Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beauty 411: FerOHHHsh Faves for "Flawless Skin".

Q.Your skin is flawless! What do you use?! What can't you live without?

A. As a beauty girl, I love to switch it up and try new products as soon as they launch, but some products are just so amazing that I always go back to them, if I stray from them at all. As a makeup artist, I've been able to try a TON of products, and I know what works for me in order to create the illusion of flawless skin. Trust me, my skin is far from flawless ;)

Here are some of my personal faves. Everyone is different, and they may not work for some, so take them with a grain of salt.

First, I wash my face with Aveeno Moiturizing Bar. I know, I've been told a hundred times never to wash your face with a bar soap. Phooey. While you shouldn't ever scrub down with Irish Spring (too harsh), the Aveeno bar is actually an oatmeal based and soap-free. I used to use Aveeno's calming face wash ( more on that later), but wanted something a little more powerful on makeup. I'm too lazy to go through a step by step makeup removal process, I like to lather, rinse, and hit the sack. After extensive research (some call it OCD, I call it INFORMED), I decided to try the moisturizing bar...and I've never looked back.

Next, moisture. I'm loving BE RareMinerals Purely Nourishing Facial Moisturizer. My skin needs moisturizer, but hates most of the ones on the market. I just stopped buying them after awhile because they kept going back due to break outs, flaking, irritation, you name it. I was in a relationship of mutual respect with Aveeno Calming moisturizer when this hit stores, and after receiving a sample, I fell in love. When I finally used up the Aveeno, this became my go to product. It's pretty lightweight, free of all the chemical junk, and my skin looks better than it ever has in my life. I think it smells great, too. Winner.

Then, eye prep. Arbonne FC5 Nourishing Eye Cream
is amazing. the skin around my eyes is super sensitive, and despite the beginning of some fine lines, any product I use results in flaking, redness, and irritation. My skin just doesn't like eye creams....except this one. It's lightweight, soothing, and doesn't irritate me, in spite of my heavy handed application. Plus, it feels amazing going on. My eyes feel refreshed just thinking about it...and that's not a cheesy "sell", that's genuine psychosomatic effect. Trust me, this is truly a miracle product, everyone I recommend it to falls in love.

Honorable mention goes to Laura Mercier Face Polish. I was first turned onto it when I worked for Mercier and it's fabulous. Don't want to spend $30 on a face scrub? I don't blame you. I also use (and love) Target's copy of the St.Ives Apricot Scrub. I don't know why, they're almost exact...but I prefer the Target version.

And MAC Wipes have saved my face from a night of suffocating in old makeup during sleep on more than one occasion. I also use them during application to clean up smokey eyes. They "edge" a line brilliantly.

Ok, now it's time to up my pretty factor, if I'm not being lazy.

Appearing flawless is simple

1. Even out your skintone while allowing your skin to show through, hiding redness, blemishes, and uneven tone.
2. EVERYONE can benefit from a bit of bronzer, it warms up the skin and gives the illusion of health. You don't have to bronze yourself within an inch of your life, just a simple, sheer glow.
3. Add a rosy, lit from within glow to your face. Again, no need for bubblegum cheeks, a sheer wash of color will brighten without looking garish.

My daily face:

Foundation: Philosophy The Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas- Live and die for this product. I tend to only use mineral formulas, and I prefer powder to liquid. BE is too "shimmery" for my personal tastes, I'm guessing mica? Philosphy's formulation is perfection...not shimmery, yet not too matte, doesn't settle in lines, and if applied correctly really does look airbrushed. The line does come in limited shade range, but they're working on that and have since expanded to about 7 shades from the 4 they carried when I started wearing it, and the shades blend so well that one can cover a pretty decent range within the shade. I love it so much I sometimes use the bronze shade as bronzer.... and now they've launched a new bronzer and bronze/cheek duo that I'm DYING to try. Definitely worth checking out. (*TIP- apply with a brush rather than the sponge applicator it comes with, and lightly mist with a face spray to bring down the powder and help it melt into the skin. I like BeautyTech Rosewater.)

