Monthly Archives: April 2015

Makeup 101: Face Powder

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Face powder has been used for centuries in traditional cosmetics, particularly in Asia. However, like most beauty products on the market nowadays, there are so many new, different products with similar purposes that it can be overwhelming to decide whether it is necessary to even use face powder. In the series, I’ll be explaining different misunderstood makeup products, their purposes and their relation to one another. Scroll down for more information about what face powder’s really about!

The purpose

Face powder’s main purpose is basically to minimize the shiny appearance of oil or grease on the face. Using face powder on top of foundation or concealer helps set it so that it won’t melt off the face or slip around into uneven lines, allowing for even application of makeup. Powder tones the face and gives its complexion an even appearance. Like BB cream, because of the wide variation of human skin tones, face powder comes in a corresponding variety of shades. A common powder used in beauty products is talc (baby powder), which contains absorbent properties and aids in toning the skin. Some powders now contain SPF, which helps reduce skin damage from sunlight and environmental stress. Powder can be applied with a sponge, brush, or powder puff.


There are 2 main types of face powder.

Loose powder – Loose powder comes in a jar and consists of small particles with a fine consistency (think mineral powder). It usually give lightweight coverage. Loose powder is also messy and hard to transport, so application of loose powder should best be done at home.

Pressed powder – Pressed powder comes packaged in the form of a handy compact, like the Acymer Traceless Smooth Powder. The particles of pressed powder are larger than the ones in loose powder and using pressed powder gives off a very solid, matte look. Applying too much pressed powder can result in a cakey appearance. Pressed powder provides heavy coverage due to the concentrated amount of particles within the powder, but applying a light coa throughout the day keeps the face oil-free and helps makeup stay on. Pressed powder in a compact often comes with a matching powder puff.

Translucent powder matches all skin tones when blended well. It’s great for killing shine and great for touch-ups throughout the day. Beware that if it isn’t blended well, translucent powder can create flashback (a white cast around the covered area that shows up in pictures). To avoid the flashback, give your powder a test shot. If you’re at the store, apply a strip on your arm and photograph it in a dark place with flash. If the product looks white, it causes flashback. Before a photo shoot, try applying makeup over the powder and take a few photos with flash.

Powder that matches your skin tone adds a little extra coverage and helps conceal any spots or scars that you may have. It can also look thick and heavy, especially as you reapply.


The right powder will disappear on your skin and leave no traces of its application. Try to pick the powder closest to your skin tone—you don’t want one that is darker or lighter. Choose the powder based on your personal preferences—if you’re always on the go, a pressed powder compact would be a wiser choice than loose powder. Remember also that light coverage is key! Applying too much powder will not conceal your skin better, it’ll only make it look cakey.


Makeup 101: Blush Is Best

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Blush or rouge is a cosmetic typically used to redden the cheeks to create a more youthful appearance, give off an impression of good health and emphasize the cheekbones.

Historically, blush was used as far back as ancient Egypt, and it was also applied on the lips the way lipstick would be used today. In Britain’s Victorian Age, when wearing makeup was associated with low morals and promiscuity, ladies resorted to pinching their cheeks (and biting their lips) to make them appear red instead. During the Regency period in England, both men and women wore blush.

Brushing a little blush on different areas of the face – eyelids, brow bone, bridge of the nose, chin, and forehead – is a quick way to add radiance and life to the face. Using blush after applying foundation and concealer helps bring color back into the face and keeps you from looking like a ghost. The best blush makes you look as if you’ve just finished a workout—you want that glow in your skin.


There are 5 main types of blush.

Powder Blush

Powder blush like the Acymer Skin-Touch Blusher is great for all skin types, but works best for oily skin. Because it is the densest of blushes, it provides a hardy, long-lasting color. It’s also easy to apply because it’s very easy to blend.

Cream Blush

Cream blush is particularly suited for dry or aging skin because it is rich and moisturizing and leaves you with a fresh, youthful look. This type of blush is best applied with the fingers.

Gel Blush

Gel blushes provide a sheer glow and work best on oily and normal skin. However, they dry out quickly so you have to act fast when applying or you could end up looking blotchy.

Tint Blush

Like gel blush, tints are fast-drying, quick to set and can look streaky over foundation. If you’re going to use it, blend it fast and well. Once a tint blush has set, it won’t budge until you wash your face.


These are great for giving a light gleam to your cheekbones and are best used for nighttime. Shimmers are the kind of blush used to target and highlight specific areas on your face, such as the forehead, the bow of your upper lip and the inner corners of your eyes. Avoid applying shimmer on wrinkled or dark spots, since these will accentuate them.


