Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Makeup Savvy, Computer Retarded

You may have guessed, because I have chosen to write a blog about makeup, that I'm pretty good at applying, choosing colors, & textures of makeup, understand proper sanitation & cleanliness, Special tricks & makeup techniques up to, and including, elaborate face painting & prosthetic appliance application. All of this is true. What you may not know, however is that I am severely computer handicapped! I truly believe they hate me as much as I hate them. Truly.
Unfortunately I have some people who have been attempting to link to my blog & are unable. I went through, about 5 minute ago, the help center's instructions on enabling a back link, but every instruction they had I had already enabled, so I don't quite know why it is not possible to link to my blog. I promise that I will continue to figure this out, so don't give up on me yet.
O.k so let's get to the makeup savvy part!
Color choices are probably one of the most fun & exciting part of picking out makeup. It can also be one of the most frustrating. I will try to give you a basic overview of what to look for to help you make the best choices, but like the English language, there are exceptions to every rule, so this is a guideline only, & for specific questions you can contact me directly.
Today we'll discuss Brown:
Brown, while not often thought of as the most exciting color in the spectrum, is truly the most versatile, & there is a shade that looks good on everyone! Brown eyeshadow or liner, or even mascara, has the unique ability to be soft, strong & smoky, to help prominent eyes, or drooping top lids recede, to enhance every eye color, to make eyes appear wider, or smaller, or further apart, or closer together, all while maintaining a complexion enhancing, more natural look. Because brown contains all the same colors as most peoples skin complexion it can be used in many ways without becoming as harsh or sever looking as blacks, & gray/charcoals can.
Brown is a mixture of Red + Green, or Red + Yellow + Blue. (sometimes makeup manufacturers use Red + Yellow + Black, but I feel this results in a skin color that is much too orange & not natural to almost any skin tone, except tan-in-a-bottle users & Oompa-loompa's).
Most women's complexions can be broken down into a basic tone, again this is not exact, & not universal there are always exceptions!
There is cool, which usually shows pink in the skin, Do not mistake Rosacea, or discoloration around the nose or chin, which is often broken capillaries, or acne. You need to look at the skin as a whole, minus skin imperfections. Have someone else, if necessary, check the sides of your face, your neck, forehead near your hairline, preferably in natural sunlight & absolutely without any makeup on.
Cool/Ruddy/Pink skin tones have a tendency to be fairer, to range from sunburning extremely easily to somewhat easily, can have veins & capillaries showing clearly through the skin & may even have a bluish tinge because of their translucent skin. They have a tendency towards redness around the eyes, especially the lids, nose & cheeks. If you are in this general category your foundation should have pinker tones to it. All foundations will /should have yellow in them, as Melanin, which is the pigmentation in our skin, is yellow. This is true of everyone except the lightest porcelain & albino complexions. However, if you are cooler, or even just fairer, no matter your tone, there should be less yellow in your foundation. Cools should stay away from any base color that looks very yellow or brown as this will give a muddy look to your face. The cool foundations have a mixture of the colors I mentioned above with a larger concentration of red to yellow in the mix, then usually, toned with blue to lessen the orange that red & yellow make when mixed alone. True pink tones will need more red, less blue, less pink tones require more blue/red mix. Remember art class in grammar school?
Now to highlight your eyes the browns that you choose should be yellow based. This will accentuate your complexion & eye coloring. If you have redness around the eye area, putting a brown that is very red based will only focus the attention on your discoloration, whereas countering it with yellow based will help visually neutralize the discoloration.
Make sense? Remember this is very basic, & I could go into a much more in depth color theory, but I'm trying to keep this simple.
Now, for Warm/Olive/Sallow complexions: We, yes I am in this category, tend to tan somewhat to very easily, & rarely burn. we may have natural complexions that, without makeup, make people ask us if we are feeling well, because we look a little "green around the gills", we tend to have larger pores, more oily skin, esp. the T-zone, & more breakouts or acne. Again, not exact, or exclusive to this tone. We need more yellow, sometimes a lot more in our foundations. These are difficult to find in your drugstore. Asian women tend toward the most sallow (yellow) & need makeup that contains the most yellow. Mediterranean skin tones often are Olive which still takes a great proportion of yellow, but also more blue than sallow complexions to create an appropriate tone. Those that are tan, especially deeply may need to look for the brownest tones & some tanners then develop reddish undertones, such as myself, or more golden tones, which then requires a yellow adjustment. If you are a boutique mineral user, you may be fortunate enough to buy from a company that offers adjusters. I offer my private clients warm & cool foundation adjusters. This allows you to deepen or lighten your current mineral foundation to match your changing skin tone. I don't recommend, however going more than one shade in any direction. If you tan deeply it is better to purchase a new foundation & save each one for the appropriate season, blending them together in between (one of the benefits on minerals, they are easily blended together at home).
