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Prepare for better results!

Preparing your skin for makeup application is just as important AS the actual application of makeup!
Now this doesn’t mean you have to follow some complicated series of steps using 468 products, but rather making sure YOUR skin will accept and wear the makeup as flawlessly as possible. For this to happen you need to understand your own skin type, texture, its basic needs AND reactions.  There honestly is no “one size fits all” There are, however some basic guidelines that you can use to start figuring out your skin’s ideal regimen, so that it thrives! I highly recommend seeing, (at least once) a great esthetician who can truly help you figure this out. I will also say, that as you age, your skin’s needs will absolutely change, and your regimen must change to accommodate this.
Cleansing- mild cleansers that can rid face of dirt and debris, BUT also remove and emulsify makeup is important. Makeup must be cleansed off of skin every night before bed, I don’t care HOW natural it is. This is really non-negotiable. Your face is exposed to so much that cleansing just has to happen for skin to remain healthy. Now you can use two steps, meaning makeup remover and then a cleanser but I say if you can do two in one, why add more steps? Though, if you are fan of waterproof mascara, that may require a remover. I suggest using the mildest cleanser you can, that gets the job done. My current favorite is Alba Hawaiian Facial cleanser with Pineapple Enzyme. The enzyme in pineapple is called Bromelain- and it is a natural exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and also has anti inflammatory properties. It is mild, but effective and I have noticed a new smoothness to my skin.
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I also always look for no added fragrance.  Always!  It is the number one reason people react to a product, so I suggest you to too. If some of the ingredients have  a natural, pleasing smell- great!
Moisture. Ok there is a lot of debate about this, but let’s get it down to the nitty-gritty. ALL skin needs moisture, and moisture retention. Moisture is added to the skin in the form of Water.  That is why all moisturizers list water ( usually first) on there label. Water is what plumps and hydrates a skin cell.  HOW you achieve this is dependent upon your skin. Take me, I am generally oily, especially around t zone. So, adding a moisturizer with a lot of oils, and waxes will only make that problem worse. AND any makeup I put over this will eventually just break up and move. So, instead, I use a water based serum. it contains Extracts, vitamin b-5, Retinol, tri-peptides, Hyralonic Acid (AMAZING!!!), and An extract from chicory root for firming. This adds moisture without a heavy oily feel. In winter I do sometimes have to up the emollience to a real cream product, and will layer that over my serum if needed.  Since switching years ago to this method, and removing a traditional cream based moisturizer, my skin has much less oil, and is much more balanced.  And, yes I will change my routine based on my skin’s immediate needs, sometimes daily if necessary.
Obviously dry skin requires not just moisture, in the form of water added, but also moisture retention. Waxes and oils are great for this as they provide an amazing barrier to prevent moisture loss, and all Lipid loss as well.  So your skin is able to retain or replace both water and fats, and remain more supple and plump. The dryer your skin the more creamy and emollient your moisturizer should be. Hyralonic acid in my opinion is Also the holy grail of getting moisture onto and into the skin-so I highly recommend finding a product with that on the label!  I use my Age Defy Serum, but there are plenty of products out there!
Priming – Sometimes this is needed and sometimes it is not. If you have a really textured surface then priming with a great silicone based product can be a God send! My three faves are by 3 gals I know personally, and I have and use all three.  PreFixx, by Purely Cosmetics, Whiphand Set the Stage Primer, and Perfect Canvas primer by Fusion of Color Cosmetics.  All three work wonderfully, and I find myself reaching for each one based on the client and their skin type and texture. Whiphand is thinner consistency and those with smoother skin but dryness, I find this ideal because it doesn’t have a weighty feel to this primer. For Perfect Canvas those that are more oily and have trouble keeping makeup in place, especially around nose area, this works great and makeup lasts so much better, and for Pre-Fixx, I reach for this when the lady (especially women of Experience) have a lot of texture and dryness. This creates pillowy, cushiony skin and makeup goes on so smoothly.  Now I don’t always prime, The main reason I will is texture and dryness. I think those two issues make priming a great option, and a silicone based primer is ideal. Otherwise simply adding moisture to a cleaned and exfoliated face can be more than enough prep.
exfoliation as mentioned above, this is another step, and again, dependent upon your skin. I need a relatively  strong exfoliation since I have more keratinous skin. If you have a finer texture, possibly just using an enzymatic cleanser like I mentioned above, is all you will ever need. Most people are somewhere in the middle. I personally like both manual (like a sugar scrub) and chemical (like an alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy) peel or enzymes, and of course retinols. This is where an esthetician can really be of help, as they have access to the higher medical grade chemicals( and yes, natural chemicals too) , but also the knowledge of how to use them safely, and which is best for your personal skin.  Personally, for me, I use a great Citric acid based peel that leaves my skin feeling 10 years younger, but it’s a medium strength and may be way too strong for someone with finer, or more sensitive skin. The best at home way to try is start very low-at like a 2% active and work your way up. Over the counter grade usually stops at around 5% to-no more than 10%. Over that starts getting onto professional grades- up to about 20% for esthetics , with 30% being reserved for dermatologists/doctors etc. (these are just estimates) The amount you exfoliate again is based on your skin AND method you choose. Chemical exfiliation should be less often- usually bi-weekly or monthly- and manual is often limited to twice per week, and again, gentle is always safest. (again, estimates)
Toning- to me this is an, as needed Choice. Toning is used to alter your ph- Here’s one way to know IF you need a toner, If your makeup oxidizes after on your skin (meaning changes color, darkens etc) your skin could be a bit acidic and benefit from ph balancing. But it is not the sole reason for oxidation. Sometimes it can be the makeup itself, so if following a good skin care routine doesn’t change this, you may need to find a new Cosmetic brand.
So this about sums up the list- three Must do’s Cleanse, Hydrate, Exfoliate- and two- optional steps, Priming &  Toning I promise if you take these steps your makeup application will be faster, easier AND you may find yourself wearing much less makeup over your flawless Skin!

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