Dry Skin Makeup Tips for a Flawless Face

Photo Credit: You Beauty

Between combating plunging temperatures outside, and battling artificial heating inside, even the oilyest of skin can start to dry out..and dry skin only spells disaster for a full face of foundation.
Base makeup of any sort clings to the tiniest of flakes and quickly starts looking cakey and gross. Plus, unlike a pimple or dark spot, you can’t conceal dry patches or rough texture; you have to actually fix the problem to get rid of it.

As someone with chronically dry (not to mention sensitive) skin, I’ve tried all sorts of things to keep my makeup looking smooth and flawless, without having to cake it on or having it separate a few hours later. Here are my tips for a flawless face when your face starts flaking off:

Start with the Skin

Photo Credit: Geekyposh-That rabbit knows what’s up πŸ˜‚

-exfoliate regularly and before big events to provide a smooth, flake-free canvas (be sure to hit areas like your hairline, jawline, the corners of your mouth, and the sides of your nose-all easily missed spots for flakes). 

My recommendations: Cure Natural Aqua Gel (chemical), Ettang Peeling and Soothing Mask (chemical-kill two birds with one stone and get deep moisture after peeling!), Skinfood Black Sugar Wash-off Mask (physical)

-moisturize regularly and before big events to plump, hydrate, and nourish skin. Sleeping packs, wash-off hydrating masks, and sheet masks are all super helpful, especially if used right before makeup application.

My recommendations: CosRX Brightening Rice Overnight Spa Mask, Ladykin Affinitic Lifting Cream, Goodall Barrier Cream, Etude House Moistful Collagen Cream

Prime Time

-Emollient primers help smooth down rough patches and flakes 

My recommendations: NYX Pore Filler, Benefit Porefessional

-If you find that your makeup tends to separate, make sure your primer and base makeup are either both oil-based or both water-based. Much like salad dressing, oil and water don’t mix. Oil breaks down makeup (exhibit A why oil cleansers are so effective) so choose and match your formulations carefully. You may find it best to skip a primer all together!

Laying the Foundation

Photo Credit: A Piece of Toast

-Sheer foundations, serum-style foundations, and “dewy” finish foundations will be more hydrating than medium-full coverage foundations and matte finishes, which can be more drying.

My recommendations: Bare Minerals Serum Foundation, 3W Clinic BB cream, Urban Decay Naked Foundation

-A damp beauty blender will pick up excess product so you use as little product as possible to get the job done. Less product means less flake-clinging-grossness. 

*By using a beauty blender to dab on foundation and not buffing product in with a brush, you prevent micro exfoliation which can lift up dead skin flakes and further irritate skin.

*Damp beauty blenders also emulate a popular skincare practice in Korea where the hands are used to pat in water left from the shower into the facial skin instead of wiping the face with a towel. A damp beauty blender is dabbing water into the skin, hydrating it much the same way.
-Patting on product in several different directions in the same area helps to keep the product from settling into fine lines and clinging to dry spots. In the eye area and smile line area, it will help prevent creasing.

-Reach for creamy, buttery formulations of things like blushes and highlighters over powders. They tend to smooth over dryness instead of sticking to and highlighting it. 

These are the main things that have really helped me achieve a more flawless face even in the middle of wintertime. Proper skin maintainence to prevent this problem in the first place is of course the best thing you can do to ensure consistently good makeup, but sometimes our skin needs a helping hand to look the best it can πŸ™‚


Perfect Skin Chok Chok Makeup Tutorial

Photo Credit: asianclub

Ever wonder how those Kpop stars have such perfectly glowing skin? 

In Korea, there is a word to describe anything that is literally moist: chok chok. This elusive, natural dewiness is the ultimate achievement in terms of Korean skincare. However, not to be confused with oiliness which is excess sebum on the face, chok chok is a glowy freshness of the skin that makes it look, well, moist, and also lit from within.

While the “10 step” Korean skincare routine’s contribution to any run-of-the-mill Kstar’s enviable skin state is old news by now, there are still a few tricks hidden up the Kbeauty sleeve for achieving that perfectly dewy, glowing, chok chok skin.

