About Face

The importance of skin-specific care

It seems so simple. You’re fresh out of the shower, ready to moisturize your body; why not just use your body cream on your face, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, skin care products are specifically formulated for the different parts of your body. That means that what’s good for your feet, back, legs or hands, may not necessarily be good for your face. In fact, nine times out of ten, non-facial products are actually detrimental to the skin on your face. Don’t buy it? Here’s what you can expect:

Clogged Pores
You wouldn’t use spackle to paint your bedroom walls, would you? Imagine the result (a thick, bumpy wall instead of a smooth one). Well, using body lotion on your face is basically the same thing. Body lotion is meant to be applied to the thicker, more durable skin found below your neck and décolletage where it can sink into the holes where moisture has dissipated. If you apply a moisturizer like that to your face, clogged pores are bound to happen. That can lead to breakouts, blackheads and a generally dull complexion.

Irritated Surfaces
Most body products (moisturizers, soaps, cleansers, etc.) contain fragrances, which is why we smell so great when we get out of the shower. However, these added scents aren’t usually non-comedogenic. These sweet smelling additions to the product can be irritating to your face and even cause black heads. The result is red, splotchy and itchy skin. Go for products that have a much lower level of fragrance than your body products.

Dry Patches
pH levels play a big role in your skin looking healthy, hydrated and radiant, especially the skin on your face. pH stands for "potential hydrogen". The skin's barrier, which is known as the acid mantle, is responsible for keeping in oils and moisture while blocking germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria. Your skin’s acid mantle should be slightly acidic with a pH of about 5.5, but when it's too alkaline, skin becomes dry and sensitive. This keeps your skin from fighting off the enzymes that destroy collagen and cause wrinkles and sagging.  
Using soap on your face that is intended for your other body parts will throw that pH level off. This can make your skin dry, flaky and dull, even if it’s normally oily and acne-prone. A face wash that’s specifically formulated for your skin will keep your pH levels, and your breakouts, in check. Sure it’s an extra investment, but we shudder at the alternative.

Infections
Last, but certainly not least, if your skin is in any way sensitive, body creams and washes used on the face can actually cause infection. These usually manifest in the form of a rash. That’s because products developed for the face are designed specifically for that skin. If you use a non-hypoallergenic product on a part of your body other than where it was intended, be prepared for it to come back to bite, or blemish you.

The Deal With Microblading

The brow trend that just may change your life

Beauty experts agree that your eyebrows can dramatically change the look of your face. They not only frame your features, but full, well-groomed brows can make you look younger and more vibrant. Of course, the reality is that not everyone is born with perfect eyebrows, and even if you did have them, over-waxing, age and your health can make them thinner, have bald patches or even never grow back. Filling in your eyebrows with pencils, powders or waxes can be time consuming and needs to be freshened up all day. Sometimes, it can even look unnatural and actually make you look older!  The latest eyebrow procedure that is gaining immense popularity is called microblading. Learn how this procedure, popular for many years in Europe and Asia and now growing in the U.S., can help give you the look of full, natural brows.

What is Microblading?
Microblading is a semi-permanent procedure that uses a special hand controlled tool which makes tiny cuts into the skin and infuses pigment to look like natural brow hair. The tool resembles an X-ACTO knife, but instead of one big blade, it has a series of micro blades. This tool is dipped in pigment similar to tattoo ink, which is carefully implanted onto the brow area to form the desired shape. It differs from an actual tattoo because the dye is infused on the upper layer of skin, not injected deep into the skin like a real tattoo. The technician is able to “draw” natural looking hair onto the eyebrow area and can fill-in gaps, create arches, extend the brow; anything you desire to create your perfect brow.

What to Expect
If you decide microblading is right for you, it is important to research a well-trained technician who has plenty of examples to show you. The procedure should be conducted in a clinical-grade environment, with single use blades, sterile equipment, etc. When you meet your technician, you can discuss the look you want to achieve and what parts of your eyebrows you want to focus on. The technician will draw the desired shape on your brow and should mix pigments to create the perfect shade just for you. Next, the tech will apply a numbing cream to the area and proceed to infuse the pigment. Immediately post treatment your eyebrows will look darker than expected, but will fade during the healing process, which takes about 2 weeks. The next application is 6 weeks later to touch up any areas and to confirm that the area is healing well.

