Yearly Archives: 2009

Cruelty Free Cosmetics, Makeup Brushes and Beauty Products

In the beauty industry, animal cruelty has become quite an issue. Many companies have committed to refrain from testing their products on animals, but despite the need for change, many companies still do. Animals are harmed and even killed every day because of product tests and trials. If you love your pet, or animals in general, here are a few ways you can help:

1. Evaluate your current selection of beauty products. Figure out which ones are safe and which ones aren’t. Find replacements for the products that aren’t cruelty free. Commit to use as many cruelty-free beauty products as possible. You can find out which products are ok by checking out the label, or looking up the company online. You can also check our list below for companies that offer cruelty-free makeup and cosmetics. We will continue to add companies as we learn of their commitment to provide safe products.

2. Purchase as many of your future products from these animal safety conscious companies as possible. You may need to do this slowly so that you can gradually get your new products over time instead of dropping a huge chunk of change at once. We suggest simply replacing your old products with cruelty-free products as you run out of the old ones.

3. Spread the word. The more people, the better. Every single person can make a difference. If more people committed to make the change and support cruelty-free makeup brands whenever possible, the difference would be huge. More cosmetics companies would develop products that don’t harm animals and manufacturers would have to think twice about launching new products that do.

Here are a few lists of some known cruelty-free companies:

Cruelty-free Cosmetics:
Too Faced Cosmetics (
Urban Decay (

Cruelty-free Makeup Brushes:
Afterglow Cosmetics (
Alima Pure Cosmetics (
Aveda (
Color Brushes (
Inika Mineral Cosmetics (
Origins Natural Resources (
The PETA Mall (
MAC Cosmetics synthetic fibre brushes (
Urban Decay Good Karma brushes ( or
Valana Minerals vegan makeup brushes (

Cruelty-free Mineral Makeup:
coming soon

Cruelty-free Mascara:
coming soon

Cruelty-free Lipstick and Lip Care:
Too Faced Cosmetics (

The Kura Door Holistic Japanese Spa – Review

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Overall Rating: A-

Ohmygoodness… this spa was such a gorgeous, authentic spa experience. I absolutely loved my spa experience. The spa features Japanese spa services, a relaxing waiting room and delicious flavored waters, teas, almonds and dried apricots. The locker rooms were nice, not as luxurious as the Papillon Spa I visited in Park City, but were quiet and clean. I received the Ofuro bath experience followed by an excellent massage. Here is a little about the traditional bath:

In Japan, the bath serves as the path to well-being for both body and soul. It is a place in which to gather one’s thoughts and seek refuge from the tensions and stress of everyday life. So it has been for a thousand years in Japan, and so it is still today at the Kura Door.

The Ofuro Bath Experience the tradition of the Japanese Ofuro Bath. Our bath attendant will guide you through this ritual journey as you experience the healing pleasures of Japanese tea and infused bathing waters. Choose from a selection of soothing and detoxifying essential oil, herb, and natural sea salt blends to create your own inspired retreat. Relax into the sound of soft music, the subtle fragrance of cedar, and the water’s embrace.

Your spa attendant helps you choose your essential oils and sea salts and then exfoliates your back in the traditional Japanese fashion. Next, you are left alone in the pleasure of a deep relaxing bath experience. The tubs are deep and can be made hotter or colder according to your preference. They had cucumbers for my eyes, and I was able to bring a few almonds and dried apricots into the spa room with me. I was completely and utterly relaxed. It felt oh so good.

The massage was definitely one of the better ones I’ve received. Be sure to let your massage therapist know what kind of pressure you like.

Overall, I would highly recommend this spa! You can visit their website here:

MAC: Give Me Liberty of London Collection

Release Date: March 11, 2010
US: March 11, 2010
International: April 2010

MAC Cosmetics Give Me Liberty of London Collection

The very latest in a series of famous M?A?Collaborations, it was only a matter of time before the demure-to-daring kaleidoscopic prints of Liberty of London coloured our world with Brit wit and bohemian chic. From the unstudied, Sienna Miller style of Spitalfields Market to the grit-and-glamour of Portobello Road, the swinging London girl has always been an unstoppable M·A·C makeup force! Spring 2010 insists on the ultimate flower fusion, with M?A?C joining forces with Liberty, creating cool Britannia compacts and Lipsticks, Eye Shadows, Powder, Blush, Nail Lacquers and, of course – blushing, bountiful, quite British accessories.

