Category: Makeup Tips/How To

3 Things That Helped My Hormonal Chin Acne

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips/How To, Skin Care

Wearing no makeup

Wearing absolutely zero makeup

Shortly after I turned 36, all hell broke loose on my chin, and what had previously been the clearest part of my face was suddenly a pimple farm.

They were the painful pimples, too! A mix of tiny bumps that seemed to never go away and big ol’ painful zits that felt like they had 100-year-old roots.

I went to the dermatologist, tried antibiotics and different prescription topical meds, but nothing really helped. Not enough.

Eventually, I discovered a few things that did work. It took a while, some experimenting with my diet and lots of weeding through ineffective products, but over the following year, my chin situation improved a lot.

Here’s what helped turn the tides against my hormonal chin acne!

1. Creating a skincare cocktail by combining and layering different products

I had hoped to find one magic bullet, but it turned out that the best thing for my combination oily/dry skin was a cocktail of different over-the-counter products.

It took a lot of trial and error to find the right combination of products for me. My skin seems to respond best to benzoyl peroxide, antioxidants and exfoliating acids. That may not be the case for you, but in the hopes that it is, the products I’ve had the most success with are…

3 Things That Helped My Hormonal Chin Acne

  • Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac Clearing Face Lotion ($39), a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion that absorbs quickly, layers well underneath makeup and doesn’t have that funky benzoyl peroxide scent. I’ve tried a bunch of BP lotions before, and this was the one that made the biggest difference for me.
  • Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($153), an antioxidant serum with Vitamins C, E and ferulic acid (an antioxidant). Designed to bolster skin against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays and to stimulate collagen production, it really helped reduce the flakiness and post-acne discoloration I was seeing.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment ($105). This lightly hydrating serum contains unneutralized lactic acid and seems to improve the smoothness and texture of the skin around my chin.
  • Neutrogena All-in-1 Acne Control Daily Scrub ($8). I keep this cleanser, which contains beta hydroxy acid (or BHA), in my shower and use it every morning.

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If You Have Sensitive Eyes, Can You Recommend Any Eye Makeup Removers, Eyeliners and/or Eyeshadows That Don’t Sting or Make Your Eyes Tear Up?

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

Trish McEvoy Long-Wear Face and Eye Makeup Remover; Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips; Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliners and MAC Smolder Eye Kohl

Trish McEvoy Long-Wear Face and Eye Makeup Remover; Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips; Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliners and MAC Smolder Eye Kohl

Thank you for all the AWESOME suggestions you left in the comments! I’m bookmarking this post so I can refer to it in the future as a resource. :)

My eyes are so sensitive — they get so teary — that you’d think I was watching The Notebook 24 hours a day.

So yes, I have a few things I use and love, but I’m always looking for more, so if you know of any good things, let me know. These are the products I’ve been using and loving for the past six months or so (during which time my eyes seem to have gotten much more sensitive).

For eyeliners, just good ol’ MAC Smolder Eye Kohl. It’s been around forever. It’s kind of like your basic creamy black eye kohl. It’s super dark, super smudgy, super soft, and it stays on your water lines and lash lines. And it doesn’t, for whatever reason, irritate my eyes. I can tolerate it.

Also, the Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliners — I feel like I keep talking about these — but they’re so great, even though they’re kind of expensive. They stay on, they’re twist-up, and they’ve got that skinny point, so you can really get in between the roots of your lashes, and they come in lots of wonderful, really wearable, pretty colors.

For eye makeup removers, I’ve been using two different ones — actually three. The first is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which works great. It doesn’t sting my eyes, and it takes off mascara really quickly.

If I’m wearing waterproof or long-wearing makeup and the DHC stuff doesn’t remove it, then I’ll use either Trish McEvoy Long-Wear Face and Eye Makeup Remover or Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips. Both of those remove everything, and they don’t sting my eyes or irritate that sensitive eye area.

Eyeshadows for me — it seems like certain colors tend to aggravate my eyes more than others, like purplish colors, especially. And stuff with glitter.

How about you? If you have sensitive eyes, can you recommend any eye makeup removers, eyeliners and/or eyeshadows that don’t sting or make your eyes tear up?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

5 Minimalist Makeup Marvels You Might Want To Try

Published in: Chanel, Eyes, Laura Mercier, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Yves Saint Laurent

5 Minimalist Makeup Marvels

Minimalism!

It’s not just for Smurfs anymore.

This time of year it also describes my appetite for makeup, as in not wanting to wear a ton of it on my face, and if your makeup cravings are also leaning toward the minimal side, here are five of my current favorite minimalist makeup products.

These are all in active minimalist makeup rotation right now.

1. The marvelous MAC Paints! ($20 each)

MAC Paints

The MAC Paints

These $20 cream shadows dry to a powder finish and come in five natural-looking neutral shades.

If you don’t blend them out perfectly, no worries, because the colors are all pretty low contrast, so you can’t really mess up — or, rather, if you do, you can’t really tell.

Perfect for people who are frequently running behind (she said, raising her hand in the air while saying, “Ooh! Ooh! Like me.”).

All five shades also have a hint of a sheen to ’em (it’s very subtle and nothing dramatic like a frost), which makes them quite forgiving of fine lines — something I greatly appreciate.

