If you’re a skincare junkie like myself then you have probably heard of vitamin c and live by it, ever since I implemented it in my routine back in 2016, I literally can no longer live without it. I’m not even exaggerating when I say its life-changing. In terms of science, vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate, is a vitamin found in various foods and sold as a dietary supplement. It is used to prevent and treat scurvy. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters but at the same time, it is also known to be one of the best anti-ageing ingredients and the key to maintaining a smooth, even, and glowy complexion.
Although you’re probably getting vitamin C in your diet, there’s no way to guarantee that it’s going straight to your skin, in fact, very little vitamin C ever makes it to the skin so using serums and other topical products is the most direct way to reap these benefits.
So why should you add vitamin C serum to your routine?
Vitamin C serum is typically applied once or twice per day. I usually of cleanse, tone, apply vitamin C serum, moisturise, then apply my eye cream. The best thing to due in terms of skin is to apply the thinnest products first so generally a serum is more watery hence it’s the first thing I apply after toner.
Ever since I started buying makeup at 14, I’ve always asked myself, do I really need a primer? I suffer a lot from oily skin so makeup literally does not last as much as I’d hope to on my face but every time I go to buy a primer I never know where to start because there’s so many, if not too many options available; there’s hydrating, brightening, mattifying, blurring, luminising, and more — so which one do I pick??? Then I’ve seen people use different types of primers for different areas of their face, then do you guys remember that time people were using men’s Nivea shaving balm as primer?? Makeup is actually so confusing sometimes because what works for other people may not work for you, and it’s one of those situations where you actually have to test it out yourself until you actually find what works for you.
Some people love primer, some people hate it and I still don’t know if it’s actually a necessity in my makeup draw or if just haven’t found the perfect one for me.
What exactly is primer and what does it do?
Primer is one of those words that literally explains itself, it is exactly what its name implies: It’s a prep product that’s applied after your skincare to create an almost clear canvas to hold onto whatever makeup you want to apply — from foundation to tinted moisturizer or even just concealer, primer will supposedly make sure nothing moves an inch whilst also blurring your pores, helping to fade fine lines and smoothening skin! Your primer might come in the form of a hyaluronic acid-spiked facial serum that boosts hydration, a sunscreen that protects and softens the appearance of pores, or a traditional silicone-based primer that smooths and blurs.
What’s the best way to apply them?
Primers are ALWAYS applied after your last skin-care step and before your makeup. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Many makeup artists recommend that you apply the product with your fingers to apply primer, as they say, it’s the best and easiest way to blend everything and get a seamless finish. It’s also advised that you wait a full minute for it to dry before layering anything on top in order to avoid disturbing the makeup. A little goes a long way with primer, and too much can ruin your makeup look before you even get to create it.
Dry: Dry skin benefits from moisturizing primers with added glycerine, aloe, or shea butter. Look for words like nourishing and replenishing.
Normal: If your skin isn’t particularly dry or oily, choose a photo finish primer or a blurring primer made with silicone that minimizes pores and leaves a fresh, dewy finish.
Oily: If your skin is oily, look for primers that advertise shine reduction or mattifying to help keep shiny skin under control.
What are the most common primer mistakes?
- Applying too much
- Applying makeup straight after, rather than allowing for the primer to dry first
- Choosing one completely wrong for your skin type
- Picking a primer that does not go well with the formula of your foundation
- Layering primers
So do I really need primer?
Whether or not you feel using a primer is necessary, it’s completely up to you and whether or not you’re happy with your current makeup routine. But it wouldn’t hurt to try it out and see if it actually makes an improvement or adds some sort of value to your life – you may find that primers don’t make a marked improvement in your face makeup, and in that case, skip the step. However, it could also mean you haven’t found the one. Whatever you do, before choosing a primer do your research, get recommendations, and try different formulas in store.
The bottom line: If you’re wondering whether or not you need a primer in your life, just ask yourself how happy you are with the overall look, feel, and finish of your face makeup. If there’s something off or missing — maybe you want to add more overall glow or trim shine from your T-zone — a primer could be precisely what you need.
For some weird reason, I have been obsessed with the bags under my eyes since I was like 12, bearing in mind at that age I DIDNT EVEN HAVE ANY WHATSOEVER but I had convinced myself I did. I was such a weird child. Small things like this will forever be the reason that I scream I was ahead my time hahaha. Before I discovered that makeup was actually the key to evening my skin out, and before I released that my skin will never actually be fully even I was constantly trying to find ways to make the skin under my eyes look brighter, I’d do the cucumber thing on my eyes, the lemon wedge thing and even put ice on my eyes to the point my mum got so annoyed with me that she literally banned me from doing it loool. I am telling you, I have always been destined to be a beauty/ fashion blogger – as in, I was doing this whilst my age mates were still playing with their Nintendos like normal children.
