Our resident beauty contributor from bellabox, Lauren, recently hosted a live Q&A session on the City Chic Facebook page answering your beauty questions. We received an overwhelming response and Lauren provided some amazing beauty advice to your questions! Unfortunately she was unable to answer all the questions on the day but she loved them all so much that she has put together this piece with more great hints and tips!
Q. What's the secret with BB cream? I hear everybody raging about it, about how good it is, but I've bought 3 different brands and I look grey and washed out! What am I doing wrong?
A. Ah, bb cream. The product of many a beauty question since 2011 when said bb cream gained prominence in the Western world (these creams have been big in Asia since they came to be!)
Basically these lightly tinted creams are multi-purpose tubes of wrinkle, blemish, UV, dry and redness fighting components, and are designed to not only replace your foundation, but a slew of other products in your beauty bag too. And with so many uses, and so many on the market, picking the right one for you can be a challenge. Here are my tips for choosing the right one:
1. Not all bb creams are created equal. Some are for dry skin, some are for blemish prone skin. Some have been made with anti-aging in mind, others are primarily developed to even out skin-tone. Choose the brand that speaks to your skincare concern. It should be made clear on the packaging – like the Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream with 2% Salicylic acid for oily combination skin or the Sanctuary Spa Skin Perfecting bb Cream for Facial Radiance. Looking for an all purpose bb cream? I love the Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng. It contains wonder ingredient Korean Red Ginseng to revitalize tired skin, has an SPF of 25+ and hydrates whilst giving a sheer coverage. A great bb cream to introduce to your beauty bag.
How to tell which is for you? If you look at the veins on your wrist and they appear blue, you’ll have a pinkish toned skin (cool based), so go for pink-toned creams. If you veins look more green, you’ll have a yellowish tint to the skin, so look for yellow toned creams (warm based). Test by swiping a patch near your jawline. The one that blends in the best (without any ‘blending’ required) will be the best one for you! But remember, if you are after fuller coverage and an exact colour match, stick with foundations, as bb creams probably won’t live up to these expectations.
3. I personally wouldn’t use a primer underneath a bb cream. As primers help to make your base sit well on the skin and last and last, they are a little contradictory to the reasons I use bb cream (a bb cream is a light, natural looking base, that’s a little sheer and let’s your natural skin shine through). Bb creams are also designed to do what many primers do too – create an even surface on the skin, and minimize the look of large, open pores. Save your primer for making your heavy bases and foundations last by applying beforehand, after the moisturizing step of your routine.
Q. What colours are best for skin tone? People talk about their 'colours' or 'season' when talking make-up - how do you know what your colours are and is it really that important?
A. How much you stick to ‘your colours’ is a really personal thing and I’m sure people swear by it! However, I think trial and error is a better place to start when it comes to colour, rather than putting yourself on an embargo before you’ve even worn a certain shade.
The only rules are to pay attention to what suits you once you have it on. Case in point. I can’t wear pale, candy pink or nude lipstick. No way, no how. Any blemishes, redness or dark circles in my skin are immediately illuminated. As soon as I wipe it off, skin goes back to inoffensive state. On the other hand, I used to think I could never wear a plum lipstick. No way, no how. Then I tried it and LOVED it! Got what felt like a million compliments. Now I have about 5 different shades of plum in my lippy wardrobe! My skin feels brighter, my teeth whiter – it just works.
So don’t be afraid to try and fail – discover new products and colours to suit your style and don’t rule something out before you’ve tried it. The only time I’d really focus on ‘your colours’ are when you are buying foundation. Check out my tips for bb cream above (over here/link?). Have fun!
Q. What colours are in this Spring/Summer, especially nail polish? Should you always match nail polish to outfits or can you pull of an outfit with mis-matched nail polish?
A. Nail polish is without a doubt one of my must-have beauty items. I can’t survive without it. I am also slightly melodramatic. But mainly just a polish-fiend! I believe every woman should have at least 10 polish shades in her collection. The good news is that nail polish doesn’t have to be expensive to be good quality, so you can easily build this polish wardrobe up without blowing your beauty budget.
I think some should be Spring/Summery colours and some should be a little more Autumn/Wintery.
- A bold orange/coral (which also looks divine on toes)
- A minty green like this one from Butter LONDON (pastels are big for Spring)
- Lilac – looks great on most skin tones!
- Bright pink – the Barbie-r the better like Rose Cupcake from the Bourjois 1 Seconde Gel Nail Polish range
- A deep burgundy – think of your fave red wine
- Dark grey or black (give it a try! It looks amazing on short nails with a very glossy top coat)
- A metallic (Like this Golden Rule from Sally Hansen, bronze, or pewter – pick the one that suits you best!)
All year round:
- Classic red
- Nude – I love Naked Ambition
- Pale pink
While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to nail polish, I do like to match my nails to my outfit when it’s a special occasion – just like the rest of my beauty look! But otherwise, your nails shouldn’t dictate what you wear too much. Just have fun with it!
Q. What eye shadow and lipsticks will be in this Spring/Summer?
A. Spring/summer is a great time to work a little colour into your routine and luckily the trending summer makeup shades have been big for the last few sunny seasons, which means you can get more bang for your beauty buck. If I had to pick three colourful makeup products for spring/summer, they would be:
- A bright lipstick. Either a bold pink or an orange/red. My favourite product for brights are the OCC Lip Tars. They apply like a gloss, but dry with a mega-watt punch of pigmentation, like your fav lipstick. Try Strumpet for a gorgeous pop of pink!
- A bronze/rose-gold eye shadow. This metallic hue is perfect for spring/summer and compliments every eye colour imaginable. It also looks great with a little bronzer on your cheekbones to tie it all together. Try the Glamourflage Gypsy Jo Shadow in Midas Touch.
- Inika Mineral Blusher in Peachy Keen is my final pick for spring/summer colour. A light dusting adds a warm touch to your complexion – like a holiday glow, even if you haven’t left the office in months!
Q. What's the best way to keep skin nourished and to achieve the summer glow?
A. I can’t wait to get this glow myself! Though it does take a bit of work, and you are right – it has a lot to do with nourishment. Firstly, make sure you are cleansing twice daily. If you leave your makeup on at bedtime, you can’t hope to see summer glow any time soon sadly!
Next, exfoliate. This will bring back the natural glow to your skin, and clear away the dead skin cells stealing the limelight. Try an AHA based toner a few times a week – it’ll make a big difference! I’m dedicated to Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold.
Finally, the nourishment part! Beauty balms are a great multipurpose product to boost your skin’s glow. They usually contain beauty oils (you may have heard of/use an almond oil or rosehip oil) but they come in a thicker, balm-like consistency, so you can really rub them into skin. My number one beauty balm of all time, and quite a cult product is the Egyptian Magic All Purpose Balm. This literally saved my skin on a long-haul flight recently! I usually dry out completely, but arrived at my destination feeling only slightly dehydrated thanks to using this product overnight pre-flight. It’ll be a mainstay in my beauty regime this summer.
Thanks again for all your great questions! We will host another beauty Q&A sesh soon!