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Water-Based Vs. Silicone-Based

Some of the most common problems with foundation include makeup moving around, “sliding off” and separation, especially around the t-zone. It’s probably the most common question I get asked about complexion. I was thinking about all of the advice I give and thought I would collate this in a blog post for those interested.

  • First of all, good complexions are born from good skincare.
    • Good skincare starts with staying hydrated.
      • Good skin is maintained by cleaning your face AM and PM.
        • Skin is altered or problem-solved by specific ingredients.

So after the mini crash course in skincare, there is actually one more thing that can be affecting your complexion. Most people are usually driven to buy primers and foundations because of an advert, a recommendation or a celebrity endorsement. However, understanding how primers and foundations work together could really change the way you select your products. 

  • Water Based Primers + Water Based Foundations = Great for dry skin and sensitive skin. Also good for those who are prone to breakouts.
  • Silicone Based Primers + Silicone Based Foundations = Great for oily skin.
  • Water Based Primers + Silicone Foundations = Will probably look okay straight after application, but throughout the day the two will repel each other, causing your makeup to slide off.
  • Silicone Based Primers + Water Based Foundations = Will cause separation. The primer will create a silicone barrier which repels the water in the foundation not letting it absorb properly into your skin, resulting in unevenness.


Not only should you use a combination that works for your skin type, you should also be pairing them, like for like. Mis-matching brands are fine as long as they both belong to the same category ‘water based’ or ‘silicone based’.  

So, how do we know what’s what? We look at the ingredients!!

-Cone/-methicone and -siloxane words near the top of the list tend to signal a silicone-based product. Although water may be at the top of an ingredient list, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is water based. Products can be silicone based even if water is at the top of the ingredient list because water is what’s needed to make a “liquid product”.

Here is an example of an ingredient list for a silicone based primer: Touch In Sol No Problem Primer

Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone, Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dipropylene Glycol, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Fragance(Parfum), Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Soluble Collagen, Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.

I’ve made the silicone-based ingredients bold so that you can see the primary ingredients are silicone based, therefore making this a silicone based primer.

Here is an example an ingredient list for a water based primer: MILK Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Water, Glycerin, PEG-150 Distearate, Alcohol Denat., Polyglyceryl-10 Eicosanedioate/Tetradecanedioate, Diglycerin, PVP, Benzyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Pullulan, Inositol, Betaine, Carbomer, Maltose, Xylitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Benzophenone-4, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Agave Tequilana Stem Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Vegetable Amino Acids, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Prunus Avium Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Benzoic Acid, Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Blue 1 (Ci 42090), Red 33 (Ci 17200). 

As you can see there aren’t any silicone ingredients on the top of this list (if any) which means it’s a water-based primer.

Here is an example of an ingredient list for a Silicone Based Foundation: NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Dimethicone, Water, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Boron Nitride, Bis-Butyldimethicone Polyglyceryl-3, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Pca, Sodium Lactate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Peg/Ppg-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Behenic Acid, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Barium Sulfate, Aluminum Dimyristate, Alumina, Tin Oxide, Polysilicone-2, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, [+/- (May Contain): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)].

You can see in bold the primary ingredients are silicone based, making this a silicone based foundation.

Here is an example of an ingredient list for a Water-Based Foundation that is one of my favourites: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Isododecane, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Magnesium Sulfate, Diphenyl Dimethicone, Tribehenin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polysilicone-11, Propylene Carbonate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Cocos Nucifera Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Extract, Alcohol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Llyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

You can see in bold there are some silicone ingredients in there, however they are not the primary ingredients therefore making this foundation a water based foundation.

Water-Based Foundations

Water-based foundations will contain neither oil nor silicone at the top of their ingredient lists. Some water-based foundations may have silicones in them, but the quantity is so small that it isn’t worth mentioning.

If you’re prone to breakouts, a water-based foundation will be the most gentle on your skin. This is also a great option for dry skin because these formulas tend to be nourishing and packed with skin-loving ingredients to help maintain a moisturized look. 

