Sunday, April 20th, 2008

SPF30+ | These are products currently available that offer SPF 30 or higher but do not fall into the category of water-resistant or moisturizing (at least not marketed as such).

Prescriptives ‘All-Weather Friend’ Daily Sun Protection SPF 40 ($26.50) contains:

  • Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB)
  • Titanium dioxide 5.0% (UVB/UVA)*

Elemis ‘Liquid Layer’ Sunblock SPF 30 ($39.00) contains:

  • Titanium dioxide 7.0% (UVB/UVA)*

Osmotics Age Prevention Protection Extreme SPF 40 ($45.00) contains:

  • Zinc Oxide (UVA)
  • Octinoxate (UVB)
  • Octisalate (UVB)

Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 40 ($16.50) contains:

  • Titanium dioxide 6.0% (UVB/s-UVA)*
  • Zinc Oxide 8.0% (UVA)

Clarins UV Plus ($39.00) contains:

  • Titanium dioxide (UVB/UVA)*

Dermalogica solar defense booster spf30 ($43.00) contains:

  • Avobenzone 3.0% (UVA)
  • Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB)
  • Octisalate 5.0% (UVB)
  • Oxybenzone 5.0% (s-UVA)

* Titanium dioxide covers the UVA spectrum up to 385nm, but the UVA range that is damaging goes up to 400nm; industry standard considers it to still be a broad spectrum coverage, but we wanted to note it here so you can decide.

Make sure you check out our introduction to sunscreen here. These products are typically available at Nordstrom.com or Sephora.com.

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

SPF30+ and Water Resistant | This is a look at some of the products available with SPF30 or higher that are marketed as water-resistant. Remember that water-resistant doesn’t mean you can swim for six hours and not worry about it! Re-application is crucial. If you’re in the water for more than 30-45 minutes, you’ll likely need to re-apply for maximum protection.

MD Skincare Powerful Sun Protection SPF 45 ($42.00) contains:

  • Oxybenzone (s-UVA)
  • Octinoxate (UVB)
  • Octisalate (UVB)
  • Zinc Oxide (UVA)

Korres Watermelon Sunscreen Face Cream SPF 30 ($28.00) contains:

  • Octocrylene (UVB)
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (UVB)
  • Titanium dioxide (s-UVA)
  • Zinc Oxide (UVA)

Clinique UV-Response Face SPF 50 ($15.50) contains:

  • Homosalate 10% (UVB)
  • Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB)
  • Oxybenzone 5.0% (s-UVA)
  • Octisalate 5% (UVB)
  • Avobenzone 3% (UVA)

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF 55 PA+++ ($33.00) contains:

  • Octinoxate 7.4% (UVB)
  • Zinc Oxide 13.9% (UVA)

Dermalogica super sensitive faceblock spf30 ($45.00)

  • Titanium dioxide 6.7% (UVB/s-UVA)
  • Zinc Oxide 9.2% (UVA)

Make sure you check out our introduction to sunscreen here. These products are typically available at Nordstrom.com or Sephora.com.

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Spray on SPF | As beauty mavens, we are pretty good about layering on SPF somewhere between moisturizer and foundation, but what about when you’re out all day and need to re-apply? Sometimes spray-on is a chance to re-apply without having to re-do your makeup completely as well.

Decléor Protective Hydrating Spray SPF 30 ($35.50) contains:

  • Octocrylene 10% (UVB)
  • Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB)
  • Oxybenzone 5% (s-UVA)

Bliss The Big Screen SPF 30 ($25.00) [water-resistant] contains:

  • Homosalate 6% (UVB)
  • Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB)
  • Octisalate 5% (UVB)
  • Oxybenzone 6% (s-UVA)

Fresh Top Protection Layer SPF 20 ($48.00) contains:

  • Octinoxate 7.49% (UVB)
  • Oxybenzone 4% (s-UVA)
  • Avobenzone 3% (UVA)
  • Octocrylene 2% (UVB)
  • Benzophenone-4 1.5% (UVB)

Peter Thomas Roth Continuous Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 ($28.00) [water-resistant] contains:

  • Octnoxate 7.5% (UVB)
  • Homosalate 7.0% (UVB)
  • Oxybenzone 6.0% (s-UVA)
  • Avobenzone 3.0% (UVA)

waterblock solar spray spf30 ($38.00) [water-resistant] contains:

  • Homosalate 10.0% (UVB)
  • Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB)
  • Octisalate 5.0% (UVB)
  • Octocrylene 10.0% (UVB)
  • Oxybenzone 5.0% (s-UVA)

Make sure you check out our introduction to sunscreen here. These products are typically available at Nordstrom.com or Sephora.com.

