Image Source: 2014 Sigma Enterprises, LLC
Happy New Year Everyone! We’ve made it through the first week, and for many, the first day back at work! So, how are your lists of New Year’s Resolutions coming along? When we started compiling our lists, we realised that there are 2 very simple resolutions that we think everyone should include in their list too:
1. Look after your skin
No amount of make-up will mask a poor skin. The key to beautiful make-up is beautiful skin underneath, and having beautiful skin is really quite simple: Eat the right foods, drink sufficient amounts of water, get enough sleep, limit toxin intake, use sunscreen and invest in a proper skin care routine. All of these steps are very basic but can make the world of difference if stuck to:
Drink more water. Dehydrated skin looks dull and shows imperfections a lot more prominently. Getting at least 2l of water into your body everyday should be part of everyone’s routine. And by water we mean water, not tea or cold drinks or fruit juice. Pure, unadulterated water. The reason for this is that you should see water as the tool to flush toxins out of your body and it seems sort of counteractive if you add more toxins (chemicals from cold drinks, caffeine from tea or coffee etc.) in the process…
Eat the right foods. Someone once said that if the food item that you are about to eat doesn’t look like it did when it was in nature, then you should not eat it. Processed foods are the downfall of all of us, and as much as what they taste good, they simply don’t do good. Try to stick to eating food in its most natural form and stay away from anything that has added salt or sugar. Your skin will thank you (as will your waist-line).
Get enough sleep. The amount of sleep needed every night in order to feel refreshed in the morning is different for every person. Some people thrive on 6 hours, while others can’t get away with anything less than 8 hours. A way to determine if you’ve had sufficient sleep is to keep track of how you function through the day: did you wake up feeling refreshed or as though your eyelids are made of sandpaper? Were you productive in the morning, and then completely useless in the afternoon? Getting the right amount of sleep has a severe impact on many aspects of your life – your mood, your ability to concentrate, your body’s ability to ward off disease, and of course the condition of your skin.
Limit toxin intake (stop smoking, drink less alcohol and caffeine). This sounds very obvious, but it’s definitely worth a comment. The difference in skin condition (not to mention other health issues) between a person who smokes and someone who doesn’t is visible to the naked eye – without having to look too closely. Similarly, caffeine and alcohol will, over time, also have a detrimental effect on the skin. A good rule to follow is to have one glass of (pure, unadulterated) water for every drink you have that contains caffeine or alcohol.
Use sunscreen. If you are outside even for 5 minutes, you should have some sort of sun protection on. This includes being in the car. Yes, it’s lovely to be tanned and glowy, but soon that lovely tan will be replaced by wrinkles and pigmentation. And for the love of mascara, stay away from sunbeds!
Invest in a proper skin care routine. This year take some time to consult with a specialist and find yourself a routine that looks after your skin. This includes fully analysing your face to determine what type of skin you have (dry, oil, normal etc), and then finding the right cleanser, toner and moisturisers. Keep in mind that more expensive is not always better – but the advice you will get when speaking to a trained professional is priceless. Try to get your hands on sample or travel sizes if you are not sure about how well the products will work for you and don’t want to commit to a full sized product immediately. Preserving your skin is pretty much like preserving milk. If you leave milk out of the fridge and it starts to go sour, there is not a lot that you can do to reverse that. Same with your skin. If you neglect it now, there won’t be a lot that you can do to easily reverse the effects.
2. Revamp your look
Are you known for your signature neutral make-up and vixen red lips? Or your blond highlights? Why not mix things up a bit in 2014? We’re not suggesting that you do a complete make-over – a few simple changes can revamp your entire look:
Try alternating a very dramatic look with a more subtle one – if your signature look is a more neutral one, try adding a little drama with a winged eye liner effect. If you are known for your cat eyes, try a soft look every now and then. People will notice the difference, but may not know what it is exactly that you changed.
Experiment with different colours: we all know that a neutral palette is a safe choice, but why not add a hint of colour in there to spice it up a bit? You could do something as simple as trying as different colour eye liner.