So now for the browns for these categories; Cool reddish browns will look great & create a natural look. I myself use a brown called Bittersweet, along with a rusty reddish color I named Russet, plus a highlight color I named Bare to create a smokey eyed look that deepens & warms the dark brown of my eyes, & still looks pretty during the day. It lacks the cool harshness of black or Charcoal that would be too overpowering for day.
For women of color you have as great a range as any other skin tone, from cool to the deepest brown/black. Often in women of color the major mistake in foundation colors is too much red. So, it is most important to really assess your skin. Also women of color can actually have 2 separate & distinct tones to your face one in the center & one around the outside of the face, professionally this is known as "masking" . You should use two separate colors & blend them together inward to achieve the most natural look. Those with the darkest skin tones often need the addition of black colorants to find the depth they need. In minerals these shades often require more colorant & less base ingredients to avoid an ashy skin look, as all base ingredients tend to be white. Women of color will benefit the most from a professional skin assessment.
In eyeshadow, the deepest browns, & black browns will usually enhance your complexions, I have a color called Mink, that is a mixture of both black & brown, that would look fabulous on a deep, rich complexion.
For any women of color interested, contact me & I can refer you to a fantastic woman, who specializes in mineral makeup for women of color. I am in development myself of these colors, but won't sell them until I'm sure they are fabulous.
Now we can't forget our Beige/Neutral girls. You are a combination of warm & cool. If you try foundation after foundation & never find one that is quite right, it's either too warm or too cool? Try moving into the beige category & see if this doesn't improve the look of your foundation color. While true yellow tones may be the most difficult to find, your coloring often offers the least amount of choices. There is usually 2 to 3 choices & they are often still leaning in a warm or cool direction & many times don't offer any shade beyond a light-medium. In an effort to match your skin you may also benefit from buying two colors in your shade, but in different tones, one warm & one cool, and simply mix them together. Again, another benefit of minerals is the blend ability, but also minerals tend to be very forgiving in shade, & most mineral lines offer more neutrals & beiges. I myself have six neutral colors Lightest, Light, Medium, Medium-Dark, Dark, & Darkest. In minerals if you are between shades always go darker. because the base ingredients are white minerals & often look darker in the jar than on the skin.
Remember, and this is for all skin tones, do not try to change your skin color with foundation! It will only look unnatural. Instead enhance what you have & improve your coloring with light bronzers, or beautiful blushes.
The browns in the Neutral category are more versatile, as you can choose from whichever side you prefer. Stay away from red based if you have a lot of acne or redness to your skin, to avoid accentuating these. Tan tones may look the most natural for a no-makeup look, but for your eyes to pop out pick a color toward either end. Fairer skin, eye & hair colors may perk up with the more yellow based browns, & pale, ivory (which is a slight yellow neutral) will look fresher and prettier with cool browns, as would those with brown hair and/or brown eyes, but neutral skin.
The exception to this is of course, is if you have redness or irritation, then avoid red. As well as, If the whites of your eyes are yellow, avoid yellow based colors, go for neutral browns instead. This applies to any skin tone. (See I told you there are a million exceptions!) Neutrals are an equal blend of red & yellow/blue. The best way to determine this is to look at the brown & ask yourself which primary color do you see Red, Yellow, or Blue. Red=cool, Yellow=warm, Blue(or none)=Neutral
These are just a few ,very basic guidelines, that you can take with you when you go to the beauty counter. I hope these help, & please don't hesitate to contact me with questions. I'll give you guys the address to my new web page, it's http://www.fortunatefaceminerals.com/ . On the contact page fill out your information, include your email address, & I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have.
Stay Beautiful!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Best Face Forward

