We saw an opportunity for a beauty post when katillac approached pinchee for some advice on her next beauty haul. Pinchee realized her questions were some of the same questions she'd been answering in the 7+ years working in the beauty industry!

So here we are, because sharing is caring!

Makeup and skincare can be a minefield and it can often be confronting about where to start, what's good/bad/hot right now and will the claims actually work!

We thought we'd tackle some of the basics in this post and we hope it helps our fellow sisters and brothers navigate their way through the wonderful world of beauty!

katillac: First off, before we talk about beauty products, I'd like to make sure I'm saying this right... Ahem, is it YUSSSS or YASSSS?

pinchee: Well it really depends on how much you are enjoying something.

YASSSS is more of a greeting, as in "Yassss girl I see you over there, you be slayin'".

Whereas YUSSSS depicts much more emotion, and usually follows the greeting and you have gone back and forth a few times with your fellow emotional mate. As in "yassss girl I love what you did with your hair. Yussss. YUSSSSSS"!

"Makeup and skincare can be a minefield and it can often be confronting about where to start."

katillac: Thanks again for helping me out with this hit list for my skin type and budget! So I've got dry skin and we both know I don't moisturize enough. I like the idea of a serum for an extra hydration boost and any other benefits. What would you recommend?

pinchee: Is no problem! So people with dry skin types need to pay extra attention to hydration (which doesn't always mean more product). Every person with skin can reap the benefits of a moisturizer and serum combo; one just needs to adjust to what their skin needs most.

A serum, by definition is usually water or oil based and has a smaller molecular structure meaning it can be penetrated deeper into the epidermis (top layer of skin). The ingredients are generally more active and concentrated, meaning you will see benefits sooner by using a serum underneath your moisturizer. Serums are a great addition when you feel like your moisturizer just ain't cutting it anymore, or you've tried every moisturizer under the sun with no huge results.

A serum and moisturizer need to be used in tandem as they serve different functions. As mentioned, serums go deeper into the skin and target specific skin concerns. A moisturizer does exactly that, moisturizes the skin. The basic purpose of a moisturizer is to lock in hydration/ prevent moisture loss throughout the day/night by acting as a protective seal from external elements.

And before you think, "isn't that going to block my pores!?"; the answer is not likely. If you are using a decent product it should be non-comodegenic and be formulated to be well absorbed by the skin, not sit on top (like barrier creams such as sorbolene, paw paw ointment etc). In essence, using a serum underneath will add benefits to your moisturizing routine.

Ok, so now that you know why you should be using a serum, there are a host of roads you can go down. If you like the lighter feeling of a gel that absorbs straight away, you could try Ren's Keep Young & Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot or Kate Sommerville's Dermal Quench Liquid Lift. These are great boosters to the skin but don't leave a greasy film. People with drier skin types might like the feeling of something more rich and substantial or have discovered the power of oils. If this is the case, you could try Josie Maran's Pure Argan Milk Treatment or Sunday Riley's Juno Face Oil.

For the babes ballin' on a budget like yourself, the Argan Milk is a fantastic option! The milk is an aerated form of argan oil, so it's structure has changed to be lighter in texture and faster absorbed by the skin but still provides all those benefits to the skin! What are these, you ask? I might just list some of them, otherwise I'll be here forever #lowkeyobsessed:

- Anti-inflammatory: reduces water retention and redness/irritation
- High in Omega's: essential fatty acids which help to build and strengthen the skin
- Anti-microbial properties: great for healing the skin (drier skin is by definition weaker, so this is important!)
- High in antioxidants: these help protect the skin and speed up the skin's natural processes ie replenishing itself with fresh dewy skin

Argan oil is fantastic for all skin types (yes, even oily skin) but I'll try to stay focused here (#staytunedforfuturepost). The milk is a fairly unique product due to its structure, so this will be super economical as this can double as a serum and moisturizer in one.


Next question.

katillac: I really need a new primer. In the past, I have used and liked Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot and Mecca Cosmetica's Lit From Within Primer. What could I try next that gives me a radiant glow and will make my makeup go the distance?

pinchee: I am so glad you asked this question! I am a big believer in priming the skin; it makes a world of a difference to how your makeup goes on and sits throughout the day. I think I own more primers than foundations!

When educating my clients about the complexion, I like to emphasis you want to make your skin look as great as it can be before even starting with foundation, concealers etc. This is where great skin care (see above) and priming comes in. It's all about layering, really. You will get that flawless look by starting with a thin layer of your good skin care routine, primer (s), and of course a foundation to suite your skin. As opposed to slapping on a bucket load of foundation and calling it a day. That's how "cake face" happens.

"I am a big believer in priming the skin; it makes a world of a difference..."

I love a radiant, glowing complexion (funny how we start off matte errrthaaang in our teens then it becomes all about the glow as we get older). The ones you've already tried are some of my favourites! But here's mooorrreeee yasssss:

By Terry Lumi Serum: includes rose stem-cell extract for major anti aging benefits, colour correcting, adds radiance, hydrates, boosts skins natural cell turnover. Sometimes I wear this just on its own, it's that awesome. 
Nars Radiance Primer: great to pair with Nars' foundation; has a light gel texture
Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer: gives the ultimate base for that dewy AF look
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer: mattifies while providing hydration, waterproof, subtle radiance, anti aging, sun protection
Dr Brandt Needles No More Mask: great for more mature skin that hasn't had enough TLC; helps to add volume back to the skin where it's lost elasticity. 

katillac: I have fairly straight and short-ish eyelashes so I love mascaras that add everything - volume, length and curl - but I do have sensitive eyes. What could I try for a mascara that does the works but won't irritate my eyes so they're watery and inflamed after a few hours of wear?

pinchee: The right mascara is one of the hardest things to find; but boy once you do it makes all the difference!

I have fought the battle of the mascara's as I too have sensitive eyes that water at the mere sound of a mascara wand coming towards them. I have found that even the most expensive waterproof mascara's just don't seem to cut it!

Enter tubular mascaras. They are a GOD-SEND. Teacher, mother, secret- lover (Whoever gets that reference, we can be friends). Tube mascaras get their name due to the formula wrapping around the lash, creating a tube. Unlike other formula's, when in contact with water/moisture it will not dissolve but rather roll off the lash in clumps. This means you do not have to worry about panda eyes when crying, swimming, sweating or just have sensitive eyes like we do. #gamechanging

I've never looked back.

My favourite by a long shot is Kevyn Aucoin's Volume Mascara. The tiny, narrow wand allows you to really coat every lash really well ensuring they are separated (read: no clumps) while achieving a fuller lash. Great for the lower lash line and Asian lashes. Kevyn also does a Curling Mascara with a slightly curved brush for those less inclined toward a small wand but still love a tube formula.

Non tube mascaras can definitely still work for sensitive eyes; I would keep an eye out for formula's that are fragrance free and ophthalmologist tested.

"This means you do not have to worry about panda eyes...

As I mentioned at the very start, this is only but a sample of what is out there on the market. Brands are constantly bringing out new and improved formulas as they compete against the up-and-comers and use technology to create new must-haves. I highly recommend going into a store, don't be shy to try some product on and doing your research to ensure you are getting exactly what you need.

What products do you guys swear by? Pop your comments in below, I'd love to hear about your beauty tips and questions !

x pinchee x katillac x

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