From how long you should try a product before you decide if it’s “the one” to how to get a streak-free sunless tan, we have answers to some common beauty questions. Sara Bumby, a Certified F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S beauty blogger, chatted with TheMCG and doled out her awesome advice.
Our readers love trying new products that hit the market … but sometimes don’t know how long to use it before deciding to trash it or keep it. When buying a new skincare product, what’s a good amount time to test it before determining if it works for you?
It takes about 14 to 30 days for the active ingredients (meaning the ingredients that are going to actually improve your skin) in medium to high-end cosmetic products to start showing the effect on your skin. Please do note though: Irritation, redness, burning, and break-outs are most likely to be visible in your first one to five uses.
When using daytime acne spot treatments, is it best to use it under or over your moisturizer/makeup?
Acne spot treatments should always be used under make up, never over. Make up may block the treatment from reaching the blemish, making it ineffective. I recommend applying acne treatment to clean, patted dry skin.
Makeup brushes: How often should you clean them to avoid spreading bacteria and germs on your face? Do you really need those fancy brush cleaners or is soap and water good enough?
The number one rule when it comes to your make-up brushes is this: If you buy good quality brushes and treat them with respect, they will last you a very long time. And trust me, when I say a very long time, I mean it. I have brushes that are almost old enough to drink. I recommend using a good quality facial cleanser or shampoo (avoid hand soap as it may be too harsh) to clean your make up brushes and to wash them once a week if you regularly wear make-up. If you only wear make-up once a week or less, you can clean them in between uses.
To wash a brush, use a small amount of soap and water in the palm of your hand. Either move the brush in a circular motion or massage the bristles gently between two fingers. Do the same under water to remove the soap. Test by patting the brush on a white face cloth. If there is any color residue, wash them again. To dry my brushes, I balance the freshly cleaned brush on the edge of my sink so that the brush head is suspended. This allows the bristles to have maximum air flow and to dry faster and more thoroughly. Remember, your face is your palette and, as any painter will tell you, it is vital to keep your brushes in prime condition.
With temperatures rising and the need for a nice tan coming soon, what’s the best way to use sunless tanning lotions? Can you use lotion as a base, or should you apply it without? What’s the best way to avoid those unwanted orange-hued hands the next day?
If this is your first time using a particular sunless tanning lotion, I recommend testing it first to know how the lotion will react with your skin. You can test on your inner arm or, if it’s still early in the season and you haven’t broken out the shorts yet, your shins. Lotions can take up to a few hours for the color to fully develop, and this will allow you to see if the lotion streaks and how best to apply it (some lotions apply better in a circular motion than in a straight up and down motion). After you’ve tested your lotion, the first rule is to exfoliate your body with a good quality scrub prior (up to a couple of days beforehand). Then evenly apply your sunless tanning lotion to your entire body.
Do not apply a regular lotion before your sunless tanner. The active ingredient in self tanner is Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, and it reacts with the amino acids on the surface of your skin to convert the lotion into color. If you use a regular lotion before in between your skin and your tanner, it will not work as well because the DHA will not have direct contact with your skin, and will not be able to fully react with the amino acids.
To avoid orange hands, use gloves! You can buy inexpensive latex of vinyl gloves at any drug store and they will save you a headache! The other trick if you do not have gloves, is to use make-up remover wipes to wipe the palms of your hands immediately after applying the lotion to your skin.
Sara Bumby, Certified F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S blogger, has spent over 12 years working side-by-side with the top chemists in the skincare and beauty industry formulating and creating the leading skincare and beauty lines. In 2002, she helped establish First Impact New York (F.I.N.Y.) a foremost skincare production, development and consulting company where she currently serves as Vice President. Her exceptional knowledge of ingredients includes natural and organic skincare using pure ingredients and green packaging.