Product Review: H&M Cream Lipstick in “Penny Red”

I’ll admit that I don’t normally shop at H&M – I’m not a huge fan of fast-fashion, nor do I usually have spare time to wander into a mall for a day of shopping. But I was recently in Las Vegas, and had a couple of hours to walk through the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. H&M was one of the few stores that I actually felt like wandering through, as I wasn’t in the mood for high-pressure sales tactics. Having been in the retail industry for years, I knew that H&M had launched their own version of cosmetics back in 2015 – in the race for capturing impulse buys and becoming a one-stop-shop destination, it made sense that they would directly compete in this space. Old Navy fought back in their own way by launching e.l.f. Cosmetics in stores to directly compete against H&M, but they never really made that much noise about it. I’m an avid e.l.f. consumer myself (per my love of their $3 Mineral Mascara and blushes), so I was curious enough to see what H&M was bringing to the table to directly compete with one of the more respected, inexpensive makeup brands on the market today.

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Before I talk about the actual product that I bought (H&M Cream Lipstick in “Penny Red”), I do want to talk about the merchandise presentation, and how it varies from what I’ve experienced in Old Navy stores, or even Target. Within H&M there is a designated beauty section, which is near the checkout counters (similarly to Old Navy’s set-up). But the shelving, packaging and self-service / try on stations are elevated in their appearance and functionality. As a customer, you’re free to test, try and take your time – not interrupt or shuffle through the line at checkout. I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised with the display presentation – it did not look or feel like most of the products within the shelves were roughly $15 and under. During the time I was at the H&M store’s beauty section, I sort of forgot that I was actually in an H&M! The gold / black / cream colored packaging is pretty and elegant, the displays were well-lit, and the textures of the products were true to color and vibrant. When I researched more about the product resourcing on H&M’s website, it does list several cosmetic manufacturers in Europe (Germany especially) that are designated suppliers. H&M is a European brand itself, so this made sense after researching a bit more. The presentation of product, and the products themselves, do not feel like an inexpensive brand.

And now for the product! I love lipstick, and I was impressed by the large range of shades and finishes available to test. I love cream lipsticks most, as I’m not a fan of glitter or sparkles – I want more of a moisturizing, glossy look with the opacity of a true lipstick. I also wanted a shade that was closer to a soft wine color for winter – and I found it! I have a true cherry red lipstick from Clinique, but I definitely wanted something a bit tamer for every day. “Penny Red” is a beautiful cross between red, light plum, and a deep rosy pink. The formula is silky, easy to apply, and hydrating. I also found that it wears well during the day – it doesn’t dry out or get cakey. This is also a total beauty-geek thing for me to say, but I love that the cap clicks shut – I hate packaging that can’t stand up to the day-to-day stress of riding around in my handbag, and there have been a few other lipsticks that I’ve had to toss after caps fell off and made a mess. After wearing this shade for the past few weeks, I’m really liking it, and I am impressed with the quality of the $9.99 formula. I also appreciate that it looks chic and yet is a very wearable color, even during the day. A side benefit of red lipsticks is that they make your teeth look whiter, and this one definitely delivers that!

I’ll keep this shade in mind for the future, as well as potentially testing out other H&M cosmetics. If you happen to love shopping there, give their beauty line a try – I’ll give them credit and say that they definitely put thought and quality into their product line, as well as a great variety of options in formulas and finishes.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Going to the spa on vacation & spa etiquette

As I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite extensively so far in my life, one thing that I’ve noticed is that my fellow Americans don’t usually plan for or consider spas a part of their vacation activities. Let alone their day-to-day routine. Which, to me, is really unfortunate. Our culture will spend tons of money for food or experiences, but often pass up a spa visit because it may be classified as too elitist or “luxurious” for the money. Spas, or “baths”, have been considered a part of civilization for thousands of years, and were truly meant to be a part of routine health and well-being. Since working in a spa as an esthetician early in my beauty career, I’ve realized how important it is to plan spa visits for myself regularly, as well as into my trip itineraries whenever possible – it truly adds to the pure relaxation of your vacation, or can help you during stressful times of your daily routine to escape for a bit and unwind.