Silicone-Based Foundations

If your foundation is silicone-based, it will (usually) contain ingredients ending in -cone, -methicone and -siloxane as the second or third ingredient. The first ingredient will most likely be water, but that doesn’t mean the foundation is water-based.

These foundations are great for mattifying and controlling shine — it’s like having a primer built into your foundation. Because of their mattifying effect, silicone-based primers are good for oily skin. They prolong the longevity of your makeup and protect your skin from outside elements.

Now that you know the importance of identifying a water-based product from a silicone-based product, you can get to work on pairing your foundations with the right primers. This isn’t to say that a silicone primer could never work with a water based foundation or vice versa, but it’s not recommended and you’ll most likely have better and longer lasting results if your bases are the same.

You may also need to test products out to figure out which work best with your skin type. Once you’ve decided what base will work best for you (water based or silicone based), then you can narrow down your search when choosing a foundation and primer. It may be worth investigating your concealers as well to see if they are lending themselves to one team or another.

I hope this was helpful in solving some of your dreaded makeup complexion problems. I know it’s annoying to have to add another step to your “makeup-buying process” but it’ll be worth it if you’re looking for a makeup application that will look great and last all day. You can always bookmark this page as a reference when you go shopping, that should help too.

Here are some of my favorite Water-Based foundations: 

Here are some Water-Based Primers


Here are some of my favorite Silicone-Based Foundations



Here are some of my favorite Silicone-Based Primers

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Dehydrated Skin

Patchy makeup that separates on your skin is such a common problem! I hear so many people telling me that foundation ‘doesn’t work’ for them or ‘doesn’t look right’ on them. This inconsistent coverage is a result of dehydrated skin. NOT DRY SKIN! Don’t get the two mixed up because they are different. Dry skin is a lack of oil and dehydrated skin is a LACK OF WATER.

Dehydrated skin means that your skin becomes desperate to absorb any moisture that it can. So, when you apply your foundation, your skin will absorb all the hydration it can and leave you with whatever is left over, making your makeup look patchy.

Hydrated skin flushes out toxins and maintains its natural barrier. This results in the skin having a much more even texture and reduces any irritation or sensitivity, unlike dehydrated skin which is damaged and so can’t flush out toxins or maintain its natural barrier.

When your skin is dehydrated, it often produces more oil to compensate for the lack of hydration in the skin. Again, when your skin is dehydrated it is in need of water not oil so this excess oil builds up and makes your skin greasy and congested (which makes you more susceptible to breakouts). The annoying thing about this is that people often treat oily skin and acne with harsh products meant to combat these issues. This then worsens the dehydration which then makes the skin more oily and acne prone. As you can see, you can get stuck in a loop of bad skin. 

Things that will help combat dehydrated skin:

  1. Drink more water! It sounds boring and people will probably tell you to do this all the time! But honestly, it’s the most important thing to do to help separating and patchy makeup. 
  2. Concentrate on your skin care. Clean your skin AM and PM. Moisturise your skin AM and PM.
  3. Adding a little bit of hyaluronic acid to your skin care routine can make a huge difference to dehydrated skin. It can hold 1000 times its weight in water.
  4. Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks such as red wine that will dehydrate your body much faster. If this is your favourite tipple then for every glass of wine you drink, drink a pint of water.
  5. NEVER sleep with your makeup on. This will suck all the life out of your skin.

A Skincare Plan for Dehydrated Skin


  1. Cleanse – Micellar water is the best type of cleanser for dehydrated skin.
  2. Serum – Use a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid in. (Nip & Fab’s Dragon Blood Serum is great £19.95 from Boots.)
  3. Moisturise with a product that contains spf. (Preferably not containing oil if you are prone to blemishes)
  4. Then apply your makeup.


  1. Cleanse – ensure all makeup has been removed first.
  2. Spot treatments, if needed.
  3. If the skin is feeling tight and scaly, use a night cream. 

This skin type can benefit from using hyaluronic face masks and overnight masks. Exfoliate with caution, at most once a week. Use a cleanser and flannel to exfoliate, rotating in circular motions. Avoid products with small beads in.

