Archive for the ‘makeup tips’ Category

For the Oily Girls: How I Keep the Oil Away

April 10, 2010

Having oily skin is a gift and a curse.  I say that because when you have oily skin, your makeup tends to make you look like a grease box, and dirty.  Having oily skin is a gift in that it prevents you from aging as fast as other people, so we stay looking younger longer (blessing).

I am combination oily;  oily in my t-zone & normal-dry on the rest of my face.  It was a mess trying to apply makeup to then have it gone within a few hours.  After much research and trial and error, I finally found something that works for me.  I just want to point out that because it works for me, it may or may not work for you. Everyone is different.

Steps I take before applying my makeup:

1. After my face is washed & still damp, I tone my skin with Witch Hazel
2. Apply MAC’s Oil Control Lotion to my t-zone (forehead, nose & chin) – the places I get oily most. Apply regular moisturizer everywhere else. (Blot off excess with a paper towel)
3. Apply MUFE All Mat Primer to my t-zone (over the Oil Control Lotion)
4. Apply a light dusting (BLEND IN WELL) of Ben Nye’s Banana Powder (over the All Mat)
5. Apply your foundation or powder as you would normally do.

***I know it seems like a lot of steps, but, it definitely works. *** 

Also, if you have oily skin stay away from oil-based products, such as soaps, moisturizers, makeup, and even hair products.  YES, hair products.  Hair products tend to seep onto your face if you tend to sweat, and your body heat also sends the oil based product past your hairline.

I hope this helps :o)

Do you have oily skin? If so, what do you do to minimize the oil?

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My uses for MAC Fix+ Spray

April 8, 2010

This post was sparked by a post on Self-Confessions of a Beauty Addict  where she asked her readers what they used MAC’s Fix + Spray for?  This is my response to her.

Description (source):
(Retail: $18 for 3.4 fl oz)
An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance, finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up!

Fix + is supposed (keyword: supposed)to be used to set your makeup after application. 

I use it for the following:
1. To moisten my skin before applying moisturizer

2. To apply eyeshadow/pigments to decrease fall out

3. I spray it on my brush when I use my brow powder to make the lines more defined and straight.

4. Using e/s as an eyeliner.

5. To wet sponge/brush for foundation application.
6.  I spray it on after I apply my makeup for a dewy glow.
If you want a good fixer, for a reasonable price, you can try Ben Nye’s Final Seal.  The 2 oz bottle is available at Alcone Co for $7 ($5 at; the 8 oz is $17; 16 oz $27

Do you use MAC’s Fix+?  If not, what do you use instead?

SPF Makeup – Avoid Looking Like Casper in Photos

April 6, 2010

Many of us have fallen victims to this.  Especially in the summer time when we’re told to slather on the SPF products for protection from the sun.  Little did you know, that once a photograph is taken (especially at night), the flash would reflect off of the SPF, and poof! you’re casper the friendly ghost!  This has happened to me before, and a few friends of mine (no names mentioned).  I figured it out after my cousin told me it was the SPF, and after that I did research.

You just KNEW the foundation was a clear match to your skintone when you looked in the mirror, so what happened?

Alpha Mom explains this in her blog post Ghost Face Killer: Your Guide to Photofriendly Cosmetics (click link for full article).  “The majority of point-and-shoot cameras have the flash mounted on the front of the camera. When the picture is taken, the light essentially punches the subject directly in the face. If you think about it, we are usually lit from above by sunlight or ceiling lights, or from the side by a window or lamp light. A bright, pre-set camera flash is an unnatural light source hitting you at an unnatural angle, so naturally you’re going to look, um, unnatural in the photograph.” 

Also, if you tend to look pale or washed out in a photo, using the wrong shade of foundation, or using too much powder is the cause of it.  Make sure you purchase the correct shade for your skintone.  Check this post here to see how. If you’re still unsure, bring a friend with you when you go to the makeup counter. A second or third “eye” (person) can always see what you don’t.

