Shahada’s Little Helpers: Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base (Yellow)

This is one of those little ‘tricks’ that makeup artists use to correct either a foundation or a skin tone, to make it look like they (or a client) were born with perfectly ‘color balanced’ skin. Koh Gen Do makes several makeup bases for color correction, including pink and pearl white. One of my staples is the makeup base in yellow.

Although many companies make color correcting bases, I prefer Koh Gen Do because of the consistency. I find that all of their bases, from foundations to color correctors, have the same consistency. So they play very well together. Sometimes, color correcting bases are too thin or watery, and change the properties of the foundation you’re using, or change the surface of the skin (if you apply it directly to the skin instead of mixing it in the foundation), so that the foundation doesn’t lay the same. When you mix Koh Gen Do bases, they sort of ‘harmonize’ and let you create your personalized foundation or concealer or corrector, without ever compromising the consistency of the original formula. For me, at least, this is kind of a big deal.

You can see the base is very opaque, and still quite yellow, even on my warm skin tone. I didn’t blend it in because I wanted you to see how ‘dense’ this formula is. Some formulas, the minute you warm them on your skin, disappear right into your skin. But this one holds on. In addition to mixing it with foundations, I’ll also use this makeup base for extreme highlighting purposes on someone with distinct yellow undertones. I’ve found that it’ll even ‘warm up’ a peach color corrector or concealer that may pull too pink on certain skin tones. Truly, the possibilities are endless, and I honestly chalk that up to the formula. It’s strong enough to maintain its own identity when used alone, but versatile enough to mix and blend with other liquid and cream formulations.

You can find out more about Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base HERE.

The Skin Regime: Week 9 (The Peel)

Hey Guys,

It’s time to update my progress on The Skin Regime Boot Camp, and reveal the peel I’ve been using to get the job done.
Initially, I was unable to talk specifically about the peel, under instructions from Skin Regime founder Dana Ramos. But I’m happy to report that she’s ready to have me shout it from the rooftops, because truly… the stuff works.

The 1-4-All Peel is an interesting concoction of several different types of acids, including glycolic, lactic and a pinch of TCA. It’s a ‘layering’ peel… which means that the more you layer it on, the stronger it becomes. It’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to keep track of this when you apply the peel. This is not like a regular glycolic where you can go over the skin several times to ensure coverage. Once you touch a place on your face with it, that’s the first layer. Touch it again, and you’ve just applied a second layer. Let me put it like this: Two layers is considered strong. Any more layers, and you’ve basically got to have Teflon skin. To date, I have not done more than 2 layers. That’s my tolerance, and I’m not interested in any burns. Plus, my results have been nothing short of completely amazing.

I told you guys that as I progressed with the peel, I’d start taking pictures with less and less makeup… and eventually give you a shot of the ol’ mug with no foundation at all.
This is pretty close.
All I’m wearing on my actual SKIN is powder to take down the shine. NARS Reflecting Loose Powder to be exact. I do have on a teeny bit of eye color (MAC Seedy Pearl and Guerlain Brun Dore) and mascara (Volume de Chanel), Anastasia Brow Gel (because they were lookin’ the hell crazy) and lip gloss. But the skin is all me. No, really. You can clearly see a couple of imperfections along the jawline (my favorite breakout area), but that’s about it. That’s my skin. And let me tell you, I’ve NEVER had it look like that for longer than a few days because the planets were in alignment and my skin decided to act like it had some sense.
I mostly did this because I wanted to see what my face would look like with makeup… without foundation. Normally, I’d never skip some kind of base. I’m not a fan of ‘letting my skin show through’ because let’s be honest… I’ve not got the best skin. Who wants to let bad skin show through? So my foundations have always had some coverage, reflected light to cover imperfections, and I’ve never gone anywhere without my color corrector to hit the hot spots.
Not today.
This is a big deal for me. To have consistently well behaved skin (I get one or two pimples around that time of the month, but they disappear within 48-72 hours) is something that I’ve constantly strived for, but never been able to achieve. And when I tell you that I’ve used all manner of creams and lotions and potions (including a $975 cream that worked well for about a month, then quit), believe me. I use an excellent serum (that I make for myself) for both day and night, and I still use my personal cleanser (Habibi Oatmeal & Peppermint) and I never go to bed without using my Clarisonic. During the day I wear sunscreen (Sunday Riley) or CC Cream (Juice Beauty), which contains sunscreen and is 100% sheer. But that’s about it. I peel every 10 days to 2 weeks, depending on the mood my skin’s in. The peel takes me no longer than 5-8 minutes start to finish. That’s application, wait time, rinse, and moisturizer. I do it at night before bed, and wake up the next morning to insanely smooth… clear skin.
I love it.
I’m a fan for life. Ramos says once the regime is done, I can peel every few months or so, depending on my skin’s needs. And the thing that really cooks my noodle is the price. The peel is NOT expensive. It’s affordable, a little goes a very long way, and the results are worth sharing with every person you know who’s ever had to suffer from acne or other skin complaints.
There is no need for you to have bad skin. Ever.
You can find out more about the 1-4-All Peel HERE.

