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How to Combat Product Build Up
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
I’m Natalie and I write the Defacto blogs. But, every now and then I like to take the blogs and make them a little more personal. So, today I thought I’d talk about something that has been affecting me. Product build up.
Not the sexiest of topics, sure, but something that happens all too frequently. Product build up is what it says on the tin. It’s a build up of product, specifically in the hair. It might not seem like a big deal but it can strike unexpectedly and honestly ruin someones day. More often than not, mine.
What is product build up?
It can be caused by a few things. Most common, however, is residual chemicals in the hair. Some of the gels, mousses, hairsprays, shampoos and conditioners contain chemicals that don’t dissolve in water. They leave tiny amounts of residue every time you use them. Over time, these residues accumulate, leaving a coating of gunk on your hair and scalp. So if you dry your hair and find yourself saying: “How the hell is it possible for my hair to be greasy, I just washed it!” You guessed it, product build up.
I have fairly long hair and it takes its sweet time to dry, even with a hair dryer. So I am guilty of washing it the night before and sleeping with it wet in a loose plait. I also get colds and sneeze a lot and they may be linked… So I can often wake up with a case of product build up and no time to fix it. It can make your hair; hard to style, greasy/dirty looking, dull and lifeless. It can also cause a situation that looks a lot like dandruff. It’s not! But the people around you wont know that…
How does it happen?
It could be that you’re not shampooing enough. If you’re a dry shampoo abuser and do your best to go as long as possible between hair washes then this could be an issue. Adding products on top of products without regularly washing them will inevitably result in that familiar residue on your scalp. This could also tie in with overuse and misuse of products, as well as not rinsing properly. If there is residual product, you’re going to end up with build up.
Like I mentioned earlier, the product build up could be caused by chemicals. Silicones and petroleum oils are added to shampoos to de-tangle and “moisturise” your hair and scalp. They give your hair that lovely soft sheen. The ironic thing is that they don’t moisturise at all. The simply coat the hair to make it seem softer
How to deal with it.
Obviously you’re going to want to get rid of it. The best way to do that is to identify what it is that’s making your hair a flaky, limp mess and eliminate it from your life. If you use cheaper shampoo brands opt for a clarifying shampoo like the Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo. Or spend a little more on salon approved brands that will genuinely give you what you want without the build up.
Also be sure to brush your hair regularly, this helps to break through the gunk at the root, making it easier to get rid of.
My personal hair care items of choice are the Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, Neutrogena T-Gel Theraputic Shampoo (mainly for my psoriasis but it works well as a clarifying shampoo too) and Lush’s I Love Juicy!
I hope you manage to blast your way through that product build up! If you have any tips you’d like to share with me I’d love to hear them! Drop them in the comments section below.
Is Foundation Bad for Acne?
Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
We’re sure we’ve all been told at some point that wearing a lot of make up will give us spots. But is it? Is foundation bad for acne?
We don’t think so, no. If you maintain a regimented skincare routine and wear a layer of foundation every day, you shouldn’t have much issue. Your skin will be cleansed of any overnight buildup before foundation and it will be properly removed at the end of the day. However there are certain ingredients in make up that could ruin your complexion. So instead, lets ask which foundation is bad for acne?
What you should avoid.
Shimmery formulas. High-sheen finishes are likely to be the result of Bismuth Oxychloride, a pigment that comes in a pearlescent finish, so is often found in bronzers, blush and eye shadows. This can worsen cystic acne in some people. However, if this finish is the one you desire, you’ll have to be very strict with cleansing your face. Twice a day is usually a good shout.
Solid foundation. This kind of foundation can come in the form of a pancake or a stick. Yes they conceal every little thing, but they might also be causing all those little things too. So when you ask yourself ‘Is foundation bad for acne?’ and you’re using one of these, the answer is probably yes. Thick and long-wear foundations are more likely to be pore clogging. Acrylics can often be used as a binding agent in these types of foundation. Acrylics are very pore clogging and can aggravate oily, blemish prone skin.