How do I avoid this?

When I know I am going somewhere where a lot of photos will be taken, I straight up avoid SPF, especially if the event is at night (there’s no sun at night so there’s no need to use SPF). If you love your SPF, here are some other options.

Use Mattes – Opt for matte, rather than shimmery finishes for eye and cheek makeup. Shimmery eyeshadows and powders can give skin a greasy look under flash.

Apply makeup in natural light – Apply your makeup next to the window with the brightest natural light. I’ve applied makeup in both bathroom and natural lighting, and I think I look my best in pictures when I apply makeup in the latter.

Choose a powder with a yellow tint – Don’t use translucent powder, to set your makeup. Transparent powders tend to leave a white cast when the flash goes off.  I use Ben Nye’s Banana Powder or MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NC45.

Practice your look and takes pics with a digital camera before your event–  This allows you to evaluate your work beforehand. You’ll be able to see and correct your mistakes.

Blend, Blend, Blend! –  Remove any harsh lines. Even if you feel like you’ve blended out all the edges, blend some more; otherwise, you risk your makeup (concealer) looking too obvious.

For more tips, you can checkout Wedding Style Suite. They have an article on Wedding Makeup Tips

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

March 30, 2010

This post was prompted by a request from a friend, and from when I did a consultation over the weekend.  I spoke about this briefly in an earlier posts titled, A Few basics…Enjoy! My client recently purchased a set of E.L.F makeup brushes, and brought them with her to her consultation this weekend because she wanted to learn what to use each brush for.  She came to the consultation ready to use the brushes, but, they were NOT washed! 

Washing your makeup brushes is an extremely important part of your makeup routine.  Her explanation for not washing them were that “They are new, and are covered.”  Yes, the brushes are new, but you don’t know if dye’s or anything else were used on the brushes, and washing them rids whatever dye that may be on the brushes off, as well as dust particles etc.

Cleaning your makeup brushes not only helps rid your brushes from bacteria, thus saving you from breakouts, it also helps to ensure proper makeup application; your brushes will not be contaminated with oils from your skin, skin cells, and old, oxidized makeup colors from prior makeup application.  Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly will save you money since by cleaning your brushes your brushes will last  longer.   Also, using dirty brushes in your makeup contaminates your makeup.  I would suggest investing in Beauty So Clean’s Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist. I purchased mine from Alcone Co.

How to clean your makeup brushes:
**Use luke warm water and baby shampoo if you do not have a brush cleaner.***

1. With the tip of your brush pointing downward, hold your brush under the running luke warm water. Be sure to not get the shaft of the brush wet (this will loosen the glue & your brush will come loose over time, & eventually fall out). Also, never leave your brushes soaking in water or cleaning solution – this will damage your brushes as well.

2. Apply a small amount of brush cleaner into the palm of your hand & GENTLY swirl the brush around.

3. After a lather has formed (see how much makeup comes out) rinse the brush off under the running, luke warm water (tip of the brush pointing downward) until the water runs clean. Repeat if necessary.

4. Gently squeeze excess water out (use a towel) & re-shape the brushes.

5. Lay the brushes flat on a clean towel (NEVER STAND THEM UP WHILE WET IT WILL DESTROY THE BRUSHES!)

 Repeat these steps at least once a week, especially if your brushes are being used on people other than yourself.  Bi-weekly cleaning is recommended for brushes used for personal use.
***Any brush used on a liquid cosmetic (lip gloss, lipstick, concealer, foundation) should be cleaned EVERYDAY***

For Daily Brush Cleansing, I recommend the following products:
1. Beauty So Clean Conditioning Brush Cleaner – Spray onto brush bristles, & wipe bristles on a tissue to remove makeup.  Price: $20 4.2oz bottle Alcone Co
2. Clinique Makeup Brush Cleaner – Spray on brush, wipe off with tissue. Let dry 1-2 Minutes. Price: $13 at Department Stores.
3. MAC Brush Cleanser – $11 MAC Cosmetics or Department Store Counter

This is what I use for regular cleaning.  I am almost done with this bottle & it’s discontinued .:sad face:. It makes my brushes so soft!
Nu Brush Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner & Conditioner Price: $19.99 Artistry
I have a youtube video explaining how to do this as well.  Check my youtube channel.

