Gluten Free. Vegan. Paraben Free. Cruelty Free. No Artificial Color. No Phthalates. PURCHASE HERE $22.99

Cruelty-free Guide to Essential Oils

Disclaimer: I am not a certified dermatologist. This article is based on personal experience and asking others what essential oils have worked for them. Of course, I will link the appropriate information to each oil, but nonetheless, please approach your skin issue with a plan! Consult with a certified dermatologist and conduct your own research if the problem continues.

With that said: here are the essential oils that could help most minor skin issues.

*Buy Organic When Possible*

**Use a Carrier Oil, such as Jojoba**

**ALWAYS do a test area before application***

Acne/Blemishes

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Tea Tree Oil, or Melaleuca oil, is the distilled product from the Tea Tree. Native to Australia and New Zealand, this oil has been used in traditional Aboriginal medicine for thousands of years to treat all kinds of skin issues. It has strong antiseptic properties to help heal wounds, suppress inflammation, and keep infection at bay. It was not until the 1920s, did modern medicine bring this oil to the rest of the world.  The main component of Tea Tree Oil, Terpinen-4-ol, has been shown to fix most skin problems. Perfect since pimples and other blemishes are tiny wounds that can cause minor inflammation on the face. Try Desert Essence Organic Tea Tree Oil ($9.99) to diminish those pimples. But be careful! This oil should be diluted. Use a carrier oil, such as Jojoba, to lessen the burning sensation.

Dark Spots/Hyperpigmentation/Skin Discoloration

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Rosehip Seed Oil, or the oil from pressed Wild Rose Brush seeds, is a miracle in a bottle. Found in the southern parts of the Andes, this oil has an amazing mixture of essential fatty acids and antioxidants to help all kinds of skin conditions. However, what it is best known for is replenishing and restoring cells. With a high level of Linoleic Acid, a unsaturated fat, this healthy acid has been shown to remove (lighten) the melanin pigment that can cause hyperpigmention in a safe and effective manner. Try Triology Certified Organic Rosehip Oil ($44.00) to help even out skintone or fade those dark spots. Great thing about Rosehip Seed Oil–does NOT need to be diluted!

Dry/Flaky Skin

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When it comes to dry skin, there is a chain reaction. Deep within your skin, the sebaceous gland does not produce enough sebum (also known as oil) to lubricate the epidermis (outer skin layer). When this occurs, the skin is jagged due to lack of hydration. A common side effect of dry skin can be flakiness. This happens when the dry skin cells cannot shed effectively. They stick to one another thus causing flaky, dead skin patches. But Argan oil is here to the rescue.

Argan oil comes from the kernels from the Argan Tree, an indigenous tree found in Algeria and Morocco. Used mostly as a dipping oil for bread, Argan oil in the “Western” world has been used mostly in the cosmetic industry–particularly in hair products for its softening and hydrating effects. So why not use Argan Oil to hydrate dry skin?

What makes it so hydrating is the high percentage of naturally-occuring Vitamin E. Specifically, gamma-tocopherol. This creates a protective barrier between your skin and the elements. Like Rosehip Seed Oil, Argan Oil does NOT need to be diluted. To keep flakiness away use Acure Certified Argan Oil ($12.99).

Eczema

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Many of us have heard of Chamomile. It is usually seen in tea form–used to calm down nervous souls  (like myself!). But surprisingly, Chamomile can be used to treat eczema. Seen in the article from the University of Maryland Medical Center, Chamomile, along with other topical options, can prevent eczema.

This little daisy-like flower, is found in many parts of Europe and even Northern Africa. But don’t let this little flower fool you! Its oil has a component called Alpha-Bisabolol. This is non-toxic, strong penetration ingredient. It has been known for hundreds of years how well this  factor can heal both internal and external damage. Young Living’s German Chamomile Oil($48.03) is expensive but worth a try for a more natural approach to healing eczema.

Excess Oil/Blackheads

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Many people believe oily skin should not use ANYTHING with oil written on the product. While this is true for some things, essential oils are safe to use on the body and face (if used correctly!). So for my oily skin individuals don’t shy away from using oils to help control your skin.

Geranium oil, known also as the “poor man’s rose oil”, is distilled from the Geranium leaf. Found in parts of Africa and Europe, Geranium has over 700 species to choose from.  The most important feature of this oil is its astringent properties. With tiny amounts of Menthone, a minty chemical, Geranium can shrink those large pores to keep dirt and oil away. Thus hopefully preventing blackheads from forming.  Aura Cacia ($20.79) Certified Organic Geranium Oil is the way to go! 🙂

Psoriasis

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There seems to be some confusion between eczema and psoriasis. Eczema is a long-term skin reaction. Extreme itchiness is the main issue, while psoriasis is chronic autoimmune condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. Burning, itching, extreme inflammation makes psoriasis by far more painful. As chamomile may help some people with psoriasis, it has been shown Helichrysum works wonders! The name, in Greek, translates to “turning around in gold”. This underrated plant is related to the sunflower family and comes in 600 different species–over 200 of them found in South Africa alone!

