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NYX Eye Shadow Base

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NYX Eye Shadow Base 3

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NYX Eye Shadow Base 3 &1

I thought I would do a semi review for, with some tips on how to use, NYX Eye Shadow Base.
NYX has 3 different eye shadow bases, white, pearl and skin tone. The purpose of this is to add intensity to your eye shadows. I really like the white shade to make my eye colors more bold and I like the skin tone shade for neutral, more subtle eye looks. Skin tone also works well with colorful shadows but in my opinion not as well as the white base. I do really like these bases because they are creamy and smooth and they blend really nicely on the lid.

 
Keep in mind, this eye shadow base is just that; a base. It is NOT a primer so its not waterproof, it does crease and it will melt off as the day goes if used alone as a primer, especially on oily lids. I wanted to test my theory because I see people using this as a primer with nothing underneath. You must, absolutely must, use a primer under this for it to last. For example, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Urban Decay Primer Potion, Mac Prep and Prime would be work great! It’s so important to use a primer under your eyeshadows, I can’t stress that enough, because primers really do make your eye makeup look smoother and last all day. Think of someone painting their room or a house; a painter would never apply the color before prepping first. Why? because it’s gonna chip away and come off at some point.

So what’s the point us using this if you still need to wear a primer? It just intensifies the color of your eyeshadows. Just like Paint Pots, Shade Sticks etc.
Below are some pictures of a look I did recently, I used the same exact products the only difference is in one look I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance to prime under the NYX White base and I definitely saw the difference. But you be the judge!
What do you think? Do you used the NYX base on its own with no problems?

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Using Just NYX White Base

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With Too Faced Shadow Insurance+NYX White Base

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Healthy skin tip 2- Scrub Away!

Exfoliation is a process known as simply removing the dead skin from the surface of the skin, the epidermis. Exfoliation is important because as the day, or days, go by the skin holds on to dirt, debris and anything else in the environment. All this stuff clogs the pores, almost suffocating them, causing the skin to break out. By exfoliating you’re unclogging the pores and keeping the skin cleaner which results in fewer breakouts and can even prevent wrinkles since you’re smoothing the skin. Exfoliating helps with acne, clogged pores(blackheads, whiteheads), hyperpigmentation, dry skin and helps lighten post breakout red or dark makrs. Exfoliating also helps ingrown hairs. Because you’re getting rid of the top layer of skin, hairs won’t get caught under the skin. Perfect for men and women who shave anywhere.

There are two different types of exfoliators; Chemical and physical (or manual) exfoliation.

Chemical exfoliation is exactly what is sounds like. You’re using some kind of chemical, or acid, to eat away at the dead skin cells on your face. Skin, or chemical, peels are what probably comes to mind. A day or so after the peel is applied the dead surface of the skin starts to flake or peel off. There are some peels that can be used at home and others are used in a spa or dermatologist office. The peels that are primarily used by your dermatologist are your skin peels that have a high acidic property. Like the phenol peels and the higher grade TCA peels. They give a deeper exfoliation that goes beyond the epidermis and these definitely aren’t suggested to use at home unless you want to look like Samantha from Sex in the City when she got her skin peel. Plus these peels take longer for the skin to heal, a week or more. The lower grade acids like glycollic, salicylic, citric, or even fruit enzymes are used by a licensed esthetician or can be used with care at home. They can be bought online by a reliable seller or company. These are the exfoliators that will work best for ingrown hairs.  Over the counter(OTC)  alpha hydroxy acid products only contain 10% or less concentration and doesn’t have much of an effect in exfoliating the skin. Think of products from Neutrogena, Olay etc. OTC products do work over time but don’t expect a drastic change right away.

Physical or manual exfoliation involves using the typical scrubbing method. These are most popular because there are so many products on the market for this use. This method involves scrubbing the skin thouroughly to remove dead and dry skin cells. This method includes the use of cloths, pumices, brushes loofahs or just buying a facial scrub with some type of beads or crystals to get that scrubbing effect, leaving the skin fresh and polished. You can buy these just about anywhere. Though facial scrubs aren’t deep exfoliators they do their job of eliminating the buildup and brightening the skin. The Clarisonic system is a popular product to clean and exfoliate the skin(I can review that at some point) Or I currently use Ocean Salt by Lush(I swear I don’t work for Lush or receive any kick backs!) There are tons of scrubs and microdermabrasion products that can be used at home. The problem is just fining one that works. Trial and error.

