Finding Best Foundation for Oily Skin

A liquid-based foundation gives you a shine Charlie Chaplin’s shoes would be proud of, besides enlarged pores! It’s foul play, for the luminosity of the skin bears the brunt no end. Whereas, a powder-based foundation tends to rub off very fast, lasting for little more than an hour or two. Plus, it clogs pores, and acne might be the so-called “reward” for your skin. If your experience with using a foundation is similar, then perhaps, you have oily skin.

To judge your skin type, use the simple blot-test: Right after you wake up in the morning, grab a tissue, place it to cover your entire face, and press gently. Observe the tissue — if there are oily spots on most of the area, you have oily skin; if the spots are only in the T-zone, you have combination skin; and if the tissue has no spots at all, you have normal to dry skin.

► The Best Picks

The trick to get gorgeous, vibrant skin is to find the right foundation — one that covers spots, blemishes, hides the pores effectively, and doesn’t look cakey. It should also reduce shine and stay good for a minimum of 4 hours. Following is a list of foundations in the market that seem to work best on oily skin:

  • Burberry Velvet Foundation
  • Revlon Colorstay Foundation
  • GloMinerals GloPressed Base – Powder Mineral Foundation
  • Clarins Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation
  • Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Foundation
  • Naked Minerals Pressed Powder Foundation Duo
  • M.A.C. Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation
  • Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer
  • Flawless Skin Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF15 Foundation
  • Bare Escentuals – Bare Minerals Ready Foundation
  • Clarins Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Makeup
  • Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup
  • Laura Mercier Silk Crème
  • Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation

► Criteria to Choose the Best Foundation

When choosing a foundation for oily skin, the most important words to look for are noncomedogenic. These products are formulated for oily, acne-prone skin, and are less likely to cause breakouts. In case they are not available, go for oil-free foundations — gel-based or liquid-based, powder or mineral products work best. Other words to look for, include mattifying and shine-reducing. Avoid using heavy cream-based foundations as they are more suitable for people with dry skin. These will not only leave your face looking greasy and shiny, but it will also lead to clogged pores and blackheads.

The next criterion to consider would be the kind of coverage you want besides the condition of your skin — if you have a relatively smooth skin, i.e., free of spots and blemishes, then you may opt for a light-tinted moisturizer for daily wear. It provides coverage while letting your skin breathe. However, if your skin requires more coverage and you are planning to attend an important event or party, you, definitely require a foundation that can conceal all your imperfections. Most women keep two foundations — one with sheer cover for daily wear and the other offering medium-heavy cover for special occasions.

The third step is determining the right shade for you — the right shade will make your skin look naturally flawless. Go to a department store and use the testers there. Apply a shade that you think is the closest match to your natural color, then a shade lighter, followed by one that is darker. Blend the shades in your skin, then go for the one that doesn’t show any lines around it, and has a slight yellow undertone. Test the shades on your jaw as well as forehead. Do repeat the test every 4 months as your skin tone changes.

► Applying Foundation — Learn What’s Right!

Just buying the right foundation that is suitable for oily skin is not enough, it is also vital that you use it right. Never apply foundation directly on your skin. Apply an oil-free primer first; if you don’t have one, use a light moisturizing lotion. A primer allows the foundation to glide smoothly on your skin and helps the makeup last longer.

If you have a lot of freckles or discoloration on your skin, the best way to hide them is to use a good-quality concealer. Use it before you apply the foundation so that it blends well, and stays invisible. Take a small amount of foundation on your makeup brush, then start from the center of the face and move outwards. Do not forget the neck region — apply the foundation right till your shirt starts, so that you don’t get a ‘mask-face’. Wait 5-10 minutes for the foundation to set and then use a face powder to absorb any excess oil and ‘set’ the base.

For best results, use a shade darker than your original shade with warm, yellow undertones. Invest in a good-quality brush, too, for it gives a lissome finish to your makeup. Do sanitize all your makeup brushes and sponges regularly as they tend to harbor bacteria. Remember: The ideal foundation for oily skin is one that will conceal enlarged pores and give you a luminous finish without a hint of shine, lasting for more than 6 to 8 hours.

Ways to Test Makeup Products

download-46Women are always attracted to shiny, shimmery, sparkling, glamorous, and all such similar things. Makeup is one of them. Some are born with an innate flair for choosing the right products, and then there are the rest who find it tough to decide which is the best.

To catch the latest trend, they run bonkers from one cosmetic store to another. In the hope of transforming their look with a single brush flick, they end up buying junk that they either don’t use or don’t know how it’s used.