What makes Helichrysum have a high approval rate among psoriasis patients is the  high amount of monoterpenes , an antioxidant component to stop inflammation. Most of the Helichrysum produced is carried with Jojoba oil for a better soaking effect. Aura Cacia ($11.50)just released this oil for the market!

Conclusion

As I mentioned before, please do your own research for these suggestions. They are MY opinions and are NOT fact–though I did  provide useful information for you.

Also, consult a dermatologist!

If you choose to use oils, please perform a skin patch test before facial usage. Usually the inside of the elbow is best.

Face Off: COVER FX Contour Kit VS Anastasia Beverly Hills

Highlighting and contouring tutorials are everywhere on the web. Women of all shades have put their contouring skills to the test to help women bring out their best features. Nonetheless, I believe women with darker or deep skintones have a harder time finding the right contouring palette because most contouring shades either match their skin tone or are too light.

After searching and searching, I have found two palettes that seem promising to help women of bronzy skintones achieve the contour look.

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  1. COVER FX Contour Kit $48
    1. Positives
      1. Comes in 6 shades to fit women of all shades and undertones
      2. Great for dry Skin, but other skin types could use this (cream formula)
      3. Blendable
      4. Does not contain parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, triclosan
      5. Great for beginner to intermediate contour artists
      6. Travel-friendly
      7. Comes with a nice guide to help learn about highlighting and contouring
    2. Negatives
      1. Expensive
      2. Only comes with 4 color pans
      3. May not be the best for oily skin or combination skin
      4. Does not has an option of refilling pans

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  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills The Original Contour Kit $40.00
    1. Positives
      1. Great for oily skin types
      2. Has an option for cream formula
      3. Builable-coverage
      4. Great for beginners
      5. Travel-friendly
      6. Comes with refilling pans
      7. Has three highlighters and three contouring colors
    2. Negatives
      1. Color options are limited to shades and not undertones (light-medium/medium-tan/tan-deep or fair, light, deep for the cream formula)
      2. Might be overwhelming with the 6 different color options–however can refill your palette for a more customed kit.
      3. Does not appear to have a guide

FINAL THOUGHTS

I personally think the COVER FX Contour Kit will be better choice. This kit has the option to better match your skintone and undertone something most contour kit lack for darker, deeper women and men.

Just for MEN: How to Prevent Razor Bumps

Ingrown hair happen to everyone. All races of men and women can experience them. However, men with African heritage can experience a higher risk of ingrowns because the hair shaft is curved, not straight. After a close shave, the hair can grow in a curly pattern into the skin. This can lead to inflamed hair follicles!

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To prevent these razor bumps, certain steps are important to keep them at bay! Purchasing a good shaving cream or gel and after shave (post-shave) for your skin type can help heal your skin after a close shave.

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Continue reading “Just for MEN: How to Prevent Razor Bumps”

Highlighters for YOU: Dry Skin Verison

Highlighters Dry Skin

Part 2: Highlighters for Dry Skin types!

What are highlighters?

Highlighters are a product, along with contouring, that allows the wearer to add depth and dimension to the face. It gives the skin a “dewy” look, if applied correctly. If applied, incorrectly (i.e  applied in areas of redness), highlighters can draw attention to these problem areas. So please! Use the appropriate foundation and concealer to give you a flawless appearance.

What should I look for?

Following similiar rules to foundation, powders aren’t the best choice. You don’t want your skin looking flaky–so choose a liquid or cream highlighter.

As far as skin tones goes;

Continue reading “Highlighters for YOU: Dry Skin Verison”

Foundation 101

We all have been there. Walking down the makeup aisle, choosing  a foundation “that looks right” and taking it home; only to find out it’s wrong color, finish, or formula. For women of color it is especially hard to find the right foundation. I grew up with an older sister who resorted to mixing TWO different foundations to create the one she wanted and needed.

So I have created a guide to help those who are looking for the right foundation.

Step 1: Before anything else, determine what kind of skin do you have. Are you oily? Dry? Maybe you are a combination of both, like myself. Or maybe you have a special skin condition that would classify you as having sensitive skin. Either way, be honest with yourself! THIS WILL HELP YOU IN THE LONG RUN! This test by Renee Rouleau, an esthetician who caters to the celebrities, will help you find out which skin type you are: HERE.

Step 2: Find out your skin tone. This is a little hard to explain, but it’s basically the color of skin. Some of the popular labelling for the skin tones go lightest to darkest.

