Hello everybody! In my time as a makeup enthusiast, many have asked me how it is I put makeup on myself or makeup on other people. When I get to my gigs, people come around asking “Wow! Where did you learn to do that?” or “Will you teach me?” I end up having some sort of live-chatty-get-ready-with-me’s on the spot! Not that I’m complaining though! I love sharing my knowledge in makeup and beauty with those interested. As cliché as it is, it is a form of expression for me as a frustrated artist. Also, it is quite a useful skill to have! Some of us put on makeup on a daily basis going to work or attending events. It always gives you some points, putting yourself together for a photo or meetings with important people. With that, I’d like to start a series on this blog. Every month or so, I’ll be posting a continuation of this series on how to apply makeup and the different techniques or trends you may want to try. So, without further ado, let’s begin with the first step: skincare!
Some of you may skip this step, but let me tell you, prepping your skin up for makeup will, both, care for your skin underneath and prepare it for the amount of product you’re placing a top it. Makeup may be damaging if not used correctly. It can cause untimely irritation and may take your look from put together to trashy in less than an hour. You’ll also want a nice smooth canvass to start off with. It’s hard blending in the foundation on dry, patchy skin when it could have been avoided from the beginning.
Step One: Finding Out Your Skin Type
Take note: your actual skin is most likely a combination of one or two of these skin types with a few of their accompanying conditions. There is no such thing as having a totally oily complexion without having the consequences of oily skin like clogged pores or recurring acne. The majority of your face may lean towards one or the other, while the rest of the face remains normal or unproblematic. However, even normal skin needs to be maintained. “But, what are these general skin types you speak of?” Listed below are 3 major skin types the general population may have on different parts of the face, including some accompanying textures you might encounter.
1. Normal Skin
This is the type of skin everyone wants: the unproblematic, easy to manage skin type. Normal skin is smooth, the most cooperative, the least likely to react negatively towards skin care or makeup products, and free from excessive oiliness and dryness, and their respective accompanying conditions. It is the skin type caring for your skin aims to achieve when managing the other skin types.
2. Oily Skin
If anytime during the day, most especially at the end of the day, you appear to be shinier than a disco ball, you probably have oily skin. Having blackheads, clogged or enlarged pores, scars and acne are also some of the skin conditions that accompany excessive oiliness. Since your skin is producing too much oil, the pores and glands under your skin are congested and blocked. The stickiness of these oils or sebum welcomes in dirt and grime that would eventually mix in with these oils, trap themselves within your pores, and cause acne or skin irritation. Although, don’t think oily skin is too bad! People with oilier skin tend to look younger. The skin’s natural oils can also preserve the skin’s elasticity and prevent wrinkles!
3. Dry Skin
Experienced dry and crackling lips, or tight skin? Have trouble wearing foundation or matte lipstick ‘cause of those annoying, clingy, and flaky skin? You need a drink of water my friend, your skin is totally parched! Your skin produces less oils and has a harder time retaining moisture. Dry skin usually comes with sensitivity since the outer barrier of your skin lacks the oils it needs to protect itself. Incidentally, aging affects this type of skin type the most. Dang it! Dryness on the face can also stem from other underlying skin conditions that could happen all over the body (e.g. eczema, dermatitis). In my opinion, it could be harder to maintain.
Bonus: Sensitive Skin!
This skin type can be both hidden and visible. Some people may appear to have normal skin but react to certain ingredients present in the products they use. Others may have visible redness or rosacea, helping them avoid certain products, or gravitate to other products. This goes to show you can’t always pinpoint which product or specific ingredient that is, especially if you’re still building up your routine.
According to Tatcha.com, there are two ways you can tell which skin types you have. I suggest sectioning your face and try these techniques on each of those sections instead of just regarding the general area. I’d divide it into 4: T-zone (forehead and nose), left and right cheek area, and chin.
a. The Bare-Face Method
Wash your face and refrain from applying on any sort of products for an hour. After the hour is up, check to see which parts of your is smooth (normal), shiny (oily), or tight (dry).
b. The Blotting Sheet Method
This is a faster method, especially if you have a blotting paper on hand. Also, it is more often used to differentiate between dry and oily skin. Simply pat on your face with the blotting paper and check to see how saturated the paper is. The more you can see through the paper, the oilier your skin is.
Step Two: Choosing Skincare Maintenance Products
Once you’ve established your skin types, it’s time to educate yourself on how to manage and maintain it.