In 2016, my husband and I were in Assisi, Italy, and stayed a night at the Nun Assisi Spa, which is not only heartbreakingly beautiful, but also is the recipient of numerous awards as a travel destination. This small spa hotel is a historical site dating back to time of the 1st century, and the services, products, and staff are amazing. As my husband and I were planning our Italy trip, we made a point to devote a day to just relaxing at the spa, and receiving massage and nail services. The underground infinity pool is warm and calming, and is next to the traditional four rooms of a Roman-style bath: the Tepidarium, Calidarium, Sudatorium, and Frigidarium. These rooms range in temperature to help purify the body and soothe the mind and senses. The modernization of the ancient space was so intelligently designed – it kept parts of the original Roman columns, yet the treatment rooms and amenities are beautifully done. Robes are plush, and there’s a lightly scented aroma throughout the spa. The day we spent at this spa was so incredible, and our services were so comforting and well done – it was such a nice bit of relaxation within a busy trip of sightseeing and touring. Given the opportunity to go back to Italy in the future, we’ll make it a point to stay here again!

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Last month, my husband was in Las Vegas for business, and I decided to join him at the end of the work week for an extended weekend getaway. We stayed at the Mirage, and even though I’ve been to Las Vegas several times, I’ve never been a guest there before. The Mirage actually houses an award-winning spa, and has a local following of routine clientele. I’m not a gambler, and seeing as though I was smack-dab in the middle of one of the most sought-after hospitality destinations in the world and had the time, I couldn’t pass up making a massage appointment to try out the spa.

The spa itself is beautiful, and is a welcome relief from the constant blur of lights, sounds, smoke, music and crowd moving through the casino floor. There is a private set of jacuzzis in both the women’s and men’s divisions of the spa, and the waiting rooms are quiet and pristine. My therapist was professional and fantastic in her technique – she was caring, attentive, and was obviously proud of her spa; welcoming me to enjoy all of the amenities and take my time. The robes here were some of the best I’ve ever used, not a one-size fits all, but sized appropriately for a woman’s body frame. My few days away felt like more a true vacation, being able relax for half a day in the spa. I’ll definitely come back to the Mirage Spa again, given the opportunity to return to Las Vegas.

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So, now that I’ve talked about a couple of great spas and why to visit them, let’s chat about proper spa etiquette – which is applicable at ANY spa environment. Note: I’m giving you these recommendations not only as a person that used to work in a spa, but also as a patron of spas – I’ve seen some bad behavior over the years that definitely impacts other guests, and your ability to truly enjoy a quality spa experience.

  1. Be quiet!!! Seriously, you don’t need to talk that much at all. The technician is also not there to make small talk – they are there to focus on your comfort, and your treatments as scheduled. It’s YOUR time to relax, reflect, rest, and just be still. I’ve worked on people who have literally talked their entire way through a facial or a body treatment – that’s not relaxation, nor does it make the technician’s job easy to focus. Turn off or silence cell phones too, and keep them in your provided locker.
  2. Be mindful of other people’s space and relaxation. Especially if you are in a group of people, like a bridal party. The walls are only sound-proof to a point – I get that you are there to enjoy yourself, but laughing, shouting, and drinking excessively (usually champagne) is not appropriate behavior within a spa. Even in the waiting room or lounges before or after your services. Also, put your dirty towels and robes in the baskets provided, and dispose of used napkins or leftover snacks in the garbage. Unless you’ve rented out the whole spa for your own use, keep in mind that other people are paying to have peace and quiet.
  3. Understand that paying for services doesn’t just support the technician, but also pays for your amenities provided during the time you are there. That includes the jacuzzis, showers, products, towels, robes and staff that keep the spa running. Prices are not something to haggle over or complain to the staff about. Also, if you feel that a service isn’t being received as you expected, speak up immediately and not after the service is done – it’s much easier to fix or correct a service mid-way through, if you feel something isn’t right.
  4. Be honest and clear about any allergies or health conditions before your treatments begin. If you have skin sensitivities, or have an existing injury, talk with the staff to ensure that they take that into account before your services begin. As an example, I always explain that mint or peppermint essential oils can easily irritate my skin, and I request them not to be used during a facial, pedicure or massage. This eliminates any reaction for me, and also helps the technician understand what products are best to use in the treatment.
  5. Get over being “awkward” about your body parts. This one is always one that makes me laugh, because spa employees are very much like people in the medical profession – the body, to them, is not something to be prudish about. It’s just part of the gig, and they are used to working on various parts of the human body and studying anatomy in their training. For example, in Europe, the standard is for the person receiving massage treatments to usually be completely naked, with the exception of paper underwear. In America, our technicians are much more compliant with modesty, and will drape the body accordingly. Just a word of caution, as cultural standards for treatments are not necessarily the same in different regions of the world.