The first thing about this Liberty of London inspired collection that jumps out at you is the packaging. This packaging has a bird and floral theme that is black and white in some places with splashes of color thrown in.

Frankly Fresh lipglass is a true nude lip gloss that isn’t too brown or boring. It’s more of a peachy nude that is slightly pearly and a great color for spring. This pairs well with the Peachstock Satin lipstick that is also offered. Ever Hip Cremesheen is a pretty coral lipstick that has a lot of pink to it for those who can’t pull off peach.

For the eyes, there is the Give Me Liberty of London matte pink eyeshadow as well as a repromote of Dame’s Desire from the Dame Edna collection which is a very fun frosty medium violet shade that fits in well with this collection. One of the prettiest items is the Birds & Berries Veluxe Pearl shadow. It’s a deep blue green color that is more green than blue with a bit of frost. It should come as no surprise that this, like most everything here, is limited edition. You can get almost the same shade in nail polish form in the Blue India Nail Lacquer.

There are also two makeup bags that feature the Liberty of London design. They come in small and medium sizes and have a zipper closure with a big flower pull. A rather expensive white scarf decorated with large red, orange, blue and green flowers rounds out this collection.

The items in Liberty of London do a great job of evoking imagery of London with the names and shades. The packaging is sure to start conversations while still being distinctly MAC-like.

Eyeshadow ($14.50 US/$17.50 CDN)

* Birds & Berries – Frosted dark green blue (Veluxe Pearl) (LE)
* Bough Grey – Mid-tone bluish grey (Satin) (LE)
* Dame’s Desire – Frosty mid-tone reddish purple (Frost) (LE) (Repromote)
* Free to Be – Creamy true coral (Matte) (LE)
* Give Me Liberty of London – Flat creamy pink (Matte) (LE)

Lipstick($14.00 US/$16.50 CDN)

* Blooming Lovely – Creamy greyed lilac mauve (Amplified) (LE)
* Ever Hip – Creamy light coral (Cremesheen) (LE)
* Peachstock – Neutral peach (Satin) (PRO)
* Petals & Peacocks – Creamy bright magenta pink (Amplified) (LE)

Lipglass ($14.00 US/$16.50 CDN)

* A Different Groove – Deep purple brown with pearl (LE)
* English Accents – Creamy mid-tone blue pink (LE)
* Frankly – Fresh Neutral pink beige with soft pearl (LE)
* Perennial – High Style Creamy bright pink coral (LE)

Beauty Powder ($25.00 US/$30.00 CDN)

A glossy white compact of MAC’s famous beauty powder. The lid is decorated with a flower and bird pattern created especially for the Give Me Liberty of London collection. Limited edition.

* Shell Pearl – Pale peach with gold pearl (LE) (Repromote)
* Summer Rose – Soft violet pink with pearl (LE) (Repromote)

Powder Blush ($18.50 US/$22.00 CDN)

* Dirty Plum – Sheer dark plum (LE)
* Prim & Proper – Neutral nude (LE)

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 US/$14.50 CDN)

* Blue India – Dark green blue with pearl (Cream) (LE)
* Vestral White – Creamy white (Cream) (LE) (Repromote)

Makeup Bags

* Small – 8? x 2.75? x 3.5? ($22.00 US/$26.50 CDN)
* Medium – 8? x 2.75? x 5?. ($25.00 US/$31.00 CDN)


* Liberty of London Scarf – Coral, orange, yellow and blue, wool/viscose blend. Made in Italy. ($95.00 U.S. / $115.00 CDN)

