The brilliant minds behind the Beauty Blackout...
Welcome. This is a joint blog written by two serious beauty addicts, located on separate sides of the globe. Emily likes to call herself a global nomad, but she's really just a classic millenial (albeit of the former expat brat variety) facing a quarter life crisis. Rachel is a hardened East Coaster who frequently laments her unused English Lit degree. The two of us bonded over our shared love of Surratt blushes, Victoria Beckham's Java Sun bronzer, and an unfortunate joint habit of lapsing into online shopping fugue states - or what we call beauty blackouts.
You may have experienced symptoms of a beauty blackout:
- frequently waking up to multiple online order confirmations in your inbox;
- a tendency to blame Ambien/anything ending in '-pam' every time the DHL/UPS/FedEx guy appears on the doorstep; and
- loathing Apple's insistence on displaying your 'most visited sites' on Safari.
If you've experienced any of these symptoms, congratulations - you're on the right site! We're here to talk beauty without the BS, share some - hopefully helpful - recommendations as well as thoroughly trash the dud products we inevitably end up buying and, last but not least, have fun. To our readers - we'd love to get to know you so please jump in and comment. If you're already acquainted with either of us, thanks for popping by, we love you, and we're thrilled you made it to this corner of the internet <3
For reference, here’s a breakdown of each of our skin types, the foundations and concealers we each use, and our preferences when it comes to base products (primers, foundation, concealer). We know this is helpful for a lot of readers so don’t hesitate to shoot us a message if you want any further info or clarification.
Our Foundation & Concealer Matches
Singapore is basically smack on the equator so it has a tropical climate characterised by high levels of heat and absolutely smothering humidity. When I say a product has good wear time, you better believe it because makeup really gets put to the test here. My skin is far less dry here than it is when I am in Canada, although dehydration remains a problem. I also get the occasional (and unfortunate) zit once in a while here, which doesn't really happen in more temperate climates.
Because of the heat and humidity, I much prefer my base products to be sheer and lightweight - nothing heavy, matte or full-coverage. I think it's best to work with, rather than fight against, the climate. So I keep coverage minimal, and I don't use mattifying primers. I do love glowy ones (Chanel Le Blanc, for example) as well as formulas that give me a touch more colour a.k.a. the illusion of a tan (NIOD Photography Fluid Tan Opacity 8% is where it's at!)
I don't use any eye primer whatsoever, although I do often use cream eyeshadow as a base.
My skin tends to get dry the moment I get onto a plane and it will stay that way in any non-tropical country. I burn extremely easily and don't tan well naturally (I try but I admit I am a little/very lazy with my fake tanning regimen.)
Foundations I Wear:
By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush Illuminating Flawless Foundation Brush in N1 Rosy Light
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow All-In-One Fluid SPF 15 in N10
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation SPF 15/PA+++ in N12 Rosé
Chantecaille Compact Powder Makeup in Petal
Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Stick Foundation SPF 17 in Beige
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation in 012
Sensai Luminous Skin Foundation SPF 15 in LS101
Surratt Surreal Skin Foundation Wand in #2
YSL Touche Éclat Cushion Foundation in B10 Porcelain
Concealers I Wear:
By Terry Terrybly Densillis Concealer in N1 Fresh Fair
By Terry Touche Veloutée Highlighting Concealer in N1 Porcelain
Chantecaille Le Camouflage Stylo in #1
Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Alabaster
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Vanille
RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up in 00
Surratt Surreal Skin Concealer in #2
Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base
Chanel Le Blanc Light Creator Brightening Makeup Base SPF 40 PA+++ in 10 Rosée and 30 Lys
Guerlain Météorites Base Perfecting Pearls
NIOD Photography Fluid Tan Opacity 8%
NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 12%
Sensai Glowing Base SPF 10
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in 1 Fair
I live in the Northeast US so the climate varies a lot based on season - it tends to get very hot and humid during the summer, and extremely cold and quite dry in the winter. As such, while moisturizing is important year round, in winter I’ll add in heavier moisturizers or extra layers of hydrating products. For base products, I prefer dewy or satin finishes, and nothing too heavy or matte. I also have to switch to different shades of foundation depending on the season (and the more tan I am.)
Foundations I Wear:
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation in 213
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau 00N ( a touch light but sheer enough that it blends out nicely and has a very natural finish)
If I want heavier coverage I mix in Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer in 4.0 Fawn.