Be sure not to over-exfoliate which could have the reverse effect and be disastrous for the skin. Exfoliating everyday or even more than three times a week can irritate the skin causing the skin to breakout. I typically exfoliate twice a week. Go for a scrub that’s not too harsh but does the job. And don’t scrub too hard or too long.

Healthy Skin Tip 1- More Water Please!

Lots of people including friends, makeup artists, complete strangers on the street, tell me fairly often that I have good skin. I always want to ask “compared to what and who?” Instead I just say thank you. I’m not being sarcastic, if you can really believe that, but I do get humbled by the compliments because, like most people, I am self conscious about my skin. I always feel it can be improved upon. Being African-American, I battle hyperpigmentation often(lots of women of color suffer but I can address that in another post) so I occasionally wish for a more even surface. People ask me what I use on my skin. It’s not so much what I use but what I do. I’ll share different tips that help me and I’m almost positive they will help others.

As my first healthy skin tip post I thought I’d talk about the most important thing one can do to achieve and maintain healthy skin:  WATER! Drink LOTS of water. And it never hurts to drink more! This is a no brainer, but do we really do it? I’m sure everyone drinks water at some point in their day. You’re out walking at the park, you stop to take a few large gulps of water from the fountain to soothe your dry throat. Then you don’t have water for the rest if the day. Were those few gulps of water really enough? It’s something but not really. A few cups of water at the office throughout the day is also not enough. Water is essential for a number of reasons:

1.)The skin is an organ. Organs need water to stay healthy and function properly. Without water there is no hydration which makes the skin dry, tight, flaky and wrinkle prone.

2.)Water flushes out a lot of the toxins our bodies tend to hold on to. Drinking lots of water everyday is just as good and cheaper than any detox. When you urinate, notice the color. A good way to judge if you’re drinking enough water is if it’s clear. Again, a no brainer. I think we learned that in Biology.

3.) Water aids in digestion, circulation and absorption. This is a continuation of #2. If you’re drinking lots of water your blood is flowing smoothly and you’re getting more oxygen to your organs. When you’re drinking water, the water is not necessarily going straight to the skin, but it is but it is absorbed by the body in the intestines and it goes into the blood stream and filters the kidneys and hydrates the cells.

Don’t like the taste of plain water?  Try water with fresh lemon(or a lemon slice). Adding lemon to water not only helps the taste but it also helps with the skin. Lemon is a natural source of Vitamin Cand also acts as a natural antiseptic. It was help rejuvenate skin from within because it purifies and cleanses the blood.

How much water should you be drinking?
This is up for debate. Some say drink 8 16oz glasses a day. Some say drink half of your body weight. Personally I typically drink 2 liters a day. My goal is to start drinking a gallon a day.

Do I have to drink JUST water? Of course not. I love my coffee, wine and juice but in moderation(don’t drink sodas). And I always try to balance it out by drinking for water than sweets and alcohol.

Water is not only necessary to hydrate you after a nice workout or to dilute the tastes of those salty chips or nuts you were snacking on. It’s necessary for your skin to thrive and keep your body glowing from the inside out. Why reach for a Diet Coke or a glass of lemonade when you’re thirsty when you can have some pure H20 to handle that job? It might not tastes as good but your skin will definitely thank you!

Natural Skin Care

Acne is a terrible, unfortunate affliction that mostly every teen must endure. It’s apart of development, as your body starts to change and your hormones start going into overdrive. But when you get into your 20’s, acne is supposed to go away, right? Not always the case. Lots of women and men suffer from adult acne well into their 20’s and even past their 30’s. The cause? a number of possibilities: hormone levels, diet, products being used on the skin, stress just to name a few.

Personally, I think one of the main causes of adult acne is what we’re putting on our skin. We are bombarded with ads and products to use to help reverse aging, hyperpigmentation, zap pimples so we are putting loads of crap on our face and our skin reacts to all these different products, especially if we don’t see results right away.  And if you’re like me, If I don’t see results right away, I move on to the next product ASAP.

I want to share my thoughts on skin care along with my personal battle with the Devil I call Acne. I have had my ups and downs with acne ever since my teens. It seemed to get worse with age instead of getting better.  After about a grand, possibly more, in dermatology bills including microdermabrasions, TCA facial peels, cortisone injections, extractions and prescription medications just to name a few I was done with seeing the dermatologist because nothing was working for me and I just kept wasting money.