But it’s not the fault of women! Our cursory society gives so much importance to physical appearance that it becomes necessary to don a made-up look. That being said, it can be declared that makeup is cardinal. It packs our confidence and happiness in smart covers and makes it easily available at multiple beauty counters.

These beauty counter encounters are, most of the time, painful and downright confusing. The staff at the counters are eager to take you through a humble demo of almost everything. To stop them and tell your preferences, you need some real guts.

Here, you will find some tips on how to test makeup products before buying, so that the next time you approach that department store beauty counter, you will do it with aplomb.

Checking for Suitability: Do a Patch Test

It is the most important step before purchasing any kind of makeup products, especially if you have sensitive skin. Doing a patch test is very easy. It should be done on the inside of the wrist or elbow. The patch should be cleaned thoroughly, and the product that you want to check should be applied on it. For at least 24 hours, the area should not be wetted or washed. After 24 hours, you should check for any redness, irritation, rashes, itching, burning sensation, swelling, or soreness. If there are no visible cues that would suggest an allergy, then you can safely use the product.

Checking for Skin Tone

Before I move ahead to tell you about the correct way of choosing cosmetics, everyone should keep in mind the following points:

For fairer skin, the colors chosen for cosmetics should range from soft pink to beige. Anything pastel with pink undertones would enhance your features without becoming overwhelming.

For medium-fair and medium-dark skin, the colors chosen should be neutrals that are spiced up with hues of gold. Anything that reads ivory, honey, caramel, or buff is the one for you. Well-known makeup artists say that these type of skin colors can handle a wide range of colors.

For dark skin, colors like tan, coffee, copper, bronze, or chocolate are the ones for you. A little care should be taken while choosing foundation. Choose as close a shade as possible to your natural skin color. For lips, anything in red, brown, raisin, or plum will work.

Foundation

Dab a small amount of it on your neck (not at the back of the palm, for heaven’s sake!), and rub it till it dissolves away into your skin. Choose the most natural-looking color. Those with oily to combination skin, should prefer a non-shiny or matte variant, and those with normal to dry skin should opt for satin, creamy, and glossy variants. It is a safe bet to select variants with yellow undertones than that which have pink undertones.

Concealer

It is recommended that you should invest in two good quality concealers – one with yellow and one with a pinkish shade. Why? Because the yellow-tinted one works well on dark spots as well as pimple spots on the face, while the pink one works on the under eye area. You should find the perfect color by swiping it on the inner side of the wrist. Concealers that have words, like illuminating, lightening, brightening, or highlighting can be chosen.

Blusher

There is one thing that needs to be remembered about color cosmetics – never be afraid of the brightness of the color because it spreads and sheers out on the skin. When choosing a blusher, you should first try it on the back of your palm. Now, be careful with this one, because a blusher will show different shades when applied with and without foundation. It is seen that cream blushers give a more natural look than powder variants.

Bronzer

They are meant to mimic the tan that you get after a sunbath. If it has shimmer, then don’t opt for it. Also, too dark a shade will look artificial. The trick to test a bronzer is to apply it on the inner side of the arm. Now check if you are able to see the speckles on the skin through it. If not, then better not to go with it.

Powder

“Translucent” is the word for powder. Dab some on the back of your palm, and it should disappear after a little rubbing. Ideally, it should not have any color. A powder can have multiple benefits. If you apply it under an eyeshadow, you can make the eyeshadow last longer. Even while applying mascara or eyeliner, you can apply it on the under eye area to avoid the fallen mascara droplets from smudging.

Pressed Powder

It is a type of foundation but without the mess. An ideal pressed powder is tinted but still translucent. It should reduce the shine on the skin and give it a natural matte look. Just like foundation, a pressed powder should be tried by applying it on the neck. It should blend seamlessly and should be lightweight. The idea behind applying pressed powder is to even out the skin and reduce the shine, and not for getting a fair look.

Mascara

While choosing a mascara, it is advised to stick to black. It is the safest option and suits almost all eye colors. If you want to experiment a bit, then you can go for blue, green, or purple. These colors look great on brown and blue eyes. But those with black eyes need not be disappointed. With a little care, even black eyes can be made to look gorgeous. Make sure that the wand you select is thin because only then it will be able to reach the roots of the lashes easily. Mascara with the words, like volumizing and lengthening should be picked.

Eyeliner

While selecting an eyeliner, try to pick the waterproof version so that you can apply it and forget about it. But if you have sensitive skin, try to stay away from waterproof eyeliners. If you are opting for a pencil, then an oily tip would not be a good choice. Oily tips tend to smudge easily, but if you still want to go for it, then make sure it has words, such as ‘firm’ or ‘lasts 10 hours’ written on the package. One advantage of oily tips is that they draw easily. When compared to a pencil, a liquid eyeliner is always the better option. They can be tested by applying a stroke on the back of the palm, waiting for it to dry, and then trying to smudge it. It is fine if it smudges a little, but too much smudging is a sign that it would run out under your eyes.