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Protecting yourself from the sun is essential. With as much research out, it is no longer an optional step in your beauty routine. Most of understand that anti-aging creams are not nearly as effective as taking preventative steps that reduce aging rather than attempting to reverse what has already occurred.

UVA & UVB? UVA damage occurs in shortwave (320 to 340nm) and long-wave (340 to 400nm), while UVB occurs between 280 to 320 nm. UVA tends to penetrate into the skin, while UVB damages the top layer of skin.

Common Ingredients for UVA Protection: Avobenzone, Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX), Zinc Oxide; Titanium gives some, but not the entire range of the spectrum

Common Ingredients for UVB Protection: Octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, octocrylene

Ingredient to watch for: Zinc Oixide provides protection against short and long UVA as well as UVB. Avobenzone protects against UVA, while oxybenzone only protects against short wave UVA and titanium dioxide protects up to 385nm (of 400nm).

Caution: SPF is a measure of UVB protection, NOT UVA. In fact, many sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum UVA/UVB” do not protect against the entire UVA spectrum (short and long waves).

Ingredients known for sun protection:

  • Octocrylene is an organic compound used in sunscreens.
  • Oxybenzone is a derivative of Benzophenone and an organic compound often used in sunscreens.
  • Octisalate is a chemical suncreen ingredient that blocks UVB.
  • Homosalate is an organic compound used in sunscreens to absorb ultraviolet rays.
  • Avobenzone is an oil soluble ingredient that may also go by Parsol 1789, Eusolex 9020, Escalol 517.
  • Octyl methoxycinnamate or octinoxate is an organic compound used for sun protection.
  • Octyl salicylate is an organic compound used in sunscreens. It absorbs ultraviolet light.
  • Dioxybenzone is an organic compound used to block UVB, derivative of benzophenone.
  • Titanium Dioxide is used in sunscreen, and it is often used to because of its high refractive index.

How effective is your SPF? Calculate how long you can stay in the sun with your sunscreen.

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

The Eyes | The eyes can be the window to the soul, so help your peepers shine on your big day with some of these tips and advice! Remember, you can do your own makeup or hire an artist–it’s all in what you want and what works best for your event. When hiring a makeup artist, make sure you know what they will provide you in a touch-up kit so that you can reapply as you need throughout the event. It is also a good idea to be able to do a test run with the artist. These are all things to look for in a good, knowledgeable artist! Oh, and don’t be shy–if you have a look you want to do or an idea in your head, don’t be afraid to tell your makeup artist what you have in mind.

Start With a Base! It is important that no matter what look you go for, if you are planning to wear eyeshadow, wear a base. Layering shadows on top of a product designed to help increase the lasting power of your eyeshadow is imperative. You don’t want to find that your eye makeup has moved all over the place or creased throughout the reception! I adore Soft Ochre paint pot by MAC as my base of choice, but cult favorite Urban Decay Primer Potion is a good choice, too.

Color? It is really important that you think about what your usual makeup style is and what exactly you want to reflect in your wedding photographs. Even though I personally wear colors from bright blue to yellow on my eyes, I know that I would want to opt for less color and something more natural/neutral. I also think that part of deciding colors is thinking about coordinating with both your dress, bouquet, and overall theme/feel of the wedding. Is your wedding a traditional church affair? If so, going for soft beiges and taupes makes a lot of sense. Going to Vegas with Elvis as your preacher? You just may want to have some fun and go for fun, glittery falsies!

Shimmer? Frost? Matte? I think light or low-level sheen/shimmer can be good to accent the lid and also the brow bone as a highlight, but nothing high in frost. If it’s too frosty, it can reflect badly in photos–especially on the brow bone (as the lid is not usually as visible when your eyes are open). One tip I can definitely offer is that using a matte color in the crease helps add dimension to your look and depth to your eye area.

