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5 Cheap & Easy Hacks For Controlling Oily Skin

6th July 2015
oily skin hacks

Oily skin can be a pain, right along with the shiny forehead and cheeks it brings. I have this problem so I constantly have to find new methods that work to keep my pores from becoming clogged and morphing into giant pimples. Along the way I’ve discovered a few hacks that have helped me that has my skin looking fresh and very unreflective. Here are 5 cheap and easy hacks that have helped me with my oily skin drama.


Blot…A lot

oily skin hacks

This has probably helped me the most. I wear makeup on a daily basis and I used to buy those flimsy strips of paper that are specifically made to soak up oil. Don’t get me wrong oil blotters do a great job but they also removed my foundation and caused me to have to reapply my makeup. That’s when I discovered the toilet paper trick. Most squares of toilet paper have two to three layers so I’d just pull them apart so that I had a single layer of tissue. The thin sheet of tissue acts as a light sponge and only soaks up the oil and leaves my foundation untouched! Just lay it wherever there’s oil and press down and voila all gone!




Astringent Is The Bomb Diggity

One thing that I do after I’ve washed my face at night is apply astringent. Astringent is just a fancy word for a product that attracts and traps oil and dirt. It has alcohol in it as well and leaves the surface of whatever it touches pretty clean and sterile. I use it on my forehead and cheeks and throughout the day if i’m not wearing makeup. My favourite brand to use is Seabreeze, this formula is strong so I would’t use it more than 2-3 time a day. It works so well that it can actually cause you to have dry skin. If regularly astringent can also shrink your pores which is what causes excessive oil in the first place!



Don’t Reapply Your Foundation

I know this one’s hard not to do but it’s not worth the painful pimple that could spawn from it. I noticed that when I was practicing this habit I would get random breakouts. They didn’t happen right away which is proof that reapplying was causing build up in my pores and since I also have sensitive skin (which makes everything much more complicated) I can’t use harsh cleansers. So this buildup wasn’t going anywhere and I’d get these huge painful blemishes which were nurtured by my oily skin and were hard to get rid of. If you must reapply blot before you do otherwise you’re just putting makeup on top of oil and sealing it in, creating a fresh zit in the process.



Try Not To Sleep In Your Makeup 

For those with a busy, party hard or lazy type of lifestyle this can be a regular thing that just kind of happens. Habits like this not only cause acne and clogged pores but also damaged skin. Most makeup products that are on the market including some expensive brands contain toxic chemicals. Our skin is a living organism with pores that excrete and absorb whatever’s on top of it. This can cause you to prematurely age due to cell damage from the chemicals in your products and also cause your pores to enlarge. The bigger your pores the more oil they’ll produce and the more shine you’ll have.


Use Soaps & Natural Products v.s. Manufactured Formulas

The only thing that I’ve used to wash my skin with for the past 4 years is Dove soap for sensitive skin. I actually learned this from my grandmother who at the ripe and tender age of 70 had butter milk smooth skin. Manufactured products work and are great for fixing blemishes quickly but they also contain chemicals that no one can spell or pronounce that are absorbed through your pores filling your body with toxins. Try using clay washes like Rhassoul clay which is found in nature and has been used for hundreds of years by royalty and indigenous tribes because of its amazing properties. I always think when buying products would a queen have used this?


Your skin be it oily or dry is what you must live with for the rest of your life and that should be the best reason to take very good care of it. Oily skin can bring it’s share of problems but it also is beneficial in ageing and makes your skin less prone to wrinkles. Practicing these 5 hacks for oily skin everyday will make a vast improvement and will save you several headaches.



How to Apply Powder Cream & Liquid Foundations

24th April 2015
how to apply foundation

Whether you’re a powder, cream or liquid foundation girl the importance of application is dyer. Not having the right tools to make your base blend in smoothly can revert to your base wearing you and not YOU wearing your base.


Powder foundation is one the easiest types of foundation to apply to the skin and comes in a pressed powder or loose powder form . Loose powder is the form that is generally used in mineral foundations and looks like textured baby powder. Pressed powder is the most common and is smooth in appearance and powdery in texture. Both of these require a totally different application process depending on your skin type.