Armani Luminous Silk 6
Armani Powder Fabric 6
YSL Beauty Touche Éclat Foundation in Honey
Other Foundation Matches
Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation in #21 Linen
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation in #4 Light
Concealers I Wear:
By Terry Touche Veloutée Highlighting Concealer in N2 Cream (undereye)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
NARS Soft Matte Concealer in Cannelle
Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in 01
NIOD Photography Fluid 12% Opacity
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in #2
OUR SKIN TYPES
For those who are interested, we thought it would be helpful to talk a little bit about the Baumann Skin Type Questionnaire. It was developed by Dr. Leslie Baumann and we think it’s a great test to take if you’re interested in understanding more about your skin. Basically, the test evaluates where you fall on four different spectrums, listed below:
OILY VS. DRY: This is pretty self-explanatory. The more sebum your skin produces, the oilier your skin is. People with drier skin tend to have issues with retaining moisture and maintaining a healthy skin barrier.
SENSITIVE VS. REACTIVE: If we had to summarise this in one sentence, it would be this: the more sensitive your skin is, the more issues you’re going to have to deal with. There are four different subtypes of sensitive skin, which we won’t go into, but the one thing they all have in common is inflammation. If your skin is resistant, you’re less likely to react to active ingredients in products. Sensitive skin likes routine.
PIGMENTED VS. NON-PIGMENTED: Pigmented skin can fall anywhere on the spectrum between light and dark. Although pigmented skin types tend to tan easily, they also are prone to developing more visible signs of sun damage (this can include anything from freckles to liver spots/melasma to cancerous melanoma.) Non-pigmented skin types don’t tan as easily - they burn. In science speak, they have less melanin and less pre-existing pigmentation (translation: are usually paler) to protect them from damage caused by sun exposure. Whichever side of the spectrum you fall on, you should probably still wear sunscreen everyday because, (not so) fun fact, it’s the sun that really causes aging.
TIGHT VS. WRINKLED: Aging is partly due to genetics and partly due to lifestyle choices (which are within your control.) Some people just age better than others. Life isn’t fair. What else is new? These people tend to fall on the ‘tight’ end of the spectrum. However, by taking the necessary precautions at an early stage, ‘wrinkled’ skin types can avoid a lot of the damage and signs of aging that they are genetically predisposed to.
Emily’s Skin Type
Baumann Skin Type: DSNT
Skincare Preferences/Things I Avoid:
- Glycolic Acid
- Retinoids and retinols
- Most acid toning
- Essential oils
- Face oils which tend to be full of essential oils
- Anything with a lot of active ingredients
- Chemical sunscreen (avobenzone, oxybenzone)
- Plant waxes in large quantities
- Harsh physical scrubs
- Foaming cleansers
- Mineral oil (just don't like it)
Ideally, I would like parabens and preservatives in all my products
Rachel’s Skin Type
Baumann Skin Type: DRPT
Skincare Preferences/Things I Avoid:
- Foaming cleansers
- Harsh physical exfoliation (prefer acid but not every day- 2-3x per week)
- High alcohol content- some alcohol is ok, also certain types, but if it's high in the ingredient list that generally means I avoid it.
- Retinoids - yes please
- Acid/chemical exfoliating products
Because I have a “P” skin type, meaning I tan easily but am also prone to sun spots, melasma, and any blemishes turning into a PIH spots- those annoying dark spots on your skin that can appear after an acne blemish has healed. They are the result of increased melanin production in a certain area of skin that has been injured and are tricky to fade. Therefore I like niacinamide in my products- as an ingredient in a serum or moisturizer, as this helps fade hyperpigmentation and brightens skin tone. Vitamin C is another good one although I admit I’m not as consistent as I should be. Jarred products that claim to be Vit C are useless as Vit C is by its nature unstable and spoils very quickly- it generally needs to be in a light-tight bottle, although The Ordinary is now coming out with new formulations that claim to be more stable. Acid exfoliators like Sunday Riley Good Genes and Biologique Recharche P50, along with a retinal, also help increase skin turnover which fades hyperpigmentation. I use prescription tretinoin.
- I like lots of layers of moisture, keeping skin well hydrated is so important and when my skin is dehydrated I look 10 years older and its unacceptable.
- Oils- I like oils but generally straight one-ingredient oils like rosehip seed oil. Only in the winter when my skin can get extremely dry.
My skin, according to the Baumann skin questionnaire, is “slightly dry”- it can get extremely dry in winter and can get very flakey, while in the summer my skin is more “normal”.
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