5 Common Foundation Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

foundation mistakes

The base of any makeup look? Foundation. Unlike eyeliner or bronzer, it can seem very easy to master. And yet, we all keep making lots of mistakes, from choosing the wrong foundation for our skin type to not blending it properly. God knows I’ve been guilty of my fair share too.

How can I forget all those orange drugstore foundations I used as a teen because, at the time, it was impossible to find cheap pale shades in shops? I cringe just to think about it. Oh well, at least that has now changed and you can find a good match at any price point, and yet most of us still struggle with picking the right one.

And that’s only one of the most common mistakes we still make with our foundations. Here are more:

1. Using too wrong shade for your skin tone

A lot of girls opt for a foundation that’s darker than their skintone to fake a tan. Others choose a shade that’s too light to fake a paler complexion. Neither are good looks. Those areas of your body that anyone can see, such as your hands and legs, will give your secret away and just make you look weird. Embrace your skintone as is and choose a foundation shade that exactly matches it.

2. Testing your foundation on your wrist or jaw

Every time I go shopping for a new foundation, the SAs here still insists on trying it on on my wrist or the back of my hands. *sighs* Then, there are those who tell you to try it on your jawline. None of these are good places to try on your foundation. That’s because the skin on your face is a different colour than the skin on your hands and that of your chest. You don’t want a shade that matches your jawline or hands but is too dark or pale for the rest of your body. Instead, try foundation on your chest. That way, even when you wear a low cut top or a vest, your skintone will be the same colour from top to bottom.

3. Not blending properly

If you don’t blend your foundation properly, you’ll be left with ugly, patchy, and streaky spots on the skin. And they’ll only look worse when you set your foundation with powder. The best way to apply foundation is with a foundation brush with synthetic bristles (they work best than natural hair for liquids), such as Ecotools Bamboo Foundation Brush. Then, even everything out with a sponge, such as Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. This techniques ensures an even coverage and a flawless, airbrushed finish.

4. Use the wrong foundation for your skin type

If you have oily skin, avoid foundations with a glowy finish as they’ll just make your face look oiler. Also, stay away from rich, creamy formulas that may cause breakouts. If you have dry skin, instead, steer clear of matte foundations. They make you look flat and exacerbate the dry patches and fine lines on your skin.

5. You’re using too much powder

I’m lucky foundations usually last for ages on me even without a powder. But for most women, one is essential. So, avoid tinted powders. Even when they match your skintone well, you risk a cakey look. Instead, opt for a translucent powder and dust it on lightly. It will be undetectable on the skin, keeping your complexion looking fresh for hours. Also, don’t rely on powders to keep your face shine-free during the day. Using oil blotters whenever you need to do so works much better.

Are you making these foundation mistakes?

Can I Use Nail Polish Remover To Revive Old, Gloopy Nail Polishes?

nail polish remover revive nail polish

As I was decluttering my makeup stash a few days ago, I came across a couple of nail polishes that have become all gloopy and unusable. That happens when the solvent (usually butyl acetate or ethyl acetate) evaporates. So, if you want to save your nail polish, you need to add it back.

The best way to do this is by using a thinner, such as OPI Nail Lacquer Thinner. Thinners contain these solvents and often nothing else, giving new life to your favourite polishes without compromising their consistency and formula. But thinners can be expensive, so a lot of girls prefer to use a few drops of their nail polish remover instead.

Does that work as well? Very often, sadly, not. Here’s why:

Acetone-based nail polish removers

A lot of nail polish removers feature acetone, a substance that mixes well with butyl acetate and ethyl acetate. So, in theory, there shouldn’t be any problems, right? Well, acetone is a very potent solvent, more so than butyl/ethyl acetate, so it can ruin any shimmers or glitters present in your nail polish, as well as giving the colour a dull finish. Is this trade-off worth it? It’s up to you to decide.

Water-based nail polish removers

The solvents used in nail polish removers can be quite drying, so a generous dose of water is often added to make the formula gentler. But water doesn’t mix as well with butyl acetate and ethyl acetate. This can compromise the finish of the nail polish, making application streaky. That’s why this type of remover should be added only to glittery nail polishes. Those chunky glitters well conceal any flaws.