I hope that this blog helps a few people who have been convinced they have oily, dry, sensitive or combination skin, when really it’s been dehydrated all along! I’d love to hear how you get on six months from now if you decide to take on this skincare plan

Comment below if you were shocked to find this is your skin type!

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How to find your perfect foundation shade

Some on counter staff are better than others, but if you can, it’s better to try and match your self. You know better than anyone what colour your skin is and what you look for in a foundation. Now you may have heard many tips and tricks over the years, however this is the perfect guide to getting your perfect match!

You know how you can often look better in the warm glow of candles or the yellow-y lights in a restaurant bathroom? That is yellow light blessing you with warm golden tones that will complement your skin tone. There are probably only 5 in every 100 women who are so pale they need a pink toned foundation. Everyone else if you see any foundation with the name ‘rose’ or ‘blush’ in the colour name- avoid it like the plague unless you want to look embalmed. Keep pink to cheeks, lips and nails where it belongs. 

Sometimes your forehead is a different colour to the rest of your face, as that’s where the sun hits your face first. This is especially true for women of colour. Either buy and wear two foundations, or if the contrast isn’t too severe, try to find a shade that’s in the middle

Don’t be tempted to go up and down shades to ‘correct’ what you perceive to be faults. Foundation is there to be the same colour as your skin. It is not there to ‘warm it up’ that is what bronzer is for; and it is not there to ‘cool it down’ that is what highlight is for. It is simply there to match perfectly.

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can occur in foundation. Just like apples and other fruit will turn brown when exposed to the oxygen in the air, foundation can turn a shade or two darker (or more orange) on your skin over the course of the day. Oxidation is a weird, commonly despised, yet not fully understood problem in the beauty world, because it seems to wholly depend on a person’s skin type, the foundation they’re using, and their skincare routine. Some cosmetic chemists say that it’s caused by solvents in the foundation evaporating on your skin, causing the pigments to look a darker color on your face, while others disagree, citing your skin oils or skincare oil to be the real culprit: “The oils on your face and the oxygen in the air…mix with the oils in your foundation and cause the oxidative process” It seems to be a combination of the two is most likely true. Oxidation definitely does happen, but I find that it’s almost always because of an SPF or a primer that doesn’t mix well with your skin or your foundation. If you fall victim of oxidation, then you need to trial and error some different SPF’s, skincare and foundation till you find what works well for you. Take full advantage of samples during this time!!

Lastly, You may need to adjust your colour depending on the time of year. Most women have darker skin in the summer. You can also get liquid bronzers you can mix with your foundation to help when you have a tan. See an earlier blog for more detail.

So here is what you do:

  • Look at the spectrum of colours and pick 4 similar shades, (avoiding the pinks unless you are alabaster-white), that in your opinion are most likely to match.
  • Using a cotton bud, (most counter staff will give you these), create 4 stripes on your lower cheek and don’t blend. Repeat this on your forehead. Top tip: As you put each pot down, leave them in the same order as you applied them so you can remember which colour is which!
  • Now as painfully embarrassing as you may find this go outside and look in a mirror. A hand mirror or a mirror borrowed from counter staff will do. Don’t use your phone or look in it’s camera as it won’t be an accurate representation of colour. Then tah-dah- The one that is the hardest to see is your foundation colour.
  • Don’t be tempted to go up and down shades to ‘correct’ what you perceive to be faults. Sometimes oxidation is just a result of wearing a foundation too dark for your skin. Go with your true colour and the rest of your makeup will always look better!! Trust me! 
  • My last tip is that if you have never used that foundation before, always ask for a sample and try it out first. You’ll never truly know if its a good match in colour and formula till you’ve worn it for a whole day.

Let us know in the comments any colour matching dilemmas you have and we will help!! 


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Holiday Makeup

Knowing what makeup to bring with you on a sun holiday is always a struggle. Your normal beauty routine never successfully translates in a warmer climate. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some make up tips and tricks that will have you feeling your best in every holiday snap.