Do you clean your makeup brushes? If so, how often & what do you use?

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The Importance of Primer II: Eyeshadow Primers/Base

March 25, 2010

Over the weekend I introduced you to the world of makeup primers, in the post titled The Importance of Primer: Keep Your Makeup Lasting all Day where I talked about the different types foundation primers, and their purpose.   In this post, I will cover eyelid/eyeshadow primers/bases.  

Eyeshadow primers serve the same purpose as foundation primers, which is keeping the eyeshadow in place throughout the day, and ensure smooth application of the eyeshadows you’re applying.  Eyeshadow primers are great for people like myself who have oily lids.   If you have oily lids, and have used eyeshadow without a primer, you’ll notice that within a few hours of wear, the eyeshadow has slid off and/or creased.  
An eyeshadow base, is a base color you apply before you apply a eyeshadow to make it “pop” and become more vibrant; it ensures the eyeshadow shows true to color.  For example, applying a white cream base like NYX E/S Base or NYX Jumbo E/P in Milk,  before applying a blue eyeshadow will make the color “pop.”  An eyeshadow base can also help prevent creasing but it doesn’t always work.

List of Eyeshadow Primers I’ve used/use

1. Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP) Original – $18
– This is my HG eyelid primer.  I use it in all of my tutorials & during regular makeup applications.  It’s sheer/totally nude.  Goes on smooth with a thin, creamy consistency.  A little goes a long way. 

2. Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP) Sin  – $18
– Nice champagne color when applied to lids, which allows you to wear it alone.  Great for use under shimmery/metallic eyeshadows. I love this just as much as the original. 

3. Bare Escentuals PrimeTime Eyelid Primer – $16
– It works well.  I don’t like the applicator. I usually use a concealer brush with it.  It a little too thick for me, and it makes my lids look “ashy.”  A little goes a long way.  

List of Eyeshadow Bases I’ve used/use

1. MAC Cream Colour Base (Luna) – $16.50
-Multifunctional product; can be used on lips, eyes and cheeks.  Be careful which base you use since all are not made to be used on all parts of your face.  It has a creamy/gloss consistency which allows e/s to stick.  I find it works best when used with a primer under.  Do not apply too much or you WILL experience creasing.  Can be applied with a concealer brush or finger. 

2. NYX Jumbo E/P  (Milk) – $3.50
– This is the HG base for most makeup junkies, mua’s, and beauty bloggers.  It works well, especially with bright colors. It comes in a variety of colors, but you mostly see Black Bean and Milk used most. Apply directly to the lid & blend out with a brush.

3. NYX E/S Base (White) – $6
– This to me is just the Jumbo E/S pencil in a jar; similar consistencies.  The Jumbo E/S Pencil is less.  They work the same to me. 

4. MAC Paint Pot (Quite Natural)-  $16.50 
-This has a creamy consistency, and dries to a nice smooth finish.  Creates seamless coverage without the weight or caking.  This is great if you have discoloration on your lids since it’s pigmented enough.  Available in matte & pearl formula’s.  It also comes in a variety of colors, which gives you the option to use it as a an eye prep, or go for a more bold/vibrant color to make your eyeshadows “pop.”  