Ethyl acetate-based nail polish removers

Ethyl acetate is one of the solvents used in nail polishes, so this type of remover is by far the best option to revive your favourite shades. But there’s a catch. It works well only when ethyl acetate is the only or main ingredient. If the remover also contains big amounts of water, acetone, or any other ingredients (usually hydrating ones added to counteract the effects of the solvents), then it may compromise the colour or consistency of your nail polishes.

The Bottom Line

Although they can be pricey, thinners are by far the best option to revive an old, gloopy nail polish. Nail polish removers rarely work as well, and can compromise both the colour and consistency of your favourite shades. If you want to give one a go anyway, do a quick test by mixing a few drops of your old nail polish and remover and see if you like the result.

How do you revive your old nail polishes?

7 Festive Makeup Looks For Christmas

7 festive makeup looks for christmas

I can’t believe Christmas is next week! How time has flown this year! Have you decided what to wear at your Christmas lunch (or dinner) with your family and at the holiday parties with your friends? If not, check out the options below. Whether your makeup style is simple, classic, bold, or modern, you’ll surely find something that you’ll love (or inspiration to create a look of your own):

1. Classic Christmas

Let’s start with a classic Christmas look that’s flattering on anyone: gold eyeshadow and red lips. Perfect for a party, you can wear it to have lunch or dinner with your family too.

2. White, silver, and gold

Inspired by a Christmas tree, this white, silver and gold look evokes all the magic of a white Christmas. And it’s super easy to do!

3. Green eyes, red lips

Green and red is a very Christmassy combination. Here’s a glamorous way to wear it without looking like a clown.

4. Gold Eyeliner

Turn your sultry smokey eye into a festive look with a pop of gold eyeliner. It’s simple and will make you stand out at any parties you will attend this holiday season.

5. Festive with a twist

Green eyeshadow is always in at Christmas. To add a twist to this look, pair it with purple lipstick. It’s gorgeous and modern.

6. Red, green, and gold

Is there a more festive combination that red, green, and gold? Surprisingly wearable, this look is great for those who feel daring on Christmas day.

7. Red Glitter

Heading to a Christmas party? If you feel daring, and want to make sure you won’t pass unnoticed, try this glittery red look with a winged eyeliner. Beautiful and sparkly.

Which of these looks is your favourite? Are you gonna wear one of them at Christmas?

5 Makeup Tricks I Learned From Beauty Blogs

makeup secrets beauty blogs

I’ve always been obsessed with makeup. The beauty section was always the first I devoured whenever I picked up a magazine. I tried all their tips. I experimented with their tutorials. I stalked makeup counters to keep up with the latest launches.

I thought I was pretty makeup savvy.

Then, in my mid 20s, I discovered beauty blogs. And I realized that I still had A LOT to learn. All of a sudden, I discovered lots of products and secrets magazines had never mentioned, but that made a huge difference in my makeup life. Here are my top 5:

1. A primer is a girl’s best friend

I’ve always loved experimenting with eyeshadows. I used to spend ages trying new colour combinations and blending everything well, only for all of my hard work to disappear within 3 or 4 hours. I thought that was the best eyeshadows could do. Then, I discovered primers. I swear I heard bells ring and angels sing when I first tried Urban Decay Primer Potion. For the first time, eyeshadows stayed put. No more creasing and fading throughout the day. Yay!

Although I’ll always have a special place in my heart for UDPP, these days I much prefer to use Too Faced Shadow Insurance. It’s so lightweight it feels like you haven’t applied anything, yet it keeps everything in place from morning till night. If you want a very intense colour payoff, you can try a white base, such as NYX Eyeshadow Base In White. If you use pigments a lot, give Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy a try. It gives them a foiled look, but without the mess.