To apply blush with a brush, lightly swirl your blush brush in your blush color. Tap off any excess to avoid having a huge blot of color on your cheek (as with most makeup products, light application is key).

Smile, girl! The round parts of your cheeks (the apples) that show when you smile are what you apply blush on. Lightly brush the color onto the apples until you have a bit of color on them. The more you apply, the brighter the color will appear on your cheeks. Avoid pressing hard on your cheeks as it may damage the brush.

Work your way back towards your hairline in a smooth diagonal shape, running the brush back and forth along your cheekbone. When you’ve covered the cheekbone, don’t forget to blend the blush by rubbing the blush into the skin in a circular motion to make it look more natural.

If you don’t have any blush on you, lipstick is a good alternative. Simply dab a bit onto the apples of your cheeks. It makes a very bold blush, so make sure to blend well. Lipstick also stays on long!


Blushes come in a variety of colors, from rouge to plum. Choose the one that looks best on your skin. Choosing a pink or a peach shade works for all skin colors, but lighter shades work best for fair skin and darker shades shine on olive and dark skin.

Keep Calm and Remove Your Makeup

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Removing makeup can be a pain-in-the-butt, especially when you’ve gone home from a long day at work or a long night of clubbing, but skipping this crucial part of the beauty routine can cause serious repercussions on your skin, including the development of clogged pores and acne breakouts. Although products like the Acymer Mixed Fluid Makeup Remover are designed to get rid of the toughest makeup formulas while soothing and nourishing tired skin, don’t flip out if you’ve run out of your favorite makeup remover! I’ve got some other solutions for removing makeup, most of which can be found in your kitchen cabinets!

  • Extra virgin olive oil. I’ve mentioned the multiple benefits of extra virgin olive oil several times before, and one of its best uses is as an effective eye makeup remover! Simply soak some on a cotton pad and press to a closed eye and remove all your eye makeup by gently rubbing the cotton pad back and forth in an arc motion. Throw the pad away and use another one for the other eye, repeating the steps. If you don’t have extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil makes a good substitute. Using natural oils to cleanse the face both removes the makeup and nourishes the skin underneath it, keeping the skin looking young, hydrated and supple. An excellent makeup remover for sensitive or dry skin!
  • If you have nothing in your kitchen but milk, you can use it as a makeup remover! To remove eye makeup, just dab a bit of raw milk on a cotton ball, lightly swipe it over your eye makeup, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. It’s fast, cheap and easy, and the soothing properties of milk make it good for sensitive skin.
  • Whip up a paste of raw honey and baking soda. This double-whammy acts as both a remover and cleanser, as the soothing properties of honey get rid of facial bacteria and the baking soda can act as an exfoliant. Simply apply with a warm washcloth and you have a cheap and affordable makeup remover!
  • Baby wipes are great for when you can’t be bothered to get up to make a makeup remover. Baby wipes are especially formulated for the delicate skin of a baby and so are great for gently removing your makeup while also cleansing the face of dirt and other impurities. You don’t have to worry about breaking out or irritating your skin with these. If you want a quick, easy way to remove your makeup, using these is definitely a great way to do it!
  • Cucumbers are a great way to remove makeup, as the water inside them helps free up dense makeup formulas and pry the makeup particles away from the skin. It also helps rejuvenate the skin underneath, as its anti-inflammatory properties help tame irritated or acne-prone skin. Use the juice as is or mix with milk or olive oil for deeper cleansing.

Beauty Tools: Cotton and Blotting Paper

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This series will focus on various beauty tools that can be used to aid in applying makeup and beauty products. Cotton rounds, cotton squares such as the Acymer 2x Makeup Cotton Pads and cotton pads are beauty tools that are often underestimated.


  • Cotton rounds are often hypoallergenic, as well as ultra-soft, lint-free and quilted for strength and durability. They are made especially for both the application of toners, astringents and lotion and the removal of nail polish and eye makeup. Some brands also offer exfoliating cotton rounds, which maintain a micro-head exfoliating surface for extra deep cleansing, in addition to the same application and removal uses as standard cotton rounds.
  • Cotton squares are the ideal solution for manis and pedis. Their super-soft surface is lint-free for high-shine buffing, and is great for applying cuticle cream and for removing multiple layers of nail polish. Like cotton rounds, many brands offer exfoliating cotton squares, which use exfoliating micro beads to remove stubborn glitter or nail polish bits.
  • Cotton balls, like the other cotton products may be used with your favorite cleansers, astringents, and toners. They are best used for applying oil, lotion or powder, but can fall apart in the hands easily when wet and leave bits of cotton and fuzz on the face.