***Bargain Hunter Alternative’s***
1. L’Oreal Decrease Eyeshadow Base – $7.99 at Walgreen’s
2. Victoria’s Secret PRO Lasting FX Eyeshadow Primer – $8 at Victoria’s Secret
3  Concealer (works well for me) 

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The Importance of Primer: Keep your Makeup Lasting all Day

March 21, 2010

MUFE HD All Mat Primer
MUFE HD Foundation #173 (center of face) & Mix of #173 & 177
MAC Bronze E/S
MAC Embark E/S
SMH Champagne E/S (highlight & tear duct)
MAC Fabulash 
MUFE Aqua Eyes in Black
Ardell Brow Defining Powder in Mink
MAC Dirty Plum Blush
MAC Sweet As Cocoa Blush
MAC Iridescent Loose Powder – Golden Bronze

MAC Silly Girl L/G

The Importance of Primer: Keep your Makeup Lasting all Day

In this post I’m going to talk about ways I keep (and probably most other people) my makeup lasting all day.   I use a primer; one for my eyelids and one for my face (foundation primer). 

Primers in general, prepare your skin for makeup application by providing a smooth, even surface free of lines and wrinkles (if you have them) and minimizes larger pores. Primers give makeup something to “grab” onto, making your makeup last longer, lessening the need for touch-ups throughout the day.  It’s not good layering makeup on top of old makeup.  Plus, you will decrease the likelihood of your makeup having that “cakey” look you see when people layer makeup throughout the course of the day.

Most foundation primers are silicone based, fragrance free and oil free, and come in a gel to powder formula.  A makeup primer is great for people with very dry and sensitive skin since it nourishes the skin and calms inflammations, and if using a color-correcting primer, it can help even out skin tone and discoloration. There are also special formulations for people with oily skin as well, which are called mattifiers, and I use this type.   

Foundation primers allow you to use less of your makeup since your foundation isn’t absorbing into your skin. The primer acts as a base, with the foundation adhering to the primer rather than the skin itself. With a primer reducing the imperfections of the skin’s surface, less of the product is needed to cover those areas.

Primer Application
1.  Apply Moisturizer & blot off excess with a tissue 
(apply an oil-free moisturizer  if you have oily skin)
2. Let the moisturizer set for 5 min
3. Put a little bit of primer on the back of your hand (warms it) 
4. Apply the primer with a  sponge all over your face in a stippling motion. 
***When using a mattifying primer, make sure to apply it to your t-zone or any areas you tend to be oily the most.***
5. Apply foundation after primer has set. 

These are the one’s I’ve used.  
***MUFE’s All Mat & Tarte are my favorite***
1. Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer – $30 at Sephora
(Doesn’t work & broke me out)

2. MUFE All Mat – $45 at Sephora & MUFE 

3. Tarte Clean Slate Primer – $30 at Sephora 
Look out for my next post on Eyelid Primers & Eyeshadow Bases

Thank you!

Choosing the right concealer/corrector

March 8, 2010

This post ties into my post from last week, Choosing the right color foundationAs with foundation, women have issues with finding the right shade of concealer not realizing that there are different concealers for different skin issues.  In this post, I will talk about how you can choose which concealer/corrector will work best for you and the blemish or skin condition you are trying to make dissapear.

Concealers are meant to cover blemishes, bruises, birthmarks, dark circles, redness etc that you do not want people to see.  Concealers usually have less coverage than most foundations, but there are full-coverage concealers.  They can be dabbed onto the face directly to the blemish with your finger or a brush.

Concealers come in many different shades.  There are neutral colors that blend well with your skintone, and others in contrasting tones used to hide varying blemishes.

Remember: When buying a concealer or corrector, always test the color on the area you are trying to cover.

I’m going to start off with color correctors.  These should not be applied alone, but covered with a concealer and/or foundation.

Neutralizing Colors (Colours opposite the color wheel)
Beige/White concealer – makes dark circles less prominent & brighten dull skin
Greenused for rosacea/redness from a pimple/breakout
Purple – used to normalize yellow-colored imperfections, such as yellow bruises.  It can also help conceal very dark under-eye circles & dark spots on bronze skintones.
Yellow –  used to conceal bluish bruises, under-eye circles, and mild red tones on the face; bruise, sun damage, dark spots
Orange – works best with darker complexions to cover blue tones, such as bruises, veins, and dark circles
You can buy a corrector colour wheel from Coastal Scents if you’re looking for a bargain
Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Corrector Palette – $36 at Sephora
Graftobian HD Glamour Creme Palette Corrector Shades – $21.99

Concealers should be close to your skintone, and at least 1 to 2 shades lighter than your skintone depending on the look you’re going for. I generally use a shade or two lighter if I want my eyes to be brighter. Otherwise, I just go with a concealer in my same color. 

