Makeup Basics Advice from A Holistic Aesthetician
Time and again, I’m asked for my opinion about the ideas surrounding beauty and whether it is a question of conforming to societal pressure, selfish vanity or, as I choose to believe: the desire to look and feel healthy. As a holistic practitioner, I believe in the connection of mind, body and spirit and so, how we look and how we feel are connected and add to our sense of worth, joy, happiness, self confidence, and self esteem.
Too often, I hear women express themselves in a way that seems as if they are embarrassed to take care of themselves – thinking that this is a selfish thing to do. (Yes, we all know people who are fixated on appearance, but we’re focusing on beauty in balance!)
Caring for ourselves contributes to our quality of life. It alters the way that we feel about ourselves, boosting our self respect, self image and concept of ourselves. What we wear, how we carry ourselves and how we feel becomes who we are – which begs the question, “How do I see myself?”
It’s not about whether you color your hair, or you don’t; whether you wear makeup, or not – it’s about how you feel about yourself and the choices that you make. I know women who look absolutely gorgeous who allow their natural hair color to shine; women who don’t wear makeup and are beautiful; women who do wear makeup and are beautiful. It’s personal choice and what makes you feel good about yourself.
Having said this, I am motivated to talk a bit about makeup, since I see a lot of faces! These days, I see many cases of rosacea, broken capillaries, the result of too many chemicals, too much sun, too many irritants, too little vitamins and a lack of knowledge based upon myth and commercials. Amazingly, though this can sound a bit grim, it’s not difficult to change. Our skin’s health is resilient and can be helped. In fact, one of the statements I hear that makes me so happy is when clients say, “This is the best that my skin has ever been!” Yes, it’s possible to better the condition of your skin with good home care, the right product and professional care. So, back to makeup!
Choosing the healthy path.
What I mean by “healthy” is makeup that doesn’t contain parabens or other preservatives known or suspected to be harmful; and does contain beneficial ingredients like anti-oxidants and vitamins. And, while you can find these types of products at specialty stores, don’t be fooled by the words “natural” or “mineral” – which don’t necessarily mean what you may think. The best thing to do is take a look at the ingredients if you are so motivated, or buy from a licensed professional who can do all this legwork and knows what to look for in products.
Today, there is makeup available that is called “treatment” makeup. That means that the ingredients in the makeup actually aid your skin. Many times this makeup is found at a spa, your skin care provider’s office or through a dermatologist. This product is generally no more costly than that which you would find at a department store counter or specialty store. Since this product is sold by skin care professionals, the quality and quantity of active, beneficial ingredients are usually higher.
While I understand the difficulty and expense of replacing all your makeup with healthy choices, I’d recommend that if you can’t do it all at once, you make better choices as you replace your old makeup.
What works best? The basic how-to:
In most cases, when it comes to makeup less is more. The most common mistakes I see are: the wrong color foundation, the wrong type of foundation and too much bronzer. The wrong type of foundation will cake in your pores or make your skin look either too dry or too oily. The right makeup blends with and into your natural tones producing more even color and a smoother look. Generally, liquid makeup is better for more mature and dryer skin; powder works well for those with oilier complexions. You should test foundation color along the jaw line making sure that it blends closely to your own shade.
To cover more difficult areas, like scars or sun damage, camouflage-type concealers work best to even out color, rather than loading up the foundation. Under eye concealers, which are great for dark circles, should blend with the skin tone and be a shade or so lighter than the overall face color, but not so light as to stand out and detract from the overall enhancement.
It is generally best to choose one area to have more color – eyes or lips, not both. So, for daytime wear, my recommendation is the following: concealer if needed, foundation if desired, blush, lip color and eyeliner; shadow if wanted. For evening, a heavier look has a more formal, dressy look.
For those who want a nice light dusting of makeup, there are tinted foundations which afford less coverage, while still evening out skin tone.
As always, moisturizer and sunscreen are very important, as are the right skin care products.
Makeup doesn’t have to be overpowering or frightening. Once you find a beneficial treatment makeup line, you can work with a professional to find the right colors. It’s important to express the kind of look you want to achieve, so that you are comfortable and confident. Best of all – have some fun!
Questions? Feel free to ask me or schedule an appointment for a skin analysis and consultation!