Most of all, enjoy yourself and the amenities provided. Spas take great pride in providing comfort, and the amenities are there to make your stay even better. Also, you can usually find fantastic spas pretty easily. If you are on vacation, ask your hotel concierge, or simply look at Google or Trip Advisor. I truly recommend giving this a try the next time you vacation, or even looking in your surrounding community if you are feeling the need for a quick escape. The health benefits of relaxation, and being able to feel comforted and treated, is totally worth it for all of us.

©2017 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Dry brushing & argan oil for healthy skin

With the arrival of fall weather, many people cringe at the thought of their dry skin getting worse. There are few tools that you may not be familiar with, but that are very effective at keeping skin healthy, glowing, and conditioned – dry brushing and argan oil. Both are actually ancient practices, dating back to Middle Eastern and Japanese cultures. But in our Western culture, it’s not something that has been usually taught or recognized in our day-to-day lives. When attending beauty school, I learned about both of these topics as means as both treatments and a healthy routine to adopt daily. Plus, they are easy and affordable to use!

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Let’s talk about dry brushing first: this is a method of lightly brushing the skin with a specially designed brush to gently exfoliate body skin, and promote a healthy lymphatic system. There are a bunch of YouTube videos and websites that talk about techniques on how to brush, as well as recommendations on the type of brush. For me, I love Sephora’s Dry Body Brush ($14), since it has a easy to grip design with two circular sections. Dry brushing should occur in the morning, and only take you about 3-5 minutes total. I do caution people with hyper sensitive skin that 3 minutes is usually enough – you don’t want to over-stimulate the skin, or risk irritation. For basic technique, start near the tops of your feet, using the larger of the brush’s sections to start circular, quick motions up your legs and body. I then use the smaller section on my arms, chest and shoulders in the same circular motions. After brushing, shower as normal. The benefits from routine brushing include helping to stimulate circulation, improve lymphatic flow, detox the body, and reducing the appearance of cellulite.

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And now let’s chat about argan oil: this oil has been used for centuries in Morocco, in both food and cosmetics. You will see it named or packaged differently within the beauty industry as Moroccan oil or argan oil, but it is essentially the same thing. Argan oil has a high content of Vitamin E, fatty acids, and is more resistant to oxidation than other plant oils, such as olive oil. But the benefit is that it’s easily absorbed into skin, and helps promote healthy moisture balance and skin cells. Some people do dry brush after applying oil to the skin – but I’ve found that this just makes the dry brush a bit gross after a few uses. So, I prefer the other common method of dry brushing first, showering, and then applying oils or lotion after showering. I don’t usually use argan oil just on its own – I especially like to boost my body lotion with a few drops of oil (combining both in the palm of my hand) to help my skin hold moisture. Argan oil mimics the skin’s own sebum, but it does not cause clogging even within combination or oily skin types. I love Trader Joe’s Argan Oil, which is a steal at $6.99. There’s no added fragrance that would irritate skin – it’s just pure, organic argan oil!

Another benefit to having a bottle of argan oil on hand is that it helps tame frizzy hair (just a drop or two), heal dry cuticles, and boosts the effectiveness of any moisturizer. I don’t recommend using it on the face during the day, for two reasons. One, if you have somewhat oilier skin, this can cause your makeup to slide a bit or not last the full day. And two, oil breaks down SPF protection – which you should be wearing during each day! Unless you have extremely dry skin, I suggest using argan oil on your face at night if you typically wear a full face of makeup.

Give these a try, especially if you typically suffer from dry, itchy skin. It’s also great practice to keep up with year round – you’ll notice smoother, radiant skin without having to spend that much!

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up

There are about 6 times in my life thus far that I can say a beauty product made time literally stand still for me, as I had an “OMG I NEED this!!” reaction after trying it. I can now add #7 to that list…L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up was a game changer for me during the last 2 weeks prior to my next haircut and color. I usually push my limit for time in between appointments, with getting all-over color every 8 weeks. Depending on how fast my hair grows, my roots can look pretty darn gross around week 6 or 7. The other fun factor for me this last round was that I was traveling to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway before I was able to get in for my appointment. And let’s face it – getting dolled up for great dinners and shows does NOT do you any justice if your gray roots are showing. And lucky me, my roots were going strong in their au naturel glory. So, I saw this the last time I was at ULTA, and decided to give it whirl to help save my style during vacation.

Based on the color range and use instructions on the back, the shade I selected was Light Golden Brown for my hair color. The bottle size is perfect for travel, per TSA guidelines. And, more importantly, the application method looked super easy – basically, it’s point and spray to apply.