Alcohol and fragrance. Is foundation bad for acne? Scratch that. Is alcohol bad for your skin in general? Yes! Alcohol can be extremely drying for skin. This means your skin will over produce oil, resulting in acne or spots. Unfortunately, alcohol is often used in foundation as a carrier to help other ingredients sink into the skin or for its astringent properties as a treatment for oily types. It’s good to have products that smell nice, but the ingredients might not be that nice for your skin.
What you should go for.
Matte finishes. Try foundations that are oil-free or use water as their base ingredient. Adding excess oil to already problematic skin isn’t the way to go. You’ll only end up with more problems.
Ingredients that prevent acne. It’s also good if your foundation is armed with spot-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. This kind of acid removes excess oil and dead cells from the skin’s surface, which is perfect for skin prone to blocked pores and blemishes.
To conclude, the answer to the question ‘Is foundation bad for acne?’ is no. It’s not. But some if it’s ingredients are and that’s what you need to watch out for!
Foundation Mistakes You Might be Making
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
Our need for foundation is in the name; it’s the base for all our make up and when you find the right one it can change everything. However, when things don’t go right, maybe it’s not your base that wrong but foundation mistakes that you’re making.
There are so many ways to apply it. There are different types of foundation and different coverage levels. When you find your foundation soulmate you’ll know about it and you’ll preach to everyone about how amazing it is! However, you may already have a perfect match but it’s not working because you’re not treating it right. You may think you’ve mastered it but you could still be making these foundation mistakes.
Too much product.
We all have areas we want to cover up, like fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes. So, you apply more foundation than you should. The problem is, when your foundation builds up, it will draw attention to that area. Or it’ll settle into creases. Instead of building up product in these areas, dab the area with a make-up sponge or tissue to absorb excess product. Don’t forget to take it down your neck a little bit too, we don’t want a obvious jaw line. Blend, blend, blend!
Shade matching with your hand.
A common misconception is that that skin on your hand is that same shade as your hand. It’s not. So if you test the shade here, you’re bound to get quite a big surprise when you use it. But that doesn’t mean you should test it on your face either. If you want it to blend completely seamlessly, you need to go for a shade that works with the skin tone on your neck. One of the more basic foundation mistakes but one a few of us in the office still make.
Applying concealer underneath your foundation.
We doubt most of you do this. With the age of YouTube tutorials and instagram everyone can learn how to apply make up pretty easily. But, if you do still do it, it’s not the best. If you apply foundation over the top of concealer, you’ll end up moving the concealer from the area you need it when you blend. Apply your foundation first and then your concealer on top where needed.
You don’t use primer.
Again, something the ladies in the office admit to. “Isn’t moisturiser enough?” Sometimes it can be but not always. Does your foundation seem to change colour throughout the day? Perhaps go a bit orange? This happens when too much of the pH in the oil of the skin mixes with the pigment in the foundation. Otherwise known as oxidation. Primer provides a barrier, so this doesn’t happen.
Too much setting powder.
Not completely one of our foundation mistakes but it counts all the same. Setting powder is excellent at absorbing excess oil and controlling shine. However, you can have too much of a good thing. When applied too generously and not properly blended it bounces enough light from a flash to show up in photos. Something you’ve probably seen happen a lot on the red carpet. The problem is that you can’t tell it’s too much and not properly blended until a flash hits it.
We hope you don’t make these mistakes, but at least you know for the future! Do you have any mistakes you’ve made with make up in the past? We’d love to hear about them!
The SiliSponge is the New and Improved Beauty Blender
Monday, December 5th, 2016
It’s time to ditch those beauty blenders and get on board the SiliSponge train!
The Molly Cosmetics SiliSponge looks a little like a breast implant but is the key to flawless foundation. The Hong Kong based company has managed to create a completely clear, non-absorbent make up sponge.
The inner material is made from silicone and the outer shell is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)—a flexible plastic that’s resistant to oil and grease. The main idea of the product is that when using a brush or a sponge, a lot of product is wasted and absorbed. That doesn’t happen with the SiliSponge.
Instead, makeup adheres to your face instead of the tool. The Molly Cosmetics website explains that after use, you just clean it with a little regular soap and warm water. No more endless scrubbing and squeezing with your beauty blender. You don’t have to toss it until the outer layer shows wear. Again, beauty blenders should be replaced after 3 months of use.