It’s the end of another blissful day in the sun. You’ve showered the sand off and look in the mirror to find you’ve caught the sun. Your UK foundation is now two shades too light and your normal moisturizer is sliding off your face faster than you can put it on. Nightmare, right?! Well, not if you change things up!

Using an oil-free after sun or moisturizer will help take care of your skin after sun exposure without leaving you feeling oily. A personal favorite is an ultra-moisturising after-sun ‘Rescue Balm’ from Clinique, which contains aloe to help soothe sun-exposed skin. It also helps to reduce the look of peeling after sun exposure. It’s suitable for face and body, plus the balm is oil-free and non-acnegenic. Please don’t skip this step in a bid for a matte complexion, as your skin will need a drink after being out in the sun all day. There are several cooling, mattifying gels available to help reduce shine. These can be layered on top of an oil-free moisturizer or after sun. The best I’ve come across is Benefit’s Porefessional Matte Rescue.

That brings me onto the next ‘go to’ product that will make all the difference. Benefit’s Porefessional primer. This product is like poly-filler, making every fine line, pore or blemish instantly smoothed out. This is a great option for every skin type and will also look great when worn alone. It has no colour, so if you are someone who doesn’t wear a lot of foundation, (or none at all whilst on holiday), look no further than this product for your base.

If you are a foundation-lover, you need to make sure that your colour stays matched. This isn’t an easy job; especially when the light you find in hotel rooms is less than adequate. The quick fix for this is liquid foundation and liquid bronzer. Taking a liquid bronzer or a product equivalent will enable you to darken your foundation day by day as your tan deepens in colour. Benefit’s ‘Dew the Hoola’ does a wonderful job of illuminating your skin whilst deepening the colour. This can be mixed in with your foundation, added on top of foundation, or worn alone to give you an instant tan with sheer coverage. Using this with a large synthetic ‘buffing’ brush is the best way for even application.

When it comes to eye shadow, you should either go all-out with an eye shadow base that will lock that powder on or go for a cream shadow that will set and not crease. My recommendations for eye shadow bases are… Smashbox’s 24hr Primer for eye shadow beginners and P Louise Base for intermediate to advanced eye shadow artists. Below is an example of how this product helps your eye shadow application and staying powder.

For cream shadow, you want to make sure it isn’t going to separate and crease in the fold of your eye lid during wear. I don’t recommend using an eye lid primer with a cream eye shadow; they usually have this ‘built in’, which helps with faster application. The best ones I’ve come across are: Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow, (the shade ‘Birthday Suit’ is gorgeous on all skin!!) or Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerise (The ‘Rose Gold’ shade is beautiful). These cream shadows can be applied quickly with your fourth finger and look effortlessly stunning.





A natural powder contour goes a long way on holiday and is a great way to accentuate your features and define your face shape. A dusting bronzer on the cheekbones, with a nice bright blush on the apples of the cheeks, will add dimension and a pop of colour whilst still not having a lot of makeup on. Personally, I love highlighter and would make myself shimmer as bright as a disco ball everyday if I could, but I know it’s not everyone’s thing! Optional: add some powder or liquid highlighter to your cheekbones, down your nose and on your cupids bow if you want some added sparkle!

My last couples of tips are that waterproof mascara goes without saying if you want to avoid smudging! Take a cooling spray or matte setting spray out with you in your bag in case you get a bit oily; it’s a great idea to cool yourself down. Urban Decay does the best setting sprays! (…and I’ve tried a lot of different setting sprays!) And finally, it wouldn’t hurt to match your lipstick to your outfit for a pop of holiday sass!

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The Truth About Sun Cream.

Whether you live in Scotland or Singapore, sunscreen needs to be a part of your daily skincare routine. Sunscreen protects against solar radiation, in particular UVA and UVB rays. Other forms of radiation include infrared and high-energy light and some creams will protect against these also. Many people think that they only need to wear sunscreen in the summer, which could not be further from the truth. On cloudy winter days there is still ultraviolet radiation from the sun and up to 80% of ultraviolet light can penetrate clouds.