It’s going to start with the obvious: moisture.

Even though “true” chok chok skin requires time, patience, and diligence, it can be faked to an extent in a matter of minutes. By focusing on the “apple zone” of the face (an invisible triangle shape formed along the cheekbones to meet at a point on the jaw), it becomes easier to cheat having fresh, dewy skin. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest/CosRX

To begin, apply a deep moisturizing cream or serum all over the face. Seal in the moisture by applying a half sheet mask, or cotton pads soaked in a brightening toner/serum to the apple zone (I personally find first treatment essences to be best with their high concentrations of brightening yeast ferment).There are also specific patches available for purchase that brighten this zone, but the effects are relatively easy to recreate at home.

Photo Credit: Byrdie

While the mask/cotton pads are working their magic, move on to the eye area. This tutorial is about the skin, but if you decide to go the Korean route, eye makeup is generally light-colored, natural, and subtle, with little if any mascara and deep brown/black tighlined eyeliner. Eyebrows are thick, full, and straight, but filled in with a light-hand. 

At this point, the mask sheet/cotton pads can be removed (you can keep it on for longer if you’d like, but once the edges of your mask/pads start to dry, it’s time to remove them or they will begin to sap the moisture back out!). Gently pat in any remaining product with your hands. Your skin should be noticeably softer, smoother, and moist. 

Photo Credit: Blogarama

To even out skin tone and hide any red areas/blemishes, mix a 1:1 ratio of Bb or Cc cream with a facial oil, serum, lotion, or cream. This makes the coverage light and natural, and ensures your skin won’t dry out during the day. 

*Beauty Note: be aware of your bases here. If your Bb cream is oil based, and your facial lotion is water based, the resulting concoction will have a high chance of separating on your face. Make sure your keeping water-based formulas with other water-based formulas, and oil with oil-based ones. 

For the most natural effect, apply your base by dabbing it on with clean fingers or with a damp makeup blender/sponge. Build up more thin layers in the areas that need additional help.

Got some pesky spots that still need more coverage? Pin point concealing works best with chok chok style skin. To do this nearly undetectable concealing technique, simply take a full coverage concealer on a pinpoint eyeliner brush, and directly cover the area (presumably zit). Then take a clean finger/blender, and dab to blend the edges out.
Chok chok skin not only looks fully hydrated, but bright and glowy as well. Accentuate this with a liquid or cream highlighter along your cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, nose bridge, and the centers of your forehead and chin. Basically, anywhere natural sunlight would hit your face. Concentrate your efforts on the cheekbones/apple zone. 

Photo Credit:

Don’t forget to apply a subtle pink blush along your cheeks for a natural healthy glow. It should blend seemlessly into the skin; the more natural, the better!

With this look, there is no need for lots of powder. Powder will only kill that beautiful dewy sheen you’ve just worked so hard to achieve! If you do use it, do so sparingly and lightly, and only to set areas like the undereye that tend to crease regardless of a product’s moisture content.

*Bonus Tip: to further set off your now luminous and glossy skin, add a pop of bright color to your lips. In Korea, the gradient lip is all the rage for doing this!

Photo Credit: SeoulStine

This look is quick and simple, highlighting radiant moist skin instead of forcing skin into perfectly matte, powdery submission.

All to often, makeup is used to masterfully hide flaws instead of masterfully accentuate the good. This look is not only easy to accomplish, but easy to wear!

Keep calm and chok chok on!

Favorite 5 Cutest Halloween Kbeauty Products of October


October has to be one of the most fun months of the year! From the best of fall weather being in full-bloom to everything spooky and frightening coming out to play for Halloween, October is always chock full of the cute and the creepy!

Your skincare routine can also join in on the fun with some of these Halloween-themed products!

Phyto Tree Pumpkin Magic Moisture Cream

A moisturizing cream that contains deeply hydrating pumpkin extract to help skin feel soothed and soft. Pumpkin is a great ingredient to keep skin plump and moist even in dry conditions. It’s also a great ingredient for those with sensitive skin!

Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack

Another pumpkin product great for deep moisturizing overnight! It’s consistency is a cross between a cream and a gel, and is deliciously thick. And of course it comes in the sort of amazing packaging we all have come to expect from Too Cool for School.

Ladykin Vanpir Dark Repair Cream

This is an intense moisturizing cream that contains the resin of Croton Lechleri (aka Dragon’s Blood plant) to help nourish, repair, and regenerate skin. It also contains other herbal extracts like Camellia Sinensis Leaf and Papaya to help soothe and strengthen skin while fading acne scars and treating existing blemishes. If you wish to look forever young (like a vampire!), this cream may be for you!

April Skin Mummy Mud Mask

All the benefits of a mud mask without all the mess! It tightens pores while managing excess sebum and drawing out toxins and  impurities. The secret? Pure Hawaiin clay. You’re one mask away from healthier, more even skin.

Candy O’Lady Little Witch Candy Mask

Enjoy all your favorite things about Halloween all in one mask! Witches, candy, and glowing skin! This mask brightens, protects, and re-vitalizes the skin. It also is made of microfiber which adheres closely to the skin, which helps in delivering moisture and nutrients more effectively and quickly deep into the skin.

Aren’t these products just super cute? I want them all on my vanity to get into the spooky Halloween spirit all-year round! What have you been loving this month?

Get Your Smoothest Lips Ever in Time for Fall

0SJLZHNF2N.jpgToday it finally feels like fall (sort of), and I honestly couldn’t be happier. Fall means s’mores and cocoa by the fireside, that sweet, smokey smell of chimneys burning, hot apple cider to sip on while leaves change their color, not to mention the cozy clothes and chunky knits. And we can’t forget the pumpkin spice latte, am I right?

The cooler weather doesn’t just mean better beverages and snuggly sweaters though; the refreshing chill in the air brings with it the joys of chapped lips. If you’re anything like me, the chapping factor  is maybe a teensy, tiny bit exacerbated by constant sipping on all the yummy, hot drinks.

I figured that while everyone is feeling a little uplifted with the change in weather (or from a higher caffeine intake stemming from an aforementioned Starbucks beverage), why not share some simple lip DIY’s that will ensure your lips stay smooth as silk while you enjoy all things pumpkin and cinnamon-y.

DIY Lip Scrub

Exfoliation followed by moisture is the easiest way to your smoothest ever lips this fall and winter season. Scrubs for the lips are made up of two essential parts: something to scrub and something to nourish.

Sugar makes the best exfoliating agent; what kind of sugar you use is up to you. I personally like brown sugar. As for a nourishing agent, oils are frequently on hand. Castor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, Vaseline/petroleum oil, and the like are all good choices. You can also use honey or even some spare flavored lip balm for tastier scrub. How much of anything you use will be up to if you want to make it fresh or store it for multiple uses. You can control the graininess by adjusting how much liquid you use in relation to the scrubbing agent. Add more liquid to make it less harsh.

Once you have your scrub base whipped up, you can customize it to your liking with essential oils like peppermint. You can also add in things like coffee grounds, cocoa powder, matcha, etc to add more flavor and smell to your “lip scrub experience.”

Some of my personal favorites:

-brown sugar and honey

-mocha (white sugar, petroleum/castor oil/non-flavored oil, and a mixture of coffee grounds and cocoa powder)

-coffee scrub (brown sugar, coffee grounds, coconut oil-great for body too!)

-brightening lemon (sugar and coconut oil, finely grated lemon zest)

Frankly, there aren’t too many limits when making scrubs. All of these can be used on the body as well. Once you’ve finished exfoliating, finish off with a moisturizing lip balm (or body lotion) of choice, making sure to really massage it in. Your lips and skin should feel baby soft and glowy, ready to take on the world, winter dullness be damned!


Need more? Elizabeth from Everything and Nothin’ did a post a little while back on preventing chapped lips that not only features another great scrub recipe, but also tips on preventing and getting rid of chapped lips as well. If you struggle with this, you should definitely check it out! Its very helpful and informative 😊


Now, go on and enjoy some quality time with the falling leaves, a pumpkin spice latte in hand.