Eyeshadow

Eyelids have creases; therefore, a good eyeshadow should have the capacity to resist creasing after applying. To test it, you should apply a little of it on the backside of the palm and also on the inner side of the wrist. You should bend the wrist a few times to see if it creases. A little creasing is fine, but it should not cake inside the crease. For an everyday natural look, you should opt for colors that are pinkish to beige and have a little shimmer. People with fairer skin tones should opt for more translucent and sheer variants.

Lipstick

This is a cosmetic that is every woman’s favorite. Over a period of time, it has gained the reputation of being a “handbag essential”. So, how do we choose the perfect color? First, make sure you are standing in a well-lit area. If you have a tester, you should apply a little on the pad of your fingertips (not at the back of the hand) and check how the color comes out by tilting your hand back and forth a few times. It is seen that matte finishes give a heavy color payoff as compared to glossy finishes, but they dry the lips. In today’s fast-paced life, I can say that it is better to stick to glossy or satin finishes that serve both the purposes – color and shine.

Lip Gloss

Again a “handbag essential”, lip glosses come in various types to choose from. The current trend is flavored lip gloss. To test a lip gloss, you should test it in the same way as a lipstick. Apply a little on the fingertip and join the two fingertips to feel the consistency of the lip gloss. Check if it is too sticky or runny. If you want a heavily pigmented lip gloss that would also serve as a lipstick, you should pick up the one that has the word “lacquer” written on it.

Perfume

I feel the quote “A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting” by Christian Dior speaks volumes about the importance of perfumes. To select a good-quality perfume, you need to follow certain steps. Always test the perfume after taking a bath and without applying any scent or moisturizer. You need to spray the perfume on the wrist as well as paper strip.

On your wrist, the perfume will get absorbed fast, and the smell will stay on your skin. In this way, you will be able to judge if the perfume is long-lasting or not. When testing on a paper strip, you need to spray the perfume on it and smell the strip after about 30 seconds.

It is essential to sniff coffee beans between each testing. They neutralize the smell and keep you away from getting a headache.
Quick Tip!
Check your drawers, and if you find some old business or visiting cards, take them along. According to expert perfumers, they are thick enough and have the texture to absorb a scent to give out the real notes as well as the subtle base notes.

While you have gone shopping for cosmetics, in all that enthusiasm, do not forget to check the makeup expiration dates as it could have harmful effects, like acne patches or blemishes, which you obviously do not want to encounter.

Here’s one last thing to be mentioned before I sum it up – never apply any makeup tester directly on your face, especially the lips and eyes. They may be contaminated due to frequent use. As far as possible, try to test it on your hands. If you are testing liquid products from a tube, then just squeeze out a bit of it on a tissue and throw it away, and then squeeze again. The reason being that bacteria always thrive on the topmost layer. Also, make it a point to ask the sales staff for disposable testers or at least wands and sticks. I’m sure with these tips in your kitty, you will pick up the most suitable product for yourself.

Ways to Do a French Pedicure

download-45A French pedicure is a clean form of nail art that doesn’t require elaborate texturing or patterning. It’s a simple yet impactful technique that can be done in the comfort of your home. Today, companies have caught on with the trend, providing helpful pedicure kits that come with nail guides to allow users to perform this technique, like a pro. The following steps provide an alternative to buying a French pedicure set, making it simple even for those who can’t get their hands on one.

French Pedicure Steps

Things You’ll Need

  • Nail Polish (Nude, clear, and white (you can choose another color if you’d like)
  • Scisscors
  • Paper tape
  • Nail filer
  • Nail buffer
  • Tub of hot water
  • Shower gel
  • Bath salts
  • Pumice stone/scrubber
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail polish remover (acetone)
  • Soft cloth
  • Cuticle cream
  • Olive oil

Step 1
First, remove existing traces of old nail polish, thoroughly cleaning the surface of your toenails and the ridges along either side. If it doesn’t come off easily, apply a clear coat of nail polish over it and immediately wipe it away with acetone. Next, soak your feet in a shallow tub, using a soapy mixture of hot water and shower gel. Use bath salts to scrub (gentle, circular strokes) away dead skin between the toes and front of your foot, using the pumice stone or scrubber.