The formula is peroxide-free, ammonia-free, and does not have any synthetic dyes. Plus, the color lasts between shampoos! Here’s a few tips that I found worked best for application and styling:

  • Wash and condition hair as normal, and towel-dry.
  • Apply a heat or hydrating style treatment, then air or blow-dry.
  • Once hair is dry, style as needed with heat.
  • Section the top layers of hair at the crown, and spray directly at the roots – about 6 inches away. I use my other hand to shield my forehead as needed.
  • Color will dry down after about 1 minute, but I found you can still move and separate hair during this time to apply where needed – it’s not sticky.
  • After application, I then brush lightly and style as I want, and apply hairspray. I found that this also “locks” the color into place.

I was amazed at how naturally the spray color blended into my hair, and immediately covered my roots. My hair looked so much better, considering I had almost 8 weeks of out-growth at the top of my head. The other plus is that I didn’t see any color transfer onto my pillowcases – I was able to maintain my washing every other day routine, without fear of color fading or staining the bed linens.

This product retails just over $10, and is super concentrated. I found that a little goes a long way, and much was easier to apply than a brush-on powder or a mascara wand-like liquid formula. Also, it doesn’t add any weight or dry stiffly – it moves with your own hair. I’m keeping a bottle stocked in my bathroom, and the size easily fits into any gym bag or carry-on for travel. This is truly one of the best beauty-emergency or fix-it products that I’ve come across in a long time!

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: ULTA Silicone Sonic Facial Cleansing Device

Per my previous blog post, I’ve been able to try quite a few new products in the past 2 months. One of those products includes the ULTA Silicone Sonic Facial Cleansing Device, which I picked up during a sale on ulta.com. With the craze in skincare tools emerging over the last few years, including the Foreo silicone tools, I figured I would try a lower cost version to see how it stacks up against higher-priced brands. The concept and benefits are similar to rotating facial cleansing brushes, but the vibration used within the silicone separates these tools a bit in capability.

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Facial brushes are all designed to clarify skin, breakup embedded dirt and makeup, and remove loose skin cells. Rotating bristles do have the risk of causing irritation, as even the most gentle brushes can disrupt sensitive skin if used too much. Exfoliation is great, but it must be used in moderation to not disturb the skin’s natural moisture barrier. If there are micro-tears or irritation, this can lead to breakouts or rash. The concept behind a silicone tool is to gently exfoliate and polish with small, rounded “nubs”, but also utilize vibration to stimulate circulation and lymph flow within the skin. The silicone used in this tool is anti-microbial, and is safe for sensitive skin. There are 2 speeds in the tool for level of vibration – the higher the speed, the more exfoliation. This can be used for cleansing, or helping the skin to absorb serums and moisturizers. I use this mostly for cleansing, and the tool is water-resistant so I keep it in a dry corner of the shower. Here’s a few tips for using the tool to cleanse:

  • Use a foaming cleanser: lather up the cleanser in your hands and massage over skin. Wet the brush and turn on to the level of vibration you like – rub lightly over skin to spread the lather, and work gently into corners like the edges of your nose.
  • Use for about a minute, and make sure to rinse the brush well.
  • If your skin is very sensitive, I recommend only using 1x a day.

The reason I recommend lathering cleansers is that I’ve found they work best with the tool. A creamy cleanser tends to get a bit “stuck” in the nubs of the brush, so it doesn’t benefit your skin as much as the suds will. If you are interested in using the tool to help your skin absorb serums or moisturizers, you’ll need to make sure it’s clean and dry between each use. The theory behind using it for those products is that it stimulates quicker absorption into the skin cells. My advice is to apply the serum or moisturizer to your skin first, and massage in and then use the tool until fully absorbed. For us sensitive-skinned peeps, just be sure you don’t over-do it. Any time that circulation is increase you’ll naturally see a rosier glow on the skin. But don’t mistake it for irritation or a rash! My advice is to work this tool in gradually to your skincare routine, and see what your skin responds to best. I found that after using for several weeks with my favorite foaming cleansers that I noticed my skin was polished and had a nice, smooth texture. I’ve also used this while washing my shoulders, chest and top of my back, as it helped with exfoliation of drier skin from being outdoors.

In comparison to bristle brushes, I do like the silicone alternative – I think it’s much gentler and better for troubled or sensitive skin. I will say that this tool doesn’t deliver as precise a clean as the Foreo tools do – those have a wedge-shaped tip that can get into the nooks and crannies of your nose and contours of your face. But if you are looking for an overall clean for polishing, or are new to skincare tools, I think this is a good entry-level product.

