One of the most daunting tasks when buying or applying makeup is figuring out which colors will work best for you. The intimidating rows of dozens of shades of the same color eyeshadow or lipstick lead many women to get into a rut with makeup colors, or simply give up altogether. Here are three fool-proof tips that will help you choose the right makeup colors for your unique features.

1. Skin Undertone

During your search for the perfect foundation, you’ll probably discover whether you are a cool, warm, or neutral undertone. If you haven’t, use this fail-proof trick: Look at the veins in your wrists. If they are green, you are a warm undertone, if they are blue, you are a cool undertone. Women with warm skin usually look better in gold jewelry while women with cool skin look better in silver, and women with neutral undertones look good in both. After finding your correct undertone, you can work from there to discover which makeup colors will work best for you. Warm-skinned girls look good in gold, orange, mocha, bronze, and warm brown tones. Cool-skinned ladies look best in blue, silver, gray, purple, and cool brown tones. If you have a neutral skin tone, you’re in luck because you can wear any color you want!

2. Hair Color

Your hair color, in conjunction with your skin’s undertone, also has an effect on whether certain colors of makeup will look good on you or not. If you have warm hair – such as chestnut or golden blonde – and a warm skin tone, stick with bronze-y, summery colors. With cool hair – like platinum blonde or ash brown – and a cool skin tone, use silvery, wintry colors. As a general rule for redheads, if you have warm red hair, stick with those shades recommended for warm hair colors, and vice versa. All redheads should steer clear of overly red or orange makeup colors and should use greens and blues in the correct undertone to enhance their features.

3. Eye color

Last, but certainly not least, your eye color has a huge effect on the makeup colors you should choose. Girls with blue eyes look best in peach, gold, copper, and brown, while green eyes pop when paired with purples, pink, and plum. Those women with brown eyes are incredibly lucky, because you can wear whatever colors you want! However, the best colors to accentuate beautiful brown eyes are purple, teal, and green.

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Acne Medicine and Makeup: Best Two in -One Products

It’s difficult to combine acne medicine and makeup into one product without overdrying your skin. In fact, you have to be extremely careful not to add too much acne treatment medicine with a makeup that already has some in it. However, there are a few products that have gotten great reviews from users. They work best on people with mild acne and/or very oily skin. Here’s a round-up of the best ones in my own order of preference:

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Foundation: This foundation for acne prone skin is particularly good for those with oily skin. It provides moderate coverage and a matte finish. You will still have to carry around some blotting powder or papers, but it does help with mild acne. It also has some colors for very fair skin.

Bare Minerals Rare Minerals Blemish Therapy: This is described as a treatment, but it actually provides some coverage as well. It contains Bare Escentuals rare minerals, so it doesn’t interact with any other acne medicine you are using. I like the fact that I can put some on at night and it reduces the redness of any pimples I put it on.

Murad Acne Treatment Concealer: This will only help with very small blemishes, but gives decent coverage. Since it also contains salicylic acid, be careful about combining it with your current treatment, if you use one. It comes in the perfect size for carrying around in your purse.

Cover FX Acne Treat and Conceal Kit: This kit contains travel size versions of a full line of Cover FX acne products. People mostly love the primer, which has the acne medicine in it. Otherwise, this is best for people with very oily skin since it can be chalky looking. Also, you have to get lucky with the colors since they are very limited. However, it’s a terrific value.

Philosophy’s On a Clear Day Acne Clarifying Primer: A primer that contains salicylic acid for treatment, Philosphy’s primer is more for preventing breakouts and smoothing over anything you already have. Helps makeup go on more smoothly.

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Liquid Foundation: Your only real drugstore cosmetic option, Neutrogena’s foundation doesn’t provide much coverage but can be good for people with very mild acne. You can’t beat the price.

Have any other acne makeup products with medicine in them that you love? Let all of us know!

