Reader Write-In: Mineral Makeup (In Memory of Joan Oliver)


Dear Ashley Evelyn,

Help! I need a new liquid foundation and powder! I’ve been using Mary Kay but I’m just not feeling it anymore and my aunt isn’t selling anymore. I’m in between normal and oily skin. And I like to hide my blemishes! I bought cover girl powder and it made me break out, so I need a good brand please and thank you!

-S.B.

Dear S.B.,

In my opinion, mineral makeup is the greatest thing since sliced bread and is good for all skin types. Not only does mineral makeup provide an array of coverage (from light to heavy), but it also allows the skin to “breathe.” However, the skin doesn’t breathe like our lungs do. In a nut shell, when properly functioning, the epidermis is constantly regenerating cells, sloughing dead cells, and expelling impurities. When dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oils are trapped within the follicle (pore), the tribulation of the common blemish occurs in three stages: Comedones arise (blackheads); white blood cells rush to fight underlying infection and form Pustules (whiteheads); finally, Papules (cystic acne) develop as a result of severe infection. Good skincare practices such as cleansing the skin, twice daily, and developing frequent exfoliation regimens can lessen these occurrences. However, switching to a mineral foundation also helps the skin to breathe easy– and function as intended.

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Making the switch from liquid foundation, to mineral powder, isn’t always easy for users. Before I became an Aesthetician, I suffered from severe cystic acne and loaded my face with thick, liquid foundation on a daily basis. When my Aesthetician suggested that I switch foundations, I told her that I couldn’t rely on mineral makeup to cover up my blemishes. She countered with the fact that my makeup wasn’t doing me any real favors in that department (the jig was up– my face was covered in pustules & papules) and my formula of choice perpetuated the problem.

Bare-Escentuals

At the time, Bare Minerals Makeup was known as Bare Escentuals– and only available through QVC. Today, the line may be found at department stores across America and specialty makeup stores such as Ulta. However, the Ashley Evelyn of yesterday picked up the phone and ordered the Bare Minerals starter kit. I was amazed by how beautiful my skin looked and felt under mineral makeup! No longer did I feel like I was wearing an oily mask of paint to the world. Instead, the light formula allowed my clear skin (forehead, nose, and chin) to shine. The concealer brush added heavy coverage where I needed it most (cheeks). And, because Bare Minerals foundation acts as a dual concealing medium and foundation in one, my blemishes virtually disappeared upon application.

Today, Bare Minerals appears in its traditional loose powder (my medium of choice), but is also found in pressed powder and liquid form.

HONORABLE MENTION:
1. Jane Iredale Makeup
2. Pur Minerals

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This post is dedicated to the late, Joan Marie Oliver. She taught me how to be a great Aesthetician and provided me with skincare when no one else wanted to–or thought they could– help my problem skin. I am eternally grateful to Joan for her help and insight. Rest in peace, Joan. And, thank you.

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Good Read: Robert Jones’ MAKEUP MAKEOVERS


There are a lot of makeup books and tutorials out there, but none that I’ve seen can compare to the sage wisdom Robert Jones shares in Makeup Makeovers. For those who are unfamiliar with his work, Robert Jones is an amazing celebrity makeup artist; he’s worked with one of my personal favs, Cindy Crawford (remember what she taught me about eyebrows) and done makeup for all the major magazines. For those who want to simply take my word for it, the man knows what he’s talkin’ about, Willis.

The book is divided into three parts and consists of a collective, twelve chapters. Part one is a bit of a vocabulary lesson and focuses on the meaning behind makeup terminology. What different cosmetics do and how to apply them– and what purpose the tools serve. Part two discusses the individual and is where the book really heats up. He neatly describes skin tone classifications and the contrast between warm versus cool tones. In addition, the book discusses face shape and contouring with simplified diagrams. During the third part, appropriately titled, “Putting it all together,” Jones discusses how the reader can take what they’ve read and apply it to their specific face.

