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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

For the tips

Not to be outdone, here are some skin tips for the men taken from the Womanwise magazine of the Trinidad Express. It is written by the resident beauty/make up artist Kirk Thomas who can be contacted at or 868-743-4211


Men, does your skin nick easily, burn and/or get red and bumpy after you shave? Many men, myself included, find that shaving goes more smoothly when using a glycerine or aloe-based shaving cream or gel. Not only do these products soothe your skin, they allow your razor to gently glide across your face.

For best results, massage the cream or gel into your beard. And, of course, always shave with your grain first, then if necessary, you can shave against it. Finish with a soothing after shave balm or a moisturiser.

For those of you who go to your barber shop for a shave, my advice is that you stay away from alcohol based after shaves or spray.

Those products actually irritate, rather than cool the skin.

Last week, I went to a new barber who gave me the rubbing alcohol treatment. I was too embarrassed to scream when the pain set in.

For the record rubbing alcohol is not recommended for after shave use. In my view, it is just a cheap way of making sure one’s face is cooled or sanitised and I believe that you should tell that to your barber on the next visit.

Do you know your skin?

Get a facial. No fellas, that’s not for women only.

A metrosexual man (a man who is well groomed) is very appealing to the women. Just watch how much ogling metrosexual poster boy football star David Beckham gets.

Go to a reputable spa and ask the aesthetician (the girl who is giving you your facial) to analyse the type of skin you have as well as the condition it is in. More than likely, the aesthetician will make recommendations specifically suited for you.

Blackheads anyone?

Again, get a facial. Or you could try a cleansing mask. The more effective products are typically made of clay. Be sure to follow the instructions for best results. You don’t have to use the mask on the entire face, you can target the problem areas.

Do you have oily, acne prone skin?

If you use regular body soap to cleanse your face then stop.

Soap strips the skin of its natural oils, and your sebaceous glands react by producing even more oil. Instead, try a gentle foaming or milk cleanser if this problem is mild.

If you need something stronger you could always try a cleanser or spot treatment with salicyclic acid and beta hydroxyl. You may also want to use an oil-free moisturiser.

Alcohol and your skin

We all like to kick back at our favourite watering holes every now and then. But do you know that alcoholic beverages take the moisture right out of your skin.

That’s why you look or feel dehydrated the morning after.

One way to avoid this is to keep up on your daily skin care regime of cleansing, toning and moisturising.

It will help keep your skin soft and replenished. And use a stimulating eye gels every now and then to keep those bags at bay.

At least once a week use a facial scrub or exfoliating bar or wash to slough away dead skin cells and help your skin look radiant.

Finally, are your lips kissable?

No woman wants to kiss lips that are rough like sandpaper.

Keep those kissers moisturised by using light gentle lip balms that are non greasy. This will help to keep away that dry white look from appearing on the lips.

Make up Tips!

The Trinidad Express Woman's Magazine has a very good archive of makeup tips by their resident beauty expert Crysande Hochst and her contact info is:
Email: or Phone:646-0666 or 689-1527

Here are some of her tips on :

Foundation Foundation is the first step to creating the perfect canvas for the rest of your make-up. An attractive make-up application must begin with a foundation that blends perfectly. Take the time to choose the correct foundation for your skin type.

Oil-free and matte liquid foundations

These foundations dry to a matte finish, with no shine or dewy appearance.

Pros: These are the best choice for women who want balanced coverage with no shine and who like a smooth, matte look.

Cons: The ones that contain talc or absorbent ingredients may make the skin look or feel dry and flaky. They are not suitable for persons with dry skin.

Water-based foundations

Water-based does not mean oil-free. It means that the first ingredient is water and the second or third ingredient is some kind of oil or slip agent. They are perfect for women with normal to dry skin.

Pros: The oil or emollient part of these foundations gives them good movement, which allows blushes and eye shadows to blend on effortlessly and evenly. Mistakes are easily buffed away with a sponge.

Cons: The oil ingredient may give some shine. If concerned with the amount of shine, try adding a light dusting of loose translucent powder to set your make-up.

Oil-based foundations

These have oil as their first ingredient and water usually as their second or third ingredient. They feel greasy and thick, yet can blend out quite sheer.

Pros: These can be very good for women with extremely dry or wrinkled skin. The emollient (oil) ingredients help the skin look very dewy and moist, which can

minimise the appearance

of wrinkles.

Cons: They tend to be greasy and thick and can look that way on the skin unless you blend very well. Furthermore, if you wear face powder over this type of foundation, the oil grabs the powder and the face can appear coated and heavily made up.

Cream-to-powder foundations

These provide better coverage than the pressed powder-based foundations. These are an interesting cross between a pressed powder and a creamy

liquid foundation.

Pros: These blend quickly and easily and provide a semi-matte medium coverage. They work well for someone with normal to slightly dry or slightly combination skin. It does not need powdering after you apply it, but you may do so sparingly.