2. Using eyeshadows as eyeliner

Talking about eyeshadows, who knew they could double up as eyeliners too? You can use them dry for a soft look, or wet for a more intense effect. I use this tip mostly when I’m on holiday. I like to travel lightly, so I leave my eyeliners at home and bring only one small eyeshadow palette I can use to create an entire look. Easy and convenient.

3. Scotch tape for sharp, clean edges

So, you’re getting ready for a night out on the town and want to wear a dramatic smokey eye look, but with a clean, sharp edge. Stick some sellotape along the line that joins the outer end of the brow and the outer corner of the eye. Then, blend away. A word of warning: if you apply the tape straight to the face, removing it can be painful. Instead, apply it first to a less sensitive area, like the arm. That will remove most of the stickiness.

4. Buffing brushes for a flawless look

I applied foundation with my fingers for years. I tried one or two flat foundation brushes but they never seemed to work that well for me, always leaving streaks on my face. Then, I discovered buffing brushes. This way, application takes a bit more time (you need to stipple the foundation all over your face, and then lightly buff using small circular motions), but the results are so worth it. You get a better coverage, but with a more natural finish.

5. Paint brushes can be used for makeup too

A good set of brushes makes all the difference! But you don’t have to spend a fortune for one. Just head to your local craft store and start browsing the paint brushes section. Paint brushes are available in different shapes and sizes, so you’ll surely find something that suits your makeup needs. Opt for brushes with soft bristles. You don’t want anything too harsh that can hurt your skin. Loew Cornell makes some great ones that are perfect for makeup application too. My favourite is the 7450 Chisel Blender Size 6, which I use to apply eyeliner. Works a treat.

Thanks, beauty bloggers! :)

What have you learned from beauty blogs?

4 Ways To Handle Flaky Foundation

Winter is coming. And it’s bringing with it holiday cheer, delicious warm foods, and… harsh temperatures and cold winds that suck all the moisture out of your skin! And dry skin = flaky foundation.

That happens to me every winter. As my cheeks and the area around my nose get drier, foundation starts clinging to these flaky patches and looks awful! The solution? As foundation needs a smooth canvas to adhere to, we need to take better care of our skin, ensuring it always remains well-hydrated, even in winter.

Here’s how:

1. Opt for a gentle creamy cleanser

You don’t want to strip too much oil from your skin. Oil is the skin’s natural moisturizer and dry skin badly needs it! So, stay away from harsh or gel cleansers and opt instead for creamy formulas that contain gentle surfactants to remove dirt and makeup and emollients that leave skin soft and smooth.

My favourite is Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Other good options are Yes To Cucumber Gentle Milk Cleanser and Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm.

2. Switch to a richer moisturizer (and apply it on wet skin)

The lightweight moisturizer you used in the summer will probably not be moisturizing enough to keep skin attacked by harsh weather outside and hot temperatures inside in top shape. Switch to a heavier duty formula that contains humectants, such as Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin, that attract water from the environment into the skin, and emollients, such as petrolatum and shea butter, that prevent water loss.

Apply the moisturizer on damp skin. That way, it will seal in the moisture on the surface of your skin. The result? Hydrated, and smoother, skin.

Some of my favourite moisturizers for dry skin are Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer, Skin Remodeling Complex, Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer, for Very Dry to Dry Skin, and Bioderma Sensibio AR.

3. Exfoliate

Dry skin needs to be exfoliated too, but gently. Scrubs are too harsh. Instead opt for a AHAs exfoliant. AHAs, such as Glycolic Acid, don’t just remove dead skin cells and flakes, but also boost collagen production, reduce small wrinkles, and act as humectants, attractingmuch needed moisture into the skin. Use it only two or three times a week. Only if your skin can take it, increase frequency gradually.

Some wonderful AHAs exfoliants are Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir, Olay Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid, and Acne.org AHA+.

4. Choose a moisturizing foundation

The type of foundations you use matters too. Avoid powders, which can be drying, and opt instead for liquid formulas that hydrate skin while hiding imperfections. If you hardly have any, choose instead a tinted moisturizer. Enriched with hydrated and moisturizing agents, tinted moisturizers even out the complexion and ensure skin stays soft and smooth for hours.