The fact that it doesn’t soak up any product also means that the SiliSponge doesn’t breed bacteria the way brushes and other sponges do. The product isn’t absorbed into the sponge, which makes it all in all a more hygienic tool.
Clips from the Molly Cosmetics Instagram show the product being used with a cushion foundation on someone’s skin.
While a lot of make up fanatics like Jefree Star are desperate to try the SiliSponge, some make up addicts aren’t convinced. One Reddit user said:
“So nothing fingers can’t do? I guess it’s like a spatula but soft enough to use on the face. I don’t see anyone other than professional muas having a use for something like this imo.”
Although many agreed with their sentiment, the product is only newly on the radar. So, we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out how it truly ranks. The fact that it has sold out on five separate occasions is something to write home about though.
What are your thoughts on the Silisponge? Are you dying to try it or are you happy with your beauty blender? Let us know!
How to Get Big Brows
Friday, November 11th, 2016
Do you think you’re lacking in the eyebrow department? Don’t worry! We’re going to tell you some sure fire ways to get big brows!
We’re well and truly into the autumn/winter seasons. As far as make up goes, it’s a time for statement lips, smoky eyes and, also, big brows! The heavier your make up is, the more your eyebrows can get swallowed by everything else. So, in our humble opinion, this is the time to get those big statement brows.
We’re going to give you some options on how you can do that.
Lay off preening them yourself. Getting a professional to shape your brows to the right style for you if fine but you have to be prepared to leave them alone. Big brows don’t come to those who tweeze. You may also want to reconsider the strength of light you use when you’re grooming your brows. According to experts, brows are best tended to in soft dull lighting. If you have strong lighting you’ll see hairs you don’t normally notice and end up over plucking.
In order for your big brows to grow, the hair needs to be in an environment that promotes hair growth. This means, your skin needs to be well hydrated and nourished. You could try putting a light coating of almost any oil over your eyebrows. We wrote a blog on the usefulness of coconut oil a while back. Check that out! Oil creates a barrier that locks in moisture. But, it also increases circulation while stimulating cellular metabolism. This, in turn, promotes hair growth. You can also use Vaseline for a similar method as it helps the skins natural recovery method.
Try a serum.
Eyebrow growth serums are fairly common now. Who doesn’t want big brows! You can apply them daily and you should be able to find one within your price range. Eyebrow enhancing serums are created with hair growth in mind. They’ll contain proteins and peptides to target the production and strengthening of your hair. You can try RapidBrow Enhancing Serum (£37). It is boosted with a unique blend of fortifying proteins, stimulating peptides and nourishing ingredients designed to help condition, restore and repair the appearance of your eyebrows in 60 days.
Use Make up.
Even people with full brows fill in or enhance them with make up. So why not use make up to create yourself a whole new set of big brows! There are so many products on the market these days for eyebrow enhancement. A safe bet is always an eyebrow pencil or a pressed powder. however, you have to be sure that you don’t overdo it and end up with sharpie brows. You can try one of our previous blogs to give you some ideas on what products may work for you.
Grow Grow Grow!
They best way to get believable big brows is to try growing them out. This is the only way you’ll get naturally thicker eyebrows. Brows grow in a 3 – 4 month cycle, so step relax the tweezers for at least 12 weeks. They’re going to look odd to begin with but if you stick at it you’ll see a huge difference. Brush them every day with an eyebrow brush to promote growth.
We hope this has helped you in your quest for big brows! It’ll look a little awkward at first but you’ll thank yourself later. Do you have any tips on growing out your brows? We’d love to hear them!
Men’s Hair Products and the Mistake You Make With Them
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
You may think you’ve nailed you hair routine but you might make making mistakes with those men’s hair products.
Having shorter hair can be a nightmare to style. You wake up with it in all kinds of directions and you have to spend your morning taming it. However, unfortunately you might be doing it all wrong. We’re here to tell you what men’s hair products you should be using and how you could be using them wrong.
Are you over using product?