Concealers come in
1. Liquid – usually dewy & sheer. (I use MUFE Full Coverage Liquid Concealer)
2. Stick (cream) – Varies in moisture content. More opaque coverage.
3. Pot (cream) – More opaque, great for maximum coverage. (I use MAC Studio Finish Concealer)
4. Pencil (solid dry cream) – Best for small areas like around the lips or for touch-ups. 

How to apply:
Note: Use a light hand. You can always build up the needed/wanted coverage. You do NOT want it to look caked on!
1.  Dot a neutralizing concealer on carefully and blend with your fingertips slightly past the edges of the blemishes.  I use my Sigma SS24 blending brush to blend out the edges of the concealer.
2. Apply concealer that matches the color of your skin over the color correcting concealer. (You can skip this and apply foundation if you want).  Again, blend out lines.
3.  Set with a powder. I use ben nye’s banana powder. I got mine from Alcone Co for $7.  This is a bargain & works better than top expensive brands.
4. apply your foundation (powder, cream or liquid). Make sure you pat on the foundation with a sponge over the concealed areas to avoid moving it.
5.  Set with your favorite powder.

I did a tutorial concealing & adding foundation. Check it out on youtube (click here)

Makeup by Kim Porter

Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel as a Foundation Primer?!?

March 5, 2010

Yes, you read the title correctly! I was just as confused as you were when a blog/twitter follower asked me this.  I knew nothing about this so, I did some research and oddly enough people do use Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel as a primer, and mattifyer.  Let’s be clear on this, it’s NOT the yeast infection medication, it’s a chaffing gel – big difference. 

Apparently, the chaffing gel has the same main ingredient as a primer, such as dimethicone, as well as Vitamin E and Aloe (source).  Plus, it’s description claims it’s non-greasy, fragrance free and non-irritating, as well as stops redness.  These are all properties that are great for something that you may apply to your face.  Imagine having a large, red pimple, or irritated area on your face, I assume applying this to the area will stop the redness.  I say assume, because I haven’t tried it as of yet.  

On boards like MakeupTalk people have even compared this to SmashBox’s photofinish primer.  If you’ve purchased that primer before, you know it isn’t cheap. Buying the Monistat saves you $31, since the Monistat is $7 at   I’ve actually used Smashbox primer, and it did nothing for my oily skin. 

My favorite beauty blogger, Milan listed this item as one of her favorite things. Check her post out here
Here’s a few links to sites where they talk about using the Monistat as a primer. 
The GlamShack

Have you used this as a primer? If so, please let me know how it worked out for you.
For those of you who haven’t, will you?

Choosing the right color foundation – I’m between NC45 & NC50

March 3, 2010

Last January, I did this blog post “I’m a Woman of Color, I Can’t Find my Right Tone.”  This post spoke about women of color (Hispanic, African American, Indian, and Asian) who have mostly yellow undertones or hues; however, some of these women do have reddish undertones.  I know it can be confusing, and a pain in the butt trying to find the right color for your skintone, and the product that works well for you, especially since you’re probably spending a lot of money on these products.  In this post, I’m going to list a few of the ways to make it easier for you to choose the right colors for your skintone.

Let’s start with what the N, C and W means that you usually see on most MAC foundations.
If you’re lucky, some cosmetics companies started to create comparison charts to make it easier for you to match.
N = Neutral – best for Beige skin
C = Cool – best for Yellow-Golden or “olive” skin
W = Warm – best for Pinkish skin
NC = Neutral Cool – Golden beige skin
NW = Neutral Warm – Pink Beige skin

What do the numbers mean?
The numbers usually mean the depth of the color.  For instance, the lowest number is for people who have paler skintones, while the highest number is for people with darker skintones. 

