This is a feature I used to do on my Facebook page, and I’ve been asked to bring it back. Facebook can be a little wonky when it comes to showing people what they actually want to see, so I decided to make it a part of my blog.
You may be thinking, Kristen, you’re a writer. What the hell do you know about makeup? I’ve been working professionally as a makeup artist for over a decade, mostly on feature films, television shows, commercials, and weddings. My most recent projects include Chappaquiddick, which will be releasing later this year, a brief appearance on one of the new X-Men movies to do some awesome makeup I can tell you nothing about yet, and a new TV series called Castle Rock.
I’ll be giving practical advice for real women. If you feel a little intimidated by what you see in Instagram photos or YouTube tutorials, this is the place for you. I have more than a few birthdays that end in zero in the rearview mirror. I feel your pain.
So let’s get started, shall we?
You’re wearing the most important tool in your makeup kit. How do I know this? Because it’s your skin. You can do the most beautiful makeup in the world, but if you don’t take care of your skin, it won’t look as good as it should.
We aren’t always kind to our bodies. Many of us have to atone for our past sins. When I was growing up, tanning was considered healthy and sexy. I’m not even sure sunblock existed when I was a kid. I’ve had many burns and now have the sun damage spots to show for it. You should always wear sunscreen, even on overcast days. Even in the winter. Most adults have more sun damage on the left side than the right. Why? The sun beats in the driver’s side window of the car. A sunscreen in your foundation often isn’t enough. Look for something you can put underneath your foundation that will give you an extra layer of protection. I won’t always suggest spending a ton of money on makeup, but this is the product I spend the most money on.
Always wash your makeup off. Every night, no matter how tired you are. Old makeup clogs pores and makes skin look dull. Moisturize before you go to bed and in the morning before you put on makeup. The absolute best time to put on moisturizer is when you get out of the shower and your skin is still a little damp.
Moisturize before you go to bed and in the morning before you put on makeup. The absolute best time to put on moisturizer is when you get out of the shower and your skin is still a little damp.
A note about coconut oil: I think coconut oil is the best waterproof makeup remover there is, but it’s not a great moisturizer. The molecules are too big and can clog your pores and cause more problems than it solves.
Speaking of big molecules, you really do want to use an eye cream. It’s not just a way to get you to buy another cream. The skin around your eyes is more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face, and the molecules in regular moisturizer are too big to do the work in that area.
Toners and astringents often aren’t necessary. Avoid any skin care that has alcohol in it. If it makes your skin feel dry and tight, it’s not a good product for you. Note that I said for you. It might work awesome for someone else, but you need to move on. Your skin should feel moist (the only time this word is acceptable), dewy, and soft. A gentle microdermabrasion scrub a couple of times a week can slough away old, dead skin. Don’t use the apricot scrub. You know which one I’m talking about. It’s like rubbing your face against the sidewalk.
Drink more water. Whatever you’re drinking now, you can drink more. Yeah, you’ll have to pee. So what. You’ll have glowing, amazing skin. You should be drinking half your body weight in water. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 oz of water a day. Hate water? Add fruit like lemons, limes, oranges, or even cucumber and mint and give yourself a spa day. You deserve it. Use real fruit. No sugar, no powdered stuff. What the heck is that, anyway?
While we’re on the subject of what the heck is that stuff, eat the best food you can afford. I’m not always perfect, but I’m trying my hardest to do better. More about that in a later post. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket. Read labels, even on things that claim to be good for you. Especially on those. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient in your food, your body will have a hard time digesting it. Eat fruits and vegetables, and lots of healthy proteins. Eat good fats! Fat is your friend. Like the omega-3s found in salmon and avocados. It’s good for your skin. Vitamin A also promotes skin health.
Dark circles can be hereditary, but they’re also caused by vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, and lack of sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Even if you leave things undone. It’s okay. Change your pillowcase every time you do the laundry, even if you’re not changing your sheets.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Taking time for yourself is not taking something away from someone else. It’s making you better so you can do more and do it better.