With summer in full swing, I wanted to take a moment and address the issues of caring for your skin in order to get the best out of your makeup. Since I am a mineral makeup creator, I will address several areas exclusive to mineral based cosmetics.
Clean, moisturized skin, especially if you are dry, is essential to great makeup application, and mineral foundation is no exception. With powdered cosmetics of any kind, if skin is still moist the powder will "Grab" & concentrate leading to streaks or uneven coloration so allow a few minutes for moisturizer to absorb into skin.
Once moisturizer is absorbed swirl on minerals in very light, even coats. The beauty of minerals is that they are build -able to achieve coverage so many skin types can often use the same foundation. Another great feature in mineral makeup is that many of the products are actually good for your skin. Almost all contain Titanium Dioxide, which has SPF properties, as well as Zinc, which also has SPF properties, as well as being known for it's skin soothing & healing properties. Most companies will not make a specific numerical SPF claim, as it requires independent (read expensive) laboratory testing to legally claim an SPF value. However, most mineral foundations contain a rough estimate of 10 Spf.
You can also search out mineral products that contain silk or pearl powder (or sometimes both ( my Luxury Sheer contains both of these). Both boast 18 amino acids that feed your skin, and help build new skin cells.
Allantoin, derived from comfrey root, is another fabulous ingredient with well established healing ability. This product is great for those suffering from Rosacea.
Calcium Carbonate & Kaolin Clay are superior for oil absorption. They are usually found in face Powders (also called Veils, I call mine Sheers). For those with very oily skin, these may be used under foundation as an oil control primer.
Silica, made from sand, is another great oil absorber, improves the feel (slip), & flow of mineral makeup. It also has the wonderful ability to blur fine lines & wrinkles. The only drawback to silica, is the possibility of sensitivity for some people. If you skin is extremely sensitive do a patch test first.
Because Minerals are Hydrophobic, sweat & water resistant, they must be thoroughly cleansed from your face every evening. A splash of water will not remove your makeup! A complete cleansing for optimal skin health is ideal. The minerals, while healthy for your skin, are not all that is present on your face at the end of the day. Pollutants, pollen, debris, sebum, dead skin cells, & even bacteria from the atmosphere have deposited themselves on your face during the course of the day. As unappealing as this is, how much more so is the idea of going to bed with this stuff on your face! Please , please, please, take a moment to gently cleanse your face before bed. I prefer warm, not hot water, and a castille soap based cleanser, with Tea Tree oil for blemish control. I then use a light moisturizer for face & another for under eye. (creamier & thicker for under eye as there are no oil gland in that area)
Lastly I reapply a coating of my Luxury Sheer, which is colorless, to feed my skin with amino acids through the night for optimal skin repair.
Many mineral makeup crafters are smaller, boutique businesses, & many offer the ability to customize your makeup products (usually for a nominal charge) This means color, but also often ingredients choices. If you suffer from Rosacea, contact your favorite mineral site, email if often available, & ask for Allantoin to be incorporated into your next foundation. Often these individuals (several of whom are my friends) are happy to try and fulfill reasonable requests. Understand that these services usually cost about $25 per hour of custom formulation, but can be well worth the money & you may be able to order in larger quantities, such as a 30 gram jar plus enough for one to two additional refills, to save you money & the crafter time.
O.k. so now here's the dire warning, take it or not. Excess exposure to the sun or tanning beds will age you, period. I know, I know, I look better with a tan too! Plus with my naturally olive skin it's so easy, but believe me, when 30 approaches & fine lines start to appear, or Oh Crap! Age spots!!!!!! You will kick yourself every time you look in the mirror & have to preconceal that hideous one on the side of your nose, I wish I had the cash to laser that sucker into oblivion......... O.k ranting off track here, but you see what I mean.
Take it easy on your skin, maybe instead of the St Tropez deep dark tan, you can opt for a lighter glow, & supplement with strategic bronzer (well applied, see previous post) & some great body bronzers. A dark tan lasts one summer, your skin has to last the rest of your life, love it & wear it gently.
Keep your Face Fortunate, with the best skin care & makeup you can afford!
Stay beautiful!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First Blog Ever!