Pressed Powder Foundation

Pressed powder should be applied with a sponge or if you have problems with oily skin try a foundation brush with a variation in bristle height like a stippling brush. This will ensure even strokes and a light layer over the skin preventing clogged pores. Other foundation brushes range in all sizes and feature more compact bristles for different coverage types. Remember the denser the bristles the heavier the coverage.

If you have problems with blotches or uneven texture try a flat brush rather than a rounded one. Flat brushes make it easier to notice the amount that is actually on the brush and provide even strokes. These brushes work best for those who like heavier coverage and have problems with blotches. When choosing a sponge know that you should experiment with what works best for you skin and what feels best in your hands. They come in all shapes and sizes and yield the same stroke. Keep in mind that the cheaper they are the more they will lack in quality. My favorite sponge is the diamond shaped sponge it allows for great manipulation when it comes to creating strokes.

*A good makeup sponge will be thick in texture and will last long and not crumble, providing even strokes.


Loose Powder Foundation

Loose powder is very light and fluffy in texture and can provide a very natural finish. This powder can appear almost translucent on top of the skin and is a favorite of the natural makeup loving girl. This foundation is best applied with a short handled densely compacted brush. Due to the very nature of this powder when being applied they will fall loosly with every stroke and therefore need to be spread around evenly. Larger brushes do just that and can apply loose powder foundation to large areas perfectly. These brushes come in a flat and round shape with a long or short handle. It all comes down to what feels best in your hand. If you’re prone to quick light strokes a short handle will feel best where as longer handles are better for longer and slower strokes.

*The key is to pick up an even amount of powder from light dabs, with this powder a little truly goes a long way.


Liquid Foundation

This is one of the trickier foundations and can be difficult to master. This foundation comes in different consistencies  and coverage levels but can deliver flawless coverage. One thing to now about the application of liquid foundation is that every stroke counts and must be moulded to make a beautifully even face. Some great applicators include oval shaped blending sponges and flat or sparsely bristled brushes.

If you have problems with oily skin and enlarged pours go for a liquid foundation that is watery in texture and stay away from oil based liquid foundations as these contain pore clogging ingredients. Dry skin textures should massage the skin with moisturiser before application and look for liquid foundations that contain ingredients that hydrate the skin. Not Properly keeping your skin moisturised can lead to wrinkle like lines in your foundation and promote dry patches. Remember with liquid foundation it’s not about layering it’s all about the stroke of your brush that matters in flawless coverage.


Cream Foundation

Last but not least cream foundations are a less widely used option but one that is not to be put on the back burner. Cream foundations are an amazing option for those who like an extremely natural looking coverage. They contain water and many other ingredients that make them really blend into the skin while letting your pores breathe. They come in a pressed form a thick and creamy like custard.

I’m an absolute lover of natural makeup and I received the most compliments on my skin when I was wearing this form of foundation. It brought a glow to my face and seemed to melt and disappear into my skin and looked so natural! One thing that I can say is that if you have any scars or blemishes they will not be covered by this foundation and should probably be used with concealer. It is similar to liquid foundation but lighter and less streaky in wear. The best applicators for pressed cream foundations are compacted short bristled brushes and rounded stubby sponges. If you’re using the creamy like custard form I suggest a flat shaped compact brush for better manipulation. This type of foundation is friendly for all skin types!

*The key to applying cream foundation is much like liquid foundation being that it’s all in the stroke.



How To Contour Your Cheek Bones

4th April 2015

How To Contour Your Cheek Bones

Contouring is an amazing tool to implement into your beauty routine, it can enhance your eyes and slim your face and really finish off any look. This skill is easy to learn and takes practice but once you have it you have it for life! Here are some tricks to the trade to jump start you to contouring perfection.


Using The Right Makeup Brush

Makeup brushes in some cases aren’t really needed to achieve a look but when it comes to contouring the brush is everything. An angled makeup brush is ideal for sculpting your face. In choosing a brush take into account how it feels in your hand and how easy it is to make long and precise strokes. My favorite brush is the one on the far left!