You’ll have heard the phrase ‘less is more’. When it comes to men’s hair products, that’s certainly the case. Short hair needs less products and if you’re using a good quality one you should know that. The secret to knowing when enough’s enough? The product should be completely dispersed once you’ve rubbed it between your palms. If you can still see it on your hands, you’ve used too much. If your hair feels thick and heavy, you’ve used too much. Using less will make your products last longer too…
Make the most of your products.
There are probably almost as many men’s hair products as there are women’s ones. You could be over-purchasing or over-saturating your hair with them. Quality hair products – from pastes to oils – can be used in plenty of other ways than what’s detailed on their packaging. Try using a paste, not only as a finishing product, but also as a pre-styler when mixed with water. You could also try conditioning your hair with some beard oil if it looks a little dry. Be sure to rinse it out properly though.
Are you using men’s hair products that are water-soluble?
Petroleum-based products take about three washes to get off your hands and out of your hair. Therefore, it looks like grease more than gloss. It’s agreed that water based products are the better of the two and nowadays they aren’t hard to come by.
Different hair needs different things.
Not all hair colours match with the products you may be using on them. Lighter hair is a lot more course than darker hair. You should be using products to suit that. Men with lighter hair (light brown/blonde/red) would suit a dry/matte finish. Whereas dark-haired men generally look better with a product that emphasises their hair’s natural shine. Be sure to get products to suit your hairs density.
Longer hair needs different styling.
Whether it needs a cut or you’ve deliberately grown it out, you cant keep styling it like it’s short. The longer the hair gets, the more susceptible it is to looking limp and lifeless. You’ll have to shampoo and condition your hair regularly – perhaps more regularly than you did when it was short. Use lighter products to style to avoid your hair getting weighed down.
If there’s anything you need to correct, we hope you’ve picked up on it! If you enjoy articles from us telling you what you need to change you can head over and have a look at our blog on Men’s Grooming Mistakes or Facial Hair Mistakes.
Here’s Why You Might Be Breaking Out All the Time
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much hard work you put into your beauty routine. You’re still going to keep breaking out all the time.
Those who follow a strict cleansing routine are more likely to reap the benefits of good skin. However, the behaviour of your skin may have a lot more to do with other issues in your body. We’re going to go through some reasons why you might be breaking out all the time.
Not Cleansing Your Cleanser.
Cleansing your skin is the best way to remove impurities and dirt from your face. After a long day of wearing make up, ensuring you have removed all of it is a key part of keeping your skin healthy. However, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any cleanser behind. That means once you’ve used your cleanser, then you get rid of the first cleanser using a toner. When you don’t remove it properly, the cleansing particles get trapped under the top level of the skin and cause a pH imbalance. This can leave you with congested pores and this can create spots.
Hormone fluctuation happens for many different reasons. You may be on hormonal birth control or you may even be nearing the menopause. Experiencing this may be a key player in why you’re breaking out all the time.
Dirty Make Up Brushes.
Make up application has advanced rapidly in recent years. Women are wearing heavier make up on a day-to-day basis. Heavier duty make up will mean dirtier brushes. Brushes and things like beauty blenders with harbour a lot of bacteria. So being sure to clean them regularly will be a big benefit to you.
There are things we are a allergic to that we may not even realise. Switching up your fabric softner or shampoo could cause you to be breaking out all the time. You may be allergic to some ingredients and be unaware that they are causing the issues. If you have changed up a part of your routine recently, that could be the root of the problem.
Not Being Thorough Enough When Washing.
No we aren’t accusing you of not showering enough. What we mean by this is that certain products can clog your pores while you think they’re cleaning you. For example, you may be a lush fanatic. Your bath bomb addiction isn’t anything to worry about but these products are fragranced and dyed. Therefore, after you use products like these you may need to have a rinse off to be sure you’ve washed off all of the excess bath bomb clinging to your skin.
Your Mobile Phone
Mobile phones are one of the biggest bacteria traps out there! The reason you’re breaking out all the time is likely to do with you phone. It does definitely change the way your skin behaves on the surface. Keep your phone clean with a pack of anti-bacterial hand wipes or even a tissue.
