Erin Phillips is a stay at home mom (SAHM), student and former makeup artist. You can find the daily exploits as a wife, mother and student on her blog, My Vocations, as well as instant updates on her Facebook page.
Basic Skin Care: Prep Your Canvas!
The biggest thing about makeup isn’t the actual cosmetic itself- it’s what’s under it. You can put the best foundation on, but if your skin is bad, your makeup will look bad too.
But you don’t have to go to the spa weekly for beautiful skin- a few simple steps twice a day will help keep that canvas ready.
First- get a good cleanser. Good doesn’t always mean strongest. Truly oily skin is not just oily through the t-zone (forehead, nose, sides of nose and chin), but the entire facial surface. Sometimes with foundation, your makeup will take on an orange-y tint or seem to disappear by midday. For this, you need good astringent properties. Proactiv is a popular choice, but I hear good things with Clean and Clear’s new line also. Problem with Proactiv- it dries your skin out the minute you stop taking it.
For Normal/Combo Skin – (shiny/oily in the t-zone, but no real “issues” through the cheeks), this is when things get easy. You pretty much have pick of the litter as far as what you can use.
For Sensitive Skin- things get tricky. It seems like everything you put on yours skin burns or itches. A favorite (of mine and dermatologists alike) is Cetaphyl. It’s a gentle, non-detergent cleanser that I also use at photoshoots to remove makeup between looks. Great at removing waterproof mascara as well.
No real need to buy an exfoliator – your regular cleanser and a soft washcloth does the trick. Once or twice a week, use the cloth in circles around the face, paying attention to the creases in the nose, along the brow, and on the chin line.
The jury is still out about toner. Some people, especially with oilier skin will need additional astringent, but the majority of us don’t need it… clean skin is clean skin- why add a step?
Please please please- if you have any intention of wearing makeup- moisturize! It’s the biggest thing I ask my brides to do when they want makeup on their special day… especially if the bachelorette party entailed many a cosmo! Makeup will change color, cake and “glop” together if the skin is flaky and dry. You can even put a few drops of your regular foundation into your moisturizer to make your own tinted moisturizer. And a note: night/day creams are a myth. I just wouldn’t recommend wearing an spf moisturizer to bed. But it won’t melt your face off either… so use your own judgment.
Lip and Eye Treatments
And last, but just as important- don’t forget your lips! A good (and cheap) treatment for exfoliation- a dime-sized dollop of Vaseline with 1/8 tsp sugar. Mix together, and apply to the lips in a circular motion. Remove with a damp cloth.
For your eyes, if you don’t have wrinkles unless you’re squinting, a small little dab of Vaseline at the outside corners of your eyes takes care of that. For more pronounced lines, I really like Lacura in the pink tube… or Hope In A Tube by Philosophy (a bit pricey, but SO worth it!). If you have dark, pronounced circles (some of the East Indian heritage, pregnant darker skintones, etc), anything with vitamin K. I like Jason Naturals K Crème Plus. There are also a lot of off-brands at your local health food store… look in the beauty section.
Taking care of your skin will pay for itself in about 8 weeks. It’s where you should invest the most money- drug store makeup will (for the most part) look just as good as the most expensive, if the skin is right.
Next week, Summer Makeup! My favorite time of year (for makeup anyway), because it’s the one that I use the least product…