  • The lotion mask method. This method was made famous by Chizu Saeki, a world-famous Japanese beauty guru and skincare specialist. Simply soak cotton pads in lotion or toner and place on the face for 10 to 15 minutes as a cheap and inexpensive face mask. The theory is that the cotton pads will absorb the liquid and when applied to the face, the liquid will seep in like any other kind of facial mask.

Alternative – Aburatorigami Blotting Papers

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Another form of facial sheet is the Aburatorigami, a traditional Japanese facial oil blotting paper. The direct translation of the term is “oil removal paper”. Aburatorigami absorbs excess oil and eliminates shine from the face like a face powder would. Aburatorigami also works well to balance of water and oil in the skin and prevents skin problems.

Aburatorigami has traditionally been used by kabuki actors and geisha to keep makeup looking fresh throughout performances. In modern times it has been growing in popularity for everyday use amongst women for its various skincare benefits.

Aburatorigami was discovered for its oil-absorbing qualities several hundred years ago as a by-product of the gold leaf making process in Kyoto. Originally called hakuuchi-gami, gold leaf artisans in Kanazawa used this special paper to protect the gold during the vigorous goldbeating process.

Traditional Aburatorigami is made from the finest grade of the blotting paper abaca leaf, rather than pulp or rice paper. Aburatorigami is essentially a by-product from a traditional craft process that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, effectively using material that might otherwise be thrown away. An environmentally-friendly product, Aburatorigami can be composted after it is used, as it degrades naturally back into the earth. No oil-based chemicals, powders or fragrances are used in its production.

Beauty Routine Step #2: Toner

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While cleansing the face is always a given, incorporating a toner into your skincare routine can be seen as a helpful second step that will help nourish and rejuvenate your skin. Toner is frequently mislabeled as too drying for the skin, but a lot of that is due to confusion over what toner actually does for the skin. Read on to learn more about what formulas go into a toner, the different types of toners that are offered on the market and the different ways in which each of them can improve your skin!

Traditional toners consist of moisturizers, oils and extracts that help soothe and tighten the skin and pores and remove excess sebum, dirt and other skin impurities. There are two types of toners: Astringents and Fresheners.

Astringents are generally alcohol-based, while water-based Fresheners like Acymer Fresh Purifying Toner are composed of natural ingredients like sodium hyaluronate. Because alcohol is known for drying out the skin, toners, especially Astringents, tend to get a bad reputation. If you have acne problems, sensitive or dry skin, do not use Astringent toners, as they can irritate the skin and cause inflammation. You may have heard about toner working to balance the skin after using a facial cleanser that can throw off your pH balance, but in actuality, with gentle ingredients found in modern cleansers, your skin should balance itself out naturally.

Before applying toner, make sure to cleanse the face with a facial cleanser suitable for your skin type (check out my article on cleansing for more information on the different types of facial cleansers!). Pat the face dry with a soft facial towel, and if you are using a liquid or alcohol-based Astringent, use either cotton balls or cotton pads to apply the toner to the face.

Run the toner across your T-zone, forehead and nose area. These are the oiliest areas of the face and will benefit most from the astringent. Avoid areas that get dry more easily, such as the cheeks and jaw area, and sensitive areas such as the eyes and mouth. Let your skin dry completely before applying any moisturizer or makeup. If you’re using a creamy toner, you can apply it with your fingers, focusing again on the trouble spots and gently massaging the substance all throughout your face.

Although toner can be an excellent addition to your beauty routine, it isn’t absolutely necessary. Toner is especially helpful for people with extremely oily skin or who wear a lot of makeup, as it helps cleanse and free the pores of excess oil and hydrates and rejuvenates the skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin and/or don’t wear a lot of makeup, toner might not be the right fit for your beauty regimen. The important thing is that you find the right kind of toner for your skin type, which can be done by carefully reading the ingredients and making sure the toner doesn’t contain any irritants. Safe purchasing, and good luck!

5 Spring Beauty Trends

Spring 2015 is slowly but surely approaching and with it comes 5 gorgeous beauty trends that will have you itching to try. Lips and mascara have both gotten bolder, and all this on a dewy, makeup-free face! The DIY party girl look has caught on.

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  1.  Dewy skin, no makeup

Forget the matte look of the 20s, “dewy”, “iridescent”, youthful-looking skin looks like a trend that’s here to stay! A trend easy to accomplish due to the perpetual increase in exercise and fitness in spring. Drink lots of water and ease up on the makeup and you’re already a trendsetter!

2.    Charcoal-grit eyeliner

Liquid liner has gone from simple and clean to bold and exaggeratedly winged-out. It’s not about the delicate these days—any bold liner, scribbled-charcoal or smoky, will do for this season. It’s all about the DIY here, guys.