Contour Brush

Contouring Brush

Finding Your Cheek Bones

Some women are lucky and have very profound cheek bones (good for them) but many do not and finding them can be tricky. Thankfully one thing that can help is the ridiculous selfie trend “the duck face”. This facial expression actually causes the muscles in your face to tense up and reveal the plump tissue that is your cheeks. The area you’re wanting to contour is just underneath the plump part of your cheeks where the skin on the face lays flat again.


Yellow= Plump Parts
Burgundy= Contour Line


Contouring Powder

Finding a good contouring powder is very important, you could have all of the best makeup brushes money can buy but without a nice powder for contouring it won’t come out correctly. Picking a shade that’s right for you is key. I suggest that ethnic women use a mosaic palette that has several pigment shades including a dark brown tone. Most black women aren’t just brown but have several shades that make up their rich skin tone. If you’re having issues finding the right powder stay away from very deep tones a lighter contour is better than an overly bulky and bold one.

Contourin Powder

Milani Sunset Spice (actual powder I use)

How Much Is Too Much?

Sometimes when contouring it can be easy to make the line too thick and ruin that sleek and slim line that you really want. When applying the powder to your brush tap the brush lightly to shake off any extra powder. When dabbing brushes into powder one can apply too much pressure to the middle of the brush and cause a large gathering  of makeup at the center of the brush. Be sure to apply the same pressure in all areas or you could end up with a patchy line.



The direction at which you’re contouring should be towards your ears. When you’re making that first stroke I find going in a straight upward motion is best, especially for beginners. Sweeping the brush back and forth should be used only to deepen the tone of the line and to blend it in not for applying the first stroke.


Towards Your Ears

Don’t Make A ‘U’ Shape

Some may be tempted to contour and make the line hook around their cheek bone because our cheek bones are circularly shaped in a sense. However doing this will cause your contour to appear misshaped and in some instances make your lines appear different on either side.


U Shaped Contour (Incorrect)


Blending in your contour is the easiest part, however keep in mind how much pressure you’re using, being too forceful can cause you to erase areas and cause gaps in your contour. Using a medium sized fluffy blush brush for blending is ideal. Remember to use light up and down short strokes and long and light strokes.

How To Contour

The Shape Of Your Face

Standing in a mirror and looking at the shape of your face is surprisingly helpful. Our faces aren’t shapeless blobs there are so many natural contours and lines going on that we miss them. Find your cheek bones and then imagine your contour on your face, more than likely wherever you’ve mentally placed it is where it should be.

How To Contour

Helpful Brush Hack

If you’re using a fuller brush squeeze the base of the brush to make the hairs more horizontally aligned, this makes it easier to achieve a narrow line.

Contouring Brushes

Clean Up Those Lines For A Polished Look

When you’re done contouring use a lighter powder or what you’d normally use for your highlight and your regular powder base for cleaning up lines. Use the lighter powder or highlight to clean up the line on top of the plump part of your cheeks by placing your powder on a sponge and making a swooping motion towards your ears. The amount of powder you use for this should be half the size of the line of your contour. Then use your everyday wear powder to clean up the line below your cheek bones, another straight swoosh with a sponge should do the trick.

How To Contour

Yellow Line= Light Base (Highlight)
Burgundy= Contour
Orange= Your Normal Everyday Powder

These helpful hints can keep you going in the right direction as dar as achieving the perfect contour. Contouring is a skill and like all learned talents you must continue to practice them to become extremely skilled. Remember to keep trying and soon you’ll be a contouring master!


My Contour


Can’t Find A Powder That Matches Your Skin? These 2 Hacks Can Help

1st April 2015

Can’t Find A Powder That Matches Your Skin? These 2 Hacks Can Help

As a woman of colour I’ve found that when it comes to finding a good quality powder that actually matches my skin it’s pretty rough out there. Depending on the neighbourhood you live in certain shades in makeup lines won’t be available simply because it’s not in demand due to the lack of ethnic people in that area. For example I’ve tried Estee Lauder’s Invisible powder and found that I only had four shades to choose from and the closest one to the tone of my skin was still two shades lighter. I then moved on to Clinique and found a very light weight powder and out of the oh so glamorous three shades I had to choose from the one that somewhat matched was two shades too dark! So after months of either looking too dark or too light I tapped into my makeup artist within and found a solution! Here are a two hacks to help your too dark or too light powder dilema.