What are you looking forward to this season?πŸπŸ‚πŸŽƒ





October Buy-and -Try/First Impressions

Some of my winter skincare products have already arrived! That means, of course, I couldn’t help myself and have already started trying some of them out. Here are my first impressions on some of these new-to-me products:

CosRX Propolis Light Ampoule

First of all, the color. Its drop-dead gorgeous and I want to paint my entire apartment in the exact shade so I can admire and stare at it all day long.

As for the actual product, the results are drop-dead amazing so far. It’s a bit sticky when first applied, but another layer of moisture on top takes care of that problem. It leaves my skin unbelievably smooth and supple; a few minutes after application, and it looks like I’ve spent the past hour sheet masking! Only a few uses so far, and I’m completely hooked. I can already tell its going to be a major skin saver this season πŸ™‚

Etude House Bubble Tea Sleeping Pack:

I FINALLY have this bad boy in my well-moisturized clutches. I just had to have it in my collection because of the packaging. It just makes me so happy to wake up to it every morning. As I was buying solely for the packaging, I went all out and got the strawberry “flavor.” Sadly, the strawberry scent is minimal to nonexistent, and, turns out the pink kind is actually for dry skin (lucky!), but I have yet to be impressed with the results. The lid has a small notch which fits into a hole in the spoon you use to get the product out so the spoon snaps onto the product. Brilliant idea-why can’t all my moisturizers have this feature?

TonyMoly Tomatox Massage Pack:

While I did actually buy this product based on several well-loved samples, the packaging is sheer genius. It’s a tomato! The leaves/stem on the tomato are actually rubber (not painted on!), and the tomato is actually gradient colored with yellow and orange mixed in with the red-we’re talking a real-life looking tomato, not some cartoon version of one! The massage pack dries to a stark white color (think geisha like), and  makes skin look firmer and leaves it smooth and healthy looking. 

Vichy Dermablend Foundation:

I’ve wanted to get my hands on this ever since I cut my teeth on the makeup world via Lisa Eldridge’s Youtube videos. It works, just like she says: amazingly little product for an amazing amount of coverage. I bought it online in the lightest shade, but, of course, it is still slightly too beige for my stark whiteness. This being said, there were only 5-6 shades to choose from, so the colors are not as finely tuned like some other brands with 20+ different shades. My only complaints are that it is a little drying (but this is taking into account my already dry skin…this would probably be a great thing for any other skin type), and that it must have a layer of powder already dusted over it before adding any sort of other powder-based product. It doesn’t need powder to set or stay (I just do it anyway out of habit), but applying anything not liquid/cream based directly on top of the foundation means that it will streak and not blend evenly. Just a heads up.

Have you ever tried these products before? What did you think?


Skincare Storytime: The Craziest $hit I’ve Done to My Skin+ How I Did My Makeup in High School

Hello there my wonderful readers (and welcome you newbies here)!It’s time for another Beauties on Fire Collaboration post, and this week’s voted theme is “retro.”

For those of you who don’t know how this collab works, anyone can join at any time. Literally.

It’s an exceptionally diverse and SUPPORTIVE group of people, and our main goal is to make friends while learning from one another and having tons of fun! You know, all that cheesy stuff everyone hates to admit that they love and secretly want a part of.

You can contact our Amazing Leader Beth via email/Twitter/you know the drill (the picture below will be linking to her blog and the other posts, so heck, just leave a comment) and join our collab and Facebook Group.

If you don’t want to be apart of this collab (why would you NOT want to?), be sure to vote for next week’s theme via Twitter.

Anyway, I’ve been really loving the “how I did my makeup in high school” tag floating about YouTube right now, and have decided that retro will be a blast from my own past this week.

I’m also throwing in a little skincare storytime (can you tell I watch a lot of YouTube? Is it obvious?) from my middle school days because I’ve put my face through a lot over the years and, personally, it’s a lot more interesting than my makeup history: mainly during my amateur surgeon phase…it will probably make you cringe, and make you grateful you were less hell bent on making your zits disappear instantly with some sort of miracle cure.