Mark Cosmetics – Company Overview and Top Product Reviews

Mark Cosmetics is a line of makeup geared toward girls in their teens and early twenties. You won’t find much in the way of anti-aging here but you will find plenty of great products in edgy colors at a decent price. Mark is made by Avon and has a similar distribution scheme. That means it’s not available in stores. It must be bought online or through representatives. Mark Cosmetics reviews can help you decide if you are interested in certain Mark makeup products or not.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Dmitry Skurnyagin

Mark is a great place to find products and colors that are a little different than the standard offerings of other lines. While you can find the usual suspects here as well (such as countless pink lipsticks and black mascaras), one thing that makes Mark Cosmetics stand out is the fun colors they offer. An example of this is the On the Edge Hook Up Liquid Eye Liner. This liquid liner is a dark olive color sprinkled with a subtle gold shimmer. It’s a stunning color for any eye color and a welcome change from the typical brown and black liquid liners that fill all the drugstore shelves. The color is so flattering that you will want to wear it all the time, which is a good thing because once you open the tube, you only have a few months of use before it turns clumpy and eventually dries out. At the price, it’s not a big concern. The applicator is in the style of a paintbrush which means it does take some level of skill to apply it without looking ridiculous. Since I don’t have the steadiest hand, I use a wet cotton swab to thin out the line after I apply it to give myself a more natural look.

The I-Mark Custom Pick Shadow is a mere five dollars but the quality is something you would expect from a shadow that costs three times as much. Tiki is a true bronze color that is very deep and unlike many bronzes, it does not have a hint of orange. It’s very wearable as a crease color and looks particularly lovely on green eyes. Be warned that it does not come with any type of applicator as most shadows do, but it’s just as well because those applicators tend to be worthless anyway.

Mark is a great starting place for a young girl looking to get into makeup, but seasoned makeup junkies can still find plenty of reason to order their products as well.

MAC: Too Fabulous Collection

Release Date: March 4, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Too Fabulous Collection

Lips and cheeks get the pretty young thing treatment. Cremesheen Glass makes its comeback with six exciting new shades and three requested bring-backs! Add Mineralize Blush duos and Lip Pencils to delight and define. All Too Fabulous!

Too Fabulous is a collection of lip and cheek colors that makes its debut just in time for spring. The headline here is the comeback of Cremesheen Glass. These are creamy and sheer glosses that do not leave your lips feeling sticky. The nine shades that are coming out with Too Fabulous will form part of the permanent collection so you will have plenty of time to try all of them. These are great for girls with drier lips because the formula is very moisturizing, unlike many other glosses that look shiny yet somehow manage to dry out your lips.

In addition to some familiar Cremesheen colors such as Boy Bait, Partial to Pink, and Fashion Scoop, six new shades are entering the fray. Richer, Lusher is a pretty coral that is on the peach side that can help tone down lipsticks that are just a bit too dark or bright. Double Dare is also part of the coral family, but this darker red can stand on its own. Boy Bait is a must-have for neutral lips who want to enjoy the consistency of Cremesheen without adding too much color.

Cremesheens are very sheer so most of us will want to pair them with lip liner. In anticipation of this, those clever MAC marketers have also come out with lip pencils to accompany the glosses. MAC aficionados will already be familiar with the brown Chestnut liner, but there are also five new limited edition shades that will send us scrambling to our counters to stock up. Naked is truly bare, a skin color that is ideal for neutralizing very pigmented lips. Boldy Bare is a versatile neutral mauve color that would work well with olive skin tones under any sort of pink, brown, or berry lip colors.

The last part of this collection is the Mineralize Blush Duos. Mineralize blushes are very soft and shimmery blushes- maybe a little too soft and shimmery. They don’t have the staying power of Sheertone Blushes and some people find the shimmer to be over the top. However, the color combinations are beautiful. Sun & Moon may not be the first one that jumps out at you. In the compact, the copper and pink look very unassuming and possibly too orange. But when applied, the effect is a sun-kissed nude pink that looks very natural and pretty. Buddy Up is one of the less shimmery Mineralize Duos. The pink and plum blend together nicely to give your cheeks a soft berry color.