Too Dark Solution: Highlight Method

The main issue with powder that is too dark is that when it is fully applied it makes the areas surrounding the eyes look much darker and can accentuate lines and wrinkles. Using a light coloured powder for highlighting can get rid of this problem and make your face look a lot lighter and blended. Start by choosing the brightest tone in your skin and pick a powder that matches that tone. I have a lot of yellowish orange tones So I chose Revlon Colorstay in Medium Deep. in order for this hack to work you must choose the correct coloured powder. When shopping apply a dab of the powder on your hand and smooth it in you should notice lighter shades in your skin become more apparent to your eyes. If the shade just looks very pale and stands out keep trying out powders.

What you need:

A light coloured powder, Makeup sponge, Medium Powder Brush and a powder for contouring


Step 1

Apply your powder

Step 2

Apply your lighter coloured powder under the eyes using a makeup sponge in the shape of an upside down half moon. In order for this to be effective the area of your highlight should be about this wide.


Step 3 

Apply the powder on your makeup sponge and use the lighter powder on the entire bridge of the nose in a medium thin line as well as the middle of your forehead. When applying on your forehead make a tree with branches like shape such as this.

Drawing (1)

Step 4

Using your makeup sponge gently dab the lighter powder into the light coloured powder a few times and dab angularly onto the cheekbones. In order for this to work you only need to apply just enough powder to the sponge so that if it were applied on paper it would sparsely be seen .

Drawing (2)

Step 5 (optional)

Using your contouring powder and a medium sized powder brush contour your cheek bones and blend well to create a nice gradient contrast between the lighter powder and your contour. I use Milani Mosaics in Sunset Spice it’s gorgeous on all skin tones!

Drawing (3)

Voila! your darker powder should now appear a lot less deep and look more blended in with your own skin tone.


Too Light Solution: Dusting Method

The main issue with base that is much too pale for your skin tone is it doesn’t cover blemishes and accentuates the whites of your eyes. Making you look ashy due to your darker toned skin seeping through unblended. What you’re going to do is help your natural skin seep through a little less undetected from the aid of a darker powder. I have some very deep browns in my skin so I use L.A. Colors Mineral Powder in CMP315 Ebony. In or for this hack to work when picking your darker powder it must be a shade that is in your skin tone, when shopping for this powder dab it on your hand and rub it in darker tones should become more apparent and give you that it almost matches but it’s a touch too dark feeling.

What you Need:

A medium Powder Brush, Dark powder foundation


Step 1: 

Apply your powder


Step 2:

Apply the darker powder onto the medium powder brush and apply it to the edges of your face in dusting like upward and downward strokes. When doing this to your jawline start at the chin and go towards your ears still making dusting like strokes up and down.

Drawing (4)

Step 3:

Making a creep face (yes a creep face) to find the shapes of your cheek bones and begin making a dusting like motion up and down until you’ve outlined the shape of your cheeks.

Drawing (5)

Step 4:

Take your medium powder brush and dab it into your dark powder lightly enough so that if it were to be spread across a sheet of paper it would look like faint spray paint. Starting with your forehead using very quick dusting like motions apply the dark powder up and down starting from left to right keeping above your eyebrows (very important to keep above the brows). Next do the same to your jawline keeping the same dusting method up and down. Do the same to your cheek bones but make very light dust strokes just above the contour line and well below your eyes mimicking that there is a half moon barrier underneath them.

Drawing (6)

After applying these steps your base will just look like a highlight and the darer powder will make your skin appear less pale and more blended.


Theses 2 hacks have saved me a lot of headaches and have kept me from going over the edge of frustration with not being able to find a powder that perfectly matches my skin tone. With continued practice and finding either your dark skin toned matching dusting powder, or your lighter skin toned highlighting powder you to can have beautiful and more blended coverage whilst searching for that perfect powder. Here are my turn out’s using both of these methods.

(Left To Right) Base Too Light Base Too Dark

Base Too Light            Base Too Dark