September 20, 2008

How to Use Make-Up?


Make-up has come a long way since the times when harmful ingredients like white lead and mercury were a common feature which resulted in obvious side effects.

But its function, through the ages, has stayed more or less the same, to mainly highlight a prominent feature and camouflage a flaw.

Cleopatra, who through the ages has remained synonymous with not just being a beauty but also with being well- versed with the magic of make-up, continues to conjure up images of extreme beauty well worth emulating. And luckily enough, make-up has evolved beyond its enhancing properties and now it even does its extra bit at protecting the skin from the stresses of modern day city life.

When make-up is used correctly, even the smallest eyes can be made to look large and expressive and the thinnest lips an enticing pout. May it be the jaw line, nose or the cheekbones, there isn't any facial feature that cannot be accentuated with a touch of make- up. Since Indian skin has forever been considered to be better than Caucasian skin, we have been able to get away with not using as many make-up products.

But in spite of that, the trend is now fast changing and everyone from fresh faced 16-year-olds to more mature women are quickly adapting to the conveniences of blurring blemishes and break outs with as little as a concealer or a loose face powder.

There are a couple of factors that should be kept in mind before using anything on your face. Most importantly, ensure that your skin type is well suited to the kind of products you use.

A good way to test make-up for allergies is to try it out on the underside of the elbow rather than directly on your face. Hypo allergenic products are a good option for sensitive skin but one of the more interesting innovations of recent times is mineral make- up. As the name suggests, it is made from natural ingredients and this innovation completely removes the risk of skin problems arising from various chemical ingredients that were used earlier. It includes minerals like mica powder, iron oxides and titanium extracts to name a few, which means no parabens, free radicals or extra oils. The products are almost completely non-comodegenic, which means no more blocked pores either. Another big draw towards mineral make-up is that it offers your skin a certain degree of protection from the sun but it cannot replace a good sunscreen.

Besides allergies, other important criteria to keep in mind while making your purchases include checking its shelf life. Using products past their 'best by' dates can result in major skin irritations and break outs which could leave a lasting effect on your skin. On an average, products such as concealers, foundations and lipsticks can be used anywhere between one and three years, depending on the brand.

However, it is important to bear in mind that your skin's capacity to tolerate certain products also depends on the season. The sweltering heat and sultry humidity can wreak havoc with your make-up to say the least and that is mainly why summer make-up should be minimal. Foundation may liquefy and loose powders can cake up because of sweat. It is essential to modify your regular regimen to accommodate the needs of the season.

Another important aspect of skin care is proper make-up removal. Clogged pores caused by stale make-up can lead to oily skin and occasional break outs. Understandably, late nights may cause you to go to bed without removing your make-up once in a while. But it is extremely important to follow a strict cleansing routine on a regular basis. For the eyes, an oil-based eye make-up remover used on a cotton swab is the most effective and it is a fool-proof way to ensure that there isn't an unsightly residue left over the next morning. For the face, steer clear of using soap and use a cleanser instead.

Follow these simple tips, and your face will be summer ready in no time at all.

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