How Not To Contour The Eyes

When contouring the eyes, do not fall into the trap of tight lining the bottom lid in black.

While tight lining the upper lid will lend to the illusion of longer lashes, though extensions have been used in this picture as well, tight lining the lower lid makes the eye appear much smaller.

Rather contour the crease of the upper lid and corner of the eye with eye shadow which will open up the eyes. If you forego the black liner on the lower lid you won’t have to contend with the black gumph that collects in the corner of the eye or with raccoon eyes.

Don’t forget to fill in and comb your eyebrows, framing your eyes and polishing your overall look.

Claudia – Bridal

Claudia has to be one of the most relaxed brides I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She has a quirky sense of humour, is poised, kind and, as you can see from her photos, beautiful.
Her wedding to Malcolm was a romantic affair set in the grandiose and fairytale venue of Camelot in Hillcrest.
Claudia is very sporty and was concerned that she did not want to look like anyone other than herself on her wedding day, and we achieved this by creating a neutral palate with a soft grey smokey eye and nude shimmery lip.

We wish Claudia and Malcolm everything of the best as they embark on their journey as husband and wife.

Durban bridal makeup Make Me Up Durban bridal makeup Make Me Up Durban bridal makeup Make Me Up Durban bridal makeup Make Me Up Durban bridal makeup Make Me Up Durban bridal makeup Make Me Up

All images courtesy of O’Toole Photography.
All rights are reserved.

Get Your Halo On

 SB_C553_245

It’s product review time and in today’s post I will be talking about the wonder of Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder. If, like me, you are not a fan of liquid or cake makeup then this product may just about change your life!

As you can see in the picture, the foundation is in powder form and one of the massive pros of this product is the ability to turn the top of the compact and loosen only the required amount of powder. Sure you can do this with tubes and pump bottles but this compact has a higher cool factor.

Fancy packaging aside, I am well impressed with this foundation. I use it successfully for both day and glamorous night applications.
During the day after my moisturiser and sunblock, I apply some BB cream to areas that need a little extra coverage and then I apply a light covering of Halo powder all over the face with a large powder brush. You can use a kabuki brush if you need more coverage. There is no heavily made up or cakey look to my skin, which maintains a healthy glow and is precisely what I am after; especially in the humid summer we are about to hit in Durban.

The only products I add if I am going for a more glamorous night application are a primer and an under eye concealer.
Primer as we have discussed previously, is an essential tool that you need to have in your makeup arsenal and using it over a BB cream makes the halo powder glide onto the skin and gives a near flawless appearance.*
*This of course depends on the condition of your blank canvas.

For night I use a bronzer to contour my face, adding back some dimension that can be lost under a heavier makeup application and artificial lighting.

I am so impressed with Halo powder that it’s now a permanent fixture in my makeup bag. The cost of the product (ZAR625 at Woolworths) is tempered by how long it lasts. I am more than 6 months into my compact without any signs of it coming to an end. I am told you can expect it to last in the region of between 8 to 12 months, of course depending on how much you use. If you need more coverage I would suggest using Halo powder in conjunction with a foundation or it will prove to be rather costly to keep using.

I give this product a 10/10, it wears very well, lasts more than 6 months, is easy to work with, gives the skin a gorgeous finish and primer makes this product truly glorious.

The Collagen Question

collagen diagram

One of the things I am often asked is if collagen can do anything when applied to the skin.
The short answer is: No.

The most you can hope for is a temporary improvement in the appearance and texture of your skin. The collagen molecule is too big to penetrate the epidermis so using collagen creams and lotions will provide a temporary and superficial effect only, which halts the moment you stop using the product. For lasting results one needs to stimulate collagen production in one’s own skin and therein lies the key.

To understand what collagen is, we also need to look at elastin, where they come from, how they differ, look at how they work in unison in the skin and why they are so vital in the fight against premature ageing.

Collagen and elastin are both manufactured by cells in our dermis called fibroblasts and they work in synergy to provide support and elasticity to our skins. They are types of connective tissue though they are different types of proteins. Collagen provides a more supportive and connective function and is found in structures like tendons, bones, the eye and the skin.  Elastin gives elasticity to structures like arterial walls, intestines and of course, the skin and enables those structures to ‘bounce back’ after being stretched or contracted. So while collagen provides strength and support to the skin, elastin provides the movement network around the collagen and gives skin it’s supple nature.

As we age collagen and elastin production decreases. How quickly depends on a number of intrinsic (internal or genetic) and extrinsic (external or environmental) factors.
The slowing down of the fibroblast cells means that less new collagen and elastin is manufactured to keep the skin firm and supple. If you cannot push the collagen molecule into the skin, we need to provide the tools with which our skin can manufacture it’s own collagen and elastin and keep our skins firm, supple and youthful.young-skin-old-skin

Among those ingredients are things like L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic acid, peptides, Vitamin A and alpha hydroxy acids.