Too Fabulous is one of those collections that will keep you standing at the MAC counter for a long time trying to decide which colors you want. They are all so pretty and wearable that it will be tough to narrow it down.

Cremesheen Glass (All shades will be become permanent)
Boy Bait – Light nude (Permanent) (Repromote)
Deelight – Mid-tone neutral (Permanent)
Double Dare – Coral red (Permanent)
Fashion Scoop – Clear pink (Permanent) (Repromote)
Just Superb – Dirt neutral pink (Permanent)
Loud & Lovely – Blue pink (Permanent)
Over Indulgence – Neutral brown (Permanent)
Partial to Pink – Light peach pink (Permanent) (Repromote)
Richer, Lusher – Peach coral (Permanent)

Lip Pencil

Boldy Bare – Dirt red brown (Limited Edition)
Chestnut – Intense brown
In Synch – Bright yellow pink (Limited Edition)
Mouth Off – Deep peach coral (Limited Edition)
Naked Liner – Light neutral (Limited Edition)
Trimmed in Pink – Bright blue pink (Limited Edition)

Mineralize Blush Duo – A limited-edition Mineralize Blush featuring two shades swirled into an abstract pattern. Delivers the sheer colour and soft, dimensional pearl finish of all M?A?C Mineralize powder formulas.

Bi-tone – Rose pink/copper bronze (Frost) (Limited Edition)
Buddy Up – Neutral brown/pink brown (Frost) (Limited Edition)
Chic Couple – Light yellow brown/dark peach (Frost) (Limited Edition)
Rhapsody in Two – Light pale pink/pale peach (Frost) (Limited Edition)
Two Virtues – Light blue pink/light violet (Frost) (Limited Edition)

MAC Cosmetics Too Fabulous Collection

How to Minimize Large Facial Pores

Large pores are no fun. They can age and tire your appearance drastically. They are one of the top skin problems that people want to change or eliminate. Thankfully, there are a few techniques and products you can use to help reduce the appearance of any unsightly pores.

First, be sure you’re aware of how larger pores develop in the first place. When your face pores become clogged and/or infected, the irritation causes them to expand. The dirt and oil can also make the pores appear darker which makes them more noticeable and can make them look larger than they really are. Blackheads are especially problematic because such a significant amount of dirt and oil collects and drastically magnifies the diameter of the pore. Preventing blackheads is an essential part of preventing enlarged pores from developing.

You should also be aware that large skin pores do depend a lot on age and genetics. People with thicker skin, or normal to oily skin tend to have larger pores than people with thin, normal to dry skin. Also, as people get older, sun damage and age start to take their toll and the elasticity of the skin begins to give way. Regardless of what kind of skin you were born with, you can still take steps to minimize the size of your facial pores in order to enhance your complexion as much as possible.

There are many techniques and pore treatment products you can use to reduce pores and make them less noticeable:

Kir Royal
Creative Commons License photo credit: savor_soaps

One way to reduce pore size and visibility is to begin a solid, consistent skin care regimen. You should cleanse your skin thoroughly morning and night. By cleaning your pores of the debris and oil settling on your face, your pores will appear tight, well kept and less noticeable. Not only will you reduce large pores and their appearance, but you’ll also prevent big pores from developing in the future. Over time, you’ll see an improvement if you stick to a good skin care routine. Depending on your skin type and acne needs, a quality pore minimizing skin cleanser will work best. Most skin care brands carry a product especially formulated to minimize pores, and if you’re on a budget, you can usually find a variety of economical yet effective over-the-counter pore cleansers.

You’ll also want to invest in a toner. If you’re serious about minimizing your pores, a pore tightening toner is an essential part of getting and maintaining smaller pores. Use a cotton swab to apply the toner to your problem areas right after you wash your face. The toner will tighten pores so it’s best to do it right after they’ve been deep cleaned.

Finally, apply a light moisturizer. Stay away from super heavy creams as they can potentially clog the skin pore. When purchasing your skin care products, look for products containing retinol and Vitamin C. Salycylic acid also helps unclog and maintain clear pores.