Cons: These foundations can blend on slightly thick, giving you a made-up look. They do not work well for someone with oily skin because the cream components can make skin look more oily.
Make Up that Lasts
In the Caribbean, we have warm, sunny weather all year round that our North American and European counterparts envy. We live where other people go for vacation!

This tropical paradise has its down side, though. The humidity makes our glamorous a.m. looks start to melt as soon as we walk out the door. Humidity causes your make-up to fade and your face to shine annoyingly.

Here are some tips to help your make-up last throughout the day and to fight against the shine that comes from our tropical clime.

1. Use an oil-absorbing moisturiser

First moisturise your face with a product that has oil-absorbing properties. This is even more important if you have oily or combination skin.

Good moisturisers to look out for are ones that have micro-sponges to absorb shine.

2. Try a make-up primer

There are fantastic make-up primers on the market that minimise your pores, helping to give your make-up staying power and making your skin look naturally flawless.

Primers are designed to allow for a smooth, long-lasting application of foundation. A primer is applied after your moisturiser and before your foundation.

You will need to allow the primer to set for a minute, and then apply your foundation.

Primers also act to smooth the skin's surface by evening out your skin tone. If your skin tends to get flaky when you apply your foundation, a primer might be the solution for you.

A make-up tip for men: A primer can be used as an aftershave product to help reduce redness, without the look and feel of wearing a foundation.

3. The secret weapon: translucent powder

Translucent powder is your best friend in the fight against humidity. It provides a natural and virtually undetectable finish once you have the right shade. Translucent powders are designed to "set" your make-up. The powder absorbs the oil or moisture in your make-up and on your skin to create a matte finish.

Application tip: Apply your powder using a powder brush--the right tools make all the difference. If you have oily or combination skin, first press powder in with a puff and then dust off the excess with your powder brush for a natural glow.

4. Shine no more!

Use oil-absorbing facial paper to blot away excess oil and shine. These sheets soak up oil without smudging your make-up. Take them with you wherever you go, day or night.

Touch-up tips: Use these sheets to first remove the oil from your face during the day and then re-apply the translucent powder. Do not focus on packing powder on your face all day. This will only give you the dreaded "caked-on" make-up look. Use your oil-absorbing sheets during the day to keep your look fresh and radiant.
Eyes are the windows of the soul. They reveal your confidence and lend individuality to your face. The right shade and application is critical to your make-up routine. Women with small eyes have their own unique challenges. They may find that eye-liner looks wrong when they put it on and that eye-shadow just makes their eyes look smaller.

Radika Seemungal, an airline industry employee shared her beauty dilemmas with us. She says:

"I have tried lining my eyes every way imaginable but it always seems wrong. I find that my total outlook does not reflect the vibrant image that my company likes to project. Every day my hair is often pulled back into a ponytail or bun. My hair is straight but has little volume or style. I need help to make my eyes stand out and to achieve a natural, inexpensive, low maintenance look."

We helped Radika bring her eyes out and achieve a more professional look for work.

Open Up Those Eyes!

Step 1: To open the eyes up use light to medium shades of eye-shadow. Avoid very dark eye-shadows which will only confine the eyes and make them appear even smaller.

Step 2: Brush your light to medium colour on lids and below brows to intensify the eyes and give them more depth.

Step 3: Create the illusion of a higher crease by sweeping a dark shadow like dark brown, gray, navy or purple above the natural crease of the eye.

Step 4: Apply a thin line of black or dark brown powder shadow just in between your upper lashes using a flat brush. It is very important to have a thin line on the upper eyelid. A thick line will only make eyesappear smaller.

Step 5: You can also define the outer corners of your eyes by extending the line a little upward at the end of the eye. This will add lift to the outer corners.
What is the lip brush for?

Your lip brush is a must for accurate shaping of the mouth. The brush guarantees a controlled application of the lip colour. It is easy for you to apply your lipstick evenly and it is also a great tool for blending your lip colour and lip liner to achieve a nice, natural look. An additional plus is that it takes even the last bit of colour out of your lipstick. Just make sure you clean your brush once per week with a two-in-one conditioning shampoo and a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol.

Do I need a lip liner and what for?

Yes, you do. The lip liner stops the lip colour from bleeding into the creases of the mouth. Make sure your lip pencil is sharpened and of a fairly firm texture in order to clearly define and draw across the small lines around the mouth, You can also use it to do small corrections to your lip-for instance, if you want your lips to look larger or smaller. If you have an irregular lip shape, you can use your lip liner to draw a perfect Cupid's bow and then fill in with your favourite lip colour.

How long does lipstick last?
On average, a lipstick has a lifespan of three years. If there are changes in the colour or it starts to smell rancid or gets little cracks, then it's time to throw it away.

