Guest Post: No Makeup & Smaller Pores in Minutes

By Guest Blogger Neosha of RatedN-GEE

The secret to beauty is not packing piles of makeup onto your face or sleeping in it hoping it'll still be picture perfect when you wake up. The secret is all in how you care for your skin at home. Like many, we may get an occasional breakout from satisfying cravings we need to avoid but we're only human, right? I often get complimented on my skin. "OMG, are you wearing foundation? Your skin is flawless." Not everyday. I recently started wearing liquid foundation from a luxury salon brand not sold in stores. It's amazing and nothing compared to filler-filled formulations. Before using that however, I would only do cleanser, moisturizer and eyeshadow. I still do, of course, but foundation is only whenever I'm working in the salon.

Some women will NEVER leave the house without "cake on the face". But I achieved the power to do so through the use of something we all can get for free. ICE. One secret to flawless looking skin and even better makeup application is using ice to close your pores. Reducing the look of your pores will allow you to retain moisture after cleansing the skin and also will allow your makeup to look even greater.

Want to achieve smaller pores and be able to look flawless without all the crazy foundation? This is a good trick if you aren't planning to wear makeup. Check out the ice facial regimen I follow:

Step 1
Prepare your pores for cleansing by giving yourself a steam treatment. The heat from the steam will gently open your pores so you can clean them more effectively. You can do this by using a facial steamer or bringing a pot of water to simmer on the stove. If steaming in the kitchen, remove the pot from the heat and make a tent by placing a towel over both your head and the pot. Breathe in the steam for about three to five minutes as your pores begin to open. If you're feeling fancy or want a little luxury at home, place a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil into the water for some added aromatherapy.

Step 2
Exfoliate your skin. You can use a store-bought exfoliating cream of choice. I found that most estheticians recommend using an exfoliator that contains alphahydroxy acids to dissolve dead skin. You can also make your own exfoliating cream by mixing brown sugar and olive oil, creating a paste and rubbing it gently on your face. Alternatives could be using sugar and honey or sea salt with olive oil. This will help to slough away those pore-clogging dead skin cells camping out on your skin.

Step 3
Cleanse the exfoliator off your skin with a mild skin cleanser that does not contain soap, which causes irritation to the fresh layer of skin. The cleanser should help remove any dirt or oil particles that could be stretching out your pores. Using soaps can be drying and result in an overproduction of natural skin oil. Look for an oil-free, gentle cleanser.

Step 4
Now, take a cube of ice alone or you can choose to put it in a thin cloth or piece of fabric and apply it to your face. I rub the ice all over my face in counter-clockwise motions. The cold from the ice will shrink your pores, allowing them to look tighter and smaller, thus, you looking younger. Cold compresses from frozen foods can also be used. It seems silly, but people do use them.

Step 5
You're done! You can now apply your favorite moisturizer or a pore-minimizing cream. Pore-minimizers go on as lotion but dry as a powder to help fill your pores for a more smoother appearance. Look for a lotion formulated to be pore-minimizing, with ingredients such as retinoid.

****If you don't have time to steam, no problem. Simply cleanse your face and rub the ice cube as instructed. KUDOS TO YOU!! You just gave yourself a mini face lift. lol.****

Guest Post: How to Spice Up YOUR Nail Look

Ladies, are you tired of the same "plain jane" nails?  Are you ready to take your nail looks to the next level?  If so, I have a treat for you! Today my guest blogger Ashley over at Glam No Labelz will be showing you all how to take an average manicure from plain to FAB!

Quote of the Day: Audrey Hepburn

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."
~Audrey Hepburn

My reality: I must always remind myself that no matter how many times I apply a new shade of lipstick, bat my heavily-coated eyelashes, or transform my locks from curly to straight, my attempts to look beautiful on the outside mean nothing without already being beautiful on the inside.

In a society where women are so heavily judged by their appearance, it is often hard to not get caught up in perfecting my mirror image. But I have found that the more time I spend making myself happy and sharing my time and love with others, the more radiant my outer glow is. So I encourage everyone today to smile at everyone you chance to meet. Say hello to a stranger. Give a loved one a hug. Take the time to rid yourself of feelings of hate, jealousy, wrath, and inadequacy. I promise you sooner or later you will thank yourself for the lack of wrinkles you have stopped from setting in the process. Love yourself hard and love others even harder. I believe this is the true secret to beauty.