Another way to combat large facial pores is exfoliation. This can be accomplished by using an at-home facial scrub or you can pamper yourself and visit a spa or dermatologist for a little microdermabrasion or a customized facial. If you exfoliate at home with a mild product, you can add the step to your daily skin care routine. If you buy a more intense exfoliating product, you may want to start by using the scrub twice a week.

Another economical and quick way to fight enlarged facial pores is through the wonders of cosmetics. Start with a skin primer. Primers are miracle workers when it comes to lessening the appearance of pores. and follow with a cream or cream to powder foundation which will cover the pores more easily. Top with a nice brushing of translucent powder and those large pores will be kept at bay.

There are a few products on the market that concentrate on helping to shrink pores. Pure Minerals and Murad both offer good pore minimizers. Biore and Aveeno have also proven to be effective in minimizing pores. If you are short on cash, here are a couple of home remedies: Make your own sugar scrub using a tablespoon of sugar, olive oil and honey. Mix well. Rub on your face in a circular motion and rinse with water. The sugar acts as an exfoliating ingredient. Another great home recipe is a nice egg white mask. Egg whites help tighten the skin, and you can add lemon to the mixture for an additional exfoliation benefit.

Reducing the appearance of pores is painless and very doable. The hardest part for anyone is simply learning how to minimize pores by finding the method, product or treatment for large pores that works best with your individual skin type, time constraints and budget. You may need to try a few products and methods in order to find out which ones provide the best results for you and your skin.

MAC: From Our Lips (Viva Glam VII) Collection

Release Date: February 25, 2010
International: March 2010
Australia: April 12, 2010

MAC Cosmetics From Our Lips (Viva Glam VII) Collection

Time to wham up the GLAM in VIVA GLAM! It’s a gaga-glamorous look at our abiding passion: The M·A·C AIDS Fund and the VIVA GLAM program are the heart and soul of M·A·C Cosmetics. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the sensational Cyndi Lauper and the electric Lady Gaga!

Every year MAC Cosmetics releases a Viva Glam lipstick and donates all of the money from the sales to AIDS research. This promotion has been going on since 1994 and have raised 150 million dollars for the MAC AIDS fund. This year two Viva Glam shades will be released for a limited run of one year. This year Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga are helping to promote the colors, and the shades are just as fun and loud as the two spokesmodels.

MAC Viva Glam Gaga is a blue-based bubblegum pink inspired by Lady Gaga. It’s similar to Saint Germain and Pink Nouveau. Don’t be turned off if cool tones don’t work for you – you could always layer a warmer gloss on top to help tone it down a bit and it’s for a great cause. Viva Glam Cyndi is a berry red color with a bit of an orangey tone to it. It goes on sheer, but with a liner like Half Red underneath, you can get a really beautiful bold red. Both colors are the lustre formulation which means they have a soft sheen and texture – and offer “buildable color” slash “don’t show up heavily unless you apply multiple layers”.

Inside the familiar black lipstick bullets you will find red lining and MAC is also written in red on the outside instead of the usual white. Sometimes MAC will release a lipglass or other items in addition to the Viva Glam lipsticks. This time around, MAC is also releasing two makeup bags to go with the lipsticks. The Viva Glam Cyndi Bag and the Viva Glam Gaga Bag will only be available at freestanding MAC stores in North America and online.

Lipstick ($14.00 US/$16.50 CDN)

* Viva Glam Cyndi – Burnt coral-red (Lustre)
* Viva Glam Gaga – Cool blue-pink (Lustre)

MAC: Tabloid Beauty Collection

Release Date: February 25, 2010
International: March 2010

MAC Cosmetics Tabloid Beauty Collection

Everyone loves the sizzle, the guilty pleasure of getting the gossip and the real story. This lineup is full of outlandish claims and shocking statistics – and they’re all TRUE! Our headlines are all amazing, all scientifically proven. Hot off the presses…


Tabloids are always trying to catch celebrities at their worst. If they step outside to get the mail without lipstick, you can bet a photographer will be there to capture the moment. In the Tabloid Beauty collection, MAC has put together some items that help all of us look picture-perfect at any given moment to give us a look that can stand up to scrutiny.

