Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ask Lydia: Help Me Look Pretty!

Hi Lydia,

I'm 24 and kind of new to the makeup world. I don't like having to wear it, but a few bad sunburns eternally changed my skin and I am forced to use makeup daily--mostly the drugstore variety. I am afraid to get help from the cake-faced women at department stores, plus they only know the brands they are hired by. That's why I searched for a blog I liked to help me out, and yours is the best I've come across!

I have very fair freckle-free skin that tans easily (though I don't let it anymore), blue eyes, and blond hair. I don't like to look like I'm wearing makeup--no eye shadow.

I need to cover red blotches around my nose and chin, and the occasional zit. I prefer lightweight stuff: cover-up stick, powder to set, blush.

My main problems are:
1.) getting an even cover-up application to dry winter skin (I do moisturize twice daily)
2.) having to reapply a few hours later (I don't know where it all goes)

I would love something that's all-natural or doesn't have terrible ingredients in it. I'll spend whatever I have to! Can you help me?

Thanks so much!

Hi Sarah! I'm so glad you enjoy the blog! It sounds like you and I have very similar skin, and as you can tell, I've tried all sorts of products my entire life, so I can certainly tell you what works for me...just know that I'm not an expert, so this is just advice from one girl to another!

First off, I'm glad to hear that you've learned your lesson from the sunburns and are now taking steps to protect your skin. I would make sure that your moisturizer contains an SPF--there are several of them on the market. I have tried all sorts of products (both high end and the drugstore variety), and I swear by Olay's Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer with SPF for sensitive skin.

As for your foundation, I would whole-heartedly recommend Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals. Actually, the best thing to do would be to go over to your local Sephora (or click here) and pick up a Bare Escentuals Get Started kit. For $60, it contains everything you need (product, brushes, even an instructional DVD!).

If you've never tried mineral based makeup, let me explain how it works. The mineral based foundation (Bare Minerals) is applied more like a powder. Even though it feels and looks light, it does an amazing job at evening out skin tone and covering up zits and splotches. After you apply the Bare Minerals, you can either use your regular blush or try Warmth, a "face cover" that adds a subtle kiss of color to your face. Finally, you finish off with Mineral Veil, a translucent powder that finishes everything off and gives a flawless look.

Mineral based makeup is ideal because the foundation contains SPF, and as you know, you can't get enough protection! It's also made without pore clogging chemical and ingredients. Apparently a lot of liquid foundations contain talc, which isn't the best thing for your face. Another benefit is that the Bare Escentuals brand does not test on animals. I've also found that mineral based makeup doesn't slip quite as much as liquid foundation, so you shouldn't have to reapply as much. You may need to touch up with some extra mineral veil from time to time, but that's not a huge deal.

A few more thoughts for you:

1) If you're really concerned about skin damage, make an appointment with a dermatologist. They can assess how much damage you've done and may be able to give you some treatments to reduce the redness.

2) If you feel like you need advice from someone while you're out shopping and you don't want to be limited to one department store brand, try a store like Sephora or Ulta. The sales people there know all the different brands and can give you some good advice. Don't be intimidated by any of it, and don't feel pressured to buy.

I hope this helps! Let me know how you do.


Serendipity said...

I have heard so much about Bare Essentials but never tried it. my cousin wore it at her wedding and it looked a little cake-y but that may be just the massive application for wedding pictures.

im happy to hear such a good write up about it. is this the product you use b/c your face never looks cakey and always looks smooth.

Lydia said...

yes--i've used it for about a year now! :) i love it and dont plan to go back to the liquid stuff. you need to be light with the application, otherwise it can be a bit cakey. but that's true of all foundations.

finding the filth said...

seconding the recommendation for bare minerals!!

i also switched to it about a year ago, when a friend recommended it and will never go back. got the starter kit and slowly built a pretty crazy collection of shadows, blushes and more through qvc (check out their website, they have stuff you wont find in stores, at cheaper prices).

the makeup is really light and works wonderfully. my favorites are the bisque cover-up (it works!), the well-rested eyeshadow (natural-looking and brightens up tired eyes) & the clear radiance all-over shimmer (it's really subtle & makes a difference). also recommend the skin rev-er upper, to prime the skin before application. it keeps your make-up in place & is very light.

may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but the products really live up to the claims.