Step 2
After 10 minutes, dry your feet using a soft cloth, focusing on the areas between your toes. Use a coin-sized amount of olive oil to massage your feet; gliding over your toenails to soften the cuticles. Use cuticle cream (leave it on for about 2 minutes before washing it off) right after, before cutting your nails to an appropriate length; don’t cut it too short or you won’t have enough area to work with. Using a nail filer, shape your toenails using swift, angular moves to acquire a round or square shape. Buff the surface of your toenails to give it an even finish; nail polish looks better post buffing.

Step 3
Apply the nude color (peach-toned) of nail polish as the base coat, followed by a clear coat, to protect the underlying layer. You can apply two coats of the base nail polish to help it last longer, followed by two coats of the clear. Wait for it to dry before moving to the next step. You’ll need a bottle of white nail polish to perform a class French pedicure, but with trends evolving as we speak, you can opt for any color you’d like besides white; use black for a demure, dramatic finish, or anything from a neon palette that can take you easily from boardroom to dance club.

Step 4
Cut a strip of the paper tape with the pair of scissors. Hold the strip of tape horizontally, angling the scissors from the bottom-left corner and snipping it upwards in an arch-like fashion, until you reach the bottom-right end; get rid of what’s left. You should be holding a semicircle piece of tape, that’s been cut away from the strip. It should resemble the curved end of a fingernail.

Step 5
Place the arched piece of tape on your big toe, leaving the top of the nail exposed by a quarter of an inch. Stick it firmly into place before painting the exposed end of your toenail with the nail polish of your choice. Do this for the rest of your shoes using the same piece of tape; the arch size doesn’t matter as long as the curvy border is in place. If it loses its stickiness, cut another one out.

Finding Foot Care Tips for Men

download-44Let’s face it, our feet are indeed one of the most overworked and under-tended parts of our body. Especially in the case of us men, foot care is the last thing on our mind. Unless something serious happens, we aren’t really bothered about taking care of our feet. This kind of attitude does eventually lead to a lot of foot problems that can otherwise be easily avoided by maintaining basic foot hygiene.

Following are some foot care tips that can help to protect your feet from infections as well as keep them healthy years down the line.

Cut Your Toenails Properly

You may be trimming your toenails regularly but make sure you do it correctly. Cutting them in an improper way can cause the nails to grow in an unnatural or crooked manner. Unknowingly clipping the nails too short can lead to inward toenail growth, a condition in which the edges of a nail bend and penetrate into the skin as it grows. As a result, the edges of the nail become red, swollen, and painful. Also, long nails are prone to damage as they have a tendency to split and break. So, one should shun the habit of keeping long nails and trim them whenever needed.

Also, many people have the wrong habit of cutting their cuticles, which can increase the risk of infections and nail problems. Instead, take care of your cuticles by applying cuticle oil. This will make the cuticles soft and supple. Applying Vaseline can also help to soften the nails, making it easier to trim them.

Wash Your Feet Everyday

When having a bath, we often forget to wash the most frequently used part of the body-the feet. We often use expensive soaps and lotions to ensure our skin is soft, smooth, and well hydrated. In this process, we tend to ignore foot hygiene, making way for dirty, smelly feet. Washing your feet daily with soap is an integral part of personal hygiene. The spaces between toes are breeding grounds of dirt, bacteria, and bad smell. Hence, foot hygiene is a matter of great importance and cannot be overlooked.

Pat Your Feet Dry

Wet or moist feet attract bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens, which can cause a wide range of infections including athlete’s foot. So, once you wash your feet or visit damp places barefoot, it is necessary to dry them thoroughly. Pat your feet dry with a towel. Make sure your towel reaches the spaces in between the toes.

Use a Foot Moisturizing Cream

Rough, scaly feet are indicative of uncared for feet. In order to get relief from dry feet, massaging with a foot moisturizing cream is recommended. Applying an appropriate moisturizer daily can work wonders to soften dry feet. Before using a moisturizer, firstly immerse your feet in moderately hot water for 10-15 minutes. Then rub your feet gently with a pumice stone to remove dead skin cells. Once it is done, wash your feet with warm water, pat dry with a towel, and apply a foot moisturizer. Practice this foot care routine daily and you will soon notice your feet looking healthier and smoother.

Choose the Right Shoe Size

Choosing proper shoes is extremely important to keep foot problems at bay. Wearing wrong size footwear all day long can cause heel pain that can last for weeks. Also, ill-fitting shoes increase the chances of developing calluses and ulcers on the feet. People who wear shoes that are not roomy and have a small toe box are at increased risk of hammer toes. So, buying comfortable shoes that come with a large toe box and extra depth is necessary to keep feet healthy.

Also, buy shoes that provide adequate support to your foot arches. The design should be such that it gives a great deal of cushioning and shock absorption. Inserting insoles is also helpful as it adds padding, which protects your feet from shoe rubbing.