Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stripping it Off

It was legendary makeup artist Shu Uemura who said that, "Beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin" and I couldn't agree more. Makeup adheres so much better with skin that's moisturized, clean, and even. Makeup does only much so as to cover flaws and enhance features, and imperfections such as pockmarks or bumps can still me seen. The skin shows our current condition.

Skin care for me is more than an investment for me. It is the largest organ of the body so we must take care of it. As makeup artist, good skin is much easier to work with and I get my job done at a faster pace. Skin care is something that I'm really OC about.

(Photo by Michael Yu of Mantra Photography)

Proper skincare can also mean less makeup dependency. I mean in my case, I really love makeup (my stash is a dead giveaway) but there are times that I want to just go out without the fuss, especially with this summer's unpredictable weather and humidity. The picture above, shows me without a stitch of makeup on - that's me per se, bare-faced and hair naturally air-dried . No smoky eyes, red lips, full-on foundation and contour, the 10+ coats of mascara and no photo-retouching. During the colder months, it was easier for me to maintain a better skin regimen since I don't regrease much but with summer, skin goes into hyperdrive for me, so I'm more OC with it than ever.

Although I have extra steps on skin care, I'll try to keep it basic as possible and un-intimidating. Just like the no-frills photo qbove, I've listed my tips in skin care.


Different girls have different skin types. Some girls are oily, some have dry skin, some have sensitive skin, and some have combination skin. Depending on your skin type, the right skin care products for you might be different from your friend or sister for example. For oily-skinned girls, you would need facial cleansers for oily skin and light moisturizers that will not cause your face to regrease every so often. Dry-skinned girls might need the extra boost of luxurious cream formulas. Sensitive-skinned girls may skip toner and must stick to products free of fragrances, dyes, or alcohol. If you must switch products or want to try a new product, it's best to try it out using samples or try doing a patch test first so to see how your skin reacts to it. Although I make reviews and all, what might work for me might not work for others. So before buying something, best seek out opinions, literature, reviews, and try the testers. That's why they're there.

I'm not saying to stick to mineral or organic-only or whatever products. I've been using products that have been working for me quite well. Some products do not work for me as well as they do on others. It's a matter of experience. I've learned now what products work for me depending on the season or climate, both here in Manila and abroad. I also choose products according to my age. My baby soap regimen on my face when I was 10 may not work now that I need anti-ageing ingredients on my skin.


Pre-makeup skin prep, this is my way to go. I cleanse my skin because even though I didn't wear makeup before going to the makeup table, there might be oils and dirt that have accumulated on my face and neck. I always want to start my clients and models with fresh and clean skin. Some even wash their face before makeup. I wash my face, whisk toner with a soft cotton ball, and moisturize to keep skin hydrated. Then, I let them sink in before doing the rest of my makeup.


This could result in further irritation and scarring.


I've never been OC about eye cream until I got older and since my eyes are my most-abused features due to eyeshadow, 10 coats of mascara and the occasional false eyelashes, I've added an extra step of eye cream that I tap on the eye area. I also carry sunglasses in my bag to prevent wrinkle-causing squinting and to protect my eyes from the glare of the sun.

Since I love matte lipsticks, my lips need extra hydrating power. My lips do not produce oil glands so I need lip care to keep them moist and supple. when I go out, I use lip conditioner with SPF (current product: MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Popster with SPF 15). At night, I slather on The Body Shop Lip Butter since it's not waxy.


So I'm not on the beach right? Yet I still need sunblock to protect my face from wrinkles, premature aging, dark spots, and cancer. I use makeup with built-in SPF or moisturizer with SPF if I want to go light.


Beautiful skin starts from within. Remember in grade school we learned about go, grow, and glow foods? The "glow" foods care for our skin too and these include fruits and vegetables. I include them in my diet too. Sleeping 8 hours a day keeps skin in tip-top shape. A makeup artist friend of mine told me that the skin repairs itself from 10 pm to 2 am so bedtime should be around this time at least. While at it, I make sure I get enough sleep to avoid puffiness, dark circles, and sallow, dull skin. I figured that when I get good sleep, I have this glow that doesnt need much makeup.


I've discovered that it's true after I quit smoking 2 years ago. Smoking lets loose aging free radicals that can ruin the skin, not to mention the 1001 damages to the body it could do. Quitting can be hard too, for some. I was a Marlboro reds girl before and this was my secret, "The money I save could buy me the makeup that I want in time." It started off as that and then it kinda sunk in already. I tried to divert my attention somewhere else so I was able to stop the habit. My skin has been thankful since.


Don't just go to the department store and makeup counter and try on all these newfangled products all at once. Instead of thanking you, your skin might complain and if it could scream, it might cry out "TOO MUCH!" I stick with my cleanser, toner, moisturizer, sunblock, and eye cream for my face and lip balm that I've tried and tested and are okay for my skin type. I give my skin a rest before trying out a new product and see how it reacts. I don't go happy-go-lucky with facials or pro-treatments. I only go for a facial when I feel my skin needs a general cleaning. I don't go for diamond peels or microdermabrasion treatments if I feel my skin doesn't need it. If needed, I treat my face to a once-a-week exfoliation treatment with my favorite exfoliator and a facial mask.


A good workout, a spa visit, or simply visiting my favorite makeup counters or playing with the kids who live next door are things that destress me. Stress can wreck havock on skin, so I discover ways on how I could relax.


Falling asleep with makeup on is a definite no-no. Before going to bed, I make sure that I remove all traces of makeup on my face even if I'm tired. I use Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup because it's quick and easy and gentle on my face yet it could remove all the mascara I put. After I tried it, I've been stuck to it since. I have an affordable brand of cleansing oil, which I use too, to remove makeup during days when my makeup is lighter or my practice sessions. For eye makeup residue, I use Clinique eye makeup remover with cotton pads and cotton buds to make sure no eyeliner remains on my face. Then, I wash my face with facial wash, whisk toner, and apply my night creams. Also, I extend skin care to my neck and chest especially if I put makeup/shimmer powder/bronzer there too. Another secret I have is to keep a tiny bottle of cleansing oil in my purse or a packet of face wipes so I could remove my makeup at the car (or mall washroom) so there'll be less work to do when I get home.

So that's my skin care routine. Sure, it's a little military-like but like I said, I really think good skin is an investment. :) And like I said, skin care doesn't stop on just the products used but also on the lifestyle. :) Have a great week ahead!

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