Concealer: Lancome Effacernes Waterproof-- Holy GRAIL, I will never stray. As an Italian-American, I have really dark hereditary circles under my eyes (you Mediterranean girls know what I'm talking about), and I've really tried every concealer imaginable. Most of them are either too dry and cakey, or too creamy and tend to migrate into fine lines. This one does neither, it's just perfection. It's super thin and buildable so it never cakes. It's highly pigmented yet somehow appears sheer, so it covers the darkness without being noticeable. And best of all, it's waterproof, so it doesn't budge. BONUS: the tube is huge, by concealer tube standards. And its high pigment means that you use so little to get the job done, the tube lasts forever. Honestly, mine lasts about a year, with daily use. And I pack it on. AMAZING. (*TIP- PAT, don't rub. I know you've been told this time and time again, but with this product the technique ACTUALLY works. It literally melts into the skin and disappears. Also let it set for a minute or so before powdering to prevent migration, or don't powder at all. It's waterproof, and "sets" until you remove it.)

Bronzer:E.L.F. Clarifying Pressed Powder-- read that correctly. I'm pretty fair and yellow toned (MAC NC25 for reference), and traditional bronzers tend to look ruddy and dirty on me. And don't get me started on the "sparkle". I don't know about you, but I don't turn into a disco ball in the sun, just doesn't look natural. I usually just try to find a pressed powder in a deeper foundation tone to add depth and "sun" to my face. I happened upon this E.L.F powder in Quik Chek of all places (post about it here), and figured for a dollar, why not? Turned out to be the best decision I ever made, the shade is PERFECT, and the rest is history. Did I mention that it was A DOLLAR??? (*TIP- Key areas for a "believeable" bronze: temples, cheekbones, bridge of nose, along the sides of the face. the best way to achieve this is the "3" technique: Dip brush, shake off excess product, and trace the number 3 along the edges of your face, starting at temple, along the cheekbone, and ending at the bottom of the chin. Lightly dust across bridge to pull it together.)

Blush: MAC LE BlushDuo in Bloomsberry/TigerLily-- Ok, you're going to HATE me for this one, because this was an LE product and almost impossible to find now (I made sure to stock up). BB/TL is the BEST SHADE TO EVER EXIST for my skin tone. One side is a golden bronze, sort of similar to Amber Lights e/s, and the other is a cool icy pink. In it, I look healthy, rosy, pretty, and natural. And it's versatile- I swirl for all over color, or use a special split cheek brush to keep the colors separate and sculpt. I have no idea what I'll do when I finally run out of it. (*TIP- Sweep from apples out to temple. The apple of the cheek lines up with the center of your eye, so color should never come in any further.)

Also Love/Use: Rimmel Natural Color Blush in Apricot, LaFemme Glow-On Rouge in Golden Amber Dew (an insider secret and used on every movie set. Golden Amber Dew and Nectar Peach are LEGENDARY. These shades are in EVERY professional artists kit.)

If I know that I'll be photographed, I usually set everything with Makeup Forever HD Powder, which gives a soft focus effect, and keeps oil at bay.

I usually also always highlight... SUBTLY, to brighten my face. I stick to my cheekbone and brow bone, and use a light hand. I have no desire to look like a disco ball. I alternate MAC e/s in Shroom, MAC Shimpagne Skinfinish, or MAC Shy Angel Blush.

If I'm overtired or having an off day, BE Multi-Tasking Minerals in Well Rested is a miracle worker to brighten the under eye area. I've been using it for that purpose on myself and clients since before Leslie Blodgett caught on (it was initially marketed as an eyeshadow shade, until word of the "off-label" use spread.)

So that's my process to flawless. I have sensitive skin, so I keep it's more about technique than product. I've learned the hard way, but now I'm in a good rhythm and my skin couldn't be happier. So the next time you're having a skin crisis, instead of running to your nearest Sephora for the latest product innovation: take a breath, wash your face, and wait it out. Less is seriously more.


2 Responses to "Beauty 411: FerOHHHsh Faves for "Flawless Skin"."
mymilkglassheart said...
October 14, 2009 8:29 AM

I can't tell you how much I appreciate this post! We have a lot of the same issues. My dad is from Serbia and is super tan and oily and my mom is a red headed freckled WASP with hyper-sensitive skin. It's been rough for me.

I just hit 30 and it's like my skin suddenly made a turn for the worst and I was beginning to think all hope was lost.

I am going to write everything down and keep it close so I can try all of these things out! The way you described these products, it has addressed demands I too make from my cosmetics and skin care but I didn't think they were attainable!

Thank you so much!

Dani said...
October 14, 2009 3:19 PM

You're so welcome! Let me know if you have any questions!

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