It seems cheaper to use drugstore brands, but at the end of the day it isn’t when you’re constantly spending money on the wrong shades! It’s always best to go to a makeup counter or store & have a professional help you.  I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, sometimes even they don’t pick the right shade for me.”  That’s why it’s good to be an educated consumer.  It won’t hurt you to speak up for yourself, and state what you do know about foundations, and what you know doesn’t already work for you. 

Make sure you test three (3) different shades within the same color range for your complexion, from lightest to darkest, and test them out next to each other on your jawline to find the best possible match.

No one has perfectly even skin.  You may find yourself using more than one color.  Most people are lighter in the center of their face & darker on the outer parts.

For reference purposes these are the colors I use in different foundations:
MAC – Studio Finish NC45/NC50- (I don’t really like MAC foundations because they are too heavy in my opinion.)  Face & Body C7 
Graftobian HD Creme Foundation – Midnight Marigold & Diva
Make Up For Ever – #117 HD, Face & Body Caramel #18

I hope this was helpful.  Next post will be on choosing the right concealer/corrector.
This article can also be found here

Makeup by Kim Porter

Your Purse Might as Well be Empty Without These

February 23, 2010

One of the most common items in a woman’s purse is the cosmetics bag — that little pouch holding all the absolute necessities to ensure your face looks flawless throughout the day and night.  I know there are some women who think they need a ton of items in their purse “just in-case.”  Their not so little make-up bag becomes an addition to the large purse they’re already carrying, and in my opinion, that is way too much.  Your makeup bag should fit in your purse and in your evening bag.

Here are some makeup bag essentials every woman should have in their bag:
1. Black Mascara  (brown for women with lighter hair& skin)- You can usually achieve both day and night looks with the same bottle, though, by varying the number of coats you apply (more coats for a bolder look) and whether you go with top-lashes only (a more natural look) or both top and bottom (a more dramatic look).
 MAX Factor 2000 Calorie Xtreme Mascara is one of my favorites! It’s seriously waterproof.

2. Eyeshadow – a shade that’s neautral enough for day & flexible enough for you to use at night either by topping with an eyeliner or layering the color. It’s best to carry around a quad eyeshadow palette.  It’s a space saver, and it can help you identify the right combination of colors for your look.

3. Blush –  Blush should look as natural as possible, so an array of colors is not necessary.
    MAC ‘s Format Blush is a staple for me.

4. Concealer – hides imperfections, like dark spots, scars or dark circles under the eyes.
    I use MAC’s Studio Finish in NC45 under my eyes. NC50 for other areas.

5. Powder – Blot powder or translucent powder especially if you’re oily because it tends to mattify your skin.  It also “sets” concealer or foundation.  For people who like more coverage, it’s best to use a colored pressed powder like. I use Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (I use this a lot) for sheer coverage & to even out my skintone.

6. Lipstick or Lipgloss – The product you use depends on your preference.  I prefer lipgloss.  Since you  eat and drink while you’re out and about, lipstick or gloss is perhaps the most often reapplied makeup product. It gets a prime position in any makeup bag. Some women carry a lip balm, lipstick and a finishing gloss every day, and use them all.
Queen Bee by MAC is one of my faves, but it’s discontinued. I have this in my bag right now. 

7. Compact Mirror So you can see what you’re doing.
8. Travel-Sized Makeup Brushes to ensure proper makeup application on the go!
If you’ve watched my youtube tutorial’s, you’ll know that I love Sigma Makeup Brushes! They’re great! & they even come in travel size. $49 for 7 travel-size brushes.

Don’t forget to enter my two giveaways – MAC Spring Colour Forecast Giveaway ends Monday March, 2010 & my 100 Follower Giveaway, which has two winners ends on March 6, 2010.

Makeup by Kim Porter