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  • Medium/Beige
  • Tan
  • Dark
  • Deep

Now some brands may differ on the skin tones AND your skin changes throughout the seasons and climates. For example, in the summer I am labelled as “medium dark” but in the winter I am “medium tan”. So I jump between the two different skin tones each season.
Step 3. Determine your undertone. Are you warm, cool, or neutral. Unlike skin tone, your undertone usually stays constant. YOUR SKIN TONE DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY DETERMINE YOUR UNDERTONE. The easiest way to find out is to check your veins (either on your waist).

  •  If you see mostly green, yellow, or olive-like color–you have WARM undertones.
  • If you see blue veins, you have COOL undertones.
  • If you see a mixture of both or have difficulty determining your colors, you are a NEUTRAL.

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YUNANALYSIS made this chart to look for keywords used to describe your skin tone and undertone (I am usually described as caramel or walnut). You can also go into any Sephora Store. They have partnered up with Pantone to create a device that measures the darkness of your skin. They will then give you an idea where you are on the Pantone Skin Chart (i.e I am 2Y11 in winter, 2Y12 in summer)!

Step 4: Coverage. How much of your natural skin would you like to cover? Now, in my option, I prefer sheer to medium coverage. Whatever imperfections that are not covered with my foundation, a light concealer hides the rest.

  1. Sheer: barely there. Barely hides imperfections.
  2. Medium: some coverage. Covers some imperfections.
  3. Full: A lot of coverage. Covers all imperfections.

Step 5: Which formula would you prefer? As a guide line: powders work better for oily skin. Liquids and creams work better for dry skin.

  1. Cream: Plain Jane Beauty Creme Minerals foundation
  2. Liquid: Gabriel’s liquid foundation cosmetics.
  3. Loosed powder: Jane Iredale Amazing Base loose powder mineral powder.
  4. Pressed powder:  BECCA Perfect Skin Mineral Powder Foundation
  5. Serum: Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation
  6. Stick: Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation

Step 6: Lastly! Which finish would you like?

  • Natural: I would describe naturall finishes as the between of satin and matte. These finishes look great on everyone! An California-based company, Bodyography, produces Natural Finish Foundations for an affordable price.
  • Matte: No shine, soft look. Oily or combination skin types look great in this look to keep away oily skin. However, dry skin may want to stay away to avoid looking ashy or dull. TARTE’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 is made with Kaolin clay to help with oil throughout the day.
  • Radiant: Dewy (described as a “wet” look). Dry skin types love radiant finishes because it makes the skin look moisturized. But because it looks “wet”, oily skin should shy away from this finish–unless you apply a matte finishing powder. Vegan foundation, Veil Fluid Makeup Oil Free Broad Spectrum by Hourglass, provides sun protection and has a good range of shades.
  • Satin: In the middle of radiant and matte, satin looks great on everyone.   Urban Decay’s has a powder compact described to “add ultra definition” that is buildable and oil-free, that can be applied wet or dry.

Prime Time: Primers For Your Skin Type

Primers for Skin Type

  • Normal Skin: Personally, I used this  primer for a while. However, I found it works better for normal to dry skin types. It did not reduce the appearance of oil or matte me, but it was very moisturizing and concealed my pores. With 7 ingredients listed, Reviva Lab’s Makeup Primer is a great choice!
  • Oily or Combination Skin: Made with Kaolin clay, a well-known natural substance to help acne-prone and oily skin, Mineral Fusion’s Mattifying Primer will do the trick of matting you and controlling the appearance of oil throughout the day.
  • Dry Skin: Emani’s Perfect 10 Primer Serum is cream-based primer made with 10 different plant extracts that not only give you a dose of antioxidants but also calms and moisturizes dry skin.
  • Sensitive Skin: Cover FX is considered one of the best brands out there for people with normal-to-high sensitive skin. Removing harsh chemicals and dyes, Cover FX produced this amazing product: The Calming Primer. It is dermalogically designed to be worn by people with sensitive skin types, even individuals with Rosacea.

Finding Your Perfect Blush for Your Skin Type

Like other cosmetics, it is important to know your skin type (along with your skin tone!). One blush type may work for your friend but it may not work for you. Save your time and money and check out the chart displaying which blushes work for your skin type!

Blush Skin Types

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  • For Oily/ Combination Skin: Powders work best on us! Liquid-type blushes make us look even oilier. So try Silk Natural’s mineral powder in Afterglow. It is a peachy pink color with gold shimmer. This color works for all skin tones and undertones.
  • For Dry Skin: Unlike oily skin, powders aren’t your friend. Stick to more moisturizing, liquid blushes such as 100% Pure Cream Blush in Peachy.
  • For Normal Skin: You are lucky! You can choose ANY blush type.
  • For Sensitive Skin: Follow the rule if your skin is more oily, normal, or dry but be more mindful of unknown ingredients. W3LL PEOPLE creates products free of artificial preservatives, parabens, chemicals, dyes, fragrance, silicone, dimethicone, pthalates, sulphates, petroleum, talc, bismuth oxychloride, and nanoparticles! Try their Purist Blush Powder in number 63, a luminous apricot tone.