If you do not have an eye cream in your skincare routine then I hate to break it to you, but you’re doing life all wrong! I kid you not, eye cream has literally changed my life and I am not even exaggerating. What most people don’t understand is the fact that eye creams are completely different from face moisturisers – hence the difference in names. Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area and it’s so important to use one to your keep skin hydrated and plump as well as brightening your eye are and to keep you looking awake. That’s why it’s so important to invest in one, no matter how old you are, it’s never too early to start using anti-ageing techniques for your skin. Most people say the earlier the better because the best results come from prevention! However, please DO NOT forget to use suncream too!! If you suffer from puffy eyelids, dark circles and sagging skin. These problems will only become worse if you go out without protection. The sun damages the skin in so many ways from dark marks to hyperpigmentation to fine lines etc, you won’t see any results if you’re not going that extra mile and applying spf too. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.
So why do you need an eye cream?
Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with skincare, I remember when I was 13 I used to spend ridiculous amounts of money on skincare, I’d literally buy the most random of skincare products not knowing that all of them catered to different skin types loool. The craziest thing about it was the fact that my skin was perfect, the only thing I ever used to suffer from was heat rash in summer. It wasn’t until I turned 15 that I realised what type of skin I had (oily/ combination) and it was then that I began buying products specific to my skin. It was a tough road but we got there in the end haha! OMG I remember there was a time when my parents stopped giving me my allowance because they thought that I bought useless things with it (funny IK) so I started making my own homemade face masks and facials and every time I’d put one on someone in this damn house would lecture me on how I’m ruining my skin, I literally couldn’t do anything in peace! So for me, if I won the lottery you can be certain that my skin would never see a bad day, as in every day of the year would be a good skincare day for me! That’s facts!
I was googling the worlds most expensive facials and I stumbled on the Ruby facial which Mila Kunis made famous, hence why she’s today’s cover photo/ Mila Kunis’s $7,000 facial got a ton of attention online. a few years ago and apparently the procedure uses precious stones, including rubies and diamonds, that work as antioxidants for the skin to create create a ‘lustrous sheen.’ During the treatment, you’re also given an ice cube to suck on, which is said to reduce puffiness. Then after your face has been rubbed in these magnificent jewels, the specialist finishes your facial off with a paraffin silk fibre facial. The treatment was created by, Scott-Vincent Borba, founder and CEO of BORBA, a skincare products company.
An editor from ALLURE tried out a 20-minute express version of the treatment and here’s how she described her experience;
I have to say, it was relaxing and unbelievably indulgent: after washing my face, Borba exfoliated my skin by rubbing on crushed diamonds and then rubies (yup, again, you read that right!). Next, Borba layered on a lactic acid peel to stimulate cell turnover (it tingled a bit), and then ran ultrasonic hot and cold wands over my skin, followed by a blast of red LED light. The cold galvanic wand really did feel amazing (especially after the hot wand) and helped de-puff my usually stubborn under-eye bags. Even better, my complexion looked more even after the facial. But in the likely event that my opinion was skewed by this facial’s hefty price tag, I decided to ask Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in New York City, to weigh in. “Since the wands are heated and cooled to particular temperatures that won’t burn the skin, they can help with lymphatic drainage and circulation. Red LED light is good for collagen [production],” says Graf. “But there is no data or study that I have found that state precious gems are better than any other type of exfoliation.” Ah well, at least there’s something to be said for feeling like a million bucks.
Ruby facial strum – Click Here
A long-lasting, crease-resistant concealer is a must! Concealer is a must-have for my makeup bag, for me, I cannot live without it – to me, it is more of an essential than foundation and powder because of the number of things it offers for my face; it not only covers up any dark circles under my eyes but it also covers breakouts, blemishes and dark spots to even out skin, while it can also double up as a highlighter and/ or colour corrector. And in summer it’s more essential than ever, especially for the days when it’s too hot to wear a full face of makeup and because of the fact that the days are longer so you need something that won’t move through the day aka sweat off your face.
These are the 3 reasons waterproof concealers is the only makeup product you need for the rest of your life;
It doesn’t budge
It’ll keep uneven skin, fine lines and dark circles away all day long. Waterproof concealer will keep your eyes looking big no matter how little sleep you’re getting or how active you’ll be throughout the day. Test it out at the gym if you don’t believe me.
Gives the illusion of clear skin?
A waterproof concealer topped with a little setting powder will have everyone thinking you have the most flawless of skins!
Waterproof Makeup Is the New Thing
More and more, waterproof makeup — from foundation and concealer to mascara, blush, lipstick and more — is popping up everywhere as women are looking for cosmetics that will actually stay put. These new formulas will finally allow you to spend the day out in the sun, in the office or out with your friends without having to touch anything up.