The two main repercussions of not wearing sunscreen are simple- skin cancer and premature ageing. Ever heard the phrase prevention is better than cure? Well in this case it’s cheaper too! Anti-ageing products don’t come cheap and a very small percentage of them are proven to be effective.

“Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50 is my family favourite, as my partner has very sensitive skin.”

When looking for a good sun cream, it’s important to understand what the numerical values mean. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is simply a measure of the ability to protect against UVB radiation. UVB damages the outer layers of the skin, (which we know all too well is called sun burn) and is very painful and uncomfortable… not to mention bad for you. The SPF is a theoretical multiplier of the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burnt. So if your unprotected skin starts to go red in 10 minutes in the sun, an SPF 20 will theoretically allow you to stay outdoors for 200 minutes. Understand? So, twenty times the original duration of ten. Factors can contribute to this figure being inaccurate, such as what condition your skin is in, distance from the equator, altitude, time of year and the most common factor- people simply not putting enough on! Then you have to remember that swimming, clothes coming on and off and towels will rub the cream off, so regular re-application has to be maintained.

With that in mind, please read this bit because it’s important! Using an SPF 30 will not provide twice as much protection as using SPF 15, the same as a factor 20 is not twice as good as a factor 10.

  • SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB
  • SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB
  • SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB

So as you can see, there is very little difference between an SPF 30 and an SPF 50. There is also no sunscreen that gives 100% protection against the sun. Another common myth about sunscreen is that you won’t get a sun tan if you wear it. This is not true. You will get a tan, and it won’t make a difference if you are wearing factor 15 or factor 50- as we’ve just proven there isn’t much in it. So slap on factor 50 if it does the same thing and enjoy being able to stay out in the sun longer than you could if you had only put a factor 15 on! In essence, the lower the factor, the more you will have to re-apply to stay safe. Some people tan quickly, some don’t. Don’t put yourself at risk to rush something that will come at its own natural pace. (I promise to do a blog post on fake tan very soon!)

SPF also never gives you any indication whether a sunscreen is also offering you protection against UVA. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB and are the rays typically associated with ageing of the skin. Sunscreens sold in the EU have a ‘star rating’ for UVA or ‘UVA logo’ on the label. It is becoming more common now for sunscreens to contain both UVA & UVB protection so always go for that option where possible. In the UK, whilst UVB levels fluctuate with the seasons, UVA remains relatively static throughout the year. UVA can also penetrate windows so if you spend a lot of time driving or sitting by a window it’s worthwhile wearing sunscreen all year round.

“This is my everyday facial sunscreen, it’s hard-core sun protection but dries quickly.”

Moving on to your face. You want to make sure you are wearing a minimum of SPF 15 with UVA cover, on your face everyday. SPF 15 is fine for those with olive or darker skin types and SPF 30 is suitable for most white, Caucasian skin. Very fair, pale skin could benefit from increasing to an SPF 50. Lots of products such as moisturiser and foundation have SPF added, as you have probably already noticed. However, the truth is that most of us do not use enough of our cosmetic product to achieve the same SPF as a sunscreen alone. Generally living in the UK, combined products are fine to use in the winter, but come summer switching to using a separate sunscreen is a must.

If you regularly exfoliate or you work outdoors, you are definitely better off with a separate, regular sunscreen. If you spend more than twenty minutes a day outside or live nearer the equator, the same applies. If you do exfoliate regularly, always remember to do it at night and not in the morning. If you scrub off all the dead skin cells in the morning, your skin is fresh and more vulnerable to burning and being damaged in the sun.

  • Oily skin types should opt for sunscreens with a matte finish and light gel or fluid texture
  • Dry skin types should opt for rich creams and balms
  • Sensitive skin types might find sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are better than those with chemical filters.

Sunscreen is the last skin care product applied before makeup. Sunscreen goes on AFTER moisturizer. You should use about half a teaspoon of product to your face and neck. This needs to dry for three to five minutes before applying primer or foundation. So slap some on and go and brush your teeth- that’s what I do!

