Sometimes when I look back at old photos of myself, I cringe…and then I think about how much I appreciate all of the “mistakes” I made back in high school and college when it comes to beauty (and, of course, life)…
Blush has never really been my thing, I can’t lie. It’s not that I don’t like the idea of having some color on my cheeks, but basically because I have rosacea (e.g. rosy cheeks without blush), I’ve always just honestly been scared of the idea of adding a splash of pink to my already-red face…it’s a thing. I was recently introduced to a new blush, an HD (high definition) Blush, if you will, and I gotta say…color me impressed. At first I was intrigued by the idea that the blush is HD because, at least in my mind, anything HD is cool and hi-tech, but then I started getting tons and tons of compliments after the makeup artist put some on me which instantly had me SOLD. So what’s the deal? MAKE UP FOR EVER HD BLUSH is a cream blush (which can also be intimidating) and its formulated with a balance of oils, waxes, and powders that makes the blush really glide on your face easily. What’s also cool is that it can be worn over or under makeup, meaning if you’re not wearing any foundation (lucky you), you can still wear the blush without looking like a clown.
And speaking of clowns, here’s the best and most universal way to apply blush:
- Choose a full, rounded blush brush (like Make Up For Ever 158 Double Ended Sculpting Blush, featured in the photo above, which you can also use for contouring)
- Apply the cream blush onto the apples of the cheeks in a figure “8” motion
- Sweep from the top of the apple downwards, then up and back towards the top of the ear
- Set the blush (especially if you feel like it’s REALLY bright) with a pressed powder (like Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder), which reduces shine, slightly mattifies the skin, and softens the appearance of fine lines and pores. By the way, this pressed powder is best applied with a Kabuki Brush.
And, if all that seems like way too much work for you (hey, I get it), you can always just apply cream blush with your fingertips…just don’t go nuts.
Gea isn’t amused by cream blush
Anyone who reads this blog probably loooved the Sex and the City series and Miranda Hobbes was always one of my favorites. Well now that the series is over, Cynthia Nixon (e.g. the real Miranda) has decided to help spread awareness about Rosacea, something I’ve mentioned on my blog a TON of times. It’s crazy to think that nearly 16 million Americans suffer from the condition but only 78% even know what it IS…insane. Rosacea is often mistaken for acne, but unfortunately acne treatments can make rosacea worse, but the good news is that seeing a derm can help can your rosacea under control (like mine). Check out RosaceaFacts.com for more info and resources and, with out any further babbling, here are the three questions that I exclusively asked Cynthia:
Q: When did you first realize that you had rosacea and what did you do about it?
A: When I was in my 30’s, I started noticing that my cheeks would flush and blush and sometimes I would get pimples. I assumed it was acne that was coming back to haunt me from my teens. Once I spoke with my doctor I realized there were things that trigger my rosacea, like spicy foods and red wine, I knew what to avoid. She also gave me a prescription treatment to help manage my condition, which really helped get my rosacea under control.
Q: What are your favorite beauty products to use that help reduce inflammation and/or cover the redness?
A: I think what my dermatologist has really helped me identify is what I can do to help reduce flare-ups, rather than using make-up to cover it up. Some of that includes regularly using a prescription treatment, avoiding harsh cleansers and scrubs and my triggers, like red wine and spicy food.
Q: If you could give your 22-year-old self any advice, what would it be?
A: I think my advice would be to visit a dermatologist if there is something going on with your skin. Also, skin issues that pop-up as you age can’t be treated in the same manner as those you suffer from in your teens.
I have a question…what is the purpose of toner? Is it necessary? AND, after I take off my makeup (using Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis-approved Neutrogena makeup removing wipes) and wash my face, when I put the toner on should there be dirt or some kind of grey to brown on the cotton ball or does that mean that my face wash isn’t working well enough?
That’s a great (and really common) question. My first experience with toner was when I did PR for Sea Breeze back in the day…that stuff was hard core, let me tell you, but it had a cult-like following. Here’s the story: toners are greatly misunderstood.
What are they? Toners are traditionally used to balance the skin’s pH and remove anything that your cleanser missed (hence why you see color on your cotton ball after you use it). Newer toners actually can be really hydrating and have added benefits with good-for-you ingredients, depending on the product.
