Monday, August 24, 2009

Oil-Based Cleansers

I know what you're thinking: "There is no way I'm going to smear oil all over my face!"

Even though it sounds like the opposite of what we've been told to do all our lives, there's actually a good reason these cleansers are now all over the market. That reason starts with an important chemistry rule: "like dissolves like".

This means that the oil in the cleanser attracts and dissolves the oil and dirt on your face without stripping your skin or using harsh detergents (like most cleansers do). This makes oil-based cleansers perfect for all skin types, especially sensitive and oily types. I know that those with oily skin will have the hardest time with this idea, but trust me - adding oil and moisture to your skin is the best thing you can do to control oil (more to come on this in a later post).

These cleansers are also ideal for removing makeup, since most makeup is oil based. To use, just massage the cleanser on dry skin and rinse. Most are safe to use around the eyes also and are great at removing heavy eye makeup and mascara in one easy step... meaning no more eye makeup remover required. (this sold it for me!)

Almost every makeup and skin care line now offers oil-based cleansers.
Shu Uemura's are by far the most popular with an almost cult-like following, but at $62 or more per bottle, I'll leave it.

My favorite is Clean Energy from Origins (pictured above). At $36 per bottle, it's still not cheap but is the best I've tried; it doesn't feel too greasy or silicon-y, and it rinses perfectly clean, taking every last trace of makeup with it.

Give these cleansers a try! Most lines will give you a sample to try before you buy, and if they don't, move on! With all the formulations out there, I'm sure you'll find one that's right for you. You'll love how it easily removes your makeup and leaves your skin soft and supple.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer-Into-Fall Makeup

It’s the middle of August (already!) and, as much as it pains me to say this, fall is around the corner. While that thought depresses me to no end, I breathe a secret sigh of relief at the thought of being able to step outside without worrying about my eyeliner ending up halfway down my cheek. I do like the easy-breezy summer look, with its delicate shimmers and sun-kissed glow (from bronzer, of course), but I absolutely love the darker hues and dramatic pops of color that fall brings.

The colder temperatures make it much easier to wear those rich browns and steely blues that have been hiding at the bottom of your makeup bag, just begging to come out and play!

Two of my all time favorite dramatic looks are:

The smoky eye and nude lip

- Update this look by experimenting with color. Who says the smoky eye has to be black or grey? Try emeralds, copper browns, and navy blues. Finish with a light swirl of blush and a nude lipstick or gloss.

The perfect red pout

- Update this look by keeping the lips bright and glossy (maybe even sparkly!). Leave the eyes neutral and matte and the brows soft and natural, to draw all the attention to your lips. Use an illuminating foundation or highlighter to give your skin a soft, dewy glow and finish with a light swirl of blush on the apples of the cheeks.

Don't worry about following all those "rules" about what kind of reds work for what kind of skin; experiment! Whether it's a coral-red or a blue-based berry red, wear what makes you feel beautiful!