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A Slice of Magic
The name was inspired from the manga "Beauty Pop". Koshiba Kiri's catchphrase, "I'll help you guys add a little magic", reminded me that anyone can become beautiful, with a touch of magic~

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Prepping your Skin

The second installment to this series... Prepping your skin for makeup.

Let's face it people, the air in Singapore... has NEVER been 'clean'. After a heavy rain, well, it MIGHT smell fresh-er, but...
Hey, if you don't sweep the floor for 3 days, be prepared to find dust bunnies romping around your room.
Guess what... those dust bunnies... came from the 'clean/fresh air'.

I started putting on makeup to University 2 years ago.
My excuses were that (a) I'd get to practice and (b) it's a barrier from the gross stuff floating in the air.
It was one of the things I actually managed to make a part of my routine.
Well, it lasted about a year only though... I got too lazy.

Anyway, point is, while makeup acts as a barrier, you've gotta make sure that
  • Your face is clean (Sealing in germs ain't useful in any manner)
  • You aren't going to break out because of your makeup.

There's various reasons for breaking out due to your makeup.
  1. Your skin gets too dry (This is worse when you are in air-conditioned areas)
  2. The makeup contains something you are sensitive to
  3. The makeup clogs up your pores
and the list goes on.

Prepping your skin for makeup helps with (1) and to some extent (2) and (3).

So, let's begin.

Wash your Face
Basic personal hygiene and the reason I prefer to do my makeup at home rather than on location.
Because... who wants to bring a bottle of face wash and a mini towel out?!

Many times when I'm booked to do makeup for people, they come in a rush and... unfortunately, sweat (perspire is the right word) a lot.
Worse is when the client completely doesn't understand the need to wash his/her face daily.

Despite being on location, I can't very well tell them to go buy a bottle of face wash from 7-Eleven.
So the next best alternative... is to offer them a wet tissue.

Apply Moisturizer
People who suffer from dry skin or eczema would understand the need to apply moisturizer.
However, often people who have 'oily' or 'combination' skin would look at you bizarrely when you suggest them to.
It's not strange though. After all, who would want to make their skin 'oilier'?

But there is a misconception, there are 2 kinds of moisturizers.
  1. Creams (These contain more oil)
  2. Gels (These contain less oil)
People with dry skin should make use of creams and people with oily skin should make use of gels.
Going completely without moisturizer, causes the skin to be stripped of it's natural oils after washing your face.
In response, it will produce MORE oils, because it thinks the current amount is insufficient.

For people on a tight budget or have sensitive skin, I would recommend Aqueous Cream from any Pharmacy (E.g.: Watsons, Guardian).
It's cheap and doesn't contain added fragrances which may irritate sensitive skin

Apply Sunscreen
Generally, it is advisable to wait 15 minutes for the moisturizer to be absorbed before putting on other products.
But, realistically... who the hell is going to wait 15 minutes?!

Cosplayers... please realize that... IF you insist on going out (to school, to open air events) without sunscreen, then basically, expect to be tan.
Don't cry and make a fuss when you don't have a snow white complexion.

Sunscreen is not a miracle in a bottle.
You have to apply it religiously, and of course, not only to your face.

I have a confession to make. I don't. I just apply it to my face.
But. I generally wear long sleeves and long pants because it's a freezer box in school. (my friends beg to differ most of the time)

Some facts about sunscreen
  1. No sunscreen is waterproof. If they say it is...they're lying. Reapply after swimming or showering.
  2. Sunscreen wear time is roughly 2-3 hours. You should reapply it throughout the day. I don't.
  3. Sunblock is no longer a recognized term because it is inaccurate. It doesn't block the UV rays at all.
  4. There are 2 types of sunscreen. Physical 'blockers' and Chemical 'blockers'.
Point is. Wear sunscreen.
If you want to be pale skinned, wear sunscreen, bring sunscreen out with you and reapply every 3 hours.
Otherwise, just apply it as and when it is convenient to.

I have not tried many sunscreens and what I look for in a sunscreen may be different from you, but... these are my recommendations:
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen (SPF 100+)
  • Loreal UV Perfect (SPF 50)
The Neutrogena one is a large bottle, can be used for face AND body and does not leave a sticky or oily feeling after application.
The Loreal one is a small bottle. Well, you can apply it to the face and body, but... you probably will have to stock up on it. It leaves a slightly oily feeling after application.

The previous 3 steps are the BASIC skin prep. You can stop here if you want.
After applying the sunscreen, wait 15 minutes then take a tissue and gently press over your face, IF you want your makeup to stay on even longer.

Apply Primer
Primers have many functions, they absorb oily secretions from your face as well as help to smooth out your skin to allow you to apply makeup more easily.
There is no real need to get a separate primer for your eyes, though the Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP) and the Too Faced Shadow Insurance are cult favorites with Beauty gurus.

Use about a 1 to 1.5cm long strip of primer for the WHOLE face and gently rub the residue onto your eyes.
Don't worry, it WILL cover the whole face.
If you think it's too much, you can use less the next time, play around with the amount.

For face primer, I have only tried out ONE product. It does a good job and I have yet to finish up the bottle because I don't use it that often.
NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer comes in clear, green and purple.
I use the clear one, but the green and purple do not leave any weird tinge on the skin, if you are wondering.
They can be used as a overall color corrector.
Green can be used if you feel that your face is largely reddish or if you flush very easily.
Purple is supposed to 'brighten' up your skin, but frankly, I have reservations about it.

That's all folks!
Look forward to the next installment!
-Even I don't know what the hell it'll be about!! Got any suggestions?-


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