To Line or Not to Line? If you’re going to line, choose something that is going to withstand tearing, both for upper lash lining and lower lash lining. One of my favorite products that I know will not budge are MAC Liquid Last Liners. These will not move a single inch without a good oil-based makeup remover–seriously, when they first came out, I tested their lasting power and swatched it on my skin, and it didn’t start to fade until 48 hours later. If you are opting for a more natural look, I do suggest thinking about using a brown liner over black, for something subtle and less bold (but I also love black liner, and I think it is quite suiting for natural looks, too!).

Tearproof Mascara! Waterproof, smudgeproof, and tearproof! One of my favorite mascaras that really holds up is Clinique Lash Power (and right now, if you test-drive it, you can get a free Lash Power Mascara to try!), which is designed to take on humidity, tears, sweat, you name it and come out on top. I’ve tried it (and put it to the test!), and I can tell you it is Temptalia approved! One quick and easy tip to minimize smudging is to avoid applying mascara to bottom lashes, because tears flow downwards more often than not and can easily make a mess of lower lashes with mascara (but again, I recommend a waterproof/smudgeproof mascara, and then you won’t have to worry at all!).

The Brows Have It! Many believe that one of the key pieces to looking polished and put together are well-groomed and shaped brows. If you have never touched your lashes (bless you!), get yourself to a professional salon/brow guru and have them find the optimal shape for you. I wish I didn’t tweeze (or have my friend tweeze) mine so thin when I was a teen, now I don’t have much to work with! For those ladies like me, I totally recommend Anastasia’s “Tweezers Anonymous” brow kit, which includes stencils, brow filler, and gel to help brows grow back.

Regardless, if you do not have naturally thick brows, filling sparse areas with product is an excellent idea. I prefer using something simple like a powder eyeshadow (love MAC Espresso and Brun) or brow kits like Benefit’s BrowZings or Urban Decay’s Brow Box (I prefer this because it has clear wax, rather than colored, for a brow kit!). If using a powder, try using an angled brush like MAC’s 266. It’s great for perfecting brows (and lining!). For those who prefer brow pencils, forge on, but I definitely recommend taking a clean, disposable mascara wand and brushing it through your brows. This helps to groom them, but it also makes sure that your brows do not look harsh from the pencil! I also like MAC’s Clear Brow Set for keeping those well-groomed and shaped brows in place.

Most products are available at Nordstrom.com and Sephora.com.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

The Skin | This portion of our series on wedding makeup features perfecting the skin from a makeup standpoint. Please make sure you check out our general tips for brides-to-be!

The Tools

  • Concealer Brush
  • Stippling/Buffer Brush (if you choose liquid foundation)
  • Loose Powder Brush
  • Blush Powder Brush
  • Buffer Brush

Liquid or Powder? I find that liquid foundation lasts longer and looks better overall. There are certain powder formulations, including mineral makeup, that can still give skin an airbrushed look. Generally speaking, liquid is also easier to apply and have it look good than powder–but you should opt for what you’re more comfortable with, especially if you’re an everyday powder girl and already look fabulous that way!

Choosing the Finish: Do you have dry, oily, or combination skin? If you have oily skin, definitely choose a matte or semi-matte finish, and you’ll probably want to avoid anything that says “dewy” in it. If you have drier skin, semi-matte as well as dewier finishes work well for your skin type; matte finishes may end up emphasizing your dry skin, especially if you have dry patches. Overall, dewy finishes work well for less people because it can often make you look like you actually have oily skin, even if you don’t, which is the last thing you want to see in photos!

Application: Flawless, Airbrushed Skin

Step 1: Start with well cleansed, moisturized skin. You should exfoliate the night before (I like Prescriptives’ Instant Gratificationicon as my all-time favorite exfoliant) so that your skin has plenty of time to calm down (fairer skins notice more redness post-exfoliation, which is normal and goes away within hours). Cleanse your face in the morning as per usual (light cleanser is just fine, since you don’t accumulate much dirt while sleeping…). Moisturize your skin with your choice of moisturizer, but you should have chosen one that is appropriate for your skin type. No heavy moisturizers if your skin is oily–it will only emphasize and work against you! A light layer of moisturizer is best, especially for outdoor weddings, because too much can just make it easier for everything to slide off.