© 28daysbeauty 2017

Product Review: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner

Get ready friends – I’ve spent the last 2 months trying a bunch of new products, and I’m excited to share them with you. You guys already know my love for Shea Moisture, and so when I started running low on shampoo and conditioner, I decided to try their Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore line. I color my hair every 8 weeks (damn you, gray hairs!), and have shoulder-length thick, straight, auburn hair. Even though I use Framesi color, which is a gentle brand, I still want to ensure that I keep my hair strong, hydrated, and prevent fading of the color. I’d had my eye on this particular product combination from Shea Moisture, as it not only is a brand I trust, but combines some well-known natural hair remedies in a powerful blend of ingredients.

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The formula in both the shampoo and conditioner combines Shea Butter and Apple Cider Vinegar to deeply hydrate, add shine, and balance the scalp’s natural pH levels. Apple Cider Vinegar has been recommended for ages as a great strengthening and conditioning treatment for hair. Castor oil has been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for promoting hair growth and pH balance, as well as hydration due to its high content of fatty acids. When chemically treating your hair, you need to be conscious of affecting the scalp’s sensitivity, as color processing can dry out follicles and disrupt the scalp’s moisture. This shampoo also removes residue and build up – I love this because I wash my hair every 2-3 days, and I use dry shampoo and styling products in-between washes. I noticed that my hair felt cleaner between washes when using this shampoo and conditioner combination. Other aspects I love about this formula is that it promotes growth, and repairs damage to hair. In addition, they are sulfate and paraben-free, with no mineral oil or animal testing. When using, the shampoo produces a ton of suds, and the conditioner is creamy yet lightweight. My hair has volume, but also feels hydrated and under control. I’ve also noticed that my hair has been holding color well, other than the natural grow out of my roots. I like the scent too – it’s a blend of essential oils, isn’t overpowering, and is appropriate for both men and women. I recommend looking at the ingredient blend to determine any potential allergies you may have before using – the line is naturally based, so if you are allergic to any botanical sources, then it’s wise to read before using to determine any potential reactions. I usually alternate between brands for my shampoo and conditioner when I’m ready to restock, but this brand’s line will definitely be a routine go-to on my shopping list.

If you are someone who has drier or coarse hair, or routinely colors or chemically processes your hair, then I suggest checking out this line from Shea Moisture. The price is great for a natural line, and more importantly, delivers results. Another awesome product line from Shea Moisture!

© 28daysbeauty 2017

Beauty Topic: Concealers – why I use 2 full-coverage formulas at the same time

Changing your makeup based on the seasons is a great habit to get in to, as it allows your skin to look more natural based on the climate. Now that summer is over, I can see the effect the sun has had on my skin and what I need to adjust in my daily makeup routine to cover more effectively. No matter how much sunscreen I use, there always seems to be a bit of discoloration on my skin after the sailing season is over. There’s a ton of emphasis from the beauty world put on foundation, and selecting the right one for your skin type and desired finish. This is for good reason; foundation creates your base canvas for any look. But what about the beauty concerns that foundation cannot correct on it’s own? Dark circles or spots. Acne scars or breakouts. Red patches or blotchiness? Well, meet your new best friend to pinpoint and attack these challenges – the concealer. Using the right formulas, and the right color combinations, can be game-changing even for your everyday looks. However, concealer is often an overlooked and misunderstood product – many people are confused on how to incorporate concealer into their daily routine (does it go on top of, or underneath, my foundation?) and why not all concealers are created equal (wand, pot, tubes, etc). Like red lipstick or black liquid eyeliner, the words “full-coverage” can strike fear into those trying to select a concealer. They fear that it will look cakey, or be difficult to blend in. But in these modern times of beauty innovation, there’s a great selection to choose from. Let’s chat about 2 concealers that are full coverage, and that I’ve been using daily for the past couple of months to achieve the look I want.

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Let’s start with LORAC’s POREfection Concealer – I’m shade PC1 (pictured above). This concealer is oil-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free, so it’s virtually perfect for any hyper-reactive sensitive skin. Being oil-free, this is incredibly long-lasting and helps to create a soft satin finish on the skin all day. It also contains a blend of antioxidants to help brighten and care for skin, yet works to fully cover uneven tone, dark circles and spots. I use this within my cheek area, as I have uneven skin tone and dark spots, and it completely covers them. Caution: you only need a teeny bit to cover your concerns – I start with a small dot on the back of my hand, and apply with my fingers. This helps spread the formula, as I’ll then blend in with foundation brush. But we’ll talk about application tips in a minute. I really like the tube packaging, as you can control the amount of concealer being dispensed, and it keeps the rest of the product hygienic.