Post-Microblading and Beyond
Another important aspect of microblading is your post procedure care. It is vital that you do not get the area wet for 2 weeks; do not use any skin care products on the area, sweat or even touch the area. Your technician will give you post care creams or ointments that you will apply with a cotton swab. Once the healing period is complete, you need to wear an SPF of 30 or above on the area to prevent fading. Once you are healed, the only maintenance that is needed is a touch up once a year, which is well worth it to have smudge-proof beautiful eyebrows every day!

Beauty Defined: The Beauty Blender

The super cute makeup accessory that changed the foundation game

If you’ve been into makeup at all in the past decade, you probably know what a Beautyblender is. These adorable egg-shaped applicators brought a new kind of coverage to the table in 2007. It took the beauty world by storm and has been the recipient of Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty award seven times. Learn a little bit more about why this foundation sensation is worth every bit of the hoopla.

Behind the Blender
When Rea Ann Silva created the revolutionary Beautyblender, she just wanted to find a way to make makeup look good on high-definition television. She had applied makeup on sets for years and came up with the idea for Beautyblender in a special-effects makeup class while discussing cutting sponges as part of an application technique. Silva says the idea popped into her head like a lightbulb turning on. “I was totally enraptured and I thought, ‘Oh my god, this could be it.’”
 
Fun fact: Tracee Ellis Ross and her perfectly poreless look played a part in bringing this fantastic invention to the rest of the world. Silva tested her first Beautyblender prototype while working as a makeup artist on the set of Girlfriends, a show Ross starred in before Black-ish.


Why it’s Different
Unlike traditional makeup sponges, the Beautyblender is hydrophilic, which means it's designed to absorb water. Before Beautyblender, most makeup sponges were designed to repel moisture, the idea being that you’d lose product in the sponge otherwise. If you wet the Beautyblender first, which you should, it soaks up the water instead, so there’s no room left in it to absorb your foundation.
 

How to Use It
The Beautyblender is more versatile than you may think. For starters, it isn’t just for liquid formulas; it can make power products look flawless, too. Brushes simply sweep powder-based products around your face, as opposed to evenly blending them. Applying powder products with a Beautyblender lets you target which areas of your face need more coverage and less shine.

The most effective application technique for the Beautyblender is to lightly tap or dab the product onto your face instead of sweeping or dragging it. It was designed to refresh your look throughout the day by re-blending your existing makeup instead of reapplying. That way, you avoid the possibility of product caking up and potentially clogging your pores. You can also remove makeup mistakes instead of starting all over by dragging a dry Beautyblender across the mishap; it works like an eraser! It’s also great for applying bronzer, sunscreen and even serums and other skincare products. As a standard rule, wash your Beautyblender every few uses with a gentle cleanser. 

Beauty Solutions: Brow Basics

Brows got you baffled? Here are a few tips…

If you’ve got a problem, we’ve got your solution! Beauty Solutions tackles the beauty problems that plague us all, breaking them down so your beauty routine gets a little easier with every article.

Question: How do I shape my eyebrows? How do I fill them in?
Want bang-up brows? We know the way.

Easy, Tweezy - First off, start slow. When it comes to tweezing, once it’s done, you’re going to have to wait a while for those brows to come back. Stick to tweezing hairs that are out of place, but don’t go overboard. Take a step back in the mirror and see how things look every other pluck or so.

Shade Selection - Use the brow product in the shade that is the closest to your actual brow hair color.

The Natural Technique - Brush your brows up and out with a small spoolie brush, so that you can see the natural shape and arch of your brows. Use short, small, dash-like strokes, starting from the bottom of your brow, using light pressure to fill them in. This will mimic your natural hairs in any sparse areas.

Set It Off – Once you’re all filled in, take a little matte shadow in a matching hue to gently fill in sparse spots and use a setting gel to keep your brows just how you want them. Take things a step further with our Brow Define and Lift Duo that will elevate your arch and give you a more defined look. 
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