Now that the world’s longest intro is over, let’s get into this blast from the past.

My Jenna Marbles Style Makeup Evolution

My makeup journey began when I was twelve…yup, I’ve been wearing makeup for over a decade now(holy cow, Β I feel old).

I wasn’t like a baby you-know-what, roaming the halls of my small private Christian school in my below-the-knee-skorts, but rather my group of friends’ mothers all got their hairstylist who did the best makeup out of all of them to give us the makeup equivalent of The Talk and show us how to apply mascara and lip gloss.

Ta da! I was officially initiated.

My mother instilled in me a Great Fear of the Cake Face and the Pancake makeup, so I didn’t get around to actual foundation until I was 20 out of sheer terror.

I would buy Neutrogena foundation, but then use it as a concealer applied with my finger tips. Because brushes and sponges and beauty blenders weren’t a thing for me yet.

I distinctly remember many tubes of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (I honesty don’t know anyone to this day who used a different first starter mascara) and used that all the way till high school. There were also those cheeker blush things from Covergirl and 99 cent lip gloss…so much lip gloss.

Freshman year of high school, I went through the mandatory teenage angst phase where I applied grey sparkly eyeshadow (because the lady who showed us 12 year olds how to do makeup told me grey shadow went with blue eyes and I never thought to, you know, branch out) in a very large smokey eye/zombie fashion, until my friend literally told me three days in to stop wearing it like that because she didn’t want to be seen with me looking as such. It was a good call. I switched to lighter, more neutral shadow quad called “pure romance.” It was a much better look, but didn’t reflect the darkness of my soul. Cuz I was deep like that.

And that is what I did, every single day, until my junior year of college, when I conquered my fear of foundation, discovered what the heck a beauty blender was, and stumbled upon the beauty guru side of YouTube. We all know I drank that Kool-Aid right up and can now be found making it rain every other weekend at ULTA.

Warning: I was A Dumba** πŸ™‚

Now here’s the scary part: my makeup may have been super safe and basic (minus the 3 day zombie/vampire phase), but my skincare routine was anything but.

All through middle school, I thought my skin was SO bad, bad with a capital B. Because 3-4 pimples every two weeks was literally the end of the world.

If it was small, sharp, and had a 30% likelihood of being able to pop a zit, I’d attempt to do so. Safety pins, needles, thumbtacks, my fingernails, you name it. And then, when I got smarter about skincare (oh, I’m supposed to wash my face with something not-Dial-soap?), I started disinfecting them with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol before use. *cringe*

I eventually wised up and bought an actual extractor that gets disinfected each and every time it goes near my face. I also know better than to pop them willy-nilly too…now.

Not knowing what to do with all my newfound facial friends in the sixth grade, I got a little too creative with my spot treatments. It was quite sometime before I figured out there was such a thing as a 3 step face routine kit (which, spoiler alert: didn’t do much for about 4 years), so I turned to every household cleaner (Hi there, Windex), brand of toothpaste, home remedy possibly conceivable. Because products designed to actually kill zits just didn’t appear on my radar until the seventh grade. I was cool like that.

Here’s a brief list of some of the stuff that has gone on my (poor) face:

-Windex (who hasn’t done this at least once?)

-clear nail polish (I was trying to suffocate them for some reason)

-nail polish remover (to remove said “suffocate-ant”)

-toothpaste (too drying, makes things worse)

-honey* (good choice, but not fast)

-mosquito repellent (just don’t)

-sulfur* (makes sense)

-charcoal* (still use this)

-duct tape/tape (again, I just wanted to suffocate the infection? Why did I feel the need to do so? Someone please tell me)

-hand sanitizer (err, I was clean?)

