Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Skin Type, And Foundation Routine

 Hello, Beauties!

So today I want to talk about foundation, but it is very important for you to know about skin types. That way you know if my opinion may affect your's, or not :) So without further adieu, I have oily skin.

If we were to actually sit down and look at my skin under a magnifying lamp, it would actually, technically be "combination," due to the size and location of my pores. But the parts of my skin that are oily, consequently the "T Zone," are extremely oily.

So lets take a moment to talk about what determines your skin type. Skin type all boils down to the size and location of your pores. If you have small pores over the majority of your face, you probably have dry skin. If you have pores that are not small, but also not large, you probably have "normal" skin. Pores that are large, but only in the "T Zone" mean you have combination skin, and large pores over most of the face typically are a staple of the "oily" skin type. You can have an oily, greasy mess of a "T Zone" and dry, cracked, flaky skin everywhere else.

Contrary to what you may have been told, your pore size does not and can not change. You can temporarily shrink your pores by using masks and ice cubes, but after a few hours, your pores will return to their natural size. You are born with your skin type, and that usually doesn't change until your skin slows oil production as you age. That said, all you dry skinned beauties need to properly care for and moisturize your skin to help slow aging. Oily skin needs moisturizing too, but you definitely want to use an oil free moisturizer, though some women have had success using natural facial oils, and do not report skin break outs.

So being that my skin is oily, I definitely need to chose long wearing, mattifying products. So here are the products I use almost every time I do my makeup.

1. Primer: I am really only familiar with the Rimmel London Fix & Perfect Pro Primer, but I'm on the hunt for something that may be better...

2. Foundation: My #1 favorite is the Revlon Colorstay for Combination/Oily Skin, but I also like Rimmel London BB Cream Matte 9-In-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup, and Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Combination/Oily Skin. (Could they have any longer names???)

3. Setting powder: I like the Rimmel Stay Matte, and the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder.

4. Setting spray: My favorite is the e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist and Set. I have also tried the NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray, and also trying out the Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb and Rosewater, but I don't have an opinion yet. 

Obviously, I did not include concealers, highlighters, blushes, or bronzers, as those have less to do with the longevity of your foundation. As always, this is all a matter of preference. Play around to find products that work for you. I recommend buying foundations, or any makeup for that matter, at a place like Ulta, as they have a great return policy if you don't like something you've bought.

I hope you found this helpful, or useful!
Have a wonderful day!!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Experience with BH Cosmetics

So, I'm sure most of you have heard of BH Cosmetics before, and if you haven't, now you have!  So BH Cosmetics is a California based makeup company that carries a wide range of products. Back when they first came out, they were famous for the 120 palettes. I remember Makeup Geek using her 120 palettes all the time!

My BHC Makeup Collection

Now, though, they carry all kinds of eye palettes, lip products, and face products. I feel like the line has doubled just in the last year alone! While I don't have everything, I do have quite a decent collection of BHC products, and I fully expect it to gradually expand as they add new and exciting items!

I forgot to pull these out of my stash. The concealer Palettes I own in
 Light and Medium, and the foundation I have in Light Olive.

I think it's safe to say that BHC is one of my top favorite makeup lines! (I said ONE of my favorites, I have a bunch of favorites, hehe!) Although, if I have one complaint, it's about the shipping. And before you say anything, yes, I understand shipping is not cheap, and most of the items they ship are larger, however, I believe it is my right as a consumer to gripe about it!  I'm the type of person who will do whatever it takes to get free shipping, and if that means I have to spend $50, you better believe I will find something to add to my cart to get to $50! Hahaha! 

I also own both of these brush sets.

On the plus side, though, their shipping is shockingly fast! I ordered on Thanks Giving Day, and received my order that very next Monday! I could not believe it! That's fast even for a non holiday weekend/the busiest weekend of the year!

Also, I have had to call customer service a couple times (all issues were my own fault), they were super friendly, super helpful, and super awesome! They answered after only one or two rings, and I don't think they ever put me on hold. 

Over all, I highly recommend you give BH Cosmetics a try, if you haven't already, I think you'll be very satisfied with your goodies!

BHC is on Ebates! Aaaahhh!

P.S.S. This was NOT a sponsored post, I'm 99.999999999% positive BHC has no clue who I am (obviously this is only my 3rd post to this blog....). I am genuinely recommending this company because I think they are great and most of their products that I have tried are great. I will eventually be doing reviews of everything I have, except for anything that is discontinued. I also plan on reviewing other brands that I have had experiences with...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Back to Basics: Eye Brushes

So you want to build a table? Well, there are a few basic tools you are going to need before you can get started. You will need lumber, a saw, a hammer, a drill/driver, screws, nails, a pencil, a measure, and a square. Sure, you can walk into Lowe's, pick up some basic stock lumber, have them cut it for you, take it home and nail it together. That table won't look very nice, or be very sturdy, will it?