Should I use one? Since there are so many different kinds, you just have to do some research to see which toner is best for your skin (my favorites are above). Some contain alcohol, which removes excess oil and helps prevent breakouts but can also dry out skin. However, most derms say that anyone with eczema or rosacea (ahem, me!) should avoid them due to sensitivity.
- If you have oily skin, look for toners with salicylic acid, sulfur, or tea tree oil
- If you have dry skin, grab ones with panthenol, hyaluronic acid, aloe, and glycerin
I recently received a bottle of the new Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer and, let me tell you, I’m wowed…once again. Back in 2006/2007, I suffered from my first bout with acne…adult acne, to be exact, and it was really not fun. I grew up having perfect skin; seriously, I don’t remember getting a zit EVER until like maybe college (and during my period). So, naturally, when I found myself breaking out at age 23…I went a little ballistic, which definitely made my skin even more stressed out than it already was from the acne and rosacea combo.
In Kiehl’s studies, they’ve found that skin is actually the first of the body’s organs that stress begins to appear, showing up with signs of redness, fatigue, dehydration, blotchiness and overall visible signs of aging. The clinical results from testing showed a 100 percent improvement in overall skin quality, when applied in the morning and at night – so easy. SOLD.
I’m into it. I’ve been “battling” Rosacea for the past few years; and I say “battling” because, honestly, I don’t have a very severe case of it. Usually a little light foundation or tinted moisturizer covers up my rosy cheeks but every once in awhile, things get a little…rough, let’s call it. As an FYI, Rosacea is a skin condition that primarily affects Caucasians of North Western European descent and is often referred to as “the Irish flush” or “the curse of the Celts'” since it’s so common in people from England, Ireland, etc. Hi, welcome to MY LIFE. Sunblock? Check. But how do I prevent my own natural redness? Yeah…it’s been an experiment, since there’s no “cure” for Rosacea.
I recently tried out the Pevonia Spa Clinic Redness Relief system and I’m LOVING it. The products are packed with soothing ingredients like green tea, a known “calm the eff down” botanical that is common in skincare products, and of course, the key to any skincare regimen: consistency. The four steps (cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer) are easy to follow and my skin always feels cool and moisturized after I use these. Here’s what they are/do:
1. Cleanser: calms, cools skin and combats bacteria
2. Toner: reduces redness and soothes skin
3. Serum: relieves redness, sensitivity and blotchiness
4. Moisturizer: hydrates and protects skin from UV rays and irritants
Growing up with fair skin wasn’t easy, to say the least. I can’t even tell you how many summers I spent in the shade, slathered in sunblock, watching my friends rub baby oil on their skin and soon after get the sexiest golden tan that you could possibly imagine. It’s a simple fact: being pale with freckles wasn’t desirable when I was a teenager; however, now, at almost 30, I am SO GLAD that I was born with freckled, Irish skin that I was given. Why? Well, for one, I look way younger (and age slower) than everyone else and it’s really just now that I’m starting to appreciate that little fact. Sure, a nice tan makes you look thinner, but that’s what spray tans are for…I digress. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I got to thinking about my fair-skinned beauty tricks that I’ve learned over the years, mixed with a little Irish makeup fun.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! My manager has been giving me tips and my videos are definitely getting better, if I do say so myself, haha.
Featured in the video:
Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Sunscreen SPF 30: a MUST for everyone. Learn more about their Helioplex Complex HERE.
Fusion Beauty PrimeResults Anti-Redness Primer: This primer is great for fair, Irish skin since rosacea is quite common. The primer has claims that show 50% reduction in overall redness after only six weeks.
Lancome Flash Bronzer Anti-Age: Every pale-skinned girl needs a good self-tanner! I’m a longtime fan of Lancome’s tanning products; they don’t streak and they give a natural bronzy glow.
Sue Devitt Hydrating Marine Minerals Eye Palette in “Green Isles”: Probably the prettiest green eye palette that you’ll ever find.
COVERGIRL Liquiline Blast eyeliner in “Green Glow”: If you want a subtle green eyes look for St. Patrick’s Day, this bright green eyeliner is the way to go.
Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Glam Hazel Eyes mascara: Gold mascara? YES. It reminds me of the whole “pot o’ gold” thing that used to make me so excited as a little kid.