MAC Paint Swatches from the left: Bamboom, Stilife, Untitled, Sublime Nature and Bare Canvas

MAC Paint swatches from the left in Bamboom, Stilife, Untitled, Sublime Nature and Bare Canvas

Beyond all of that, they’re also just straight-up easy to use. Creamier and more viscous than many other cream shadows like the MAC Paint Pots, they’re a breeze to spread and blend.

Just squeeze a small amount from the tube, and pat and blend that on your lids with your fingers. You can even skip primer with them if you want. I usually do (saves time).

My favorite color? Golden beige Bamboom.

I also love that name (although Bare Canvas is also pretty cool).

2. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks ($28 each)

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

No, these sticks do not contain caviar (as far as I can tell). If the MAC Paints are for work, then Laura’s Caviar Sticks are for fun. :)

These cream shadow sticks come in a wide range of colors and finishes, from mellow mattes to shimmering jewels.

Like the MAC Paints, brushes are totally optional. I usually just swipe one of the shades (Rosegold is my personal fave) directly on my lids, and then blend out the edges with a finger.

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks Swatches from the left: Cocoa, Moonlight, Rosegold, Copper and Burnished Bronze

A handful of Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks from the left in Cocoa, Moonlight, Rosegold, Copper and Burnished Bronze

Because they glide on the skin and contain oodles of pigment, one layer is usually enough. You can literally be done with your eyeshadow in less than a minute.

3. Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Volupte Lips & Cheek Color ($40 each)

YSL Kiss & Blush

YSL Kiss & Blush

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:)

Five Kitten Steps to Purr-Fect Black Cat Eyeliner

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

Easy cat eyeliner

Here kitty, kitty…

I love the look of crisp black cat eyeliner…

And that’s not just because I’m a card-carrying CCL (although I admit that’s a contributing factor).

I just think it’s timeless, elegant and pretty much goes with everything.

Still, sometimes, like when Tabs is threatening to shred my ankles if I don’t immediately drop everything I’m doing to prepare his morning gravy, I’m not in the mood to concentrate and fuss over getting those jagged edges crisp and clean.

So, what’s a liner-loving cat lady to do when she wants a cool cat eyeliner look but doesn’t have the wherewithal to fret over getting sharp, crisp lines?

Answer: incorporate a black powder eyeshadow into her cat eyeliner routine by following these five easy steps.

1. Now we’re gel-ing!

When I do this trick, which is a path to a softer, easier cat eyeliner look, I start by lining my eyes with gel liner using an angled liner brush, and the way it turns out, you can probably see that the edges could use some extra refining.

2. Clean that brush

Gotta make sure my tools are in tip-top shape for this next part, so before smoothing out the edges I created in step one, I clean the same angled liner brush I just used by swiping it across a paper towel to remove any excess product.

3. Loading zone

Next, I load the brush with a black powder eyeshadow, and tap the head against something (like the side of the sink, or I’ll just tap it with my finger) to remove some of the excess and any little wayward bits.

Products I used for these pics…

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Sunday Funday 5-Minute Makeup

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

5-minute makeup

Fresh-faced in 5

Most of the time I’m happy to blend out 6 different eyeshadows, but sometimes…I simply don’t want to.

Like on the weekends (hey, man, it’s summer!). The last thing I want to be doing on a sunny summer Sunday is spend 20 minutes making those little circles in the outer corners.

Bluh…

That’s time I could be hiking or walking my cat or eating an ice cream cone outside.

So, along those lines, here’s the 5-minute makeup (using just one brush) I wore to run errands and hang out with my girlfriends last Sunday in SF (we went to a spa!).

It’s not fancy or fussy at all, but I think the whole thing still looks reasonably well put together.

5-Minute Sunday Funday Makeup

As easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Good evening…skin

Evening, as in “evening out the skin.”

Since time is of the essence in a 5-minute makeup look, sheerer face products like BB creams, sheer foundations and tinted moisturizers are great (they make it easier to get away with mistakes than full-coverage, opaque products). They also make blending a whole lot easier.

Here I used MAC Face & Body in shade C5 and applied it with my fingers.

And, uh…because of that whole dark circle action happening under my eyes, I also used concealer, specifically a brightening concealer, YSL Touche Éclat in 4.5. It comes in brush pen packaging, which makes it really easy to swipe.

Then I blended that out with my fingers…

Sunday Funday 5-Minute Makeup: Products Used

Speaking of targeted brightening, I’m a big fan. :) So, for some extra highlighting on my skin, I also swiped Touche Éclat in the middle of my forehead, down the bridge of my nose, just above my Cupid’s bow, and around the corners of my mouth, blending all of that in with my fingers.

2. Define the eyes

We’re looking for big impact steps here because we don’t have much time (just 5 minutes), and with eyes, I like filling in my brows, because I think does a lot for the overall look, and adding some thickness along the upper lash line, which I think just makes you look more awake.

I used a brow pencil that has a brow brush on one end (that’s some tool efficiency right there!), quickly filling in the outer tail and middle portions of my brows but leaving the inner portion alone (just to save a little time, but I think it also looks more natural).

To thicken your upper lash lines, grab one of your go-to waterproof pencils. This way you can skip eye primer (ding-ding-ding!), saving you even more time.

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