Here are my favourites;
Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer Concealer
MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer
Make- Up Forever Full Cover Concealer
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer
Can you believe that we’re still in quarantine and it’s spring???? This is definitely not how I imagined 2020 would turn out but I mean things can’t really get any worse, can they? But I just want to ask God one question, why did you have to bring the U.K. nice weather during a PANDEMIC, as in you chose now to show us sunshine??? I can’t wear my summer outfits in my own house, they need to be shown off along with my beautiful face, this is not my portion!
The only good thing about this whole situation is the fact that it’s given me some extra time to perfect my makeup skills. I kid you not, I am the laziest person when it comes to makeup. When I first started getting into blogging, makeup was one of my biggest decisions and for a while, all that ever spent my money on but somewhere down the line I just wasn’t feeling it anymore and my makeup skills completely went out of the window which was not good because I’m one of those people who like to be good at everything they try and me and a full face of makeup have not vibed together since 2018. For years I have been a less is more girl as I mention every year when I post beauty trends on my blog, I just love the look I get when I do a no foundation look and only do concealer, powder and highlighter. That is one makeup look I can say I have perfected. It’s my signature look – dewy natural skin. For the years I have confused people when I tell you the number of people that believe that it’s my natural complexion, the only person that can tell I have makeup on is my mother (but what do mums not know). However, I am an adult now, I’m a whole 19 so it’ probably time I grew to up and got a grip and started practising a full face. I am telling you by the end of this year I will be Jackie Aina. I will have this whole makeup thing in the bag and who knows I might even end up giving you guys some tutorials.
When you see the trends of this spring/summer you’ll completely understand where I am coming from when I say that I need to relocate my passion for makeup and actually do it properly this time around because the days of no-makeup makeup looks seem to be over! It’s time for makeup enthusiasts to shine and I will not be left behind!
Here are my faves from this year;
Double Decker Falsies
Accentuated Inner Corners
Wet Look Lips
Less is More
60s Winged Liner
Am I the only one that has a different scent for every season of the year? I smell different every spring, summer, autumn and winter! Please, someone, tell me I’m not weird for doing this??? For me summer weather calls for a lighter and fresher take on perfume, why should I smell like the musks and the ouds that is so dark and so ghetto for summer?? There is literally no better time to embrace the best of citrus, fruity-florals, and sheer takes on new perfume than spring/ summer. This didn’t start intentionally, It was just a tradition in high school for me to go to VS every summer and get their 3 for £24 deal so each bottle would last me a season and It took me a good 6 years to realise this loool. But the older I have gotten the more I have shied away from body sprays and moved onto perfumes. My mum got me proper perfume in year 9 before we went on holiday and I think it was Gucci bamboo and to this day it remains to be one of my favourite scents.
I’m not saying you should change your scent during summer, it’s not exactly mandatory but personally, I like it when certain smells or perfumes bring me back to certain moments in my life or bring back certain memories when I spray them, hence the fact that I switch it up. I like spraying something and being reminded of winter 2018 or summer 2019, you feel me?
Perfume shopping can be so overwhelming (and so far, 2020 has been exactly that. but let me not start otherwise I won’t stop), there are so many options to pick from so like most people you’ll probably sample about 4 until they all smell the same or you no longer have space on neither of your arms (lool I know we’ve all been through it) so you choose from those four. And that’s okay because we’re all human. Buty that’s why God brought you here today because I can tell you exactly which 4 to sample so you leave your home smelling luxurious every day of the week! So, how do you pick the best perfume? It sounds obvious, but look out for notes that you’re drawn too. Here are some of my summer faves;
Dsquared2 Wood Pour Femme Eau de Toilette
In case you were not aware, late last year I did a podcast on whether or not beauty brands are racist and I thought that it would be a good idea to actually do a blog post on it since I am celebrating blackness this month but I also want to bring attention to the prejudice that we as black people face in the industry as well. Like I expressed yesterday, it’d be nice to look back at posts like these and see how much the industry has progressed in years to come when it comes to the issue of inclusivity. For a long time now, as WOC we have found it extremely difficult to find affordable drugstore products that cater to our skin type. It has always been a struggle to find a high-street brand that takes into consideration our different undertones, textures, and hues, and that stocks more than one variation of Caramel. In addition to base makeup such as foundation and concealer, it is equally important that WOC are able to easily access lipsticks and blushes that are designed for each individual undertone and complexion. IM TIYARD
As a black beauty blogger It’s pretty clear that beauty brands don’t know this but news flash: Black women don’t just know beauty, we LOVE beauty. An article I read recently stated that at least 82% of us say it’s important to be well-groomed, but I can’t lie, I’m surprised it’s not 100% because from the age I could bath myself my mum has gone on about looking presentable and taking care of myself because that is what women should do and without a doubt that is something that I will pass on to my children. That same article also expressed the fact that 52% of us adhere to a set skincare routine, personally for me, from the minute I discovered beauty gurus on youtube at the mere age of 13 I have had a skincare routine (which literally changes every six months lol). People always wonder why black don’t crack and here is the answer, that is our secret, that is why Angela Bassett still looks 30 because we love ourselves and it shows through the fact that we are willing to spend money to achieve our beauty goals. If you don’t believe me, just think about the fact that for years before Fenty beauty the offering for WOC in drugstores was very minimal so since the dawn of time we have always had to splurge more on our products to achieve the looks we want despite us being the ideal customers for almost every beauty brand known to man. It’s 2020 and products suited for us are still noticeably absent from retail shelves.