Step 2: Prep your skin with a face primer. You can choose your favorite, or you can check out popular favorites like MAC Prep + Prime Skinicon or Smashbox’s Photo Finishicon ($38.00).

Step 3: Conceal any areas that you feel require color correction or general concealer (e.g. under eyes, eye lids, pimples, zits, scars, etc.). Remember, green counteracts red, yellow counteracts blue, and pink brightens skin, so use appropriate products where they may need to be. If you have fine lines or wrinkles, I suggest using a product that is designed to “fill in” wrinkles like Clinique Line-Smoothing Concealericon ($14.00). Some brands sell concealing kits, like Benefit’s Realness of Concealness ($30.00), which can offer you more bang for your buck. Use a concealer brush or small sponge to gently blend concealer into the areas, but go softly and you don’t need to fully blend.

Step 4a: If you chose liquid foundation, apply dabs of the foundation on the planes of your face (like a dab on each cheek, chin, nose, forehead) using a small foundation or concealer brush. Using a buffer brush, gently mist it with water (or MAC’s Fix+) and then buff the liquid foundation into your skin by moving the brush is soft, circular motions. Buff the initial dab of foundation outwards and keep buffing in larger and wider circles until the area is well-blended. If you need heavier coverage, apply dabs of foundation where needed, and then repeat the buffing process. Let your foundation settle for a minute or two, and then

Step 4b: If you chose powder foundation, apply directly to face using a buffer brush and blend the product into your skin with small, circular motions. Start in a small area and then make wider circles to cover the entire area. Apply more powder as needed.

Step 5 (Optional): If you want to contour your face (cheeks, nose, chin, jawline), this is the time you should do so. Using an angled fluffy brush (like MAC’s 168), apply your contour color along areas that you want to further define. You do not want to go too heavy on your contouring, because while it may show up nicely in photographs, you will come off looking overdone in person (and it is important to look as good in person as you do in photos!). When choosing a contour color or product, be advised that you can simply use foundation in a darker color (try 1-2 shades deeper) or a powder blush/pressed powder that is, again, a shade or two darker than your actual skintone. I like MAC’s Sculpt & Shape line, which is always available at PRO locations. I also like using darker foundation in a pinch, because you can usually just get a sample of a darker foundation and that’ll be enough to contour with for your wedding. To define cheeks, lightly shade the upper hollow of your cheeks (make a fish face, you’ll notice them). To thin down a nose, softly shade the sides, just below the bridge but above the nostril. For the jawline, lightly darken the edge of the lower jawline (this is also how you can define the chin).

Step 6: Apply your choice in blush (cream, stain, or powder) using a powder blush brush for powder blushes, applicator of your stain, or a stippling brush for cream blushes. You’ll want to put a light dusting of the color the apples of your cheeks, which you can find by smiling really wide and big. It is important to choose a color that complements the rest of your makeup, skintone, and the feel of your look. Optimally, I advocate using something that’s natural and only flushes the skin without being heavy handed with the color. Low-level shimmer/frosts should be used for blush choices, because shimmer can often reflect too much in photos causing you to look oily. If the blush looks splotchy or too heavy, simply use you buffer brush and buff the color to both blend it and weaken its pigmentation. Make sure if you are using a stain that you are familiar with the product and how quickly it dries!

Step 7: Apply a loose powder (like MAC’s Loose Blot Powder) with your buffer brush, using the same circular motions as before, to set the foundation. This will help it last longer and allow oil to be better absorbed and make it less likely that your foundation will slip off your face mid-ceremony. By sandwiching the blush between a layer of foundation and the setting powder, it will help it last longer, as well.

Step 8: If you’ve gotten your hands on a sealing spray like Kryolan’s Dermacolor Fixing Spray, be sure to spritz that now to help lock in your makeup for the day. Keep blotting papers on hand for mid-event fix-ups and touch-ups. Also, keep a powder compact for more critical touch-ups (because who wants to carry around liquid foundation, setting powder, and the brushes?).

Step 9: With a critical eye, try to see if you missed any spots (like not blending into your neck to avoid lines!) or need to go back and conceal dark bags a little more.

Step 10: Breathe easy, your face is looking flawless!

Coming up in our Wedding 2008 series, the eyes, lips, body, and nails!

Most products mentioned are available at Nordstrom.com and Sephora.com.