Use a soft lip gloss instead of simply applying lip balm, or if you usually use lip gloss why not try a lipstick that has a different effect? Buy a new colour!
Perfect a new make-up technique and own it! Do you feel you end up looking like a panda bear when you try to apply a smoky eye? Or does your winged eye liner make you look droopy instead of fierce? 2014 should be the year that you master a new make-up skill and use it!
Hair is even easier to revamp without committing to anything too dramatic like chopping it off or changing the colour. Why not try parting your hair to a different side, or trying an up-do instead of leaving it down every day. Of course, nothing is stopping you from trying a new haircut or colour – speak with your stylist to find a look that fits your features.
Whichever way you want to tackle the New Year, remember to look at 2014 as a beautiful blank canvas – be sure to fill that canvas with everything remarkable! What are your resolutions for 2014? We’d love to hear from you!
In our recent Crème de Couture posts, we mention the use of Eye Shadow Bases. Today we explain the difference between an Eye Shadow Base and an Eyelid Primer (also called Eye Shadow Primer), as they are two completely dissimilar beauty tools with different applications and results.
An Eyelid primer is a light textured cream with a soft, slightly silicone-like feel to it. The primer is applied directly onto the eyelid, helping to mattify any oils that are present. This cream creates a foundation (never use actual foundation on your eyelids – this is much too greasy and will only cause your eye shadow to run) for you to apply your eye make-up over, helping to prevent creasing and fading of your eye shadow. Using a primer also helps your make-up last through the day. Usually the primer is colourless, but there are products available that have a slight sheen to them, have a slight neutral colour or even a bit of shimmer. We are very fond of the Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potions, the Smashbox Lid Primer as well as the MAC Prep + Prime Eye.
Eye Shadow Base
An Eye shadow base is a creamy product with a much thicker consistency than primer. You would typically need to apply the base with a brush as using your fingers could mean that too much product is used. If applied correctly the base can also act as a tool to prevent your eye shadow from creasing. The purpose of an eye shadow base is to intensify or enhance your eye shadow colours and are thus available in many different colours and finishes:
Light coloured bases intensify the eye shadow colour
Dark bases highlight the different colours of multi-faceted eye shadows
Bases with shimmer or sparkle will lift matt colours
Matt bases, or bases that are neutral (skin-toned) simply work as a tool for your eye shadow to stick to
A base in the same colour as your eye shadow will enrich your look considerably
There are very many different eye shadow bases available, so we suggest that you experiment with the application as well as the amount of product you use in order to get the most out it. Our favourite bases are the Sigma Eye Shadow Bases, as well as the MAC Paintpots.
It is possible to use the base without a primer, although for best results we would recommend using a primer under the base.
How often have you stood at a beauty counter, stared at all the different colour-correcting products, and thought: “Whaaaaat?”
Highlighting and contouring are receiving a lot of attention lately, with many new products on the market that cater for this. If you’re going to all that effort to add dimension to your face, surely you should be concentrating on evening out your skin tone too.
Here is a quick guide on which colours to use in which areas:
|Yellow: Used to even out areas that are too pink or have a slight purple tinge on light complexions, or to adjust a foundation that is too pink.|
|Orange: Used to reduce the appearance of dark circles, or to adjust a foundation that is too light.|
|Peach: Used to balance out areas that have a blue undertone and brighten up a slightly dull complexion if you have a medium to dark complexion.|
Pink: Used to offset areas that have a green undertone, or to adjust a foundation that is too yellow.
|Purple: Used to brighten skin that has a yellow undertone.|
Green: Used to cover areas that have red or very pink undertone, or zones that have blemishes.
Apply colour-correcting products after your primer, and before your foundation. Then apply highlight products and a contouring bronzer.
As much as what there are no rules for applying make-up “correctly”, there certainly are a ton of guidelines that you should follow if you want to truly enhance your features and not just end up looking like you’re experimenting…
When you put an outfit together, you carefully weigh up how the different pieces will look when worn together: are your shoes the right height for the length of your pants? Does the colour of your scarf match the colour of your handbag? Does the overall outfit flatter your frame? There are hundreds of questions that you ask yourself every morning when getting dressed – and this should be no different when applying your make-up.
