Operation: Stripped Down (Skin Care)

A couple of posts back in my beginner friendly makeup tips and products, I spoke about exploring your skin type and skin tone. Today, as I was speaking with a friend of mine about my journey with makeup I revealed to her that at one point when I was a beginner, and had no YouTube or blogs to guide me, I had a run in with a skin crisis. Let me tell the story

I'd started wearing mascara, brown eye shadows and blush when I was 13, those were the only things that my mom would buy for me. Well eventually I got tired of just wearing those things. One day I went shopping and discovered the NYC translucent powder. The idea of carrying around a powder compact and obnoxiously whipping it out in class just made me feel very 9th grade.

*flips hair*

The first day, the powder seemed to work on me pretty well. On day two, I used the powder again and was fine UNTIL....That night my skin was on fire!!! My skin was red and blotchy ,dry and flaky. I ran to my mom's room crying.

Her advice was to lay off of the makeup for a week or so until I could get my skin back to normal. At that moment I learned that without skincare makeup can't serve it's intended purpose of enhancing our beauty.

This week I hope to help you to either

1) Discover new products

2) Explore establishing a skin care routine

3)Introduce you at a beginner level to skin care

First things first we must identify what our skin type is. If you need help determining this on your own there are five basic skin types. Dry,Normal, Oily, Combination, Acne Prone.

Clinique has an excellent diagnostic quiz if you still need help. https://www.clinique.com/Diagnostics

My skin is very oily but is also relatively low maintenance. If I did not wear makeup I could probably get away with just washing my face with hot water and a gentle cleanser and then moisturizing. But these are the products that I've found most beneficial for keeping my pores clear and my complexion even.

To remove my face makeup I just use coconut oil and baby wipes. However that does not get everything.

To remove my eye makeup,especially water proof products, I use the Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover. This also works well on long wearing lip products. If I wear a ton of makeup I also use my Precision Beauty skin brush. These two are my insurance that I get everything including any left over oil from me removing my face makeup off of my skin. I found both of these at my local

TJ MAXX a few months ago. TJ MAXX has a great array of skin care....just leave some for me should you purchase there :)

At the drug store I've found a few of my ride or die skin care products.Unless your skin requires it or you just really have the coin to do so, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on skin care while especially when you are younger. These are my cleansing products. products I use on a regular basis (as you can probably tell).

First thing in the morning or if I've worn minimal makeup or no makeup that day I will wash my face with the Neutrogena Deep Clean, or really any type of deep cleaning yet gentle cleanser. This is a perfect cleanser if you're just starting your skin care routine, especially if your skin is oily or combination of oily and dry as it not a moisturizing cleanser. If you have dry skin try a cream cleanser or the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ,be sure that it's the one for all skin types.

When I do wear a full face of makeup for the day I'll use the Biore' Pore Unclogging Scrub. This has become my best friend. It exfoliates my skin and leaves my skin with a slight tingling sensation that makes me feel like I've actually cleared all of the dirt and oil from my pores.

Finally, the last part of my cleansing is to use a toner. I switch between the Neutrogena Clear Pore Astringent (pictured here) and Witch Hazel. The Neutrogena astringent is much stronger than the Witch Hazel so I advise if you are just starting to experiment with this product use it once a day initially and then work your way to twice a day.If your skin is dry Witch Hazeor a toning lotion will fit your needs better. Please do not utilize this particular astringent if your skin is dry.

Moisturizing my skin is one of my favorite steps. I love giving myself mini face massages while I do this. Though my skin is oily throughout the day, I do tend to use moisturizing lotions rather than gels. However recently I've been trying out some new gel based moisturizers and I'm quite pleased. Typically dry skin calls for a thick cream based moisturizer,normal to combination skin uses lotions, and oily skin uses gel based lighter moisturizers. I do however have hereditary eczema so I use a lotion to try to combat that.

For my gel based skin products I've been trying and loving the Belif Aqua Bomb along with the Belif Hungarian water essence. These together are moisturizing without adding extra oil to my skin. I mostly use these products before makeup application.

At night or when my eczema acts up I use the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Though the tube says that it is a cream I definitely find it to not be as heavy as a traditional face cream so I refer to it as a lotion. It keeps my eczema at bay and does not break me out. I've been using this for 2 years now. It hasn't failed me.

For the occasional skin pest( pimple) I've been trying out the LUSH Grease Lightning spot treatment. This is potent and effective at attacking any pimple.

All of these products are sample sizes. By switching between the products I will be able to maximize the amount of time that I'll have these products before I have to purchase the full size

Finally, when my skin needs some extra TLC I will use my pamper products (i.e. face masks, serums). For now my skin responds relatively well to some form of face mask once a week. Pictured here are two of my favorite clarifying masks, both from the drug store.

The Botanics Ionic Clay Mask is AHMAZING!!! Most of the time, if I find my skin to really be having an off week,a clay mask is a must. It works to extract the oils from beneath the surface, removes the dead skin on the surface, and brings my skin back looking refreshed and renewed. The Queen Helene Mint Julep mask is my maintenance mask for when I want to give my skin a treat but don't quite need to completely overhaul my skin. This mask smells great and definitely helps to keep my complexion an even tone.

The final mask I recommend for any woman of color is a Turmeric mask for brightening and evening out the complexion. I use this A Lot when I've been lacking sleep or see acne scarring typically at the end of the month.

. I mix the following:

1 cup organic plain yogurt-moisture

1/2 cup honey- naturally combats inflammation

1 1/2 table spoons of turmeric- brightens and evens complexion

*Note*: Skincare is essential for a healthy relationship with makeup. Take the time to learn your skin. What it likes, what it needs. I am not a licensed skin care professional. All that I've learned about my skin has been from trial and error, YouTube research, and my time working for Clinique cosmetics. Use this as just a supplementary tool to start you on your skin care journey.

Thank You for tuning in today. Stay tuned for next weekend's post.

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