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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Terrorizing the Low-Maintenance Boyfriend: A Lesson in Eyebrow Waxing


To hear my boyfriend tell it, I, “came at [him] with a pair of tweezers.” This statement implies two things. First, his words suggest an attack movement on my part, however the plucking was done with love and care. Second, it’s not like I didn’t warn him by saying, “Sit tight–I’ll be right back with my tweezers.”

Let me tell you a little about Mike: Ex-Marine. Quarterback. Basketball shorts. Despite a successful career in toughness, Mike’s kind heart affords him the tolerance to withstand my “torturous” whims– which brings us back to brow maintenance.

I combed and trimmed his brows with ease and marveled at how this step makes such an amazing difference every time–especially on men. Aestheticians, including myself, do this before plucking or waxing; combing brows upward and trimming offers instant results and low risk to ruining their shape. However, the tweezers pushed Mike over the edge.

“Just let me wax them,” I offered.

He retorted, “Hell no!”

“But this is my job. I do this for a living- waxing is way easier than tweezing.”

“No.”

“But you get pedicures…”

He growled, “That’s for the [leg] massage! No.”

Boyfriends and beaus past always accepted my brow maintenance attempts with quiet reserve and surrender. Mike’s resistance presented a new challenge and I silently vowed I’d get to wax those brows. Later, I casually mentioned the football coach who is a body waxing client. “No.” I told him I wouldn’t do a complete brow design, but would only clean them up. “No.”

He called his mother to say hello and tattle about how wicked I was for daring to tweeze three eyebrow hairs. She told him, flatly, that her husband waxed regularly. Although Mike raised a bushy brow in consideration, he maintained the “devil wax” wouldn’t leave the Honee pot.

A few hours later, I was offered the deal of a lifetime when Mike bartered information for brows. My eyes lit up. “So, if I tell you, you’ll really let me wax them?”

“Yes.”

High levels of testosterone, as found in males, generally indicate a surplus in hair growth. The hair is often thick, coarse, and dark. Unless you’re a Doctor, an Aesthetician, or work for Animal Control, don’t look at the next photo if you’re eating. One, lower-brow swipe did a world of good in the low-maintenance man’s brow routine:

When I swiped the wax across his lower brow bone, he commented that the warm wax was soothing. When I pulled the strip, Mike said the pain was nowhere near what he anticipated. In fact, it really didn’t hurt. We might go for a full-fledged brow design next time, but I considered our session a success:

WINNING!!!!