The bulk of the Tabloid Beauty display is devoted to Pro Longwear Lip Colours. Wearing lipstick is the fastest way to brighten your face and make yourself look polished. Lipstick is also one of the first cosmetics to wear off. MAC has solved this dilemma by coming up with Pro Longwear Lip Colours which are specially designed to stay put even through sipping coffee all morning and lunch out on the town.

There are the traditional Pro Longwear Lip Colours that have been part of MAC’s line for a while now. These feature a liquid lipstick on one end and a gloss on the other. The color takes some care to apply properly. It works best if you pull your lips taut and then try to keep them slightly open for a minute or two while the color dries. Once you do that, it truly does last all day. In fact, it can be difficult to remove so be sure you have an oil-based remover ready. The color does tend to ball up a little if you don’t keep applying the gloss throughout the day. That sort of defeats the purpose of all-day color, although you could argue that putting on gloss is a lot easier than lipstick because you don’t need a mirror. Because of this, the gloss is also sold separately because it tends to run out long before the lip color does.

For Keeps is the best of the bunch, a pretty strawberry color with very fine rainbow glitter. Stuck On You is another winner, this time pairing berry with a subtle gold sheen. For a neutral lip, try Loyal- a true nude shade without any shimmer.

The Pro Longwear Lustre Lip Colours are the same product but with a shimmery gloss on the end instead of a clear one. Lishious is a pretty shimmery peach with a nude base. The great thing about these is that you can mix and match the shimmery gloss and the clear gloss to create new looks.

In keeping with the tabloid theme, MAC is showcasing some skincare items that sound too good to be true. Prep + Prime Line Filler is touted as a way to make fine lines less noticeable in eight weeks. This product does double duty as a primer underneath your foundation to help fill in the fine lines so makeup doesn’t settle there. It makes your lines harder to see while actually helping them slowly fade.

All shades in the Tabloid Beauty collection are repromotes. Pics are coming soon!

Pro Longwear Lipcolour

Clingpeach – Shimmering peach
Commitment – Rich reddened brown
Durashell – Soft pink with gold pearl
For keeps – Rose-plum with iridescence
Lasting lust – Smoldering red
Loyal – Warmed beiged brown
Passion Preserved – Subdued brick red
Perennial rose – Dusty pink with gold pearl
Stuck on you – Berry-red with gold pearl
Unchanging – Soft neutral lilac pink

Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour

Betwixt – Rich copper-red with pearl
Boss brown – Chocolate bronze with pearl
Jazzy-y-razz – Dirty plum with pearl
Lishious – Soft peach with gold pearl
Night rose – Rich plum with gold pearl
Sappho – Fine wine

Plush Lash Mascara

Brownette – Chocolate brown
Plushblack – True black

Penultimate Eyeliner

Rapidblack – True black

Prep+Prime Refined Zone

Prep+Prime Liner Filler

Clear Skin Tips

When it comes to skin, no amount of cosmetics or concealer can really take the place of healthy, clear skin. Some of the most beautiful makeup looks incorporate fresh, glowing skin and lighter or translucent foundation. Such looks aren’t really an option without clear skin underneath. Heavier makeup can be great for a photo shoot or a special event, but no one wants to be forced to cake on that much makeup every single day.

If you struggle with problem skin, or if you simply want to maintain clear skin consistently, you can begin to clear up any problems by incorporating proper clear skin tips into your daily skin care regimen.

Essential steps to clear skin:

Close up...
Creative Commons License photo credit: _HAAF_

1. As part of your clear skin routine, cleanse twice daily using a gentle but effective facial cleanser. Don’t use regular body bar soap, since they actually tend to lead to more problems (dryness, tightness and signs of aging). Also, don’t wash your face too frequently – dryness and irritation will result, leading to more problems. Simply cleanse your skin using an acne-preventative cleanser for the face. After washing your face, use a high quality facial toner. As the final step in your routine, use an oil-free facial moisturizer. Brands such as Dove, Cetaphil and Neutrogena are just a few brands that have affordable skin care lines with quality products. Be gentle and try a few different brands until you find the right one for you. When trying a new brand, allow several days to a week to see if you notice improvement, before giving up and switching to a new one.