Make-up colour choices should be based on your skin colour & tone, your eye colour as well as the colour of your hair. This is especially true for eye make-up. It may be tempting to go wild and purchase all the season’s new trend colours, but make sure that they suit you. If a grass-green top would ordinarily not look good on you, then there is a good chance you should not wear bright green eye shadow.
A good guideline to follow when selecting colours is to make sure that the eye shadow and the eye liner don’t over power your eye colour. You want to enhance, not hide. Using a colour that draws the emphasis to your make-up rather than your own features is counter-active.
Enhance your eyes: Use a neutral brown or bronze eye liner – it warms up the blue, and works as a contrast.
Dramatically define your eyes: Use a deep blue or a dark green eye liner.
Eye shadow colours: Taupe, grey, purple, violet, soft pink.
Green and Hazel Eyes
Enhance your eyes: Use a dark brown or bronze eye liner – same as with blue eyes, these colours work well to contrast your eye colour.
Dramatically define your eyes: Use a purple eye liner.
Eye shadow colours: Shimmery purples, lavender, plum, burgundy, copper and gold.
Enhance your eyes: Use a charcoal grey eye liner – this will make the brown of your eyes look rich and deep.
Dramatically define your eyes: Try either a champagne or a deep khaki green eye liner.
Eye shadow colours: People with brown eyes are fortunate to be able to wear almost any colour and have it look good: copper, amber, deep blue and olive green.
Black eye liner works with any colour eye, as does the classic smokey-eye. For a glam twist to your smokey-eye look, try blending in a dark colour from the above list for your eye colour to make your eyes stand out even more.
Eye make-up requires a bit of practice in order to get it right, but starting with the correct colours will help to make your application easier. What colours do you find works best for your eye colour?
Today we continue our guide to selecting brushes by focusing on make-up brushes for your eyes.
Eye Shadow Base: E45. Without a doubt, the E45 is the right shape, and size to apply small quantities of eye shadow base to the eye lid. The fluffiness of the brush is then perfect to blend the eye shadow base out evenly over the whole eyelid. Use small, circular motions to create a smooth finish.
Eye Shadow – overall application: E55. The E55 has strong, dense bristles which are great to pick up colour and place it onto your eyelid. Use one side to press your first colour onto the lid, and turn the brush over to use the other side for your second colour.
Eye Shadow – Blending: E40/ E35/ E25. Use the E40, E35 or the slightly smaller E25 to blend your colours and smooth out the lines. Use a neutral colour on the brush to transition the colours even more smoothly.
Outer Corner, Crease: E30. The soft, tapered shape makes applying your accent colour to the corner of the eye very simple, and precise. Use the E30 brush to then apply the same colour to your crease to define it.
Inner Corner, brow bone: E70. Apply your highlight colour to the brow bone easily with this angled brush. Using the tip of the angle apply the same highlighter colour to the inner corner of your eye to brighten the little pocket up.
Smudging Eye liner (kohl):E20. When creating a smokey-eye look, you’ll want to smudge your kohl liner. The E20 is small and precise and can be used to add eye shadow to the line to set it.
Eye Liner Gel: E65 or E05. Both the E65 and the E05 work really well for applying eyeliner, however, the E65 is easier to use if you are trying gel liner for the first time. The wider bristles mean you can place the brush on the lash line and make a small “print” of where you want to place the liner, and slowly work from there. The E05 is for you if you are familiar with liquid and gel liners and comfortable in applying these products.
Eyebrows: E75 and E80. Use the E75 to fill in your eyebrows with a brow powder, and the E80 to brush your brows into shape. If you prefer to use a brow pencil to fill in your brows, simply use the E80 to shape first, and the after you’ve applied the pencil to even out the colour.
This guide is not to say that you cannot use these brushes for other applications, or use other brushes for these applications. This is simply what we have found works well for us- and tend to be our “go-to” brushes. The beauty of building a collection is that you can add to that collection to your heart’s content – and with such a huge selection (which Sigma adds to all the time!), there are endless possibilities!
Which brushes can you absolutely not live without?