Lets look at makeup the same way. Yeah, you can go to Walmart, buy a $3 shadow palette, go home and slap that bad boy on, but you're makeup isn't going to blend very well using those cheap little applicators that came with your pretty shadows. No, you will need to use at least a few basic brushes to get a decent look. The most important part of applying eyeshadow is blending. I can not stress this enough. If you don't blend your shadows, even Snooki will think you look cheap. Hehe

So, here is a list of my top 5 most essential eye brushes:

1 Flat Shader Brush:
Used to lay down, or pack on, a concentration of pigmented shadow, usually used primarily on the mobile lid.

2. Fluffy Blending Brush
Used to diffuse shading and contour in the crease. Necessary for a smokey eye or a soft feminine look.

3. Stiff Domed Crease brush/ Pencil Brush:
Used to apply more concentrated color in the crease, or on the lower lash line. 

4. Angled Liner Brush:
Used to apply either eyeshadow or gel/cream liner to upper and lower lash lines, also used to fill in brows with a powder or pomade. 

5. Eyebrow Brush/Lash Comb Duo:
Used to brush the brows into place and comb through lashes either before or after applying mascara. 

So here you go, My top 5 eye brushes that I just couldn't live without! And you can refer to my previous post about how and where to get brushes that don't cost a fortune!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Makeup Brushes

Today I want to start with the most basic tool you will need to complete any makeup look: Brushes.

Some people will tell you that you don't really need brushes to do your makeup. I've had people tell me that brushes don't really do anything for you, unless you are a makeup artist you don't need them. Well, that may be true for some people. But not for me.

If you are the type of person who rarely ever wears makeup. maybe your idea of a full face is a little BB cream or tinted moisturizer, mascara and lip gloss, and that's all you need to get out the door. Well, then I would say that you absolutely do not need makeup brushes..

But, if you like to have nicely blended eyeshadow, you want a flawless finish with foundation, or you like to get that perfect crisp line when wearing a bold lip, you are going to have a very difficult time doing any of those things without at least a few basic brushes.

I know what you're thinking, "But Ashley, I just cant afford to go out and spend a ton of money on expensive makeup brushes. The eyeshadows I buy come with applicators, why can't I use those?" I have great news for you! You DON'T have to buy expensive brushes! Especially if you are just starting to experiment with makeup, you don't want to invest a lot of money into brushes you don't even know how to use..

I don't think I own a single brush that cost more than $10! I have purchased sets that run a little higher, but you can get a great set of brushes, that comes with 10-20 brushes, for $20-$30.

Starting out, you only need a few basic brushes, and you can add to your collection as you go!
For eyes, I recommend having; a small flat shader brush, a fluffy blending brush, a stiff domed crease brush, a pencil brush, an angled brush, and a small eyeliner brush. For foundation you need either; a flat top kabuki brush, a flat foundation brush, a sponge, or a buffing brush. You also will need a concealer brush and a lip brush.

Here's a list of my favorite brush lines, and the best places to get them!

  1. BH Cosmetics
  2. Coastal Scents
  3. Crown Brush
  4. Real Techniques  
  5. ELF (Eyes Lips Face
  6. Sonia Kashuk
These are a few of the brushes I use every time I do my makeup.
Left to right: BH Cosmetics 10 pc Sculpt and Blend Brush Set, Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluf, Coastal Scents Classic Blender Pointed Natural

Side note: I also have an Ebates account. I use it EVERY TIME I make a purchase with any retailer that is registered! (Ebates has no idea who I am, I just LOVE cash back! [None of these other companies know who I am, either....])

To clean your brushes I recommend spot cleaning them between each use, and deep cleaning, once a week. To spot clean, I simply take 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle with a fine mist, spray the brush and wipe it on a clean towel until all product is off. To deep clean you can buy a variety of brush cleansers, or make them yourself, based on your budget and preferences. My current favorite is the Blender Cleanser Solid by Beauty Blender, but it is pricey... After deep cleaning, either lay the brushes out to dry on a towel, (try to prop them up so that the handle is elevated and the water runs out of the ferrule), you can also take hair ties and hang the brushes from a towel bar, or buy brush guards, and prop them upside down in a glass.

Like I said, there are no hard and fast rules to makeup, experiment with different brushes and techniques to find what works for you! Start small, so you don't get overwhelmed, then expand as you go.

Have fun, and remember to blend!!!