2. Try acne treatments with key ingredients, until you find the one that works best on your skin. Use the product all over your face if appropriate – don’t just “spot treat.” If one works, don’t just use it until your skin is clear. Use of the product should continue as a preventative measure, or your acne will most likely return. Look for some of these common effective ingredients in your product:

– Salicylic Acid: slows abnormal skin cell shedding (that clogs pores and creates pimples) and unclogs pores
– Alcohol combined with Acetone: the acetone degreases and the alcohol kills bacteria
– Benzoyl Peroxide: reduces the bacteria in acne and removes excess dead skin cells that clog pores
– Resorcinol: often combined with sulfur (has a strong and distinct odor), controls acne lesions

3. Keep your hair clean and out of your face, and also try not to touch your face too often. Both your hair and hands carry oils and bacteria that can add to current skin problems and also cause new ones.

Remember, the right kind of skin care regimen is the answer to treating and preventing problem skin. With attention and discipline, most people can obtain beautifully clear, creamy skin. Since healthy clear skin is one of the most desired beauty essentials, your efforts will be more than worth it.

If your breakouts do not improve or go away by following upon these tips for clear skin, you may need to get an appointment with your dermatologist or family doctor for a clear skin solution. They may be able to give you further help or medications designed for more serious acne issues.

How to Apply Mascara

[See the rest of our How to Apply Makeup series for beginners.]

Although mascara is an essential item for any make-up bag, it tends to be the most widely misused product. Since mascara is the most essential makeup product for drawing attention to the eyes, it is important to correctly apply it. By following these simple rules on how to apply mascara properly, you can avoid some of the most common eye makeup disasters.

Step 1: Curl your lashes first! If you are lucky enough to have lashes that curl naturally, you’re good to go. But if you are going to curl them, be sure to curl them before you apply mascara. By curling after you apply mascara, your eyelashes may stick to the curler and get yanked out. Not only is this painful, but lashes rarely regenerate. Translation: thinning lashes. Curling your lashes after you’ve applied mascara also causes the lashes to get smashed and stuck together. They’re practically impossible to separate after being clamped down by the eyelash curler and you’ll most likely have to start over.

Step 2: Choose your shade. Choose a mascara color that is no deeper than two or three shades darker than the natural color of your eyebrows.

Day 24. I look like a 17 year old girl...
Creative Commons License photo credit: kirikiri

Step 3: Apply the mascara in thin, light layers. If you want to finally figure out how to apply mascara without clumping, here’s your chance: Instead of gooping it on in one or two thick layers, build up the product a little at a time. Pull slowly and allow the mascara’s inner mechanics to do the work. Don’t sweep the mascara across your lashes in a side to side motion. If you want, you can gently wiggle the mascara brush at the lash base to increase coverage and lash thickness near your lash line. But once you move the brush past your lash line, follow the growth of the lash and brush upwards. This will give lashes a fuller, more natural look without leaving clumps at the tips of your lashes.

Step 4: Apply mascara to lower lashes if you choose (some makeup looks don’t require this, and some people prefer not to). But if you do like the look, learning how to apply mascara to bottom lashes is a snap. The key is to be delicate. Take the mascara wand and start at the root of the lash and (like you did with your upper lashes) lightly pull the brush downward, along the natural growth direction of the lash. With your bottom lashes, you want to be careful not to apply too much mascara since too much product will result in dark smudges or flaking beneath your lower lashes. You don’t need to apply multiple layers like you do on your upper lashes. Just use a little to help give a bit of definition to your eye – one or two coats is plenty.

Here are a couple additional general mascara tips:

Never rapidly overdip the wand in an attempt to remove the excess mascara. This causes a drying effect and greatly reduces the life of your mascara.

Replace your mascara on a regular basis. Don’t use a tube of mascara longer than about 2 months. You should regularly replace all makeup products from time to time to eliminate your risk of bacteria getting on your skin or in your eyes.