The Best Acne Makeup for Aging Skin

Even if your skin is mature, you are not necessarily safe from acne. In fact, some women may get more acne as they get older due to hormonal changes. At the same time, you have to deal with the common effects of time. Lines and wrinkles are particularly tough to treat at the same time as acne. One treatment tends to add moisture while the other dries out the skin. It seems like a Catch 22. There are some tricks, however, that will help you find the best acne makeup, aging skin or not.

The first trick is to avoid all makeup that has acne medicine in it. Don’t use anything with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur. They will dry your skin out even more. Keep your acne treatments separate from any treatment for aging.

As with any makeup for acne prone skin, avoid anything with oil in it. There are plenty of moisturizing products that don’t have oil. Better yet, stick with a mineral makeup like Korres Mineral Powder or a neutral long-lasting foundation like … You can use moisturizer separately for any dryness.

Apply everything in the correct order. Here’s where things get tricky. Acne treatment or wrinkle treatment – which do you apply first? I always go with how my skin is doing on a certain day. If it is breaking out a lot I put on some medicine first, let it dry completely, and then pat on some moisturizer. Next comes my Tarte Clean Slate primer. Finally, I apply some foundation.

Use powders sparingly. Powder can make every line on your face stand out. This is true of many of the mineral makeup powder as well, so avoid ones that are labeled as matte or oil absorbent.

My favorite brands of makeup for aging skin that has acne are:

Benefit’s Hello Flawless Custom Cover Up – Benefit is designed as a brand targeted for younger people, but I love the Hello Flawless powder foundation. So long as you have put on moisturize and primer, the sponge lets you apply the foundation smoothly and gives excellent coverage without making every line stand out.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra – This is my favorite liquid foundation that is both long lasting and give great coverage. It goes on silky smooth and I don’t even have to use concealer with it. This is my go-to foundation when I am going to a party or will be out all day and want my skin to look perfect.

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation – This mineral powder foundation goes on much more smoothly than most others, so it doesn’t sit in your wrinkles. You can either use the little pad that comes with it or a mineral makeup brush.

I haven’t done a proper Benefit Cosmetics review yet, which is inexcusable since Hello Flawless Custom Cover Up is  my ‘go-to’ powder foundation when I need extra coverage.  This is one of my favorite foundations for acne prone skin, and I have been using it for several years now. It gives excellent coverage, has the option of using either a sponge or brush for application, lasts all day, and doesn’t make me break out. Sounds perfect, right?

Here is the description from the company:

Custom cover! For a light, natural finish, sweep on “hello flawless!” with the accompanying brush. Blend on with the sponge for full coverage or spot concealing. Apply & you’ll see… it was meant to be! With 6 flattering shades, it’s easier than ever to find your perfect match. Lesson included.

What I Love

I tend to use the sponge since it gives so much coverage that I usually don’t need any concealer. Isn’t it great when you can just use one product to do the job of two? The less makeup you use, the less chance of aggravating your acne.

The brush is great when you only need a little color, but it gives almost no coverage. Keep it for when your skin is in good condition and you can get away with a little dab of concealer here and there.

I almost forgot to mention – Hello Flawless also has an SPF 15. That makes this a 3-in-1 foundation. You can’t beat that!

Improvements Needed

There are only two criticisms I have for Hello Flawless. The first is the lack of a truly light shade. Luckily, the lightest shade is perfect for me (Me, Vain?), but it probably won’t work for someone with extremely fair skin.

My other complaint is about the case it comes in. I like to be able to carry my powder foundation with me if possible. The case for Hello Flawless is a bit big and very square. Does that seem a little trivial? Well, it isn’t enough to keep me from using it. I just carry something like MAC Blot Powder for any “grease” emergencies.

About Benefit

Benefit Cosmetics is a little bit of a cult brand that’s not as easy to find as the mainstream lines. They are incredibly creative in the way they name their products, and they maintain a very high quality standard. Their Hello Flawless compact powder foundation is one of the stars of their product line, at least in my eyes, but I also love their blushes, bronzers, and lip tint. With names like Confessions of a Concealaholic, you could definitely go a little crazy once you start browsing their line. So be careful and keep to your makeup budget!