FOTD: Diorskin Airflash CC Primer

I used the new Diorskin Airflash CC Primer for this FOTD, to see how it would hold up on my oily skin. It claims to add a ‘radiance’ to your skin while prepping it for foundation application. The color really is universal (it goes on white and blends out sheer), and honestly I initially didn’t see the ‘radiance’ that it was claiming. But apparently, the camera saw it just fine.

I used it ‘all over’ this time. I think in the future, I might just limit the radiance to the center of my face, and go around the edges with a bronzer.

Diorskin Airflash CC Primer
Diorskin Airflash Foundation (#500)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger
Koh Gen Doh Loose Powder
MAC Blush in Barefaced
MAC Eyeshadow in Brule (browbone)
NARS Single Eyeshadow in Yamal (lids)
Louise Young Eyeshadow in Pom Pom (outer corners)
By Terry Opaline Flash (waterline)
Volume de Chanel Mascara
Lipstick Queen Jean Queen
*I found that on my oily skin, the CC Cream encourages oil production… and may eventually break the normal finish of the Airflash Foundation (which I never need to touch up). I blotted heavily once halfway through the day (during 10 hours of wear) and it seemed to hold up after that until I took it off. But that halfway point, when I blotted, I was VERY oily. The oil production didn’t break the foundation, but it made me look REALLY shiny and overdone (like I should have an an evening dress or something). I’m on the fence about using these products together. I feel like they work better when being used with other products. I don’t use a primer with the Airflash Foundation, and it holds beautifully. The addition of a primer (even from the same brand) may be a little too much for my oily skin to handle.*

Blushed: Kat Von D Blush in Por Vida

I have to admit, when I first saw this blush I did not think it would work for warm skin tones. Por Vida is a shimmery Coral Pink, and the tester was so pale (Sephora), that I didn’t see much potential in the swatch. But then I opened the box (I know… bad. But I had to know for sure) and saw that the actual product was MUCH darker and much more universally flattering.

Kudos to Kat Von D for the packaging. The etched compact is a lovely touch, and gives the product more dimension, before you ever open it to use it. Sometimes it’s the little things…

The color payoff is incredible, even on my warm skin. This swatch is normal… not heavy. I strongly recommend a light hand when applying this blush, then build to the intensity you want.

On me the color definitely pulls pink, but the overall effect is a brightening glow. I thought this blush would be a lot more like the Sunday Riley Rush version, but I have to say that I like this one a lot better. It’s easier to use, and the overall effect is definitely more about glow and less about actual color.

You can find out more about Kat Von D Blush in Por Vida HERE.

Glow On: Laura Mercier ‘SpellBound’ Face Illuminator

Even if you think you don’t need another highlighter (I certainly don’t need one)… the Laura Mercier SpellBound Face Illuminator is worth a swatch. Designed with a ‘warmer’ palette in mind… the shimmery highlighter is mostly golden, with just a hint of rose tossed in for good measure. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. The visual texture in the pan is like scrunched satin… with all of the light-catching nuances that such a thing would bring.

Pictures simply do not do this thing justice. It is so gorgeous.

You can find out more about Laura Mercier SpellBound Face Illuminator HERE.

Product Review: Chantecaille Radiant Gel Bronzer

The Chantecaille Radiance Gel Bronzer is one of those things you don’t think you need, until you use it. After that, you wonder how you possibly got along without it all this time. I’m now on my second tube of this stuff, and thought I’d share it with you guys while the packaging is still nice and fresh.

The tube comes pinched like that, even when it’s full of product. I’m thinking that’s just the way it’s designed. When I got the first tube, I thought I’d gotten a dud. But now that I have a new tube, I think they all look like that.