-hydrogen peroxide (white, flakey aftermath)

-bleach/oxiclean (whoa, too clean. Waaaay to clean. It buuurrrrnnnnsss)

-baking soda* (cleans the pores…but remember to moisturize afterwards)

-lemon juice* (lighten the natural way…stings a lot on needled open zits though…)

-rubbing alcohol (that tingly, omg, my pores are on fire feeling)

-drawing salve* (try this one tonight with Prid’s version and you’ll thank me tomorrow)

-oatmeal, banana, aloe, avocado, milk, yogurt, egg masks* (all super okay to use and super cheap, but I was like “no, give me something dangerous that makes no sense to get rid of zits or give me death”-go puberty hormones!)

-mayo (it belongs in sandwiches and hair masks. I don’t want to talk about it)

-peanut butter (cuz PB will obviously cure pimples. Everyone knows that)

-jelly (because the PB didn’t work…surprise, surprise. This is where I proceeded to mustard and all the other condiments in the fridge. They also didn’t work)

-straight up vinegar* (um, dilute it, just saying)

-raw potato* (it is rumored to draw out infections…I dunno if it did, but there were worse things I could have (and did) put on my face)

-gasoline (why Lord, why?)

-Draino (how did I even survive between the ages of 12-15?!)

-cortisone/anti itch cream* (actually takes down the swelling)

-legitimate spot treatments* (ugh, finally, something not totally insane)

Obviously, don’t try most of this at home.

The “treatments” that have asterisks are the ones that won’t kill your skin, or more importantly, you.

I was creative back then, real creative. I think it’s safe to say I don’t know what the heck I was thinking.
Obviously, as I’m still alive, I got with the rest of the world after the sixth grade, and started using actual skin products on my face (if you’d use it to clean a toilet or power a car, it probably shouldn’t go on your face).

The biggest lesson I learned during that very (very) formative year of puberty was that breakouts are definitely 1000x worse in your mind than they actually are.

And also that Draino is not out to make any friends.

Nor are chemical burns.

There is also nothing that will make them go instantly away (unless you have a lot of money, even more of a pain tolerance, and a very patient derm).

Looking back on this actually explains why I didn’t bat an eye at slathering snail mucin all over my face come my early Kbeauty days…

Anyway, all of you readers, learn from my stupidity, and don’t try 90% of this at home.

What was the craziest thing you ever did to your skin? What are your theories on how I survived to adulthood? (Because I would reallyΒ like to know πŸ˜……😭).

Getting Ready for School with the Pros

Hi there everyone! This week’s beauties on fire collaboration is a back to school theme. 

School is back in session for many, and getting up early to catch class is never fun. I actually wrote about? divulged? pretty much all my tips and favorite products to make those difficult mornings a little less stressful in my Back to School Beauty Guide if you’d like to check it out (#shameless self promo 😜).

However, to be honest, I’m a total morning person and don’t have too many qualms about waking up an extra half hour early to slap on a sheet mask or make sure my hair is done. Like, a morning person to the point I’ll wake up early on weekends just to sip on coffee outside or whatever and get a head start to my day. Eeeewww, I know. At least it’s coffee and not a green smoothie, right? Right?!

Anyway, back in my Ye Olde College Days (I graduated like 3 months ago lol), I loved to watch and copy looks from YouTube videos to get ready for the day, namely PONY Effect and Lisa Eldridge  makeup tutorials. Most of the time, it never took much longer than the videos themselves, and was an entertaining way to start the day-almost like getting ready with one of your friends…well, in a weird, impersonal, virtual sort of way.

If you aren’t as ridiculously as much of a morning person as me, instead of pausing every so often to replicate the steps as you get ready in the morning, you can always watch them the night before and screen shot the look-whatever works for you.

Anyway, enough with this long intro. Here are some of my all-time favorite get ready with a famous makeup artist (GRWAFMUA?) videos whose looks I still replicate to this day.




I personally love every single one of these tutorials because all the looks are fairly easy to recreate, look good on pretty much everyone, don’t require anything too crazy, and-most importantly-are wonderful for the classroom or office.

What do you guys think of these tutorials? Does anyone else love watching YouTube videos while they get ready? 

Be sure to check out the other posts for this week by clicking on the picture below: