Learn how to organize your makeupAt some point, every woman looks in her makeup drawer and wonders when it all went wrong. With so many different types and sizes of products, it’s difficult to find a method of organization for all your cosmetics, so it easily becomes a jumbled mess. Here are a few easy tricks for how to organize your makeup that anyone can do on any budget.

1. Divide your products by type

The first thing you have to do is take all your makeup out and separate it into 3 categories: face products, eye products, and lip products. Within those three, you can divide your makeup into any number of subcategories. I would suggest sticking to 2 or 3 subcategories each, depending on how many products you have. For face makeup, separate it into base makeup (primers, foundations and concealers), face powders, and blushes/bronzers. For your eye makeup, divide it into eyeshadows, eyeliners, and mascaras. And for lip products, make a separate pile for glosses and lipsticks.

2. Pick your tools of organization

Bamboo Drawer Try for Organizing Makeup and JewleryThe best tools you can have to organize your makeup are bins. Plastic, metal, or wood – they come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes at all price points. The small plastic bins from the dollar store are great for separating makeup if you’re on a budget. If you have a bit more money to invest into your organization, check out the Container Store, Target, and other home goods or office supply stores. My favorite trick is to use cutlery divider bins from the kitchen section because they have built in sections where you can keep certain types of products together. Or, you can get pretty bamboo organizing trays like these ones from the Container Store.

3. Make the most difficult decisions

The last thing to do before your start putting all your makeup into the bins and back in the drawers is to go through and decide what to keep and what to toss. A key to keeping your makeup organized for good is to always get rid of products that you don’t like, don’t use, or that have gone bad. Always throw out your mascara after 3-6 months, and toss your foundations after a year. Powder products like eyeshadow and blush will last longer, but if they start to get a chalky coating then throw them in the trash.

I hope these tips helped you if you have been struggling with a messy, disorganized makeup collection. Taking the time to reorganize your makeup makes getting ready in the morning much easier because you know where everything is and don’t have to waste time searching for a product. And now that you know how to organize your makeup with these quick and easy tricks, you’ll have a stellar cosmetics collection within hand’s reach in no time at a low cost.

How to Choose the Right Shade of Mineral Foundation

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation MakeupChoosing the right color makeup is always challenging, so in today’s post I’m going to give you some tips on how to choose the right shade of mineral foundation. Mineral makeup is an extremely popular makeup for acne prone skin, but picking the correct shade is more difficult because of the powdery consistency. Oily skin can make it look darker after it has sat on your skin for a little while. At the same time, the type of lighting in stores or at home can give a deceptively lighter or darker look.

Here are a few tips for making sure you get the perfect, natural look you want with your mineral powder foundation:

1. Pick at least 2 or 3 shades to test out, so that you can compare them.

2. Put the three colors next to each other against your jaw line. That where you will want to make sure that your makeup “disappears”, so that you avoid the dreaded mask look.

3. Use whatever moisturizer you normally apply underneath makeup and let it set first.

4. If you have sensitive skin and tend to get a little red, let it calm down after wiping off your existing makeup.

5. If your skin is oily, try picking a slightly lighter shade than your natural color. It can get darker as your skin gets oily.

6. If your skin is dry, pick a color that matches exactly. If you go too light, you will look chalky.

7. Don’t just listen to the salesperson’s opinion. Bring a friend to give honest advice on color.

8. Check the color in different parts of the store under different lighting. Take a mirror and look at it in natural daylight as well.

9. Whether you buy your foundation in a store or online, ask for a sample or two to bring home and try out. Online stores will often provide them as well.

10. If worse comes to worse, you can mix two shades of foundation to get one that  matches your skin exactly.

A couple of final notes:

  • Always try to let your foundation sit on your skin for an hour or so before you make a decision. Just go off and do some shopping or something else. Then come back and look again.
  • Remember to blend the foundation over your jaw line, otherwise you might still look like you’re wearing a mask – even if the shade matches exactly!

Even if you follow my tips on how to choose the right shade of mineral foundation, it’s possible that you won’t get it perfect the first time. So, make sure you keep all your receipts. I’ve never had a time where a store or website wouldn’t take back makeup that didn’t suit me.

Bare Escentuals Matte Mineral MakeupP.S. Here’s a few of my absolute favorite brands of mineral makeup for sensitive, acne prone skin:

Bare Minerals SPF 15 Matte Foundation – for oily skin

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation – for more sensitive skin

Good luck and feel beautiful!

How to Use Makeup to Contour Your Face

Professional makeup artists know how to use makeup to contour your face and create the illusion of perfection, even without any airbrush or photoshop tricks. For the rest of us, contouring is often seen as only existing successfully on the stage or at a professional photo shoot. This is certainly not the case! When done correctly, contouring is a simple and easy way to make your face look slimmer and your features more defined and radiant.

We’ve got three tricks that will help you learn how to use your makeup to contour your face that you can master quickly. You will need to have some good makeup brushes on hand to use these methods effectively. If you don’t already own some, check out the Sephora deluxe antibacterial brush set. They are excellent quality and a good value. You can also buy individual ones to fill in any gaps in your brush kit. My favorite are from Bobbi Brown. I’ve had them for years and they are still in excellent condition.

Now, grab your brushes and start sculpting!

1. How to Slim Your Face

A slimmer face is a goal that to some may only seem possible through weight loss, but with a little bit of contouring makeup, you can have a slimmer looking face in less than five minutes. You will need a non-shimmery, matte bronzer three shades darker than your skin tone and a small fluffy face or bronzer brush. If you are having difficulties finding a bronzer without shimmer, simply use a face powder a few shades darker than you would usually wear. Dip your brush lightly in the bronzer and create the “E” “3” shape on your face. To do this, start at your temple and curve the brush around and under your cheekbone, then back around and under your jaw. This creates a letter “E” on your left side and a number “3” on your right side. Then, use a clean brush or makeup sponge to blend any harsh lines.

2. How to Sculpt Your Nose

A simple trick to making your nose seem slimmer and straighter involves the same bronzer or dark face powder you used to contour your face and an eyeshadow brush. Dip your eyeshadow brush lightly in the bronzer and run it vertically down from the bridge of the nose to the tip on each side of your nose, leaving the center of your nose clean. To create a more defined tip of the nose, create a tiny “V” under the tip of the nose using the bronzer and eyeshadow brush. Use a clean fluffy brush to blend all harsh lines.

3. The Best Way to Use Highlighting

The last step to creating a perfectly defined and contoured face is to highlight your key features. You can use a liquid, cream, or powder highlighter in the color and shade of your choice. For this step, a shimmery product is preferred. If you are using a powder highlighter, clean your small fluffy brush from the face contouring step and use it to brush the highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones, down the center of your nose, in the middle of your forehead, and on your cupid’s bow. If you choose a liquid or cream highlighting product, repeat the same steps using your fingers and blend out lightly. For a long-lasting effect, layer your products by first using a cream or liquid highlighter, then going over it with a corresponding powder highlighter.

All done! Now, all you have to do is practice. It may take you a few times and a little experimenting to find the right colors, but you’ll be amazed at the difference a few contouring tricks can make.

Want to learn more about how to apply makeup like a professional? Check out the video tutorials from the University of Makeup. They will also recommend the right professional style brushes and makeup to use. I even learned how to apply makeup when I’m wearing my glasses so that my eyes look bigger!

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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.

Want to learn how to apply your makeup like a professional? I absolutely love the video tutorials from the University of Makeup. Even better, they now give you a professional makeup kit when you sign up, it’s a one-time price for lifetime membership, AND they have a store that sells everything and ships worldwide for free! They even have all the MAC makeup! Check it out:

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The Best Makeup and Cleansers for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Finding good makeup and cleansers for dry acne prone skin seems to be nearly impossible at times. Products that treat acne tend to be drying, while those for dry skin can easily make you break out further. And yet there are plenty of us who suffer from both dry skin and acne at the same time. Whether it is due to using too much acne cream or just the sun, wind, weather or age wreaking havoc on our skin, we still need a solution. I’ve found a few that have been working well for me this winter, along with some tips to help prevent the dry skin and acne at the same time.

Cleansers that help prevent dryness

Boscia Makeup Break Up Cool Cleansing Oil

Often during the winter we are inside air conditioned or heated rooms, and then we go out into the cold and hope that our skin can cope with the environment. Our lips get chapped, skin becomes raw, and many people get red and itchy. The dryness itself can cause flakiness that blocks our already acne prone pores, causing more breakouts.

To help prevent dryness in the first place, it’s important to use gentle cleansers and moisturizers every day. Stay away from all the strong acne face washes in the winter if you are prone to any dryness.

My favorite cleansers are two that I alternate, depending on how my skin is feeling. To thoroughly remove makeup and calm my skin, I use Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil. Although it’s an oil, it washes off totally without any oily residue. In fact, I use it all year long. When my skin is a little oily I will sometimes follow it with another face wash or Boscia’s herbal tonic to make sure everything is cleaned off.

Non-foaming cleanser for dry acne prone skin

The other cleanser I love is Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. It is gentle and non-foaming, but gets rid of all makeup and dirt, including eye makeup. What I love about this cleanser is that it actually delivers on the promise of cleaning your skin, but it doesn’t leave the film that most non-foaming face washes do. The only downside, for some, is the fragrance. Since it is for sensitive skin, the soy cleanser doesn’t have a perfume smell. It has a scent that is a little reminiscent of cucumbers. It took a little getting used to at first, but now I actually like it.

Moisturizers that help prevent and treat dryness

The experts always tell people with acne to still use moisturizers. If your skin is oily, you really don’t need much moisturizer at all. If anything, I always stayed away from them. However, when your skin is dry it is a tremendous challenge to find a moisturizer that provides enough hydration without producing more pimples.

Clinique Moisturizer for Dry Acne Prone SkinMy current favorite is a basic drugstore brand called Cerave. It was recommended by my dermatologist and is effective and cheap at the same time, so you can’t go wrong. When I need a little more moisture, I top it off with some of my favorite Clinique Moisture Surge gel, which always feel calm and soothing on my skin.

Foundation makeup for dry skin with acne

My rule of thumb with dry skin and acne is to stay away from any makeup that promises to ‘hydrate’ your skin. Those products have always made me break out. Instead, get your moisture from your moisturizer and use makeup to even out and conceal. That’s not to say that you should use a foundation for acne prone skin. Those tend to be drying. I always aim to find something neutral that won’t stick to any dry flakes.

Clean Slate Natural Face PrimerBefore any foundation, however, always use a primer. This helps keep the makeup go on smoothly and last longer, which is especially important if your skin and a little dry and flaky. My favorite primer for acne prone skin is Tarte’s Clean Slate Natural Face Primer. I’ve written a review of Clean Slate in the past since it is the only primer I have ever used which didn’t make me break out.

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Powder Foundation for Dry Acne Prone SkinFor foundation, there are two that I’ve been using this winter that I love. For a mineral powder foundation, I have fallen in love with the new Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation. It is the only one I have found which doesn’t bunch up in my crease lines or look powdery on my skin. I don’t think I would recommend it for oily skin, but it has been a godsend this winter. I actually use the sponge that it comes with, but some people prefer to use a mineral makeup brush.

I have a new liquid foundation that I have started using recently when I want fuller coverage and a more polished look. It is the new one from Lancome – Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra. When you put it on, this foundation leaves a very smooth finish along with excellent coverage. I haven’t even been using concealer with it since the coverage is so good. The only downside with this foundation is the fragrance. Like all Lancome products, it has a distinctive smell that ultra sensitive people may not like. Luckily, I havent’ had a problem. Great Liquid Foundation for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Last tips for treatment and prevention of dry skin and acne

Getting rid of the dry skin and acne is the biggest challenge. This is where patience is crucial. Many people will tell you to exfoliate to get rid of the flakiness. For my own sensitive acne prone skin, I’ve found that even gentle scrubbing will only make matters worse. It may get rid of some of the dry flakes at first, but the exfoliation itself irritates my pores, which then causes me to break out more. Treat the breakouts and what happens? More dry skin and acne. Just stick with a regimen of gentle cleansing, moisturizer, and protection through primer and foundation. Your skin will eventually balance out. Of course, then the season changes and we have to adjust again!

Have a favorite product or treatment process for your dry skin and acne? Please comment and let us know!

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