Thanks for reading this blog! Sun protection is something I think is so important to educate our children and ourselves about! I get most of my scientific knowledge and research from what I learnt during my degree and also from reading The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto, a UK dermatologist. Please like, share and learn!!

*Due to the nature of today’s blog, here is a ‘no makeup selfie’ with my crew enjoying the sun, with little Esme laying on the cuteness factor 50!!

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Are you wearing the right foundation?

Choosing a foundation is a mixture of finding a product that works for your skin type, your beauty regime and your application ability.

  • BB Cream- suitable for young, oily and combination skins. Suitable for fans of a low maintenance beauty regime and those with little time for grooming. Not suitable for dry, dehydrated or mature skin. I recommend Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream.
  • CC Cream- suitable for most skin types and ages. Not suitable for very dry or dehydrated skin. It’s supposed to help blend sunspots and, pigmentation problems but I’ve never found one that actually works. For  that reason, I won’t even recommend one- Foundation works better.
  • Tinted moisturizer- is suitable for most but if you have oily skin, use an oil-free version. Good for summertime, holidays, and casual wear. Not suitable for severely blemished skin or uneven skin tones. I recommend Laura Mercier oil-free Tinted Moisturiser. 
  • Sheer Foundation- suitable for most people with clear skin. Also great for anyone who wants a natural look- for instance it’s great for women with freckles who don’t want to cover them up. Not suitable for severely blemished skin. Light liquid coverage, I recommend Benefit’s Foundation- I worked on the Benefit make-up counter for many years and this works great as a sheer foundation. The only bad thing about it, is that Benefit try to market it as a medium foundation, and it quite simply, is not!
  • Liquid foundation- suitable for everyone (oily skins should opt for an oil free liquid formula for better staying power.) Medium coverage and is a great first time foundation. It will blend out unevenness, cover small blemishes and there are different ones for different skin types. Great recommendation is YSL Touche Eclait, as it is light reflecting and looks gorgeous on 90% of people. For a fuller coverage foundation and staying power for nights out, I recommend Smashbox Studio Skin, which also comes in a refreshingly large variety of shades.
  • Mineral Foundation Powder- is suitable for most. People with sensitive skin, those with rosacea, acne or women who have neither the time nor inclination to cleanse thoroughly before bed. Not suitable for dull skin tones. I recommend Bare Minerals Original.
  • Cream foundation- is suitable for dry, normal, combination or heavily blemished skin. Not suitable for oily and young skins. Heavier coverage and great for “out, out” makeup. Chanel’s cream foundation is the one I would recommend if you needed a cream foundation.
  • Powder Foundations- are suitable for oily, normal or combination skins. But not suitable for mature, dry, dehydrated or dull skin. Can be used on top of a liquid foundation for extra coverage and staying power. There are so many products I would recommend for powder foundations. For translucent, loose powder to set make-up, it would have to be Kryolan or Huda Beauty. For pressed powder, I recommend Benefit, Smashbox, or Mac Studio Fix.

There are of course so many more products that are great- these are just a few to mention to give you an idea of what to start with. Each face is different and something that works for one person may not work for someone else. However, with trial and error and a little help from us, we’ll help find something that works for you!

Get in touch via info@thebeautyumbrella if you need help finding the right foundation for you!

*As promised a picture of some makeup I was proud of and l loved how my foundation looked here. So a perfect match to the blog topic!

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Don’t get fooled!

This week’s blog is all about the terminology that catches us out. Most labels are there to look pretty and entice us to buy the product. But how much of what is written is true? How much of what we read has real meaning or value? And how many products are we buying under false pretenses?

The first thing to remember when shopping for skin care, hair care or makeup is that magazines and advertising have close relationships with PR companies. PR companies work for beauty companies. So, beauty companies pay PR companies lots of money to promote them, therefore most of the quotes you read in the speech bubbles by this ‘expert’, or that ‘celebrity’ are indirectly sponsored. The truth, is rarely posted in big bold letters. The point I am making is, that the ‘experts’ are rarely actually ‘experts’ and this does make it super confusing to ever get sound medical or scientific advice about what you are buying. I recommend to anyone having trouble with their skin, read Dr Anjali Mahto’s book called ‘The Skincare Bible’. She is one of the UK’s leading dermatologists and this book has been my bible whilst learning about skin care over the years. Link below, Amazon £9.76.