Some hydrating foundations to consider are Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Reveal Lift Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 25, Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30, and Clinique Supermoisture Makeup.

Does your foundation flake too in winter? How do you deal with it?

9 Concealer Tips For Flawless Skin

concealer tips flawless skin

I can live without foundation, but don’t dare take away my concealer! Just a dab of this little versatile product can hide imperfections, dark circles, and signs of fatigue, making you look awake, well-rested, and flawless. When applied properly, that is. Too often, concealer has the opposite effect, and seems to emphasise our imperfections rather than hiding them. Argh!

How can you avoid that, and make concealer work for you? Here are a few tips to help you:

1. You need more than one concealer

Dark circles, sun spots, pimples, redness… All these flaws can be hidden with concealer. But if you use the same product on all of them, you’ll notice that some imperfections are covered better than others. We’re told to use concealer that’s one shade lighter than our skintone, but while that, in some cases, can work ok for the under eye area (just don’t go too light or you’ll emphasize those dark circles even more), it just makes other blemishes stand out. That zit will still attract attention if it is lighter than the rest of your face! Instead, use a shade that matches your skintone exactly. Consistency matters too. If the imperfection you’re trying to cover is on a dry area, you’ll need a moisturiszing formula, while if it is on an oilier area, a dryer texture will work better.

green concealer

2. For serious imperfections, apply a color corrector first

Sometimes, concealer alone is not enough. In that case, apply a colour corrector first. If you want to hide redness, try a green shade. Purple can brighten sallow skin, while blue can reduce fake tan disasters. My favourite colour corrector is Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette, which is available in three shade (for light, medium, and dark skintones).

3. Prep your skin

Does your concealer always settle into fine lines or wrinkles? Or maybe it accentuates, rather than hide, your dry patches? Both problems can be solved by applying moisturizer first. It’ll plump up skin and give the concealer a nicer, smoother base to glide on and adhere to. Just don’t apply too much or the concealer won’t be able to settle.

4. Apply concealer on top of foundation

Foundation helps even out the skintone and minimize imperfections. Sometimes, alone, it is enough to conceal everything you want to conceal. If not, you can always apply a layer of concealer on top. Because the imperfection has already been partially hidden, you’ll need less product. If, instead, you do it the other way around and apply concealer first, you’ll be wasting product. That’s because when you apply foundation on top, some of the concealer will be removed.

5. Pat, don’t spread

A lot of women apply concealer using sweeping motions, spreading it around all over the area they want to cover. Doing this just removes product, reducing the pigmentation of the concealer and forcing you to apply a higher amount than necessary. Instead, tap it or pat it gently on the area you’d like to cover.

concealer triangle method

6. Dark circles? Use the triangle method

This is my favourite technique to hide dark circles. Basically, you apply concealer in a triangular shape, starting under your eye, then down your nose and up to the outer corner of the eye again. Blend well. This will give you a more natural result.

7. Warm it up

Benefit Erase Paste is one of my favourite concealers. Its salmon hue and excellent pigmentation can cover even the most stubborn dark circles. But its texture is so thick and hard to apply! The solution? Warm it up between your fingers before application. It’ll allow it to spread more easily on the skin.

8. Set it

I rarely use powders. That’s because my makeup usually stays put for hours even if I don’t set it. The only exception is concealer. I need to settle that, or, during the day, it’ll travel around, settle into fine lines, and then disappear. A thin layer of powder prevents all that. I use Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Porcelain, which contains both a concealer and a translucent powder to set it. But you can use whatever works best for you.

9. Concealer isn’t just for concealing

Concealers are very versatile. You can use them to hide imperfections, but also for contouring. If you’re struggling to find a matte bronzer that doesn’t look orange or muddy on you, use a concealer that’s slightly darker than your skintone. Concealers that are too light instead can be used for highlighting. Applying some concealer underneath your brows, for instance, will clean up the area and highlight it, giving the illusion of a brow lift. You can also use it around your mouth, for a cleaner, more defined, look.

Do you follow these tips? Do you have more that you can share?