I’d like to say that as black women we are trendsetters: think about the number of people that have gotten lip fillers, BBL’s and this whole new thing of “black fishing.” In addition to this, black spending on health and beauty has led to an increase in offerings that appeal not just to Black women but also to the general population. For as long as I can remember many of us have struggled to find options that work for us, ones that don’t leave us ashy or looking like ghosts – even Black models were left out in the cold, with a lot of them having to mix their own makeup. In a viral 2015 Instagram post, Sudanese supermodel Nykhor Paul wrote, “Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the White girls don’t have to do anything but show up.” This is in the 20th century, so imagine how models and actresses in the 90s and way before felt? MAC in the 90s was the first game-changer, they were the FENTY of the previous generation because their Studio Fix Foundation was a one of the first to cover a range of shades – they were arguably the first to create foundations covering a wide spectrum of hues. I would go as far as saying it changed the lives of beauty-loving black women. And years later this was one of the first foundations I bought and one of my first loves! Mac really conquered!
Then in 2017, we had our very own game-changer; Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty which launched with 40 foundation shades, many of them complementing darker skin tones and covering not only shades but undertones too (which is something a lot of brands forget to take into context). This was and currently is the most shades a brand has ever released during their first product launch. That for me set the benchmark for beauty brands when releasing anything like foundation, concealer etc. Fenty proved that inclusivity in cosmetics is not just ethical but profitable. By serving the customers other mainstream brands have largely ignored so to no one’s surprise, the company made more than $72 million in media value (social media exposure gained from word of mouth and press buzz) the first month after launch. And yet brands are still failing WOC? Make it make sense. But we do have to take into consideration the fact that Fenty is not the first brand to launch such a number of shades – smaller brands like Black Opal Beauty have been catering for darker skin tones for decades (my mum was a fan for the longest time, then I introduced her to FENTY) – what we take from the success of Fenty is the fact that it took the backing of a major global company and a celebrity to highlight the huge opportunity makeup brands had been missing. And while many brands have been extending their offer to include darker shades this suggests dark-skinned women are an afterthought, they are not a part of the original marketing thought process.
Saunders says that this is caused by “a self-fulfilling prophecy” which has caused beauty marketers to delay improving inclusivity. The self-fulfilling prophecy refers to the socio-psychological phenomenon of someone “predicting” or expecting something, and this “prediction” or expectation comes true simply because they believe it will and the same thing refers to the makeup industry. This is because darker shades haven’t been offered so brands don’t realise there’s an issue, or because the darker shades available in-store haven’t been up to standard or advertised appropriately people don’t buy them, so sales aren’t considered satisfactory and brands, therefore, don’t invest in better R&D and marketing as they don’t think there’s a market for it. Which we all know is BS because the evidence is there in black and white- statistics say African-Americans spend $1.2 trillion each year on beauty products, and that number is projected to rise to $1.5 trillion by 2021. So why is there a lack of offering for WOC? In 2018 the Black hair care industry raked in an estimated $2.51 billion, as Black consumers have progressively made the switch from general products to those that specifically cater to them #naturaulhairjourney. In 2017 we also spent $127 million on grooming products and $465 million on skincare. Considering this that in 2016, just 22% of the models featured in ads in the UK and US were ethnic (black, Asian, Hispanic) while the rest (78%) were white – cosmetic brands are making an effort in their marketing, but most skincare brands are not – by only featuring white women in their campaigns, they also assume their audience and consumer is white.
The makeup industry is embracing diversity. Whether it’s premium or budget, brands are on a mission to ensure they have foundation shades to cater to a diverse range of skin tones only problem being that all our shades are different variations of chocolate –
There is something really dehumanising about calling [products] chocolate, caramel, mocha and coffee while all the lighter shades are porcelain or ivory.
Do you guys agree?
This problem could all be solved if brands employ marketers who are as diverse as the audience they are trying to reach. It really is as simple as that. On tomorrows blog post I’ll tell you to give you guys some names of my favourite black-owned beauty brands because I feel like this blog post is too long.