To manage normal skin, take preventive measures. You want to maintain its condition while giving it the right amount of care. There is always such thing as under maintenance and over maintenance, which may lead to your skin being oily or dry in the long run. Try anti-aging serums at night, sunscreen (SPF 30) during the day, and moisturizing lotion every after you wash your face. Treatment masks are also good every so often to give your skin an extra boost of nourishing.
Just because you have oily skin doesn’t mean you should reach out for “drying” products and cut the moisturizer. This habit could even worsen your skin’s oiliness as it could push your skin to produce even more oil! You will also need to treat the consequences of your oily skin by making sure the oil build doesn’t trap dead skin cells and bacteria within your pores. Try lightweight moisturizers in the form of lotion right after washing your face, exfoliating your skin every 2 – 3 days, and gravitating towards non-comedogenic products that won’t clog your pores. Salicylic acid is a good ingredient to look for in your cleansers as it manages acne prone skin. It would also help to keep some oil blotting papers around with you. Adding more powder on your face throughout the day could just hasten the clogging process, and the puff in that compact could harbor unwanted bacteria too!
If your skin isn’t already sensitive, having dry skin can be a prelude to sensitivity. You really need to take extra care of the top layer of your skin as it easily sloughs off. You can do this by sticking to products rich in phospholipids, cholesterol, and essential fatty acids which your skin lacks to give it some protective oils. Switching from a water-based lotion to an oil-based lotion or cream will also aid locking in moisture after you have washed your face. Another ingredient to check for in your moisturizers is Hyaluronic acid. It acts to pull in water and hold it in place, a capacity dry skin lacks. Be cautious when trying out new and strong products as well! Remember, your skin is more exposed than usual.
This one is a bit trickier to manage. Sometimes your skin can have a specific condition or is sensitive to specific substances. When trying out new products, be sure to try it out on a small patch of skin first. Also, if you notice recurring symptoms, it’s best to check it out with your doctor before subjecting your skin to anything more. Be gentle with your skin by choosing hypoallergenic products, as well as products with simple, and mild ingredients. The less ingredients it has, the better. Remember, also, that just ‘cause the package says “all-natural,” doesn’t mean your skin will not react to it.
Step Three: Prepping for Makeup Application
As an even extra step, if you really want that flawless application, you should know how to manage areas of different textures on your face. Applying make-up atop certain skin conditions may worsen these skin textures. It’s always best to take precautionary measures. After all, you’re applying makeup to enhance your skin, not butcher it down!
A simple moisturizer or primer can do the trick in prepping normal skin. Normal skin already has the texture you want to achieve. Your main concern now would be the longevity of the products you use, and perhaps the effects these products have on your skin. Take note of any allergies or ingredients that may cause skin irritation.
After washing your face with an oil-free cleanser, you’ll want to tap on a gentle toner to rid your skin of excess cleanser, dirt, and grime. Toner will also keep the skin from producing excess oils. Then, you can apply a light water-based moisturizer, just to lock in enough moisture. As an everyday routine, opt to use a non-comedogenic pore minimizing primer to smoothen out large pores and pimple scars. If you have time on hand, or maybe you’re prepping for a big event, a pore minimizing clay mask can do the trick by tightening the pores itself, instead of leaving some product to fill them in.
PRO TIP: Make sure to match the consistency of your primer with your foundation. It would be useless to use a silicone-based primer with a water-based foundation. The two products will not mix and would be counterproductive.
If your skin is extra flaky on the day you’re applying makeup, take the time to exfoliate your face and lips with a gentle exfoliator. On a daily basis, you can always use a dampened soft towel instead of harsher beads/ scrubs. After cleansing with an oil-based cleanser, let your skin dry and apply moisturizer. For an everyday routine, choose an emollient moisturizer to soften the skin while locking in moisture. This will reduce fine lines and flakiness too. For special events, I suggest a deep moisturizing mask or a serum to fully nourish your skin. A primer spray before applying foundation can also up the dew factor so your skin won’t look flat and cracky when you apply foundation.
Should you have the need to use some medication before applying makeup, I suggest applying after moisturizing and before priming. The products you’ll use hereafter will depend on both your skin type and the type of medication you used. Some wounds need cream-based medication to keep them dry, while oil-based ointments are used to keep them wet. Using a primer and foundation afterward within the same consistency will apply better while keeping the integrity of the medication.
Remember! Makeup is used to enhance your natural skin underneath. Keep it healthy and clean to get the best makeup application.
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