Where to Buy

You can find Benefit Cosmetics products and Hello Flawless Custom Cover UP powder foundation online and in specialty cosmetics stores. Ulta.com carries the full range and always sends you 3 free samples. They also have free shipping when you spend over $50.

Usually, I recommend a trip to the dermatologist as one of the first stops when putting together a good acne treatment regimen. However, are your numerous trips to the doctor for high priced medications and ointments not showing results? If so, you may want to try natural treatments for acne. Unlike prescription medications, alternative acne treatments rarely cause harmful side effects and are generally less expensive than a prescription. It just may take a little longer for them to work, or to identify the most effective products.

Why Use Natural Treatments for Acne?

Some people with sensitive skin just can’t handle the stronger topical prescription medicines. As alternative medicine becomes more popular, a greater number of acne patients are seeking natural ways of treatment. While some people may have experienced relative success from prescription medications, the side effects or reactions to the medicine are often just as much of a problem as the acne itself. Dry, itchy skin can be one side effect, and increased sensitivity to sun is a problem with most of these treatments.

Other people who turn to natural products have tried every over the counter remedy available, only to find their condition hasn’t improved at all. In fact, when used improperly or in excess, many non-prescription ointments and lotions can even aggravate your acne. Overdrying your skin can just lead to flakiness, which can clog your pores and result in more blemishes.

In women, acne is often the result of a hormonal imbalance that occurs every month, or later in life during menopause. This type of acne isn’t something that will just go away on its own or during a short-term treatment. In order to effectively treat adult acne over the long term, you’ll want to choose a method that will not jeopardize your overall health in the process.

What Natural Products Work Best on Acne?

Today there are many natural herbs available that have proven helpful in eliminating or reducing the painful and embarrassing effects of acne without the irritating side effects of prescription treatments. Some of the most commonly used herbs include: primrose, black cohosh, red clover, and wild yam.

These particular herbs are used for women since they are effective in striking a healthy balance of estrogen and androgen in the body. An excess of androgen in the system is a common culprit in the overproduction of sebum, which can result in blocked pores that lead to acne.

There are also natural treatments that can be used by both men and women. These herbs help improve the skin’s appearance by both eliminating the infection and soothing the inflamed areas of skin. Visit your local health food or organic store to find some of these herbal treatments. You can also visit The Natural Store online for a huge range of natural acne products. If you have a Whole Foods near you, that is another great place to find items such as dandelion root, red peony, licorice, salvia, and echinacea – all of which are popular herbs used to treat acne.

Vitamins as a Natural Acne Solution

Many dermatologists believe that acne is the result of a vitamin deficiency in their patients. Clinical research results have shown that a good percentage of acne patients have an insufficient amount of Vitamin B in their system. This deficiency can also cause excess sebum, along with the resulting clogged pores and blemishes. Supplements of Vitamin B5 in the diet on a regular basis have shown a great deal of success in reducing or healing acne symptoms. You don’t even have to go to a health store for this. You should be able to find Vitamin B5 at your local pharmacy. However, I’m a Trader Joe’s devotee and get mine there.

Get Expert Advice

While natural or herbal treatments for acne are generally safe, you’ll still want to proceed with caution when trying any new type of treatment. It’s a good idea to talk with a knowledgeable herbalist or an alternative medicine specialist if you’re uncertain about possible side effects or reactions.

An alternative medicine specialist can also provide you with additional information on suggested dosage requirements. If you’re currently taking any type of prescription for illness, be sure to discuss the matter with your physician or alternative medicine practitioner.  Just like prescription medications, many herbs should not be used in conjunction with other types of medicine.

If you are not sure where you can get advice on the best natural treatments for your acne, try talking to someone at your local health or organic store. They often know good practitioners since that is their field of expertise. The larger natural health chains (such as Whole Foods) also employ very knowledgeable people, but a true alternative medicine specialist will have much more extensive experience and training. There is no formal regulations on natural treatments, so you need expert advice to figure out what to try first. And remember! Patch test first!!!

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