My next choice is NYX’s Full Coverage concealer in yellow (pictured below). What?? Yellow? Yes. As a person who suffers from red spots almost everyday, yellow concealer is a MUST in my makeup bag. Yellow counteracts redness, and also doubles as a brightening effect – I use this for any red spots and blemishes, as well as my eyelids and under-eye area to highlight and brighten up skin tone. The jar packaging is great, as you can pick up just the amount of product you want on a concealer brush. I clean my brushes everyday, so this keeps the product free from bacteria. This formula is creamy, but does contain microcrystalline wax and paraffin to give it more of a paste consistency. The yellow shade is meant for spot-application, so the paste consistency helps for staying power and building coverage as you want. There are fantastic You-Tube videos out there about color correction, which dive much deeper into that topic and all of the related shades (such as green, lavender and orange). For now, I’ll just focus on yellow concealer and why I love using it in my normal routine.

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Now that you know what I use, let’s talk about why I use them based on my needs. When starting out with my makeup for the day, here’s my routine:

  • Apply liquid foundation first with my foundation brush, and focus just on the larger areas of my face: forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. I blend down into the neckline, and apply just enough to even my skin tone out. Note – I can still see areas needing some correction at this initial stage.
  • Using a flat concealer brush, I’ll pick up a bit of NYX’s yellow concealer from the jar and dot under my eyes, over my eyelids, and around the edges of my nose. I’ll blend in with the concealer brush and use my skin’s warmth to spread evenly. This instantly brightens dark areas, conceals any redness, and highlights while blending into the edges of my foundation. I also use a bit under the arch in my brow bone to give the illusion of height and create definition. This is also a very concentrated formula, so a little bit goes a long way.
  • Next, I’ll squeeze a small dot of my LORAC POREfection concealer on the back of my left hand, and use my right-hand ring finger to gently apply dots of this concealer to wider areas of concern (like my cheeks) that have uneven skin tone. I’ll blend this in with my foundation brush.
  • Lastly, I’ll use my concealer brush to tackle any remaining red spots with a bit of the NYX yellow concealer, blending in with the foundation underneath.

Even though this sounds like a lot of work, it takes me only a few minutes to complete. I do recommend practicing to get a method of blending and combination of formulas that works best for you. A full-coverage foundation does its job in evening out the skin tone, but it’s really the task of good concealers to camouflage any imperfections. Yellow can seem intimidating, but I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to work into your routine once you get the hang of it – it brightens skin immediately, and highlights without adding shimmer. The eye area can especially benefit from the brightening effect of a yellow concealer, as it counteracts dark circles and calms down any redness on eyelids. You can also blend concealers to get just the right shade you are looking for – I’ve known of plenty of makeup artists that have several concealer shades, and use the back of their hand as a blending tray – this uses the warmth of the skin to mix different formulas easily. They can then use the concealer shades to contour, highlight or sculpt the face as they want. Wand concealers can be tricky to use, as I find that it’s harder to control the amount they dispense. By putting a used wand back into the product it can breed bacteria, which may also cause breakouts.

In my years of talking about beauty, there is one concern that lighter-skinned or redheaded people are often frustrated with: freckles. And especially how full-coverage foundations and concealers may look a bit “fake” when trying to cover up a full-face of them. If you want your freckles to still show, I recommend using tinted moisturizers instead of foundation, as full-coverage formulas can be very noticeable in trying to “hide” freckles if not applied correctly. I do still recommend using a full-coverage concealer for targeted areas after a tinted moisturizer – you can control opacity and coverage with adding a bit of moisturizer as needed to your concealer, and then blending just the imperfections away properly so that they do not interfere with freckles. A dusting of powder is a great way to set a tinted moisturizer and also give a softening effect for the overall finish. The biggest technique for people with freckles is to master is blending down the neck, as it looks more natural overall with application. If you are trying to combat freckles or uneven skin tone overall, then I do suggest looking at skincare products like First Aid Beauty’s Facial Radiance Pads or similar glycolic / AHA serums that helps to fade discoloration over time.

A final benefit of these full-coverage formulas is that these are long-lasting formulas, and you get your money’s worth. And they are easy additions that you can experiment with – sometimes it’s the little changes that you make that have a big impact on results.

© 2017 28daysbeauty