L-Ascorbic acid, which must be in a stable long release form, has been shown to stimulate collagen in adults to the levels of that of a new born child.
Hyaluronic acid is an exceptionally powerful water holding molecule and is essential to skin functioning, cell proliferation and overall systemic health in humans. Exposure to UVB rays significantly disrupts hyaluron production in the skin. Hyaluronic acid provides moisture to the skin at cellular level and hydrated skin is skin that works efficiently.
Peptides have been shown to be instrumental in the body’s response to wound healing and increasing the skin’s ability to produce collagen.
Retinoic acid is the most stable form of vitamin A. Vitamin A has a long and well documented history in skin care and has been shown to significantly stimulate cell proliferation (cell turnover). Isotretinoin, vitamin A in oral form, is still the best treatment for acne. Vitamin A in it’s many forms remains a powerful ally in the fight against ageing.
*Lamelle’s RA cream has been shown to lift elastosis (broken elastin fibres which look like white bumps under the epidermis) out of the skin and repair YEARS of damage and prepares the skin to be ‘fixed’.
Alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs have a profound effect on epidermal cells and keratinisation, whereby they dissolve the bonds between corneocytes and speed up cell turnover, which means that dead cells are shed more speedily revealing a healthier and more youthful skin.
The work of AHAs is not confined to the epidermis however, biopsies show increased amounts of collagen production without inflammation. It is worth noting that inflammation is a key factor in the development of acne and hyper pigmentation.
AHAs are a key ingredient in chemical peels and these should NEVER be undertaken by anyone other than a trained professional or you run the risk of causing irreversible damage to your skin.

So with all of this in mind, choose your skin care products wisely. Using products off the shelf is money down the toilet as only 0.08% of the product is being used by your skin. Professional products increase penetration exponentially which translates to visible and lasting results that you can see.

For more information or to share your views, please comment or get in touch with us via our contact form.

Keratosis Pilaris – What Is It and How to Treat It Effectively

Greetings makeup and skin lovers!

It’s been entirely too long since I posted anything meaningful on this blog and for that I apologise, things have been incredibly busy! I have opened my own beauty and makeup studio and it has been a little crazy prior to and since!

As we head into summer in the southern hemisphere, we are all looking for the products that are going to keep us body beautiful with the minimum fuss.

In this post I am going to address Keratosis Pilaris which affects 40% – 50% of adults and up to 80% of adolescents.
Keratosis Pilaris refers to the little bumps which occur predominantly on the backs of the upper arms and can also occur on the legs, face and back. Keratosis Pilaris is caused by a build up of keratin around the hair follicle which then becomes trapped and forms plugs which present as the bumps we feel on the skin’s surface. They do not itch or cause irritation but sufferers have been known to pick at them which causes scabbing and inflammation which can be unsightly and which can have significant psychological effects as suffers attempt to treat, hide and mask the affected areas.

Treatment often includes alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels, granular exfoliants and creams/lotions that contain AHAs and humectants (ingredients which draw and keep water in the epidermis) which can be costly and time consuming and yield moderate to good results.

The bad news is that Keratosis pilaris is incurable, that is just how your skin behaves, however the exceedingly good news is there is a product out there that is yielding outstanding results!

Lamelle-Cathepzyme-home-exfoliation-1-and-2

Lamelle Research Laboratories have developed corrective serums called Cathepzyme 1 and 2. Cathepzyme is a product scientifically developed and so advanced that it has the ability to restore  Cathepsin D activity and the skins normal cell shedding process, the same process which has become disrupted and which causes keratosis pilaris. Studies show that Cathepsin D production falls by as much as 40% after we turn 20 which results in dry, flaky and thickened epidermal skin.

By working to restore the skin’s shedding process, the texture and health of skin can be vastly improved, revealing fresh, smooth and younger looking skin. Cathepzyme is recognised by the skin and is therefore accepted by the skin into the epidermis – where it is needed – to restore skin health and functioning.

Cathepzyme can also be used on the face to help our skin shed old skin cells which will transform skin from dull, tired and lifeless to youthful, healthy and radiant skin! Who doesn’t want that?

Lamelle is a medical line and is available exclusively through professionally trained and accredited skin therapists and practitioners. For more information and pricing, feel free to get in touch with us through our contact form.

The Ideal Contoured Complexion…

A superb tutorial on contouring which is a difficult technique to master for many women.

Mirenesse Beauty & Soul Blog

lift and sculptThe perfect contoured complexion is something we all want to have! 

Most of us have seen the multiple contour videos and application techniques online, but mastering the art of using light and shade isn’t an easy one.

So how can you easily enhance the natural lines and angles of the face, to ensure you look simply stunning from every angle?

Well our Crystal Colour Drops Hydrating Mineral Powder Palette with four amazing shades is the answer!

So let’s get down to the application!

crystal-colour-drops-hydrating-mineral-powders-12g

Using your favourite contour brush start with the brown shade and apply around the hairline, underneath the cheekbones and under the jaw line, then use a small shadow brush around the tip of the nose.

Follow by blending the Beige colour which should be used to highlight the forehead, bridge of the nose and around the entire eye area as a highlighter.

Instantly brightening up the complexion and narrowing the face the Peach shade can then add…

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