Do you have any tips for dealing with breaking out all the time? How do you combat it? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Do You Apply Make Up on the Train?
Monday, October 31st, 2016
Commuting in and out to work lengthens travel times, so it’s no surprising that some people save their make up routine for public transport.
It’s not an alien sight, here in the UK, to see a woman applying her make up on the morning train. We don’t second-guess it. However, in Japan it is a topic for discussion.
Tokyu Corporation, a major private railway operator in the Greater Tokyo area, has released a video asking commuters to “refrain from putting on make-up on the train”. The video has had a high volume of backlash. However, the Tokoyu have remained firm in their belief of the video. The claim the campaign was created in response to surveys conducted regarding commuters nuisances during travel. The message of the video rings loud and clear:
“Women in the city are all beautiful. But they are ugly to see, at times.”
The video then goes on to ask why women cannot do their make up before they get on the train. You can watch the video down below.
According to a survey done in 2013, a third of women would do their make up on the train. However, 40% of people would ask someone to stop doing their make up if they found it annoying. It’s clear that people are divided on this subject.
We thought we’d ask our company Director, Marcus McLeod, and our in-house blogger and social media engager, Natalie Woods, what they thought about it.
“I don’t have a problem with it. I have more of a problem with people who do it while they’re driving their cars. That’s just dangerous. I really love art and seeing women paint their faces is quite artistic in a way. So, I’d never ask a woman to stop doing her make up on the train or get annoyed by it.”
“I do my make up on the train every morning on the way to work. I did it on the way to university every morning as well. I’ve always lived about an hour or two commute away from where I need to be. I don’t see why I’d get up at a ridiculously early time to put my make up on in private. I’d rather have had a good nights sleep, be fully functional for my job the next day and do my make up on the train than getting up obscenely early just to do it at home.”
“When you’re on a train you’re in a public area. I’m not hurting or upsetting anyone, maybe just potentially annoying them. People who have an issue with me doing my make up on the train should either keep it to themselves or find a private way to travel.”
We’d love to know your thoughts on the matter? Do you agree with Natalie and Marcus or do you think make up application should be kept to the house?
Five Halloween Looks You Can Achieve With Make Up
Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
If you’ve left Halloween planning a little last minute, we think we can help…
You’ve got less than a week to prepare a Halloween costume. Even less if you’re going out over the weekend. You don’t want to be stuck with what’s left in the shops! You still want to impress with your Halloween look.
Therefore, we’ve had a think and a chat in the Defacto office and we’ve thought of five Halloween looks you can do with clothes you already have and some make up!
We know this one will maybe take a little longer than you’d maybe like. However, the finished article will certainly be one that impresses This look has been making the rounds on social media for a while now and we’re still impressed by it. . You’ll probably already have make up you can use, but if you don’t we’re sure you can pick up what you need for pretty cheap. Pair this make up with whatever outfit you feel would fit in with a comic book and you’re good to go!
Yes it’s the old staple of girls Halloween costumes. Dont knock it til you’ve tried it! There’s a reason it’s so common. It’s sexy and it’s easy to put together. You’ll need black liquid liner and some false eyelashes for this one. Clothes wise, if you’ve got a pair of black jeans or leggings and a black body suit all youll really need are some cat ears to go with them.
We don’t mean you’re going to be shuffling around the bars in a movement restricting fake tail. Nowadays people are more creative with their mermaid themed costumes on Halloween. You can probably opt for a long flowing dress or leggings with scales printed on them. As for the make up, blues, greens and glitter doesn’t go a miss. It’s amazing what you can do with fishnet tights these days…
A classic costume that gets broken out each year. The campy Hammer Horror days few and far between now though. People are now opting for a sexier and darker vibe to their vampire costumes. Dark red lips and smoky eyes, combined with pale skin and heavy contouring is the way to go in 2016. Really you can make any costume a vampire costume. Much like zombies you can have; vampire brides, vampire cheerleaders and the list can go on and on.
You may be surprised by this one but it’s become quite popular as a costume! It’s a really easy look to do as well. Stock up on some bronzer, a pair of antlers and get a dress or outfit that you feel is right. May we suggest a short floral number? It may not be spooky or scary but it is something a little different.