Brands take advantage of the fact we don’t understand the long scientific terminology they print on their packaging and therefore usually baffle us. I will reference some quotes that have helped me through the minefield that is the skincare aisle.

“Hypoallergenic: This is a manufacturer claim that a product will cause fewer allergies than others. It is not, however, a legally binding term; there is no minimum industry standard to prove the product causes fewer allergic reactions.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.47.

“Non-comedogenic: The literally means ‘will not block pores’ and is often found on the label of skincare for those with acne or oily skin. If an ingredient is comedogenic, it will encourage blocked pores and the formation of black heads. Traditional gold-standard testing for comedogenicity was carried out on rabbit ears. Chemical ingredients were simply applied to the rabbit’s ears and scientists would look to see if comedones or blackheads developed. Many cosmetic scientists and dermatologists felt it was inaccurate and misleading and many influential dermatologists later discredited its use. The EU has now banned animal testing and comedogenicity test commonly take place on humans.

The main problem with products labelled as ‘non-comedogenic’ is that, yet again, there are no industry standards or regulation… therefore, it can still clog pores.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.48-49.

“Clinically proven: This means it is almost NEVER a robust clinical trial with a sound scientific methodology, an adequate sample size or appropriate statistical analysis.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.49.

“Dermatologically tested: Another term deliberately meant to lead you astray. In the UK, there is NO legal definition of the term. According to the EU guidance, the implication is that a dermatologist has supervised the testing on humans. However, there are no standard tests for the safety of efficacy of cosmetic products.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.49.

“Natural: Some have suggested that ‘natural’ should mean that at least 5% or more of the ingredients are found in nature. It’s definition, however, is not regulated in the US or UK. The biggest mistake I see is that people equate natural skincare with somehow being safer than products lacking the label. Botanicals’, herbs and essential oils can still cause irritation and allergies, and these are commonly documented in scientific literature.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.51.

“Organic: The organic label in skincare is also not regulated in the UK. It loosely means a product with ingredients that are grown without the use of artificial chemicals. The majority of these types of products that are certified organic have non-organic ingredients also. As there is no legal definition and the various certification bodies have different criteria to meet for product labeling, there is no beauty industry standard.

Things are a bit better in the US, where the USDA (United Department of Agriculture) provides guidelines for organic labeling in cosmetics. For a product to be labelled ‘organic’, 95% of its ingredients must be certified; ‘organic-derived’ products need only contain 70%. Ingredients are listed in descending order of their percentage of a products composition.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.51-52. So it’s always important to check the label.

“Some have concerns about having products with ingredients that are pesticide-free. However, there is little evidence to show that pesticides in skincare products can penetrate the skin barrier.”- Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.53.

“Organic and natural skincare products are a choice. Some will prefer to use these as they feel like a healthier lifestyle option, and that’s okay. But remain mindful that they may not be any better for your skin. The label itself may not be the halo you first took it for.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.53.

“Fragrance Free: This should mean exactly what it says on the tin but this is not always the case. The only way to be certain is to check the ingredients list.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.51. Refer to book for list of fragrance ingredients to look out for if your skin reacts to fragrance and also be mindful that essential oils fall under a different category but will also contain fragrance.

“Free from chemicals: Now, this one is definitely a label to ignore. Technically speaking, everything is made from chemicals.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.55.

Ah, we reach my favorite term we are seeing more and more of… “Vegetarian/Vegan: In the UK, there is no legally binding definition of a vegetarian or vegan product and you are very much relying on the manufacturer to not be making unsubstantiated claims. Organisations such as PETA provide a list of animal-derived ingredients to avoid; the Vegetarian Society has several approved products. It can be difficult to be entirely certain whether manufacturing process uses animal-derived agents that do not appear in the final product.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.56.