Beauty tricks for the

most common lip problems

If you have a drooping mouth:

Use concealer to minimise the corners of your mouth and emphasise the dip in the centre. Use lip liner first to draw a shape which lifts the mouth. Put a touch of dark lipstick at the corners of your upper lip. Fill in lips with a medium shade and then use a gloss in the centre.

If your lips are too thin:

Outline the mouth well and fully, going a fraction outside the outer lips. Use bright, glossy shades. Be aware that dark, matte colours will make your lips appear smaller. The extra glossy, high pigments in Black Opal's Patent Lips Liquid Lipstick are ideal for adding volume to thin lips.

If your lips are too full:

Too minimise the fullness of your lips steer clear of bright colours or shiny lip gloss. This will only make your lips appear fuller. Use instead matte shades such Black Opal's Barely Wine, Wine Not, Black Currant or Brownie Points. In the case of full lips, it is very important to use lip liner one or two shades darker than your lip colour, and define the lips starting from a little way inside the lips.

Care for your lips

Lip massage

Using your favourite face cream, you could use the middle finger of both hands and start massaging from the chin in small circles upwards and then around the mouth.

Cracked lips

Raw lips don't look nice and they are not healthy. The main reason why your lips get dry is that the lips do not have sebaceous glands, which produce oil. You can do a lot for beautiful lips from the inside by getting enough water.

Water helps circulation throughout your whole body, but specifically the lips. When your body contains enough water, your lips look wrinkle-free, nice and full. Remember that lipstick only looks good on healthy lips.

Protect against sun

People often forget to safeguard the lips, which are so sensitive, so never forget sunscreen on your lips when you go to the beach. Use at least an SPF 20 on your lips.

Natural lip care

Use a mask of honey on your lips. Apply a thick coating on the lips and leave for ten minutes, but resist the temptation to eat the honey! DOs and DON'Ts for perfect lips


1. Make sure you have harmony between lipstick and lip liner. This makes the lips look more natural and you do not see corrections so easily.

2. First start by creating contour with the lip liner and use the lipstick after.

3. Choose whether you want to bring out the eyes or the mouth--never do both at the same time.


1. Don't overdo it with the corrections. Keep it subtle with thin lines. A thick lip liner line can never look natural.

2. Don't combine very dark lip liner with a light lipstick. This combination can age you.

3. Don't wet your lips with your tongue all the time. This will only make them become drier. When you lick your lips, the saliva has to evaporate and when it evaporates, it takes the moisture out of the skin so it gets even drier. When it's drier, you lick more and it becomes a vicious cycle. For women, using a moisturising lip colour helps prevent any more moisture from escaping and protects the lips when the urge to lick strikes. Men could use a lip balm or petroleum jelly thorough out the day.

4. Never bite your lips. This creates little wounds which affect your lip shape.

Need a lift?

In one of my earlier posts I gave a tip to women with fuller breasts on how to make sure the girls stay put inside your bra while jumping up during Carnival;use tape to keep your breasts firmly in place.

One of my girlfriends, however, told me that I should also share her tip for women with smaller breasts who want 1. a lift for breasts that are no longer perky or 2. More cleavage in their costume. I have to say I discovered my girl friend's "secret" one day when I was over at her home. She is notoriously untidy, so together with another friend we decided to help her get her bedroom in order. Imagine our surprise when we found her "boobs in a box" while cleaning!!

Apparently my girlfriend had discovered silicone gel inserts one year for Carnival being envious of both me and our mutual friend's cleavage the poor girl felt she needed a boost in her chest area! Well they certainly do look and feel real and she filled out her costume bra top pretty well!

The bra inserts my friend uses are separate silicone "pads" (complete with nipple) that look just like these:

You will also see strapless/backless silicone bras for sale that are joined to the front by a hook, that's not the one you want if you are looking only to plump up your cleavage. Those are recommended for women who are flat chested according to the Nubra website.

Apart from a breast lift, another alternative for women with smaller, saggy breasts who need support more than cleavage, is the stick on bras like this:

There are many versions of that bra, and you can try them until you get the desired effect, which is to have your breasts go from pancakes to oranges with their help.

From my experience mas bras do not offer much support; they are either made from cheap spandex which is too flimsy or cannot stretch to fit properly because they are decorated with braid and sequins; wonderbras they are not! And I know many women with smaller breasts, like my girlfriend, who depend on their wonderbras, push up bras and waterbras to give them that extra lift in the chest who are probably frustrated by the fit of the mas bras. Hopefully, if you fall in that category, these tips will be useful.

I do have to add that TRIBE has changed from the flimsy bra they gave the past few years to using actual bras in their costumes for 2007. Most of the sections offer padded bras with real, adjustable bra straps and Dragon even carries a bra with detachable bra straps for even more push up effect (bet you guys did not notice that!) and you can wear it as a strapless as well.

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