From the website:
“Radiance is a liquid bronzer that offers a touch of sun and subtle luminosity to any complexion. The new formula is a cross between a gel and a creamy fluid that is weightless and imperceptible, yet smoothing and long-lasting with raspberry stem cells for DNA protection and an antioxidant youth-preserving Bearberry complex.”

Makeup that doubles as skincare? Sign me up! You know I’m a sucker for those ‘hybrid’ cosmetic/skincare types.

The gel has a bit of a shimmer, and it’s just a touch warmer than my actual skin color. It adds a lovely glow to my skin, and blurs out any imperfections. Despite the color, I’ve  used it on some of my palest clients. It translates very well on most fair to medium/dark skin tones.

I use this gel to bring down the color of any foundation that I have that’s too light (on myself or a client), and I use it just plain as a foundation. Because it’s primarily a gel formulation, oily skin types will love this stuff. It sets very well, and looks completely natural. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a natural looking bronzing gel, that won’t transfer or run… particularly if you have an oily skin.

You can find out more about Chantecaille Radiant Gel Bronzer HERE.

Glow On: Gleam Body Radiance

I’ve been using Gleam Body Radiance for a while now. I keep small tubes in my kit for use just in case… and larger ones at home for me (you can see that on my lazy days it doubles as foundation). I have my favorites (Rose Gold and Bronze Gold are absolutely amazing), but the truth is that they’re all good.

From the left:
Light Gold, Rose Gold, Bronze Gold, Deep Gold
Each of these formulas blend out to a gorgeous sheen, and STAY PUT after you put it on. It doesn’t transfer on your clothes (or anyone else’s clothes), and is basically water and sweat proof. Love this stuff.

Quick little FOTD

I had just a few minutes to get ‘glammed up’ for a mixer… so I decided to just focus on the eyes and keep things simple.

Gleam Bronze Gold Gel (as foundation)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger (under eyes and under browbone)
By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Gold (lids)
MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder (waterline/lashline)
Volume de Chanel Mascara
Laura Mercier Lipstick in Belize
Lip Fusion Lipgloss in Goddess

Professional Grade: CapoNata LookBook (photoshoot)

I packed up the kit and headed out to Invicta Gym to shoot the lookbook for Capo-Nata Apparel. The freshman athletic apparel line is making waves with a line of practical sports and lifestyle pieces, and the most effective ‘water-shedding’ sports top that I’ve ever seen. The patented design is made out of neoprene… yeah. I’m so getting one.

I don’t want to attempt a butchered misspelling of this lovely model’s name… but she was so much fun to work with. And she’s got the most amazing set of abs… omg it’s totally not fair. I wanted to hit the floor and do some pushups just on general principle. LOL. The designer wanted her to look bronzed (and slightly flushed). She had a tan everywhere but her face, so I darkened her skin a full two shades to match the rest of her body. In addition to a darker foundation, I used Gleam in Rose Gold and Bronze Gold to give her that healthy glow. I finished with individual lashes, a light line around the eyes, and a nude-pink lipstick.

Hair Diva Edica Casanova hooked up her hair by working with her curl and texture, to make her curls more defined and boost the shine.

Her final look called for a more defined eye and a red lip.
My second model was the lovely Jessica Minter (who is also  Gleam Girl… yayy!!). Her look was more dramatic, so I defined her eyes with By Terry Ombre Blackstar and some homemade demi lashes. On her lips, I mixed a combination of MAC’s Candy Yum Yum and Dior silver lipgloss.

I brightened her lip a bit as the shoot went on…

Nine hours later, we wrapped and I headed home. I can’t wait to see the final photos!

FOTD: RiRi Boy

I honestly thought that the Rihanna + MAC Collaboration that resulted in RiRi Boy would be a pass for me. Like RiRi Woo, a stroke of dumb luck landed the retro matte lavender lipstick at my doorstep.

The most encouraging thing about this lipstick is that it’s not as ‘cool’ as I thought it would be. It’s just warm enough to compliment my skintone without going ashy… or becoming more of a rose shade. Like RiRi Woo, it’s a keeper.

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation (Banana)
NARS Light Reflecting Loose Powder
Dior Rosy Glow Blush
MAC Eyeshadow in Soft Brown (lids)
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline (lashline)
Volume de Chanel Mascara