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3.    Light-up lipstick

It’s all about the sultry and bold on the runways these days! From the stained deep berry at Dolce&Gabbana and Carolina Herrera to the burgundy lips at Burberry Prorsum, the bold lip is getting lots of love this season. The quickest method is simply to apply the lipstick straight from the tube, blot, reapply, and blot again for a beautiful and effortless diffused look. Try Acymer’s Touch of Love lipstick in Rose Pink for a bold lip that’s sure to light up your face!

4.    Messy messy hair

Finally, a trend my own hair does naturally! We’re seeing messy hair galore on the runways, tousled air-dried waves making for an effortless chic look a la 90s Courtney Love. It fits in well with the messy eyeliner and bold lips. 3.1 Phillip Lim’s look goes like this: Work mousse through your hair, then blow-dry using a round brush. Mist the lower part of your strands with a curling spray, and wrap random pieces around a curling iron to form loose waves that you break up with your fingers. Finish with a shot of hairspray—and you can skip a day without washing it for an even grungier effect!

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5.    Wet and wild

Coming back with the no-makeup look is the slicked-back, just-got-out-of-the-shower wet hair trend! From Versace to Balenciaga, models are working the slick, shiny look. This is a look all teen girls can accomplish without sacrificing youth or cash. Spritz some shine spray or beach spray at the crown of your head and brush your hair back. Add a few coats of pink lip gloss to go with your shiny hair and you’re done. Wear the look at the office in a chignon or with a glamorous body-con jumpsuit for a girls’ night out.

6.    Braid it up

Braids are definitely making a comeback this season, and their versatility may soon overtake the popularity of the ponytail. Whether you’re going for a rock and roll princess look (Rodarte) or a festival one (Marco de Vincenzo), there’s lots to choose from and a lot of it can be done in a matter of minutes. Spritz the braids with beach spray to make them messy!

Beauty Routine Step #1: Cleansing

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Although what goes into a beauty routine continues to be widely discussed and debated, the core principle still remains that its ultimate purpose is to cleanse the face of excess oil, dirt and other impurities. With all the products that can be found on the market these days, it can be overwhelming to choose the right cleanser for your skin type, so I’ve compiled a list of the most common types of facial cleansers that can be found with their different purposes and forms. Scroll down to learn more about which cleanser suits you!

Cleanser Forms

Cleansers come in primarily three forms: foamy, oil and cream/lotion.


Foamy cleansers are liquid-based solutions that activate when lathered up with water, turning into a sudsy foam for gentle cleansing.


Oil-based cleansers and cleansing oils have recently gained an upsurge of popularity in the beauty market due to celebrity use of the deep cleansing method. Designed for oily skin types, oil cleansers slow down the production of oil. Oil-based cleansers work by massaging oil into the face and wiping it off with water, cotton pads or a wet cloth. 


Cream cleansers are thicker cleansing solutions that usually consist of a combination of mineral oil, waxes, petrolatum and water. There are many different kinds of cream cleanser. Some need to be applied to wet skin, massaged into the face until it forms a lather and then rinsed off. Others, such as cold cream, simply need to be applied to the skin and allowed to sit for a period of time before being either wiped off or removed with water.

Cleanser Types

  • Mild cleansers

Mild cleansers are used to treat acne-prone skin or sensitive/dry skin. Cream cleansers like Cetaphil often fall into this category, as foam cleansers are considered to be too drying for sensitive skin. They are often non-comedogenic, oil-free and fragrance-free to prevent skin irritation and potential allergic reactions. The ingredients found mild cleansers can often be used on babies and children due to their soothing properties.

  • Exfoliating cleansers

Exfoliating cleansers are facial cleansers specially-designed to exfoliate the face and scrub away dead skin cells and other impurities. They are often cream cleansers like the Acymer Deep Cleansing Exfoliator that come equipped with small microbeads that scrub gently against the skin. Exfoliating cleansers should typically be used once or twice a week in order to avoid drying out the skin unless designed for daily use. They often contain natural ingredients that help soothe and rejuvenate the skin.

  • Combination skin cleansers

These are cleansers that are designed for facial skin types that are both dry and oily. They contain ingredients that maintain and correct pH balance within the facial tissue and prevent skin from accumulating excess oil and drying out.

  • Acne cleansers

These are cleansers that are designed specifically to combat acne. There are many different kinds of acne cleansers, and some treatments can contain antibiotics prescribed over-the-counter by dermatologists. Using an acne cleanser can be greatly beneficial towards preventing and diminishing facial acne, but using the cleanser for too much or too long a period can lead to resistance within the facial tissue.