The book is somewhat repetitive, but this angle works well for the purpose of a how-to. His consistency assures the cosmetic novice and inspires makeup savvy girls. Although Jones’ writing is clear and helpful, the greatest testament to his skill is in the before and after photos. Amazing. The women in the before photos could be Walmart, Publix, or Dollar General shoppers. The results, however, reflect a sophistication projected by women in the media. The faces depicted are “real” people. That proves how good “we” can look and showcases Jones’ skill. And, of course, he shows how gorgeous ridiculously, pretty women (models) are when all glammed-up.

I hungrily blew through Jones’ book in an evening and enjoyed his perspective. His take on natural beauty is refreshing–and so is his makeup style. Wether you’re a working Makeup Artist, like myself, or are newly curious about cosmetics, Jones’ methodic book offers a strong education.

SHAVING: Avoiding the Sasquatch and/or Scaly, Dragon Look.


I have Type II Skin and am rather sensitive. That said, I’m not one who those girls who can shave her legs with soap and live without itchy consequence–nor, shave my legs the night before going to the beach without my shorn skin breaking out in stinging, red bumps in reaction to the salt water.

These are the shave mediums I’ve tried over the years: Baby oil, gylcerin soap, French milled soap, moisturizing body wash, shave gel, men’s shaving cream, and shampoo. Baby oil produces a slick shave, but clogs the follicles and eventually leads to ingrowns. Soap is very drying to the skin and always leaves me ashy–same thing with expensive shave gels.

The only shave medium I use on my body, ever, is Biolage’s Hydratherapy Conditioning Balm. Conditioner is pH balanced to the skin. The formula remains non irritating as it’s free from dyes and fragrances. In essence, by shaving with this quality conditioner, the skin is infused with moisture.

Since making the switch, I no longer have to wait 12 hours between shaving and beaching. My legs stay silky smooth for longer than before and I never suffer from painful razor burn. In addition, this method saves me cash because I only have to purchase one product, not two. My razors also seem to last a little longer.

Sounds good, right? A boy looked at me like I’d gone totally nuts when I suggested that he use the conditioner on his face.

“You shave with conditioner?” He wrinkled his nose as if I’d offered him a jar of lard.

“Sure, it works great.”

He looked from the jar, to the razor, and at his face in the mirror. Maybe he was imagining his face broken out and cut to hell and back. As he cut his eyes to me, he probably waged my ability to pull-off practical jokes. What joke? No joke. Baby smooth skin. No cuts or razor burn. Smiling in the mirror.

Booyah.

I gave the dog a designer bath and all I got was this lousy growl.


The dog hates getting a bath about as much as I hated getting shots as a kid. I hid under the exam table; she slinks under the bed. I used to scream and cry and Lily can’t help but whimper. Poor Mother always received nasty looks during and after the whole ordeal. Karmatically, my canine companion reflects similar scowls. The whole thing sucks.

Although I’m forever changing pillowcases, when all the sheets come off the bed, the dog gets a bath; Lily is more instinctive than most Malteses and scoots under the bed before the comforter hits the floor. She gives me the please, no, Mama eyes.

I look away and a part of me wonders, what’s so terrible about dirty dogs, anyhow?

My inner-Aesthetician insists she’s going on strike if I allow a stinky pup to sleep on the pillow beside my face. My inner-responsible/mean dog owner concurs.

Lily’s regular shampoo is Matrix’s Hydrotherapy; it’s effective and gentle on her hair (the hypo-allergenic Maltese breed has hair, not fur), but she always retains the faint odor of wet dog. However, tonight we tried Pet Head’s Dirty Talk Shampoo and she smells even better than when I pick her up from the groomer.

The scent, “Fruit Fantasy,” smells divine and reminds me a lot of the [now discontinued] “Fruit Cocktail” conditioner Farouk produced until the mid-2000s. Pet Head products are all and cruelty, paraben, DEA, and sulfate free. Because the product is sulfate-free it does not bubble like other products containing foaming agents. As a result, the product rinsed away quickly and cut Lily’s torture time in half. Bonus.

She seemed a little less testy this time– all residual resentment melted as she methodically gnawed on a bone.