Hey everyone, Karrie here, with my first official post to my new blog. I really hope that I can impart some great information to those makeup junkies like myself. I hope you all send me your beauty questions, & we can get a great conversation going about the realities of beauty.

Let's start with the summer basics:


Bronzer is a big favorite in the summer, but girls beware! bronzer is meant to be sheer, & really used lightly over the forehead, nose, cheeks, & chin. Bronzers impart a gentle sun-kissed glow to mimic the sun. Applying bronzer too liberally & completely altering the color of your skin is a makeup faux pas! Never try to use makeup to change your skin tone. (unless we're talking theater) Instead, embrace what you've been given! Fare skinned girls, use a light coppery bronzer, Stay away from the overly deep tones, especially if you suffer from redness or rosacea as these will just make it look worse. What you may not notice is altering your complexion with makeup dulls the skin, giving it an artificial cast, it also pulls the focus from you're great eye color, or your full lips. Makeup is about accentuating YOUR positives!

Waterproof/longwear makeup:

Many of us want to look great all day, even with sweating, swimming, playing at the beach, etc. Many of the big company makeup brands offer some form of long wear makeup. The problem that I have with these are the chemicals involved in creating them! With my movement toward pure mineral makeup, I eschew chemicals in favor of naturally derived, and, yes, waterproof/sweatproof minerals! The basic components of pure mineral makeup (not synthetic minerals, & yes there are synthetic minerals out there!) make them virtually waterproof! Titanium Dioxide & Zinc oxide, while providing UV protection, also provide hydrophobicity. As long as you pat your face dry, not rub, makeup should not run or smear. While I don't recommend a full face of makeup for the beach, concealing discolorations & covering a blemish is certainly a bonus!

Lip gloss/balms:

Another summer staple is a pinky, peachy, or coppery lip gloss. Be sure to pick one that brightens & enhances your skin tone. Beware though, that lip gloss has lots more oils & emollients, and usually less pigments & opacifyers in them so you will have to reapply often, but if you find one that smells or tastes great that's often not a hardship.

Lip balms are another great staple for summer, these usually do not add color to the lips, have more waxes than gloss, and often have great scents. Some from my line for summer are Pina Colada, Pink Lemonade, Mint, Mango, & Wild Berry. Don't those just scream summer! Lip balms differ from glosses in that they protect the lips using the barrier method, meaning the wax coats the lips to trap moisture in the skin cells of the lip & keep it from evaporating, thus sealing in moisture. Adding ingredients like unrefined shea butter also increase the moisture of those cells. Lastly ingredients, such as glycerin, usually found in both glosses & balms, is a humectant. Simply put, this means that it can pull moisture out of the air & put it on your lips.

Eye color:

Bright pops of color are never more appropriate than in the summer! Turquoise is a big hit right now, plus those bright, beautiful pinks! To create a more subtle bright eye, use a neutral brown over the lid & add your bright color right in the center of the lid (no bigger than a dime) to draw the eye, but not overwhelm you with color.

I think these summer basics are the key to fresh, pretty makeup. Remember to keep it light!

If you choose to tan, please remember to change your foundation color to match your skin, many mineral lines, like mine, offer color adjusters to deepen or lighten your foundation up to 1-1 1/2 shades.