Above is one of my favorite quotes, penned by Miss Audrey Hepburn herself. Even a woman with her caliber of physical beauty recognized the secret to true beauty was more than taking great photographs. Being beautiful is about more than a look, it is all about an attitude. Wouldn't you agree?

Give a Little Love Away!

Are you getting tired of seeing all of the Valentine's Day cheer?  Is the sight of balloons, roses, candy, and chocolates getting on your nerves?  Do you loathe this time of the year because of all the "single's awareness"?  Well ladies and gents, have no fear!  I have a list of 5 great things to do that will make your LOVE-O-METER heighten today, and any other day of the year when you're just not feeling the spirit.

MAKEUP TALK | All About Foundation

Ever wanted to experiment with foundation but didn't know where to start?  Do you avoid wearing foundation because you don't know which type is right for you?  Are you clueless about how to apply it?  Hopefully this post will help you with the basics of foundation and its application!!

Finding the right Shade:
The most important component of foundation application is finding your shade.  This can be tricky and does require a bit of trial and error.  Also know, that if you are purchasing your foundation from a drugstore, CVS does have a great return policy.  So if you happen to choose the wrong shade, or are unhappy with it, you can return it (with a receipt of course).
When finding the right shade, these are a few things to consider:
  • Does your skin have warm or cool undertones? Click here for a video further explaining this.
  • Swatching on your wrist/hand does NOT work. Trying them on your jawline gives you a better visual.
  • When you think you've found your color, also swatch one shade darker and one shade lighter. 
  • Make sure you are swatching in NATURAL light.  The lighting in stores can play tricks on you.
Finding the right Coverage:
These are the main three types of foundation coverage.
  • Sheer: If you just want to add a glow or dewy finish to your already flawless skin, you could opt for sheer coverage. 
  • Light-medium: If you have a few slight areas of uneven tone, you could go with a light-to-medium coverage.  
  • Full: If you're like me, and your goal is to cover a few imperfections such as scars and blemishes, opt for a full coverage.
Finding the right Finish:

These are the three main foundation finishes.
  • Matte (no shine-for oily skin) 
  • Dewy (shiny- for dry skin) 
  • Satin (gives a glossy finish) 
Find the Right Formula:

Tinted Moisturizer
Stick Foundation

  • Always start with a clean face.
  • Moisturize.
  • Prime: This creates a smooth palette in which to apply makeup.
  • Conceal (optional): You may want to go 1-2 shades lighter than skin color to cover scars/blemishes.
The Tools:
  • Brush: Using a brush is my personal choice for foundation application.  Different types of brushes are used to apply different types of foundation.  My personal favorites for both liquid and powder foundation are the e.l.f. powder brush and the Sigma Flat Top Kabuki brush.
  • Sponge: Many use sponges to apply liquid foundation.  It is suggested to also dampen the sponge for a smoother application.
  • Fingers: Fans of liquid, cream, and mousse foundation swear by using their fingers to apply the foundation. It is said that this warms the foundation and makes for a thinner, less cakey application.

Finishing Touches:
  • Finishing Powder:  This is used to set your makeup.  One could purchase this as a loose powder or pressed powder.  My personal favorite is e.l.f.'s HD Powder.
  • Setting Spray:  This can also be used to set your makeup.  It could also be used to maximize your makeup's lasting powder, depending on what kind you purchase.  My favorites are Urban Decay's All Nighter, and Model-in-a-Bottle.
How-to Videos
These are a couple of my favorite YouTubers demonstrating how to apply the foundation.  If you like what you see, please subscribe to the channels!

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to share them in the comments!

My Current Workout Playlist

Move (to the top)- Leila
Lose My Breath-Destiny's Child
Faster-Janelle Monae
Moves Like Jagger-Maroon 5
Pay Me-Miguel
On The Floor-Dirty Money
So Excited-Janet Jackson
That's Right-Ciara
Don't Stop the Music-Rihanna
Move on Up- Angelique Kidjo
Sandcastle Disco- Solange
The Way I Are-Timbaland
B.o.B.- Outkast
Hey Ya-Outkast
Glamorous Life-Shelia E
Jin Go Lo Ba- Fatboy Slim
I Am the Champion- B.O.B
Who's That Chick-Rihanna/David Guetta

What songs are on your workout playlist?
Don't have any?  Check out Jog FM,
a site that helps you find music
according to your walking, jogging, or cycling time!

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