This also depends on what you are looking for because cruelty-free products are different to vegan/vegetarian products. One is about whether that product has been tested on animals and the other is whether that product contains any ingredients derived from animals. It’s worth remembering also that just because a product hasn’t been tested on animals doesn’t mean that the ingredients haven’t been tested on animals individually.

“Preservative free: Preservatives are an important component of skincare and are added to beauty products to enhance their shelf-life by preventing the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold. Clearly, this is a good thing (and it would be far worse to not have them); smearing germ-contaminated products around the face or near the eyes is likely to lead to infection.” Mahto, A. (n.d.). The Skincare Bible. p.57. For more details on common preservatives see page 57 of the skincare bible.

So, take it from the dermatologist expert and not me. I have done a fair bit of research and can say I have found lots of evidence to back up everything she says in this book. Next time you go to the shops to buy a beauty product and you decide to buy a product that is £150.00 because it’s ‘Clinically tested’ or ‘organic’ make sure you know what you are buying. Also make sure a product isn’t being sold for a fraction of the price with the exact same ingredients on a different aisle!! I frequently go from high end to low end comparing products of all different prices and by doing that you can find some fantastic low budget products! I hope this blog has helped your understanding of label lingo!

As it’s October, here is a slightly more scary selfie from last years halloween!


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Why Do We Wear Makeup?

Why do we wear makeup? This is a question that I feel we don’t ask enough. Equally, I feel it’s a question that society presumes to know the answer to. Even someone who wears makeup regularly will judge other makeup wearers. Have you ever seen someone with what, in your opinion, looks like a lot of makeup on, and presumed they must have low self-esteem? Common misconceptions that people who wear makeup suffer from vanity, self-confidence issues or promiscuity need to stop.

Feeling your best often means looking your best, and this general rule of thumb counts for men, women, children and all whom are in-between. I have a beautiful step-daughter who is 6, and if she has a pretty dress on, some clip-on earrings and something sparkly, the way she carries herself noticeably changes. She will dance around confidently, with a smile on her face, and will enjoy catching a cheeky glimpse of herself in the mirror and she skips past. Is this vain? No, of course not. This is the most innocent image of self-confidence, self-worth and happiness. Now imagine doing this as an adult. You may laugh at the thought but isn’t this what we strive for? Wearing the right outfit, the right shoes, the right makeup can bring out the best version of ourselves and we can channel confidence, body positivity and happiness.

Anyone who can stand there and say, ‘God I’m glad I don’t have to spend hours putting that s**t on my face!” obviously has no idea of the joy makeup can bring to someone. Personally, my favourite thing about makeup isn’t even wearing it- it’s putting it on! The presumption that we drag ourselves out of bed earlier than we want to, to paint our faces just to try and impress other people needs to stop, as in most cases, this just isn’t true. Also, the notion that not partaking in skin-regimes, makeup trends and manicured nails somehow makes you better and less self-absorbed than someone who does do all those things, is just stupid.

The word feminism to me means two things; equality and freedom. Possessing the ability and freedom to create different makeup looks every single day makes me happy. I can go for a 50’s style one day, to Gothic the next and all that’s between, and quite frankly I feel sorry for the people who don’t exercise that right who want to! I feel that men may have the least amount of ways to change their appearance and more power to the ones who find a way that brings them variety and happiness!

Makeup is in the eye of the beholder and it is a tool to be used as armour, to be used as art and to be used however we damn well want it to be. I’m fed up of people assuming I only like makeup because I’m female, or because I’m vain, or because I want attention from men. I wear makeup because I love the way it makes me feel about myself and it creates a version of me that I want to show the world each day! I enjoy the quiet time I spend putting it on; I enjoy going to the makeup counters and buying beautiful products that come in beautiful little bags; I enjoy seeing my partner’s face when I’ve finished getting ready; I enjoy following makeup bloggers, artist and influencers and sharing ideas.

But most of all, I love sharing my knowledge with others and showing other people how to make the most out of their make-up bags!!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post – feel free to share on your social media and, as promised in my first blog post, I will upload a picture for each post of some makeup I am proud of. This was the first time I contoured my collar bone successfully!!