We hope you’ve found your last minute Halloween costume! If you have chosen one or if you have any other ideas we’d love to hear about it! Just leave us a comment down below.
Why Your Make Up Isn’t Perfect
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
You may look at make up tutorials, give it a go and then find that your look isn’t nearly as good as the one you just saw. Sure you might just need practice, but you also might be missing some key elements…
Applying make up isn’t as easy as picking some products that look right and putting them on. Although we wish it were. There are some key things that may be throwing off the look you’re aiming for.
You aren’t maintaining your skin.
We’re not saying you’re not trying. But, it might not be enough to keep your skin in tip-top, make up applying conditions. Develop a cleansing regime and stick to it, and if you find you’re having trouble with acne, rosacea, or any other skin condition, don’t be afraid to visit a doctor or dermatologist for advice. It’s a common issue and there’s no need to be shy.
Then, prep your skin before you begin applying makeup. Ideally, you should moisturise a few minutes before applying makeup, giving your moisturiser time to sink in. Moisturised skin will hold product better, without dry, flaky patches. If you have oily skin, don’t skip this step, just use a light, oil-free moisturiser. If you find you have issues with your make up staying in place all day, also try a primer.
You’ve got the wrong tools.
If you’re stuck using the sponges you get given with make up products, get rid. They’re more of a chore than of any use. Why brands continue to produce these is a mystery when anyone who’s stumbled across a YouTube tutorial knows that makeup brushes are the key to a better result. A common misconception is that you need to spend a fortune.
Yes a good foundation brush is going to cost you but for smaller tasks, like eyeshadow or brows you can use lower priced brands. Real Techniques is always a crowd pleaser. However, for foundation we recommend you shell out for a good brush or try your stippling hand with a Beauty Blender. Our blogger Natalie tested out a bunch of them a while back, if you need some advice on which one to try.
You may have the wrong formula.
Lip colour doesn’t have to come in a stick, eye colour doesn’t have to be a powder, and most base products, blushers, and bronzers come in a huge number of different formulas. So how do you know which one to pick?
In general, powders are more drying and mattifying and work better on oilier skin, while liquids and creams can help hydrate dry skin. Bear this in mind when picking foundation in particular.
But it’s about the final result, too. Powders (especially things like eye shadow and blusher) allow you to gently blend and build up colour with precision. Cream formulas tend to give a more youthful, dewy effect (which is why a slightly shimmery cream eye shadow is a must for older skins). They don’t require exact application, making them good for beginners, and often look best applied with the fingers, which is good news if your budget doesn’t reach to 15 new brushes.
Gels and pomades are often the hardest to work with, but they also give the most long-lasting results. If you can master gel liner and brow pomade, you can re-create those picture-perfect Instagram makeup looks yourself. Until you do, soft pencils are a little more forgiving. Be sure to get a suitable colour in everything though. If you’re unsure, employees at make up counters should have a lot of advice to give you.
You forget the small things.
You have to have a good base before you can do anything else. Any combination of primer, foundation, powder, and/or concealer depending on your preference. Not everyone likes or needs a full face of foundation. But creating a good base for the rest of your makeup is key to a good result. Even if you just slick some primer on your eyelids, you’ll benefit from it!
We all know brows have been in for a while and it looks like they’re staying too. Good brows have the ability to completely shape the face, and with the current trend for big and bold brows in full swing, you can no longer ignore those over-plucked ’90s wisps. Start as you mean to go on by visiting a salon for a shape and tint. You can use our salon directory service for finding the perfect place to do this. www.defactosalons.com. Then you can get on with experimenting with powders, gels, pencils and pomades to create your ultimate power brow.
Your products are out of date.
Just like food, make up can go out of date. You can locate the shelf time of your products on the back of your packaging. Old make up could potentially cause breakouts and it will be a lot harder to apply. The second you open make up it’ll start oxidising, drying out and ageing. When it’s past its best, get rid of it.
We hope these tips will help you reach that Instagram worthy level of make up application. Or least have you a little more clued up! If you have any more tips, we’d love to know!