So I started researching the origins of acne and what other people were doing to help keep their skin clear. I read a lot of how people cleared their skin using all natural products. I was a little skeptical because my dermatologists and estheticians had always told me that Salicylic and other Alpha Hydroxy acids, Benzoyl Peroxide or other stronger prescription medications worked better on acne because they exfoliate the skin, kill the bacteria that causes acne etc etc. Because they are doctors and experienced, I drilled that in my head and lived by that. But what they fail to mention is that the skin, like any other organ in the body, can only take so much crap being pushed into it before it reacts negatively. You can over wash your face, you can over exfoliate your skin, you can over moisturize, which in turn will make you break out.

So after reading up on all natural skin care and it’s benefits I decided to give it a try. I figure it wouldn’t hurt and I already looked like Scarface so I couldn’t lose. I learned some interesting stuff, mostly that you don’t have to spend a shit load of money on stuff that was made in a laboratory and that some stuff may even be found in your kitchen. Now I live by natural skin care regimen and it seems to be working wonderfully for me. Here are some cheap yet effective tips I thought I’d share.

Honey is a natural antiseptic and an antioxidant that can be dabbed on a pimple to help bring it out and/or calm it down. It is not a drying agent but It works by stopping the growth of bacteria, which causes acne. However this is only real raw honey; NOT your store bought honey syrup. And make sure you wash it off after a few minutes. Honey can also help fade scars.

 Lemon Juice is Citrus Acid/Vitamin C and it’s a natural acid, like the alpha hydroxy acids. It is meant to exfoliate the dead skin cells and it is also a natural lightner that can help with scarring of the skin. Put a dab on the pimple or scars and leave it on overnight and I swear in the morning the pimple will be gone, or at least going away. NEVER rub this on the skin, it could irritate you and burn! This is ideal for those with super oily skin such as myself. A few warnings about this though; 1.) it will burn like a son of a bitch. It burned my skin and I have a pretty high tolereance for pain, so you could dilute it with a few drops of water or witch hazel. I chose not to dilute because I wanted the full effect and my skin isn’t super senitive. But you can do it either way and be fine. 2.) I wouldn’t recommend this for extra sensitive skin. You might find it quite irritating. even diluted. This remedy is really strong and isn’t for everyone. and 3.) It WILL dry you out so I didn’t use it daily. I did at first and it dried my skin out a lot to the point where i had to use moisturizers and i NEVER use moisturizers because I already have oily skin. I lived by this remedy for a while, until my skin grew a tolerance to it and it stopped working.

 Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory for the skin and when made into a paste it can be used as a mask and/or scrub. I used this a few times and it helped with the redness and the pain of a blemish. I put the paste on the pimple and left it on over night and the next day it wasn’t painful and the pimple was just about gone. It’s good for oily skin because it absorbs oil. It has to be the white uncoated aspirins, not the coated ones. Crush 6 or 7 pills and add a little water and you have your paste.

 Oatmeal is good for blackheads and other acne. Apply some cooled, cooked oatmeal to the whole face for fifteen minutes, then wash off. Oatmeal is an astringent and is supposed to draw oil and impurities out of the skin. It can also be used as a scrub to get off dead skin.

 Aloe Vera is an old school healing plant that heals cuts and burns and stops scarring. It’s a good moisturizer for dry, flaky skin but since I have oily skin this didn’t work for me. I felt it sat on my face instead of absorb into my skin. It’s also supposed to help with blemishes because it has healing properties and is an anti-inflammatory agent. Above all else it can be used for those nasty scars. You can rub the fleshy, wet part of aloe vera plant all over your face or you can puree the fleshy part and use like a toner. It will take time but I found that it does lighten dark spots a bit and it soothes red, inflammed skin.

 Witch Hazel is a good toner to tighten the pores. This is great so you don’t over wash your skin but you want get a clean feeling. It’s great for oily skin and gets off all that nasty dirt and grime buried in the pores. I wouldn’t go crazy with it because it can dry the skin out a bit, which means you will produce more oil. I usually use it when I feel my skin start to get a little grimey mid-day or at night before moisturizing. It’s main purpose is to keep your skin oil-free thus pimple free.